Monday, November 24, 2008

faults with measuring

Preface: TV's : The Biggest Loser
A tv show that encourages contestants to not be in the bottom rung of people losing the minimum percentage of weight, weekly.

Fault: unit of measurement != results
Televising that someone goes from 170lbs to 163lbs (delta -4.11%) one week then from 163lbs to 159lbs (delta -2.45%) doesn't mean that that person has slowed their fat loss (a goal of becoming healthy), just their weekly weight loss has slowed (the weekly goal of the television show contest).

Measure each person's %body_fat at each time interval, and compare that %body_fat each time. And compare that delta %body_fat each week. Reason why this is better, from experience, I can't lose or gain weight (beyond a 10 pound fluctuation). But I can gain or lose body fat percentage.

My story:
I weigh ~(195-205)lbs.
I work out, I convert fat into leg, core, and arm strength.
I slouch and become an enslaved cubicle person who goes out to lunch daily; muscle deteriorates and becomes fat.

Lastly, muscle weighs more than fat, and having a balanced amount of muscle over fat is our healthy bound.

Now, to compare this with Google's Official Google Blog: Sorting 1PB with MapReduce

Holy Damn!!
Our cluster admin would have killed my job before it got anywhere close to tying up 1pb, or ran for 6 hours.

Preface: Google has shown that 1PB of data can be sorted in ~6 hours
Fault: human time is not the same as cycle time.
Solution: Show that their algorithm for building a 1PB dataset and sorting it takes less cycles than any other mechanism.

If one wants to, you can ask for a more mathematical rigor to this public demonstration.

As a student, this rigor has killed my love for computers as being just fun, to building this the science of computing is quite an amazing feat, as evidenced by computing as an industry has grown some 100B% in the past 50 years.

My questions are: what is the time to
insert something into this 1PB dataset,
remove something,
retrieve the first element,
sort it

In terms of I guess cycle time, and Θ or O of an input n.
To be congruent with all other sorting mechanisms, I can't accept that this feat is better than Θ( log2(n) )

And I would like to see what the cycle time is to create a data set of 1PB, and the cycle time to sort 1PB.

The ability to process 1PB in a "timely" fashion pushes the capabilities of computing even further as we are finally able to approach extremely large datasets and for that not to be just too large to use, thus putting awesome tools in the hands of programmers who performs tasks for others.

But cycle time is cycle time, and this is just saying that we have so many fast computers connected to each other that we have to power to do what we need. MapReduce(1PB) < Θ(awesome)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fallout 3, for the console and pc

Fallout 3 is pretty nice; the familiar feel of oblivion, new innovations, modern-post-nuclear scenery and warfare, and runs very well on console (xbox in my case).

However, being a cool kid as I am, we also bought it for pc. Why not support Bethesda Softworks for creating an awesome product, not once, but twice.

Yeah, they've got no love for us poor kids. They must have voted McCain, because they raised the minimum specs above what I've got, above what anyone else in the house has, and perhaps to the level that only 5% of computers can perform.

So, you buy an xbox for 2-3 hundred dollars, and you just game. You wanna go the pc route, well, for a gaming rig, you're looking at something a bit steeper, and every few years, you'll have to buy more hardware.

I think, I'll just use my computer for web and email from now on.

UPDATE: 11/24/2008
I just had to do it. I Immediately went out and stimulated the economy by buying ~$400 of computer parts (new mobo, processor, ram, video card) so I could play fallout. I runs terrific, and the fact that it detected my setting as Ultra High, made so internally proud of my new, on a budget, purchase.

My advice to myself and anyone who accepts that advice of others is this:
What do you care about 3 years ago if you spent 300 to 400 dollars on some big purchase. By now you've absorbed that cost through pinching and saving here and there. That if you've made it here, chances are you could have faced even harsher circumstances and still come out on top.
The caveat is that you don't make it out on top as a result. I.e. potentially blowing your rent money on a computer, and then suffer a seriously high interest rate a debt, accruing daily.

chrome's interpretation of notHTTPS

Chrome's pretty sweet. So this will not be an unbiased report or critical assessment of Google's browser.

This page signed its own https certificate, which I believe is not a genuine method of going about https. But I'm glad the department spared the 3 copies of vista it could have cost us otherwise.

So strike-out https, pretty sweet.

Chrome has other tricks I'm crazy about, especially ripping tabs out at any time, and them making their own window. Use case in which I ran in to this today. I was editing a page and it had syntax/aesthetic errors, so I ripped out the rendered page, had the editor open in another, used the "stack windows side-by-side" and worked right through it.

Having the single search bar/address bar, that gives suggested hits from google search suggest, google services (docs, calendar, picasaweb, ...), and browsed history make looking for things especially quicker.

However, there are several caveats, and gotchas to using chrome, the main one is that, you'll still need either IE or firefox as well. The reason is that pages continue to be made that support only a few browsers, and by being new, no web developers are developing pages FOR chrome. The best case would be following web standards, and we're all happy.