Weekend miscellany

Software

Here’s an old NBC news report speculating about technology in the year 2000. Apparently “something called the Internet” will be important. HT: Sorting out Science.

The Mono project, an open source rewrite of Microsoft’s .NET framework, is more mature than I thought. From Hanselminutes.

“Cloud” is a good metaphor for most of what I hear about “cloud computing” because it’s so nebulous. But Michael Stiefel has some solid things to say on the subject.

Python Infrequently Answered Questions

Quote from Word Aligned blog “One day software will be the most reliable component of every product which contains it.” — Tony Hoare. I’m not as optimistic as Mr. Hoare, or I at least thing “one day” is far away.

Joakim Karlsson says in his post The Locality of Code Changes “The probability that you will change a piece of code in the near future increases when you make changes to that code or to code in its vicinity.”

Economics

The best explanation I’ve seen for why newspapers are dying

Malcolm Gladwell’s rebuttal to Chris Anderson’s “Free” thesis

EconTalk interview with Mark Helprin on copyright

Math and statistics

In Is P = NP an ill-posed problem? Dick Lipton contrasts the Riemann hypothesis and the question of whether P = NP.

Visualizing correlations

Music, coffee, and physics

Classical music in cartoons

Latte art

Fun with an MRI machine. NB: The block is aluminum, not iron. Magnets don’t attract aluminum. But aluminum can conduct a current induced by a magnetic field. HT: Ovablastic.

2 thoughts on “Weekend miscellany

  1. The “cloud” has the same problem today that web commerce, web 2.0, the “semantic web”, etc. have had and continue to have. At the core there are very reasonable, valuable, even somewhat transformative if not revolutionary ideas. The problem is that there are so many hucksters, snake oil salesmen, and marketing con artists who’ve latched onto the web and these terms and have woven them into their BS sales pitches that the terms have lost a lot of their value. 95% of the time these days when someone is talking about “the cloud” they’re off in lala land where people productize leveraged synergies into the semantic cloud in order to reconfigure value.

    That being said, I think it’s an interesting idea and will probably evolve into something very worthwhile. However, again, I’m reminded that for the 1st and 2nd dot-com eras it took a lot of people losing literally millions and millions of dollars for people to actually get serious about commerce on the web and commerce on the social web. Given what’s going on now with “the cloud” I think we’re going to see the same examples of craziness and massive irrationality leading to pain and eventually to a semblance of maturity.

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