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Lex Spoon
Works at Semmle
Attended Clemson University
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Lex Spoon

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A good checklist for anyone making the leap to GitHub. Be aware, you can always do a bad and cheesy conversion just to try it out, and then fix things up better later on.
In my last post, I inveighed against using git-svn to do whole-repository conversions from Subversion to git (as opposed to its intended use, which is working a Subversion repository live through a...
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If you scroll down, you can see "Examples of requests we encounter". I find it hard to see the logic of what does and does not get approved, much less how the requests that are approved are supposed to make a better kinder Internet. My gut feel is that a right to be forgotten is not nearly as important as a right to accurate search results. If someone has posted a libelous web page about you, then you should counter it with your own page. If something from your past is haunting you, then there are ways to address that, too.
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I guess that must be the idea, +Aaron Novstrup. The final web site might be out of reach, but Google is a single entity and so a sitting duck. But yeah, something seems strange about having people at Google decide things like this; if it really has to happen, you'd think it was a more judicial process, rather than something like the opaque app-store approval process.
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So true. Further examples would be: theory and graphics in the computer science department; computer games and compilers in industry; any form of music performance. As I think I remember +Joel Webber saying it, if you want to make a profit, look for the s$!t work that needs to get done but that no one else wants to do.
The tech site Engadget directed me to this article on Visual FX and CGI as a "must-read". What I found was one of the odder economics and business hypotheses I
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Absolutely true (though I owe the original insight to another Joel -- +Joel Spolsky). This helps explain low pay in game jobs, difficulty turning a profit selling compilers, and so forth.

If everyone wants to do it, then "it" is not going to be paid well. If you want to do it anyway, find something either sticky (e.g., effective branding, per the Dolby and Panavision examples in the article), or shitty (e.g., boring-but-useful integrations with other products).
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It often feels we are building the world's software on sand. The prevailing answers to writing JSP in a secure way are pretty miserable. They involve explicit, cumbersome calls to escaping constructs, and if you forget to call one, it's very hard to notice that you've become insecure. I don't fully understand how such a prominent system has such a major security problem for year after year; there are ways Oracle could fix this while offering an escape hatch for legacy code that needs to be kept running. Meanwhile, JSP has lots of competitors, and the majority of those competitors are safe against the most egregious XSS problems by default.
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After working with a few good managers, I would just say that "scoping" is part of any mature software development effort. It's one of those things that developers do other than write code.

In the given example, like Eric says, you can't just say, "I'm going to support conversion of arbitrary CVS repositories". You obviously don't want to spend a lot of time on converting a crufty old repository that nobody even cares about any more. Rather, you want to choose what inputs you support. It's a choice, and two key factors in that choice are how useful a given kind of input is to support, and how much work it will take.
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I also think it's worthwhile to try and characterize the sorts of problems that tend to drop you squarely in Zeno-territory.

I would propose that almost all non-trivial file-format conversions fall into this pit, for a simple-if-non-obvious reason: You almost never have as clear an idea what you're trying to do as you think, because in the edge cases "doing the right thing" is almost always undefined. Even converting raw, uncompressed images from one format to another produces edge cases that have no clear answer -- they support different ranges of bit-depth, different sorts of metadata, different color spaces, and so forth. You can easily spend ages trying to do the "best thing" for these conversions, yet still be left with cases where the "plugs just don't fit" and there's no good answer.
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Spark seems to be a big growth area for Scala. You really don't want to write map-reduce style code in raw Java.
A new survey from startups Databricks and Typesafe revealed some interesting insights into how software developers are using the Apache Spark data-processing framework. Spark is an open source project that has attracted a lot of attention — and a lot of investment — over the past couple years as a faster, easier alternative to MapReduce…
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Lex Spoon

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Uber is up there with Netflix, Google search, Wikipedia, and Fandango for taking something everyone does and making it better using the Internet. I'm sad to see it get so much opposition from various governments.

If you wanted to upgrade the taxi system to for modern technology, you'd want to heavily copy how Uber works. It's all based around your phone and around GPS, and all the payments are automated and tracked. Designing a new taxi system takes many years, though, so maybe--here's a challenging suggestion--maybe the best thing to do for now is just leave alone companies like Uber. Let them do their experiments, and let early adopters give them a try.
After days of violent protests and defiance on the part of Uber's French management, two of the company's employees were taken into custody for "illicit
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+Lex Spoon
Their French Managers are in Jail and they just showed close to a $500 million dollar operating loss...so.

Uber is easily the biggest Pump n' Dump since Enron IMHO. Riding a wave of "the government sucks" rhetoric to profits.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-30/uber-bonds-term-sheet-reveals-470-million-in-operating-losses
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Hmm, if a taxi driver drives off with your laptop, what realistic way do you have to find that cab again? With Uber, you have their license plate in your phone, a button you can click to call the driver, and another button you can click to contact Uber.

Uber's way seems safer.
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Neat stuff. The Git repository has 2000 commits. Clicking though to the underlying research papers, I see interesting progress on two important areas: garbage collection for actors that are no longer needed for a computation, and static checking that no two actors have a data race on the same memory.
 
Pony being discussed on Hacker News,  
news.ycombinator.com/news
news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9482483

The language described at http://ponylang.org.
Actor Model, Low Latency, High Performance, Programming, Capabilities, Data-race free
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Lex Spoon

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Nice try, Microsoft. I'm sure you've never heard of Chrome, and that's why you only list IE and Firefox as browsers one of your users might be using.
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Eh, even Microsoft stuff doesn't really use Silverlight anymore.
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Has anyone tried this package? Does it work reliably and easily? I'm wondering if it's worth the price tag compared to buying a good webcam and using individuals' laptops to join a Hangout. The latter would have the advantage of also being compatible with Webex.
Chromebox, plus everything you need for video meetings.
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I did not think they would really open source it. Neat.
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+Philippe Lhoste goggles build system is known to be very advanced, and for sure could help those millions of Java and C/C++ programmers out there to get much more productive.  I don't think MSBuild has similar functionality (reliable incremental and parallel builds , potentially using a distributed cache with 99% hit rate)

For an older description see
http://google-engtools.blogspot.de/2011/08/build-in-cloud-how-build-system-works.html
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Have him in circles
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  • Georgia Institute of Technology
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Software engineer at Semmle
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software engineer
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  • Semmle
    2012 - present
  • LogicBlox
    2012
  • Google
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We've always had good experience with Estes, both for repair and for sales. Thanks to Raymond, Patrick, and Jonathan for excellent repairs and installation, and thanks to Chris on sales for telling me what I need to know but skipping any hard-sell tactics.
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