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I'm assuming that you run Kafka within AWS. Much of the hardware requirements/suggestions I've seen for Kafka are all for non-virtualized environments. If you can get into it, could you share some details...

- What is the size of your Kafka cluster

- What instances types do you use?

- Do you use EBS or use ephemeral storage?

- How much do you over-provision to deal with instance loss?

- Any other gotchas/considerations?



Do you not feel like you can get a good startup experience in Austin?


No, I absolutely feel I can get a good startup experience in Austin.

I just prefer skiing over humidity :)


Spiceworks, Austin, TX. Full-time http://www.spiceworks.com/jobs/

We're hiring all types (Analytics, UI, Test-Automation, Generalists) of developers and at all levels at the moment.

Responsibilities: What will I do?

* Looking for all levels of experience

* Contribute to the design and development of product features as well as major components

* Contribute to the innovation and evolution of the Spiceworks suite products

* Work directly with our growing community of over 2 Million IT pros as well as experience developers who are experts in the industry

Qualifications: What does it take to do this job?

* Looking for all levels of experience

* Object Oriented programming skills with Ruby-on-Rails ( Python or equivalent)

* Application and/or Web Application experience is a must

* Familiarity with HTML, CSS, JavaScript (Prototype) and Ruby-On-Rails

* Solving large-application/user-level problems, performance, scalability, etc.

* Skilled with distributed software (native or webapp)

* Some experience with SQL is desired

Email me at sajana @ spiceworks . com if you're interested!


Called the “Facebook of IT,” Spiceworks innovative model combines a network management app with an online community of over 2 million IT pros around the world. Our goal is to simplify “everything IT” by helping our users do their jobs, share tips and tricks, and connect with the tech vendors who sell them products. And, given we’re growing by over 2,000 users a day, it’s no wonder we’ve been called the “fast growing social business app” in history!


I've been taking the Computational Investing course on Coursera. I knew next to nothing about trading and its definitely been helpful with the basics.



I have also been following this course and am extremely disappointed in its quality -- not just in poor production, but also in the coverage of course material. I would not recommend this as a primer on investing.




The approaches between the two campaigns relay the IT as a cost center vs a profit center debate. The Obama campaign used its technology to create a competitive edge while the Romney campaign minimized its internal operations and relied on outside parties which were not completely aligned with the goal of the campaign.

Also, I have a question which I would love to gain any insight on. In this article and others I've read about this , its been said that the Romney campaign could only start developing Orca after the primaries were finished. Why is this? Shouldn't the RNC have been in charge of developing something like this? Or are these applications very specific to the actual candidate?


I'm guessing that the party organization itself isn't allowed to do anything other than nominate their candidate. The campaign, of which the GOTV system is a part, has to be directed by the candidate. This makes sense in that you're technically electing a person, not a party.


Sure, but the party could contract with a consulting group, which could take on the winner as a client.

It is all the same people circulating between the parties and the campaigns and the consultancies and the PACs.


You can order the e-book on O'Reilly's website:



Thanks - ordered.


> This history is in really marked contrast to MATLAB and its corresponding free version Octave, where computer scientists pretty much refuse to use Octave, despite MATLAB's massive price tag to pretty much everyone involved (even with 90% discounts).

Do you have any insights as to why Octave does not have higher adoption?


I've always been a bit sad about it, but everyone involved is probably a rational actor.

Computer science professors probably view a couple hundred dollars per MATLAB network license as a tiny expense on a $1m+ grant (whereas statistics grants are apparently often smaller), and they may be charged for it in departmental overhead anyway (removing the incentive to cut costs).

The type of people who could contribute either core code or toolbox type code to Octave often have an extremely rare quantitative skill set that is worth hundreds of dollars an hour, so there is a huge incentive to get paid to do similar work instead. There probably isn't much community recognition (to balance things out) for implementing a library in Octave. (Though, in the R world there are certain recognizable superstars like Hadley Wickham.)

Graduate students (who might work for cheap on these problems) are probably more focused on publications and networking.

As long as all of this is the case, Octave will always kind of just be a worse MATLAB that happens to be open source, so a new user choosing between them will probably just choose MATLAB by default.


Octave core developer here.

It is true that we have a lot of trouble attracting new contributors. Most of our users keep demanding features that seem to us unimportant but to them are all the world: a GUI ("whatever for?", we think. "Use a real text editor!"), a JIT compiler ("here's a nickle, get better vectorised code, kid"), perfect Matlab compatibility (a never-ending chase, not very fun, in which we must always be behind).

Of these, we're finally slowly listening to our users. Two of our current three GSoC students are working on a GUI and a JIT compiler respectively. I have wild hope that this will attract more users and developers. I'm also currently hosting an Octave conference in a few days towards this goal:

By the way, Octave is GNU (so is R, supposedly), so we're not really open source; we're free. ;-)

I don't know why Octave hasn't been able to replicate R's success. I don't know if R's not really being GNU despite in name has something to it (R developers routinely try to find new ways to get around the GPL and link R to non-free code, and I don't doubt that this linking to Oracle's database is another example of that). I don't know if it's just that a lot of people with big money care more about statistics and R than they care about Octave (banks and brokers for R, electrical and civil engineers for Otave). Maybe our code sucks more than R's.

Do you have any suggestion how to make Octave the standard instead of Matlab? The recent gratis classes that emerged from Stanford gave Octave a lot of publicity. Do you have any suggestion of what else we might do?


You're probably in a much better position to evaluate than I am! My guess is that more Octave-based classes would translate into more users and more code written for Octave down the line, but I'm not sure how to encourage more use of Octave in the classroom in the first place.


Matlab is truly the RAD tool of choice for numerical programming and has a solid grip in universities combined with enterprise-level support.

I do not think Octave ever tried to replicate its workflow (which is not general programmer centric at all) and domain-specific documentation but merely focused on the underlying language compatibility, which is really the least important part of Matlab.

On top of that, I seem to recall, Matlab was one of the first of the specialist programming toolsets to offer a very competitive "Student Edition". This was a godsend for schools and universities before the Internet took off.

In short, Octave was too little too late, and Numpy/Scipy, while catching up fast, has supporting tools spread all over the place as well as being geared more to general programmers who want access to convenient numerics rather than numerical modellers/engineers wanting a RAD tool.

Numpy/Scipy etc. may well overtake Matlab eventually, but that will be purely a function of its infrastructure, not the something as mundane as even the nice language (which admittedly was its initial driving force). At least in this respect, it has done a lot better than Octave in much less time.


Actually, there are tons of people who want to run Matlab code freely. The code is already written. They need to run it in clusters, or they need to run it at home.

This is why we are doing Octave.


MATLAB is commonly used in introductory CS courses for engineering majors, since it's useful for a lot of general tasks and is pretty forgiving.

MATLAB has a nice GUI and IDE. It also generates good graphs with minimal effort.

Octave has a command-line REPL.


San Francisco

Join the team at Archimedes and help us hack healthcare. We're looking for a Senior Software Engineer with extensive Java experience.

Website: www.archimedesmodel.com Contact: salexander@archimedesmodel.com

About us:

Archimedes has developed a full-scale simulation model of human physiology, diseases, behaviors, interventions, and healthcare systems. By using advanced methods of mathematics, computing, and data systems, the Archimedes Model enables researchers, administrators, and policymakers to run clinically realistic virtual trials on any population and create compelling evidence to make decisions in health and economic outcomes research, policy creation, clinical trial design, and performance improvement.


I tend to go back and forth between vim and RubyMine. I like editing in vim, but when I want/need to use a debugger, I use RubyMine. RubyMine has a vim keymap (I believe they also have emacs), so editing within it is not so bad either.

I think I've adopted this since I went from an IDE -> vim instead of the opposite. Having a visual debugger was one of the features that kept me in an IDE (at least for Ruby). I just never felt like I was as productive without it.


The article states that these 'moons' typically stay for around 10 months. Do they escape from the Earth's gravity or are they pulled closer to the Earth and eventually break up in the atmosphere?


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_RH120 :

2006 RH120 is a tiny near-Earth asteroid with a diameter of about five metres, which ordinarily orbits the Sun but makes close approaches to the Earth–Moon system every twenty years or so. Occasionally the object temporarily enters Earth orbit through temporary satellite capture (TSC).



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