Division in python

Normal division x/y works just as expected, with one caveat: remember
that if you divide two *integer* values, you will get an *integer*
division operation yielding an *integer* result. So:

1.0 / 2.0 —> 0.5
1.0 / 2 —> 0.5
1 / 2.0 —> 0.5
1 / 2 —> 0

So if you make sure at least one operand is a real number you’ll get
a real result. This is now division works in many programming languages
including C and C++.

In the future, Python will switch to always yielding a real result,
and to force an integer division operation you use the special “//”
integer division operator. If you want that behavior now, just
import that “from the future”:

from __future__ import division


1 / 2 —> 0.5
4 / 2 —> 2.0
1 // 2 —> 0
4 // 2 —> 2

I have 5+ side projects. I’d like to make businesses out of them, but I often lose interest after a couple weeks. Asterank was the only project that I’ve stuck with for over a year, and it paid off even though there wasn’t a clear path to monetization… It’s hard to predict what will be valuable as a side project. For hobbies, working on what you’re most passionate about is the best way to get a return.


The Letter by Teller

Fascinating reply by the great magician, Teller to one of his “students” Brushwood. Don’t miss out though on the brilliant comments on HN generated by this story:

It took me a while to appreciate it, but what I enjoyed most about this was the letter from Brushwood to Teller. Teller’s letter was awesome in all of the general ways, and he makes great points about about doing something besides the thing you want to excel at.

But Brushwood’s email was great because it asked for advice for a specific problem, and it was a problem that Teller had the expertise to answer. Not “Oh Teller! I want to be a great magician just like you!” Not “What are 10 things an aspiring magician should do?” Not “Dear Teller, would you mind sending me information you find relevant or letting me pick your brain over coffee?” It was “I want to develop my own style, here’s what I’ve done to that end. I’ve had some success, but here’s how I struggled with taking it to the next level. What do you suggest, as someone who’s accomplished this?” Emails like that tend to get the best kinds of responses.

-Quote, not verbatim: “Roadblocks are there to stop people who don’t want it badly enough.”

Questions like…

> “Oh Teller! I want to be a great magician just like you!”

> “What are 10 things an aspiring magician should do?”

> “Dear Teller, would you mind sending me information you find relevant or letting me pick your brain over coffee?”

… are indications of people who don’t want it badly enough. They are infatuated with the fabulous end product, but not infatuated enough to really dive into it. The advice to “prod and demonstrate the failure/successes of your prodding before asking for advice” is not a heuristic against laziness - rather, it’s meant to find out the depth of passion in the inquirer. Putting effort into an infatuation elevates it from a passing delightful thought into a serious, long-term passion. People who have chased life-long passions like to help those who aim to do the same.

Be a Jerk: The Worst Business Lesson from the Steve Jobs Biography

The ease with which people can possess astonishingly contradictory qualities is one of the mysteries of human nature; indeed, it’s one of the things that separates humans from, say, an Apple computer. Every one of the components that makes up an iPad is essential to the work it produces. Remove one part and the machine no longer performs its job, and not even the Genius Bar can fix it. But humans are full of qualities that are in no way integral to their functioning in the world. Some aspects of personality have little or no bearing on whether a person performs well, and not a few people succeed in spite of their darker qualities. You can be a genius and an asshole, but the two aren’t necessarily causally linked.

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If Everyone Else is Such an Idiot, How Come You're Not Rich?

When internet commentators see odd behavior that they don’t understand, why do they assume that the most parsimonious explanation is that management must be a bunch of drooling morons?

The available evidence seems to indicate that at some point, Reed Hastings was a smart guy.  Smart enough to count to twenty with his shoes on. Smart enough read pages 1-15 of the kind of introductory strategy text where they solemnly tell you to figure out what business you’re really in.  Smart enough to grind Blockbuster into a pile of gleaming blue-and-white sand while launching a streaming service so popular that it now accounts for something like 20% of peak-load internet traffic. 

If you see a person—or a company—doing something that seems completely and inexplicably boneheaded, then it’s unwise to assume that the reason must be that everyone but you is a complete idiot who is blind to fairly trivial insights

The DVD business, while less convenient, and more expensive to run, relies on something called “first sale doctrine”: once you buy a DVD, you can rent it out as many times as you want.  Reed Hastings didn’t need much help from content owners to get into that business.  Digital streaming rights, on the other hand, have to be negotiated.

Those negotiations were fairly easy when streaming was a marginal business.  But now that it’s big enough to cut into other revenue streams, like DVD sales and cable television, the content providers are demanding that Netflix make up for that lost revenue by paying them more money.

Netflix understands quite well that its customers would like them to deliver on-demand content at prices much lower than said customers used to pay for cable.  The problem is, the owners of that content are not going to let them do that.  The most common—and plausible—theory of why he tried to split the businesses, even though it was completely obvious that this was really going to upset his customers, is that content owners were demanding a per-user fee for the streaming rights, and that Hastings wanted to get the DVD-only customers off of Netflix so that he wouldn’t have to pay for streaming rights they weren’t using (or paying for).

What You Need To Know About The Cloud

In cloud computing, customers don’t have to concern themselves with the details, they just rent from the cloud.

Companies shouldn’t give people who have great attachment to on-premise computing too much influence over plans to move into the cloud.

Three main questions to address

  • Why will the cloud be a big deal beyond the IT department?
  • What are the main concerns and areas of skepticism, and how valid are they?
  • How to get started?

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