Alvin Alexander | Java, Scala, Unix, Perl, Mac OS X

While it’s old news (March, 2018), I’ve often wondered why Siri seems to be getting worse, and how/why Amazon and Google beat Apple to the market for Alexa-like assistants. MacRumors has this article where they report several of the problems related to Siri’s development. (Their article is based on an article written by The Information, which requires a subscription.)

I just happened to look out the window last night (Sunday, July 15, 2018) at the right time and saw the Moon and Venus hanging out together.

The Moon and Venus

Looks like this airplane company might want to rethink how they place their slogan on their airplanes.

Airplane slogan: Longer, larger, wait, what?

July 15, 2018: A little less than three weeks ago I had a type of surgery known as a colectomy, a procedure where a portion of the colon is surgically removed. The background of the story goes like this: Because of pain I was having whenever I tried to eat, I haven’t been able to eat solid foods since October, 2017. After eight months of hoping the problem would heal itself, I was finally forced to give up that hope when it became apparent that surgery was the only hope for a relatively normal life.

From this AirBnB article about using React Native: “JavaScript is an untyped language. The lack of type safety was both difficult to scale and became a point of contention for mobile engineers used to typed languages who may have otherwise been interested in learning React Native ... A side-effect of JavaScript being untyped is that refactoring was extremely difficult and error-prone.”

The 90/90 Rule: “The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.”

~ Tom Cargill

From this vox.com article: “When the 12 Thai boys who were trapped in a cave and were rescued one by one were first discovered by British divers last Monday, they were reportedly meditating ... Turns out that their coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, trained in meditation as a Buddhist monk for a decade before becoming a soccer coach.”

From this CNN article, “Older people with higher-than-average blood pressure have more markers of brain disease than their average-pressure peers, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology ... researchers saw increased signs of areas of dead tissue caused by a block in the blood supply to the brain, when looking at postmortem tissue under a microscope. Autopsied brains also revealed that higher-than-average blood pressure is associated with one marker of Alzheimer's disease.”

Here’s An Illustrated Proof of the CAP Theorem, if you’re into things like consistency, availability, partition tolerance, and distributed systems.

An Illustrated Proof of the CAP Theorem

I haven’t tried it yet, but if you’re interested in a Scala HTTP client, the people at softwaremill.com have sttp, and its docs are here.

Today a person did something that upset me. For a few moments it really bothered me and I thought, “Wow, this person is being a real jerk.” Then I remembered the phrase, “Every obnoxious act is a cry for help,” and I realized that this was this other person’s way of saying that they were hurting, and it helped me calm down in regards to them.

If you’re interested in the future of Scala, i.e., Scala 3, also known as Dotty, Martin Odersky recently shared a working draft document titled, Functional Typelevel Programming in Scala. See the “Files Changed” link on that page for the complete working document.

Functional Typelevel Programming in Scala (Martin Odersky)

I just ran across this image, which was my first attempt at a cover for my book, Functional Programming, Simplified.

Original Functional Programming, Simplified book cover

“You are more beautiful than music.”

“Your face is like a poem.”

“And in your eyes ... heaven.”

A bumper sticker seen in Alaska on July 5, 2010: “I don’t mind straight people as long as they act gay in public.”

As a brief update, I’m home from the hospital following my surgery last week. I’m not back to writing any software or books, but hopefully I’ll start getting back to work next week.

If you like reading PDFs of presentations, here’s a PDF from a Twitter employee named How We Built Tools That Scale to Millions of Lines of Code.

I'm sitting at Panera Bread, reviewing the first two chapters of the Scala Cookbook. Chapter 1 sucks, someone’s gonna have to do something about that. Chapter 2 isn’t too bad.

Wow, this radiation is good stuff. I just woke from a very long dream sequence where I was in three and then four dimensions, all at one time. It was similar to what happened to Picard in the last episode of STNG. In my case I was trying to help the people in the third dimension, who I originally thought may have had an earthquake, but as I later found out, they were in some sort of battle or war. As Spock would say, fascinating.

If you’re interested in meditating but can’t quite seem to do it without getting distracted, I recommend making a game of it. One game I use is, “How long can I take to count to five full breaths?”

The game itself is simple: Just before you begin to meditate, start a stopwatch on your phone. Then breathe in, and as you do so, internally say “one.” Then breathe out and internally (or externally) say “two.” Try to take these breaths as slowly as you can, with all of your focus on the current breath and current number. Keep doing this until you breathe out and say “ten,” and when that breath is finished, stop the stopwatch and see how long it took. The game is to make this time as long as possible.