Here are some of the new and interesting articles we found this week.
The Yoda of Silicon Valley – “For half a century, the Stanford computer scientist Donald Knuth, who bears a slight resemblance to Yoda — albeit standing 6-foot-4 and wearing glasses — has reigned as the spirit-guide of the algorithmic realm. He is the author of “The Art of Computer Programming,” a continuing four-volume opus that is his life’s work. The first volume debuted in 1968, and the collected volumes (sold as a boxed set for about $250) were included by American Scientist in 2013 on its list of books that shaped the last century of science — alongside a special edition of “The Autobiography of Charles Darwin,” Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff,” Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and monographs by Albert Einstein, John von Neumann and Richard Feynman.”
IEEE Computer Society Predicts the Future of Tech: Top 10 Technology Trends for 2019 – “IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) tech experts unveil their annual predictions for the future of tech, presenting what they believe will be the most widely adopted technology trends in 2019. This year, the experts also review additional technologies that have not yet reached broad adoption and will be revisited next year–such as digital twins–as well as technologies that have outpaced many others, including Kubernetes and Docker. The forecast by the world’s premier organization of computer professionals consistently ranks as one of its most anticipated announcements.”
Innovation Isn’t About Ideas – “The truth is that there is no one path to innovation. Everybody has to find their own way. Just because someone had success with one strategy doesn’t mean it’s right for the problem you need to solve. So the best advice is to gather as many tools for your toolbox as you can.”
Douglas Adams was right: “Genuine people personalities” are coming to our gadgets – “Adams’ techno equivalent to “Have a nice day” was more prescient than perhaps even Adams himself realized. If you’re not familiar with trilogy, “Share and Enjoy” is the company motto of the “hugely successful Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints division.” “Share and enjoy” is also the expression of goodwill every robot, appliance, and doorway has been programmed to repeat ad nauseam to anyone with whom they interact.”
The Friendship That Made Google Huge – “Jeff and Sanjay understood computers at the level of bits. Jeff once circulated a list of “Latency Numbers Every Programmer Should Know.” In fact, it’s a list of numbers that almost no programmer knows: that an L1 cache reference usually takes half a nanosecond, or that reading one megabyte sequentially from memory takes two hundred and fifty microseconds. These numbers are hardwired into Jeff’s and Sanjay’s brains. As they helped spearhead several rewritings of Google’s core software, the system’s capacity scaled by orders of magnitude.”
Missing in Action: Information Hiding – “Information hiding is one of software-engineering’s seminal design ideas. What’s happened to it? Most of the structured-design and object-oriented-design books I checked recently list “information hiding” in their indexes, but few give it more than a passing acknowledgement. That a design textbook would not describe information hiding seems akin to the response that Michael Stipe, leader of the rock group R.E.M., gave when asked to describe the Beatles’ influence on his music. He said he doubted that he had ever listened to a whole Beatles album. They are irrelevant, he said. “Elevator music.””
The 9 big design trends of 2019 – “If you read the headlines in 2018, you’d have every reason to feel pessimistic about the future. But the design experts we talked to–from companies such as Microsoft, Google, Ideo, and Forrester–offer a glimmer of hope. As they look forward to 2019, they agree on one thing: The cold, corporate thinking that has defined the business world over the past several years doesn’t jive with how people want to live. In 2019, people will be more than mere data points; it’s a designer’s job to make sure of it.”