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Garance A Drosehn
Systems programmer, music aficionado, and general computer knurd.
Systems programmer, music aficionado, and general computer knurd.

Garance A Drosehn's posts

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While everyone else is talking about iPhone6, ApplePay, and AppleWatch, here's one guy giving some technical details on why the actual live-streaming video was so abysmal:

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I try to be careful about how much I trust much to the clouds.
Any company (or person) who tries to be “efficient” by entrusting crown jewell data to the Cloud has got to be crazy.  Take this from Mark Anderson, one of the smartest tech-industry pundits:  “There are two chilling trends in Internet security that were underlined this week with the announcement by Hold Security of a Russian crime ring taking around 1.2 billion user names and password combinations from perhaps 420,000 different hacked websites. The first is a ramping of theft success on all scores, from personal IDs to nations stealing crown jewel intellectual property, which simply can no longer be tolerated if innovation and commerce are to continue.

“The second is a massive movement to cloud computing, driven by financial requirements rather than security requirements, at a time when our internal sources indicate that clouds have already been hacked.”

This is related to a point I’ve made since 1995… that everything leaks, sooner or later.  And we are better off making ourselves and our systems robust, able to shrug off and adapt to this inevitability, than whining and thrashing about, expecting the next “security” measure to work, at last. It is disparities in transparency that threaten the health of freedom, markets, science and civilization.

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Very very impressive image-processing.
First-person Hyperlapse Videos
Method for converting first-person videos, for example, captured with a helmet camera during activities such as rock climbing or bicycling, into hyperlapse videos: time-lapse videos with a smoothly moving camera.

Technical explanation here:

Via +Wayne Radinsky & +Matthew J Price 

#3DReconstruction   #gopro   #video  

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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

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.



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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 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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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.

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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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For many years I've wanted to see something like this for large parking lots.

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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