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James Kozianski
Works at Google
Attended University of New South Wales
Lived in Sydney
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James Kozianski

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My life.
 
Was reminded of Dyson's article for the Notices about birds and frogs: http://www.ams.org/notices/200902/rtx090200212p.pdf?q=birds-and-frogs
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Ray Wu
 
:) the monkeys would also have been acceptable
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James Kozianski

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Well, this is dumb.
 
What the frak??? The bizarrely slow process of releasing Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. What is this? The 1990s?

"When Hillary Clinton handed over 30,000 e-mails to the State Department, she did so in a very 20th-century way: She had them all printed out."

"The State Department then completed a tedious process to convert the 55,000 pages of e-mail and attachments back into a suitable electronic format. The scanning process itself involves five steps that are time-consuming and labor-intensive."

What's even worse, is this: "On Wednesday, a State Department official said that printing emails is common practice, and it would have to print Clinton's emails in the normal review process."

So... H.Clinton prints the emails, the State Department scans them back in, only to print them out again for 'review' ????

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/05/20/the-bizarrely-slow-process-of-releasing-hillary-clintons-e-mails-explained/
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No, I didn't see that, but I can believe that. It'll probably take us another eighty years to have the world that is technically possible today.
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Short Game Reviews: Fire Emblem: Awakening

When I bought a DS recently I did the normal thing and got Pokemon. It was pretty cool I guess, but my obvious attempt to become a kid again (gaming-wise at least) had failed. The experience wasn't terrible, so I tried my luck again, this time on something that seemed to ape another classic game from the olde thymes: Fire Emblem, a tactical RPG in the same vein as Shining Force, and was instantly reminded what it was like to be my former self - a kid whose only concern is maximising the amount of time spent playing games.

This game is ridiculous. Not only are the battles crazy tight, with real tactics actually needing to be employed to win, but the meta-game of sharing out experience points and crafting your team is beautifully executed, too. I was perfectly happy with its meaty complexity already when I noticed that your fighters can become friends, and then they fight better alongside each other. Then I realised they can get married. Then I realised that their future children come back in time and fight alongside their parents, leading to a whole other crazy level of concerns and planning. Not to mention the class system and the bevy of secret characters that can be acquired along the way.

Ultimately, I can't think of anything wrong with this game at all. For me it was a slice of pure enjoyment and a reminder that games are basically a drug.
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+Mark Tsui Cool, Zelda was on my list. I'll have to bump it up! Right now I'm playing Etrian Odyssey 4, which looks like it'll take a while. Map drawing is a great concept. I'm surprised how well some games make use of the second screen.

+Glen Murphy I faced the same temptation but fortunately I managed to resist. In fact for a while I didn't know there was a way to grind, so every decision to include or exclude someone from the team bore the weight of the rest of the game, which added crazy tension. Next playthrough (probably when I retire) I'll go walkthrough crazy.
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Lol
I've read Goodnight Moon almost every night for the past two years.  It's a wonderful book which my son enjoys.  Here are some of my issues with the bedroom depicted in it. 1.  The Size of the Bedroom This bedroom is enormous.  There is no one, I think, who has not noticed this.  As someone…
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Short Movie Reviews: Two Days, One Night

A glass of water. A film with absolutely no trappings, it reminded me of the intensely boring Police, Adjective, but I did enjoy it. It follows the story of a recovering depressive who is fired from her job because her coworkers voted to keep their bonus rather than her, and who then spends a weekend trying to get them to reconsider. The hyper-realism allows for a pleasantly subtle rendering of the characters, but it is slightly too melancholy, and a little too neat, to be quite believable.
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A wise +Matt Giuca​ once asked if a straw needs a catchy slogan. Well what about this door?
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Don't be a boor, go through the door
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James Kozianski

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2015 is the year of the table flip. Spread it around.
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Short TV Reviews: Orange is the New Black S1

Really great. An upper-middle class white woman gets sentenced to prison for a year for a crime she commit nearly ten years ago. An engaging drama with a great, broad cast of really well-fleshed out characters. So far I prefer it heavily to the massively overhyped Breaking Bad, which by contrast is just a bunch of unsympathetic whiners complaining about life all the time. OitNB does much more with so much less. With its tiny, enclosed setting it builds a universe out of the human relationships that develop between the characters.
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+Danny Hua Yeah, it's pretty much all like that. The stakes get higher and the investment you make into the characters does pay off, but I'm not sure it's your kind of thing :-)
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Short Book Reviews: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The story of an elderly couple in older times who leave their village to find their son. I was attracted to the old-timey prose, which was simple and direct, yet not without its own art. I was excited by the idea that unburdened by the need to produce reams of descriptive language the author could focus on ideas and I would have loved a fresh spin on those familiar fantasy tropes. However, the world was a bit too safe and therefore uninteresting to me. Everybody calls everybody else sir or friend and you are never left to wonder if any character is good or bad for very long. There is one scene of potential interest in the book where it almost becomes horrifying, but it is cut short and safety is restored, as if the author didn't have the heart to keep you on the edge of your seat for more than a minute or two, and ultimately that's the feeling I'm left with - a book that pulled all its punches and that didn't really make me feel anything.
<p><b>An extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize winning The Remains of the Day</b></p><p></p><p>'You've long set your heart against it...
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James Kozianski

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Today's the last full day of my time in Thailand. What I expected to be a dazzling spectacle of a holiday turned out to be quite meditative and productive. Rather than getting caught up in Phuket's crazy night life I spent most of my time in pools, on deck chairs, writing, programming and thinking. I feel like I've discovered a few things.

First, that time isn't just a quantity, it can be measured in terms of quality, too. The quality of one's output is influenced heavily by the quality of time that goes into it. High quality time is focused, long and distraction free. Low quality time is aimless, rife with interruptions and of an undefined length.  Until now I've attributed my productivity (or lack thereof) entirely to my own abilities, but I now see that ability is necessary, but not sufficient for doing good work. As the quality of time is largely determined by environmental factors, control over one's work environment becomes a very important aspect of being productive.

Second, very few things are evergreen, maintenance is inevitable and this isn't a problem.  My bike provided the perfect analogy for this. Before I left I got it serviced, and the creaking, soft mess I brought in was transformed into an efficient, silent wonder in a matter of hours. My bike's breaks had worn down to near uselessness without my noticing, and the chain had begun to squeak at a level that was finally concerning. How long had I been riding enduring these subtle annoyances / life-threatening defects? But who wants to take their bike in to get serviced? I just want to keep riding. This holiday was like a service for my mind that I didn't know I needed. I do have a fetish for things that seemingly don't require upkeep (case in point, my bike has dynamo powered lights, and of course, my owning a bike at all), but the truth is that almost nothing truly requires no upkeep, and that there is a considerable amount of pleasure to be gained from embracing that and tending to things.

Third, small things are important and big things are simply collections of small things. I found that before leaving I was getting hugely disproportionate satisfaction from simply having a clean desk at work, upgrading the memory on my computer and throwing away old possessions. I used to classify these things subconsciously as too small or unimportant to care about - painful chores that don't bring me any closer to any of my goals, but each of these minor, unquantifiable annoyances creates a little drag and adds a little resistance to everything. Fixing these things also provides one with an unexpected avenue towards self-expression. The state of one's desk can say a lot about you, if you let it.

A corollary to this is that small, incremental steps are the only kind we can make towards anything. Rather than looking for big solutions to big problems I'm finding it far more satisfying to continually look for small actions that can make incremental improvements. This is a very freeing mentality, as big solutions aren't actionable. Thinking small means always feeling productive and empowered.

Fourth, sometimes the biggest gains come from doing 'nothing'. The temptation has always been there on this holiday to spend my down time reading or programming as these are measurably productive pursuits (number of pages read, number of changes committed...), but what does scribbling my thoughts down achieve? What anxiety-inducing problems does it solve? A lot, it turns out. I'm quite aspirational and as such I spend my life living in some imagined future and worrying about whether it will be good enough and wringing my hands about mistakes I've made and mistakes I've yet to make. All that worry is useless, though, and betrays an unconscious approach to life which, left unexamined, has no hope for improvement. Pausing to reflect and think strategically is the only way to solve problems of perception, which it seems to me are the only real kind of problems.
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Thanks, Hayley! Yeah, you gotta go inbox zero. Keep a clear mental desk :-)

Have you tried Google Inbox (inbox.google.com)? I've found it's great for managing my emails, and it lets you add random tasks and snooze emails, too.
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Totally need a loch ness !
For those who like their kitchen to look like something Willy Wonka might cook in, here's another adorable alternative to the boring spoon you've been using to serve soups and sauces. Designed by OTOTO to look eerily reminiscent of what we assume the Loch Ness monster looks like, this adorable Nessie Ladle is far less intimidating.
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This article could be entitled "Why Go Is Good" and it would still make sense. Go's lack of features is it's biggest feature.

It's like how if you want a clean house you must necessarily throw away a lot of things that have utility, because everything has utility. Everything also has a cost. Simplicity may be a multifacted thing but Go's version of it, from my limited experience, is very nice.
 
I pretty good summary indeed.
Blog. Why Go Is Not Good. I like Go. I use it for a number of things (including this blog, at the time of writing). Go is useful. With that said, Go is not a good language. It's not bad; it's just not good. We have to be careful using languages that aren't good, because if we're not careful, ...
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+Shane Stephens I wouldn't say that Go is "better" than C. By now C is a legendary language, and it's not really a question of whether it's good but more whether one can appreciate it (much like Shakespeare). To suggest a change to it seems like sacrilege.

And new languages are never quite meant to replace old languages. Go is not a C replacement (for one thing it's garbage collected), but if I was going to write a web server I would vastly prefer to write it in Go if for no other reason than the niceties of such a modern environment (go build + go test instead of handwritten Makefiles and nothing? Yes please!).

With C you can do basically anything if you're willing to put enough work in. That's part of what makes it great. Sure, you can have multiple implementations of .h files, but that's a very unwieldy way of doing things - how does one implement such an interface multiple times in the same file? Or access different implementations at the same time? Having to mess with the link-time properties, which are outside the language and therefore subject to the particular environment you're working in, is a categorically worse pain than any solution inside the language.

+Matt Giuca I am no expert on C++ exceptions, but I don't think that's half the point of RAII. RAII is a beautiful idea and in fact probably the best part about C++, but that's coming from me who (you're right) has never thrown a C++ exception in his life, so I would disagree that without exceptions you lose "most" of the value of it. I can see that RAII would make being exception safe a lot easier and that's nice, but the real value of RAII is that it allows one to be explicit about ownership, which is such an important concept and one that it is very gratifying to be able to be explicit about.
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  • University of New South Wales
    Computer Science, 2004 - 2007
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    Programmer, 2007 - present
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Fine - good size room with lights and air con that aren't key-operated, close to the station and the famous Shimaname highway / cycling route.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Great food and great service! Very friendly wait staff and the Malawa is delish. Would eat again.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
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