for the .ro (Romania) domains this is not really true. the national domain registrar (rotld.ro) doesn't charge anything for updating name servers. probably the additional fees you're talking about are imposed by some third-party / reseller.
what I also found interesting or at least peculiar is that the Romanian registrar charges a one-time only fee for registering a domain and it has been doing so for as long as I know. you pay 50 Euros per domain but you get to keep it for your whole life or as long as they don't decide to charge on a yearly basis. I'm curious if there's any other domain provider offering lifetime registration?
I stumbled over it few months ago and the issue was that readdir(), used by rm on the box I was using, by default alloc'd a small buffer (the usual 4KB) and with millions of files that turned in millions of syscalls (that's just to find out the files to delete).
A small program using getdents() with a large buffer (5MB or so) speeds it up a lot.
If you want to be kind to your hard drive then sorting the buffer by inode before running unlink()s will be better to access the disk semi-sequentially (less head jumps).
That's fairly standard legalese for large companies. I'm not saying it makes any sense, I'm just saying I've seen it a lot. I believe this is an attempt to lay some groundwork to support the removal of links from sites that you don't want any corporate association with.
Also, a programmer who can't design is able to release an ugly, but functional application. A designer who can't program will only make a beautiful but useless design. In this case I think the programmer has the advantage.
Very true. I think that it is because of the form factor (small screen, full touch) that design is essential. Fortunately there are some great designers out there for programmers to hire. I've had my most success with iOS apps where I hired a designer (I'm a programmer).
Backends seem overpriced to me; their default backend is a long-lasting process running at 1.2Ghz allowed to use 256MB of RAM and it's priced $0.16/hour ($115/month).
They can shutdown/restart/relocate your backend whenever they want so what they suggest to keep your service live is "Configuring more backend instances than are normally required to handle your traffic patterns" (yeah that's at least another $115/month fee).
At linode that kind of money will give you 4G of ram, cpu power in the same ball park and loads of storage and transfer.
It seems that Backends - and the GAE in general - makes most sense when you view the system as a whole, and work with systems of a certain size. Tasks goes in to queues and backends are started and stopped as needed - stuff like that. If all you need is to serve a long running process, linode and the like is more economical.