Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jon Stewart interviews Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson

The real gem of the interview comes at the end, when Isaacson describes the difference between Jobs and Bill Gates. "In the end, [Bill Gates] makes the Zune and Steve makes the iPod."

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more on John McCarthy

Stanford's John McCarthy, seminal figure of artificial intelligence, dies at 84

John McCarthy, a professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford, the man who coined the term "artificial intelligence" and subsequently went on to define the field for more than five decades, died suddenly at his home in Stanford in the early morning Monday, Oct. 24. He was 84.

McCarthy was a giant in the field of computer science and a seminal figure in the field of artificial intelligence. While at Dartmouth in 1955, McCarthy authored a proposal for a two-month, 10-person summer research conference on "artificial intelligence" – the first use of the term in publication.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rich Hickey: "Simple Made Easy" from Strange Loop 2011

> Rich Hickey emphasizes simplicity’s virtues over easiness’, showing that while many choose easiness they may end up with complexity, and the better way is to choose easiness along the simplicity path.
Thanks to Alex Miller for posting the video.

> The video is up:
>> Places to watch for comments (or vote if you like):
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ClojureScript browser-connected REPL on Vimeo

> A short demonstration of using the ClojureScript browser-connected REPL to work with the twitterbuzz sample application.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steve Jobs, BMW & eBay

Adam Nash writes about Steve Jobs and Michael Dell.  I was at this meeting, and I think Adam captures the mood well.  I remember Adam as a smart kid at Apple.

Steve got on stage at the front of the room in Infinite Loop 4, and put a huge, larger than life picture of Michael Dell on the wall.  He repeated the news fodder that Michael Dell had been asked recently what he would do if he was running Apple Computer.  (At the time, Dell was the ultimate success story in the PC industry.)  Dell said that he would liquidate the company and return the cash to shareholders.
A few gasps, a few jeers and some general murmuring in the audience.  But I don’t think they expected what he said next.
And you know what? He’s right.
The world doesn’t need another Dell or HP.  It doesn’t need another manufacturer of plain, beige, boring PCs.  If that’s all we’re going to do, then we should really pack up now.
But we’re lucky, because Apple has a purpose.  Unlike anyone in the industry, people want us to make products that they love.  In fact, more than love.  Our job is to make products that people lust for.  That’s what Apple is meant to be.
What’s BMW’s market share of the auto market?  Does anyone know?  Well, it’s less than 2%, but no one cares.  Why?  Because either you drive a BMW or you stare at the new one driving by.  If we do our job, we’ll make products that people lust after, and no one will care about our market share.
Apple is a start-up.  Granted, it’s a startup with $6B in revenue, but that can and will go in an instant.  If you are here for a cushy 9-to-5 job, then that’s OK, but you should go.  We’re going to make sure everyone has stock options, and that they are oriented towards the long term.  If you need a big salary and bonus, then that’s OK, but you should go.  This isn’t going to be that place.  There are plenty of companies like that in the Valley.  This is going to be hard work, possibly the hardest you’ve ever done.  But if we do it right, it’s going to be worth it.
He then clicked through to a giant bullseye overlayed on Michael Dell’s face.
I don’t care what Michael Dell thinks.  If we do our job, he’ll be wrong.  Let’s prove him wrong.

Jobs also talked about the respect he had for Sony and Nike as companies.  (Sony hasn't done so well lately.)  I remember rumors that Sun might buy Apple, but they decided there wasn't much value left in the company.  Back in '97, the San Jose Mercury considered "beleaguered" to part of the company name.  The company was fighting for its life, but it still had some amazing talent.  And as it turns out, Apple also had the greatest leader the tech world has ever known.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bootstrap, from Twitter

> Bootstrap is a toolkit from Twitter designed to kickstart development of webapps and sites.
> It includes base CSS and HTML for typography, forms, buttons, tables, grids, navigation, and more.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Using JavaScript libraries in ClojureScript

Fortunately, using external or foreign libraries in ClojureScript is quite easy and effective once you know how to do it. An important first step is understanding what the Google Closure compiler does, and why ClojureScript uses it.

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Raphaël — JavaScript Library

> Raphaël is a small JavaScript library that should simplify your work with vector graphics on the web. If you want to create your own specific chart or image crop and rotate widget, for example, you can achieve it simply and easily with this library.

> Raphaël ['ræfeɪəl] uses the SVG W3C Recommendation and VML as a base for creating graphics. This means every graphical object you create is also a DOMobject, so you can attach JavaScript event handlers or modify them later. Raphaël’s goal is to provide an adapter that will make drawing vector art compatible cross-browser and easy.

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