My beef with Quora

Last year back when Quora was beta, someone pointed this Quora entry out. I explained why this guy was mistaken and let it lie. But, since a friend sent it to me recently, I guess people are actually using Quora (or something) and this deserves a response

The page being discussed is part of a larger article I wrote (and never finished) here. In the page linked, there are almost none of my opinions, but rather a summary of what was provided by Haiping during a briefing at Facebook. The outline of the page is as follows:

  • PHP has some inherent advantages as a programming language for web development.
  • PHP has some disadvantages (for Facebook). The biggest are:
    1. High CPU
    2. High Memory usage
    3. PHP components are not easy to integrate from outside
    4. Extensions writing is not the same as PHP coding
  • There were multiple attempts at Facebook to migrate from PHP but they failed: Mainly because an re-architecture team cannot keep up with the new code that is being written by the rest of Facebook—mostly writing new PHP code. The year before the presentation alone had 4 attempts at internal migrations
  • Improving the PHP core was done at Facebook and, in fact, received a lot of mileage, but this was not felt to be sustainable vs. HipHop solution.

Continue reading about my beef with Quora after the jump→

Swackett

I remember reading about this sort of site a while back, but I never realized how convenient and cool it is until I downloaded it from the AppStore.

Swackett basically gives you an idea of if you should be wearing a sweater, jacket, or coat (and sunglasses or a hat). In the drastic inconsistency of San Francisco weather, that means yesterday it was suggesting a jacket, and today, it says I should be dressed as a trekkie:

swackett® :: San Francisco :: might I need a sweater, jacket or coat?

Nothing fancy, just usable. You don’t have to even register unless you want to manage multiple locations.

This would make a great iPhone/iPad app also. Download swackett from the Mac AppStore

I can't wait!

Brian Shire's been a bad boy.
Tekrat tests the computer controlled vinyl cutter.

Tekrat wrote me today:

So TechShop SF is finally open so that means I can finish up a lot of projects I’ve been meaning to do. One on the list was this graphic I wanted to print up a while ago. Unfortunately the one I tried on my laptop was the only one that came out right today :-D Is the Macbook Air have the same as the Macbook Pro? As soon as I get my new blades I can cut another…

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Stacked Apples
iPhone 4, iPad, MacBook Air 13″, MacBook Pro 15″, MacBook Pro 17″

Must. Be. Patient.

Waiting for neologisms

Dreams are weird things. For instance, there might be a neologism that you understand implicitly—sounds like a definition your friends may make you read aloud in Urban Dictionary to corrupt you, But doesn’t even exist yet..

Here was a weird dream:

She says, “Things have gone a little stale in bed so I’m going to get him a Happy Pen.”

“Oh, what’s a “Happy Pen?” one asks

She rolls her eyes.

Later that day, they come across her boyfriend. “Hey, we heard she’s going to get you a Happy Pen.” they say laughing.

“Look,” he says with frustration. “It’s not just a happy pen. I mean there’s more to it that just that. Maybe an Olive Garden before that and a kiss afterward.”

“Oh, what’s an “Olive Garden”?”

(I”m surprised they aren’t in Urban Dictioanry. You’d think if there’s a Hefty Midget, there’d be these.)

This reminds me of college where I was a house waiter.

After serving dinner the w8rs used to sit at table, drink, and talk. The rule was nobody could leave the dining hall, unless everyone stood up at once. Since the excom was traditionally held by w8rs, most house business was informally handled at this time. The rest of it was frustrate your friends by keeping them from studying.

One of us would make up neologisms for novel sexual acts in the hopes that everyone else would get so offended they’d stand up.

In those days there was no Urban Dictonary; there was, however, the alt.sex FAQ.

After dinner he’d submit his made-up-shit to alt.sex.

He managed to get a couple of them in the FAQ.

In case you were wondering, the only surefire way to get every waiter to stand up at once was to fart. You precede this period of flatulence with an imperative pun. “Wait!”

“Wait!” someone yells.

(Everyone stops talking and pauses)

*PPPPHHHHHHHHBBBBBTTT!*

“Ahh geez!” (Everyone stands up at once.)

Voting yourself to oblivion

“My mom said she voted for anything that is going to lower her taxes.”

Great so your mom voted for Prop 19 which failed. But the other stuff? You realize that your dad is the only breadwinner in the family and he’s a government employee. When California is forced to submit a budget, and all alternate taxation and alternate funding resources have been closed, the first thing they’re going to do is lay off your dad (again).

It’s sad, but it’s the cold hard reality of those votes. I’m sure they’re going to enjoy the no new taxes when they’ve got no income to go along with it.

Yet another year where I voted with the losers on all but a couple propositions. Ironically, I’m one of the lucky few who doesn’t get touched by this voting stupdity. Heck, I never even had a joint.

Enjoy the consequences of your actions.

That camera? Do not want.

Heard on the radio:

Want a camera that is easy to use and takes good photos?

My first thought: No. Because it’s not the camera that makes the photo good, you do.

Good photos record a worthwhile experience; and those experiences are earned, not taken.

Look this way.
Look this way.
Morgan’s Apartment, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Leica M8, Zeiss Biogon 2.8/25ZM
1/16sec, ISO320, 25mm (33mm)

There are few small cameras harder to use (and slower) than a Leica.

“i like to poke things with my finger. tummies, ears and noses mostly. oh, and jello. jello is fun to poke. red jello. no, green.”
—Cyan. Always causing trouble.

Largest Ruby on Rails app?

Seen in a brochure at PayPal X:

LinkedIn uses Joyent infrastructure to run the largest Ruby on Rails app with over 2 billion monthly pageviews.

  • I thought LinkedIn was Java, when did they switch to Rails?
  • 2 billion monthly? When I left my last company, our (PHP) app was doing over 7 billion monthly, and wasn’t even in the top 10 PHP applications out there. Surely there are Rails apps bigger than that.

Toilet Paper Chicken

“Ahh,” a friend sighs to me. “I just had to buy some rolls of toilet paper!”

“That happens sometimes,” I reply thoughtfully.

“No, they’re for my place and I’m not even living there.”

“How did that happen?”

“My roommates ran the toilet paper down.”

“So why didn’t they get some?”

“Well I have two. One is leaving and using my bedroom; the other is just moving in and using the other bedroom.”

“Oh!… Umm?”

“Well I guess one figured since she’s leaving she doesn’t need to get new toilet paper. And the other figures she’s just moved in and shouldn’t be buying toilet paper either.”

“So they’re just playing a big game of chicken over the toilet paper?!”

“I guess so.”

(Roommates. I’m so glad I don’t have them. Can you imagine this game? The moment you “win” congratulations; you’re MacGyver now.)

A little about DxO Mark

Since there has been a lot of interest in this camera after previous posts, I wanted to mention that DxO published their rating of the Nikon D3100 sensor.

DxOMark - Compare sensors

This chart compares the new Nikon D3100 to the highest-scoring APS-C sensor (Nikon D300s) and full-frame sensors (Nikon D3s).

I’ve used DxOMark a lot in passing discussions, and a friend (and recent Nikon D3100 owner) last month mentioned, “I don’t know how to read this.” Whoops!

I had better explain what these values mean.

Continue reading a quick guide to understanding DxOMark after the jump→