The race is on to get tickets to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. Millions of people (some 2.3 to 2.7 million signed up to request tickets so far) are clamoring to attend events featuring the likes of Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe, and Usain Bolt. To distribute the load in the initial ticket request phase, Olympic organizers are using a batch system to accept requests over a six week period. Even with this even-handed approach, the servers were under tremendous load in the early hours of this past Tuesday. We investigate and show how performance could be improved.
An Entity tag (ETag) is a unique identifier assigned to a specific version of a given resource on a web server. ETags are used as a cache control mechanism to allow client browsers to make conditional requests. This lets caches work more efficiently by reusing unchanged resources on the client, and avoiding full server responses if the content has not changed. Efficient caching saves bandwidth and improves performance by delivering only what the client needs, not what it already has.
The importance of download speed, for most Web users, has long been established (King 2008). Fast response times foster higher flow states (Skadberg & Kimmel 2004), higher conversion rates (Akamai 2007), higher perceived trustworthiness (Nielsen 1999), and lower user frustration (Ceaparu et al. 2004). But, previous research has also found that differences in gender, age and computer self-efficacy can moderate user priorities. This article explores the differences among men and women in their desire for speed.