Quote copied from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5170246
"As you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have are, virtually to a generalization, false. Well, except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle, is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle. And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it's very hard to get used to that idea. It's like, 'surely this is more complicated!' but it's like: Wow, this is really simple! This company is very straightforward, in its defense. This company is about one man, his alter-ego, and what he wants to inflict upon humanity -- that's it! ...Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah... you talk to Oracle, it's like, 'no, we don't fucking make dreams happen -- we make money!' ...You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle."
I love this quote (about 33:15) summarizing Sun Microsystems:
Kicked butt, had fun, didn't cheat, loved our customers, changed computing forever.
"It makes me very proud to have worked for a company for whom that is completely accurate. We should all be so lucky as to have that be our epitaph. That is all I want out of my life. That and my family. [...] That is Sun. But that's not Oracle." --Bryan Cantrill. (A very excellent Oracle rant follows immediately after.)
Since I don't want to end with a negative note, here is a personal favorite as far as best technical talks go:
Direct download link for slides: https://github.com/strangeloop/2011-slides/raw/master/Sussma...
This is someone whose mind seems to be going at 500mph all the time. I used to love his (and counterparts') early talks on ZFS, but yeah, I've found that pretty much any talk by him is packed with interesting info, but you may have to watch it at .5x speed (even if you're a native english speaker).
His talks on dtrace, ZFS, containers, are all very interesting (most on YouTube).
Gunter Stein's inaugural Bode prize lecture from 1989 titled "Respect the Unstable" . In this talk, he uses a minimum of mathematics to clearly demonstrate the fundamental (and inevitable!) trade-offs in control systems design. He effortlessly makes the link between his (in)ability to balance inverted rods of various lengths on his palm (with shorter rods being harder to balance) to why the X-29 aircraft was almost impossible to control and why Chernobyl blew up.
The fundamental message is extremely important and the derivation is so crystal clear that it is simply marvelous to watch him present it. I like it so much that I re-watch it about once a year.
 Pdf transcription (use it to skim or go over the details. However, the lecture is easier to follow and has a lot more than the transcript):
3. Creating containers From Scratch - Liz Rice
4. 2013 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: The Existence of Nothing -
Panelists: J. Richard Gott, Jim Holt, Lawrence Krauss, Charles Seife, Eve Silverstein.
Moderator: Neil deGrasse Tyson
5. 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation? -
Panelists: David Chalmers, Zohreh Davoudi, James Gates, Lisa Randall, Max Tegmark
Moderator: Neil deGrasse Tyson
6. Zig: A programming language designed for robustness, optimality, and clarity – Andrew Kelley
7. Concurrency Is Not Parallelism - Rob Pike
I read that as "creating containers IN Scratch (a visual game programming language from MiT)." It wasn't as impressive as my expectations, only because my expectations were so very high.
- Inventing on Principal https://vimeo.com/36579366
- Stop Drawing Dead Fish https://vimeo.com/64895205
I really wish he would publish more frequently
He has inspired me greatly.
this is a cool way to live your life, according to some principle - this is mine; these are some other amazing people who had their own
aspect of it. His creators should be able to see and control what they're doing as they do it principle is awesome, and he's maybe uniquely well-equipped to do something about that. I wanna get the synth he designed!
Brev Victor - The Future Of Programming https://vimeo.com/71278954
on another, they're down right scary and overwhelming, or at least dumbfounding and perplexing
..thinking specifically about The Humane Representation of Thought https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agOdP2Bmieg I had to stop it half way through.. :-/
see also Seeing Spaces https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klTjiXjqHrQ and Media for Thinking the Unthinkable https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUaOucZRlmE
code::dive conference 2014 - Scott Meyers: Cpu Caches and Why You Care: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDIkqP4JbkE
CppCon 2014: Mike Acton "Data-Oriented Design and C++": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX0ItVEVjHc
They're mostly about C++ and cache aware/data oriented programming.
- Douglas Engelbart - The Mother of All Demos
- Bryan Cantrill - Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos
- Guy Steele - Growing a Language
- David Heinemeier Hansson - Startup School 08
- Rich Hickey - Hammock Driven Development
The top 50 are listed at https://techyaks.com which I recently updated with a ranking "techyaks score" that ranks talks (first) by HN reference count.
Watching somebody get on stage and just talk for hours in detail without notes about a whole range of technical topics that they mastered and enjoy is pretty inspiring.
As far as technical presentations can be, this is a work of art, and in spite of its age still completely relevant.
Also, any talk where Richard Gabriel and Guy Steele get together will be a treat. I really miss those old quirky OOPSLA days.
Tim Ewald - Clojure: Programming with Hand Tools
Thank you for reminding me of this great talk.
...or why we need 17 billion Volts to make a picture.
HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16028723
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a microscope which allows scientists to map atomic details of viruses, film chemical reactions, or study the processes in the interior of planets? Well, we’ve just built one in Hamburg. It’s not table-top, though: 1 billion Euro and a 3km long tunnel is needed for such a ‘free electron laser’, also called 4th generation synchrotron light source. I will talk about the basic physics and astonishing facts and figures of the operation and application of these types of particle accelerators.
Most people have heard about particle accelerators, most prominently LHC, at which high energy particles are brought to collision in order to study fundamental physics. However, in fact most major particle accelerators in the world are big x-ray microscopes.
The latest and biggest of these synchrotron radiation sources which was built is the European XFEL. A one billion Euro ‘free electron laser’, based on a superconducting accelerator technology and spread out 3km beneath the city of Hamburg. The produced x-ray pulses allow pictures, for example from proteins, with sub-atomic resolution and an exposure time short enough to enable in-situ studies of chemical reactions.
This talk aims to explain how particle accelerators and in particular light sources work, for what reason we need these big facilities to enable new types of science and why most of modern technology would be inconceivable without them.
Another one would be "Let It Crash! The Erlang Approach to Building Reliable Services" by Brian Troutwine. 
I don't know if you would call it "technical" but Brett Slatkin's talk on Cohort Analysis is something anyone interested in tools to analyze how our users behave should watch. 
Fixing Twitter: Improving the Performance and Scalability of the World's Most Popular Micro-blogging Site by John Adams (then from Twitter)at Velocity 2009 (Velocity 2009 was really an incredibly pivotal and influential conference in the DevOps movement).
Bootstrapping an Infrastructure by Steve Traugott at Lisa 1998. I don't know of any videos of the talk, but the related paper eventually lead to Puppet and the beginning of the modern configuration management software
There is no talent shortage by Andrew Schaefer, co-founder of Puppet from Velocity NYC 2013.
(edited for consistant formatting)
They've done several iterations of this, including a censored/shorter version for DEFCON 22. This version is the best, with all details, no secrets withheld.
I find the content rather stunning, and I've even watched it several times.
Also known as the “Mother of All Demos”. I don’t think I’ve watched the entire thing in one sitting (I tend to jump over some of the drier parts), but I do return to it every year or so because it helps me remember the lab innovations of 1968 didn’t reach consumers until the mid/80s to late 90s, which helps me keep innovation in perspective.
The material itself is difficult to learn and harder to teach well. At my University, it seemed that the Prof had to teach the subject for 3 or 4 years before they could reasonably get half the class to pass the final exam.
At the same time, I've often felt like I would have no harder of a time teaching the subject to 11 year olds. It's just a weird topic.
A lot of interpretation and intellectual confidence involved, difficult things to communicate.
It should be told every semester or so that if you wish to understand something, don't stop until you found something that match your own idiosyncrasies.
Ted Nelson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcqIlDhkSdo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVU62CQTXFI
Doug Engelbart https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2zJLiYMoXk
Steve Jobs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmuP8gsgWb8
Jacob Appelbaum https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntTnLO-4p1o
Where Rich Hickey's Simple Made Easy talks about simplicity at the macro level, and mostly as an aspirational goal, Kate's talks focus on the practicalities of actually achieving simplicity at the micro level.
This recent review "10 years of Clojure", encapsulates a lot of of the wisdom:
"I'd like to welcome you to this course on Computer Science. Actually that's a terrible way to start. Computer science is a terrible name for this business. First of all, it's not a science. It might be engineering or it might be art. We'll actually see that computer so-called science actually has a lot in common with magic. We will see that in this course. So it's not a science. It's also not really very much about computers. And it's not about computers in the same sense that physics is not really about particle accelerators. And biology is not really about microscopes and petri dishes. And it's not about computers in the same sense that geometry is not really about using a surveying instruments."
Somebody with only a shallow pop-culture understanding of occult tradition is bound to associate it with fuzzy thinking & children's media. The use of alchemical metaphors in SICP indicates that the authors have at least some familiarity with the history of magick, though.
The most important figures in the western occult tradition were mathematicians (like Dee) or invented early computational or permutational devices (like Llul). Magick is very firmly bound up in this kind of mathematical thinking. On the other side, the mathematical foundations of computing come out of mathematicians who had occult justifications: Godel (and Cantor before him) was a mathematical platonist who dabbled in gematria, and his work on computability was part of the ars magna for him. (In case you're not up on the history, Turing's work on universal turing machines was an attempt to rephrase Godel's incompleteness in a way that was accessible to non-mathematicians, and his later work with Church proving the equivalence between Godel's model and lambda calculus was built upon this work. While computing machines predated this formal basis, the formal basis is pretty important -- we all learned it in college, after all!)
Maybe there's your answer.
Truly fascinating talk about the capability of CT scanners, not in a medical environment. I don't want to say much more as I don't want to give any spoilers.
So you can hear the likes of Fred Brooks talking about IBM's approach to unifying operating system interfaces with System/360, Bjarne Stroustrup describing the origins of C++ , or watching Charles Simonyi and Tom Malloy demonstrating Bravo, the Xerox PARC document writer .
Some quite astonishing material hidden in their archive that hasn't in my view had nearly the audience it deserves.
1. This one is alive demo where the speaker derives the Y Combinator from first principles. A really interesting exposition of functional programming at its finest. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FITJMJjASUs
Entertaining talk, not extremely in depth, though.
From a Show HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17988464
A lot of talks here do show up in the feed.
In general his published talks have all been good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1zDuOPkMSw or just read it at https://www.cs.utexas.edu/~dahlin/bookshelf/hamming.html
I found it easy to follow and pretty entertaining.
How To Design A Good API and Why it Matters
Agile Methods The Good, the Hype and the Ugly
I guess this is more of a 'soft talk' but I still reference this all the time and watch it at least once a year. One of the more relevant and practical talks for any software company.
Very terse and content rich security walkthrough of corporate IT security fails by Joseph. I find delivery also highly entertaining.
A really in depth look into why functional languages stand out as a programming paradigm. The short of it being that they parallel perfectly (almost proof for proof!) with mathematical logic.
Marty Lobdell - Study Less Study Smart
AJ Jacobs: The Importance of Self-Delusion in the Creative Process” https://vimeo.com/68572000
On Machine Learning biases
Aylin Caliskan - A Story of Discrimination and Unfairness
On scaling test automation, why scaling does not deliver the value you want
GTAC2016: Scale vs Value - Test Automation at the BBC
On Future of Machine Learning
Joscha Bach - Machine Dreams (33c3)
Joscha Bach - Computational Meta-Psychology (32c3)
Joscha Bach - From Computation to Consciousness (31c3)
This talk made a strong impression on me when I was figuring out how to write more beautiful, and more readable code.
Original Node JS Presentation, 2009, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztspvPYybIY
In 2018 he gave a follow-up presentation "10 things I regret about node", but that presentation is more for experts.
If we have anything half that good in the wider programming community in twenty years time, I will be very surprised.
Slightly old: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16838460
Anyway, he also taught a dynamical systems (chaos theory) class to a mixture of MSc students and final year undergrads. On this occasion, he was explaining some principle, and was busy talking while writing on the board.
He turns round, and there is a sea of blank looking faces in front of him. No one has understood.
"Well it's obvious" he says, and turns back to the board.
2 minutes later, he turns back. Now there is a sea of bored looking faces in front of him. Why?
Well it's obvious...
Everyone understood completely. Genius at work
It was a drawing app with the following features:
Snap to object ("This allows me to be sloppy while I'm drawing and get a precision drawing at the same time"), connected vectors, arcs, alignment with other objects, copying, multiple "files," scaling ("It scales approximately 2 miles in size"), 3D, etc etc
It blows me away that this kind of UI was even conceived in the 1960s. It feels like there was a dark ages middle period after then until quite recently.
About physical security.
Despite the title is about Elixir, Jessica exposes a lot of topics like how ideas arise at the same time from different people, what different programming paradigms offer and how can they work together, error handling in a myriad of paths, and mainly people.
More recently I have looked at Raymond Hettinger's "Beyond PEP 8--Best Practices for Beautiful Intelligible Code", and I hope improved my Python as a result.
Every time people think a technology will solve all their problems (remember guys from NOSQL back in the days?), they need to see this talk. The speaker also did this talk as a keynote a couple of times during other conferences.
I can’t even say how many times I recommended someone to watch it - even today, 5 years after.
Simple advice to create more secure and imho bug-free code.
Some of his advice:
Let functions return what they promise. Don't return null or false, but throw exceptions.
Use immutable objects.
Use domain objects.
Don't black-list: white-list.
"Back to the Future (of 1994)." Danny Hillis (1994). 19 mins
Covers many things but I specifically got to understand how they use Redis to manage stuff like photo updates to follower / following lists.
This talk is less technical than his other videos, but really catches the spirit of discovery, failure and learning.
Lots of great tangents that add to the subjects.
I love talks like this.
This talk is made better by the fact that it's rather brief (~20min).
A really nice intuitive intro to resampling methods.
He has a few talks that he barely uses any presentation material and it's very good.
e.g. What we actually know about Software Development and why we know it's true.
Seriously, what was the point of your comment?