Monthly Archives: March 2013

Warning: Living Alone May Be Hazardous to Your Health

This indicates that the real danger of living alone is not feeling lonely per se, but having reduced contact with others. One possibility is that an older person who seldom sees friends and family is less likely to get the help they need in managing various ailments, and is probably also less likely to be encouraged to go see a doctor when new health problems pop up. The researchers speculate that living alone might even cause people to have poorer health habits, such as smoking, eating an unhealthy diet and getting less physical activity.

Always look at the bright side.

Why asm.js bothers me

But I don’t believe that normal JavaScript is anywhere near the end of it’s performance path. On the contrary I believe that JavaScript code of kinds from hand-written jQuery to a Emscripten-generated can be sped up even more!

When I sit down and think about performance gains that asm.js-implementation OdinMonkey-style brings to the table I don’t see anything that would not be possible to achieve within a normal JIT compilation framework and thus simultaneously make human written and compiler generated output faster.

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Thorough critique of asm.js from the Vyacheslav Egorov, a V8 engineer.

Booth Babes, Street Clothes, and GDC: Thanks But You sort of Made It Worse

The only reason I find this to be worth bringing up is because even my extraordinarily egalitarian boyfriend didn’t quite see my plight until I explained it. He commented a few times on how few “booth babes” there were, only counting the ones who posed in bikinis with men holding plastic swords in photographs, and thought it was a great sign of progress. Me? I found them way easier to deal with than their plain-clothes counterparts. I’m not a model, nor was I dressed in stilettos and a bikini, so nobody would ever mistake me for being one of them. It was their plain-clothes fairly-ordinary-looking counterparts that made my life hard. Goodness knows, if I had the power to bring tons of other technical women at the conference that would be an optimal solution but barring that, selfish as it may sound, if I could have substituted all the plain-clothes promoters for traditional booth babes, I would have done it in a heartbeat. Then I’d be free to have a great time being what I normally am at conferences: a curiosity, an anomaly, and an excitable nerd.

Another take on sexism in tech with the usual conclusion: whatever you do, it’s wrong anyway.

Why You Make Less Money

Have you ever had a conversation with a fellow technologist that you felt wasn’t quite at your skill level, and at some point you discovered that she/he makes $20,000 more than you do? $50,000? As someone who has had a great deal of access to the salary and compensation details for thousands of software engineers over many years, I can report that there can be significant variation in salary between technologists with almost indistinguishable skills and qualifications. This may not be news to some, but some of the reasons might not be obvious to professionals in the field, particularly if someone has only been exposed to a small subset of industries or companies. Many of the explanations are somewhat unique to this industry or at the very least more prevalent in the software world. Regardless of whether or not money is a primary motivator in your career, it is still useful to understand why others may be earning more (and what you can do to earn more).

Excellent advice about salary negotiations.

2 Letters from Steve

In March 2010, just a couple of weeks before the iPad was due to be released publicly, I had a reason to contact Steve. A friend of mine was dying of liver disease and I was going to San Francisco to hopefully see and communicate with her while it was still possible. She was a friend from my Adobe days and was very much into technology. I thought it would be a treat for her to see an iPad. And I had one. But until the product was officially released I could not show it to anyone without permission from Apple management.

One of these 2-letter emails from Steve Jobs.

Full war declaration statement from DPRK (via KCNA…

This war will not be a three day-war but it will be a blitz war through which the KPA will occupy all areas of south Korea including Jeju Island at one strike, not giving the U.S. and the puppet warmongers time to come to their senses, and a three-dimensional war to be fought in the air, land and seas and on the front line and in the rear.

This sacred war of justice will be a nation-wide, all-people resistance involving all Koreans in the north and the south and overseas in which the traitors to the nation including heinous confrontation maniacs, warmongers and human scum will be mercilessly swept away.

Orwell was not wrong after all, albeit it’s easy to forget so in the West.

Slamming the door on Jehovah

In 2011, The Watch-tower, the scripture magazine for the bizarre yet outwardly benign Christian sect, described those who abandon the church as “mentally diseased” outcasts, or apostates, who “seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings”.

They can be “shunned” – cut off from their families and, according to ex-members, subjected to bullying, threats, harassment and stalking to lure them back. Families are told that if they mix with their apostate children, they are traitors too.

A look at Jehovah’s Witnesses that includes the perspective of people who left the organization. It’s good to keep in mind that their views are emotionally loaded, though the article still provides a lot information inaccessible to the outsiders.

Why I Chose to Learn C

Even in an industry where older technologies are constantly rendered obsolete, that balance is the reason developers of major modern software projects continue to choose C for their implementation language.
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C is still very much alive.

The World Wide Web is Moving to AOL!

Don’t worry, all of that hard work won’t be wasted. The World Wide Web will remain accessible for 30 days, which will give you plenty of time to update your readers and customers. Each of you will also receive a 30-day free trial for AOL. Look for your CD in the mail soon.

What if the the web had shut down in 1998 and moved to AOL?