algorithm - Skip List vs. Binary Search Tree - Stack Overflow
nice, must read the dean & jones paper someday at least.

it is a telling indictment of SO that this awesome answer is not the top-voted one for this question
data-structures  papers  to-read 
14 days ago
Confessions of an Unreal Engine 4 Engineering Firefighter
better and more broadly relevant than the title suggests, one small excerpt:

One example of this was a company's project that was taking much longer to develop than it should, and I was called to either speed up development through engineering, or to figure out what the issue was. Immediately after arriving on-site, and before I had been greeted by the person responsible for hiring me, several engineers were telling me to run away as fast as I could because the producer who had complete authority over engineering has no engineering knowledge, and kept mixing up and reassigning tickets to the wrong engineers; network engineers getting gameplay fixes, gameplay engineers getting rendering fixes, etc.. Because of these mix-ups, frequent meetings were held to fix these mix-ups, and if engineers hate one thing, it is frequent meetings. Every one of those engineers had claimed to have brought up this issue with the producer and upper management, and they had even shown me emails of this communication, without any prior checking or confirmation that I had to be given access to such information. They were so exhausted of the situation that they just simply started doing what their tickets said. One of the network engineers spent 3 months learning and working on animation graphs because of this. In this case, engineers found a way to improve themselves but unfortunately without improving the company. Because I was able to discover this before even taking the company tour, I was able to lay this all out in front of upper management immediately. They immediately asked who was giving up this information and wanted to crack down on this perceived insubordination, rather than trying to address the issue. I was then dismissed for not specifying names, and my services were no longer required. A month later, their engineering team went from 7 engineers to 2 as they were abandoning ship. A month afterward, I got a call saying they no longer had an engineering team and asked my rates to finish the engineering effort. Their offer was nowhere near the needed budget to hit the required engineering milestones. They ended up hiring a whole new team of lesser skilled engineers, and the process repeated itself.
software-development  management  business  labor  via:hackernews 
16 days ago
Conflict-free Replicated Data Types
Replicating data under Eventual Consistency (EC) allows any replica to accept updates without remote synchronisation. This ensures performance and scalability in large-scale distributed systems (e.g., clouds). However, published EC approaches are ad-hoc and error-prone. Under a formal Strong Eventual Consistency (SEC) model, we study sufficient conditions for convergence. A data type that satisfies these conditions is called a Conflict-free Replicated Data Type (CRDT). Replicas of any CRDT are guaranteed to converge in a self-stabilising manner, despite any number of failures. This paper formalises two popular approaches (state- and operation-based) and their relevant sufficient conditions. We study a number of useful CRDTs, such as sets with clean semantics, supporting both add and remove operations, and consider in depth the more complex Graph data type. CRDT types can be composed to develop large-scale distributed applications, and have interesting theoretical properties.
papers  data-structures  algorithms  concurrency  to-read 
25 days ago
A comprehensive study of Convergent and Commutative Replicated Data Types
Eventual consistency aims to ensure that replicas of some mutable shared object converge without foreground synchronisation. Previous approaches to eventual consistency are ad-hoc and error-prone. We study a principled approach: to base the design of shared data types on some simple formal conditions that are sufficient to guarantee eventual consistency. We call these types Convergent or Commutative Replicated Data Types (CRDTs). This paper formalises asynchronous object replication, either state based or operation based, and provides a sufficient condition appropriate for each case. It describes several useful CRDTs, including container data types supporting both \add and \remove operations with clean semantics, and more complex types such as graphs, montonic DAGs, and sequences. It discusses some properties needed to implement non-trivial CRDTs.
data-structures  concurrency  algorithms  papers  to-read 
25 days ago
Calvin Walton on Twitter: "Fun fact: @rustlang nightly can bootstrap on an i586 box. Unfun fact: Build completed successfully in 3 days, 0:56:30 500MHz K6-2+ w/ 512MB ram is not recommended build environment."
From time to time I wonder why it took the global discipline of computer science so long to create a safe systems programming language. It is possible that neither the theory *nor* the hardware was up to the task until the 2010s.
rust  programming-languages  programming-systems  performance 
26 days ago
Information flow reveals prediction limits in online social activity | the morning paper
<<…we estimate that approximately 95% of the potential predictive accuracy attainable for an individual is available within the social ties of that individual only, without requiring the individual’s data.>>
facebook  social-networks  privacy  papers 
27 days ago
GitHub - cupslab/password_meter
This project implements a data-driven password meter. Its effects on password security and usability were evaluated in the following publication: http://www.blaseur.com/papers/CHI17meter.pdf and a demo is available at: https://cups.cs.cmu.edu/meter/
papers  security  to-read 
28 days ago
The Intellectual We Deserve | Current Affairs
Until I read this, I had remained about as ignorant about Peterson as I was about any other random B-list YouTube celebrity, which is to say that I had a vague idea about his brand (a professor giving life advice to conservative-leaning young people), but I had no idea what he stood for or whatever. I had naively assumed that he was a more media-savvy and self-promoting version of David Gelernter, which is to say an academic technician, accomplished in his field, who had found a popular audience by dressing up his extra-academic reactionary gestures in a layer of pop erudition. I had forgotten to account for the fact that conservative media is literally a kakistocracy, and nobody so benign as that could possibly rise to the heights that Peterson has. In fact, this article makes plain that Peterson is a poisonous bullshit artist of the highest order, not even a halfway competent practitioner of philosophy; of course his utter incompetence at reasoning or communicating clearly is entirely necessary to his appeal. It is telling that even the glib blowhard Sam Harris cannot sanction this man's buffoonery, yet Peterson's star has risen far above those of Harris and Dawkins and their ilk; they are constrained by at least a passing respect for reason and a desire to be lucid, whereas Peterson has completely liberated himself of such limitations and can thus craft his message purely for psychological impact on an undiscerning audience.

Contests I would like to see:

+ a debate between Peterson and Deepak Chopra to see whose eternal fountain of woo-woo can spurt the highest and longest.

+ a debate between Peterson and Stephen Wolfram to see who has the more grandiose ego (Wolfram probably wins this one; to be fair Wolfram is actually an extremely proficient mathematician and hacker so he has a more justifiable reason for his ego, which isn't to say that it is entirely justifiable).
conservatism  media  academia  youtube  via:cshalizi 
5 weeks ago
[1803.01307] Angora: Efficient Fuzzing by Principled Search
Fuzzing is a popular technique for finding software bugs. However, the performance of the state-of-the-art fuzzers leaves a lot to be desired. Fuzzers based on symbolic execution produce quality inputs but run slow, while fuzzers based on random mutation run fast but have difficulty producing quality inputs. We propose Angora, a new mutation-based fuzzer that outperforms the state-of-the-art fuzzers by a wide margin. The main goal of Angora is to increase branch coverage by solving path constraints without symbolic execution. To solve path constraints efficiently, we introduce several key techniques: scalable byte-level taint tracking, context-sensitive branch count, search based on gradient descent, and input length exploration. On the LAVA-M data set, Angora found almost all the injected bugs, found more bugs than any other fuzzer that we compared with, and found eight times as many bugs as the second-best fuzzer in the program who. Angora also found 103 bugs that the LAVA authors injected but could not trigger. We also tested Angora on eight popular, mature open source programs. Angora found 6, 52, 29, 40 and 48 new bugs in file, jhead, nm, objdump and size, respectively. We measured the coverage of Angora and evaluated how its key techniques contribute to its impressive performance.
security  tools  programming  program-analysis 
5 weeks ago
Land value taxation, Prop 13 reform and single family homeowners – Lisa Schweitzer
your yearly tax bill could basically stay the same for the lifetime of your tenure in the house and the accumulated value of the tax, or some portion, gets extracted at point of sale. That is, when you move and sell, the state captures the public increment out of the sale price. (Ouch, still, but you aren’t being taxed out of anything; if the home value wealth is “paper” wealth until it is made liquid, then it’s merely a “paper” loss to hand over that increment at the end. We’ll see the double-standard in play as people react to that statement).

+1, yes please, can we have this now
housing  california  taxation  georgism 
5 weeks ago
[1802.07068] Talent vs Luck: the role of randomness in success and failure
The largely dominant meritocratic paradigm of highly competitive Western cultures is rooted on the belief that success is due mainly, if not exclusively, to personal qualities such as talent, intelligence, skills, efforts or risk taking. Sometimes, we are willing to admit that a certain degree of luck could also play a role in achieving significant material success. But, as a matter of fact, it is rather common to underestimate the importance of external forces in individual successful stories. It is very well known that intelligence or talent exhibit a Gaussian distribution among the population, whereas the distribution of wealth - considered a proxy of success - follows typically a power law (Pareto law). Such a discrepancy between a Normal distribution of inputs, with a typical scale, and the scale invariant distribution of outputs, suggests that some hidden ingredient is at work behind the scenes. In this paper, with the help of a very simple agent-based model, we suggest that such an ingredient is just randomness. In particular, we show that, if it is true that some degree of talent is necessary to be successful in life, almost never the most talented people reach the highest peaks of success, being overtaken by mediocre but sensibly luckier individuals. As to our knowledge, this counterintuitive result - although implicitly suggested between the lines in a vast literature - is quantified here for the first time. It sheds new light on the effectiveness of assessing merit on the basis of the reached level of success and underlines the risks of distributing excessive honors or resources to people who, at the end of the day, could have been simply luckier than others. With the help of this model, several policy hypotheses are also addressed and compared to show the most efficient strategies for public funding of research in order to improve meritocracy, diversity and innovation.

I believe this just tries to model mathematically something that I thought most people already felt intuitively, although maybe I'm giving people too much credit.

Also, if the distribution is log-normal rather than power law (& it is reasonably hard to distinguish between them without careful statistical tests), then wouldn't a Gaussian distribution of intelligence, talent, & other factors simply imply a multiplicative effect among them, rather than the existence of a hidden variable?
economics  meritocracy-and-its-discontents  statistics 
5 weeks ago
Nerd Sniped - WSL and Windows folder sharing
useful for the next time I need to develop cross-platform for Linux & Windows...
windows  linux  hacks 
6 weeks ago
Designing Distributed Systems (ebook) by Brendan Burns | 9781491983607
bookmarking at ebooks.com because o'reilly has stopped selling drm-free epub & pdf entirely, wtf
books  to-read-maybe 
6 weeks ago
'((Adam (Elkus))) on Twitter: "Kind of funny how little attention was paid to issue raised by screenshot 2… "
It is obvious that having diverse perspectives, including those informed by humanities thinking, can have benefits in a variety of contexts. It is utterly false that humanities scholars are categorically better at ethical behavior than engineers, or even that sprinkling the median humanities scholar onto a project will, on average, improve its ethical outlook.
culture  humanities  engineering  journalism  ethics  bullshit  tweet-threads-that-should-be-blog-posts 
6 weeks ago
Social norm enforcement in ethnically diverse communities | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
How does ethnic diversity influence the maintenance of social norms in complex, Western societies? We provide evidence from a natural field experiment examining reactions to norm violations in multiethnic German neighborhoods. We uncover asymmetric patterns of norm enforcement in interethnic encounters: “Native” Germans are more active in sanctioning norm violations, while ethnic minorities are more likely to be targeted for sanctions. We link these dynamics to prevailing status inequalities between minorities and natives in German society. We further show that, as a consequence of such asymmetries, social control tends to rise with ethnic diversity.
racism  germany  sociology 
6 weeks ago
Cross-Protocol Request Forgery
Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) are two attack methods that enable attackers to cross network boundaries in order to attack applications, but can only target applications which speak HTTP. Custom TCP protocols are everywhere: IoT devices, smartphones, databases, development software, internal web applications, and more. Often, these applications assume that no security is necessary because they are only accessible over the local network. This paper introduces a new attack method which enables cross-protocol exploitation of non-HTTP listeners using CSRF and SSRF.
security  papers  exploits 
7 weeks ago
The Power of Working Longer
This paper compares the relative strengths of working longer vs. saving more in terms of increasing a household’s affordable, sustainable standard of living in retirement. Both stylized households and actual households from the Health and Retirement Study are examined. We assume that workers commence Social Security benefits when they retire. The basic result is that delaying retirement by 3-6 months has the same impact on the retirement standard of living as saving an additional one-percentage point of labor earnings for 30 years. The relative power of saving more is even lower if the decision to increase saving is made later in the work life. For instance, increasing retirement saving by one percentage point ten years before retirement has the same impact on the sustainable retirement standard of living as working a single month longer. The calculations of the relative power of working longer and saving more are done for a wide range of realized rates of returns on saving, for households with different income levels, and for singles as well as married couples. The results are quite invariant to these circumstances.

given that many working class occupations are more physically demanding and harder to maintain into old age, this has a clear regressive effect
economics  labor 
7 weeks ago
lcamtuf's blog: Getting product security engineering right
most of this advice is also true of any person or group that possesses a specialized skill and also wants to work effectively with the broader company, e.g. SRE, compliance, even UX
security  product-management  software-development 
8 weeks ago
[1802.07000] CASPaxos: Replicated State Machines without logs
CASPaxos is a replicated state machine (RSM) protocol, an extension of Synod. Unlike Raft and Multi-Paxos, it doesn't use leader election and log replication, thus avoiding associated complexity. Its symmetric peer-to-peer approach achieves optimal commit latency in wide-area networks and doesn't cause transient unavailability when any ⌊N−12⌋ of N nodes crash.
The lightweight nature of CASPaxos allows new combinations of RSMs in the designs of distributed systems. For example, a representation of a key-value storage as a hashtable with independent RSM per key increases fault tolerance and improves performance on multi-core systems compared with a hashtable behind a single RSM.
This paper describes CASPaxos protocol, formally proves its safety properties, covers cluster membership change and evaluates the benefits of a CASPaxos-based key-value storage.
distributed-algorithms  papers  to-read 
8 weeks ago
Moving the A2J Conversation to a New Level | NSRLP
<< “It’s really time to admit that we have allowed tremendously complex legal processes to develop that exploit the fact that the vast majority of people cannot manage tremendously complex legal processes.” >>
coevolution-of-rulesets-and-their-adversaries  law  justice 
10 weeks ago
A cleansing fire: Moral outrage alleviates guilt and buffers threats to one’s moral identity (PDF Download Available)
<<Why do people express moral outrage? While this sentiment often stems from a perceived violation of some moral principle, we test the counter-intuitive possibility that moral outrage at third-party transgressions is sometimes a means of reducing guilt over one’s own moral failings and restoring a moral identity.>>

ha ha! no shit sherlock
moral-panics  psychology  social-media 
10 weeks ago
WeWork: The Perfect Manifestation of the Millennial Id - The Atlantic
Terrible, awful headline, but some interesting discussion of WeWork's business model & risks thereof.
real-estate  business 
10 weeks ago
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