Engineers are Birds

This picture is of a flock of starlings, who we see flying in tight formation as if they knew what every other bird was going to do. But birds aren't supposed to be telepathic. Oddly enough, I just came off a  project where engineers also acted that way, as if they were all of one… Continue reading Engineers are Birds

Guaranties are limits, in the limit

One of the things I like to do is to challenge myself with interesting problems in computer science. It's fun to see if I can figure out how to solve them, now that someone has done it. Intro One particular thing I’d love to do is provide minimum resource guarantees to customers of a program,… Continue reading Guaranties are limits, in the limit

Errors, as if they were in a safety-critical system

In some systems, errors are really evil. Trains running into cars at railroad crossings, for example. In computer programs, the errors aren't of that seriousness, but what if we looked at them from the viewpoint of someone doing safety-critical systems? Many moons ago, I attended Jonathan Ostroff's course on safety-critical systems, which studied things like… Continue reading Errors, as if they were in a safety-critical system

Two Technological Contributions to Modernizing PIPEDA

This is my submission to the Director, Privacy and Data Protection Policy Directorate, Innovation, Science and Economic Development on the modernization of PIPEDA. I’d like to bring to your attention two existing technologies which deserve your consideration, to enable them to implement privacy protection and preserve reputation while still addressing free speech rights. • In the… Continue reading Two Technological Contributions to Modernizing PIPEDA

When “Update” means “Migration”

A previous customer needed to replace a program before a 32-bit counter turned over, a simple task...  However, the 2^32 links pointed to 2^32 large files, so suddenly we were doing a large-data migration. ProblemsBefore the new service can be used, we have to do all of get the current working set onto the new servicearrange… Continue reading When “Update” means “Migration”