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Monthly Archives: October 2009

What’s Wrong with the Culture of Wall Street? – TIME


Reflections of an Anthropologist on the Wall Street mindset. What’s Wrong with the Culture of Wall Street? – TIME Before this crazy crash of 2008, bankers always landed on their feet, almost always. Job insecurity isn't the same thing for the average American worker. They often experience downward mobility or don't land on their feet.

Moon rocks and a bit of math


Ran across a copy/article on extracting oxygen from moon rocks. The interesting bit: New Device Extracts Oxygen from Moon Rocks | Universe Today Fray anticipates that three reactors, each a meter high, would be enough to generate a ton of oxygen per year on the Moon. Three tons of rock are needed to produce a […]

First impressions – Google Wave


Basically, Google Wave is a full and natural merger of messaging, on the web. Before you say “oh, only that”, think this through. This is a pretty big deal. Put differently, this is messaging where: Conversations are a first-class concept, and each message is a part of a conversation. Each message can be presented by […]

PrinterJob.pageDialog() in Java is broken?


More specifically, the handling of margins, PageFormat, and the PrinterJob.pageDialog(PageFormat) seems to be broken. Fixing up an old Java desktop application for viewing old “green-bar” reports. Should be pretty simple – the reports are all fixed pitch text. Given I like to do things that “just work” (from the users perspective), I’d added live “smart” […]

Example – general purpose Trie in Java


Run across mention of the Trie data structure in a slightly random discussion. Had no notion of how performance of a Trie compares with the usual hash table, so wrote a general-purpose Trie implementation in Java (sources in an Eclipse project) with a bias toward performance. The results are not encouraging. From a test run: […]

Concurrency and threading is the new thing, again.


Tim Bray is writing a series of posts, taking a run at the concurrent programming problem, with a focus on languages. I think Tim is aiming in the right direction, but has his focus set at the wrong distance. There are good reasons to take a run at the problem. Physics is changing what we […]