My daily readings 08/02/2009

  • tags: Bookmark, list

  • tags: screenshot

  • tags: C#

    • Worse, though, for Java enthusiasts: Java has fallen behind C#. I’m boning up on C# using O’Reilly’s C# in a Nutshell book. (See http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596001810/. As an aside, the “Nutshell” books are an excellent way to learn a new language, if you already know n other languages.) I’m only partway through the book, but it’s already clear to me that, overall, C# (the language) now has more goodness in it than Java does. I have to give Microsoft credit (much as it may pain me to do so). Here are some things C# now has that Java does not:
    • I still prefer the JVM to CLR. The JVM is robust, mature, fast, and (above all) portable. But Java, the language, has fallen behind, and it now lacks a lot of the useful features C# has. One of the reasons I’m all over Scala these days is that it corrects those flaws in Java, providing many up-to-date features while still permitting me to use the power and convenience of the JVM. Either via libraries or built-ins, Scala provides the same features as C#, with a few more thrown in for good measure. (I also happen to think Scala is a better language than C#, but I’ll save that tangent for another time.) But, in the .NET world, C#, not Scala, is the lingua franca. And C#, and .NET, are the biggest hearts-and-minds competitor Java has.
  • tags: no_tag

    • You may ask – why? Why, for heaven’s sake, do I need to make paper backups, if there are so many alternative possibilities like CD-R’s, DVD±R’s, memory sticks, flash cards, hard disks, streaming tapes, ZIP drives, network storage, magneto-optical cartridges, and even 8-inch double-sided floppy disks formatted for DEC PDP-11? The answer is simple: you don’t. However, by looking on CD or magnetic tape, you are not able to tell whether your data is readable or not. You must insert your medium into the drive, if you even have one, and try to read it.
    • The goal with paper is not secure storage. There are countless ways to store something securely. A paper backup also isn’t a replacement for the usual machine readable (tape, CD-R, DVD-R, etc) backups, but rather as an if-all-else-fails method of restoring a key. Most of the storage media in use today do not have particularly good long-term (measured in years to decades) retention of data. If and when the CD-R and/or tape cassette and/or USB key and/or hard drive the secret key is stored on becomes unusable, the paper copy can be used to restore the secret key.
  • tags: light

    • Lene Hau has already shaken scientists’ beliefs about the nature of things. Albert Einstein and just about every other physicist insisted that light travels 186,000 miles a second in free space, and that it can’t be speeded-up or slowed down. But in 1998, Hau, for the first time in history, slowed light to 38 miles an hour, about the speed of rush-hour traffic.
  • tags: Retirement

    • I often ask people: if you had all the money in the world, what would you be doing? The most popular answer is: to quit my job and start Traveling. There’s nothing wrong with this answer, I too have given it many times. However, in this answer, we include the notion of escaping our current realities while longing for something else in its place. And when we actually get to that place which we’ve longed for, disappointments sets in, for it did not meet the expectations conjured by our imagination.
    • Prior to leaving, I had longed for the freedom to travel. I was tired of my daily routines at the office, I wanted to get away. For years, thoughts of traveling became a kind of escapism and added spices of hope to my work routine which I was quickly losing interest in.
  • tags: no_tag

    • One of the things that surprises people about Arc90 is that our development team is right here in our offices in New York City, alongside our project leads, designers and strategists. We’ll often get a “That’s interesting” or “Oh? That’s unusual.” It’s a response that usually leads into a conversation about the nature of conceiving, designing and ultimately building great software.
    • It’s also hard to compartmentalize that dynamic into any single phase. The challenges and unexpected puzzles crop up throughout. This isn’t only about unforeseen “problems” but the inevitable “how can we do this better?” challenges that we can’t help but ask. It’s great to have the client nearby to collaborate on elevating something from passable to truly compelling.
  • tags: twitter

    • I’ve been asking around for thoughts and opinions about the redesign and while everyone seems generally pleased that it was redesigned, most also feel that it really lacks that certain something. This post is going to try and figure out what that something is, and how the redesign could be further improved.
  • tags: time

    • The problem is this: imagine you have a folder with a lot of mail messages in it. A new message arrives, which gets stored in a new file. Time Machine knows that only this one file has changed, and so only this one file has to be copied. Unfortunately, to store this one file in a way that makes it appear that it’s a complete backup, while it doesn’t have to *copy* all those other files, it does have to create hard links for them all. And for small files, like most mail messages tend to be unless they have a lot of attachments, creating a hard link is no faster than actually copying the file.
  • tags: Revolution

    • 21H.001, a HASS-D, CI course, explores fundamental questions about the causes and nature of revolutions. How do people overthrow their rulers? How do they establish new governments? Do radical upheavals require bloodshed, violence, or even terror? How have revolutionaries attempted to establish their ideals and realize their goals? We will look at a set of major political transformations throughout the world and across centuries to understand the meaning of revolution and evaluate its impact. By the end of the course, students will be able to offer reasons why some revolutions succeed and others fail. Materials for the course include the writings of revolutionaries, declarations and constitutions, music, films, art, memoirs, and newspapers.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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