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Four short links: 6 January 2012

Multiple Browsers, Computational Science, Public Spaces, and Academic Advice

  1. shim (GitHub) — a node.js-based browser-compatibility tool that lets you synchronize several devices/browsers and surf the same pages simultaneously on all of them. Useful, of course, for the painful business of ensuring browser compatibility of web apps. (via Tom Armitage)
  2. Moore’s Law Squared — John D. Cook found this great note in In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman which explains why computational science is now raging ahead: Three orders of magnitude in machine speed and three orders of magnitude in algorithmic speed add up to six orders of magnitude in solving power. A model that might have taken a year to solve 10 years ago can now solve in less than 30 seconds.
  3. Private Services Are Not Public Spaces (BoingBoing) — public spaces are where freedom of speech rules; private spaces are where owners decide what you can and cannot do. Don’t mix the two up.
  4. Advice To A Student (Reddit) — . People fail to graduate from MIT because they come in, encounter problems that are harder than anything they’ve had to do before, and not knowing how to look for help or how to go about wrestling those problems, burn out. The students that are successful look at that challenge, wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and stupidity, and begin to take steps hiking that mountain, knowing that bruised pride is a small price to pay for getting to see the view from the top. This should be printed out and given to every student.
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  • Shawn H Corey

    “Three orders of magnitude in machine speed and three orders of magnitude in algorithmic speed add up to six orders of magnitude in solving power.”

    Wrong, that’s 9 orders of magnitude: 3 × 3 = 9.

  • http://www.cthreepo.com Keith P. Graham

    You add exponents. So Nat is right.

  • http://LookIt.proper.com Paul Hoffman

    Excellent link to the MIT story! Another piece of advice to every freshman: “25% of the people who will graduate will be in the bottom quarter of their class, and will still graduate”. As an MIT freshman barely keeping my head above water, having my freshman advisor (hi Dan!) say that to me made a huge difference, even if it is obvious in hindsight.

  • http://www.krankenversicherung.net/private-krankenversicherung pkv

    @4
    Guess thats not really new :) every student should handle such things by himself…if not…something is wrong :)