Writing

Writing

Most of these entries link to my Medium publication, but some link to my writing elsewhere. I don’t put my writing behind the Medium paywall because I want it to be accessible to everyone, this means Medium doesn’t pay me to write anything. I you enjoyed my writing, for it helpful, or just want to make my day, please consider supporting my work

 How to Make a Time-b, I mean, Timepiece —or— Why People Who Get Scared About Things They Know Nothing About Make Me Want to Cry

There’s, of course, the current tale of Ahmed Mohamed and his clock. He’s a 14 year old boy of Sudanese descent who happens to be an American kid and Muslim (why blame a kid for his religion?). His father happens to have run for presidency in Sudan, twice. Should any of that matter in this case? No, but it seems to have mattered. According to CNN, the teacher to whom he showed the clock was the one who felt threatened. Now, it might be arguable it was just the appearance of an eight inch wide metal pencil box with a time readout that caused the worry. I would say that’s an argument made out of ignorance and poor education regarding electronics.

 What to Look for in PHP 5.4.0

PHP 5.4.0 will arrive soon. The PHP team is working to bring to some very nice presents to PHP developers. In the previous release of 5.3.0 they had added a few language changes. This version is no different. Some of the other changes include the ability to use DTrace for watching PHP apps in BSD variants (there is a loadable kernel module for Linux folks). This release features many speed and security improvements along with some phasing out of older language features (Y2K compliance is no longer optional). The mysql extensions for ext/mysql, mysqli, and pdo now use the MySql native driver (mysqlnd). This release also improves support for multibyte strings.

 The State of Functional Programming in PHP 5.3.x

A few weeks ago, I started looking into the possibility of functional programming in PHP. I stumbled across the capability of defining anonymous functions — starting with PHP 5.3.0. These can be used to define closures with bound variables and also for partial application or currying. Higher order functions can also be defined.

 Documentation for gRaphael: g.line.js

gRaphael provides an easy way of creating charts through JavaScript. Unfortunately, many people have complained about how poorly it is documented. In the interest of seeing more good looking charts on websites, I decided to go through the code and post documentation here.

 Centering Map Viewports Near Locations while Preserving Privacy

What geoloqi needs is a method of offsetting the current location which statistically cannot be tricked or munged into reproducing one’s current location. This is the major constraint: How does one ensure that a dedicated (stalker/zombie/attacker/real life spamer/salesman) cannot reproduce one’s location, given the algorithm and a set of data requested from the public API for the map center?

 Profound Similarities

I was messing around with some ideas the other day and noticed some similarities between some very beautiful identities.

 Interesting Fibonacci Goodness

Last year I was working on deriving a matrix based method for translating and rotating various polygons around pentagons. In the process of this I got sidetracked and started to look into the golden mean. People swoon over how it defines the most beautiful rectangles! It crops up inside pentagons and various 3-D polyhedra. It’s glorious. It’s just like how a circle has the ratio pi, and it has a name too: phi. I’ll be writing it down in Greek from here on out (it’s originally from there anyway). So learn this shape: \varphi Sometimes people write it out like this: \phi Either way it’s just a variable name. Sometimes it refers to something other than the golden mean, but here it’s the golden mean. As I found powers of \varphi , I kept noticing certain values popping up in sequence. It turns out that one can find powers of \varphi through the following formula: