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> To those who use MongoDB - does this sound like something that might have been caused by MongoDB itself, or Foursquare's use of it?

MongoDB still has problems with locking too much for certain operations. The 10gen guys keep on introducing "yields" to those operations, but the simple (and fast) database/process-level locking could very well cause this... (not a 100% 'yes', but it seems possible)

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