enjoying salad since 1978.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Instead of lining up like dorks for the Panther release, Stacy and I travelled many blocks through Berkeley to see the Slackers. They played two long sets! That's 3 hours of Slack. I don't know how they did it, they're warriors. Apparently this is their schtick for the tour.

You should check out some of their tunes.

I gotta say, my least favorite part of any Slackers show are the spazzy white kids trying to dance while I'm trying to enjoy the music. Even the superior rhythms of this great band could not salvage these pathetic attempts at dancing. They really should just give up. I have.

Stacy has a write-up.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Did you know that Parrot has a simple FORTH implementation inside of it? Every developer eventually realizes that the thing his favorite language needs is another language embedded inside of it. Some people discover this sooner than others.

Update: Some people think I've misread Dan's post. They think FORTH is simply one of the languages implemented in Parrot. But what I think he's doing is implementing complex Parrot instructions as FORTH, since doing so in FORTH is so low cost (for example: you don't pay anything for a subroutine call beyond the jump cost).

Fearless Leader of Google Engineering, Wayne Rosing has a really good interview in this month's ACM Queue. I'm one of the (very?) few engineers in Google without at least a bachelor's degree. When we were being acquired, Wayne said that my lack of a degree didn't matter because 1) it was obvious that I could do my job since I had already done it, and 2) he didn't have a degree, either.

That made me glad to be joining.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Speaking of IEEE 754, this morning I read the paper "How Java's Floating Point Hurts Everyone Everywhere". They take a pretty vituperative view of Java's inaccurate floating point arithmetic being passed off as proper 754. I agree; Sun ignored their whole army of numerical experts (who've implemented 754 in both hardware and software) in building Java and it shows everytime I want to catch a 754 Exception (not the same as a Java exception) but end up having to write tons of spaghetti code to "guarantee" that I wouldn't have to trap any of the 754 Exceptions.

This paper's an interesting read.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Here's a wierd collision of worlds: Richard Fateman, one of the authors of Common Lisp and IEEE 754 (the standard on binary floating-point arithmetic), is the father of Johanna Fateman from Le Tigre.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Hey, more cool jobs!

New Look. You like?

Here's a solid discussion regarding threat models and how protocol designers fail in the face of invalid assumptions. It touches heavily on themes found in Eric Rescorla's paper, The Internet is Too Secure Already, which I had the priviledge of recently hearing in person. His talk was refreshingly anti-Fear Peddling. He even made mention of a point too often glossed over; E-commerce is a success not because SSL is so great but because you have limited liability from credit card fraud. [via zooko]

Monday, October 13, 2003

My high school's math curriculum was really poor. The school barely offered advanced algebra. But I never thought that my hillbilly classmates would have a 10-year reunion after only 9 years. 1995 + 10 = 2004?

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Jason Bergman wrote in to tell me his view on Valve and the Quake license:
Valve actually still has a full Quake engine license.

During the development of HL2, this allowed developers to start building levels while the engine itself was still in production. They then slowly replaced parts of it with the new engine.

I don't know what this means for licensees, but I imagine Valve's got some special deal with id. id has profited greatly from Valve, so I would imagine they bent over backwards for them.

For the record, I do feel bad for the Valve team but I think we're all getting our due dessert for not caring much about operating system security. Perhaps what we're paying for is the belief that 'security' is antipodean to openness. Or maybe people were just lazy and wanted to write word processors quickly. It's easy to criticize now, I'm safe to theorize about any ideal system that I might like to see. Too many engineers like to criticize with hyperbole instead of sitting down and building a new system or even give useful, non-obvious, suggestions. You have to watch out for those hyperbolizing engineers. The amount of bitching an engineer does negatively correlates to his ability to fix said problem. Put another way: Effective engineers build. Ineffective engineers complain.

Capability Security discipline teaches us that enforcable security is a side effect of good user experience (if I may be allowed to reword the 30,000 ft overview).

Friday, October 10, 2003

I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited by this. Congrats Biz!

She also tosses her cookies. (caution: gross story)

Monday, October 06, 2003

She loves cookies!

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Uh oh!! The Half-Life 2 source, leaked the other day, apparently has references to Quake source, which was released under the GPL. Now, id will sell anybody with enough money a Quake license, and the original Half-Life did have a license but it's been well touted that Valve's new game engine for Half-Life 2 (called Valve Source™) would be entirely non-derivative since they want to license their work to others and make a large pile of money.

At least one game has already been sold a license to Valve Source™

So, if Valve did not license Quake from id, does that mean they've implicitly agreed to use the GPL'd version? That would make Valve Source™ GPL'd. If so, does that mean that under section 3b of the GPL, that all we need to do is request the souce from Valve and they'll be required by law to give it out? I know that's legally dubious at best. I'm just curious.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Google for Governor. [via eric]