Reader's Corner for July 2015

July 31, 2015

Adventures in diy, electronics, programming, remote control and anything else.

July 30, 2015

Because of the unique challenges of running a financial services company in the U.S., many of the best fintech startups choose to start out of Europe.

The thing about print adverts was that they stayed where they were. Photo by Bethan on Flickr. TL:DR: when Apple's iOS 9 comes out in September, there's going to be a dramatic uptake of ad blockers...

I wanted to understand the sharing economy. Instead, I got schooled in the failures of Atlanta's public transit system.

July 28, 2015

Software Engineer at Facebook in London Co-developer of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler Author of Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell.

Who is doing this to my internet? A couple of years ago, I went to a talk called "Who's Doing This Horsesh-t to My Internet,". I don't remember much of the talk (it had to do with net neutrality and DMCA takedown notices, the two main things plaguing the spread of free internet at the time), but the…

"There have to be business models that allow the creativity of sites like XKCD, Reddit, SoundCloud, and Tumblr, to flourish. There has to be a way to save the walled garden of bland banality that the internet is becoming."

A security gap on the most popular smartphone operating system was discovered by security experts in a lab and is so far not widely exploited. It would let malicious code take over a phone instantly.

A high-quality codebase boosts the long-term development speed by making iteration, collaboration, and maintenance easier. At Quora, we take the quality of our codebase seriously. But despite the benefits, maintaining high code quality creates a non-trivial overhead and consumes real develop...

Post commit code review?!

According to the Harvard Business Review, 41% of women working in tech eventually end up leaving the field (compared to …

There are more options than ever for getting a good, cheap smartphone, and last year’s OnePlus One was a standout. For $300, you got a well-made, nice-looking phone with cutting-edge hardware and...

Looks exciting

Records show Forest Service failed to follow through on environmental review

July 27, 2015

Need a reason to work from home? Get some of the most effective excuses as voted by the community. WFH.Ninja is the best way to start your day!

This looks useful for slacking off

Chinese shares tumbled more than 8 percent on Monday as an unprecedented government rescue plan to prop up valuations abruptly ran out of steam, throwing the viability of Beijing's efforts to stave


Inspired by a blog post to run your own cloud gaming service which uses a VPN and Steam's In-Home Streaming, I thought I could do this, too, but in the browser.

Valve’s Steam is the biggest platform in the PC gaming market, with Valve themselves being one of the most prominent companies in the gaming industry as a whole. Steam has millions of accounts all ove

Uh oh

Thanks to all the supporters who made the book possible. Thanks also to all the contributors to the Bugfinder Hall of Fame.

Instead of ignoring its DVD-by-mail operation that was dwindling but still bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits every year, the company concentrated on efficiency.

A startup is hemorrhaging cash, and the VCs have yet to agree on terms for a capital infusion. The clock is ticking until deadpool, first weeks away then..

One in every 600 websites has .git exposed For web developers, exposing your .git folder to the world is a novice mistake. It allows anyone to download your entire source code repository, which often includes database passwords, salts, hashes, and third party API keys or usernames and passwords. Ove…


July 26, 2015

I invented a heat index scale for my restaurant, Han Dynasty, so people don't send dishes back to the kitchen, one of the biggest cultural insults in China.

"Everybody takes spice differently. When I opened my first restaurant, I got so many complaints about the level of spice. A older woman once tried to call the cops on me because she thought that I was trying to fuck with her because the dish was so hot."

A lot of people use VPN every day. Somebody use it in always-on mode to circumvent government or corporative internet ce…

Rarely does a newspaper story get the kind of response that The New York Times front-page exposé of wage-theft at nail salons prompted this spring. But was it true?

I didn't read the original piece but this is pretty damning

"In other words, the Times drew its conclusions about the “vast majority” of workers at “almost any” salon in New York by interviewing a pool of mostly undocumented, untrained, or unlicensed workers like Ms. Ren, ignoring clear evidence that tens of thousands of salon workers do not fall into this category."

Translations: - Norsk 汉语 - tiếng Việt - Español - Italiano -  Français - Magyar -  Português - română - Deutsch - Suomi - Svenska -  Čeština - Русско -Íslenska - Nederlands - ελληνικά -  Audio Vers...

"of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening."

This is really scary. I wonder why this isn't drilled into people more (I had no idea about this)

The magazine of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

July 25, 2015

1,000,000 Websites July 24, 2015 Over the last couple of weeks I’ve run some analysis on the one million most popular sites on the web. External resources, risky business What started off as a simple question (how many sites use externally hosted resources) turned into an ever expanding project to a…

A prodigy grows up to become one of the greatest mathematicians in the world.

"Tao, by contrast, is, as one colleague put it, ‘‘super-normal.’’ He has a gentle, self-­deprecating manner. He eschews job offers from prestigious East Coast institutions in favor of a relaxed, no-drama department in a place where he can enjoy the weather. In class, he conveys a sense that mathematics is fun. One of his students told me that he had recently joked with another about the many ways Tao defies all the Hollywood mad-­genius tropes. ‘‘They will never make a movie about him,’’ he said. ‘‘He doesn’t have a troubled life. He has a family, and they seem happy, and he’s usually smiling.’"

If you talk to the reporters who work for various big media companies, they insist that they have true editorial independence from the business side of their companies. They insist that the news coverage isn't designed to reflect the business...

So, I started a new project...

Computer systems used to be weak, so we had to make their world simple and standardized. They now can handle almost endless complexity—but we still need to understand how to make the world simple, so we don’t risk burdening the majority of users with the needless complexity of the few.

I'm all for a simplified tax code

Plasma Mobile - Open Source OS for mobile phones.

This looks interesting

The military changed its overly aggressive tactics. It’s time for law enforcement to do the same.

"I understood the risks of war when I enlisted as an infantryman. Police officers should understand the risks in their jobs when they enroll in the academy, as well. That means knowing that personal safety can’t always come first. That is why it’s service. That’s why it’s sacrifice."

A rational mindset amongst all this madness

std::shared_ptr has a secret: a constructor that most users don't even know exists, but which is surprisingly useful. It was added during the lead-up to the C++11 standard, so wasn't in the TR1 version of shared_ptr, but it's been shipped with gcc since at least gcc 4.3, and with Visual Studio since…

This could be useful in certain cases

July 24, 2015

Finland has among the best schools in the world and least corrupt government, but that hasn't been able to save it from euro stagnation.

NVIDIA will be introducing their next generation Pascal GPU in 2016 which will introduce several new and key technologies to the green team.

These numbers are just crazy

Car giant Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4 million vehicles in the US after security researchers showed that one of its cars could be hacked.

Will they fix their braindead process that made them think connecting entertainment systems to anything critical was a good idea?

San Francisco bakeries have tried and tried again to replicate the chewy, crusty perfection of New York’s specialty. They are still trying.

LinkedIn doesn't want you easily accessing your own contacts.

The Profound Weakness of the .NET OSS Ecosystem

Inside Germany’s profligate (Greek-like!) fiasco called Berlin Brandenburg

> "Professor, let me understand this," Loge said. "You are talking about having 800 people wearing orange vests, sitting on camping stools, holding thermoses filled with coffee, and shouting into their cell phones, 'Open the fire door'?" Loge refused the airport an operating license. Schwarz stood up and walked out without another word.

NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another “Earth.”

Nuclear fusion. Soylent. And now coffee stands?! Y Combinator is backing Wheely's, a European startup that has built an entire, compact cafe contained upon..

July 23, 2015

We had 50M monthly active users and 250M searches every month. Steve Jobs told the labels, including Warner Music, to su…

Two weeks ago at ICML, I presented a method for making nearest neighbor queries faster. The paper is called Faster Cover Trees and discusses some algorithmic improvements to the cover tree data structure. You can find the code in the HLearn library on github.

Uber and Mayor Bill de Blasio are at war over a proposal to cap the growth of ride-hailing services.

  I discovered Airbnb on August 12, 2008 and six w …

July 22, 2015

Three years ago, one of the strangest criminal cases in recent memory began in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I live, when a young woman sent a series of text messages telling her boyfriend that a man had abducted her, followed by a series of texts, allegedly from her captor, taunting her...

Someone should be going to jail for this

A 115-year effort to mathematically bridge the particle and fluid descriptions of nature has led physicists to an unexpected answer.

Eight months ago when I ran our core API tests at Shyp, it took 100 secondsfrom starting the test to seeing output on the screen. Today it takes about 100mil...

A list of career advice aimed at engineers, designers and founders. Compiled by The Breakout List.

July 21, 2015

A huge tutorial on developing a full-stack app, covering the db, webserver, and the frontend in React

Competition is making cabbies hang up their cell phones and fix their credit-card machines.

Designing a programming language - I'm waiting for the next part

A beautiful detailed guide to how cars work with over 280 articles and 2,000 illustrations.

A pretty useful guide

I was driving 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold.

This is why we should all just go back to riding horses - I often don't see why all cars need to be "smart" given that most software companies (let alone hardware companies) are so bad at security

... so realistically, there's nothing it's good at, and a bunch of stuff it's outright bad at. And these bulletpoints are facts, not 'just your opinion'. You can go out and verify them yourself.

Last year, a young man walked into the Seattle airport and took the next flight to anywhere — and he hasn't come down since

Really interesting

Ten years ago, Paul Graham said there could be ten times as many startups if more people realized they could try. Thanks to the work he, Jessica, Trevor and Robert helped do, that’s become true. ...

July 19, 2015

8:30 : Wake up and get out of bed. Open the curtains to see the sun shining, put a dressing gown on and go downstairs to make some coffee.

The espionage thrillers of Gérard de Villiers have more than the ring of truth to them.

Authoritative weekly newspaper focusing on international politics and business news and opinion.

Interesting visualization. Lets you play with the data

Meet Dmitry Naskovets, the con man from Minsk

A good read. Also, an interesting way to get to the US: commit crimes, get extradited to a US prison, then claim amnesty when your sentence is over... (not saying it's easy)

Getting too little sleep can have serious health consequences, including depression, weight gain, and heart disease. It is torture. I know.

"Because sleep deprivation leaves no marks and is believed to break a detainee's will, the tactic has been adopted by government and security forces."

Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian

This is a really interesting read and quite thought provoking. I feel like getting the book...

July 16, 2015

How I nearly almost saved the Internet, starring afl-fuzz and dnsmasq Leave a reply If you know me, you know that I love DNS. I'm not exactly sure how that happened, but I suspect that Ed Skoudis is at least partly to blame. Anyway, a project came up to evaluate dnsmasq, and being a DNS server - and…

TJ VanToll argues that the need to monetize content is causing an overload of cruft that is hurting the web and giving rise to tools like Facebook Instant.

"Web" is too heavy.

The Potato Paradox is a mathematical calculation that has a counter-intuitive result. The "paradox" involves dehydrating potatoes by a seemingly minuscule amount, and then calculating a change in mass which is larger than expected. This is not to be confused for the Potato-Effect, which is sometimes…

After having aloo biryani...

Instagram is in the fortunate position to be a small company within the infrastructure of a much larger one. When it makes sense, we leverage resources to leapfrog into experiences that have taken...

antirez 3 minutes ago. 131 views. I consider myself very lucky for contributing to the open source. For me OSS software is not just a license: it means transparency in the development process, choices that are only taken in order to improve software from the point of view of the users, documentation…

This function is over 400 lines and contains over 40 #ifdefs. Its job? To wait for keyboard input. Several factors caused this code to be so insane.

Yay for code

July 15, 2015

Disappointed Amazon customers turned to Twitter to vent their frustration over what they called "unhappy Prime Day."

I'm really disappointed too

The Gig Economy Warning: This post touches politics. The comments will likely be incendiary and polarizing. Don’t go into the comments if you don’t want to be annoyed or irritated. Many in the tech industry are taking these comments by Hillary Clinton yesterday as an ‘attack on Uber and the tech sec…

Cool stuff

July 14, 2015

For the past few months, Ive been trying to decide whether I should write about what happened with 42Floors. Ive been open about everything thus

Google Sparsehash is one of the most space efficient hash tables, but how does it achieve two bits of overhead per entry?


One sultry day in 2012, a handful of New Yorkers laid out a rich red carpet in Union Square Park. As a jazz band grooved in the background, vested and begloved hosts led guests to the star attraction:...

"The transition away from fountains has also made it harder to access water in public. For example, in 2007, the University of Central Florida built a 45,000-seat stadium with no fountains. The university claimed they were too expensive to install and maintain. Selling bottled water at $3 a bottle, meanwhile, would generate profits. But at the opening game, with temperatures reaching near 100 degrees, vendors ran out of water. Some 60 attendees were treated for heat-related issues; 18 were hospitalized for heat exhaustion. The university eventually installed 50 fountains."

When the giant fault line along the Pacific Northwest ruptures, it could be our worst natural disaster ever.

A really engrossing article.

"That problem is not specific to earthquakes, of course. The Cascadia situation, a calamity in its own right, is also a parable for this age of ecological reckoning, and the questions it raises are ones that we all now face. How should a society respond to a looming crisis of uncertain timing but of catastrophic proportions? How can it begin to right itself when its entire infrastructure and culture developed in a way that leaves it profoundly vulnerable to natural disaster?"

The electric car is going to take over the world. Soon. Let me explain. 75% of US consumers and over 85% of US millennials own smartphones. Perhaps more amazing is that 1/4 of people in the...

Makes some good points though I think it's still a bit too hopeful

Pure UI July 13, 2015 – 75 views I recently redesigned and implemented a new version of VideoPress, the WordPress video platform. The process involved, among other things, creating a new UI, ditching the dependency on Flash in favor of HTML5

July 13, 2015

Design Patterns was a great book, no question. It's still in my Top Ten List of books every programmer should read. It's a beautifully crafted book, and I get a rush of nostalgia when I read through it, ten years since it was published. It was a seminal work, groundbreaking, something that revolutio…

Singletons in Go

The same forces that have made instant messaging and video calls part of daily life for many Americans are now shaking up basic medical care.

I had one of these. It's definitely an interesting approach.

Vindictive folly.

"The European project — a project I have always praised and supported — has just been dealt a terrible, perhaps fatal blow. And whatever you think of Syriza, or Greece, it wasn’t the Greeks who did it."

July 12, 2015

On June 26, 2008, our friend Michael Seibel introduced us to 7 prominent investors in Silicon Valley. We were attempting…

The U.S. government wants to stop terrorists and criminals from 'going dark.' But at what cost?

Long and interesting

Skin too fragile to touch

How a team of young people, living in a repurposed McMansion in Maryland, helped fix

"It also indexed family members by presuming everyone would have a unique birthday—meaning twins couldn’t both have accounts."

How the original programmers even thought they could legitimately charge for that is beyond belief.

Trump channels the right's angry Fox News id. But Sanders speaks to America's soul — and our values

"Ultimately, the question is not “Will Bernie Sanders be elected president?” We’ve had many men elected president who have done little to impact the long arc of our nation’s course through history. The real question is, “Will the Sanders campaign change the course of American history?” And that question is one that every citizen can help answer, by how they engage in the months ahead."

July 11, 2015

The Past Since 1851 Amsterdam had a registry that recorded the following innocent pieces of data about the residents: Name, Date of birth, Address, …

"When you say I don't care about the right to privacy because I have nothing to hide, that is no different than saying I don't care about freedom of speech because I have nothing to say or freedom of the press because I have nothing to write."
- Edward Snowden

The New York Time's has become the latest journalistic organization to show the dangers of internet journalism and rewriting of stories.

It's insanely dishonest if you rewrite the whole story (and change the title!) and keep it at the same url.

Is the best way to curb crime a widespread program in cognitive behavioral therapy?

Over the past year I've been working on building my first serious web application from scratch. The experience has taught me a lot that I didn't know previously, particularly when it came to security and user experience. It's worth noting...

Playing Witcher 3, a GPU-intensive game on a 2015 fanless Macbook

I wonder whether this is worth trying out in lieu of a gaming pc for the less hardcore games.

Like the cow above, I also heard React.js was good and spent some time playing with it. Now that I'm pretty comfortable with React, I decided to write yet another tutorial on this subject.Targe...

This is a great tutorial

The state’s DOT chief recently predicted the road system “is going to shrink.”

How trolls have taken over your favorite programming Q&A site

Pretty negative but makes good points.

July 10, 2015

Combining the key protections of a staffer with the flexibility of a freelancer.

"Another, more holistic solution would be for the government to create a system of prorated fundamental benefits, paid for by deductions from all workers’ paychecks, no matter how big or small. Those benefits could include sick leave, maternity and paternity leave, retirement savings, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Nick Hanauer and [Alice] Rolf have a fleshed-out version of such a plan in Democracy, and argue that a "shared security system" would help guarantee a pathway to the middle class without crushing these nascent businesses or precluding the rise of flexible, part-time work."

"Handling 1 Million Requests per Minute with Go"

Mostly for the code samples

For climate scientists, it can be hard to sleep at night.

"No one has experienced that hostility more vividly than [Alice] Mann, who was a young Ph.D. researcher when he helped come up with the historical data that came to be known as the hockey stick—the most incendiary display graph in human history, with its temperature and emissions lines going straight up at the end like the blade of a hockey stick. He was investigated, was denounced in Congress, got death threats, was accused of fraud, received white powder in the mail, and got thousands of e-mails with suggestions like, You should be "shot, quartered, and fed to the pigs along with your whole damn families." Conservative legal foundations pressured his university, a British journalist suggested the electric chair. In 2003, Senator [Bob] Inhofe's committee called him to testify, flanking him with two professional climate-change deniers, and in 2011 the committee threatened him with federal prosecution, along with sixteen other scientists."

Walk the streets of downtown Tehran at dawn, before the speeding, horn-blaring yellow taxis takeover the city, and you’ll find certain kitchens already hard at work. Within the cramped spaces, men—and a few women—are busy slicing tomatoes, washing herbs, and mixing spices, beads of sweat slowly gath…

Comforting food

How two tech consultants fell into one of Europe's biggest drug-smuggling operations

"When containers began to show up outside the port abandoned, the drugs they presumably contained long gone, authorities started to suspect the smugglers had found a way around the port’s security system, which assigns each container the unique code available only to the proper shipper. Investigators were stumped until the fall of 2012, when employees of Mediterranean Shipping (MSC), a large Swiss shipper, began complaining about slow computers. Typed words were taking too long to appear on the screen."

Writing performant software can literally keep you out of jail.

An awesome story told in pictures. Really felt like I was taken there.

With the naked eye people can sense the polarization angle of light better than most other animals.

When every move you make is data-mined, evidence piles up fast.

"In Pennsylvania, police are prosecuting a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted earlier this year after data from her Fitbit didn't match up with her story, according Lancaster Online. According to an arrest affidavit, data collected by the device showed the woman "was awake and walking around at the time she claimed she was sleeping," the outlet reported."

Troubling inequities are revealed when you look at the country by total property values.


May update - a tale of indie RPG development

A sobering tale on how "easy" it is to make a game

July 8, 2015

The moderators of a popular section of a highly trafficked website explain their protest of the company’s latest personnel move.

"The community on the whole has also spoken quite loudly: Pay attention to the user base. Users are not simply a screaming mob. They are actually asking for reasonable support"

Is it true that some people need only a few hours of sleep? Helen Thomson talks to a woman whose genes might hint at how we all could survive on less shuteye.

The website updates daily with orbit data from and uses the excellent satellite.js Javascript library to calculate satellite positions.

As a society, we’re becoming worse at going to bed.

Colleges and universities cannot be expected to solve America’s problems of inequity. They cannot repair broken families, or make up for learning deficits incurred early in childhood, or “level the playing field” for students with inadequate preparation. But they should be expected to try to mitigat…

The move comes after revelations that the chamber and its foreign affiliates were undertaking a global lobbying campaign against antismoking laws.

Many people dislike receiving robocalls. Araceli King disliked receiving 153 of them from a single company.Time Warner Cable Inc must pay the insurance claims specialist $229,500 for placing 153

Lisa Pollack at FT Alphaville mulls a question: “Why are we so good at creating complexity in finance?” The answer she comes up with is the “Flynn Effect“, basically the idea that there is an uptrend in human intelligence. Finance, in this view, gets more complex over time because financiers get sma…

"The core purpose of status quo finance is to coax people into accepting risks that they would not, if fully informed, consent to bear."

Project Oberon: The Design of an Operating System, a Compiler, and a Computer

July 7, 2015

A new report says giving the governments “exceptional access” to encrypted communications would jeopardize confidential data and critical infrastructure.

Samsung has begun shipping 2TB 850 PRO and 850 EVO SSDs, which the company claims are the first to break the "multi-terabyte" SSD barrier.

Google’s complicated relationship with taxi-hailing app Uber got even more complex over the weekend as it emerged the Mountain View based search giant will launch a pilot project of its carpooling app RideWith, which allows users to share rides to work and back. The ride sharing will also be support…

I wouldn't call it a rival yet but...

Why men may be more variable on some traits.

This has some interesting data. One quote stands out:

"That is, they may have committed the morallistic fallacy -- the assumption that if something is morally objectable, either on its face or in its possible misinterpretation or misuse, it cannot be factually correct."

I feel like that's just the usual "this fact doesn't suit my worldview thus it's incorrect" fallacy though

July 6, 2015

Greece has effectively voted to default on its...

The headline is provocative and the article is kinda biased but this has some good points. Especially

"Trichet made a colossal, elementary mistake. The right place for risky debt by definition is in the private markets, like Goldman. The entire point of private debt investment is that those creditors are prepared for a haircut. The risk absolutely should not be borne by central banks who rely on taxpayer money for bailouts."

Could someone explain why they ever thought that was a good idea? I'm genuinely curious

The tarantula hawk is actually a kind of solitary wasp, with a sting that causes a fiercely electric pain that could only be described as totally unacceptable.

For a brief but glorious time, I was the cryptocurrency engineer at reddit. Yes, that was my actual title and it was act…

After the horrifying killings at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, President Obama once more had to speak publicly about a mass shooting. "Let’s be clear," he said. "At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of…

"Our political arena is open enough to debate these issues. But the debate should not involve the abuse of statistics. If people are opposed to gun-safety legislation, they should own the consequences of that opposition rather than try to hide those consequences behind a bogus interpretation of statistics.

Actual lives are at stake."

The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage. Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejectio...

And he's out

In the crazy world of airlines, passengers are often forced to pay a lot for slow speeds.

A few days ago I got to share GraphQL at the React-Europe conference, a project I’ve been working on for over three year…

"Facebook is able to consistently produce new technology that “rethinks current best practices” and makes waves in the industry because we focus on producing long-term value. We take risks. We trust our people to do what they think is right, and when something seems to have potential, smart people across teams come together."

Another reason I love working here

ICANN is currently considering a proposal that “domains used for online financial transactions for commercial purpose should be ineligible for [WHOIS] privacy and proxy registrations” [PDF]. Given the vagueness around what would count as “commercial purpose” (tip jars? advertising? promoting your Ki…

In a forceful interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, the star economist Thomas Piketty calls for a major conference o…

July 5, 2015

After simple dental surgery, William lost his ability to form new memories. This real-life medical mystery should change the way we think about the brain, says David Robson.

It's humbling how there is still so much we need to learn about the brain.

July 4, 2015

Greece is a remarkable country full of wonderful people, but along dimensions of development and governance, the place is plainly pretty fucked up. It has been fucked up that way for a long time, for decades at least. This has never been secret. Anyone who has visited Athens knows it has far more in…

There are too many great points here, I can't pick a single one to quote

It has sold millions of copies, is perhaps the greatest novel in the science-fiction canon and Star Wars wouldn’t have existed without it. Frank Herbert’s Dune should endure as a politically relevant fantasy from the Age of Aquarius

I spoke to a journalist yesterday at the Sunday Telegraph about Minecraft. Apparently they are wring an article. Almost immediately, I learned they had a son aged seven who was 'addicted' to it, re...

Old but relevant

Developing Web Applications with Haskell

THE Cedar Creek Saloon, a bar an hour or so outside Houston, sits just off the freeway next to a clutch of motels, a barbecue restaurant and a petrol station. From...

Why Netflix and Amazon want your kids


Revelations from WikiLeaks published this week show how boundlessly and comprehensively American intelligence services spied on the German government. It has now emerged that the US also conducted surveillance against SPIEGEL.


July 3, 2015

Distributed systems can be especially difficult to program, for a variety of reasons. They can be difficult to design, difficult to manage, and, above all, difficult to test. Testing a normal system can be trying even under the best of circumstances, and no matter how diligent the tester is, bugs ca…

and maybe it should

In which C++ templates are used to play Tetris at compiletime....

I still don't know why anyone would write tetris in C++ templates

"I don’t think it belongs here." Such was the assessment of Bob Vinson, the graveyard shift supervisor at Harvey's Wagon Wheel Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Damn interesting indeed

Freelancing: 2 Years, $230,000+ and 9 Big Lessons Later Standard Two years ago today, I stocked up on canned chili, dusted off the desk in my home office and officially left my job. Photo Credit: kolbisneat If you want the whole story from the early days, I wrote this post 150 days in on how I tur…

A former undercover agent involved in the investigation into Silk Road admits stealing more than $700,000 in Bitcoin - most of it siphoned from the site.

"Speaking outside court, Force's lawyer Ivan Bates said: "He had a stellar, 15-year career with the DEA except for this one blip." Inside the court, Bates said his client suffered from anxiety and depression."

"one blip" where you steal 700k? really?

A short game sheds light on government policy, corporate America, and why no one likes to be wrong.

ISLAMABAD: The government has imposed 5 percent advance tax on amounts remitted abroad for education purposes through Finance Bill 2015-16. The government was already char ...

This doesn't seem right. First taxing businesses 8% on gross revenue, a 14% tax on internet service, and now this.

Can't we just focus on actually, you know, collecting tax from the large majority that doesn't pay anything?

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Wondering where the numbers are coming from

CloudFlare's DNS server, RRDNS, is written in Go and the DNS team used to generate a file called version.go in our Makefile. version.go looked something like this: // THIS FILE IS AUTOGENERATED BY THE MAKEFILE. DO NOT EDIT. // +build...

You’re about to go pro, and you’re pretty excited. Deep in your heart you know you’re eventually going to succeed. But believe me, it’s coming a lot sooner than you think.

At Spotify we take user feedback seriously. We noticed some users complaining about our shuffling algorithm playing a few songs from the same artist right after each other. The users were asking "Why isn't your shuffling random?". We responded "Hey!…

July 2, 2015

The project was originally for internal use, started by two interns at a hackathon. A few days before the Supreme Court ruling, they decided to try to take it global.

Moving fast and not breaking things.

I'm honestly impressed at how fast this went out.

"We think that more people will be a little bit happier and find a job anyway."

The microservices architecture can be useful, but to know if it's suitable in your context you need to understand its costs and benefits.

Later this year, Ultima Online will turn 18 years old. In the genre of MMOs, that makes the game positively ancient - and it's even more remarkable when you

Divide the number 999,999,999,999,999,999,999,998,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999 into 1 and express the result as a decimal expansion, and you’ll find the Fibonacci sequence presented in tidy 24-digit strings: (Thanks, David.)

Math is really cool

July 1, 2015

Is it possible that our problems indicate a flaw in the theory of gravity?

This is a great read on how theory/experiments work (though it may have a couple of factual errors I might have missed)

The American trade group and its foreign affiliates pit countries against one another and lobby on behalf of the tobacco industry around the world.

This is really disappointing

Discussing factors at play in Cogmind's first public release, and taking an initial look at the results. Marketing, timing, pricing, sales data and more.

An awesome read on games, business, and marketing

Sorry, kids—you still have to brush your teeth.

So, the toothpaste works, but the water doesn't?

MIT says it's found a new, more efficient way to blend data mining with the privacy protections of encryption.

More homomorphic encryption.

If only all compilers had error messages this helpful...

Preetam "recently" blogged about catena, a time-series metric store. There was another blog post about benchmarking boltdb by a Fog Creek engineer, also looking to write a time series database. This is something of a pattern in the Go community, which already boasts seriesly, InfluxDB, and prometheu…

How can one write about time series db's but not mention kdb?

Mike Adams Negotiation Imagine that you’re poking around in your company’s payroll website when you stumble upon a mutable and persistent input field labeled “Market Rate Salary”. You naturally give yourself a 10x adjustment (b/c you’re that type of engineer of course) and go about the rest of your…

This is an awesome read. Just misses "get a competing job offer"

After 6 months working for the U.S. Digital Service, I returned back to San Francisco mid-April to figure out what was next for me back here. I got …

"Within a few seconds, I’d fall back into my old groove, geeking out with other engineers about tech stuff. It was so fun and intellectually satisfying to nerd out with them about all the techie subjects I loved. But after a period of time, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, this background process would kick off in the back of my head and ask me “But does this matter?”"

I recently came across the following question posted by Paul Buchheit (the founder of Gmail): Assume that I'm going to get rid of $20,000 and my only concern is the "common good". Which of these is the best use of the money: give it to the Gates foundation, buy a hybrid car, invest it in a promising…

Some interesting points

Some consumer websites say they will not sell users’ data, but unrestricted-data clauses allow them to transfer it if a merger or other transaction occurs.

Who's ready to stop working for free? Hopefully you are! If you have any doubts, consult this handy chart below. Start in the middle and work your way to your answer!

A great chart. I'd mostly just replace it with "no" though.

tota11y helps visualize how your site performs with assistive technologies

Yay for accessibility

Poland is an ancient country whose history is deeply intertwined with that of the western civilization. In its glory days, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth sprawled across vast expanses of land in central Europe, from Black Sea to Baltic Sea. But over the past two centuries, it suffered a series o…

I want to write about Chicken McNuggets. When I added a fast food component to my business, I wondered about seemingly strange Chicken McNugget pricing.

I don't think any of these is right but it's still an interesting read.