Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Read, read, read

My youngest child is 23 years old!

Does this mean I am finally a grown-up?

  • Alexander Grothendieck 1928–2014
    So what can all this mean for us who work in what Grothendieck described as a “mansion” in which “the windows and blinds are all closed,” while he was one of those “whose spontaneous and joyful vocation it has been to be ceaseless building new mansions”? At least he did not call our dwelling a cave. However, in complexity theory we have it worse than Plato’s cave-prisoners in not merely missing the blinding world outside, but sensing its impact as a negative image in our present ignorance of lower bounds.
  • Andrew Odlyzko Strikes Again
    Last year I blogged about Andrew Odlyzko's perceptive analysis of the business of scholarly publishing. Now he's back with an invaluable, must-read analysis of the economics of the communication industry entitled Will smart pricing finally take off?.
  • A Worm's Mind In A Lego Body
    The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is tiny and only has 302 neurons. These have been completely mapped and the OpenWorm project is working to build a complete simulation of the worm in software. One of the founders of the OpenWorm project, Timothy Busbice, has taken the connectome and implemented an object oriented neuron program.
  • Keep Daly City Uncool
    Admittedly, the rumor that a proposed move to Daly City caused dissent among Reddit's ranks is met with a sense of relief around here where there's reason to fear that all those nearby gobs of money will ooze out of San Francisco and Atherton and engulf Val's, Joe's and our twin Targets like ravenous blob fueled by Bitcoin and fully-vested stock options.
  • Introducing “A Field Guide to the Distributed Development Stack”: Tools to develop massively distributed applications
    In addition to being a (hopefully) useful framework, the Guide is also meant to be a living resource. So, we’ve put the source on GitHub and invite you to contribute. If you feel like we’ve missed a tool (which we most certainly have, since new things are popping up every day) or a major theme, then fork the repo and send me a pull request. We’ll be keeping this document up to date and republishing it as we watch this trend continue to grow. We’ll use O’Reilly Atlas to pull in the contributions and periodically republish the guide.
  • Binary artifact management in Git
    Management of large binaries is still an unsolved problem in the Git community. There are effective alternatives and work-arounds but it’ll be interesting to see if anyone tries to solve the problem more systematically.
  • Beating Ebola Means Drinking, Last Thing Patient Wants to Do
    “We will halve the mortality by firstly just stopping anti-inflammatories and giving hydration, and really pushing it,” Mardel said. “I want every man and woman in Sierra Leone to know this. I want sports personalities to be talking about it. I want everybody to be talking about it.”
  • This Mod Is the Absolute Best Way to Play XCOM
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a great tactical game from Firaxis games. Its first expansion pack, Enemy Within, added so much amazing content that it made playing the game an entirely new experience. And now there’s a mod that’s so good it makes the expansion pack feel like a tired retread.

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