Sunday, August 27, 2017

An end-August round-up of this and that

  • Roy sells ThoughtWorks
    ThoughtWorks, my employer, had some big news to share today. Our founder and owner, Roy Singham, has decided to sell ThoughtWorks to Apax Funds - a private equity firm based in London. Apax wishes the current management team to continue running and growing ThoughtWorks, using the same model that's driven our growth and success for the last twenty-odd years.
  • Someone who puts that kind of money down to buy a company is going to want to have a say in how it's run.
    The second rule of buyouts is that everything will change in the second fiscal year. They won't tell you NOT to do something, they just won't give you any budget for it.

    The first rule of buyouts is that the promises always come from someone who isn't in a position to back them up (like the old owner, or your boss's boss, who only have a single seat on the board between them).

  • Oakland grapples with Uber’s threat to sell massive HQ instead of moving in
    After spending two years bracing for Uber’s arrival, residents reacted with both worry and relief Friday after the ride-hailing giant said it may instead sell the building that was supposed to be its Oakland headquarters.

    Following Uber’s announcement that it is reevaluating plans for the Uptown Station building at 1955 Broadway, Oakland residents are left wondering what will become of the massive, vacant building in the heart of the city’s revitalizing Uptown neighborhood. The space, formerly occupied by Sears, has generated excitement and controversy ever since Uber announced its intention to move in two years ago.

  • The best photos and videos of the 2017 solar eclipse
  • The story behind viral, iconic Smith Rock total solar eclipse photo
    Ted Hesser, a 31-year-old freelance photographer from the Bay Area, scouted locations at Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon with his girlfriend, Martina Tibell, for a week. The two rock climbing enthusiasts spent days trying different climbing routes alongside other adventure photographers who all descended on the park looking for the perfect angle during totality.
  • Limiting Memory to Avoid the Oom
    While killing processes is never good, it is better than having the system halt due to memory exhaustion. Sometimes the oom kills Postgres, and that isn't a good thing either. This email thread explains how to use ulimit to cause Postgres sessions that consume a lot of memory to fail due to excessive memory requests. This avoids having them continue and be killed by the oom killer, which causes the entire database server to restart. The Postgres documentation also explains the behavior of the oom killer.
  • How Hardware Drives The Shape Of Databases To Come
    With so many new compute, storage, and networking technologies entering the field and so many different database and data store technologies available today, we thought it would be a good idea to touch base with Stonebraker to see what effect these might have on future databases.
  • Kurtz-Fest
    Stuart Kurtz turned 60 last October and his former students John Rogers and Stephen Fenner organized a celebration in his honor earlier this week at Fenner's institution, the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

    Stuart has been part of the CS department at the University of Chicago since before they had a CS department

  • The Enduring Legacy of Zork
    In 1977, four recent MIT graduates who’d met at MIT’s Laboratory for Computer Science used the lab’s PDP-10 mainframe to develop a computer game that captivated the world. Called Zork, which was a nonsense word then popular on campus, their creation would become one of the most influential computer games in the medium’s half-century-long history.
  • The new 'Uncharted' is the best $40 you can spend on gaming in 2017
    "Uncharted: The Lost Legacy" sounds an awful lot like every previous "Uncharted" game. What that description doesn't tell you is how sharply executed and delightfully concise "The Lost Legacy" is.
  • Trashcan Sinatras 2017 acoustic tour
    Over the course of the tour, Frank, John and Paul will play each of the just over 100 songs that the band has written and recorded to date. Prepare for deep album cuts and obscure b-sides (many of which have never been played in concert)

And, we close with a question: who really should get credit for:

Never check for an error condition you don't know how to handle.
Was it: (a) Henry Spencer, (b) Steinbach, (c) Daniel Keys Moran, or (d) unknown?

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