Four short links: 5 August 2020
Tales of the Autistic Developer – Senior Developer — Interesting article from a senior developer with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They talk about the problems it causes, how they solved each problem, and how those problems even became strengths. You can’t read this and not have more empathy for neurodiverse programmers. NyanSat: The Open Source LEO […]
O'Reilly Radar | 05-Aug-2020 13:21

Radar trends to watch: August 2020
I thought July was going to be a dull month, but I’m wrong again. COVID-specific technology seems to be drying up, though there’s a fascinating report about a DIY vaccine. (Developed by serious scientists, so don’t try this at home.) There’s a lot of news about AI, and specifically, about the GPT-2 and GPT-3 language […]
O'Reilly Radar | 03-Aug-2020 13:33

Four short links: 31 July 2020
Migrating a 40TB SQL Server Database — A horror story to tell around the campfire. I was struck by the observation in this Hacker News comment that It’s typical that a log will be accessed zero times. Collecting, aggregating, and indexing logs is usually a mistake made by people who aren’t clear on the use […]
O'Reilly Radar | 31-Jul-2020 13:33

Four short links: 30 July 2020
Turning the IDE Inside Out with Datalog — tl;dr: I made a prototype IDE in which language semantics are specified in datalog, powered by a datalog interpreter written in TypeScript, running the browser. Demo here. Luckysheet — Open source web spreadsheet. Introducing the Model Card Toolkit for Easier Model Transparency Reporting — Model Cards […] […]
O'Reilly Radar | 30-Jul-2020 13:19

Four short links: 29 July 2020
The Golden Rule of Software Quality — Prefer to push fixes upstream instead of working around problems downstream. That is to say: if you find a shortcoming in a package you use, then you should fix it and contribute your fix to that package. Don’t simply workaround it in your code. The Coining of the […]
O'Reilly Radar | 29-Jul-2020 13:27

Bringing an AI Product to Market
The Core Responsibilities of the AI Product Manager Product Managers are responsible for the successful development, testing, release, and adoption of a product, and for leading the team that implements those milestones. Product managers for AI must satisfy these same responsibilities, tuned for the AI lifecycle. In the first two articles in this series, we […]
O'Reilly Radar | 28-Jul-2020 14:33

Power, Harms, and Data
A recent article in The Verge discussed PULSE, an algorithm for “upsampling” digital images. PULSE, when applied to a low-resolution image of Barack Obama, recreated a White man’s face; applied to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it built a White woman’s face.  It had similar problems with other images of Black and Hispanic people, frequently giving them White […]
O'Reilly Radar | 28-Jul-2020 14:20

Four short links: 27 July 2020
Tech Regulation — ‘Tech’, of course, has all of this complexity, but we’re having to work this out a lot more quickly. It took 75 years for seatbelts to become compulsory, but tech has gone from interesting to crucial only in the last five to ten years. That speed means we have to form opinions […]
O'Reilly Radar | 27-Jul-2020 13:34

Four short links: 24 July 2020
How Taiwan’s Unlikely Digital Minister Hacked the Pandemic — Taiwan and Audrey Tang occupy a unique spot in a world, where the ascendance of the internet and digital technology is marked by the twin dystopias of “post-truth” information chaos in the United States and China’s totalitarian, technologically mediated surveillance-and-censorship regime. With Audrey Tang as the […]
O'Reilly Radar | 24-Jul-2020 13:30

Four short links: 26 July 2020
As We May Code — why aren’t we — ostensibly the people writing software — doing more with AI in our day-to-day? Why are things like TabNine and Kite so often seen as curiosities instead of game-changers? If you take seriously the idea that ai will fundamentally change the nature of many occupations in the […]
O'Reilly Radar | 23-Jul-2020 13:18

Four short links: 22 July 2020
wiki.js — Portable open-source Javascript featureful wiki. Neural Embedding + Locality Sensitive Hashing for Logs — Our diff solution involves embedding each line into a low dimensional vector and (optionally “fine-tuning” or updating the embedding model at the same time), assigning it to a cluster, and identifying lines in different clusters as “different”. Locality sensitive […]
O'Reilly Radar | 22-Jul-2020 13:29

AI, Protests, and Justice
Largely on the impetus of the Black Lives Matter movement, the public’s response to the murder of George Floyd, and the subsequent demonstrations, we’ve seen increased concern about the use of facial identification in policing. First, in a highly publicized wave of announcements, IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon have announced that they will not sell face […]
O'Reilly Radar | 21-Jul-2020 13:42

Four short links: 21 July 2020
22 Principles for Great Product Managers — This list—pieced together over the past few years—reflects what I believe are some of the most important principles for product managers. Tempering Expectations of GPT-3 and AGI — When I was curating my generated tweets, I estimated 30-40% of the tweets were usable comedically, a massive improvement over […]
O'Reilly Radar | 21-Jul-2020 13:20

Four short links: 20 July 2020
A Bug-Sized Camera for Bug-Sized Robots and Bug-Sized Bugs — With a focus on small size and efficiency, they started with an off-the-shelf ultra low-power image sensor that’s 2.3 mm wide and weighs 6.7 mg. They stuck on a Bluetooth 5.0 chip (3 mm wide, 6.8 mg), and had a fun time connecting those two […]
O'Reilly Radar | 20-Jul-2020 13:14

Four short links: 17 July 2020
Matters Computational: Ideas, Algorithms, Source Code — Interesting book about how to do things at the low level. This is a book for the computationalist, whether a working programmer or anyone interested in methods of computation. The focus is on material that does not usually appear in textbooks on algorithms. It’s the kind of book […]
O'Reilly Radar | 17-Jul-2020 12:49

Four short links: 16 July 2020
Pseudogen — [open source] tool to automatically generate pseudo-code from source code. Implements Learning to Generate Pseudo-code from Source Code using Statistical Machine Translation and is written up in Pseudogen: A Tool to Automatically Generate Pseudo-code from Source Code. Exciting work for people inheriting codebases, and perhaps the first step in automated reasoning about code […]
O'Reilly Radar | 16-Jul-2020 13:18

Microservices Adoption in 2020
Microservices seem to be everywhere. Scratch that: talk about microservices seems to be everywhere. And that’s the problem. Thinkers as dissimilar as Plato, Robert Boyle, and Keith Richards tend to agree about one thing: Talk is cheap. So we wanted to determine to what extent, and how, O’Reilly subscribers are empirically using microservices. In other words, how long have people been using them? What […]
O'Reilly Radar | 15-Jul-2020 15:33

Four short links: 15 July 2020
Fixing Bugs Properly — Why did a fix that seems so simple when looking at the changes made take two days to complete? Good programmers leave things better than they found them. Data Structures and Algorithms I Actually Use — This article is a set of real-world examples where data structures like trees, graphs, and […]
O'Reilly Radar | 15-Jul-2020 13:19

Society-Centered Design
A World of Individuals Our world is on fire. For too long we have been complicit, maintaining the status quo. This must change. I’m writing this as we’re living through three pandemics. Covid-19, structurally enabled racism, and the climate crisis. Each of these pandemics make visible the ways that individuals fit into and contribute to […]
O'Reilly Radar | 14-Jul-2020 14:35

Four short links: 14 July 2020
Neutralizing Misinformation through Inoculation — We found that false-balance media coverage (giving contrarian views equal voice with climate scientists) lowered perceived consensus overall[..]. Likewise, misinformation that confuses people about the level of scientific agreement […] had a polarizing effect […]. However, we found that inoculating messages that (1) explain the flawed argumentation technique used in […]
O'Reilly Radar | 14-Jul-2020 13:20

Four short links: 13 July 2020
Too Efficiency — (Tim Bray) Think of efficiency as optimising for one variable. As anyone who has seen a greyhound or a dalmation up close knows, optimising for one aspect of a complex system can weaken other aspects. Tim cites software security, food, work hours, and others. The best optimisation advice I received was “never […]
O'Reilly Radar | 13-Jul-2020 13:21

Four short links: 10 July 2020
Notes on Splicing CRDTs for Structured Hypertext — It’s a great feeling, seeing everyone around you create beautiful 3D graphical masterpieces or fully complete web applications while you spend twelve hours a day struggling to read technical papers that you don’t even understand. This is what happens when you attempt to do things with CRDTs. […]
O'Reilly Radar | 10-Jul-2020 13:02

Automated Coding and the Future of Programming
At Microsoft’s Build conference, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott talked about an experimental project in which an AI, trained on code in GitHub, actually creates programs: it generates function bodies based on a descriptive comment and a message signature. (Skip to 29:00 of the video.)  Along similar lines, an unrelated research paper reports on unsupervised translation […]
O'Reilly Radar | 09-Jul-2020 15:06

Four short links: 9 July 2020
Avoiding Fallback in Distributed Systems — In this article, the focus will be on how fallback strategies can cause more problems than they fix. We’ll include examples of where fallback strategies have caused problems at Amazon. Finally, we’ll discuss alternatives to fallback that we use at Amazon. So You Want to Build an Observability Tool […]
O'Reilly Radar | 09-Jul-2020 13:22

Four short links: 8 July 2020
When Data is Messy — I love stories that illustrate the ways machine learning can draw the wrong conclusions. Researchers at the University of Tuebingen trained a neural net to recognize images, and then had it point out which parts of the images were the most important for its decision. When they asked it to […]
O'Reilly Radar | 08-Jul-2020 14:49

Four short links: 7 July 2020
eDEX-ui — a fullscreen, cross-platform terminal emulator and system monitor that looks and feels like a sci-fi computer interface. Announcing Microsoft Freta — Microsoft have a service for detecting evidence of OS and sensor sabotage, such as rootkits and advanced malware, in memory snapshots of live Linux systems. Placeholdifier — Turn any website into a […]
O'Reilly Radar | 07-Jul-2020 13:17

Four short links: 6 July 2020
Debubble — I like that people are trying software like this, to bring out our better angels. Parallel Programming in Multicore OCaml — A glimpse at how OCaml is handling parallelism. There’s a lot to learn from the paradigms of “weird languages”. Language Independent Validation Rules — Multi-language supported validation rules. The two languages that […]
O'Reilly Radar | 06-Jul-2020 12:43

Four short links: 3 July 2020
Open Differential Privacy — Open source software from Microsoft and Harvard. (via Microsoft’s announcement). Engineering Resumes — to help those of you looking for a new job in these uncertain times, here are some examples of what accomplishments look like for software engineers. These are oriented towards individual contributors (perhaps I’ll do an engineering managers […]
O'Reilly Radar | 06-Jul-2020 12:42

Four short links: 2 July 2020
Sweetviz — an open source Python library that generates beautiful, high-density visualizations to kickstart EDA (Exploratory Data Analysis) with a single line of code. Output is a fully self-contained HTML application. (via Mike Loukides) DrRepair — Code from this paper, which tackles learning to repair programs from diagnostic feedback (e.g., compiler error messages). Lightning Cables […]
O'Reilly Radar | 02-Jul-2020 13:31

Radar trends to watch: July 2020
News of the past month is dominated by COVID-19 and the #BlackLivesMatter protests. I’ve considered them both “disruptions” because they’re forcing us to re-evaluate how we deal with data, health, and so many other issues. Those are disruptions I can get behind. Disruptions: COVID-19 and #BlackLivesMatter The state of California has done an amazing job […]
O'Reilly Radar | 01-Jul-2020 13:51

Four short links: 1 July 2020
PyLance — Python language server for VS Code that brings type information, auto-imports, type-checking, and multi-root workspace support to Visual Studio Code. 50 Short Product Lessons — A set of short thoughts from John Cutler on different elements of product management. (via Twitter). Mozilla Updates its Voice Dataset — 54 languages, 7,226 total hours of […]
O'Reilly Radar | 01-Jul-2020 13:19

Four short links: 30 June 2020
Durable Teams — Rael Dornfest called this “project mindset vs product mindset”. If you’re in a project mindset, you spin up and wind down teams and codebases. If you’re in a product mindset, you have code that lives forever so you need a team to stick with it. Unmaintained code is a security and operational […]
O'Reilly Radar | 30-Jun-2020 13:24

Four short links: 29 June 2020
Why Does DARPA Work? — Absolutely the best thing you’ll read this month. A very lucid essay on what makes DARPA work. Resonates with everything else I’ve read and what I’ve heard from program managers. Secretive — open-source app for storing and managing SSH keys in the Secure Enclave. Break Up Google — Following on […]
O'Reilly Radar | 29-Jun-2020 13:33

Four short links: 28 June 2020
timecraft — synthesizing time lapse videos depicting the creation of paintings. Natural Language Processing Advancements By Deep Learning: A Survey — This survey categorizes and addresses the different aspects and applications of NLP that have benefited from deep learning. It covers core NLP tasks and applications and describes how deep learning methods and models advance […]
O'Reilly Radar | 26-Jun-2020 13:17

Four short links: 25 June 2020
Krita — a professional FREE and open source painting program. Made by and for artists, rather than attempting to clone Photoshop 4. Facial Recognition Leads to False Arrest — Civil rights experts say Williams is the first documented example in the U.S. of someone being wrongfully arrested based on a false hit produced by facial […]
O'Reilly Radar | 25-Jun-2020 13:28

COVID-19 and Complex Systems
In various mailing lists about the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve seen several discussions of “complex systems theory” as, possibly, a way to understand how the pandemic is playing out in different locations. Specifically: why have Japan and Hong Kong not experienced an explosion in cases, even though their governments responded poorly to the crisis? The argument […]
O'Reilly Radar | 24-Jun-2020 14:03

Four short links: 24 June 2020
You’ve Been Referred Here Because You’re Wrong About Section 230 Of The Communications Decency Act — Really good mythbusting piece about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (the piece of legislation that places the liability for online content upon the whoever created the content, not on whoever is hosting it). WireViz — a tool […]
O'Reilly Radar | 24-Jun-2020 13:38

Four short links: 23 June 2020
Work From Home Cybersecurity Course — Secure your home Wi-Fi; Strong passwords; VPNs; Protecting confidential information; Personal devices; Phishing. It’s quite basic, but I imagine there are many companies we know (not the ones we’re in, of course!) who need this basic info. There Is No (Real World) Use Case for Face Super Resolution — […]
O'Reilly Radar | 23-Jun-2020 12:16

Four short links: 22 June 2020
Root Causes — here are a set of “root causes” that I think are close to exhaustive: (1) trade-off: we were aware of this concern but explicitly made the speed-vs-quality trade-off (IE, not adding tests for an experiment). This was tech debt coming back to bite us. (2) knowledge gap: the person doing the work […]
O'Reilly Radar | 22-Jun-2020 13:08

Four short links: June 19, 2020
Tsunami — a general purpose network security scanner with an extensible plugin system for detecting high severity vulnerabilities with high confidence. From Google. Quotebacks — like a quote retweet, but for any piece of content on the web. They work on any webpage, and gracefully fall back to a standard blockquote. (via Matt Webb) Conferences […]
O'Reilly Radar | 19-Jun-2020 14:49

Four short links: 17 June 2020
Drive and Listen — Video of driving through a city, and you can flip through the local radio stations. Quite an impressive sense of place. (As I write this, I’m bicycling/scootering through Wuhan.) Veblenian Entrepreneurship — Veblenian Entrepreneurship. This is entrepreneurship pursued primarily as a form of conspicuous consumption. Aside from lowering average entrepreneurial quality, […]
O'Reilly Radar | 17-Jun-2020 15:48

Decision-Making in a Time of Crisis
In the 1996 cult classic film Swingers, two friends, Trent and Mike (played by Vince Vaughan and Jon Favreau, respectively) make an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. At the blackjack table, Mike gets dealt an 11 and Trent tells him to double down. Mike responds “What?!” and Trent replies “Double down, baby. You gotta double […]
O'Reilly Radar | 16-Jun-2020 19:20

Four short links: 16 June 2020
The Global Implications of “Re-education” Technologies in Northwest China — A great summary of the way that technology facilitates China’s Muslim “re-education” system in Northwest China. It feels like the 21C version of IBM helping the Nazis. Buf — A project aiming to make protobuf easier to use than JSON, by adding linters, breaking change […]
O'Reilly Radar | 16-Jun-2020 13:51

Four short links: 15 June 2020
Team Players: How Social Skills Improve Group Performance — Some people consistently cause their group to exceed its predicted performance. We call these individuals “team players”. Team players score significantly higher on a well-established measure of social intelligence, but do not differ across a variety of other dimensions, including IQ, personality, education and gender. Social […]
O'Reilly Radar | 15-Jun-2020 13:40

Four short links: 12 June 2020
OpenSHC — Syropod High-level Controller (SHC) is a versatile controller capable of generating body poses and gaits for quasi-static multilegged robots. It is implemented as a C++ ROS package that can be easily deployed on legged robots with different sensor, leg and joint configurations. Source Hacking — In this report, we identify four specific techniques […]
O'Reilly Radar | 12-Jun-2020 13:34

Four short links: 11 June 2020
Testing the Automation Revolution Hypothesis — 25 simple job features explain over half the variance in which jobs are how automated. The strongest job automation predictor is: Pace Determined By Speed Of Equipment. Which job features predict job automation did not change from 1999 to 2019. Jobs that get more automated do not on average […]
O'Reilly Radar | 11-Jun-2020 13:57

RSS and Atom feeds and forum posts belong to their respective owners.