Monthly Archives: March 2009

Making People Poorer

There was an interesting story in the paper (well, technically, on the S.F. Chronicle’s website) the other day about a court order which has resulted in the suspension of operations of the “Hawaii Superferry“. I think this is interesting primarily … Continue reading

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AIG Bonuses

There’s been a lot of outrage lately over some $165M in total bonus compensation that was paid out to senior people at AIG, a recipient of over $100B in federal bailout money. This is silly. Anyone who’s been around floundering … Continue reading

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A friend once concisely illustrated why it’s difficult to write software that can understand human language. He cited as an example the (possibly well known) phrase “chocolate dessert cup store”. It’s a delightfully bizarre case.

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St. Isidore of Seville

Did you know that computer programmers have their own patron saint? (Also in his portfolio: computers, computer users, and the Internet.) For some reason, I find that particularly touching. I also think it’s interesting to reflect that, at one time, … Continue reading

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I saw the “Watchmen” movie last night. When asked if it was good, my response was “I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it good, but it was interesting.” Here I present some amplifications on this theme. … Continue reading

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Cold Cuts

You know those suspect cold cuts in your fridge? The ones that might have been there a little too long? You should throw them out. No, you shouldn’t try eating them, even if you’re sort of hungry. Trust me.

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KenKen Solver: Online!

I ported the Python KenKen solver I was playing with last week over to JavaScript, and wrapped a GUI around it. You can check out the resulting web-based KenKen solver, if you’re interested.

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Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick was a great SF writer. I think his short fiction, in particular, is extraordinary. Don’t be mislead by the mediocre movie adaptations of his stories. (E.g. “Total Recall”, “Screamers”, “Impostor”, “Minority Report”, “Paycheck”, and possibly one or … Continue reading

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Bandwidth Pricing (Update)

Last year I compared storage and bandwidth pricing between S3 and a number of hosting providers. I thought it would be interesting to check in on the bandwidth market, and see (in a highly unscientific manner) how prices have changed … Continue reading

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Tuples Are Slow

Python tuples (immutable sequences) can be much slower to work with than their mutable cousins, lists. This surprised me; I would have thought they would have been faster all ’round, as they seem “simpler”. That doesn’t seem to be the … Continue reading

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