- Epigrams in Programming — all from the remarkable Alan Perlis. By the time I learned that he was responsible for such gems as “Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon”, “A language that doesn’t affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing”, and “Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to measure progress. Some cathedrals took a century to complete. Can you imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?”, he had died and I never had a chance to meet him. “The best book on programming for the layman is “Alice in Wonderland”; but that’s because it’s the best book on anything for the layman.”. (via Hacker News)
- Tricorder for Android — app that shows all the info from the sensors: local magnetic field, RF, acceleration, sound, etc. They really need a designer to make this look more like Star Trek than an Apple ][c program. (via attercop on Delicious)
- Will Wall Street Require Python — with Release 33-9117, the SEC is considering substitution of Python or another programming language for legal English as a basis for some of its regulations. Reminds me of Charlie Stross’s “Accelerando” where companies bylaws are written in Python and largely autonomous.
- Hatetris — game of Tetris that deliberately gives you the most difficult pieces. I love inversions like this, which present their own algorithmic challenges distinct from the original’s.
"computer science" entries
The O'Reilly Data Show Podcast: Mike Cafarella on the early days of Hadoop/HBase and progress in structured data extraction.
Subscribe to the O’Reilly Data Show Podcast to explore the opportunities and techniques driving big data and data science.
February 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of Hadoop — at a point in time when many IT organizations actively use Hadoop, and/or one of the open source, big data projects that originated after, and in some cases, depend on it.
During the latest episode of the O’Reilly Data Show Podcast, I had an extended conversation with Mike Cafarella, assistant professor of computer science at the University of Michigan. Along with Strata + Hadoop World program chair Doug Cutting, Cafarella is the co-founder of both Hadoop and Nutch. In addition, Cafarella was the first contributor to HBase.
We talked about the origins of Nutch, Hadoop (HDFS, MapReduce), HBase, and his decision to pursue an academic career and step away from these projects. Cafarella’s pioneering contributions to open source search and distributed systems fits neatly with his work in information extraction. We discussed a new startup he recently co-founded, ClearCutAnalytics, to commercialize a highly regarded academic project for structured data extraction (full disclosure: I’m an advisor to ClearCutAnalytics). As I noted in a previous post, information extraction (from a variety of data types and sources) is an exciting area that will lead to the discovery of new features (i.e., variables) that may end up improving many existing machine learning systems. Read more…
CS Epigrams, Star Trek Made Real, Python Filings, and Difficult Games
Time Management, CS Education, Installing EtherPad, Infoengravings
- How to Run a Meeting Like Google (BusinessWeek) — the temptation is to mock things like “even five minute meetings must have an agenda”, but my sympathy with Marissa Mayer is high. The more I try to cram into a work day, the more I have to be able to justify every part of it. If you can’t tell me why you want to see me for five minutes, then I probably have better things to be doing. There may be false culls (missing something important because the “process’ is too high) but I bet these are far outweighed by the missed opportunities if time isn’t so structured.
- Computer Science Education Week — December 5-11, 2010, recognizes that computing: Touches everyone’s daily lives and plays a critical role in society; Drives innovation and economic growth; Provides rewarding job opportunities; Prepares students with the knowledge and skills they need for the 21st century.” Worthy, but there’s no mention of the fact that it’s FUN. The brilliant people in this field love what they do. They’re not brilliant 9-5, then heading home to scan the Jobs Wanted to see whether they could earn more as dumptruck drivers in Uranium mines in Australia. CS isn’t for everyone, but it won’t be for anyone unless we help them find the bits they find fun.
- Installing EtherPad — step-by-step instructions for installing EtherPad, the open-source real-time text editor recently acquired by Google.
- Victorian Infographics — animals, time, and space from the Victorians. It’s beautiful, it’s meaningful, it must be infoengravings.
- ProFORMA — software which builds a 3D model as you rotate an object in front of your webcam. Check out the video below. (via Wired)
- Historic Documents in Computer Science — my eye was caught by John Backus’s first FORTRAN manual, Niklaus Wirth’s original Pascal paper, the BCPL reference manual (the C programming language got its name from the C in BCPL), and Eckert and Mauchly’s ENIAC patent. (via Hacker News)