Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Would a Salary Cap Improve Baseball? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog

Would a Salary Cap Improve Baseball? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog: "A number of you suggested instituting salary caps. This chart comparing team performance with total player salaries over the 2008 season, by data visualization guru Ben Fry, does seem to suggest a link between higher pay and sluggish performance. But does it?Check out Fry’s charts for the 2005, 2006, and 2007 seasons as well."

Monday, April 28, 2008

How Valid Are T.V. Weather Forecasts? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog

How Valid Are T.V. Weather Forecasts? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog: Eggleston and his daughter two minutes before it began to hail. Says Eggleston, “Hail was not in the forecast.”A gentleman named J.D. Eggleston recently wrote to us with a rather interesting report, a nice piece of D.I.Y. Freakonomics concerning the accuracy of local T.V. weather forecasts. I thought it was interesting enough to post in its entirety here on the blog, and I hope you agree."

new grill discussion

Instapundit.com -: "GRILLBLOGGING: Okay, I'm finally getting to following up on Kaliph's question about gas grills. The response was so overwhelming that I still haven't read it all, but here goes."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

LeaveMeAloneBox Video

The only this this device does is turn itself off using the same physical switch a human used to turn it on.

LeaveMeAloneBox Video: "Here's a short Video of the Ultimate Machine doing its thing. Notice that once the box top is open, if you continue to flip the switch, the hand follows to flip the switch off."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kai-Fu Lee on Cloud Computing

The numbers below can be looked at 3 says:
-- (5 years ago) Crazy Talk!
-- (now) That's pretty cool!
-- (5 years from now) Yeah so? My Pc does that.


Kai-Fu Lee on Cloud Computing: "6. Programmable. 'For fault tolerance, Google uses GFS or distributed disk storage. Every piece of data is replicated three times. If one machine dies, a master redistributes the data to a new server. There are around 200 clusters (some with over 5 PB of disk space on 500 machines). The Big Table is used for distributed memory. The largest cells in the Big Table are 700 TB, spread over 2000 machines. MapReduce is the solution for new programming paradigms. It cuts a trillion records into a thousand parts on a thousand machines. Each machine will then load a billion records and will run the same program over these records, and then the results are recombined. While in 2005, there were some 72,000 jobs being run on MapReduce, in 2007, there were two million jobs (use seems to be increasing exponentially).'"

24 Hours on the 'Big Stick'

24 Hours on the 'Big Stick': "Carrier launches are astonishing events. The plane is moved to within what seems like a bowling alley's length of the bow. A blast shield larger than any government building driveway Khomeini-flipper rises behind the fighter jet, and the jet's twin engines are cranked to maximum thrust. A slot-car slot runs down the middle of the bowling alley. The powered-up jet is held at the end of its slot by a steel shear pin smaller than a V-8 can. When the shear pin shears the jet is unleashed and so is a steam catapult that hurls the plane down the slot, from 0 to 130 miles per hour in two seconds. And--if all goes well--the airplane is airborne. This is not a pilot taking off. This is a pilot as cat's eye marble pinched between boundless thumb and infinite forefinger of Heaven's own Wham-O slingshot."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Stock Market Surged Yesterday Because Why? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog

I have always hated the news reports saying that it went up or down for a particular reason. It seems to me that most of the time they are making stuff up or, worse, just talking to one or two people (or even 5-10) and then distilling it down to a single reason. Looking for the cute sentence instead of acknowledging the complexity.

The Stock Market Surged Yesterday Because Why? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog: "I may be wrong, but it strikes me that the articles that appear in nearly every newspaper every day that describe a particular day’s stock-market movements are pretty much worthless."