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Current Topic: Miscellaneous

Torch passes quietly through empty Delhi streets - IHT
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:02 pm EDT, Apr 18, 2008

The Olympic torch made a strange and lonely procession through central Delhi on Thursday, with the event so comprehensively overshadowed by fears of the anti-Chinese protests that had marred its appearances in other cities that no members of the public were allowed close enough to witness it.

The 70-odd Indian athletes and celebrities who carried the torch down Delhi's widest avenue were outnumbered by thousands of watchful members of India's security forces, who managed to stamp out any pomp and excitement, transforming the occasion instead into a tense security operation rather than a celebration.

Because this kind of required response makes China look better than either dealing with the protests, or just cancelling the torch.

Torch passes quietly through empty Delhi streets - IHT

How to write 200,000 books, with a computer's help - International Herald Tribune
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:49 pm EDT, Apr 14, 2008

But these are not conventional books, and it is perhaps more accurate to call Parker a compiler than an author. Parker, who is also the chaired professor of management science at Insead (a business school with campuses in Fontainebleau, France, and Singapore), has developed computer algorithms that collect publicly available information on a subject — broad or obscure — and, aided by his 60 to 70 computers and six or seven programmers, he turns the results into books in a range of genres, many of them in the range of 150 pages and printed only when a customer buys one.

How to write 200,000 books, with a computer's help - International Herald Tribune

ESPN Page 2 - Hruby: A time to forgive
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:10 am EDT, Apr 13, 2008

And to think: All it took was two World Series titles.

When the Boston Red Sox had Bill Buckner throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park Tuesday, it was more than a nostalgic nod. It was an act of sporting absolution, a way for fans to finally forgive the former first baseman for his epochal flubbed grounder in the 1986 World Series.

OK, Red Sox fan reeducation:
1. We can win the World Series.
2. And not just by a crazy comeback against the Yankees
3. Actually, our payroll resembles the Yankees now
4. And people other than Yankees fans no longer like the Red Sox or its fans
5. Bill Buckner is allowed in the state of Massachusetts again.

ESPN Page 2 - Hruby: A time to forgive

Growing Pains for a Deep-Sea Home Built of Subway Cars - New York Times
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:49 am EDT, Apr 10, 2008

One by one, a machine operator has been shoving hundreds of retired New York City subway cars off a barge, continuing the transformation of a barren stretch of ocean floor into a bountiful oasis, carpeted in sea grasses, walled thick with blue mussels and sponges, and teeming with black sea bass and tautog.

“They’re basically luxury condominiums for fish,”

Growing Pains for a Deep-Sea Home Built of Subway Cars - New York Times

Starbucks Does Not Use Two-Phase Commit - Enterprise Integration Patterns
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:05 am EDT, Apr  8, 2008

When you place your order the cashier marks a coffee cup with your order and places it into the queue. The queue is quite literally a queue of coffee cups lined up on top of the espresso machine. This queue decouples cashier and barista and allows the cashier to keep taking orders even if the barista is backed up for a moment. It allows them to deploy multiple baristas in a Competing Consumer scenario if the store gets busy.

I have intentions to write a similar article about ice cream shop models... soon.

Starbucks Does Not Use Two-Phase Commit - Enterprise Integration Patterns

The Continuing Relevance of C
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:56 am EDT, Apr  4, 2008

When I’m writing Scheme code, I get the feeling that there’s some kind of music being played; and from time to time I’ll actually hear a snippet of something. The answers all come to me in time, slowly unfolding, whispering to me light as the breeze.


All this, of course, means jack when you know what the problem is, you know how to solve it, and the damned computer keeps on getting in your way with its silly, arbitrary and aesthetically disgusting rules. LISP has no inherent concept of a 32–bit address space or a 64k memory segment, but the Intel 80x86 architecture sure as hell does.


When the rubber meets the road, you want to be the one holding the gun to your computer’s CPU. Practical languages are that gun. Write in Ada95, in C, in C++—it doesn’t matter, really, anywhere near so much as does the fact that you have Godlike control over the hardware. “You,” you can shout, “I want a full 32–bit far pointer from you, right now, and don’t give me any lip! You! Over there! Yes, you! You’re my new 64k address space.


When I’m in the middle of a deep C groove, I can almost hear Maxwell’s demons screaming in agony as they flip the transistors inside my CPU, begging, pleading for mercy. The output of my C code is a gift made by millions of subservient, recalcitrant malcontents, an offering to the crazed god who demands of them “flip this” and “set that”.

The Continuing Relevance of C

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 03-23-2008
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:07 pm EDT, Mar 24, 2008

And you know it hurts my feelings, if nothing else, that the Swiss franc is worth more than the dollar.
-Paul Volcker in an interview this week with Charlie Rose

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 03-23-2008

The Internet? Bah! |
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:17 am EDT, Mar 23, 2008

Then there's cyberbusiness. We're promised instant catalog shopping--just point and click for great deals. We'll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet--which there isn't--the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.

The Internet? Bah! |

Choose, or Lose in November - New York Times
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:11 pm EDT, Mar 21, 2008

We are blessed with two fine candidates, but it’s entirely possible that when primary season ends on June 3, we will still lack a clear nominee. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton could each still believe that the nomination could be his or hers at the national convention in Denver in August.

In that situation, we would then face a long summer of brutal and unnecessary warfare. We would face a summer of growing polarization. And we would face a summer of lost opportunities — lost opportunities to heal the wounds of the primaries, to fill the party’s coffers, to offer unified Democratic ideas for America’s challenges.

If we do nothing, we’ll of course still have a nominee by Labor Day. But if he or she is the nominee of a party that is emotionally exhausted and divided with only two months to go before Election Day, it could be a Pyrrhic victory.

Here’s what our party should do: schedule a superdelegate primary. In early June, after the final primaries, the Democratic National Committee should call together our superdelegates in a public caucus.

Of the 795 superdelegates, over 40 percent have not announced which candidate they are supporting; I’m one of them. While it would be comfortable for me to delay making a decision until the convention, the reality is that I’ll have all the information I reasonably need in June, and so will my colleagues across the country.

Choose, or Lose in November - New York Times

Targeted malware attacks against pro-Tibet groups - F-Secure Weblog : News from the Lab
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:33 pm EDT, Mar 21, 2008

Somebody is trying to use pro-Tibet themed emails to infect computers of the members of pro-Tibet groups to spy on their actions.

Targeted malware attacks against pro-Tibet groups - F-Secure Weblog : News from the Lab

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