Saturday, April 23, 2011

Map Reduce in JS

Joel Spolsky's piece "Can Your Programming Language Do This?" was an enjoyable read for three reasons: 1) he provides some clear, simple examples of map/reduce and anonymous functions, 2) he shows how these are natively supported in JavaScript (actually there is even more and better support for Map/Reduce in JavaScript than he describes) and 3) he hints (link to related article) at why Java is a mediocre language that produces mediocre software. Originally posted in 2006 it generated a big buzz on HN this morning and is more timely now than ever, considering the groundswell of support and innovation around JavaScript in the upcoming generation of web-scale programmers.

Those who follow the bleeding edge of software development today know that in the last two years there has been a Cambrian explosion of innovation and creativity related to JavaScript as a serious, server-side programming language.  It may not be a stretch to say that a majority of the software people interact with today is powered by JavaScript, considering the ubiquity of web-based applications. With the increasing prevalence of JSON as a data interchange format, the advent of high-performance server-side JavaScript engines, and non-relational data-stores that speak JSON natively, there is now, for the first time, a homogeneous software ecosystem that spans the N-tier distributed architecture. It seems this post from 2006 was prescient in it's discussion of the language's capabilities and potential.

A good post that hits three of my favorite birds with one stone, and an excellent cup of Francesco's dark roast on a rainy Saturday morning while listening to the Isbells.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Virtual Chior 2.0 "Sleep"

The previously mentioned production of Eric Whitacre's Virtual Chior 2.0 performance of "Sleep", previewed recently at TED, has been posted on Youtube. A brilliant collaboration of more than 2000 singers from around the world participating in a virtual choir.

The Dark Side of Hadoop

Backtype Technology posted an article "The Dark Side of Hadoop".

[via HN]

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

2000 Voices

One of my top 10 albums of 2010 was Eric Whitacre's Cloudburst.  TED has just released a talk by Eric Whitacre featuring the amazing 2000-voice virtual choir singing two of the songs featured on the album.  It's definitely worth checking out.

Incidentally, I was at a meeting of high-tech entrepreneurs this evening, and in a very interesting conversation with a high-tech company founder who shares a background in classical music, was told that musical training, and piano in particular, often results in highly analytical thinking.  As an engineer with a background in music, I've always felt a strong connection between musical composition and technical design, but have never been able to say exactly what it is. This video really seems to find itself right at home in the intersection of artistic creativity and technical innovation.

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