Dave has nicely put in words a practice I have personally used (albeit with less rigor, he did say Kata after all) and nearly every Software Developer I know (who is worth a damn) has a similiar set of exercises they like to apply when learning a new language.
He suggests many different problems to practice software development with, here are his first three:
Supermarket pricing. Pricing looks easy, but scratch the surface and there are some interesting issues to consider.
Karate Chop. A binary chop algorithm is fairly boring. Until you have to implement it using five totally different techniques.
How Big, How Fast? Quick estimation is invaluable when it comes to making design and implementation decisions. Here are some questions to make you turn over the envelope.
As I am deep into learning Ruby I suspect this list is going to be spending a lot of time in Firefox.
Lets all thank the Onion for saying what truly needs to be said. The Christian fundies in this country are crazy, irrational, and have such a wildly different point of view from say, rational humanism (ala science and morality driven by rational thought) that attempting to compare the two schools of thought (may get you killed, or at the very least fired) is like comparing Seinfeld to the WWF.
And this whole war on Christmas thing is just the high of asinity. I can not stand the pseudo oppressed Christians whining that their dominance of my culture is not complete. It pisses me off, and more so because people believe it. Fucking christocentric asshats.
Christmas time (see I can say it too) always gets me down, I think its all the attention placed on bullshit consumerism. If people would actually pay attention and shop ethically and wisely I don’t think I would get so angsty. Or we could all becomes Viridians, I would be fine with that too.
I am a bit of an ITConversation junkie. As I was listening today I heard a particularly interesting conversation on Biotech Nation (with Dr. Moira Gunn what a soothing voice she has) with Robert Beardsley president and CEO of Kereos. Their conversaion starts about current methods for detecting cancers (essentially imaging technologies where they look for masses of cells that do not belong) and then they discuss a new technology being used that does not search for tumors, it instead searches for blood vessels being grown to feed tumors (detectable down to a few milimeters in size). Its a great talk and quite informative….
I was catching up on some of my Wired reading this morning when I came across an article about automagic stock investing. One of the links from the article was to a site called Wealth-lab. It is essentially a trading simulator/community where people can develop trading scripts and strategies and then simulate their usage. For example here is a script titled “BREAD & BUTTER #6: Swing Trading the Gap” written by somebody named quester ( I love the grown up names people use on the internet…)
for Bar:=2 to BarCount-1 do
if not LastPositionActive then
if (gap > 5) and (Qgap > 0.5) then
if LastPositionActive then
The above script (code) encodes the following rules:
“Buy a stock when the stock is down the day before, QQQ is gapping down more than half a percent, and the stock is gapping down more than 5 percent.”
“Hold the stock at least until the next morning.”
“Sell when the stock goes lower than the prior day’s close.”
Without examining this language and the whole site in great detail (which I assure you gentle reader, I will be looking into this…) I gather that this script is run at the start and end of each trade day to determine what action should take place for a given stock. This is fantastic, it takes the emotional element out of stock trades. As anybody who has ridden a stock all the way to it being delisted just hoping that it will turn around, you know how important it is to have specific rational trading rules for when to sell and when to buy.
Ok, when I read warnings about products that may break your arm I have a tendency to pay close attention. When it is for a magnet I get excited. Read the warnings for the super strong magnets (near the bottom of the page), it will definitly put a smile on your face.
See I still use del.icio.us and here is why. Now my compatriot has been telling me how cool simpy is, but I have so much already invested in del.icio.us and frankly now that it has even tigher integration into firefox I am less likely to change. I mean its got handy buttons (See Fig 1)
and lets you take notes (See Fig 2) by highlighting portions of the current viewed page.
I will be using it for the next week or so and write a more formal review then, in the meantime if you use del.icio.us check it out.