Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Scatter - ajax without coding

Nice library. I did something similar for a client once. The idea is to have links auto-ajax and replace elements on the page when elements in the response have id's that match elements in the current page.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Funny. It produces a score based on how sloppy the code looks like.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Node in Windows

Using VirtualBox. I had to change the networking options to use NAT.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Microsoft on the ball lately

Is it just me or is Microsoft really starting to put some muscle behind their consumer facing products?

They completely rebranded their search engine last year and now they're pushing out ads for Trueswitch for Hotmail, which lets users import contacts and emails from old emails to a new one (if, say, you get married and change your name, for example).

IE9 is also shaping up to be a serious contender in the browser wars.

Which is not to say they're not focusing on other things anymore. F# has been getting praises left and right too. They're even getting involved in open source now.

Kudos to Microsoft.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Exponential Function

A great explanation of the exponential function. As Einstein famously said: "The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest".

Friday, May 7, 2010

Google new design: A/B testing fail?

You must have noticed that the Google result pages now have that left bar thingie, and if you hang around techie sites, you probably heard a number of people voice negative opinions about it. "It's redundant, it's cluttered, it's inconsistent, it's a rip-off from Bing" are some of the arguments I've seen more than once so far.

Apparently, this new SERP is the result of some A/B testing Google did, which supposedly is optimized to boost whatever metrics they are interested in boosting.

There's a problem with this idea though, imho:

How do they know they are boosting the right metrics?. For the top link on the page, one could say: the more clicks per second, the better. But what about the "more" link on the left bar? Given that a click on that is one less click on the top link, what do you optimize for? Is the local optimization contributing or detracting to the overall goal of the page?

Is it in Google's interest to make its UI look the same as Bing's?

Is it cool that users have to re-learn that now there's a block of stuff on the left and the actual search result titles are shorter (and sometimes, plain cut-off)?

Is it cool that this encourages power users to whip up home made UI-customization scripts?

How does this habit-changing move speak to the Google-loving tribe (the mouth-to-mouth advertisers)?

I wouldn't say this change was a dumb-move-that-will-kill-Google(tm) or anything drastic and stupid like that, but I'd note that in the Internet, things don't die, they just fade away slowly as an overwhelming amount of better stuff comes along. If anything, I think this change was a tiny step towards that direction.

My 2 cents.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Buy vs Rent calculator

Nifty calculator.

Turns out I'd only ever be better off buying if the property costs less than $120k. And even then, not by much.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Alternatives to Red Black Trees

Treaps, AA-trees, ravl trees.

Maybe it's just me but I find that I use hashmaps more than sets and ordered maps. Yet I find more people talking about trees than hashing schemes. Hmm.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A zillion monkeys

C, Assembler, optimization; you know, "real" programming.

This is one of those places you stumble upon one day and go "geez where were you all my life?" :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Popular goals

Interesting list. Many of the items fall into the "what? you don't do this already?" list for me.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One thumb up, one thumb down

So, Chrome will start to come with Flash pre-installed. On the one hand, it's nice to see at least one browser maker finally step up and iron out this pain area: let's face, the average Joe usually would prefer to to have Flash installed rather than not, even if it hogs CPU.

In the end, there's no point in using the Internet if you can't actually use it. And for a lot of people, break.com et al is the Internet.

On the other hand, it's too bad Google didn't want to create a competing player. They probably know that the swf format specs are open and they certainly have the capacity to create a ridiculously fast implementation to rival Adobe's. I'd imagine that in a playing field where the status quo is "Flash Player is slow", being the one who can say "well, Flash runs natively and is super fast in our browser" would be a very strong differentiator for Chrome.

Here's for hoping that Opera will pick up the dropped ball.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I keep forgetting the name of this project. It runs Linux without the need of a VM, i.e. about as close to a real installation as it can be.


Basically, an open source Windows. Interesting project to watch for.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010


"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the Air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four Balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it."

found here. credit attribution might be wrong.

Thursday, February 25, 2010