by Asanka Herath

Fart Limit

Thanks to Vsauce for bringing this particular issue to our attention. The TL;DR of that video is: Most of the gases in your farts are odorless. The one that usually makes things stinky is Hydrogen Sulfide.1 The content of H_2_S in a fart is around 50ppm.2 One fart can travel around 10 ft/s. Enter OSHA: H_2_S at a concentration of 50ppm (roughly what you’d get if you inhaled a fart directly into your lungs) you’d suffer Slight conjunctivitis (“gas eye”) and respiratory tract irritation after 1 hour.

Shannon Paper

Claude Shannon’s A mathematical theory of communication is an oft cited classic in information theory. In fact, as of this writing there are 84’411 citations and 139 versions of the article on Google Scholar. Screenshot of Google Scholar showing citation count for Shannon’s paper Let’s dive in and try to tease apart the “why”s that are often overlooked when people build on top of the introduced theory. They are definitely things that I didn’t consider to be obvious without the benefit of reading the paper.

#privacy #math

Sometimes It's the Interviewers Who Suck

I’ve done hundreds of interviews. I’ve also served in numerous hiring committees over the years. Tech companies tend to have cultures built around tech people interviewing other tech people, typically in what is not-so-affectionately known as the “Tech interview.” This is good because candidates would be evaluated based on their actual skills instead of keywords in their resume. Interviewers are in effect choosing their future coworkers which makes in interview serve the interest of both the interviewer and the interviewee.

On WontFixing Bugs

This was partly inspired by a Tweet by a co-worker. The tweet is: wontfix-ing valid bugs (that have been triaged as such) with bots because you haven't been able to fix or prioritize them yet is kinda hostile to contributors, imho pic.twitter.com/faxtbpoiII — Mike Taylor (@miketaylr) March 2, 2021 For projects that are under-resourced but has heavy usage it is in fact quite normal to accumulate a large number of issue reports over time.

Deriving the Poisson Distribution

Where does the Poisson Distribution come from? A little bit of research1 tells us that the distribution was originally introduced by Abraham de Moivre in 1710 in an article called “On the Measurement of Chance, or, on the Probability of Events in Games Depending Upon Fortuitous Chance”2 (not the original title). A few steps that will get us there is laid out below. Let’s start with a simple “rate” problem.

Ten Years

It’s been ten years since I started at Google. The work anniversary fell on 6th of December. Ten years ago my wife and I made our way to Mountain View for my orientation; all excited for a brand new chapter in our lives. After spending a week in Mountain View / Palo Alto we both decided that California was not for us. But that’s beside the point. I was elated. This was pretty much everything I dreamt of as a kid growing up in Sri Lanka.

Visualizing Internet Users

What does 0.3%1 of internet users look like? As of this writing the global population hovers around 7.7 billion according to the World Population Clock.2 Screenshot from census.gov showing the world population clock. The International Telecommunications Union “estimates that at the end of 2019, 53.6 per cent of the global population, or 4.1 billion people, are using the internet.”3 Screenshot from itu.int showing historical internet usage numbers as a percentage of the world population So a 0.

Things You Can Do With Neovim and Vscode That You Can't Do With Neovim Alone

This is the third time I’ve tried in earnest to switch to VSCode from Vim (or Neovim in my case) for reasons not all of which are relevant to this post. But I love Vim style modal editing and I’ve grown accustomed to some features that aren’t present or not well emulated in VSCodeVim. Enter VSCode Neovim. I was intrigued by their claim to integrate Neovim instead of trying to emulate Vim.

#vim #programming #hacks

Why 'Strong Opinions Weakly Held'

Origins of the phrase The title of this blog is Strong Opinions, Weakly Held. The same concept shows up elsewhere are Strong Opinions Loosely Held. An eponymous essay by Paul Saffo in [1] introduced the world to this concept. In his essay – which isn’t very long if you would like to read the whole thing yourself – he lays out the concept as follows: I have found that the fastest way to an effective forecast is often through a sequence of lousy forecasts.

Names for Name Conventions

Names I’ve seen used to refer to naming conventions: snake_case, hacker_case, unix_hacker_style : Everything is lower case, though exceptions exist. E.g. HTTP_foo_bar. SCREAMING_SNAKE_CASE : Usually reserved for macros and constants. camelCase : The first letter is lowercase. PascalCase : The first letter is uppercase. kabob-case : Like snake_case, but uses dashes instead of underscores. Common for command-line options1, CSS styles, commands (e.g. git-receive-pack). While looking idly looking for details on this, I stumbled on this Medium post which is relevant.

#commentary #programming