23 April 2010

Moving on

Shain Miley links to the video archive of presentations at this year's MySQL conference, including a presentation on migration from Oracle to MySQL by Joanne Garlow, tech lead/architect for the development team at my client site.

18 April 2010

One Mouse Per Child?

Randall Stross checks in with Matt Keller of the OLPC Foundation, and discusses some technological alternatives offered by other players in the development-through-childhood-computing space. Microsoft's MultiPoint, developed by a team in India, puts multiple cursors on the screen, each controlled by a particular student.

15 April 2010

A little cheesecake

Greg Ferrara posts a publicity photo, ca. 1958, of a Ramo-Wooldridge RW-300 process control computer (a product line completely unknown to me) at (the deliciously-named) If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats. Ramo-Wooldridge was a predecessor company to TRW. Computer History Museum materials indicate that the RW-300 was marketed in the early 1960s as a controller for nuclear reactors. More marketing materials at bitsavers.org describe the assembly of A-to-D modules in subframes to make up an RW-300. Stout and Williams, in a 1995 paper, chronicle the pioneering work of Ramo-Wooldridge in computerized process control.

07 April 2010

And did you control for color?

This article turned up in a sidebar in the text of a statistics textbook that I'm recording: Smith and Pell, "Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials." I think the conclusion pretty much covers it:
As with many interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. We think that everyone might benefit if the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine organised and participated in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute.