Self-Links: Isolation and Promotion

Nicholas Carr’s When links turn inward discusses Mark Coddington’s recent study, Building Frames Link by Link: The Linking Practices of Blogs and News Sites. Carr’s post is a good read, but in the following I refer directly to the study. Coddington analyzes the links in political articles drawn from three sample sets: Six big mainstream … Continue reading “Self-Links: Isolation and Promotion”

Java adds numbers really fast

Daniel Lemire has posted a tiny benchmark for a basic part of many numerical applications: a loop that sums up numbers in an array. The astonishing part is the performance of Oracle Java 7 which dramatically outperforms an older GCC version, and keeps up quite well with newer compilers! I tested the same code against … Continue reading “Java adds numbers really fast”

Simulated Life

Computational biology reached a milestone last week. Scientists at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute presented the first software simulation of an entire living organism, albeit an extremely simple one: the single-cell bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium. The simulation models M. genitalium’s metabolic functions and all of its 525 genes (for comparison, multicellular organisms can … Continue reading “Simulated Life”

Tektosyne 5.6.4 Released

Uploaded Tektosyne 5.6.4 with an embarrassing bug fix. The quad tree’s FindNodeByValue method threw a null reference exception on anything but very small trees. I didn’t notice for a long time since this method is used only during debugging… and I had plainly forgotten to call it in my unit tests. Both issues are fixed … Continue reading “Tektosyne 5.6.4 Released”

Microsoft Un-Connect

Microsoft Connect is where Microsoft pretends to listen to customer feedback. In my experience, you shouldn’t bother unless you’re helping Microsoft debug a beta product. On 26 October 2008, I reported a WPF exception handling defect in Visual Studio 2008 SP1 which still persists in VS 2010 SP1. Within the VS debugger, exceptions in WPF … Continue reading “Microsoft Un-Connect”

Minimal Programming

Some amusing links on minimalism in programming during the last three decades… Greg Lindahl preserved Ed Post’s classic 1983 manifesto, Real Programmers Don’t Use Pascal. Of course they didn’t use silly C either, like those modern wimps. Real programmers used FORTRAN IV. Real Programmers like Arithmetic IF statements – they make the code more interesting. … Continue reading “Minimal Programming”

Social Networks and Google+

Social networks are coming under scrutiny since Facebook’s take-the-money-and-run IPO. Michael Wolff observed that Facebook is doomed to push advertising at ever lower rates, using ever more annoying methods, to ever more reluctant users. LinkedIn severed its relationship with Twitter following the latter’s ominous threats to third-party clients, likely intended to preserve Twitter’s ability to … Continue reading “Social Networks and Google+”

Distrust Observational Studies

There is now enough evidence to say what many have long thought: that any claim coming from an observational study is most likely to be wrong – wrong in the sense that it will not replicate if tested rigorously. Thus opens the 2011 paper Deming, data and observational studies by S. Stanley Young and Alan … Continue reading “Distrust Observational Studies”

Letters with KOMA-Script

The comprehensive LaTeX package KOMA-Script comes with a fairly powerful letter class, scrlttr2, that offers a broad variety of predefined variables and layout positions for window envelopes. Sadly, unlike KOMA-Script’s default layout for normal documents, the default letter layout is rather ugly. The recipient address field is too close to the edges of the envelope … Continue reading “Letters with KOMA-Script”

Fixing Windows Programming

Microsoft’s transition from the open Win32 desktop to the closed WinRT app store will alienate many Windows developers… but maybe that’s a good thing. Today I found yet another commercial Windows application – Postbox, an e-mail client from the original Thunderbird team – that’s completely oblivious to high DPI mode. Random GUI elements are hardcoded … Continue reading “Fixing Windows Programming”