Archive for the 'General' Category

Play Pac-Man on Google’s Homepage

Google celebrates the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man.

The Pac-Man maze is built from the Google letters, and if you wait 10 seconds without typing then the game starts!


The game works very nice and is made from plain HTML, CSS, Javascript and PNG sprites. Flash is only used for sound. The whole thing loads in the background using a timer and has minimal effect on the browser. No fancy HTML5 involved.

Doing a quick Google (SSLsearch shows some discussions and even a link to a standalone downloadable version.

Pac-Man is one of the first computer games I ever played with, dating back to the early 80s, playing on the ATARI400 – an awesome computer which looked exactly like the picture below:

God will forgive me for throwing it away.

Here’s the cartridge used for playing Pac-man :

* Update – You can play the game with Two Players by inserting two coins! (Player-2 keys are A/W/D/S). (This was reported here)
* Update – Now available at -

* Update –  I’ve uploaded a local copy of the Google doodle. Just visit the following link and play ;)
* Update – 48 hours passed, and the Google Pac-Man Doodle stopped working as expected. As previously mentioned, you can download it here. And to fully enjoy it with the great sound effects, extract the zip file to a local directory (e.g. c:\GooglePacman), Double click the ‘Adobe Flash settings manager.url’ file, click the ‘Edit locations…’ combo box, then ‘Add location’, and use the browse for folder button. Now go on to opening the ‘Play GooglePacman.html’ file using your favorite browser !

Insecurity – Illustrated (YourOpenBook, PleaseRobMe, Device fingerprinting)

I’ve never been a fan of social networks, and I find the whole idea of sharing everything with everyone to be silly, irresponsible and dangerous.

Don’t think so? check out the following site –

(hit refresh to search for popular terms such as “I hate my boss”, “Don’t tell anyone”)

What is Openbook?

Openbook draws attention to the information Facebook makes public about its users via its search API. Facebook exposed this service on April 21st, 2010.

Our goal is to get Facebook to restore the privacy of this information, so that this website and others like it no longer work.

Openbook is a pure client-side HTML, JS and CSS app that makes simple requests to the Facebook API. We started working on it late Wednesday night (May 12th 2010) and had the site working within an hour or two.

Also make sure to read the following article published yesterday -

New Tool Highlights Facebook Users’ Disregard for Privacy

And gems such as -

PleaseRobMe and the Dangers of Location-Based Social Networks

Well, another interesting article published yesterday is

EFF Research Shows More Than 8 in 10 Browsers Have Unique, Trackable Signatures.

Our browser sends so many information that can easily uniquely identify us. This includes the well-familiar Cookies and a whole bunch of other stuff, including - User Agent,  HTTP ACCEPT Headers, Screen resolution, timezone, Browser plugins, MIME types, System fonts, and Supercookies (Flash LSO cookies, Silverloght cookies, Google Gears, …)

We are living in interesting times.


Scalability articles – MySpace, Google, FarmVille

Several interesting articles about scalability and performance war-stories!
(This post was created over a month ago, published today)

High Scalability – How FarmVille Scales to Harvest 75 Million Players a Month

Perspectives – Scaling FarmVille

Perspectives – Scaling at MySpace

Perspectives – Jeff Dean: Design Lessons and Advice from Building Large Scale Distributed Systems


Today I visited and saw a very nice layout for summarizing all the news/articles that appeared on a site at a specific day.

Here it how it looks like for April 7th:

  • 41 articles published today, generating different amounts of comment (# Comments / Time of day).
  • The color of the dots ranges from purple (cold, few comments) to red (hot!, e.g. 200+ comments).
  • Moving the mouse over one of the dots lets you see the article title, publishing time, and number of comments…
  • clicking on it simply takes you to the article…

nicely done, fast and efficient!


10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr

A very nice Velocity2009 presentation from Flickr that talks about the paramount cooperation between development and operation teams when working internet-scale (a-la Flickr, 3 billion photos, serving 40,000 photos per second!)

Cool pictures as well – I recommend watching the whole deck, and note slides #6, and #75.

10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr