Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Post-L-Triptophan reading list

OMG there's so much to read.

It's amazing how much accumulates when you take a week off...

  • The QA Mindset
    My concern is that the absence of QA is the absence of a champion for aspects of software development that everyone agrees are important, but often no one is willing to own. Unit tests, automation, test plans, bug tracking, and quality metrics. The results of which give QA a unique perspective. Traditionally, they are known as the folks who break things, who find bugs, but QA’s role is far more important. It’s not that QA can discover what is wrong, they intimately understand what is right and they unfailingly strive to push the product in that direction.

    I believe these are humans you want in the building.

  • Gangnam Style Video Overflows YouTube Counter
    If you hover your mouse over the counter, it spins like a slot machine; if you hold the mouse there long enough it will show a negative number. But the negative number is not what I expected. Is there a bug in the Easter egg?
  • The real and complete story - Does Windows defragment your SSD?
    The short answer is, yes, Windows does sometimes defragment SSDs, yes, it's important to intelligently and appropriately defrag SSDs, and yes, Windows is smart about how it treats your SSD.
  • Future of Popular Coding Tool In Doubt After Public Split
    The split highlights the tensions that often exist between the corporate sponsor of an open source project and the many other coders and businesses who use it and help build it. Docker, the company behind a new approach to cloud computing that has exploded in popularity in the past year and half, is in a similar boat, with some community members complaining that the parent company has strayed from its original mission and one outfit going so far as to create a new rival for the project.
  • Two Farmers and Common Knowledge
    They needed some way to make their cycling workers reliable again, and that meant finding a technical solution to the problem.
  • Uber's Secret Weapon: The World
    But the international aspect is if anything even more important. This might not be obvious to people in San Francisco, who are spoiled with dozens of hopeful and well-funded startups, many of which are doing much the same thing that Uber is aspiring to. But leave the Bay Area, and the fears and frustrations of trying to get a cab start getting magnified – especially when you’re in a foreign country. The value of Uber is only partially in the service it provides; increasingly, it’s also in the global ubiquity of that service.
  • Introduction and Initial Plans
    Welcome to Quantum OS! We are working on developing an operating system based upon Linux which conforms to Google’s Material Design guidelines. The focus will be on creating a stable and easy-to-use operating system with a heavy emphasis on well-thought-out design.
  • God's Lonely Programmer
    TempleOS is more than an exercise in retro computing, or a hobbyist’s space for programming close to the bare metal. It’s the brainchild—perhaps the life’s work—of 44-year-old Terry Davis, the founder and sole employee of Trivial Solutions. For more than a decade Davis has worked on it; today, TempleOS is 121,176 lines of code
  • The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering
    To master complexity, we can organize it or discard it. The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering first teaches the tools for organizing complexity, then distinguishes the two paths for discarding complexity: with and without loss of information. Questions and problems throughout the text help readers master and apply these groups of tools. Armed with this three-part toolchest, and without complicated mathematics, readers can estimate the flight range of birds and planes and the strength of chemical bonds, understand the physics of pianos and xylophones, and explain why skies are blue and sunsets are red.
  • Out the Window
    A group of researchers that were immensely valuable according to Microsoft’s own metric just a couple of months before were thrown out to the hands of Microsoft’s competitors that were more than happy to oblige. Similarly, previously valued research projects were carelessly lost (quite possibly to be picked up by others). Excellence as defined by Microsoft did not protect you, impact did not protect you
  • Towards a more perfect link underline
    Overall, the underline is much thicker than Wichary’s ideal and sits too close to the text for my comfort. But most damningly to my mind, the underline does not change weight to adapt to the weight of the font, leading to unfortunate mismatches
  • Why Renewable Energy (Alone) Won't Full Solve the Problem
    I argue that all employees should be limited only by their ability rather than an absence of resources or an inability to argue convincingly for more. This is one of the most important yet least discussed advantages of cloud computing: taking away artificial resource limitations in support light-weight experimentation and rapid innovation. Making individual engineers and teams responsible to deliver more value for more resources consumed makes it possible encourage experimentation without fear that costs will rise without sufficient value being produced. And, because cloud computing is so inexpensive and comes without a long term commitment, a single engineer to do a trial run of a 1,000 core analysis to improve supply chain logistics without appreciable financial risk. If it works, keep doing it and reap the economic gain. If it doesn’t work, little was spent and it may have been a failed experiment but it was an inexpensive failed experiment. Economic systems are very powerful at driving innovation.
  • Best at Everything? It’s Closer to True
    It makes sense considering that the quarterback, Peter Williams, is studying, actually, to be a rocket scientist. Or that the senior linebacker Cameron Wagar, a mechanical engineering major, last week endured a review of a semester-long group project on Monday, a biology report due Wednesday and a biology exam Friday, just before the team bus left for Bangor, Me., where the undefeated Engineers faced Husson University in the first round of the N.C.A.A. Division III playoffs.
  • Some of these Things are not like the others
    What’s more important is to consider all the discrete moving parts, the small pieces loosely joined, and how they fit together: networked systems, objects, and actors, interacting with one another at a distance, over APIs, legislature, process. These are all interfaces for the city. They’re not all digital technology, either – they’re frequently transitions between state, the digital communicating with the human, or the physical, or the abstract, and vice versa.

    Cities are made of many different things, in many states, and digital technology’s role shouldn’t just be to bridge between all those states and the digital – but also to link things of one state to another.

  • How browsers get to know you in milliseconds
    When the user clicks on a link or enters a URL, the server returns a page with ad tags that contain JavaScript to invoke an auction with a particular exchange. The browser then issues a request to an exchange such as AppNexus, or to a supply-side platform (SSP) that then sends it to the exchange.
  • Nifty tech delivers ineffective crap at incredible speed!
    Hold on a minute. Online display ads are terribly ineffective, despite all the bleeding-edge technology being thrown at them?

    Close. But not despite. Because.

  • Unpacking privacy
    The problem is that if the medium is targetable, then the best strategy for an individual site is to do targeting, even if (because of the signaling value of its content) the site would do better in a system where no user could be targeted. When we stop thinking about privacy as a big, complicated, hard concept, and try to break out some kind of Minimum Viable Privacy, just enough to protect that "car intender" from site to site tracking, then ways out of the race to the bottom start to present themselves.
  • Consider Your Perspective: A Chart – Gold vs U.S. Debt
    There was a period where the two seemed to move together, and there was a much longer period where they did not. One can selectively choose start and endpoints that torture the data in an effort to further a narrative or confirm a bias, but when one does that, one should not be shocked when one’s conclusions turn out to be incorrect.
  • The Ship Breakers
    The ships are driven right up onto shoreline lots set aside for ship breaking, then attacked by hammer and blowtorch until all usable material has been stripped away to be sold or recycled.
  • Under London
    I'm a sucker for images of the human form stranded amidst the shadows of massive, dimensionally abstract spatial environments, so I thought I'd post these purely as eye candy.
  • Yerba Buena Island
    aids to navigation became more important and the unique octagonal lighthouse and the fog signal, which are still operational on the southern end of the island, were completed in 1875. The beautiful house just above them was constructed for the lighthouse keeper and now serves as the home of a Coast Guard admiral.
  • The Missing Men
    Why didn’t a Rolling Stone writer talk to the alleged perpetrators of a gang rape at the University of Virginia?
  • Ill Doctrine
    ill Doctrine is a video blog hosted by Jay Smooth, founder of New York's longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI's Underground Railroad.

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