Reader's Corner for October 2012

October 29, 2012

To repurpose a handy metaphor, let's call two of the first Homo sapiens Adam and Eve. By the time they welcomed their firstborn, that rascal Cain, into the world, 2 million centuries of evolution had established how his infancy would play out. For the first few years of his life,...

This is a nice read.

October 25, 2012

Unraveling the mystery of why the inhabitants of Ikaria live so long and so well.

This is a nice read.

October 22, 2012

Instantly connect to what's most important to you. Follow your friends, experts, favorite celebrities, and breaking news.

AWS is down and has taken half the internet along with it. So, I'm forced to look for new ways to slack off. This is hilarious.

October 21, 2012

Scout shows you the best places to eat, drink, shop and play. Save favorites to your phone and Scout's turn-by-turn voice navigation will get you there.

Awesome product, crappy marketing. Their mobile site lets you find places and events in your local area; with turn by turn navigation on your phone (with voice directions) ... all without any installation needed.

Why had I not heard of them before?

October 20, 2012

Are you ahackerwho has thought about one day starting a startup? Have you already started it? Then you're invited to a free, one-day startup school this October 20 at Stanford. We'll have a range ofexpertsspeaking about startups from their own experience.

I daresay tomorrow's going to be a great day.

October 18, 2012

Get detailed financial information on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) including real-time stock quotes, historical charts & financial news, all for free!

Interesting how fickle the markets are, $60 drop in ten minutes.

People described hearing a loud boom and seeing a fireball streak across the sky around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday.

So it turns out that fireball I saw on the way home from dinner wasn't a figment of my imagination after all.

This program celebrates the close connection between obfuscation and conciseness, by implementing the most concise language known, Binary Lambda Calculus (BLC).

So, not only did this guy win the international obfuscated C code contest; he won it by writing an interpreter for "implementing the most concise language known, Binary Lambda Calculus (BLC)". Need I say he's also the inventor of BLC?

Mind = blown.

October 16, 2012

Last week, I talked about the power of precommitment — I spoke of how Odysseus prevented himself from the temptation of the Sirens by tying himself to his ship mast. Precommitment is the most effective way to change behavior. Essentially, you make a promise—an irrevocable promise—to complete an acti...

October 11, 2012

The Grok Project is an internal Google initiative to simplify the navigation and querying of very large program source repositories. We have designed and implemented a language-neutral, canonical representation for source code and compiler metadata. Our data production pipeline runs compiler cluster...

Really interesting talk. Too bad I heard about it fifteen minutes *after* it ended. FML.

October 9, 2012

If you watch the latest promo for Bravo's Silicon Valley reality show and think, hey these entrepreneurs failed actors are just stringing together tech buzzwords, it's because that's exactly what they're doing.

The title says it all

October 8, 2012

Compilers is a free online class taught by Alex Aiken, Professor of Stanford University

This started last week. Why was I not informed?!

October 5, 2012

The poet Maya Angelou once said you can tell a lot about a person from the way they respond to three things: a rainy day, tangled Christmas lights, and lost luggage. Maya, Maya. Where were you at 2 a.m. the dark night I arrived in Paris without my bags? I...

This is an interesting read.

October 4, 2012

Alice hands bob a locked suitcase and asks him to count the money inside. “Sure,” Bob says. “Give me the key.” Alice shakes her head; she has known Bob for many years, but she’s just not a trusting person. Bob lifts the suitcase to judge its weight, rocks it back and forth and listens as the content...

This is a pretty good overview of fully homomorphic encryption; without any of the hairy math.

Douglas Groat thought he understood the risks of his job—until he took on his own employer


Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925

Interesting read.

October 2, 2012

Browse hotel photo galleries, read visitor reviews, and discover the popular areas of the city with Google Hotel Finder.

They have a hotel finder too, now? What's next?

When it comes to careers, young people are often advised to find their true calling. But for many, the sense of fulfillment grows only over time, as they become better at their jobs.

October 1, 2012

Theoretically, I was supposed to have this for dinner.

Practically, I ended up burning the chicken skin just a little bit (only 90% of it was black), and the sauce ended up being a goopy mush because I was too busy putting out a fire. Yay for cooking.