Time to flush all those tabs again. Some interesting stuff I bumped into recently-ish.
Finance, Economics, Politics
- Understanding Growth, part 1: looks very promising although I've only started parsing it. Also pointed me to - Tomas Sedlacek and the Economics of Good and Evil. Bought the book, but still reading it. Seems very thoughtful.
- Here’s How Electric Cars Will Cause the Next Oil Crisis: Extremely interesting take on the relationship between electric cars and the oil price. Its along the lines of articles posted in the past, to be fair, but still. Basically, it won't take a huge number of sales of electric cars to start knocking down the oil price. And with Model 3 coming out, this all seems quite ominous to the oil producing countries. Here we go again, Angola.
- Red Hat becomes first $2b open-source company: I may not use their wares any more but RedHat will always be one of my favourite companies. Really happy to see they are growing nicely and hopefully continuing all of their incredible investment on Linux.
- The Amazon Tax: Really, really good article about Amazon and their strategy. If you read only one, read this. Amazon is amazing - and its dominance is very worrying because they are so good at executing! See also Bezos letter.
- It’s a Tesla: Great article about Tesla. Some of the usual Fanboyism we all know and love, of course, but still a lot of very good points. The core of the article is a interesting comparison between Tesla and Apple. By the by, not at all convinced about that dashboard and the launch ceremony itself was a bit sparse too! But, Model 3 looks great. I'm officially a Stratechery fanboy now.
- Google’s Alphabet Transition Has Been Tougher Than A-B-C: Great article on the pains of moving to a single monolithic structure to something more distributed. In truth, what would one expect with such a seismic change? And, also, how come it took Google so long to make this shift? After all, programmers are supposedly taught how important separation of concerns is. The other very interesting point is the CED difficulties. These guys were able founders (at least able enough to get bought out by Google) but seem to fail badly at the CEO'ing malarky.
Startups et al.
- Venture capital and the internet’s impact: From the same guys as the Amazon post, this is also a very interesting take on VCs and the internet. Highly recommended.
- Believe me, you do not want to quit your banking job for a tech unicorn: Stories from the trenches on how Unicorns are not always rosy. Of course, given it comes from "eFinacialCareers", one must assume they are talking their book. Cautionary tale, nonetheless.
- Sir Clive Sinclair Revives the ZX Spectrum: so the Spectrum is back! I know I shouldn't - there isn't a single logical reason to back it up - but I just feel like I need to get me one of these…
- Water treatment plant hacked, chemical mix changed for tap supplies: this is a tad worrying. Can you imagine the amount of systems out there with vulnerabilities, etc - many of which are connected to the internet.
- On the Impending Crypto Monoculture: Talking about security, very worrying news from the crypto front. It seems our foundations are much less solid than expected - and after all the OpenSSL bugs, this is a surprising statement indeed. Very interesting email on the subject. The LWN article is a must read too.
- Neural Networks Demystified - Part 1: Data and Architecture: just started browsing this in my spare time, but it looks very promising. For the layperson.
- Microsoft deletes 'teen girl' AI after it became a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours: friggin' hilarious in a funny-not-funny sort of way. This tweet said it best: "Tay" went from "humans are super cool" to full nazi in <24 hrs and I'm not at all concerned about the future of AI. – Gerry
- Abandoning Gitflow and GitHub in favour of Gerrit: I've always wanted to know more about Gerrit but never seem to find the time. The article explains it to my required extent, contrasting it with the model I'm more familiar with - GitHub, forks and pull requests. I must say, still not convinced about Gerrit, but having said that, it seems there is definitely scope for some kind of hybrid between the two. A lot of the issues they mention in the article are definitely pain points for GitHub users.
- Introducing DGit: OK this one is a puzzling post, from our friends at GitHub engineering. I'm not sure I get it at all, but seems amazing. Basically, they talk about all the hard work they've made to make git distributed. Fine, I'm jesting - but not totally. The part that leaves no doubts is that GitHub as a whole is a lot more reliable after this work and can handle a lot more traffic - without increasing its hardware requirements. Amazing stuff.
- Citus Unforks From PostgreSQL, Goes Open Source: Great news everyone! Sharding in Postgres just became easier with the open sourcing of Citus! Also worth watching / reading: Interactive Analytics on GitHub Data using PostgreSQL with Citus. This explains in a very understandable way how you will use Citus to shard.
- Parallel Aggregate – Getting the most out of your CPUs: The elephant just keeps getting better and better. Improved scaling on multi-CPU for a few scenarios is coming on 9.6.
- Compiler Bugs Found When Porting Chromium to VC++ 2015: great tales form the frontline. Also good to hear that MS is really responsive to bug reports. Can't wait to be able to build my C++ 14 code on Windows…
- EasyLambda: C++ 14 library for data processing. Based on MPI though. Still, seems like an interesting find.
- The Open Publishing Revolution, Now Behind A Billion-Dollar Paywall: this is very sad news. How science has regressed yet again, now that Mendeley has been bought out. This saga gets worse and worse. On the slightly more positive side: From Crowdfunding To Open Access, Startups Are Experimenting With Academic Research. But will they succeed?
- AI & The Future Of Civilization: Very interesting chat with Wolfram. Absurdly long but worth a read.
- What is the best way to explain the concept of manifold to a novice?: Bumped into this in Quora. If only we had more of these. We need an entire book of "mathematics for lay people".
- Why we’re living in an era of neuroscience hype: One that everyone interested on the field should read. Interesting take on the wave of progress on the neuroscience front.
- How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization: OK, I got to say that with a click bait title as bad as this, I almost immediately ignored this article. Somehow I went back to it. Its very long and a bit crazy but its actually very interesting. Friends (the sitcom) as the signal of the end.