Thursday, June 19, 2014

Microsoft: "Programmable Hardware" (speed 2x to 100x)

How to speed up servers beyond Moore's Law?
By using custom hardware chips (FPGA), that could be re-programmed, in a few seconds typically.

FPGA is about 10x slower that non-programmable chips, but is 100-1000 times faster than software. It is trying to solve / improve:
  • Speed
  • Power
  • Cost
Ushering in the Era of Programmable Hardware | Microsoft Research Luminaries | Channel 9

Doug Burger about the findings of a Microsoft Research and Bing research project that equipped servers with reconfigurable hardware, in the form of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), to accelerate data center services. Based on the success of the pilot, Bing will roll out FPGA-enhanced servers in one data center to process customer searches starting in early 2015.

gadget: The CODE Keyboard

The CODE Keyboard:

Jeff Atwood: "My dream is more modest. I decided to create a keyboard."

The CODE Keyboard, front image with backlight

format: Markdown

Markdown - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Markdown is a plain text formatting syntax[5] designed so that it optionally can be converted toHTML using a tool by the same name. Markdown is popularly used to format readme files, for writing messages in online discussion forums or in text editors for the quick creation of rich text documents.

Sites such as GitHub, reddit, Diaspora, Stack Overflow, OpenStreetMap, and SourceForge use variants of Markdown


 Paragraphs are separated
 by a blank line.
 Text attributes *italic*,
 **bold**, `monospace`.
 A [link](
 <<<   No space between ] and (  >>>

 Shopping list:
   * apples
   * oranges
   * pears
 Numbered list:
   1. apples
   2. oranges
   3. pears
 The rain---not the reign---in

<p>Paragraphs are separated
by a blank line.</p>
<p>Text attributes <em>italic</em>,
<p>A <a href="">link</a>.</p>
<p>Shopping list:</p>
<p>Numbered list:</p>
<p>The rainnot the
reignin Spain.</p>

The Web of Data: Bridging the Skills Gap

Computing Now | The Web of Data: Bridging the Skills Gap @ ieee
"With a projected six-figure skills gap looming in the US alone, here the authors share strategies and lessons learned regarding how to bridge the gap in training competent data scientists in the near future."

JavaScript function: expressions vs declarations

A detailed explanation of nuanced differences in JavaScript syntax and semantics

Named function expressions demystified:
"In a nutshell, named function expressions are useful for one thing only — descriptive function names in debuggers and profilers. Well, there is also a possibility of using function names for recursion"

function foo(){} // declaration, since it's part of a Program
var bar = function foo(){}; // expression, since it's part of an AssignmentExpression

new function bar(){}; // expression, since it's part of a NewExpression

  function bar(){} // declaration, since it's part of a FunctionBody

"function declarations are parsed and evaluated before any other expressions are."