Posted on Categories Computer Science, Expository Writing, OpinionTags , , , 3 Comments on On The Hysteria Over “The Cloud”

On The Hysteria Over “The Cloud”

On The Hysteria Over “The Cloud”


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The frenzy of anticipation and opinion about “The Cloud” is so intense and so pointless it becomes “parody proof.”
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Posted on Categories Opinion, RantsTags , , 4 Comments on Should your mom use Google search?

Should your mom use Google search?

Today’s question is: “should your mom use Google search?” It it is a good thing that Google has directly told us that their motto is “don’t be evil,” as their systems are subtle and difficult to evaluate.

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Posted on Categories Opinion, RantsTags , 2 Comments on Microsoft Store Again

Microsoft Store Again

Microsoft is once again going to try its hand at retail stores (for example see the following CNET article). From my experience I think this is going to be horrible. But it does not have to be- Microsoft (if it had the will) could produce a great store that is profitable and improves the world. Here is my quick history and wish list.

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Posted on Categories Finance, Opinion, RantsTags , 1 Comment on Thievery considered harmful

Thievery considered harmful

A bit of a tempest in finance news involving accusations of sensitive code stolen from a major trading desk. For emerging details see:

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Posted on Categories Expository Writing, Opinion, Public Service ArticleTags , , , 4 Comments on Public Service Article: JSTOR and other Useful Research Archives

Public Service Article: JSTOR and other Useful Research Archives

How do you get access to current and historical research articles if you are not affiliated with a university or large research organization? Our second public service article discusses some useful online research archives. Continue reading Public Service Article: JSTOR and other Useful Research Archives

Posted on Categories Administrativia, Opinion, Public Service ArticleTags , 3 Comments on Public Service Article: Back Up

Public Service Article: Back Up

This is a public service article encouraging all of us to back up our data (which more and more is our lives). I sketch some methods and resources for doing this.

As more of our life becomes digital (work, finances, passwords, pictures, contacts,dairies,videos and email) we must be more diligent in backing up our data. If your hard drive fails at work you might lose some spreadsheets (and you might not lose anything if your IT department is on their toes) if you computer fails at home you lose your wedding album. Your hard disk will fail and try to take all of your data (life) with it- it is a matter of when not a matter of if. You want this to be an inconvenience, not a disaster. Become expert at backing up and take the time to help others.
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Posted on Categories Mathematics, OpinionTags , , , , 1 Comment on The Joy of Calculation

The Joy of Calculation

I recently had the pleasure of finding a copy of the manual for my favorite calculator. I know it is incredibly nerdy to have a favorite calculator (and even more nerdy to read the manual), but it really got me thinking. Continue reading The Joy of Calculation

Posted on Categories Expository Writing, Finance, OpinionTags , , , ,

It is not all the quants’ fault.

There is plenty of blame to go around from the current global financial crisis. But, I would like to point out that it is not “all the quants’ fault.” We are all now, unfortunately, sitting in the middle of a high quality (and extremely expensive) lesson in financial mathematics. I would hate for some of the truly important points to be lost to paying too much attention to some of the shiny details.

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Posted on Categories Computer Science, Opinion, RantsTags , 1 Comment on Map Reduce: A Good Idea

Map Reduce: A Good Idea

Some time ago I subscribed to The Database Column because it would be fun to see what these incredible people wanted to discuss. We owe much of our current database technology to Professor Stonebraker and Vertica sounds like an incredible product. And I definitely want to continue to subscribe.

However, the reading experience is marred by some flaw in their RSS system that keeps marking the article “MapReduce: A major step backwards” as a new article. This causes the article to appear in my RSS reader every few weeks as “new.” This wouldn’t bother me too much except that the article runs so counter to experience that it is itself offensive.
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Posted on Categories Opinion, RantsTags 1 Comment on Something I don’t get about business and bailouts

Something I don’t get about business and bailouts

I don’t really know what the right answer to the $700 Billion Dollar Bailout Question is (I have not read the bill, and I wonder if the bill really describes what would happen). But the whole situation does remind me of a related question: is it really the end of the world if the “credit markets freeze?” It is a disaster if the equity markets tank for a period of longer than a year or so (prevents people from retiring and so on)- but I am not sure if all of the consequences we are being told really follow. Continue reading Something I don’t get about business and bailouts