Four short links: 1 July 2010

Four short links: 1 July 2010

Component Costs, Streaming Server, RC Parts, and MySQL SSD Goodness

  1. Conflict Minerals and Blood Tech (Joey Devilla) — electronic components have a human and environmental cost. I remember Saul Griffith asking me, “do you want to kill gorillas or dolphins?” for one component. Now we can add child militias and horrific rape to the list. (via Simon Willison)
  2. Meteor — an open source HTTP server that serves streaming data feeds (for apps that need Comet-style persistent connections). (via gianouts on Delicious)
  3. Hobby King RC Store — online source for remote control goodness, as recommended by Dan Shapiro at Foo.
  4. RethinkDB — MySQL storage engine optimised for SSD drives. See also TechCrunch article.
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Four short links: 19 May 2010

Four short links: 19 May 2010

Hiring Strategy, Data Catalogue Software, Web Frameworks, and Perl Lives

  1. Google Hiring by the Lake Wobegon Strategy — having just run some interviews myself, I recognise the wisdom in what they say. Another hiring strategy we use is no hiring manager. Whenever you give project managers responsibility for hiring for their own projects they’ll take the best candidate in the pool, even if that candidate is sub-standard for the company, because every manager wants some help for their project rather than no help. That’s why we do all hiring at the company level, not the project level. First we decide which candidates are above the hiring threshold, and then we decide what projects they can best contribute to. (via Hacker News)
  2. CKAN 1.0 Released — an open source registry system for datasets. It powers data.gov.uk and more than a half-dozen other national catalogues around the world.
  3. jed’s fab — an all-Javascript web framework built on node.js, whose DSL looks suspiciously LISPish. (via Simon Willison)
  4. Perl 5.12.1 Released — lovely to see regular stable releases coming from the Perl line, and active development of the next versions with new features. 5.12 featured new work to help developers with APIs and versions, future proofing (literally: 2038 is no longer a bad year), DTrace support, and lots more.
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Four short links: 29 October 2009

Four short links: 29 October 2009

Learning Programming, Functional Javascript, Controlling Firefox, Kicking Ass (with SSDs)

  1. Julie Learns to Program — blog from our own Julie Steele as she learns her first programming language. The point is: it’s in me. I wasn’t sure that is was, and now I know—it is. And what, exactly, is “it”? It is the bug. It is the combination of native curiosity and stubbornness that made me play around with the code and take some wild guesses instead of running straight to Google (or choosing to stay within the bounds of the exercise). That might sound like a small thing, but I know it is not. I was determined to make the program do what I wanted it to do, I came up with a few guesses as to how to do that, and I kept trying different things until I succeeded (and then I felt thrilled). As much as I have to learn, I know now that I really am hooked. And that I’ll get there.
  2. underscore.js — new Javascript library of functional programming primitives (map, each, inject, etc.). (via Simon Willison)
  3. WWW::Mechanize::Firefox — Perl module to control Firefox, using the same interface as the WWW::Mechanize web robot module. (via straup on Delicious)
  4. Anatomy of SSDs — teeth-rattlingly technical Linux Magazine article explaining the different types of SSDs (Solid State Disks–imagine a hard drive made of rapid-access Flash memory). Artur Bergman told me that installing an SSD drive in his MacBook Pro gave the greatest performance increase of any computer upgrade he’d performed since he went from no computer to one.
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Four short links: 2 September 2009 Four short links: 2 September 2009

Four short links: 2 September 2009

Happy Programmers, Usability Tool, Geo API, Zombie Math

  1. The Programming Language With The Happiest Users (Dolores Labs) — you’ll be surprised. Age before beauty!
  2. Judge It Nowfast market opinions on design decisions. Compare to Optimal Sort. Usability tools hitting the mainstream web, so the time to learn what works shrinks and progress is faster.
  3. BlockChalk APIThese new interfaces enable developers to do nearly everything that you can do at http://blockchalk.com. It’s now possible to build client applications, mash-ups, and other tools based on BlockChalk geolocation data and services. Also see the explanatory blog post. (via joshua on Delicious)
  4. The Mathematics of Zombie Attacks (PDF) — Zombies are a popular figure in pop culture/entertainment and they are usually
    portrayed as being brought about through an outbreak or epidemic. Consequently,
    we model a zombie attack, using biological assumptions based on popular zombie
    movies. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and
    their stability, and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions. We then refine the
    model to introduce a latent period of zombification, whereby humans are infected, but
    not infectious, before becoming undead. We then modify the model to include the
    effects of possible quarantine or a cure. Finally, we examine the impact of regular,
    impulsive reductions in the number of zombies and derive conditions under which
    eradication can occur. We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the
    doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all.
    (via Doug McKenna)
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Four short links: 27 Mar 2009

Four short links: 27 Mar 2009

Design, Perl, Heresy, and Ephemera:

  1. Product Panic: 2009 — Bruce Sterling essay on design for recession-panicked consumers. As is usual with Bruce, I can’t tell whether he’s wryly tongue-in-cheek or literally advocating what he says. Great panic products are like Roosevelt’s fireside chats. They’re cheery bluff. The standard virtues of fine industrial design—safety, convenience, serviceability, utility, solid construction … well, when you’re heading for the lifeboats, you can overlook those pesky little details. For designers, the ideal panic product in 2009 is a 99-cent iPhone application. Something like an iPhone ocarina or lava lamp.
  2. Chuck vs CamelProgramming Perl makes an appearance on mainstream TV. (thanks Allison!)
  3. The Civil Heretic (NY Times) — a fascinating portrait of Freeman Dyson.
  4. FileFront Closes — “48 terabytes of data, historical and user-generated, gone.” Does our every upload deserve eternity? Who would want, take, or be able to support the continued existence of 48T of unprofitable blahblah? If 48T of user-generated content falls in the cloud, does it make a sound? (via waxy)
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Perl mailing lists added to Markmail archive

Jason Hunter writes in email: Perl is the duct tape of the internet. Created by Larry Wall in 1987 and made famous with his Programming Perl "camel book" published by O'Reilly, it's the tool sysadmins use to keep things running. We're proud to announce we've finished loading the Perl.org mailing list history into MarkMail. A total of 530,000 emails…

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