Article Summary 2015-06-26

“What Is Code? If You Don’t Know, You Need to Read This”

This is probably the best quick summary explaining what software (and computers for that matter) really is. Thank you to Laura Haverkamp for bringing this one to my attention. There is also a good “Behind the Scenes” article. And, I have taken the pages, cleaned them up, and produced an Evernote Summary.

“Electron Microscope Slow-Motion Video of a Vinyl LP”

A great video of a needle reading the grooves of a vinyl record from the guys at Applied Science. Ben Krasnow goes through the process he pursued to be able to make this video. Ben maintains an awesome YouTube channel.

“Killjoys Really is a Most Excellent Space Adventure”

io9 goes on to say that it may (finally) be our next Firefly. I’ll believe it when I see it, but you can bet this one makes my list of shows to binge watch once the first season has concluded. (P.S. If you are a Firefly fan, please vote it up on IMDB.)

Math Puzzle: “The Nine Schoolgirls Challenge”

“Fifteen young ladies in a school walk out three abreast [as a group] for seven days in succession: it is required to arrange them daily, so that no two shall walk twice abreast.”

This problem launched a whole branch of mathematics called combinatorial design theory. A young mathematician, Peter Keevash, has made some breakthroughs with respect to the general case problem within which the above puzzle lives.

“‘EPIC’ fail–how OPM hackers tapped the mother load of espionage data”

An excellent and detailed summary of what is probably the most truly damaging hack of government systems in terms of individual safety.

“Building Prototypes by Dan Gelbart”

Hackaday has pulled together an excellent series of 18 videos of Dan Gelbart demonstrating a whole series of mechanical prototype development techniques. Dan was the co-founder of Creo–a company that developed laser-based products for the printing industry and sold to Kodak (remember them) for $1 billion. Dan has gone on to become an award-winning entrepreneur and inventor. He teaches Mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia.

“Leading People When They Know More Than You Do”

Truth is that in a knowledge worker career (such as software development) folks who move into management will be managing folks who know more about the task than they do and, in addition, who may be more highly compensated. This is not the “Peter Principle” which is more applicable to the Industrial Revolution as opposed to the Information Age. Instead, it is a natural outgrowth of the realities of knowledge workers. This article is one of the best I’ve read so far providing practical advice for managers and executives who find themselves in this situation.

“Grady Booch on the Future of Software Engineering”

Grady Booch (blog) speaking at the 37th International Conference of Software Engineering (ICSE 2015). This is an excellent discussion about both the history and the future of Software Engineering.

Grady is the guy that developed the Unified Modelling Language (UML). He was also the Chief Scientist for Rational Software Corp and IBM Research. He is both an ACM and IEEE Fellow and he won the Lovelace Medal in 2013. He has also worked for Facebook.

 

Article Summary 2015-06-10

“Chess piece moving patterns”

I think it would be really cools to mount all of these pictures in some sort of a display.

“Million Base is a database of 2.2 million chess games. Steve Tung (@_tungs_) visualized chess piece journeys based on this data, for each piece on the board. Above is the footprint for the white knight. Each thin line represents 500 moves, and from what looks like a little bit of random noise to offset each line, you see a more prominent path for more frequent hops.”

“Meet Margaret Hamilton, the badass ’60s programmer who saved the moon landing”

I am really happy that more and more good information about women software developers is coming out. This is about Margaret Hamilton who led the MIT Instrumentation Lab that developed the software for the Apollo Guidance Computer. If you’re interested, the source code is also available.

“Why Firewalls Won’t Matter In A Few Years” (NSFW)

When I was leading engineering at nCircle (now a part of Tripwire), we developed a saying that firewalls are like that Farside cartoon with the polar bear taking a bite out of an igloo–crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Well, this article too finds little value in firewalls over time and makes a great case for why. A good read and watch but the video is not safe for some work environments.

“Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution”

An interesting analysis of what happens to subcultures. I find it pretty accurate from my own experiences.

“DARPA commissions killer robots to kill targets without human help”

This is a pretty interesting little glimpse into what will ultimately be upon us. I have not bought into all the artificial intelligence fear mongering going on now; however, I have thought ever since reading Manuel de Landa’s ‘War in an Age of Intelligent Machines’ that we are headed for a day of autonomous warfare. And, here it comes . . .

“Vim speed is not really the point”

Ah, good old vi. It lives forever. Who needs fancy and complex Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) when one has vi.

“Researchers Find Missing Link Between the Brain and Immune System

Your brain and your immune system really are linked.

“Sony Finds ‘Dark Tower’ Movie Director In ‘Dragon Tattoo’ Writer”

I am so excited! My favorite Stephen King series, The Dark Tower, is being made into a movie; however, I have no idea how they could squeeze so much into one movie.

Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, quantum experiment confirms”

Scientists have physically fulfilled a famous thought experiment (“gedankenexperiment” or, simply, “gedanken”) confirming quantum physics predications that it is only through observation that reality as we know it comes into existence. Now there are debates about what constitutes an “observer,” but it does seem from a quantum perspective that we really do create our reality.