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1502 Phone-Reluctant Introverts, There is Nothing Wrong With You
As I sit down to write this blog post there is the dreaded sound of a prolonged vibration as my phone skids, bouncing and sporadically across my desk. This is perfectly ideal and ironic distraction that actually befits the very thing I am thinking about and from which it is distracting meâŠ Itself!
I have always had an absolute detest for talking on the phone. And Iâll say now that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the person at the other end, I just find it a horrible tool for communicating with.
I think I probably am, and always have been worse than most people when it comes to using the phone (in the traditional sense, ie speaking to people) but if you can identify with any of this then read on. If youâre thinking, âwhat are you on about, I love the phoneâ then youâll probably just get confused, but if you also have friends who ânever answer the phoneâ then this might help you to understand them a bit better.
I canât sum it up any better than Sophia Dembling in her article, 9 Signs that You Might Be an Introvert:
1132 Mammoth Modular Synthesizer At MIT Museum
Just got an update from Joe Paradiso on his homebuilt mammoth analog modular synthesizer. Heâs installed it in the MIT Museum and has completed a fairly epic patch which you can listen to (24 hours a day!) here.
Joe will be at the museum this Thursday and Friday (2/23 and 2/24) at 1pm, demoing the synth to visitors, so be sure to stop by if youâre in the neighborhood. Hereâs some info from Joe on the construction and inspiration for the latest patch.
The second patch I made at the MIT Museum is totally done now, and you can hear it live on the stream. Listen to it at http://synth.media.mit.edu, and let me know what you think if youâre inclined â itâs running in physical space in Quad, of course â stereo on the stream. Note that this one has absolutely NO sequencer of any sort on it â all of the patterns you hear were made entirely from hand-patched logic (counters, ands, ors, flip flops, ring counters, rate multipliers, etc.). Itâs an entirely different kind of composition environment from the norm â you really need to simultaneously be an engineer while being an artist and something of a performer. The inspiration for this patch started with the Boredoms â if you donât know who they are, you should (http://www.boredoms.jp/). In particular, I was thinking of SuperRoots 9. The beauty of the patching interface is that you can never exactly nail what you start out to attain, but on the other hand, you get drawn into places you wouldnât have normally gone once you start. The 3 drummers that Yamantaka Eye performs with lay down a compelling rhythm that my hand-patched logic and analog processing canât match, of course. But this patch definitely has a strange jumpy groove once it gets into gear, and the 2-chord pad is archetypical too. Yes, Boredoms rule today! BTW, this patch took every cord I had, plus a good 30 more wires just shoved into the pin jacks â check out the photos here and here â the latter shows the kind of logic section patching complexity you need to build a sonic environment like this one.
Iâm ripping this baby out next Thursday, as Iâll be at the museum next Thursday and Friday (2/23 and 2/24) at 1pm to demonstrate the synthesizer to visitors â doing some very simple patches and showing off what the modules do in case anybody is interested in this. It will run continuously until then.
Otherwise, enjoy the stream â there are moments of introspective drift in-between wild percussion (yes, Boredoms!). I might pull the percussion line back so it doesnât come so often or regularly, but itâs essentially a wrap.
1001 30 Awesomely Bad Unicorn Tattoos: A Gallery â Holytaco
You canât shake a stick these days without hitting someone who has a unicorn tattoo (and I shake a lot of sticks.) Iâm not sure why people would get a unicorn tattoo, but it app...
bad tattoos, Blog entry, Lists, tattoos, unicorn, unicorn tattoos, worst tattoos,
767 The 5 types of programmers Â« Steven Benner's Blog
In my code journeys and programming adventures Iâve encountered many strange foes, and even stranger allies. Iâve identified at least five different kinds of code warriors, some make for wonderful comrades in arms, while others seem to foil my every plan.
However they all have their place in the pantheon of software development. Without a healthy mix of these different programming styles youâll probably find your projects either take too long to complete, are not stable enough or are too perfect for humans to look upon.
The code may not be pretty, but damnit, it works!
This guy is the foundation of your company. When something goes wrong he will fix it fast and in a way that wonât break again. Of course he doesnât care about how it looks, ease of use, or any of those other trivial concerns, but he will make it happen, without a bunch of talk or time-wasting nonsense. The best way to use this person is to point at a problem and walk away.
You want to do what to my code?
This guy doesnât care about your deadlines or budgets, those are insignificant when compared to the art form that is programming. When you do finally receive the finished product you will have no option but submit to the stunning glory and radiant beauty of perfectly formatted, no, perfectly beautiful code, that is so efficient that anything you would want to do to it would do nothing but defame a masterpiece. He is the only one qualified to work on his code.
Iâm a programmer, damnit. I donât write code.
His world has one simple truth; writing code is bad. If you have to write something then youâre doing it wrong. Someone else has already done the work so just use their code. He will tell you how much faster this development practice is, even though he takes as long or longer than the other programmers. But when you get the project it will only be 20 lines of actual code and will be very easy to read. It may not be very fast, efficient, or forward-compatible, but it will be done with the least effort required.
What do you want? It works doesnât it?
The guy who couldnât care less about quality, thatâs someone elses job. He accomplishes the tasks that heâs asked to do, quickly. You may not like his work, the other programmers hate it, but management and the clients love it. As much pain as he will cause you in the future, he is single-handedly keeping your deadlines so you canât scoff at it (no matter how much you want to).
Well, thatâs a possibility, but in practice this might be a better alternative.
This guy is more interested the options than what should be done. He will spend 80% of his time staring blankly at his computer thinking up ways to accomplish a task, 15% of his time complaining about unreasonable deadlines, 4% of his time refining the options, and 1% of his time writing code. When you receive the final work it will always be accompanied by the phrase âif I had more time I could have done this the right wayâ.
Personally, Iâd have to classify myself as the perfectionist. So, which type of programmer are you? Or perhaps you know another programming archetype that is missing from my list? Post a comment below and Iâll add it to a new updated list.
726 Procrastination Â« You Are Not So Smart
The Misconception: You procrastinate because you are lazy and canât manage your time well.
The Truth: Procrastination is fueled by weakness in the face of impulse and a failure to think about thinking.
484 Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal? Answered by Insiders
Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal? I long have been fascinated by the extraordinary achievement from the ex-Paypal team and wonder about the reasons behind their success. In the past, mass media tried to answer this question several times but still couldnât give us a clear answer.
I once asked David Sacks the same question during an event in Los Angeles. He told me the secret is that Paypal has built a âscrappyâ culture. No matter what problems they faced, they would find a way to solve them. I kind of got the idea, but was still confused about the execution details.
So when I saw some of the past Paypal employees answering this question on Quora, I was super excited! After all, they should be the only ones who can tell people the inside stories.
Below are some highlights of their answers. *If you want to check out the sources or leave your comments, please go to here and here.
On Talent Management
âPeter and Max assembled an unusual critical mass of entrepreneurial talent, primarily due to their ability to recognize young people with extraordinary ability (the median age of *execs* on the S1 filing was 30). But the poor economy allowed us to close an abnormal number of offers, as virtually nobody other than eBay and (in part) google was hiring in 2000-02.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âExtreme Focus (driven by Peter): Peter required that everyone be tasked with exactly one priority. He would refuse to discuss virtually anything else with you except what was currently assigned as your #1 initiative. Even our annual review forms in 2001 required each employee to identify their single most valuable contribution to the company.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âDedication to individual accomplishment: Teams were almost considered socialist institutions. Most great innovations at PayPal were driven by one person who then conscripted others to support, adopt, implement the new idea. If you identified the 8-12 most critical innovations at PayPal (or perhaps even the most important 25), almost every one had a single person inspire it (and often it drive it to implementation). As a result, David enforced an anti-meeting culture where any meeting that included more than 3-4 people was deemed suspect and subject to immediate adjournment if he gauged it inefficient. Our annual review forms in 2002 included a direction to rate the employee on âavoids imposing on othersâ time, e.g. scheduling unnecessary meetings.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âRefusal to accept constraints, external or internal:We were expected to pursue our #1 priority with extreme dispatch (NOW) and vigor. To borrow an apt phrase, employees were expected to âcome to work every day willing to be fired, to circumvent any order aimed at stopping your dream.â Jeremy Stoppelman has relayed elsewhere the story about an email he sent around criticizing management that he expected to get him fired and instead got him promoted. Peter did not accept no for answer: If you couldnât solve the problem, someone else would be soon assigned to do it.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âDriven problem solvers: PayPal had a strong bias toward hiring (and promoting / encouraging, as Keith mentions) smart, driven problem solvers, rather than subject matter experts. Very few of the top performers at the company had any prior experience with payments, and many of the best employees had little or no prior background building Internet products. I worked on the fraud analytics team at PayPal, and most of our best people had never before done anything related to fraud detection. If heâd approached things âtraditionallyâ, Max would have gone out and hired people who had been building logistic regression models for banks for 20 years but never innovated, and fraud losses would likely have swallowed the company.â (by Mike Greenfield, former Sr. Fraud R&D Scientist of Paypal)
âSelf-sufficiency â individuals and small teams were given fairly complex objectives and expected to figure out how to achieve them on their own. If you needed to integrate with an outside vendor, you picked up the phone yourself and called; you didnât wait for a BD person to become available. You did (the first version of) mockups and wireframes yourself; you didnât wait for a designer to become available. You wrote (the first draft of) site copy yourself; you didnât wait for a content writer.â (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
On Culture & Ideology
âExtreme bias towards action â early PayPal was simply a really *productive* workplace. This was partly driven by the culture of self-sufficiency. PayPal is and was, after all, a web service; and the company managed to ship prodigious amounts of relatively high-quality web software for a lot of years in a row early on. Yes, we had the usual politics between functional groups, but either individual heroes or small, high-trust teams more often than not found ways to deliver projects on-time.â (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
âWillingness to try â even in a data-driven culture, youâll always run in to folks who either donât believe you have collected the right supporting data for a given decision or who just arenât comfortable when data contradicts their gut feeling. In many companies, those individuals would be the death of decision-making. At PayPal, I felt like you could almost always get someone to give it a *try* and then let performance data tell us whether to maintain the decision or rollback.â (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
âData-driven decision making â PayPal was filled with smart, opinionated people who were often at logger-heads. The way to win arguments was to bring data to bear. So you never started a sentence like this âI feel like itâs a problem that our users canât do Xâ, instead youâd do your homework first and then come to the table with â35% of our [insert some key metric here] are caused by the lack of X functionalityâŠâ (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
âRadical transparency on metrics: All employees were expected to be facile with the metrics driving the business. Otherwise, how could one expect each employee to make rational calculations and decisions on their own every day? To enforce this norm, almost every all-hands meeting consisted of distributing a printed Excel spreadsheet to the assembled masses and Peter conducting a line by line review of our performance (this is only a modest exaggeration).â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âVigorous debate, often via email: Almost every important issue had champions and critics. These were normally resolved not by official edict but by a vigorous debate that could be very intense. Being able to articulate and defend a strategy or product in a succinct, compelling manner with empirical analysis and withstand a withering critique was a key attribute of almost every key contributor. I still recall the trepidation I confronted when I was informed that I needed to defend the feasibility of my favorite âbabyâ to Max for the first time.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âExtreme Pressure â PayPal was a very difficult business with many major issues to solve. We were able to see our colleagues work under extreme pressure and hence we learned who we could rely on and trust.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
464 Ksplice Â» Attack of the Cosmic Rays! - System administration and software blog
Itâs a well-documented fact that RAM in modern computers is susceptible to occasional random bit flips due to various sources of noise, most commonly high-energy cosmic rays. By some estimates, you can even expect error rates as high as one error per 4GB of RAM per day! Many servers these days have ECC RAM, which uses extra bits to store error-correcting codes that let them correct most bit errors, but ECC RAM is still fairly rare in desktops, and unheard-of in laptops.
For me, bitflips due to cosmic rays are one of those problems I always assumed happen to âother peopleâ. I also assumed that even if I saw random cosmic-ray bitflips, my computer would probably just crash, and Iâd never really be able to tell the difference from some random kernel bug.
A few weeks ago, though, I encountered some bizarre behavior on my desktop, that honestly just didnât make sense. I spent about half an hour digging to discover what had gone wrong, and eventually determined, conclusively, that my problem was a single undetected flipped bit in RAM. I canât prove whether the problem was due to cosmic rays, bad RAM, or something else, but in any case, I hope you find this story interesting and informative.
367 60 Minimal and Super Clean Web Designs to Inspire You | Inspiration
A clean and minimal web design is an effective way to convey an image of elegance and sophistication. This type of design is all about doing more with less, and making use of plenty of white space to let content and page elements breathe. However, it can be difficult to come up with a solid minimal website, because you canât rely on âshinyâ design elements to make things visually appealing. So if youâve struggled in the past to tackle this type of web design, weâre here to help. Hereâs a showcase of 60 minimal and super clean web designs to inspire you.
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