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Brian Slesinsky
Works at Google
Lives in Hayward, CA
1,157 followers|501,875 views
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Brian Slesinsky

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Why surveys are so long.
There are two outcomes in data fusion: you measure so you can calculate the error bars, or you make a wild guess.
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Brian Slesinsky

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It's a sandbox that lets kids mold its contents into miniature mountains, lakes and rivers--and then, with a little high-tech magic, brings that terrain to life before their eyes.
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Elm is a functional programming language for the browser that I've had fun playing around with recently. It's by no means ready for production use, but if you're interested in programming languages, I highly recommend checking it out.

Here's a recent blog post about the Elm's "time-travelling" debugger. After recording a session, you can modify the program to see what would have happened with the same inputs but different code.
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Q: So, why is Silicon Valley studded with an implausibly large number of abandoned barns, shacks, and other things that don't look like they belong here?

A: Because this all used to be orchards. This all made sense, fifty years ago.

Q: Right, but shouldn't they have, like, torn them down by now?

A: No. Abandoned barns in Silicon Valley are a better investment than historical stock market returns.

Q: Wouldn't they be an even better investment if there were, like, usable buildings on the land?

A: No.

Q: You have got to be shitting me.

A: Proposition 13 makes abandoned barns an enormously lucrative investment. You see, the assessed value of a piece of property is capped at a rate well below the rate of increase in property values out here. So you can just get the price of the land reevaluated every year and take tax-free loans against the increase in equity. This is a huge amount of untaxable money. Especially if you're an abandoned shed that's worth seven figures, right smack dab in the middle of the Google campus.

Q: Right, but that's just about low taxes, right?

A: Yeah. Well. Uh. I was going to get to the "except" part.

Q: And what's that? 

A: The increase is capped except upon the sale or the completion of new improvements. Like an apartment building, for instance, to partially solve the housing crisis out here. Or a new building on the Google campus. This means that if the value of the improvement is less than the compounded increase in the value of the property absent the improvement, then it doesn't make any sense to actually build anything.

Q: That's horrible. Why aren't people, like, vandalizing abandoned buildings to get rid of them?

A: The only way you can vandalize anything in California that solves the problem is to literally build a new improvement on the property without the landowner finding out. That resets the tax basis and gives them an incentive to stop holding the land off the market.

Q: That's... double horrible.

A: Yeeeeeeah.
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This June, Sotheby’s will be auctioning off the Macdonald viola, created in 1719 by the legendary Italian violin-maker Antonio Stradivari. They’re asking for a minimum bid of $45 million, which wou...
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This bit got to the heart of the matter:

"Paraphrasing Sam Zygmuntowicz , one of the world’s leading modern luthiers, if you know an instrument is from the Golden Period, you will assume any poor sounds are attributed to your playing, rather than quirks of the instrument, and you would apply all subtlety in trying to coax nuances of sound of the instrument. If is it new instrument, you may attribute any poor sound to the instrument, and be less willing to search for the subtleties."
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Brian Slesinsky

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Nice super creative "juggling".
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nice video
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Wow!

"The Foldscope’s non-paper components, a poppy-seed-sized spherical lens made of borosilicate or corundum, a light-emitting diode (LED), a watch battery, a switch and some copper tape to complete the electrical circuit, are pressed into or bonded onto the paper. (The lenses are actually bits of abrasive grit intended to roll around in tumblers that smooth-off metal parts.) A high-resolution version of this costs less than a dollar, and offers a magnification of up to 2,100 times and a resolving power of less than a micron. A lower-spec version (up to 400x magnification) costs less than 60 cents."
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Sometimes it's not enough to file an extension.
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It seems to be the result of budget squabbles:

"[The] agency had $300 million worth of IT improvements on hold because of budget issues. One of those was the XP-to-7 migration."
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Whales are famous for spouts and blowholes. Turns out there's another whale opening that's just as important, but I'm too polite to mention it.
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People
Have him in circles
1,157 people
Jeff Miller's profile photo
James Home's profile photo
Rodrigo Chandia's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Software Engineer
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2006 - present
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Harmless Science Experiment
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Hayward, CA
Previously
Binghamton, NY
Links
We eat here often. The garlic noodles are very tasty.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
Smooth transaction; rented a cargo van Saturday afternoon, returned that night (after hours). Actual cost: $30 + $42 mileage + $35 fuel + $7 taxes = $114 for 53 miles.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
3 reviews
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They moved to Mountain View at 2500 El Camino Real, on the corner opposite Whole Foods and Target. Other than that, smooth transaction; they took a carload of old electronics and didn't seem too picky.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago