Profile

Cover photo
Peter Kasting
Works at Google
Attended Harvey Mudd College
Lived in Akron, OH
5,071 followers|1,825,555 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube+1'sReviews
People
In his circles
98 people
Have him in circles
5,071 people
Karla Kane's profile photo
Jon Renner's profile photo
Patrick Aljord's profile photo
Babalola Barnabas's profile photo
Deusa Tola's profile photo
Madoona Monroe's profile photo
The Law Office of William L. Morris, P.L.L.C.'s profile photo
Dahui Feng's profile photo
Ben Stanley's profile photo
Collections Peter is following
Education
  • Harvey Mudd College
    Computer Science, 1997 - 2001
    Concentration in music. Graduated with High Distinction.
  • Sequim Senior High School
    1993 - 1997
    Valedictorian.
  • Sequim Middle School
    1989 - 1993
  • Helen Haller Elementary School
    1988 - 1989
  • Firestone Park Elementary School
    1985 - 1988
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Other names
Zero|DPX
Story
Tagline
Christian, husband, engineer, musician, and many other hats
Introduction
In addition to the rest of the stuff on this page, I'm keyboard player and congregation president of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mountain View.  I like listening to and (every several years) composing music, going wakeboarding and snowboarding, reading, playing games of all forms, drinking tasty beverages, arguing about random crap, and spending endless hours on the computer.  I have a beautiful wife, a dog and a cat, and a house in San Jose.  I'm far from perfect, but God has been good to me, and life has gotten better over the years.  If you're in the Bay Area, I'd probably be happy to hang out :)
Bragging rights
Chrome team founding member; designed and built the Chrome Omnibox.
Work
Occupation
Senior Software Engineer, Chrome UI team
Skills
Detail focus, doing grungy things, complaining and being grouchy
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2006 - present
    Firefox 2: Find bar work, spellcheck attribute, "all tabs" dropdown. Chrome: design and implementation for omnibox, original (pre-Safari-for-Windows) scrollbars, BMP and ICO decoders; implementation for browser frame, fullscreen mode, content settings UI, other image decoder work; endless code cleanup, yak shaving, warning fixes, etc.
  • Green Hills Software
    Software Engineer, 2001 - 2006
    Owner, MIPS, SH, FR, CORE1 compiler backends. MULTI integration for ARC, TI.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Akron, OH - Sequim, WA - Claremont, CA - Santa Barbara, CA - Mountain View, CA - San Jose, CA
Links
Other profiles
Contributor to

Stream

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
Tickets for Megadeth & Children Of Bodom at The Warfield Theatre SF Feb. 29: PURCHASED

Two of my favorite metal bands and I've never seen either one live! Awesome. Props to my friend Troy for telling me about this!
4
Add a comment...

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
Dear internet news sites:

I never, ever, ever want you to give me a news story in the form of a video if it would have lost nothing from just being written.

Not only can I read much faster than your video will play, you will also invariably subject me to 30 second (or longer) unskippable pre-roll ads before your two-minute news video, which will have 10% of the content a proper news story would to boot.

Stop insulting my intelligence and wasting my time, and actually inform me, which is the reason I visit you to begin with.

Regards,
PK
72
1
Mike Pinkerton's profile photoJared Johnson's profile photoTom Gerhard's profile photoJason Nichols's profile photo
10 comments
 
I often read news in situations where audio is not appropriate. If I'm not wearing headphones, I just [x] the tab. 
Add a comment...

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
Buried in the "Chrome 49 to beta" announcement: smooth scrolling finally on by default for Linux and Windows!

http://blog.chromium.org/2016/02/chrome-49-beta-css-custom-properties.html

I wrote the first smooth scrolling implementation in WebKit years ago, but it never truly shipped -- Apple didn't care about the cross-platform implementation as they had their own native widgets that did native smooth scrolling, and Chromium didn't enable the feature. So I've been watching the progress of smooth scrolling over the years with interest -- and pestering the engineers responsible for it at times :)

The most important rule with smooth scrolling is that the scrolling must still feel very snappy. If scrolling lags input by very much, people will be angry at how you've slowed down their browser and made it less responsive. This frequently leads to the naive assumption that smooth scrolling is inherently sluggish and horrible, and therefore should never be provided without a switch to disable it.

Like many "you have to make it an option" features, this is a lazy way out, and it avoids fixing the very real problem of unresponsiveness by simply punting the issue to the user and making them turn it off if they don't like it. Chromium eschews options, and in most cases with hard work it's possible to avoid the issues leading people to call for them in the first place.

I think this is one of those cases. The smooth scrolling implementation we have now is very tunable if we need to make improvements, but it already feels quite snappy to me. Hopefully anyone raising knee-jerk objections will actually try living with the Chromium behavior for a while.
26
Jonathan Kerls's profile photoRobb Weeks's profile photoPeter Kasting's profile photoStephen Shankland's profile photo
5 comments
 
The worst Apple animation is the button that shows all your open windows in miniature for task-switching purposes. The swoopy part isn't so bad, but it takes a long time to gather the necessary data or something, so by the time it happens it feels like the proverbial lipstick on a pig.

Task switching in my opinion is a problem on every anything I've ever tried (Windows, iOS, Android, OS X, browser tabs in any browser -- Chrome is the least bad, but I have no constructive advice on how to make it better).

I now have an iPhone 6S Plus I use a lot alongside my Nexus 6P. I'm withholding judgment about whose UI is overall better, but I have a long list of gripes, starting with the notifications system on iOS. I do think the iOS-is-more-intuitive-than-Android conventional wisdom is skewed by Android's rougher past and by the fact that a lot of tech journalists first imprinted on iOS.
Add a comment...

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
Bad Tech Reporting Part Deux

http://news.softpedia.com/news/google-chrome-will-mark-http-sites-as-insecure-with-a-big-red-x-499569.shtml

Second edit: (worth posting up here) On the plus side, the author reached out to me directly via email to apologize for the mistake and notify me of the attempted corrections. When I responded to him he immediately modified his corrections to take my feedback into account, so things are now hopefully clearer. So, props for the good followthrough on this. Perhaps my snarky cynicism below is not fully justified!

Original post + edit:

This article is even worse than Motherboard's ( https://plus.google.com/+PeterKasting/posts/EDiwd2mBHuo ): it says we'll be implementing this by the end of this year. Where did that come from? No citation is provided, of course, since AFAIK we haven't officially announced any such thing. (If I've somehow missed this, by all means inform me.)

Checking the author's Twitter account, it seems like an endless spew of random news stories; within the first dozen links was a note about "Google self-driving cars would have caused 13 accidents without human intervention", which is another popular but misreported story. So I'm betting this guy is a typical sloppy tech blogger who just retweets and republishes anything that looks interesting without doing the hard work of actually fact-checking anything. You know, like a real journalist.

Edit: Now the article has been updated to "correct" things by making sentences utterly incoherent and nongrammatical, so it's impossible to tell what the intended article sentiment is. This was done "at the request of a Google engineer", by which I suspect they mean me, since I tried to leave a comment on the article asking for the source of their information, and it still hasn't appeared a day and a half later. However, the article does now mention a source: deleted tweets "from various people affiliated with Google" (note that this is pointedly not the same thing as saying "Google employees", and basically is weasel-wording that means nothing at all), which it speculates were removed at Google PR's request. (I rather doubt this, but without knowing what deleted tweets this refers to it's impossible to say.)

In other words, the article is an even bigger mess than before and the author still can't seem to nail the most basic elements of journalism.
HTTP sites will be considered broken and insecure by default
8
1
Cassidy James Blaede's profile photoNikolaos Dimopoulos's profile photo
 
But I wouldn't even be mad if HTTP was marked as super insecure... Because it is. :)
Add a comment...

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
http://i.imgur.com/bce9jkU.gifv (sorry for the expletive title, I didn't name it)

Plot twist: The car is carrying the physics prof that just failed him.
10
Paul Swanson's profile photo
 
As a motorcyclist I understand his sentiment. As a motorcyclist I don't understand his stupidity.
Add a comment...

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
Amusing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjtQSMe0VeI

I actually found myself spending hours last night answering (serious -- not related to this video) questions about how Christians actually view heaven, among other things. It's not remotely like this, if you were wondering. But this is still pretty funny.
7
2
Mike McLoughlin's profile photoHoward Zhou's profile photo
 
That is hilarious :-)
Add a comment...
In his circles
98 people
Have him in circles
5,071 people
Karla Kane's profile photo
Jon Renner's profile photo
Patrick Aljord's profile photo
Babalola Barnabas's profile photo
Deusa Tola's profile photo
Madoona Monroe's profile photo
The Law Office of William L. Morris, P.L.L.C.'s profile photo
Dahui Feng's profile photo
Ben Stanley's profile photo

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
I amused myself last night writing Tom Swifties ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Swifty ). Anyone else ever write these for fun? Here were my best ten:

"She's been kidnapped!" Tom said mistakenly.

"Hollywood is filled with rip-off artists," Tom said laconically.

"I've never been this terrified before!" Tom said atmospherically.

"Ellen DeGeneres? She's got nothing on me," Tom said animatedly.

"The Mario 3 total control segment at AGDQ this year was so cool!" Tom said fantastically.

"I sat next to Hackman in a Vietnamese restaurant once," Tom said photogenically.

"Sure, I can explain std::for_each()," Tom said perfunctorily.

"I'm totally unprepared for Valentine's Day," Tom said lackadaisically.

"Woah," Tom said bereavedly.

"Nate, you weren't listed in the will," Tom said unfortunately.

And here's a half dozen lamer ones:

"It's my turn to have the button," Tom said idealistically.

"North Carolina has the best state tree," Tom opined.

"I don't understand you night people at all," Tom said mournfully.

"I couldn't disagree more," Tom spat.

"Ouch! This rose has thorns," Tom said poisonously.

"One fruit juice, please," Tom said snappily.
4
Scott Hess's profile photoPeter Kasting's profile photoJohnathan Chung's profile photoDaniel Erat's profile photo

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
Verge contributor buys his mom a Chromebook Pixel, reports good things.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/1/10884918/i-bought-my-mom-a-chromebook-pixel-the-divergence

What I like about this article is that it captures the entire reason for Chrome OS, which so many tech people miss. "Chrome OS just can't do as much as Windows," they bemoan, "so it will always be relegated to low-end, second-class machines."

Doing less can be a feature, not a bug; it depends on what your goal is. If I were an automobile enthusiast, and I wanted a car to take to a track, probably "can go off-roading" would not only be a feature I wouldn't need, but something I actively wouldn't want because it would interfere with what I wanted to do with the car (go really fast in a controlled environment).

Similarly, Chrome OS does less on purpose. It's not just a cheap second-class OS for cheap devices usable only by plebian users who don't run REAL apps like REAL men -- and I'm intentionally invoking silly masculinity here because I think there is a subconscious feeling on the part of most of us techies that people who never need go outside their browser are inferior to those of us who "need to do more", regardless of their level of knowledge or aptitude. (I don't think most people recognize this bias, but to me it pervades a lot of tech writing in this area.)

No, Chrome OS aims to avoid doing precisely the sorts of things that most users not only don't need, but would be better off without. Disallowing the installation of full-control local apps brings major security benefits. Slimming down the OS stack leads to faster boots. Providing no knobs to control auto-updates ensures users are running the latest, most performant, most secure version of the OS at all times.

Not every person uses a computer in the ways Chrome OS is aimed at, but most people don't use computers in the ways most techies do either, and I can't shake the feeling that the majority of complaints about Chrome OS are that the track car can't go off-road. But even though a track car may only do a subset of things well, if those things are what you need to do, then it's not only a good choice, it can be worth spending quite a lot on.
What if buying a computer that does much less actually lets you do so much more?
55
Gordon Kelly's profile photoX Rellix's profile photoMatt Carner's profile photoJohn A. Tamplin's profile photo
13 comments
 
My wife almost never uses her desktop any more in favor of Chromebooks (she has a couple for use in different parts of the house so she doesn't have to carry it around!), and my mom uses her Chromebook about 90% of the time.

If there were a decent IDE/development environment usable on one (sigh for what could have been), I could ditch my laptop as well.
Add a comment...

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
Today's Good Tech Reporting

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/business/fake-online-locksmiths-may-be-out-to-pick-your-pocket-too.html?_r=0

I've whined a bit lately about bad tech reporting, so here's a well-researched and interesting article about the lengths locksmith "lead gens" will go to to get customers, then charge them as much as possible. The quote about Google showing 9600 locksmiths in one state ("about 9000 more than anyone believes work in the state") was telling.

On a more meta level, this feels like another example to me of how, if you want actual journalism and not just sensational click inflating, your best bet is still to go with one of the old-school newspapers like the NYT, and not with a tech website.
Odds are good that when you search Google for someone to help you get into your home or car, results will include poorly trained subcontractors who will squeeze you for cash.
10
Malthe Høj-Sunesen's profile photo
 
It's the difference between 'I took a degree' and 'how hard can it be', I suppose. They might rhyme, but that doesn't mean that they are equal. 
Add a comment...

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
Today's Bad Tech Reporting:

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/google-will-soon-shame-all-websites-that-are-unencrypted-chrome-https

The headline says that something is definitely happening soon! Except it turns out it's not. No new proposal has been announced. No new capability has been added to Chrome. No new flag to expose a capability has been added. No dates or milestones are being proposed for enabling anything. In fact, it turns out absolutely nothing is different about Chrome's behavior or what the team has announced than it has been for the last year.

In other words, there's no story here, unless the story is "by the way, a year ago the Chrome team added a flag to do this and we just wanted to let you know that the flag still happens to exist". Way to go, Motherboard.

Edit: Chris Palmer also clarified on a public mailing list that this wasn't even from a Google presentation -- it was a Cloudflare presentation. LOL.

Second edit: Motherboard updated the article to at least note that this wasn't a Google presentation.
Google wants to kill the unencrypted internet, and will soon flag two thirds of the web as "unsafe."
14
2
Tim Johnson's profile photoValentin Pletzer's profile photo
Add a comment...

Peter Kasting

Shared publicly  - 
 
One of the dumbest things about targeted advertising is that the only time I get ads remotely relevant to me is when the ads are about a product or service I already bought or subscribed to.
43
Peter Kasting's profile photoJonathan Kerls's profile photoMikel Ward's profile photoStephen Shankland's profile photo
10 comments
 
It's one thing when I look on several sites and keep seeing the ad on site X after you bought the product from site Y. But when I look on Amazon, buy it, and continue to get ads for it, it makes my eyes roll.

I suspect part of the problem is it's hard to predict some of the times when purchases are recurring (baby diapers, dishwasher detergent) or recurring with variations (camera lenses, art supplies) and when they're one-off items. Because of course past purchasing behavior is a great predictor of future purchasing behavior, and I suspect advertisers often don't have much else in the way of actionable user data. Broad demographics (30- to 45-year-old male in California or whatever) might be good for broad brand ads ("Coke makes people happy!") and not good for getting people to buy specific products.

Also, re. Google ad targeting, I can't comment about display ads, but the search ads are very driven by user intent as inferred from search query terms. When you stop searching for diapers, you stop seeing ads for diapers. Perhaps things get cluttered if you factor in search history, but I don't find search ad targeting to suffer.
Add a comment...
Peter Kasting's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
The Greatness of Ron Paul
www.theatlantic.com

By introducing moral imagination to the foreign-policy conversation, the Republican candidate is doing the nation an important service.

Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
31 reviews
Map
Map
Map
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago