Documentation. This project required us to operate within a tight timeline, which caused us to overlook some of the documentation process. Lacking thorough documentation created some confusion that could have been avoided. Just like with coding, documenting systems as they are created is paramount to the process. It has to be done sooner or later, and documenting throughout the creation process allows for smoother decision-making.
Airbnb has grown significantly over the last 3 years. To support demand, the company uses 200 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances for its application, memcache, and search servers. Within Amazon EC2, Airbnb is using Elastic Load Balancing, which automatically distributes incoming traffic between multiple Amazon EC2 instances. To easily process and analyze 50 Gigabytes of data daily, Airbnb uses Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR). Airbnb is also using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to house backups and static files, including 10 terabytes of user pictures. To monitor all of its server resources, Airbnb uses Amazon CloudWatch, which allows the company to easily supervise all of its Amazon EC2 assets through the AWS Management Console, Command Line Tools, or a Web services API.
As of January 2018, the airline has had almost sixty aircraft hull losses due to all causes since the crash of an American Airways Ford 5-AT-C Trimotor in August 1931. Of these most were propeller driven aircraft, including three Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop aircraft (of which one, the crash in 1959 of Flight 320, resulted in fatalities). Seventeen jet aircraft have been written off due to crashes – including Flight 587 in 2001, Flight 965 in 1995, Flight 191 in 1979, Flight 1 in 1962 and two aircraft destroyed in the September 11 attacks – and other accidents (such as the Flight 383 engine failure and fire in 2016); two of these were training flights in which only the crew were killed and six resulted in no fatalities. Another four jet aircraft have been written off due to incidents while they were parked between flights or while undergoing maintenance.
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Violations occurring over a 4½ year period—from October 1993 to July 1998—targeted American Airlines for using high-sulfur fuel in motor vehicles at 10 major airports around the country. Under the federal Clean Air Act high sulfur fuel cannot be used in motor vehicles. American Airlines promptly identified and corrected these violations of the Clean Air Act.
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The Resilience of the American Vacation in Mexico: This excellent enterprise piece from Skift’s Sarah Enelow-Synder is not about airlines, though the Mexican carrier Volaris figures prominently. Holger Blankenstein, who runs the airline’s commercial team, explains why marketing to Mexican-Americans is different from targeting vacationers. “In a Mexican-origin family, the son or daughter are the ones who buy the flight ticket for the parents,” he said. “How the family gets to know Volaris and the brand is passed down from generation to generation.”
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A year after Airbnb launched, the company decided to migrate nearly all of its cloud computing functions to Amazon Web Services (AWS) because of service administration challenges experienced with its original provider. Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-founder & CTO of Airbnb says, “Initially, the appeal of AWS was the ease of managing and customizing the stack. It was great to be able to ramp up more servers without having to contact anyone and without having minimum usage commitments. As our company continued to grow, so did our reliance on the AWS cloud and now, we’ve adopted almost all of the features AWS provides. AWS is the easy answer for any Internet business that wants to scale to the next level.”
In November 2012, Airbnb acquired NabeWise, a city guide that aggregates curated information for specified locations. The acquisition shifted the company focus toward offering hyperlocal recommendations to travelers. That same month, Airbnb launched "Neighborhoods", a travel guide of 23 cities that provides in-depth information via collaborative filtering to help travelers choose a neighborhood in which to stay based on criteria such as public transportation, dining, peace & quiet, nightlife, tourist attractions, and shopping.