Top Posts for April 15, 2018

H&R Block and Intuit Lobbying Against Simpler Tax Filing (2017)

Summary: “We anticipate that governmental encroachment at both the federal and state levels may present a continued competitive threat to our business for the foreseeable future,” Intuit said in its latest corporate filings .

Keywords: file, tax, free, bill, intuit

Full article on propublica.org | 601 Points and 203 Comments

ReactOS releases 0.4.8 with experimental Vista/7/10 software compatibility

Summary: Additional new features included in this release should also boost the user experience, such as the shell autocompletion brought to you by Mark, a nice bonus on top of the improved relative path handling done by Stanislav.

Keywords: reactos, fixed, work, ntfs, version

Full article on reactos.org | 476 Points and 227 Comments

Vipassana for Hackers [pdf]

Full article on github.com | 399 Points and 124 Comments

D3 in Depth

Full article on d3indepth.com | 357 Points and 38 Comments

Jupyter, Mathematica, and the Future of the Research Paper

Summary: Python libraries let me replicate everything I wanted to do with Mathematica: Matplotlib for graphics, SymPy for symbolic math, NumPy and SciPy for numerical calculations, Pandas for data, and NLTK for natural language processing.

Keywords: mathematica, proprietary, jupyter, open, notebook

Full article on paulromer.net | 299 Points and 165 Comments

A dive into the making of a 64K Intro

Summary: Hoping that his name would yield better results than merely “Artemision”, we followed up, and we immediately found the book he wrote in 1877, in which he reports not only descriptions and drawings of the temple, but also his eleven years journey to find the lost site, his negotiations with the British Museum to stay funded, his relations with the local workers and the diplomacy involved before randomly digging holes.

Keywords: code, light, music, make, data

Full article on ctrl-alt-test.fr | 296 Points and 55 Comments

Probability Theory for Scientists and Engineers

Summary: In an understandable desire to present concrete examples as early as possible, many introductory treatments of probability theory begin immediately with these representations only to end up muddling their relationship with the abstract mathematics that they are characterizing.

Keywords: probability, distribution, space, function, set

Full article on betanalpha.github.io | 257 Points and 24 Comments

The long, tortuous and fascinating process of creating a Chinese font

Summary: For JinXuan, Justfont is attempting to apply the feel of the Latin typeface Optima —which blends the simplicity of sans-serif fonts with the extravagance of serif ones—to the writing style they found on an ancient scroll.

Keywords: chinese, characters, fonts, font, character

Full article on qz.com | 254 Points and 146 Comments

The Price of Free Is Actually Too High

Summary: There are a few mentions of Zynga (which we were investors in) in the various article chain which caused me to reflect even more on the 2007 – 2010 time period when free-to-consumer (supported by advertising) was suddenly conflated with freemium (or free trials for enterprise software).

Keywords: facebook, free, propaganda, advertising, problem

Full article on feld.com | 253 Points and 162 Comments

It’s time to give Firefox a fresh chance

Summary: After spending some quality time comparing the actual experience of using Chrome, Safari, and Firefox across a variety of websites, I’m confident in saying browser benchmarks are profoundly uninformative.

Keywords: chrome, browser, firefox, safari, google

Full article on theverge.com | 249 Points and 184 Comments

Jolla is the last company with an ‘alternative’ mobile operating system

Summary: It could be a mobile device management framework, or an open VPN solution – mundane features to the average consumer, but critical for secure business communications.

Keywords: jolla, sailfish, platform, pienimäki, open

Full article on engadget.com | 237 Points and 103 Comments

What Erlang Taught Me About Distributed Systems

Summary: Like OTP, this API will ensure that the pods which are running are healthy based on their underlying deployment (very similar to a child specification in Erlang).

Keywords: erlang, distributed, kubernetes, otp, process

Full article on blog.kenforthewin.com | 225 Points and 46 Comments

Casino high-roller database stolen through a thermometer in the lobby fish tank

Summary: Robert Hannigan, who ran the British government’s digital spying agency GCHQ from 2014 to 2017, appeared alongside Eagan on the panel and agreed that hackers targeting internet of things devices is a growing problem for companies.

Keywords: devices, things, internet, cctv, systems

Full article on businessinsider.com | 206 Points and 65 Comments

A $76,000 Monthly Pension: Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash

Summary: Since then, two other retirees have surpassed him.Credit Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard, via Associated Press When he retired in 2010 as the university’s athletic director, the standard pension formula was applied to his salary, plus a share of the outside licensing fees and product endorsements the football program brings in.

Keywords: pension, oregon, school, system, state

Full article on nytimes.com | 190 Points and 253 Comments

Talk to Books

Full article on books.google.com | 184 Points and 35 Comments

Is sorted using SIMD instructions

Summary: Recently, I came across a function that checks whether an array is sorted, i.e. if there is no element which would be greater than its successor.

Keywords: generic, vector, input, elements, element

Full article on 0x80.pl | 171 Points and 65 Comments

You Can’t Do Data Science in a GUI

Summary: Or taking the question and “trying to make it sufficiently precise so that you can answer it quantitatively.” Wickham also advocates the use of visualization because it may surprise a data scientist or lead them to see something they didn’t expect to see.

Keywords: data, wickham, science, talk, scientists

Full article on blog.dominodatalab.com | 162 Points and 93 Comments

Thinning in brain regions important for memory linked to sedentary habits

Summary: The researchers found that sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of thinning of the MTL and that physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods.

Keywords: brain, sitting, researchers, sedentary, thinning

Full article on sciencedaily.com | 149 Points and 75 Comments

Proposal to restore a destroyed Ethereum contract

Full article on github.com | 146 Points and 159 Comments

The Artificial Intelligentsia

Summary: Raymond, the lead product developer, a linguine-thin Princeton grad with a permanent frown and an aversion to conversation, was in the middle of a speech about “ground truth” and “executive dashboards.” John interjected that what we really needed to do was “capture the mental models of our analysts, then put them into the system.” He gave the example of a protocol he and his “team” used to follow when he worked at Palantir, the company covered so offensively by “journalist” Will Alden.

Keywords: jim, company, intelligence, data, predata

Full article on thebaffler.com | 143 Points and 87 Comments

Kubrick found what he wanted by trying things out

Summary: ET When Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” emerged in 1968, after repeated delays (filming had begun in late 1965) and nearly doubling the original $6 million budget, it was greeted as something of a disaster.

Keywords: kubrick, odyssey, stanley, space, adler

Full article on wsj.com | 140 Points and 43 Comments

The Crystal Programming Language

Summary: Crystal has a dedicated syntax to easily call native libraries, eliminating the need to reimplement low-level tasks.

Keywords: crystal, type, syntax, system, compiler

Full article on crystal-lang.org | 134 Points and 63 Comments

A game of tag that’s been going for 20+ years

Summary: Some things we did early on we wouldn’t do now — like when Mike sneaked into Brian’s house at night, crept into the bedroom and woke him up to tag him, surprising the life out of him and his girlfriend.

Keywords: tag, game, tagged, funeral, year

Full article on kottke.org | 124 Points and 30 Comments

Giant coconut crabs feed on birds (2017)

Summary: Between January and March 2016, Mark Laidre of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire visited the Chagos Archipelago, a remote series of atolls in the Indian Ocean.

Keywords: crabs, coconut, laidre, crab, island

Full article on newscientist.com | 124 Points and 34 Comments

Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists Prepare for an I.P.O. Wave

Summary: SAN FRANCISCO — Jason Pressman spent Thursday morning cheering from the balcony of the New York Stock Exchange as shares of the software firm Zuora, which he backed in 2008, began trading.

Keywords: public, venture, investors, companies, capitalists

Full article on nytimes.com | 119 Points and 108 Comments

Autonomous braking: ‘The most significant development since the safety belt’

Summary: Image copyrightVWImage caption Reverse AEB protects against unseen hazards Adaptive Cruise Control ACC: unlike standard cruise control, this uses radar or cameras to maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front Reverse AEB: if you are about to reverse into a moving car or a pedestrian, this warns you and brakes automatically if there is no response Blind Spot Indication System BLIS: helps if you are about to move into the path of an overtaking vehicle, hidden in a blind spot Cyclist or Pedestrian AEB: a more sensitive AEB that can detect cyclists, pedestrians and some animals Lane Keep Assist LKA: uses a front-facing camera to track lane markings, it automatically corrects your steering if you stray into another lane Autonomous Emergency Steering: currently under development, it automatically steers you away from another car that is on track to hit your vehicle

Keywords: aeb, car, safety, standard, systems

Full article on bbc.com | 111 Points and 101 Comments

911 calls from chronically ill drop after Milwaukee community initiative

Summary: The Community Paramedic Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program began as a pilot project in the fall of 2015 after an analysis by the department revealed that 7% of the 62,763 calls for emergency medical services the year before — 4,288 responses — came from the same 100 people.

Keywords: care, department, health, paramedics, program

Full article on jsonline.com | 106 Points and 68 Comments

Rich Formula: Quant Trading (2015)

Summary: Overdeck, 45, and partner David Siegel, 54, run Two Sigma Investments, a little-known quantitative hedge fund firm that gathers seemingly random bits of information and tries to detect patterns that can be used to forecast the price direction of stocks and other securities.

Keywords: sigma, fund, overdeck, gao, siegel

Full article on forbes.com | 103 Points and 55 Comments

Avoid Google Maps with Gnome Maps on GNU/Linux

Summary: I was scrolling around the world, setting directions for how to cross Russia by foot (which let me tell you in case you ever wondered, should take roughly 60 hours, depending on locations used) in a matter of moments, and it really was quite easy to do.

Keywords: maps, gnome, google, linux, software

Full article on ghacks.net | 100 Points and 100 Comments

Cosmos is an operating system “construction kit”

Summary: Items of interest that are on our current task list include interfaces (necessary for foreach), file systems (partial support exists), threads, networking, and graphics.

Keywords: cosmos, operating, system, kit, studio

Full article on github.com | 97 Points and 27 Comments

In the Beginning Was the Command Line (1999)

Summary: Sometimes he would actually manage to get it running and then he would take us for a spin around the block, with a memorable look of wild youthful exhiliration on his face; to his worried passengers, he was a madman, stalling and backfiring around Ames, Iowa and eating the dust of rusty Gremlins and Pintos, but in his own mind he was Dustin Hoffman tooling across the Bay Bridge with the wind in his hair.

Keywords: microsoft, people, linux, windows, time

Full article on cristal.inria.fr | 95 Points and 13 Comments

Intel Compiler Intrinsics Guide

Summary: The Intel Intrinsics Guide is an interactive reference tool for Intel intrinsic instructions, which are C style functions that provide access to many Intel instructions - including Intel® SSE, AVX, AVX-512, and more - without the need to write assembly code.

Keywords: intel, instructions, style, functions, assembly

Full article on software.intel.com | 94 Points and 37 Comments

For $5k, Chevy Will Let You Assemble Your Corvette Z06’s Engine Yourself (2015)

Summary: And there’s something uniquely American about the whole idea: Whereas Porsche’s engine plant is populated by stoic professionals in pragmatic coveralls , any yahoo with a Z06 order form and five stacks in cash can barge in, grab a torque wrench, and start slingin’ together an LT4 .

Keywords: engine, build, won, experience, assembly

Full article on caranddriver.com | 85 Points and 52 Comments

Understanding Bitcoin Transactions

Summary: The protocol has spent 9 years evolving towards real world demands (transactions per second, ease-of-use), anonymity, centralization fears, and security requirements so what you see in the wild today is slightly different but backwards compatible (which is incredible) with the original v0.1 2009 release .

Keywords: bitcoin, transaction, public, transactions, script

Full article on jonathanotto.com | 84 Points and 12 Comments

Turn-of-the-Century Pigeons Photographed Earth from Above

Summary: In 1907, just a few years after the Wright brothers lifted off in Kitty Hawk, and while human flight was still being measured in metres and minutes, Dr. Julius Neubronner, a German apothecary, submitted a patent application for a new invention: the pigeon camera.

Keywords: pigeons, neubronner, birds, photos, camera

Full article on newyorker.com | 83 Points and 11 Comments

IBM 7950 Harvest

Summary: A scanned PDF version is on-line at 2 Samuel Simon Snyder History of NSA General-Purpose Electronic Digital Computers , pp 39–64, National Security Agency, 1964.

Keywords: harvest, system, edit, ibm, tape

Full article on en.wikipedia.org | 78 Points and 6 Comments

To opt out of Facebook’s tracking, I’m going to have to join Facebook

Summary: Then I got into tech, and privacy, and data protection, and I learned that you were throttling internet freedoms in developing countries, and letting random strangers see your users’ most intimate details, so I started becoming one of those paranoid people who uses a VPN all the time, and puts a scrap of torn-off Post-It note on their laptop camera.

Keywords: facebook, people, ve, don, question

Full article on wired.co.uk | 77 Points and 64 Comments

Zillow surprises investors by buying up homes

Summary: We continue to be focused on building technology to remove friction from the transaction through a world-class pricing model, a suite of vertically integrated applications, All-Day Open Houses, our Buyer Guarantee, and a few new productswe will be launching shortly.

Keywords: zillow, sellers, home, offers, instant

Full article on techcrunch.com | 76 Points and 88 Comments

Notation as a Tool of Thought (1979) [pdf]

Full article on eecg.toronto.edu | 73 Points and 7 Comments

Unit Economics (2015)

Summary: If you hold yourself to the standard of making a product that is so good people spontaneously recommend it to their friends, and you have an easy-to-understand business model where you make more than you spend on each user, and it gets better not worse as you get bigger, you may not look like some of hottest companies of today, but you’ll look a lot like Google and Facebook.

Keywords: companies, money, unit, economics, make

Full article on blog.samaltman.com | 63 Points and 9 Comments

Google’s guide for becoming a Software Engineer

Summary: Whether you’re a student or an educator, newer to computer science or a more experienced coder, or otherwise interested in software engineering, we hope there’s something for you here in Google’s Guide to Technical Development.

Keywords: computer, science, skills, google, resources

Full article on google.com | 62 Points and 4 Comments

Do adult human brains renew their neurons?

Summary: TWO papers with starkly contradictory conclusions, published three weeks apart, have reignited debate about whether adult human brains can grow new neurons.

Keywords: dr, neurons, hen, boldrini, brains

Full article on economist.com | 62 Points and 13 Comments

Cellular Automata Laboratory

Summary: This is a common way to invert the direction of simple reversible rules, so this button is provided as a shortcut to avoid having to resort to the Bit Plane Editor dialogue.

Keywords: rule, map, rules, webca, url

Full article on fourmilab.ch | 61 Points and 4 Comments

YouTube demonetized my tuba videos

Full article on arstechnica.com | 60 Points and 45 Comments

Reverse Engineering the Soundcloud API

Summary: Everything is working perfectly fine and as promised you have reverse engineered the soundcloud web app and figured out a way to download mp3 files.

Keywords: url, soundcloud, requests, media, file

Full article on pythontips.com | 52 Points and 6 Comments