What I'm reading 12/14-12/21


Eric Posner: The First Amendment's Nemesis - Ken White

  1. "Eric Posner is well-cast as the First Amendment's nemesis: he represents everything it stands against. He represents obeisance to passing tastes about what is couth, clenched fists of power disguised as helping hands, suppression dressed up as order. He is the Foe."

It's OK not to use tools - Jonas Downey

  1. "As builders, we like tools and tech because they're interesting and new, and we enjoy mastering them. But when you think about the people we're building for, the reality is usually the opposite. They need simple designs, clear writing, less tech, and fewer abstractions."

How Rogue Techies Armed the Predator, Almost Stopped 9/11, and Accidentally Invented Remote War - Arthur Holland Michel

  1. "'The Icelandic women were amazing' is about as much as he'll volunteer."

  2. "The team framed a copy of a 2000 Defense Department report that had declared the Predator a failure and hung it on a wall next to a list of what Marshall called their greatest hits."

Congress vs. the Internet - Shari Steele

  1. "Just as we don't want the phone company censoring our telephone calls, we should be very troubled by any copyright law interpretation that would assign liability to those who provide Internet service."

Free Concurrency with GNU Parallel - Philipe Fatio

  1. "By making sure that our script has a simple, yet functional interface and by printing to standard output, we were able to run it with GNU Parallel, achieving the desired goals of running the simulation with all possible combinations of parameters and making use of all CPU cores."

How To Predict Bad Cops In Chicago - Rob Arthur

  1. "Even laying aside the moral imperative to prevent abuse, the financial cost of police misconduct to the cash-strapped city is immense. Direct costs, in terms of legal fees and the funds disbursed in settlements, exceeded $500 million over 10 years, according to a Better Government Association study."

  2. "Repeaters only make up a small fraction of the more than 12,000 officers on Chicago's force — perhaps 1 percent to 10 percent of the officers in the database, depending on where you draw the line — but are responsible for a huge fraction of the complaints: 10 percent of the officers who had received complaints generated 30 percent of the total departmental complaints since 2011."

Python Is Not C: Take Two - Jean Francois Puget

  1. "When it is compiled with Numba, our native Manhattan distance code using loops over Numpy arrays is about 10,000 times faster than the code we started with 6 months ago."

Introducing new open-source tools for the Elixir community - Steve Cohen

  1. "The system that manages rate limits for both the Pinterest API and Ads API is built in Elixir. Its 50 percent response time is around 500 microseconds with a 90 percent response time of 800 microseconds. Yes, microseconds."

  2. "The Java version used an Actor system and weighed in at around 10,000 lines of code. The new Elixir system has shrunk this to around 1000 lines."

Too many open files: Tracking down a bug in production - Paul Bostrom

  1. "We use a Clojure agent as a queue to store the set of HTTP clients that were marked, and then call `close' on each one. With logging turned up for this namespace, I could see that clients were being queued up, but never closed."

  2. "We issue about 2 to 3 million requests per day to these APIs and we would see the problem occur every three to four days, so roughly one in 10 million API requests returned a problematic response."