Neil's News


10 March 2008

Most of you know that until recently I've been working on Writely (Google Documents). Some of the things I've been up to have gotten press. I'll also admit responsibility (in advance) for the the next piece of 'fun' news that's about to surface. [Update: It surfaced.] But most of my work is the sort that would only get press if it failed. Now, one year later, I'm moving on to a new Google project I'm starting. There's some skepticism that I'll pull it off (the director said "you're insane" as he approved my pitch). So I'll be even busier than usual.

Other random notes:

The applications on this server are slowly coming back to life as I shed dependencies one by one. However my home cable connection is pretty flaky, so I'm seeking a more reliable location to colocate my laptop.

A coworker and I were wrestling with how to deal with a bunch of database discrepancies. "Excellent", I said after solving the first of 800 cases. "Now all we need is an intern."
Two cubicles away there was a muffled "Eep!" from our lone intern.

Last year I ran some benchmarks between linear and binary searches in JavaScript, Java and Python. One unexpected observation was that Python was three orders of magnitude faster than Java, which surprised everyone. Kai discovered why: the time function in Python returns values in seconds, whereas all other languages' time functions return values in milliseconds. There's the three orders of magnitude right there. My bad.

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