New York Systems

I'm David. I live in Astoria. During the day I work at a startup. Other times I visit bookstores.
This blog is my curio collection, sort of. I'll have a place of my own for essays... someday.

Posts tagged #tech


قلب is a new programming language exploring the role of human culture in coding. Code is written entirely in Arabic and is the basis of code calligraphy, classical algorithms rendered as traditional Arab art.

 قلب: لغة برمجة

A lisp written in arabic script. Fascinating.

Aaron H. Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American programmer, writer, political organizer, and Internet activist. Swartz co-authored the first specification of RSS. He co-founded Reddit and the online activism group Demand Progress. He also was a member of Harvard University Ethics Center Lab. On July 19, 2011, he was arrested for harvesting academic journal articles from JSTOR. Swartz committed suicide on January 11, 2013.
We get bullshit turf battles like Tumblr not being able to find your Twitter friends or Facebook not letting Instagram photos show up on Twitter because of giant companies pursuing their agendas instead of collaborating in a way that would serve users. And we get a generation of entrepreneurs encouraged to make more narrow-minded, web-hostile products like these because it continues to make a small number of wealthy people even more wealthy, instead of letting lots of people build innovative new opportunities for themselves on top of the web itself.
Anil Dash, “The Web We Lost” (via AllThingsD)

I love weird programming quirks.

In perl, you can increment strings.

$a = "a"; $a++; print $a; #results in 'b'

OK, a little weird, but simple enough. But:

$a = "z"; $a++; print $a; #results in 'aa'
$a = "ç"; $a++; print $a; #results in 1

Hmm. Not unicode safe…

$a = "14"; $a++; print $a; #results in 15
$a = "14 bucks"; $a++; print $a; #results in 15
$a = "fourteen"; $a++; print $a; #results in 'fourteeo'

Uh oh. What about decrements?

$a = "14"; $a--; print $a; #results in 13
$a = "14 bucks"; $a--; print $a; #results in 13
$a = "fourteen"; $a--; print $a; #results in -1

Boom! (Decrementing strings isn’t supported, but at the same time perl tries to be clever with identifying numbers in strings, so you might get the wrong impression.)

EDIT: Oh, and:

$a = "fourteen and change"; $a++; print $a; #results in -1

No spaces allowed.

commit messages as a service.

Ancient computer history/mythology.

Amazon is special. Wall Street has essentially granted Bezos the right to operate an extremely forward-looking charitable venture on the theory that at some future point it will acquire monopoly pricing power and start screwing us all. Personally, I’m skeptical that theory makes sense, so I’m just going to enjoy the ride. But don’t hate on Amazon’s competitors for not offering as good a value proposition. Pity them. I’m sure the bosses here at the Washington Post Company would love the opportunity to just deliver products regardless of profit, never pay dividends, and get hailed as geniuses for figuring out that the key to running a great media brand is for expenses to be unrelated to costs.

aureolesecretfactory replied to your link: What can we do to stop sincerity? - Branch

Whatever is this awful looking website.

Branch is like the comments on articles without the article part. It’s… yeah.

You can only sign in to Google Drive with one personal Google Account (for instance, a Gmail account) at a time. If you’re trying to sign in to a school or work account using Google Apps, you can only sign in to Google Drive with one account in a given domain.