I took the new bike out for a spin for the first time. I went a single lap around Greenlake, mostly because I didn’t really want to go for an extended ride. It is GREAT. Also, Greenlake sucks for bikes (pedestrians); I almost killed someone’s dog (darted out in front of me).
Finally done with another quarter. Now comes the waiting, the hoping and the gnashing of teeth.
In other news, I got stung by not having my project finished yet. I’ll be making it a priority to do over the break.
I hung out at Beer and Code after my last final today. It’s really awesome to spend time with people smarter than myself. I’m continually amazed at how much money makes things nice - the space was fabulous; I’m not quite ready to give my my miserly ways, but I’m starting to re-consider.
From the Natilus Institute: Mind the Gap Between Rhetoric and Reality
If the North Korean Peoples Army (KPA) were to start a doctrinal, conventional artillery barrage focused on South Korean forces, we could expect to see around three thousand casualties in the first few minutes, but the casualty rate would quickly drop as the surprise wears off and counter-battery fires slow down the North Korean rates of fire. If the KPA were to engage Seoul in a primarily counter-value fashion by firing into Seoul instead of primarily aiming at military targets, there would likely be around thirty-thousand casualties in a short amount of time. Statistically speaking, almost eight-hundred of those casualties would be foreigners given Seoul’s international demographic. Chinese make up almost seventy percent of foreigners in Seoul and its northern environs which means KPA might also kill six-hundred Chinese diplomats, multi-national corporation leaders, and ranking cadre children who are students in Seoul. Horrible, but nothing approaching “millions”. Three primary factors and three secondary factors account for the huge discrepancy between rhetoric and reality:
For a long time, now, I’ve come across articles like this one: Algorithms that design structures better than engineers
In the past, welding or other manufacturing techniques were impractical for making the full strength but oddly-shaped structures. The brilliant thing about using these algorithms now is that 3D Printing is finally making it possible for the designs to be realised.
By specifying the restrictions and load cases, we can produce parts that can support the same forces, yet use less than half of the material. The potential for this high performance parts in aerospace and sports is staggering and I’m fascinated how people’s perceptions of ruggedly designed parts will change because of it.
In theory, this is great. There’s only one fly in the ointment: 3D printed materials suck.
Scott Locklin explains it better than I could: Bad engineering journalism: reporting on “3d-printing of guns”
Nerds have this fantasy that solid printers will make them infinite open-source useful objects in … the future. This is the sheerest fantasy; a fantasy that can only be held by people who have never made a useful mechanical object in the workshop. Solid printers can make crude unassembled plastic parts; nothing else. No electronics can be made in this way. No assembled parts can be made in this way. Even if a home printer could print things of metal (this will never happen on a cheap home use basis as you need a very high power laser to melt metal powders), it will effectively be sintered metal, or sintered plastic-metal composites. That’s not the same thing as a machined piece of solid metal. It doesn’t have the same mechanical properties, and barring some preposterous breakthrough, it never will. Some parts will not ever be realizable with this sort of technology: for things like, say, a plastic simulacrum of a rifle barrel within linear tolerances, you’ll always need specialized machine tools.
I know. This is how most new year’s resolutions end.
I went to the UW career fair on Wednesday and Thursday. It was great. I was a bit intimidated by the number of people there on Thursday, but I think it went well. I even solved a coding challenge pretty well.
I think that priority 1 right now is to get as much of my personal project done as possible, and then submit resumes to the companies that told me to at the fair.
Then, it’s keeping up with homework, while boning up on interview stuff (there are some really, really good books out there on algorithms and data structures).
Chris Dixon has a great post: Samsung’s Predicament
Samsung’s predicament is: their current strategy succeeds only in the scenario where both (a) the industry stratifies, and (b) significant profits flow to hardware. Samsung seems to understand the improbability of (b), which is why they’ve been hinting at throwing serious support behind a new OS. Getting traction with a new OS will be difficult, to put it mildly. Google and Apple have vastly more experience making software and a huge head start with developers. Moreover, Google’s strategic position is even stronger today than Microsoft’s was in their heyday.
I have a mild issue with the way Chris phrases the second question.
2. If the industry stratifies, will the lion’s share of the profits go to the OS and application layers as it did for PCs?
This time, hosted by Facebook. These are all starting to sounds the same. Got some cool lewt, though - they gave out silly putty.
One thing I learned: before putting code on slides and presenting in front of lots of people, run i through a compiler and a few basic tests. No matter how basic the code. Seriously. The part of the presentation where the guy asked for “why won’t this code run” was brutal.
Went to an internship panel at UW today, hosted by the UW ACM. Getting an internship seems a lot less scary now. I really do need to get on the ball about getting a resume out, though.