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iOS 10.3 Switches to the New APFS File System

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David Sparks:

When Apple first announced this new system, I expected it would be years before we saw it on iPhones. The iPhone is the lifeblood of Apple and changing filesystems can sometimes cause problems. Now here we are less than 12 months after announcement and Apple’s installing APFS across all iPhones and iPads.

Following my usual “fire, ready, aim” philosophy about these things, I already updated all of my iOS devices and while the update took a while (converting a file system is never a fast process), everything went just fine and devices are all working just like before. Indeed, I’m writing this post on my updated iPad Pro.

I upgraded my phone today, and it did seem to me that it took an unusual amount of time. Understandable, considering it was changing the file system. This is one of those things where if it all goes according to plan, normal people will have no idea it happened. But for us nerds, what Apple pulled off today seems almost impossible — tens of millions of devices are being upgraded to an altogether brand new file system, in place, silently. My sincere congratulations to Apple’s file system team on a job well done.

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jimwise
15 hours ago
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kdb+ 3.5 released last month

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kdb+ is a real-time time series database, known in the financial services universe as the fastest tick database on the market. It was first conceived by Arthur Whitney at Goldman Sachs as a prototype, and over the last 35+ years has grown to add many features. The database makes such aggressive usage of mmap() POSIX function for mapping file chunks into main memory, to the point where it has exposed issues with the implementation of mmap itself.

Recently, the company now behind kdb+ has also built Kx for DAAS (Data-as-a-Service), which is basically a cloud-based, massively clustered version of kdb+ that deals with the curious oddity that kdb+ is effectively entirely singly threaded. For those interested in reading more about kdb+'s unique cloud architecture (as compared to "big data" solutions like Hadoop), you can read the following whitepapers as suggestive guidelines for how the q community thinks about truly "big data" several orders of magnitude faster and larger than most Hadoop data sets:

While I don't suggest these papers are the blueprint for copying/mimicking the DAAS product, it does help the LtU reader imagine a "different world" of data processing than the often cited Map/Reduce paper and other more mainstream approaches. What is particularly striking is how tiny q.exe (the program that runs kdb+ and provides a CLI for q scripting) is. Language researchers are looking at provably correct C compilers, and it is not a huge leap to think about the world soon seeing provably correct real-time time series databases using kdb+ as an inspiration.

Another curiosity, relevant to us here at LtU, is that kdb+ has its own programming language, q. q is a variant of APL with a special library for statistics. Most "big data" solutions don't have native implementations for weighted average, which is a fairly important and frequently used function in quantitative finance, useful for computing volume weighted average price (VWAP) as well as tilt and weighted spread. q is itself implemented in another language, k. The whole language of each is just a couple lines of (terse) code.

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jimwise
3 days ago
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Yup.
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Using Ritual Magic to Trap Self-Driving Cars

jwz
2 Comments and 3 Shares
Mal says: "I expect Jamie to Winchester up and hit the streets of Mountain View with bags of salt."

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jimwise
8 days ago
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tee-hee
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1 public comment
satadru
8 days ago
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hahahaha
New York, NY

Google to Revamp Ad Policies After Big Brands Boycott

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Joe Mayes and Jeremy Kahn, reporting for Bloomberg:

The U.S. company said in a blog post Friday it would give clients more control over where their ads appear on both YouTube, the video-sharing service it owns, and the Google Display Network, which posts advertising to third-party websites.

The announcement came after the U.K. government and the Guardian newspaper pulled ads from the video site, stepping up pressure on YouTube to police content on its platform.

France’s Havas SA, the world’s sixth-largest advertising and marketing company, pulled its U.K. clients’ ads from Google and YouTube on Friday after failing to get assurances from Google that the ads wouldn’t appear next to offensive material. Those clients include wireless carrier O2, Royal Mail Plc, government-owned British Broadcasting Corp., Domino’s Pizza and Hyundai Kia, Havas said in a statement.

The flip side of the theory that we, as users, are Google’s product, not their customers, is that advertisers are Google’s actual customers. And so here they are, responding promptly to their customers’ complaints.

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jimwise
8 days ago
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Here’s Pokémon Yellow running in a Game Boy emulator on the Apple Watch

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Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan

If it's sufficiently fast and has a screen, someone will eventually get an old-school game emulator running on it. Over the weekend, iOS developer Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan made that happen for the Apple Watch with a Game Boy emulator he calls "Giovanni."

Named for the leader of Team Rocket from the original Pokémon games, Giovanni runs Game Boy and Game Boy Color games on the Apple Watch Series 2 (the Series 1 hardware is presumably capable of the same performance, though the original Apple Watch is likely too slow). O'Flaherty-Chan used the existing Gambatte emulator as Giovanni's core, and then added Apple Watch-friendly controls. There's room for the select, start, and B buttons at the bottom of the screen; you tap the right side of the screen for the A button, while the left side of the screen is mapped to the control pad. Turning the Digital Crown up and down can also simulate the up and down buttons on the control pad.

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jimwise
8 days ago
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Heh
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - A Monster in the Closet

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Before you ask - no, this comic was completed at 2am. 4am is when workaholics go to bed.

New comic!
Today's News:

Sorry geeks. Hopefully we'll be able to release the big thing Monday. I promise it'll be worth the wait!

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jimwise
9 days ago
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