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Linkdump for July 1st

by Rob Friesel
  • Vlad Vekshtein:

    So how did the Ichneumon defeat the dragon, whose very reputation conjures up pictures of fair maidens and burning villages and hordes of gold? Why, it crawls inside of it of course!

    (tagged: monsters research )
  • Sneak preview of the IE11 "F12" dev tools. Doesn't look too shabby. (If you ignore the font rendering, which Microsoft seems to just stubbornly ignore. But whatever.)
  • Interesting puzzler of a post by Seth Shostak, writing for The Crux (a blog):

    So it seems that alien SETI researchers—the Klingons and Vulcans and whoever else is out there—could have spun their telescopes in our direction for billions of years without getting any signal (no intelligent life indeed). Yes, they might know that Earth was a kind and gentle world, blessed by air and oceans. And yes, they might have detected the oxygen in our atmosphere, and concluded that our planet has life. But intelligent life? They wouldn’t know, unless they’ve been monitoring the Earth very, very recently.

    Having read Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space pretty recently, I must admit to some shuddering grins.

  • Great piece by David Byttow (Medium), writing for Business Insider. The "human 302" line is clever, but I found myself nodding along to just about everything — for example: when to block something vs. when to help unblock something, how to make decisions, and _how_ it is just as important to say "no" to things as it is to help dig in and get things done. Bookmark this and refer to it often.
  • David Mosher, writing about Polymer and Angular, and Web Components in a more general way. In a nutshell he argues (as Yehuda Katz does) that library/framework designers serve the community better by focusing on the low-level APIs and letting the best ideas percolate up until they become part of the standards. I agree with this point — you can look at how this has worked out with Backbone (as he mentions) or go further back to jQuery and it becomes clear how these feedback loops are tremendous success stories. On the other hand: I wish people would stop dumping on Ember.js. There's a place for higher-level frameworks like it, too.
  • Colt McAnlis, writing at HTML5 Rocks. This is an interesting technique, but I can see a myriad of pitfalls, especially if you're not careful. Seriously: implementing your own memory management system in JS seems like a recipe in hubris. Why not look at your GCs and try to figure out what's happening in there. Maybe there are other optimizations you can make before you move to an object pool. (The object pools themselves smell a bit like a controlled or on-purpose memory leak.)
  • The opening paragraphs pretty much say it all:

    When a patient arrives at Bayonne Hospital Center in New Jersey requiring treatment for the respiratory ailment known as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she faces an official price tag of $99,690.

    Less than 30 miles away in the Bronx, N.Y., the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center charges only $7,044 for the same treatment, according to a massive federal database of national health care costs made public on Wednesday.

    Pretty intense.

    (tagged: health care )

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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