Interesting Things #44 — Optimization


This is Beng Tan and welcome to Interesting Things, a curation of interesting stories and links from tech, work, biz, science and society.

Happy reading!


An optimization story (Jan 2022) — I made a physics simulation 4x faster by exercising my best NumPy skills, and 50x faster after rewriting in Rust. (hn)

An Introduction to Deno: Is It Better than Node.js? — Learn about the key features of Deno, how it outperforms Node.js, as well as where it falls short. (hn)

Switching Rich Text Editors, Part 1: Picking Tiptap — Switching rich text libraries in a production app with many daily users isn’t easy. We recently changed ours. Here’s our research and process. (hn)

Making a budget Pascal compiler to WebAssembly (Dec 2021) — I made a budget Pascal compiler to WebAssembly so that I can play a hangman game that my friends and I made 10 years ago. (hn)

How Standard Ebooks serves millions of requests per month with a 2GB VPS; or, a paean to the classic web — A paean to the classic web. (hn)

Sony Trained An AI To Be So Good At Gran Turismo It Started Driving Like A Total Jerk — The AI agent is faster than the world’s best players. But teaching it sportsmanship proved the toughest part. (hn)

How We Write GitHub Actions in Go — Using prebuilt binaries to minimize build costs. (hn)

Hot Reloading Rust: Windows and Linux — I was surprised to discover that hot reloading works just fine on Windows! What makes these platforms different? (hn)

“Zero-Days” Without Incident - Compromising Angular via Expired npm Publisher Email Domains — Dependency security is a complex problem with risk tradeoffs that should be weighed carefully. (hn)

Why Learning to Code is So Damn Hard — Learning to code is rarely as easy as people make it out to be but it’s also rarely as difficult as it seems. (hn)

A magical AWS serverless developer experience — Find out how we build serverless applications at Plain and what makes our developer experience truly magical. (hn)

Unbiggen AI — AI pioneer says it’s time for smart-sized, “data-centric” solutions to big issues. (hn)

Quantum Complexity Tamed by Machine Learning — Artificial intelligence systems are helping with the next leap in understanding exactly how electrons act in molecules. (hn)


Friends, come warm yourselves by the flaming wreckage of my micro-SaaS — How I built and launched a micro-SaaS product in 26 weeks, only to come undone at the last moment. (hn)


The Unreasonableness of Math is Context Independence — Mathematics has produced some of the most beautiful and elegant abstractions in human history. What can system thinkers learn from their accuracy? (hn)

Smartphone app can vibrate a single drop of blood to determine how well it clots — Researchers have developed a new blood-clotting test that uses a single drop of blood and a smartphone vibration motor and camera. (hn)

Artificial biohybrid fish made from human cardiac cells swims like the heart beats — Device offers insights into artificial muscular pumps, a step toward building an artificial heart. (hn)

This Galápagos Volcano Produced a ‘Mesmerizing’ River of Fire — When a volcano erupted last month, its lava trail extended for miles in an orange line so bright that it was visible from space. (hn)


A Hacker Group Has Been Framing People for Crimes They Didn’t Commit — The tactics and techniques of a cybercrime group that is known for planting incriminating evidence on the devices of activists in India. (hn)

How to Want Less — The secret to satisfaction has nothing to do with achievement, money, or stuff. (hn)

I relearned typing to save my wrists — With help of Ergodox keyboard and Colemak layout I changed my typing habits and saved my wrists from severe pain. (hn)

Tools — There are two kinds of tools: user-friendly tools, and physics-friendly tools. Most real tools are a blend of the two kinds, but with a clear bias. (hn)

Here’s Why I’ll Be Keeping My Shoes on in Your Shoeless Home — Why are you assuming that your guests’ shoes are dirtier than your floors? (hn)

Just don’t do it: 10 exercise myths (Jun 2021) — We all believe we should exercise more. So why is it so hard to keep it up? (hn)


Cheese Caves and Food Surpluses: Why the U.S. Government currently stores 1.4 billion lbs of cheese (Aug 2021) — Hundreds of feet below the ground in Missouri, there are hundreds of thousands of pounds of American cheese. (hn)


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Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng