A Tale of Three Rust Codebases
When is it a good time to start using Rust? The founding team at Convex has had the privilege of leading development on some of the most heavily used Rust-based systems in the world: Magic Pocket, Dropbox's geo-distributed data storage system. This system has run on close to a million
This was a great read that covered both the technical and social considerations and trade offs that go into language choice at both small and large companies. Worth a read.
“When one team has feature requests for another it's also very common just for them to jump in and make the change themselves. It's often far faster to coordinate changes via a simple code review rather than a series of Jira tasks, plus it's only fair that the team that wants the feature invests the time to make it happen. This is a major challenge when there's a (programming) language barrier between teams.”Posted on 2021-11-27T07:33:11+0000
Researchers Defeat Randomness to Create Ideal Code | Quanta Magazine
By carefully constructing a multidimensional and well-connected graph, a team of researchers has finally created a long-sought locally testable code that can immediately betray whether it’s been…
“Practical and theoretical applications should soon follow. Different forms of locally testable codes are now being used in decentralized finance, and an optimal version will allow even better decentralized tools. Furthermore, there are totally different theoretical constructs in computer science, called probabilistically checkable proofs, which have certain similarities with locally testable codes. Now that we’ve found the optimal form of the latter, record-breaking versions of the former seem likely to appear.”Posted on 2021-11-27T06:40:07+0000
New Concerning Variant: B.1.1.529
I hope everyone in the States had a fantastic Thanksgiving (even if you’re a Dallas Cowboys football fan). I hate to ruin the holiday, but… We have a new variant. I’ve not seen this much anxiety ridden chatter among scientists about a COVID19 variant before. Even among the calm, cool, and coll...
“P.S. A few random thoughts I didn’t know where to put above:
Travel bans are not evidence-based: It may seem like travel bans for individual countries are a necessary step, but I cannot stress enough that they do not work. For example, we had a travel ban with China in March 2020, only to be infiltrated with a European strain. Travel bans are a political move; a tool to show the public that the government is responding. Travel bans can do a lot of damage, though, like perpetuate disease related stigma. This variant has already spread. A travel ban is not an evidence-based solution unless you stop all travel from every country.”Posted on 2021-11-27T03:22:39+0000
Even Health-Care Workers With Long COVID Are Being Dismissed
Medical professionals are used to being believed, but as patients, they found that their expertise didn’t matter.
“For many, this has provoked painful introspection. Some candidly confessed that they dismissed patients in the same way that they have since been treated. They’re ashamed about it. “What else was I wrong about?” one said.”Posted on 2021-11-25T07:34:45+0000
Introducing QOI — the Quite OK Image format. It losslessly compresses RGB and RGBA images to a similar size of PNG, while offering a 20x-50x speedup in compression and 3x-4x speedup in decompression. All single-threaded, no SIMD. It's also stupidly simple.
This was some pretty interesting algorithmic stuff.
“Seriously, I'm dumbfounded. BMP and TIFF have run-length-encoding and then GIF comes around with LZW. But there's nothing in between. Why? I found the space between RLE and LZW to be large enough to spend many days on. And there's a lot more to explore.”Posted on 2021-11-25T06:10:08+0000
Exit Interviews: Moiz Syed
"Journalists are encouraged to hold the powerful accountable, but never to proclaim the larger moral lessons of their work."
“I wonder what was it about a T-shirt that said “Abolish ICE” that almost everyone in the newsroom other than me knew would not be tolerated. Of course, when I talk about this incident with my journalist friends, the topic of objectivity comes up, including the idea that publicly proclaiming “Abolish ICE” makes you unfit for journalism. I think that’s bullshit. American journalism has a long tradition of upholding the status quo, whether that’s supporting slavery or the so-called war on terror or the police—which is not objectivity, but simply a different subjectivity.”Posted on 2021-11-24T07:56:01+0000
CNN - Breaking News, Latest News and Videos
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This was a depressing and well written read covering some of the major trials going on in the US right now and their implications. Also I learnt I should prefer this version of CNN as it’s so much nicer.
“This angry White man has been a major character throughout US history. He gave the country slavery, the slaughter of Native Americans, and Jim Crow laws. His anger also helped fuel the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
It's this angry White man -- not the Black or brown man you see approaching on the street at night -- who poses the most dangerous threat to democracy in America.
That's a sweeping claim. But these trials represent something bigger than questions of individual guilt or innocence. They offer a disturbing vision of the future, and a choice about what kind of country we want to live in.”Posted on 2021-11-24T07:06:45+0000
Writing a Fuzzer for Nes Games
My project this weekend was a fuzzer for nes games based on seeded input from TAS movies
This was really interesting, and doubly impressive that this got built in a weekend!
“Overall this exceeded my expectations for this weekend. It demonstrated that, at a minimum the fuzzer can find glitches not in the original input, and can generate a new set of inputs that can be given to an external emulator to replicate the glitch!
As such the main challenge facing this fuzzer going forward are around optimizing mutation and selection to pick interesting runs.”Posted on 2021-11-23T21:04:28+0000
Opinion | Is America on the brink of a civil war?
The signs give cause for concern. America suffers from societal and political conditions that predispose it to violence, and the list seems to be growing.
“Americans don’t even have a sense of shared history. Is America’s story one of a moral crusade dedicated to defending the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of which we should be proud? Or is it a story of territorial expansion, slaughter, slavery and imperialism of which we should be ashamed?”Posted on 2021-11-23T20:29:29+0000
More Americans say they’re not planning to have a child, new poll says, as U.S. birthrate declines
The Pew survey points to a long-term evolution in parenthood trends in the United States.
Honestly not surprised at this one.
“Coupled with the recent release of federal demographic data, this poll points to a long-term evolution in parenthood trends in the United States. The spiraling costs of child care, health care and education — along with global instability, including the coronavirus pandemic and climate change — could all be contributing to a broader change in attitudes to marriage and priorities in life.”Posted on 2021-11-23T16:54:50+0000