Archive for October, 2009

Conan O’Brien talks to the co-creator of USB (Ajay Bhatt) on The Tonight Show

October 10, 2009 10:03 pm

This is funny, and the t-shirt is great.  I’m a little disapointed Intel didn’t use the real Ajay Bhatt in their comercial though.

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Codeplex – Free Software or Freedom? I can live with Free ($) Software…

October 5, 2009 10:30 pm

With Microsoft, the company that vilified the Open Source movement, running CodePlex, I was skeptical.  (I still am..)  Naturally the Free Software Foundation (fsf.org) is pretty curious about their intentions too.  See  my commentary, but make sure you read the whole article.

Many in our community are suspicious of the CodePlex Foundation. With its board of directors dominated by Microsoft employees and ex-employees, plus apologist Miguel de Icaza, there is plenty of reason to be wary of the organization. But that doesn’t prove its actions will be bad.

OK, so they are using the word apologist, thats a little bit nicer than traitor.  Stallman really made himself out to be a bit of an asshole.  He caused a pretty big schism in the Open Source world with that one, it was a very polarizing statement, and I’m pretty sure I’m siding with de Icaza.  The guy contributed a ton to the free software community, and the open source community, and is trying to create an open source community on the Microsoft side.  I am now a Microsoft developer by profession, not really by choice, but if someone is developing an open application on a Microsoft system, you cant ostracize them. (I’m actually developing closed source applications now, so you can rip away at me I guess..)

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How did Paul Krugman get it so Wrong?

9:42 pm

I remember reading this article when it was published in the times.  Paul Krugman really did come off as a bit of an ass.  I have a bit of an Economics background and many of his points were way off the mark.  Here is John Cochrane’s response (he was misquoted in the article, and picks it apart pretty well).  Maybe next time Krugman will be a bit more careful with is article.  It is easy to rip apart the current system, but unless you suggest something else, you are just blowing hot air.  It reminds me of when I was in college and misquoted an essay.  I was pretty much ripped apart by a professor (rightfully so), and I now am very careful about making sure I dont misrepresent people with their quotes out of context.  Maybe Krugman will learn..

Many friends and colleagues have asked me what I think of Paul Krugman’s New York Times Magazine article, “How did Economists get it so wrong?”

Most of all, it’s sad. Imagine this weren’t economics for a moment. Imagine this were a respected scientist turned popular writer, who says, most basically, that everything everyone has done in his field since the mid 1960s is a complete waste of time. Everything that fills its academic journals, is taught in its PhD programs, presented at its conferences, summarized in its graduate textbooks, and rewarded with the accolades a profession can bestow, including multiple Nobel prizes, is totally wrong. Instead, he calls for a return to the eternal verities of a rather convoluted book written in the 1930s, as taught to our author in his undergraduate introductory courses. If a scientist, he might be a global-warming skeptic, an AIDS-HIV disbeliever, a creationist, a stalwart that maybe continents don’t move after all.

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Paul Graham at Startup School 08

October 4, 2009 6:09 pm

I’m a big fan of Paul Grahm and YCombinator (gotta love Hacker News).  He is the man when it comes to startups.  Here is a great video from Startup School 2008:

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Paul Graham at Startup School 08 | Omnisio.

Bloomberg Uses GPUs to Speed Up Bond Pricing by Wall Street & Technology

October 3, 2009 12:57 pm

I came across this article this morning and was thinking about other applications of offloading computations to the GPU.  I previously looked at the PS3, and the possibility of an Erlang cluster of PS3s; the problem was the lack of RAM.  That killed it for the PS3, to run enough green processes, Erlang’s memory requirements would have saturated ran and paging would kill performance.  On a high end GPU there is a bunch of RAM.  I’ll look into CUDA and potential Erlang ports to CUDA.  I guess another possibility is dispatching semi complex jobs using Erlang, that way you inherit the error processing capabilities of Erlang and then dispatching jobs written in CUDA to the GPUs (Or maybe I’m just over engineering a solution to a problem I don’t have).

A programmer on Edwards’ staff suggested trying to run the models on graphics processing units (GPUs). (GPUs or graphics cards are specialized chips that run inside PCs to display 2D and 3D graphics. They tend to contain hundreds of floating point processors that are good at handling mathematically intensive and parallel processes such as Monte Carlo simulations.) The programmer ran a proof of concept in March 2008 using the cash flow generation part of the algorithm and showed a dramatic increase in performance. That programmer now runs the team of technologists that work on the bond pricing system.

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