Python & Java: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Originally posted on Python Conquers The Universe:

I wrote this little piece a long time ago — it was last updated in May 2007. In 2009 I moved it from my website to this blog. At this point I consider it an historical artifact, in the sense that I consider it frozen; I’m no longer going to update it when, for example, Java acquires a new programmer-friendly feature.

During the years when it was on my web site, I received a number of email comments. I responded to them all, but no one — other than their authors and me — ever saw the comments and my responses. By moving this piece onto a blog, I hope that folks who feel like commenting can do so more easily, and can share their comments with a wider audience.

During the years when it was on my web site, virtually all of the comments that I received were from…

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Death to remixes: The enormous hidden threat of Soundcloud’s ZEFR partnership

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

soundcloud-remixers-in-the-cold“SoundCloud is by and large one of the rare pure and good things on the internet that the world, in an artistic sense, would be worse off without.”Leslie Horn, “How SoundCloud Changed Music Forever”

Yesterday, Techcrunch wrote what at first glance looked like a pretty basic “Startup X partners with Startup Y” story. It reported that SoundCloud — which is basically “YouTube for audio” — had struck a deal with Los Angeles’ ZEFR, a company that tracks and identifies content uploaded to open platforms so that copyright owners can monetize it through ads. ZEFR already offers this service to YouTube, and for SoundCloud the partnership is a logical step toward the platform’s ambitions to turn its wild and free network into something that produces meaningful revenue for both SoundCloud and its creators.

Which isn’t an inherently bad thing. If I upload someone else’s work to SoundCloud and a million people stream it, that creator deserves…

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Securing A Huge Growth Round

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s Note:David Frankel is a Managing Partner at Founder Collective, an early-stage VC firm based in Cambridge and NYC that has made investments in over 150 companies including Uber, BuzzFeed, Coupang, Makerbot, PillPack and SeatGeek.

Pitching VCs is a serious challenge at any stage, but asking for a $30-60 million check is usually the sale of a founder’s life. Convincing an investor to accept a valuation that most normal people think you’d deserve in a year’s time (at best) piles on the challenge.

I’ve recently been working with a few of our portfolio companies on these kinds of deals and wanted to summarize what we’ve seen work.

A word of warning: Most startups don’t qualify. Ten-figure checks go to those with significant tangible growth in revenue or DAUs, real margins, or a crystal-clear path to strong monetization. To qualify, your graphs should be at 45-degree angles at worst.

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AWS Wants To Put Machine Learning In Reach Of Any Developer

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Andy Jassy, senior vice president at Amazon Web Services, announced a new machine learning platform today at the AWS Summit in San Francisco.

The Amazon Machine Learning service is designed to give developers without machine learning background the tools to build smart, data-driven applications that can not only analyze what’s happening in real time or what happened in the past, but also predict what’s going to happen in the future (and that’s what’s most interesting here).

Companies like Netflix have been using AWS tools to undertake machine learning tasks for some time, but as Jassy said, “it’s hard work”, and AWS wanted to create a service specifically suited to machine learning without requiring specific expertise.

As with so many tools we see on AWS, the roots of the new tool began on where the company has been experimenting with various forms of machine learning for years. When you look at the recommendation engine…

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Amazon Launches New File Storage Service For EC2

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

At its AWS Summit in San Francisco, Amazon today announced the launch of the Amazon Elastic File System (EFS), a new storage service that provides a common file system for multiple EC2 virtual machines on AWS through the standard NFSv4 protocol. This new service will launch into preview in the “near future.”

Because it supports the standard NFS protocol, EFS will work with most existing file system tools and applications, so developers can simply mount and manage them with any standard file system tool.


According to Amazon, the typical use cases for this service are content repositories, development environments, web server farms, home directories and big data applications — anything, basically, that involves a lot of files.

As Amazon’s head of AWS Andy Jassy noted during today’s keynote, the company’s customers have been asking for this kind of service for a while. Currently, Jassy argues, it’s hard to predict capacity for file servers and managing…

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How to learn by working smarter, not harder

Originally posted on Quartz:

Two weeks ago, my oldest son taught my youngest son how to perform a corner kick during half time of my middle son’s soccer game. He demonstrated the correct way to swing the leg, angle the foot, and launch the ball toward the goal. When the referee blew his whistle, resuming the game, we moved to a spot of grass nearby. There, my little boy began to explain how to do the corner kick, recounting every detail absorbed during his older brother’s half-time tutorial.  I nudged him to practice what he had learned, rather than talking about it—after all, he was at a soccer field, with a mother willing to fetch errant balls. But he preferred to articulate each key point he had just learned and teach me how to do it. I thought we were wasting time, but new research says his approach beats mine.

Learning is more effective…

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Onion Omega Brings Web Smarts To IoT Hardware Hacking

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

The Raspberry Pi made experimenting with computing hardware and software more accessible to millions, and now a new project wants to take that concept further with an even smaller developer board that runs full Linux and has built-in Wi-Fi, all on a circuit board just 1/4 of the size of the Raspberry Pi.

The Onion Omega is a dev platform designed to give software developers an easy way to create Internet of Things applications without having to build their own hardware from the ground up, or modify other products to suit their own needs. The Onion Omega is designed to be easy to add to existing hardware projects, providing them with Wi-Fi capabilities, as wells a Linux-based OS, 16MB of local storage, and 64MB of DDR2 400MHz RAM, as well as pins supporting USB 2.0 and 100Mbps Ethernet.

Onion Omega’s creators, which include core team members located in Boston, Toronto…

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