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Peter Kasting
Works at Google
Attended Harvey Mudd College
Lived in Akron, OH
4,218 followers|1,494,246 views
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Senior Software Engineer, Chrome UI team
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  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2006 - present
  • Green Hills Software
    Software Engineer, 2001 - 2006
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Akron, OH - Sequim, WA - Claremont, CA - Santa Barbara, CA - Mountain View, CA - San Jose, CA
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Chrome team founding member; designed and built the Chrome Omnibox
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  • Harvey Mudd College
    Computer Science, 1997 - 2001
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Peter Kasting

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Does Police Chief Brian Benton have any concept of what kind of a consequence it is to have a child pornography conviction on your record?

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/03/teens-hit-with-child-porn-charges-after-tweeting-their-group-sex-video/

Clearly, deciding to have group sex, film it, and then post it online was a series of escalatingly bad calls by these teenagers.  But hitting them with child pornography charges is insane; that basically makes the entire rest of their lives be permanently scarred by what was, ultimately, a consensual act.

But Mr. Benton doesn't think that's a bad thing: "I think it's making a strong statement, and I think it's important to do so to send the message to others: that kids shouldn't be involved in this type of behavior, and hopefully this will serve as a deterrent."

It's strong statement all right.  That statement is that Mr. Benton is an idiot.

Go America and your stupid, counterproductive, punishment-driven "justice" system.
Joliet, Illinois, police chief says the sex between the four kids was consensual.
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Unless charged as an adult ones record as a minor is sealed by the court and it can be expunged (usuall after around 10 years). So as long as they are charged as minors, a conviction would not follow them into adulthood.
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Peter Kasting

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Happy cow: http://i.imgur.com/AqLvXJh.gifv

Bonus animal image: So majestic: http://i.imgur.com/3cWNMt3.gifv
The Internet's visual storytelling community. Explore, share, and discuss the best visual stories the Internet has to offer.
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I should get one of those for my cat.
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Peter Kasting

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This is pretty impressively bad.

http://consumerist.com/2015/03/25/new-homeowner-has-to-sell-house-because-of-comcasts-incompetence-lack-of-competition/

I thought this would just be an article on how Comcast customer service is lame, but it goes well beyond that.  The level of incompetence -- from more than one party -- displayed here is truly amazing.
Only months after moving into his new home in Washington state, Consumerist reader Seth is already looking to sell his house. He didn't lose his job or discover that the property is haunted. No, Se...
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+Dave Haynie Yes, you seem to be agreeing with my point: what we need is competition.

I'm not terribly keen on community-managed resources, mostly because it's not often that a community's area of expertise is managing such a service.  Commercial entities often ought to be able to do better, but capital barriers to entry are high.  If we want to regulate in order to achieve an outcome here, then something like the UK's line-leasing rules might be the most promising route.  Otherwise, reductions in regulation -- for example, removing laws against municipal broadband, or loosening city restrictions on utility pole access -- could be useful.  So could things that aren't regulation at all, e.g. cheap government loans to people building physical networks.

In other words, if the goal is increased competition, then saying "more regulation" is an overly simplistic argument for how to get there.

(BTW, it's an overgeneralization to say that a monopoly will by definition have terrible customer service.  A monopoly is still normally subject to market forces unless their product is necessary for life, and customers can still elect to consume less of their product, or a less expensive version.  Customer service quality will depend on ROI; it may be terrible, or it may not.)
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Peter Kasting

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Further followup on the UVA rape story Rolling Stone infamously published last year (which I linked at the time).

http://theweek.com/articles/545866/real-lesson-rolling-stone-rape-article-fiasco

Basically: no evidence found supporting the claims made by the woman interviewed, she refused to substantially cooperate, and various aspects of her story were found to be false.
You can't prove a negative. And you shouldn't be put in a position where you have to.
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Okay, I'll attack the actual article posted:

Yes, important, material details of the Rolling Stone piece were false. The publishing of that piece was irresponsible, though I lay the bulk of that blame on the reporter and editors at Rolling Stone and not on the woman identified in the piece as "Jackie."

This is widely known, and I think the Washington Times takedowns of Rolling Stone are quite fair and well-sourced.

This article though? It dances through several little half-truths that I'm getting sick and tired of hearing about this. First off, most of Jackie's friends believe that something awful happened to her that night, and when it initially happened Jackie couldn't remember any details or even where she had been. Based on what the Washington Times found, I believe that the most likely explanation is that she went to one or more parties that night on frat row, drank to excess, and was raped at one of them. She just can't accurately remember where. Human memory is a fallible enough instrument that it's quite possible that Jackie herself can't distinguish between real memories and memories that exist because of plausible but false details her brain filled in as she's retold her story.

Second, the bits in Rolling Stone about the campus climate weren't refuted by the Times's reporting, nor was the fact that UVA totally dropped the ball here. (UVA should have investigated and cleared Phi Kappa Psi officially and publicly long before the RS article) I'll admit I'm a bit biased here in that I'd like to see all social frats disbanded permanently, and have believed that long before the Rolling Stone article.

Third, the article makes the facile slide from college administrative hearings about sexual assault to criminal proceedings. These are not, and should not be, the same, because they serve different purposes. The purpose of a criminal trial is to determine whether someone should be deprived of basic fundamental rights, and therefore is heavily weighted against false positives. The purpose of an administrative hearing is to decide how to best comply with the college's affirmative obligation to not make the threat of sexual assault a de facto means of sexual discrimination. Local governments are under no obligation to ensure that women are as safe to walk on public streets as men are; educational institutions are under the obligation to ensure that women and men have equal opportunity to participate in college life. Personally, I think these hearings should be held to a preponderance-of-evidence standard when it comes to expelling students (i.e., what would be necessary for the alleged victim to successfully sue the alleged rapist in civil court), and since colleges can also apply a bunch of creative different solutions (e.g. mutual no-contact agreements) they don't need to be limited to a single binary "totally guilty"/"totally innocent" conclusion. It's perfectly legitimate for a college to conclude "something sketchy happened here, though exactly what is unclear, and the best way to allow the most people access to this institution is to warn all involved and restrict interactions for a year".
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Peter Kasting

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People have complained a lot recently -- and rightfully so -- about abysmal GIF performance in Chrome.

Good news: in the last two weeks we've landed several different fixes to greatly improve GIF handling.  We still have one bug where things are taking much more CPU than in Firefox, but if you try a current Canary build, my hope is you won't experience the same sort of "GIFs bog down the entire browser" awfulness that was plaguing Chrome recently.

Please test out your favorite GIFs and pages of GIFs in Canary, and if you find some that behave noticeably worse than Firefox or IE, file bugs about them in our bug tracker at http://crbug.com/new and post the links here.
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Nice, this should also speed up plus on the Chromebooks a bit :)
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Peter Kasting

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Funniest line I've ever seen in a postmortem, from a postmortem about an accidental "rm -rf ~" on a server:

http://i.imgur.com/QxaKsnO.png
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No, and the rest of it isn't as funny.  But that line was great.
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In his circles
94 people
Have him in circles
4,218 people
Louis Gordon's profile photo
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Peter Kasting

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So, SO tired of stupid April Fools jokes every year.  I hate this day.

Almost no April Fools jokes have ever been funny in the history of the world.  Please, just stop.
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Well, being embarrassed is being harmed in a way, so, yes, it should be planned carefully enough to be funny (or at least "nice", Peter ;P), but obvious to be fake.
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Peter Kasting

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Anyone out there an Amiga fan?  Help this Kickstarter reach more stretch goals!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1195082866/from-bedrooms-to-billions-the-amiga-years
Nicola Caulfield & Anthony Caulfield is raising funds for From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Years! on Kickstarter! How the Commodore Amiga helped influence a generation of Developers to take Video Gaming to a whole new level!
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Strange.  I see both in pounds.
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Peter Kasting

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We've heard your feedback loud and clear.  We're restarting efforts to implement Pointer Events in blink.
Contact emails. rbyers@chromium.org, mustaq@chromium.org. Summary. The Pointer Events API is a low-level input API for mouse, touch and stylus introduced by IE. Pointer Events extends the MouseEvent model while offering a replacement for all uses of Mouse and Touch events.
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Peter Kasting

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Chrome 41 shipped with several optimizations to make the visual experience of loading sites faster (Speed Index, Start Render, etc).  The most impactful of the changes was to have the main parser conditionally let pending paints and layouts happen before going into execute a script.

In practice this means that before running scripts at the end of a page it will do the layout and paint for whatever it has built up so far (assuming it is not waiting for css).  It doesn't change the classic technical metrics (Page Load Time, DOM Content Loaded, etc) but it can have a huge benefit to more visual-based metrics, particularly first paint/start render and Speed Index (and more importantly, on when users can see progress and start consuming the page content).

A nice side-effect is that it also improves performance for things like custom fonts and prioritization of above-the-fold resources, both of which depend on layout and styles being applied before they can be discovered by Chrome.

Here are some sample filmstrips with before/after comparisons demonstrating the impact (you may need to zoom in on some of the longer filmstrips to see them).

As always, your mileage may vary and not all sites will see the same magnitude of improvement (if any).
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Peter Kasting

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Never have I seen a prosecutor apologize so directly for wrongly convicting someone.  Usually the prosecutors' office maintains the guilt of the criminal, or simply remains silent.  Not this time.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/opinion/readers/2015/03/20/lead-prosecutor-offers-apology-in-the-case-of-exonerated-death-row-inmate-glenn-ford/25049063/?post_id=62000326_10100462036332901&from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

"In 1984, I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning."

Thanks to all those who work to ensure the innocent are freed -- and to this prosecutor for being willing to own up to his faults.
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Peter Kasting

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There have been a lot of articles on Google[x] and "fail fast", but this transcript of Astro Teller's recent talk is interesting because of the multitude of concrete examples.

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-to-make-moonshots-65845011a277

I actually tried to apply to the self-driving car team for a position I thought I was qualified for, and they didn't even reply to my email to say "no thanks", which kinda bummed me out.
Astro Teller says that at Google[x], failure is indeed an option. So is changing the world.
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Don't feel bad. I did my PhD on autonomous vehicle coordination (and Astro is my academic uncle) and they weren't interested in me, either. 
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Peter Kasting's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
The Greatness of Ron Paul
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By introducing moral imagination to the foreign-policy conversation, the Republican candidate is doing the nation an important service.

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