Sunday, September 21, 2014

What I'm reading, autumnal equinox edition

Confucius says: he who attends all-week company conference while battling nasty head cold sleeps 10 hours / night over next weekend.

At any rate, I'm feeling somewhat better now, and am back to surfing the nets.

  • Guide: Writing Testable Code
    To keep our code at Google in the best possible shape we provided our software engineers with these constant reminders. Now, we are happy to share them with the world.
  • Why DO Computers Fail?
    The obvious question when reading a text this old is just how relevant the information is for the world of computing today. I see no reason to think that the fundamental principles have changed, even though all numbers in the report are way off compared to current technology. For example, in a description of a restart scenario, he cites a time of about 90 minutes from start to a live system. Today, most systems would come up much faster than that. The nature of networking has changed dramatically from 1985 in terms of speed and latencies and robustness. Even so, it is still true that communications links are normally the weakest link in any distributed system.
  • High Performance SSH/SCP - HPN-SSH
    SCP and the underlying SSH2 protocol implementation in OpenSSH is network performance limited by statically defined internal flow control buffers. These buffers often end up acting as a bottleneck for network throughput of SCP, especially on long and high bandwith network links. Modifying the ssh code to allow the buffers to be defined at run time eliminates this bottleneck. We have created a patch that will remove the bottlenecks in OpenSSH and is fully interoperable with other servers and clients. In addition HPN clients will be able to download faster from non HPN servers, and HPN servers will be able to receive uploads faster from non HPN clients. However, the host receiving the data must have a properly tuned TCP/IP stack. Please refer to this tuning page for more information.
  • Memory Management Reference
    This is a resource for programmers and computer scientists interested in memory management and garbage collection.
  • Resource management in Docker
    Docker uses cgroups to group processes running in the container. This allows you to manage the resources of a group of processes, which is very valuable, as you can imagine.
  • What is
    From time to time this is a cause of befuddlement and frustration for users as they go searching for a non-existent system file. You can confidently tell users on this futile quest that there's not supposed to be a file present anywhere on the file system; it's a virtual DSO, a shared object exposed by the kernel at a fixed address in every process' memory
  • I’m leaving Mojang
    I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn’t understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.
  • Why Free Marketeers Want To Regulate the Internet
    it seems odd for a conservative – whether an old-guard big-business Bush-era conservative or a new-guard Paulite libertarian conservative – to support Net Neutrality.

    Except I do Internet for a living, and I am one of the lucky ones who actually knows what Net Neutrality means and what it’s responding to. And, folks, I’m afraid that, while L. Gordon Crovitz and Rich Lowry are great pundits with a clear understanding of how Washington and the economy work, they don’t seem to understand how the Internet works, which has led them to some wrong conclusions.

  • Eleventh Grade Tech Trends
    So while the anecdotes of a sixteen year old, public high school student, from Los Angeles are not representative, and will not help you find the next Facebook, I do think the practice of pausing, asking questions, and listening to other people is a good one that should be practiced much more.
  • How Gangs Took Over Prisons
    This past summer, however, a 32-year-old academic named David Skarbek published The Social Order of the Underworld, his first book, which is the best attempt in a long while to explain the intricate organizational systems that make the gangs so formidable. His focus is the California prison system, which houses the second-largest inmate population in the country
  • Here Comes Habitat
    The MADE, a few months ago, quietly began working on reviving the game Habitat for preservation. The period we have thus far completed has mostly been focused on gathering human resources, hardware resources, and assessing the extent to which we can preserve the first Massively Multiplayer game. At this point, we are ready to announce that we feel we have a very good chance of bringing Habitat online, in its original form, for play online with Commodore 64 emulators as the client.
  • iOS 8, thoroughly reviewed
    In this review, we'll be talking mostly about features available to all iOS 8 devices, and to hardware that you already have in your hands right now. Several software features in the new operating system are exclusive to the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and discussion of those features will wait until we review those devices.
  • What every computer programmer should know about floating point, part 1
    There is an existing article called What Every Computer Scientist Should Know About Floating-Point Arithmetic, but it is very math-heavy and focuses on subtle issues that face data scientists and CPU designers. This article ("What every computer programmer should know...) is aimed at the general population of programmers. I'm focusing on simple and practical results that you can use to build your intuition for how to think about floating-point numbers.
  • Dread Pirate Sunk By Leaky CAPTCHA
    The IP address leak we discovered came from the Silk Road user login interface. Upon examining the individual packets of data being sent back from the website, we noticed that the headers of some of the packets reflected a certain IP address not associated with any known Tor node as the source of the packets. This IP address (the “Subject IP Address”) was the only non-Tor source IP address reflected in the traffic we examined
  • NOAA team reveals forgotten ghost ships off Golden Gate
    A team of NOAA researchers today confirmed the discovery just outside San Francisco’s Golden Gate strait of the 1910 shipwreck SS Selja and an unidentified early steam tugboat wreck tagged the “mystery wreck.” The researchers also located the 1863 wreck of the clipper ship Noonday, currently obscured by mud and silt on the ocean floor.

    These and other shipwreck investigations mark the first mission of a two-year project to locate, identify and better understand some of the estimated 300 wrecks in Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and the adjacent Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Oh, and yes, the rumors are true: I now use an iPhone.

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