Saturday, April 02, 2016

Quick links

What has caught my attention lately:
  • "We simply don't know how to securely engineer anything but the simplest of systems" ([1])

  • Impressive at their scale: "Facebook ... releases software ... three times a day" and makes configuration changes "thousands of times a day... every single engineer can make live configuration changes." ([1]) 

  • Pew Research report on global internet and smartphone usage ([1])

  • Cute idea for telepresence: "We propose projecting [2D] virtual copies of people directly onto (potentially irregular) surfaces in the physical environment" ([1])

  • For those of us tracking virtual reality, a detailed review of the Oculus Rift ([1]), a review of Hololens ([2]), and a fun TED talk motivating augmented and virtual reality ([3])

  • For disk to be the new tape "custom disk designs uniquely targeting cold storage" are required that are "much larger, slower, more power efficient and less expensive." ([1]) Related, Google seeks new disk designs ([2])

  • Lessons from building AWS, including automate everything and favor primitives over frameworks ([1])

  • In the AWS service terms: "However, this restriction will not apply ... [when] human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue." ([1])

  • Google says, "With multi-homing ... failover, recovery, and dealing with inconsistency ... are solved by the infrastructure, so the application developer gets high availability and consistency for free and can focus instead on building their application" ([1] [2])

  • Remarkably successful contest: "The winning team exceeded the power density goal for the competition by a factor of 3 ... Some of us at Google didn’t think such audacious goals could be achieved." ([1])

  • "Welcome to the Internet of Things... and its tradeoffs" ([1] [2] [3])

  • Netflix's catalog has dropped to 5,532 titles from 8,103 titles in about two years ([1] [2])

  • "The James Webb Space Telescope will be a major advance ... primary mirror will be 50 times [larger] ... eight times the resolution" ([1])

  • "The price of planetary insurance, it turns out, isn’t all that high." ([1] [2])

  • Teaching math: "In most people’s everyday lives ... what [people] do need is to be comfortable reading graphs and charts and adept at calculating simple figures in their heads ... Decimals and ratios are now as crucial as nouns and verbs." ([1])

  • He's the "‘seagull of science.’ He used to fly in, squawk, crap over everything, and fly away." ([1])

  • Good answer to the question, "What are the most important things for building an effective engineering team?" ([1]) Related, similar advice from Amit Singh ([2] [3])

  • An old office map from early 1997 (back when Amazon only sold books, "Earth's Biggest Bookstore"). My "office" was a card table in a kitchen. ([1])

  • What If comic: What would happen if you tried to squeeze all the water going over Niagara Falls into a straw? It's worse than you'd think. ([1])

  • Xkcd comic on bots: ""Python flag: Enable three laws" ([1])

  • Good Xkcd comic on Celsius or Fahrenheit ([1])

  • SMBC comic: "Philosophy tip: Make any sentence profound by adding 'true' to it" ([1])

  • Dilbert comic: "No need for conversation. I know everything about you." ([1])

  • Comic with a Calvin and Hobbes crossover into Bloom County, brings back memories ([1])

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