Be Kind — Brian Gilham

One Friday afternoon, early in my career, I was wrapping up some new features for the back-end of a client’s Rails app. Simple stuff. Confident in my work, I deployed the changes, closed my laptop, and drove out of town for a weekend of camping with friends. I had just arrived when my phone rang. It was my project lead, Kevin. “The client’s site is down. What happened?”Oh shit. Fuck. I had no idea. I was three hours away with no laptop.“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “I’ll take care of it. Have a good weekend.”Like that was going to happen. I’d let the team down. I’d ruined someone else’s weekend. I beat myself up for days. Come Monday; I walked into the office certain I was about to be fired. The project lead walked over. “Hey, Brian. How was your trip?”He was smiling. There wasn’t even a hint of frustration or annoyance. “It was okay,” I said, waiting for the bad news. “Sorry about Friday. I completely blew it.”“It’s okay,” he replied. “We’ve all done it.” He paused for a moment. “But what did you learn?”I talked about the need for proper QA. About thoroughly testing my changes. About taking the time to make sure the job gets done right. After a few minutes, he held up his hand. “Great. It sounds like you get it. I know that you can do better.”And that was the end of it. Kevin never brought it up again.Kevin gave me the space to screw up, as long as I learned from it. He jumped in, with his years of experience, and helped me out when I needed it most. And still believed I was a competent developer, despite my mistake. He saw my potential.Now that I’m the one leading projects and mentoring junior developers, I often think back to that day. And I remind myself to be kind and see the potential in people. Give them a break.Just like Kevin did for me.

Source: Be Kind — Brian Gilham

Fermat’s Library | Why the Internet only just works annotated/explained version.

etwork was theARPAnet, which was used to come to grips with themain architectural issues that would go on to be thebasis of the Internet. The basic protocol that underlaythe ARPAnet was NCP [1], which combined addressingand transport into a single protocol. Many of the higher-level protocols that would go on to become common

Source: Fermat’s Library | Why the Internet only just works annotated/explained version.

Making Human Settlement of Space a Reality | NASA Administrator

Today, President Obama outlined a vision to CNN for the future of space exploration.  Echoing what he said in the 2015 State of the Union address, the President wrote, “We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time.”  Later this week, many of the Nation’s top innovators will come together in Pittsburgh at the White House Frontiers Conference, where they will further explore, among other things, how American investments in science and technology will help us settle “the final frontier” – space.   But today, we’re excited to announce two new NASA initiatives that build on the President’s vision and utilize public-private partnerships to enable humans to live and work in space in a sustainable way.

In April 2010, the President challenged the country – and NASA – to send American astronauts on a Journey to Mars in the 2030s.  By reaching out further into the solar system and expanding the frontiers of exploration, the President outlined a vision for pushing the bounds of human discovery, while also revitalizing the space industry and creating jobs here at home.

To achieve these mutually-reinforcing goals, the President instructed NASA to develop spacecraft and technologies geared toward sending astronauts to deep space, while at the same time partnering with American companies to build a strong space economy.  Following the President’s vision, NASA has worked over the past 6 years to help catalyze a vibrant new sector of the economy by enabling the commercial transportation of cargo and soon crew from American soil to the International Space Station.  And today, Americans are working at more than a thousand companies across virtually every state to support commercial space initiatives and with them, the growth of a new commercial market in Low Earth Orbit.

Source: Making Human Settlement of Space a Reality | NASA Administrator

Scientific Background on the Nobel Prize in Physics 2016

1 Introduction
In 1972 J. Michael Kosterlitz and David J. Thouless identified a completely
new type of phase transition in two-dimensional systems where topological
defects play a crucial role [35, 36]. Their theory applied to certain kinds of
magnets and to superconducting and superfluid films, and has also been very important for understanding the quantum theory of one-dimensional systems at very low temperatures.

Source: advanced-physicsprize2016.pdf