How connected is the world? Playwrights , poets , and scientists  have proposed that everyone on the planet is connected to everyone else by six other people. In honor of Friends Day, we’ve crunched the Facebook friend graph and determined that the number is 3.57. Each person in the world (at least among the 1.59 billion people active on Facebook) is connected to every other person by an average of three and a half other people. The average distance we observe is 4.57, corresponding to 3.57 intermediaries or “degrees of separation.” Within the US, people are connected to each other by an average of 3.46 degrees.
Well, there we are. Not six but something closer to four. Or maybe even closer to three, given that the figure has shrunk each time Facebook—which continues to grow—has done one of these studies.
With osquery, you can use SQL to query low-level operating system information. Under the hood, instead of querying static tables, these queries dynamically execute high-performance native code. The results of the SQL query are transparently returned to you quickly and easily.
A really neat concept for monitoring and security auditing.
A recent paper (PDF) by researchers at Princeton predicts that Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2015-2017. The prediction itself is based on Google data, which shows that search query data for “Facebook” is rapidly declining—just like what happened to search data for MySpace when it was on the decline.
Unfortunately, a decline in search queries does not necessarily mean a shrinking userbase. Facebook data scientists Mike Develin, Lada Adamic, and Sean Taylor debunked the findings in what is a rather hilarious blog post.
In keeping with the scientific principle “correlation equals causation,” our research unequivocally demonstrated that Princeton may be in danger of disappearing entirely.
Our code base has grown organically and its internal dependencies are very complex. We could have spent a lot of time making it more modular in a way that would be friendly to a source control tool, but there are a number of benefits to using a single repository. Even at our current scale, we often make large changes throughout our code base, and having a single repository is useful for continuous modernization. Splitting it up would make large, atomic refactorings more difficult. On top of that, the idea that the scaling constraints of our source control system should dictate our code structure just doesn’t sit well with us.
For some reason, I always just assumed they use Git. The more you know.
The new version of Facebook Messenger now allows you to chat via people’s phone numbers, even if your contact isn’t on Facebook. This feature could be really devastating to WhatsApp and the like, but how many people are willing to switch from what they’re used to remains to be seen.