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In this paper, we examine a number of SQL and socalled “NoSQL” data stores designed to scale simple OLTP-style application loads over many servers. Originally motivated by Web 2.0 applications, these systems are designed to scale to thousands or millions of users doing updates as well as reads, in contrast to traditional DBMSs and data warehouses. We contrast the new systems on their data model, consistency mechanisms, storage mechanisms, durability guarantees, availability, query support, and other dimensions. These systems typically sacrifice some of these dimensions, e.g. database-wide transaction consistency, in order to achieve others, e.g. higher availability and scalability. Note: Bibliographic references for systems are not listed, but URLs for more information can be found in the System References table at the end of this paper. Caveat: Statements in this paper are based on sources and documentation that may not be reliable, and the systems described are “moving targets,” so some statements may be incorrect. Verify through other sources before depending on information here. Nevertheless, we hope this comprehensive survey is useful! Check for future corrections on the author’s web site cattell.net/datastores. Disclosure: The author is on the technical advisory board of Schooner Technologies and has a consulting business advising on scalable databases.
In this paper, I describe some of the recent developments in the database management area, in particular the NoSQL phenomenon and the hoopla associated with it. The goal of the paper is not to do an exhaustive survey of NoSQL systems. The aim is to do a broad brush analysis of what these developments mean - the good and the bad aspects! Based on my more than three decades of database systems work in the research and product arenas, I will outline what are many of the pitfalls to avoid since there is currently a mad rush to develop and adopt a plethora of NoSQL systems in a segment of the IT population, including the research community. In rushing to develop these systems to overcome some of the shortcomings of the relational systems, many good principles of the latter, which go beyond the relational model and the SQL language, have been left by the wayside. Now many of the features that were initially discarded as unnecessary in the NoSQL systems are being brought in, but unfortunately in ad hoc ways. Hopefully, the lessons learnt over three decades with relational and other systems would not go to waste and we wouldn’t let history repeat itself with respect to simple minded approaches leading to enormous pain later on for developers as well as users of the NoSQL systems! Caveat: What I express in this paper are my personal opinions and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer.
Today the Wall Street Journal published a letter to the editor from Commission chair Judge Patti B. Saris regarding Mortimer Zuckerman’s op-ed “Harsh Sentencing, Overstuffed Prisons—It’s Time for Reform” (May 3, 2014): Sentencing Guidelines Are Being Intelligently Adjusted The amendment originated with the U.S. Sentencing Commission and is something we carefully considered over several years. Regarding Mortimer Zuckerman’s “Harsh Sentencing, Overstuffed Prisons—It’s Time for Reform” (op-ed, May 3): Mr. Zuckerman mentions a Justice Department sentencing panel proposing an amendment to federal guidelines. In fact, it was the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent, bipartisan agency that is part of the judicial branch, which voted unanimously on April 10 to amend the federal sentencing guidelines to modestly reduce sentences for the majority of federal drug offenders. We appreciated the support for this change from the Justice Department and others ranging from bipartisan members of Congress to the Federal Public and Community Defenders to Right on Crime, but the amendment originated with the commission and is something we carefully considered over several years. This amendment has been transmitted to Congress and unless Congress acts to disapprove, it will go into effect Nov. 1, 2014. The federal sentencing guidelines are advisory but carry substantial weight in determining federal sentences. The amendment reduces the guideline levels assigned to most drug-trafficking offenders based on the quantity of drugs involved in the offense. The commission determined that the guideline levels for drug quantity no longer needed to be so high. We estimate that our amendment will affect the sentences of almost 70% of federal drugtrafficking offenders and reduce their sentences by 11 months on average. These sentence reductions will correspond to a reduction in the federal prison population of approximately 6,500 inmates within five years and many more over time. The commission carefully weighed public safety concerns, and based on past experience, existing laws and guidelines and expert testimony it concluded that the amendment should not jeopardize public safety. Our amendment is modest in scope; only Congress can change statutory mandatory minimum penalties. But we believe it is an important start.
This paper examines the complex, often misunderstood, relationship between al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the various militant groups found in FATA (the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) in Pakistan, including the TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan). Much of what is commonly assumed about the Taliban, the TTP and al-Qaeda is based on misinformation, misunderstanding or a misrepresentation of historical events. The Taliban and alQaeda can in many ways be seen as sharing common values, although their ultimate goals remain very different. The Taliban were not part of the mujahedeen fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and emerged only in 1994. Al-Qaeda, for all the conspiracy, did not receive money from the CIA during the 1980s, and was only officially formed as an organisation in 1988. The creation of the TTP in 2007 is another matter, and was created as an umbrella organisation for various Pakistani militant groups, and maintains close ties with al-Qaeda. However, the Pakistani Taliban is not the same Taliban as the one formed in 1994, and although it swears its loyalty to Mullah Omar, its goals differ from that of the Afghani Taliban. We can speak of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in two broad strokes – pre 9/11 and post 9/11. The attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon (as well as the failed attack on Washington DC with the hijacked flight 93), was the culmination of al-Qaeda as a tightly knit, hierarchical organisation. The subsequent “War on Terror” and the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 destroyed much of its organisational capacity; it also left the Taliban severely weakened. However, they both regrouped in the FATA region over a period of years, and al-Qaeda spread its ideology throughout northern Pakistan, coalescing with militant groups and local warlords. Before 9/11, al-Qaeda and the Taliban were very much two different organisations; today, it is not so simple, and in 2010, General David Petreus claimed that there is “a symbiotic relationship between all of these different organizations: al-Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban, the Afghan Taliban ... They support each other, they coordinate with each other, sometimes they compete with each other, [and] sometimes they even fight each other.” (cfr, 2010, http://www.cfr.org).