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Garance A Drosehn
Works at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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Garance A Drosehn

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Very interesting
 
The formerly closed-source PDF code in Google Chrome is now officially the PDFium open source project, hosted on https://pdfium.googlesource.com.

By open-sourcing the Foxit’s PDF technology, the chromium team gives to developers a robust and reliable PDF library to view, search, print, and form fill PDF files. Therefore, if your next project is under the "New BSD License", I cannot recommend enough you go learn how simple it is to build¹ PDFium and see how Chrome uses² it internally.


¹ https://code.google.com/p/pdfium/wiki/Build
² https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/chromium/+/trunk/pdf/

Source: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/blog/?p=641
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Garance A Drosehn

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This looks like a good jump forward for battery technology.
 
So.... what do we think?
I am trying not to remember the times over the last 5 years  I've heard of breakthroughs in battery design and chemistry, but this one could just be different.
Have a look and let me know what you think.
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Garance A Drosehn

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Interesting.  Note that I still live in New York, so this doesn't effect me in any way.  Still, it's interesting how these things come about.
 
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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Does painting the shack count as an improvement? 
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Garance A Drosehn

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Something seriously hosed up in the internet today, at least for where I'm coming from to much of the net.
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Sigh.  This new format for gplus is pretty annoying.
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Ah, the setting to change it back is under "More", because of course the setting wouldn't be under "Settings", it would be listed along with all my other circle names.
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Pretty impressive photos.
 
A solar explosion sent solar radiation out from the sun this month at 900 miles per second, as seen in this image courtesy of SDO/NASA. See more of last week's best space photos: http://on.natgeo.com/RR1ZoK
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Garance A Drosehn

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While other countries in the world wrung their hands in despair about how they couldn't do anything...
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This is an interesting project to figure out the smartest way to handle the demand of a lot of a neighborhood having a lot of electric cars.
 
Electric Avenue | Fully Charged
The launch in the UK of the My Electric Avenue project. 
It's a scheme to test what happens when groups or 'clusters' of neighbours on the same feeder from the local electricity substation.
The technology being introduced will help power suppliers and the grid manage the increased use in electric vehicles.

http://myelectricavenue.info/
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Garance A Drosehn

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For many years I've wanted to see something like this for large parking lots.
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No way!  The panels should all be tilted south at an angle of the local latitude, rather than in the V configuration.   And it should not be done in places with non-coal power, and the money spent where there is lots of sun and the electricity comes from coal -- Arizona, Utah, New Mexico.
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As if there was much doubt
 
Not surprised: from the horse’s mouth: http://boingboing.net/2013/10/17/tsa-admits-terrorists-in-ame.html ‘TSA admits "terrorists in America are not plotting against aviation”’ #tsa    #securitytheater  
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Here's something to think about with all those nicely DRM'ed books you might buy for your kindle.  Those books can rapidly turn from being DRM'ed to being just plain "rm"-ed (the unix command for "removed").

To quote the author's belief of why Amazon deleted this person's account:  "I'd further speculate that the policy violation that Linn stands accused of is using a friend's UK address to buy Amazon UK English Kindle books from Norway."

http://boingboing.net/2012/10/22/kindle-user-claims-amazon-dele.html
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Garance A Drosehn

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As an inveterate Bruce Springsteen fan, I was tickled to notice this brief sight gag in a recent episode of Futurama.
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People
In his circles
212 people
Have him in circles
230 people
Kevin Boyle II's profile photo
Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven's profile photo
Greg Moore's profile photo
Paul Stewart's profile photo
Mike Jones's profile photo
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Senior Systems Programmer (printing, OpenAFS, ruby, etc)
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  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Senior Systems Programmer, 1977 - present
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Systems programmer, music aficionado, and general computer knurd.
Education
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Computer Science, 1975