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Comment Re:or sqlite (Score 4, Informative) 241

The default configs for postgres are set for a fairly small memory usage profile (*), which is fine if that's what you need (e.g. tiny vm or something that makes it a huge production to raise things like max shm size), but if you have sufficient ram, you can crank a hell of a lot more performance out of the engine by making the configs less conservative. This page is a good start:

Not that it's a priori *wrong* to run with the defaults, it'll still work just fine, but once you start having significant traffic or complicated queries you'll be happier if it more fully uses the system resources available.

(*) It's been a good while since I last had to take a pg instance from stock and tune it, but I very vaguely recall the default settings were on the order of a eight megabytes of ram usage.

Submission + - Linode hacked, CCs and passwords leaked 6

An anonymous reader writes: On Friday Linode announced a precautionary password reset due to an attack despite claiming that they were not compromised. The attacker has claimed otherwise, claiming to have obtained card numbers and password hashes. Password hashes, source code fragments and directory listings have been released as proof. Linode has yet to comment on or deny these claims.

Comment Re:Well this sounds totally scalable (Score 1) 62

(assuming it really is a great school, which I have serious doubts)

For what it's worth, Cornell is currently ranked something like fifth in the US(*) in terms of their computer science department, and the Technion is hardly a degree mill either. I don't know what their hybrid programs are going to be like, but at least the source departments seem solid. Admittedly, rankings are largely bullshit and the student guarantees far more of outcome than the institution, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that the "Stanford/MIT/CMU/UCB/Cornell" group is good-to-great.

(*) source:

Comment Re:While I like the idea (Score 4, Informative) 180

Hahahaha. Have you ever visited NYC, let alone lived there? Getting a cab can be a pain in the ass even in mid-town. "Oh, look the 500th fuckin cab that's full or off duty! Might as well stand here with my arm in the air for another twenty minutes like a fucking tourist!"

The MTA may get you where you want to go, but might take two hours to do it. JFK to BX w/out MNR, anyone?

Seriously tell me hailing a cab is easy after you've tried to do it while standing in the snow an hour after bars close and you don't want to take three more God-forsaken hours to get home to an outer borough shithole apartment that costs $waytoofuckinmuch... Not that I'm bitter. :)

Comment github and bitbucket have issue trackers (Score 2) 221

For what it's worth, there are issue trackers offered alongside even the free levels of both github and (which lets you use both git and hg). Bitbucket's free tier even lets you have a private repo if your source needs to be private (issue tracking and wiki instantiation are configurable via admin there, and should be offered as part of project repo creation). This way you get source control for your personal work as well as an issue tracker. ;)

I vaguely recall that Sourceforge also has some sort of bug tracker as well, if you'd rather use cvs/svn. (It's been a long time since I looked in that level of detail at SF though, so ymmv.)

All of these are "cloud" (blech) solutions that don't require any server setup on your part. If you aren't familiar with source control, that's kind of another matter, but there are quality GUI clients for OSX for most of the common protocols and cvs, svn, git, and hg all have reasonably good documentation publicly available in various forms.

Comment Re:Just keep in mind the tradeoff (Score 5, Informative) 556

The public drug companies are required to file financial reports with the SEC, which generally detail their budgets (at least to a sufficient level of granularity for this discussion). EDGAR is one avenue of getting at them (10-Q for example for quarterly reporting). But yeah, he's not lying, R&D expenditures are not the majority line item for most large pharmaceutical companies. If anything, Big Pharma has been on the whole aggressively cutting R&D over the past few years.

Just for one concrete example, here's Pfizer's 10-Q from late last year:

Click into "Financial Statements" there. I think the given figures are in units of "millions," so they spent about $2.1Bn on R&D during the given quarter, compared to $4.6Bn for "Selling, informational and administrative expenses" (which probably includes marketing) and $3.7Bn for "Cost of sales" (not sure, might be raw materials and manufacturing?).

Comment Main branch of the New York Public Library (Score 1) 202

The main branch of the NYPL uses the same system, albeit more floors that aren't as tall, and human workers handle pick and place.

An original illustration here, sorry for the ugly url:

Comment 100k in nyc (Score 1) 1018

... buys you a middle class -- and I don't mean upper middle class -- lifestyle; esp. if you've got dependents to support as well. You can pull that nyc income and live in places where it goes a lot further, but you'll be commuting an hour or more (sometimes much more) to do so. After taxes, 100k there is roughly 65-70k take home (estimating broadly). In a place where a completely boring, typical one bedroom apartment goes for 1500/mo (outer boroughs) to 3000/mo (manhattan), monthly transit and commuter rail passes can set you back another 300/mo combined, and electricity is 3x as expensive as it is in the interior states, and groceries average 2x as expensive, that doesn't go very far.

Comment I worked there years ago; some historical irony... (Score 2, Interesting) 183

I worked there briefly years ago back when they were EVSX. EVSX was in turn founded by folks from the Austin branch of Exponential Technologies, which ironically was a company based around making fast processors for the Apple clone market of the 90s (for extra irony given Apple's years-later switch to intel cpus, exponential tech apparently worked both in PowerPC and x86, with Austin focusing on the x86 branch of development). In a sense, this acquisition is kind of like full circle for the company. I wish them all the best; they are an extremely bright and friendly group who were great to work with. I ended up leaving for a job paying slightly more with less commute, but ultimately I wish I'd stayed on as the people were better to work with at EVSX.


Submission + - The biggest cloud providers are botnets (

Julie188 writes: Google is made up of 500,000 systems, 1 million CPUs and 1,500 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwdith, according to cloud service provider Neustar. Amazon comes in second with 160,000 systems, 320,000 CPUs and 400 Gbps of bandwidth, while Rackspace offers 65,000 systems, 130,000 CPUs and 300 Gbps. But these clouds are dwarfed by the likes of the really big cloud services, otherwise known as botnets. Conficker controls 6.4 million computer systems in 230 countries, with more than 18 million CPUs and 28 terabits per second of bandwidth.

Comment 24 months to burnout on average? (Score 2, Insightful) 599

Two years seems to be the developer half-life in most shops. By that point if you're worse than average they've canned you, and if you're better than average your responsibilities have grown to the point that you're spending as much or more time dealing with cross-team organizational bullshit as you are doing what you actually love (writing code) and hence wanting to quit. :) The thing is, I think every gig has problems, and often they're the same tedious set of problems, but people jump in the hopes that maybe, maybe the grass will actually be greener THIS time. (After a decade or two of corporate culture, further, it's all too likely that the truly idiosyncratic individuals will have accumulated enough capital and enough disgust with the system that they give it all the finger and go run a bar just to pick one prominent example.)

The other direct motivator that comes to mind is money. All too many shops hire you at a rate that approximates more-or-less-if-you're-lucky Market Rate for your skills and so forth, then want to give you sub-10% raises for ever and ever thereafter. Ergo it's easier to ramp your salary in tune with your experience by jumping periodically. This is perhaps most prevalent in the first ten years of a programming career as there are big deltas at roughly two and five and seven-ten years of experience as you start to [potentially] hop up the org chart some from junior to regular to senior dev.

So in short I think that getting fed up with a given situation and taking steps to change it for (hopefully, maybe not, probably not... but hopefully) the better is both normal and healthy. Or are you of the opinion that backing the same crappy horse for years is the best way to go through life?

Comment verbs and wishful thinking (Score 2, Funny) 268

If only that headline used "Nuking" instead of "Using" Outlook from Orbit.

My company recently switched from a really screwball lotus notes install to msexchange and thereby screwed every unix and mac user -- which is to say, 95% of the technical staff. Some of that I can't blame MSFT for, we do have some real chimpanzees on our email team, but the experience does have me shaking my fist in Redmond's direction even more than usual of late.

Comment a quality calculator? (Score 1) 368

A decent quality scientific calculator and enough training with it that they can start using to discover the joys of solving problems. I think I had my first solar powered scientific calc when I was about ten. A handful of years later in high school I moved up to a more complicated graphing model. I'm sad to say I don't have the original calculator but I still have the latter. It served me well through high school, college admissions exams, and then a bachelors degree in the sciences. Of course these days I write boring but comparatively lucrative line of business web apps, so the most complicated math I ever have reason to do can be done with gcalctool in simple mode. ;) I still feel a bit of a rush when I look at my old calc though; we had such times together. :D

I won't get into the emacs-vs-vi wars of TI/HP/whatever, but get them a solid useful tool that can be used for most any science endeavor and you'll have done them a favor, imho.

(And yeah this might not be appropriate for the 7 year old, but I'd wager the 9 year old is mature enough or on the cusp of it...)

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