Are you a DHTML ninja? Do you try to make tip of tree webkit builds break and grind to a halt just for fun? Remove properties and methods from objects just to see what it does to Chrome’s V8 performance? Is the CSS box model second nature? If so, does it hurt you deeply? Do you optimize your DOM manipulation based on what will cause reflow (and curse when reflow happens when it shouldn’t)? Have you read both of Souders books? What JS libraries do you use to manage cross browser issues, and why did you choose it/them over the other options? What do you think of GWT?

I need a couple of DHTML ninjas to join my team working on some new stuff at Yahoo! We’re pushing lots of boundaries on web, desktop, and mobile products. This position is focused on front end client side code, but we’ve got the ability to tailor the server side to reach our goals.

Ping me if this sounds like something you or someone you know might be interested in!

FPGA that doesn’t use a global clock, but rather “message passing” in hardware to achieve synchronization.
“The tale starts with one of the less popular approaches to asynchronous logic: two-wire signaling with a separate acknowledge wire, also known as three-wire asynchronous logic. (A big hint toward what Achronix architects have been up to appeared in IEEE Computer Society transactions in 2004.) In this system, when a logic gate creates an output, it codes the 1 or 0 on two separate pins. That allows for three active states: 1, 0, and no-signal. The next gate in the net is designed to wait until the no-signal states of all its inputs have turned into unambiguous 1s or 0s before acting. Once the gate has satisfied its hold time, it sends an acknowledge signal back up the net to the sources of the inputs, allowing them to move on to their next state.

In this way an entire logic net is self-timed. Signals propagate through the network limited only by wire delays and the time it takes each logic element to actually do its work. As soon as all of the inputs have arrived at a LUT and it has received Acknowledge signals from all the inputs it fans out to, it will look up the correct output and transfer it to its output pins, and signal the LUTs that created the input signals that they need wait no longer. The effect is similar to a technique known as wave pipelining that allows pipelines to operate without the use of internal latches.”

The problem of tag divergence is being addressed by an approach between full on semantic web ontologies and open ended tagging. Actually there are ontologies behind this, they’re just hidden from mortal eyes.

“Let’s suppose you uploaded some pictures of a trip to New York City to an online account. Do you tag them “New York City,” “NYC,” “newyork,” or all of the above? How do you know your content will be correctly identified and related to other content on the web? And if you come across the tag “Tesla,” how do you know whether it refers to the scientist, the car company, or the band?

According to the Common Tag website, “The Common Tag format was developed to address the current shortcomings of tagging and help everyone – including end users, publishers, and developers – get more out of Web content. With Common Tag, content is tagged with unique, well-defined concepts – everything about New York City is tagged with one concept for New York City and everything about jaguar the animal is tagged with one concept for jaguar the animal. Common Tag also provides access to useful metadata that defines each concept and describes how the concepts relate to one another. For example, metadata for the Barack Obama Common Tag indicates that he’s the President of the United States and that he’s married to Michelle Obama.”

Don’t complain about the future not having jet packs, it does and they’re at the race track

I won on, and it was completely random.

I spent a week exploring and I thought I’d share the experience. For the game theory and strategy geek in me Swoopo has been a fun round of “what-if” and few experiments to test my theories. For the business model geek in me, Swoopo is staggering; It is a legal ponzi scheme! For the human behavior geek it is fascinating and depressing to watch people playing something that is so clearly a ponzi scheme, and playing it poorly. For the programming geek it was a depressing week as the bots that infest the site are pathetically bad; I watched one out bit the retail value of an item by almost 50% and at the end the site proclaimed the 0% savings, apparently not programmed to think anyone would go negative on an auction. A conspiracy theorist might think the bot was run by Swoopo itself and I’m just underestimating how evil they are.

The punch line is that I won an auction and saved a bunch of money so I should be happy right? Well, after much investigation I think it was a random accident, one of the many failures of Swoopo’s technical implementation, not any strategic approach I used. Under certain situations, like an auction ending, the performance of the site becomes highly erratic. Bids will register tens of seconds late, or not at all. Their own bid reporting will fail to report all bids and get swamped. I saw one auction where the winner was reported as having zero bids. Suffice to say that this sort of behavior is Bad (TM) to begin with, but in a site where you have to pay to bid it is unacceptable.

I tried to share this feedback with Swoopo, but their support email address bounces! Perhaps I’ll never see that won item…

This is interesting stuff

Microsoft posted a concept video for 10 years out.

The bit with the guy holding a part and there is a heads up augmented overlay of the part? Yeah, already been deployed years ago in auto shops at least once with a red laser only retinal scan. Also deployed on the 777 assembly line to help figure out wiring.

The guys from 280North are crazy, Objective-J wasn’t enough, Cappuccino wasn’t enough, oh no, they’ve gone and ported all of XCode and Interface Builder into the browser!

Old saying: A scientist would rather use someone else’s toothbrush than another scientist’s nomenclature. This is true in most professions, we all have our own terminology, so tags inherently have a translation barrier. One person’s filing system may work for them but not for others.

I can hear the retorts now; Cooccurance analysis! Topic clustering! This gets back to traditional IR again and we really haven’t made much progress making search results more fuzzy. This does not provide the same affordances as ontologies, schemas and mappings, or even duck typing if you want to look at it through the object type system lens.

If you look at most of Google’s architecture, tools and systems from a high enough level you realize that it is all a designed around the concerns of latency (and expected failure, but this post is about latency). Latency in networks, in disk reads and writes, from main memory to CPU, you name it. A handy chart that keeps me awake at night:

Relative Data Access Latencies, Fastest to Slowest
CPU Registers (1)
L1 Cache (1-2)
L2 Cache (6-10)
Main memory (25-50)
—- don’t cross this line, don’t go off mother board! —-
Hard drive (1e7)
LAN (1e7-1e8)
Floppy, CD-ROM (1e9)
WAN (1e9-2e9)

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