Friday, March 22, 2013

Stuff I'm reading on a Friday afternoon

It's a beautiful spring Friday and my thoughts have drifted to the weekend.

I'm feeling a bit guilty because I was very busy at work this week and didn't spend much time watching Doug Schmidt's POSA videos on Coursera.

But I am feeling proud of myself for picking both La Salle and Ole Miss in my NCAA bracket (though I foolishly picked New Mexico to go all the way to the title game!).

Anyway, on to more important topics:

  • Your hard drive will self-destruct at 2pm: Inside the South Korean cyberattack
    Zheng added that this attack is a "deviation from the current trend" in advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks, which tend to be focused on information stealing rather than destruction. "To be honest, it's been quite a while since we've observed a disruptive malware like this," he said.
  • The title may be silly but the topic is important: Donglegate Controversy Yields Only One Winner: GitHub
    Yes, he could have shared the document on, say, Google Docs and invited others to edit it there. But that’s not quite the same. From where Noller is sitting, Docs isn’t as well suited to collaboration. What’s more, he says, GitHub is specifically designed to rapidly disseminate material across a broad community. It is set up a lot like a social network.
  • We had just moved from Boston to San Francisco when the theft occurred, and now there's big news: FBI says it has identified the thieves in Gardner Museum heist; paintings’ location still unknown
    Law enforcement officials have been puzzled for years by the heist. The robbers entered the museum and tied up two night watchmen in the early morning hours of March 18, 1990. After years of investigative dead ends, DesLauriers said, the probe “accelerated” in 2010 and “crucial pieces of evidence” were developed identifying the robbers and their associates.
    Or just read ChartGirl's marvelous infographic!

  • Diving Deep into Danger
    Today it is an economic and even geopolitical necessity for oil companies, in order to maintain pipelines and offshore rigs, to send divers routinely to depths of a thousand feet, and keep them at that level of compression for as long as a month at a time.
  • MongoDB: Replication Lag and the Facts of Life
    This unsettling situation has the hallmarks of an insidious foe in realm of high-availability data stewardship: unchecked replication lag.
  • Lock-Free Algorithms For Ultimate Performance
    A thread running on core 1 wants to update variable X while a thread on core 2 wants to update variable Y. Unfortunately these two hot variables reside in the same cache line. Each thread will race for ownership of the cache line so they can update it.
  • The Obfuscation of Culture
    Most communities protect their culture through some form of obfuscation: hiding the meaning of their communication by making it hard to interpret.
  • Versioning - an Underrated Discipline
    from the programmer’s point of view it is always useful to know what changes have been made between two versions to easily find out what version introduced a bug or made a given functionality available.
  • When TED Lost Control of Its Crowd
    By August the uproar had gone mainstream, as other questionable TEDx content was uncovered. The New Republic wrote, “TED is no longer a responsible curator of ideas ‘worth spreading.’ Instead it has become something ludicrous.” As others piled on, TED staffers called Powell and asked him to send the research backing up his claims. He never did.
  • NoDB: Efficient Query Execution on Raw Data Files
    There are fundamental processes in modern database architec- tures that represent a major bottleneck for data-to-query time. The NoDB philosophy changes the way a user interacts with a database system by eliminating one of the most important bottlenecks, i.e., data loading. We advocate in situ querying as the principal way to manage data in a database and propose extending traditional query processing architectures to work in situ.
We've passed the vernal equinox, no? So it's officially springtime now. Time to tear my nose away from this computer and get outside in the sunshine!

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