What We Talk About When We Talk About Performance | Random ASCII

Source: What We Talk About When We Talk About Performance | Random ASCII, by Bruce Dawson

Describing performance improvements exists at the intersection of mathematics and linguistics. It is quite common to use incorrect math to describe performance improvements, and it is possible to use incorrect, misleading, or just sub-optimal rhetoric to describe your math.

It’s quite easy to find examples of this rhetorical error. A google search for “90% faster” (with the quotes) almost exclusively finds articles talking about reductions in elapsed time of 90% or more, where the new process is actually at least 900% faster.

Therefore, when you reduce how long a task takes – any task – you should calculate the speedup factor as NewSpeed / OldSpeed and use that speedup to describe your achievement. You should also share your before/after numbers so readers can check your math.

US startups don’t want to go public anymore. That’s bad news for Americans – Quartz

Source: US startups don’t want to go public anymore. That’s bad news for Americans – Quartz, by Gwynn Guilford

The upside of public listing is that it lets companies raise huge sums of capital, issue more shares, issue debt with relative ease, and use equity to fund acquisitions. But because of the ways the American economy has evolved, those advantages are less important than they once were.

The problem is, two features of public listings—disclosure and accounting standards—make things tough on companies with more intangible assets.

What is the Last Question? – The EDGE

Source: What is the Last Question? – The EDGE Question–2018 | Edge.org, by John Brockman, Editor, Edge

For the 50th anniversary of “The World Question Center,” and for the finale to the twenty years of Edge Questions, I turned it over to the Edgies:

“Ask ‘The Last Question,’ your last question, the question for which you will be remembered.”

Many pages of excellent questions from some very bright people.

Solving Minesweeper, by Magnus Hoff

Source: Solving Minesweeper and making it better, by Magnus Hoff (2015)

By implementing a full solver for Minesweeper, we were able to develop a variant of the game that gets rid of the bane of Minesweeper; when you risk losing the game randomly after you have invested time and thought into solving almost all of the board. This version is different from the original only in the situations that would require random guessing, so I would suggest that this version is strictly more fun than the original game.

Automating Minesweeper into a game of chance, then backing up a step and removing chance while leaving multi-square logic unsolved.