Links of the Week 6/21
I’m still traveling, but I’ve got an hour and a half to kill in a coffee shop, so it’s back at it for links of the week!
In spirit of my recent trip to Seattle, here’s a video on how 3M tape was used to build MoPOP (and presumably also Stata and a number of Gehry’s other buildings)
- CineStill Developer + Fix Monobath: A monobath solution is pretty cool - I probably wouldn’t be inclined to use it for developing film in TNQ’s darkroom, because you don’t get control over the exact development time, and it seems more temperature-sensitive, but this would be a great solution for a small apartment when you don’t want to have lots of different bottles of chemicals. It’d be great for very small-batch film development.
- D850 Sensor made by Sony: I seem to remember that Nikon had touted designing the D850 sensor (and indeed, maybe they collaborated on the design).
- Breakdown of David Fincher films: This is a really interesting video detailing some CG effects used in Fincher films, and I didn’t quite realize that Fincher was the common link between these films I’ve seen.
- Thomas Heaton Q&A: Thomas Heaton is a Youtube photographer that’s exploded in popularity over the past year or two. I caught him when he first went viral and was getting ~20k views/video, but recently his videos have really blended together. This one stood out and included some really good, frank advice.
- Chicago Train GIF: While figuring out how to do the effect for two photos in my Chicago Trip Report, I stumbled upon this, and thought it was really beautiful. I don’t love the music choice, I would have gone with a soundscape of train and water noises with some distant city noises to enhance the isolation effect.
- Early satellite moon photos were better than published: The US used aerial cameras developed for spy work during the cold war to photograph the moon from satellites, but in order not to tip off the USSR/World how good the tech was, moon photos were published with artifacts added and detail removed. The satellites exposed film, developed it, and scanned it to send back to Earth in near-real-time (some dozens of minutes delay, probably).
- Gitlab Web IDE: Gitlab gained a huge amount of publicity and projects following Microsoft purchasing Github, and it seems really cool. Comments from one of the various Hacker News thread were pretty on point though - Gitlab is what happens when you want every feature, and it has a ton of features, but Github had a much more focused user interface. For Gitlab’s web IDE, I’d be curious how much of an IDE it is, vs just a text editor with syntax highlighting.
- Data Curator’s Filetree: Via r/datacurator, this is a directory structure that’s designed to be easily browseable, never degrade, etc. I use something very similar for my photo library, and it’s survived 12 years and 5 computers with no file loss and only minimal metadata degradation (mostly from the time period before I used Lightroom). Perhaps most importantly,
tree -L 4 -N --charset=UTF8is a Linux oneliner I should memorize and use more often.
- Hire, by Google: One of my friends is on this team and shared it, but it’s a Google product that I’d bet anything started as an internal product because Google has just that ridiculous of a scale.
- Java Value Types: Java’s types are extremely powerful and can be somewhat confusing. This proposal is to introduce a third type which is more similar to C++’s structs, in that to some extent, memory layout can be directly controlled (and thus, directly manipulated). On the other hand, it’s a ridiculously pedantic discussion that only Java devs care about, when viewed from the outside.
- What I wish I knew when learning Haskell: Via rmli, who’s encouraging me to play around with Haskell. I may try to write a CSG renderer in Haskell as a nice little project…
- Learn something by writing a tutorial: The idea of documenting a process as you learn it or do it for the first time is an interesting one. It can lead to errors along the lines of “figured out a way to do something and documented it, but it’s actually bad practice and you should do it some other way”. That said, documentation was one of the reasons I started this blog, so it is definitely useful.
- Skylake CPU architecture change for pause: Basically,
pausechanged from about 10 cycles to around 140 cycles in a subsequent generation of Intel server CPU architecture, which made some existing code run a lot slower.
- ARM supercomputer used by Sandia National Lab: Sandia’s getting a new supercomputer present, which focuses on memory bandwidth - useful for applications with a high memory to CPU speed requirement ratio (in comparison with many supercomputers that focus more on pure petaflops). There’s definitely a wide variety of applications, and it’s good to see specialization. General CPU architectures are nice to develop on, but aren’t well-suited for performance-optimized workloads. The energy/size/complexity cost vs economies of scale need to be evaluated for all applications, and a stronger optimization and specialization indicates that CPU design and fab is becoming less of a process that requires significant economies of scale.
- Scottie tours PCB factory: Scottie from Strange Parts tours a Chinese PCB fab, and covers the process. Chinese PCB fabs are one of the greatest successes of modern manufacturing, in my mind - totally custom boards in very small quantities in under 24 hours of manufacturing, shipped to you in the US in 3 days - order Thursday night, receive Monday morning.
- World Cup Ball Design: I remember a popsci article about the Jabulani (2010 World Cup ball), spouting off about how round it was due to fewer panels, and then subsequently reading a large amount of criticism about how it didn’t fly straight and was difficult to use. As a former baseball pitcher, the thought of the ball seams changing year to year is absolutely incomprehensible. Pitchers get very precise control over the pitch path and speed based on the grip and wrist twist applied when pitching, and good batters will be able to see the seams and ball spin to evaluate a pitch, noticing before the ball starts moving that it’s a fastball, changeup, knuckle, or curveball.
- Airbus + Boeing latest generation engine issues: This is a really interesting and comprehensive article about some of the issues facing latest-generation jet engines by Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, supplied for Boeing and Airbus. This is particularly interesting for me, too, because Airbus is one of Palantir’s largest corporate customers.
- Learning how to use an Oscilloscope with an Arduino: This, to me, is actually more interesting as a way to figure out how slow Arduinos are.
- Netflix History + Prospectus-ish: A good history of Netflix with lots of cool examples of how they operate and make decisions.
- Owning a Ramen Restaurant in Japan: A cute micro-documentary on a ramen restaurant owner in Japan.
- Omakase: On Race & Yellow Fever: This was shared by a friend of mine, and resonates with me quite well. It reminds me a bit of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which also resonated with me. This might deserve a post of its own, but I resonate a lot with the general feelings of wanting to fit in, go with the flow, of wanting to be successful, of having parents who gave so much of their lives to me in an effort to ensure I could be successful, and etc. In many ways, I identify with the viewpoint of the woman in this article more than the man, in the sense of trying to not cause disturbance, though not the colorations borne of facing the discrimination of being an Asian woman.
- Yappie, Ep 1: I’ve followed WongFu very closely for years, and this new series takes a look at some issues facing many young Americans: “safe” and “secure” vs “caring” and “doing something more”. Yappie seems poised to focus specifically on aspects of these issues most pertinent to Asian-Americans, but the underlying themes are universal - is it wrong to desire safety and security in life, rather than striving to actively improve the world? Is it wrong to disregard job security in order to pursue something “more meaningful”? Is it possible to do both? Since Phil wrote it, it’s likely to be a bit heavy-handed, but impressions from the first episode were good. (To date, my longstanding favorite WongFu production is Shell)
- Vaccinations and comedy: Get vaccinated, kids.
As always, thanks for reading! :)