Myles Braithwaite

This is the large issue with writing software that can put people's lives in danger. The cost of writing "bug free software" is huge but the cost of a human life is even greater. But the likelihood of a failure at 98% vs. 99% is actually worth the risk.

Rumor has it that space shuttle software costs $1,500 per line to develop. When asked about the price tag, Norvig said "I don’t know if it’s optimal. I think they might be better off with buggy software." At some point it’s certainly not optimal. If it doubles the price of a project to increase your probability of a successful mission from 98% to 99%, it’s not worth it; you’re better off running two missions with a 98% chance of success each.

By the way if you are a computer engineer/scientist/programmer I can't make a larger suggestion then purchasing a copy of Coders at Work.



Alex Payne (or Al3x) wrote a great blog post on why a company should not develop their application in Adobe Air (Adobe answer to Java like cross platform).

Imagine a new restaurant that wants to make the most of their burgeoning lunch traffic. They start serving low-quality meat: after all, it’s cheap, plentiful, and requires nothing more than placing a different order with their distributor. For a few weeks, profits are up. But pretty soon, so are customer complaints, and the stars on their Yelp page are rapidly dwindling. The owner doesn’t understand. The meat isn’t great, sure, but it’s perfectly edible, and for a while it seemed like the restaurant was making more money and attracting new customers.


So why do you encourage these people? Because now she's had this success, she's had this work, she has this life, she has this family, she has this thing going, and now is when people like you have chosen well to say, 'Let's give this person another boost, let's give this person another boost to say keep going, because now life will come to you hard, like it's come to everyone that's lived long enough. It comes hard and it gets in the way of your career; it stops your career, it stunts your life — not necessarily your life, but it definitely will make your career go left. You show me an actor doing a shit movie, I'll show you a guy with a bad divorce. [Audience laughs.] Right? Right? [Looking around the room.] You know who I'm talking about.

(via kottke)



Google is going to be removing all proprietary video codecs in upcoming releases of Google Chrome and Chromium for open ones like WebM (VP8) and Theora. Google even address the H.264 (a proprietary codec used by both Microsoft and Apple):

Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.


Read the Fucking HIG is a Tumblr blog of the worst applications in the Mac App Store. HIG stands for Human Interface Guidelines a document Apple puts out on how to design your iOS and Mac applications. Though this is a great document for a company to put out (check out Gnome, KDE, and Windows guidelines) HIGs usually are not followed by a majority of application markers (include the companies that write them (just look at the new iTunes)). It only the Java-based and Open Source applications that actually adhere to the HID.




Motorola's new Android based telephone with a Netbook like docking station looks pretty cool.

Motorola unveiled their latest smartphone, the Motorola ATRIX. This powerhouse of a smartphone packs a dual-core 1Ghz Processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB onboard storage space attached to Motorola's qHD screen technology that all results in a very quick and smooth Android 2.2 user experience.

When coupled with the Laptop Dock, the ATRIX becomes a fully fledged netbook with all phone applications available as well as a standalone implementation of Mozilla Firefox. The UI is still just as snappy while running the Web Top app, the Tegra 2 processor really flies. Having a few Mozilla windows open as well as running a few of the Android apps didn't leave us feeling like there was a lack of processing power.