Monthly Archives: March 2011

A tale of two programmers

Today we’d probably call this ‘pair programming’, but it was pair programming in a way that was far more than the sum of its parts. Chris wouldn’t be able to come up with an original work if his life depended on it. Steve would not be able to finish a job if you threatened to fire him. But as a team, they worked out splendid.

It must be a dreadful realization for a manager to realize that the success of his project depends so much on personalities of his “resources”, despite all the efforts thrown at making software development a predictable business.

Reddit, Social News Frontrunner, Is Down To One Developer

Two out of the three remaining Reddit programmers quietly left the social news community last week, Mike Schiraldi going to Google and David King going to Hipmunk where he joins Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. This means that the over one billion page view a month site is currently running with only one developer (Neil Williams, hired in November) and two sysadmins until it can hire new engineering staff.

One would expect that a website so successful and loved by nerds will have no problem to find developers. But apparently that’s not the case.

Cosmonaut Crashed Into Earth ‘Crying In Rage’ : Krulwich Wonders…

On launch day, April 23, 1967, a Russian journalist, Yaroslav Golovanov, reported that Gagarin showed up at the launch site and demanded to be put into a spacesuit, though no one was expecting him to fly. Golovanov called this behavior “a sudden caprice,” though afterward some observers thought Gagarin was trying to muscle onto the flight to save his friend. The Soyuz left Earth with Komarov on board.
more on npr.org

Moving story of Vladimir Komarov, a soviet cosmonaut.

It’s Time to Fix HTTPS

Global PKI, as currently implemented in browsers, does not work.

An article explaining problems with with Public Key Infrastructure and proposing an alternative based on TOFU/POP: Trust On First Use; Persistence of Pseudonym. Ironically, while sharing this presentation on Posterous I did get a security warning in my browser.

Yes, rich kids already won the career game. Here’s why.

By contrast, as it’s known that the rich kid has no need to work, he is appreciated for doing so. He is assumed (unlike the middle-class striver) to have a strong work ethic just because he shows up sober to work every day. He doesn’t have to go over the top to establish that he has a decent work ethic; that he is working at a level of reliability taken for granted from his middle-class counterparts is taken to prove his work ethic and stamina.

The article sounds very much like an excuse, though it’s still an interesting read.

Don’t touch me, I’m British

Latins are luckier. They can touch and talk to strangers even when sober. But they, too, follow one ground rule shared by the French, Americans and British: they only get naked with people of the opposite gender in sexual situations.

To us, this rule seems so obvious as to be universal. However, it isn’t. Laborier notes that Germans will sometimes get naked in public without intent.

more on ft.com

Reminds me of some traumatizing experiences in Germany ;).

Exclusive: Flashy Website Creator Wix Raises $40 Million

Israeli startup Wix, which allows users to build flash websites, has just raised $40 million in Series D funding led by Insight Venture Partners and DAG ventures, with Benchmark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners participating in the round. This brings Wix’s total funding to $61 million.

That sounds insane in 2011. Yet, there’s hope: the company in fact wants to move to HTML5, at least for mobile.

Polite, Purposeful People Create Startups That Fail

And while it’s never easy to tell which businesses and which people will win big this time around, it’s pretty easy to tell who is going to fail.

It’s the polite, patient, purposeful people.

Being an internet entrepreneur requires a certain antic disposition, a degree of self-immolation, and a dorkish obsessiveness with seeing the digital bits line up in a row. Not just an enjoyment, not just a desire, but a gut-level craving, an existential need, to see the machine come to life.

I want this guy to be wrong.

Z-410: How ZFS is slowly making its way to Mac OS X

Brady recently left Apple, though, and started his own development company, Ten’s Complement. And If any one person outside of Apple could bring ZFS to Mac OS X, Brady is likely on the top of the list. “At one point in time, I could look at a b-tree node dump in hex and see the file layout—kind of like in The Matrix,” he joked. Clearly, Brady has a deep understanding of both ZFS, HFS+, and Mac OS X’s internals, and he is leveraging that understanding to develop Z-410.

On non-Apple implementation of ZFS for OS X, with some interesting bits of history behind HFS+.

Microsoft switches off privacy for Hotmail users in war-torn and repressive states

For reasons unknown, Microsoft has changed the settings on Hotmail to disable HTTPS for users in several countries including Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

“Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence”. I wonder if this rule also applies to Microsoft.