Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Startup Lab workshop: Web Front-End Latency (

If your site is slow, you'll see lower usage, faster bounces, and users who won't come back. Web performance expert Steve Souders will show you tools to measure site performance, identify bottlenecks, demonstrate automated site acceleration technologies, and review best practices for making your site scream.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Startup Lab workshop: Test-Driven Design (

Google Ventures Startup Lab | Testing is not about writing tests. It's about writing testable code. In this talk, Googler Vojta Jína shows us what makes code testable and why. He goes through some common design patterns such as Dependency Injection and applies them during live coding. Along the way, you will meet testing framework Jasmine and Karma - the spectacular JavaScript test runner.

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Lifetimes of cryptographic hash functions (

I've written some cautionary articles on using cryptographic hashes to create content-based addresses (compare-by-hash). This page brings together everything I've written and keeps an updated table of the status of popular cryptographic hash functions.


SQL Server 2014 Standard Edition Sucks, and It’s All Your Fault (

Every release lately, Microsoft has been turning the screws on Standard Edition users. We get less CPU power, less memory, and few (if any) new features.

According to Microsoft, if you want to use more than $500 worth of memory in your server, you have to step up to Enterprise Edition. Seriously? Standard Edition licensing costs about $2,000 per CPU core, but it can only access 64GB of memory? That’s ridiculous.


Friday, July 26, 2013

A Universe Full of Planets (

No matter how conservative or optimistic we are, the statistics tell us that something like an astonishing one out of every seven stars must harbor a planet similar in size to the Earth, and at roughly the right orbital distance to allow for the possibility of a temperate surface environment. In other words, roughly 15 percent of all suns could, in principle, be hosting a place suitable for life as we know it.

Since our galaxy contains at least 200 billion stars, this implies a vast arena for the universe’s ubiquitous carbon chemistry to play in — a process that, as here on Earth, might lead to the complex machinery of life. Indeed, there is a 95-percent confidence — give or take a few percent — that one of these worlds could be within a mere 16 light years of us. That’s a stone’s throw, practically our galactic backyard.


How Emacs changed my life (

We are free to download free software. We free to read source code. I downloaded Emacs source code and investigated. Emacs was my first LISP interpreter. I learned a lot about language implementation from Emacs...

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought (

As we’ve written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Can you help me understand the benefit of require.js (

I'm having trouble understanding the benefit of require.js. Can you help me out? I imagine other developers have a similar interest.

From Require.js - Why AMD: The AMD format comes from wanting a module format that was better than today's "write a bunch of script tags with implicit dependencies that you have to manually order"

I don't quite understand why this methodology is so bad. The difficult part is that you have to manually order dependencies. But the benefit is that you don't have an additional layer of abstraction.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rob Pike on regular expressions in lexing and parsing (

I should say something about regular expressions in lexing and parsing. Regular expressions are hard to write, hard to write well, and can be expensive relative to other technologies. (Even when they are implemented correctly in N*M time, they have significant overheads, especially if they must capture the output.)


Monday, July 15, 2013

Estonia publishes its e-voting source code on GitHub (

Estonia, which created the world’s first nationwide Internet-based voting system, has finally released its source code to the public in an attempt to assuage a longstanding concern by critics.