24 September 2017


Boerge Svingen walks us through the log-based architecture that powers digital publishing at the New York Times. Now that we are in the era where disk isn't just cheap, it's effectively free, a storage-heavy approach like this can make sense.

22 August 2017


A good interview question: give your prospect the setup described by Jane Bailey in "Time to Transfer," and cut off the answer after this text:
The logic was still in place. In fact, the logs showed that the data hadn't been moved until 5 minutes after it was marked to be moved. But the confirmation page had generated in mere seconds. How could this possibly have occurred?

"It just doesn't make sense," she complained to her coworker.

Give your prospect a point for each possible (even impossible) explanation of the defect.

01 July 2017

See dee sea?

Bruce Sherry of Living Computers: Museum + Labs demonstrates a reconstructed Control Data Corporation 6000-series supercomputer.

22 June 2017

A few good folks

We have at least 10 open positions to fill: managers, sys admins, developers (mobile, back-end, and front-end). No ping-pong tables, but all the ARC books you can read! While you're brushing up your resume, you would do well to heed Jonathan's job-hunting advice.

21 June 2017


Several good points raised by Zoltán Ádám Mann's paper in a recent issue of Computer, "The Top Eight Misconceptions about NP-Hardness." The most interesting one:
... adding constraints to a problem affects its complexity in an unpredictable way.

19 June 2017


ICYMI: a short interview with Karin Tsai, a software engineer at Duolingo:
When I was at Princeton, I was somewhat insecure because I started coding so much later than my classmates. I’ve proved that I belong in this field, I can succeed in it, and that when it comes to important decisions in the company, my voice matters.

19 February 2017


Amy Harmon goes to math camp with a group of under-served students.
BEAM is short for Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics, and this, the program’s first year of BEAM 6, for students who had just completed the sixth grade, is what many within elite math circles see as the most promising effort yet to diversify their ranks. The four weeks, spent in a school near City Hall, would be intense: four hours of math a day taught by 10 experienced math teachers, several of them Ph.D.’s. There would be no prepping for standardized tests or effort to cover school material at a faster pace. Instead, as in the elite summer programs that [director Daniel] Zaharopol had himself attended, BEAM focused on the kind of creative problem-solving that mathematicians say lie at the heart of the discipline.

30 January 2017