Current Events

The U.S. political divide on whether to get the coronavirus vaccine suggests that “maybe there’s been too much finger wagging,” said the head of the National Institutes of Health. “I’ve done some of that; I’m going to try to stop and listen, in fact, to what people’s specific questions are,” NIH Director Francis Collins said…

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On Monday, the Department of Justice announced that it had cleaned malware (“webshells”) off of hundreds of infected mail systems running Microsoft Exchange. Microsoft has been trying to get folks to apply critical security patches to address a problem that’s being actively exploited. A few minutes ago, I posted a screencapture of Microsoft’s autoupdater going…

Read More The Updates Must Go Through

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The first function of democracy is to enable the peaceful handover of power from one group to another. For this, all its myriad sins are forgiven. The peaceful handover of power from one group to another is not a sure thing. Historically, it’s something of an aberration. There are all sorts of reasons, when you…

Read More On Legitimacy

I generally try to stay on technical topics, because my understanding is that’s what readers want. But events are overwhelming and I believe that not speaking out is now a political choice. I want to start from this Chris Rock video: I hadn’t seen it before, but I have spent a lot of time studying…

Read More One Bad Apple

There’s an interesting article by Phil Bull, “Why you can ignore reviews of scientific code by commercial software developers“. It’s an interesting, generally convincing argument, with a couple of exceptions. (Also worth remembering: What We Can Learn From the Epic Failure of Google Flu Trends.) The first interesting point is the difference between production code…

Read More Code: science and production