An interactive study of common retry methods
In this post we’re going to visually explore different methods of retrying requests, demonstrating why some common approaches are dangerous and ultimately ending up at what the best practice is. At the end of this post you will have a solid understanding of what makes safe retry behaviour, and a vivid understanding of what doesn’t.
How Good Are FiveThirtyEight Forecasts?
Here, we’re looking at two main things: the calibration of a forecast — that is, whether events that we said would happen 30 percent of the time actually happened about 30 percent of the time — and how our forecast compared with an unskilled estimate that relies solely on historical averages. We can answer those questions using calibration plots and skill scores, respectively.
See this page fetch itself, byte by byte, over TLS
This page performs a live, annotated https: request for its own source. It’s inspired by The Illustrated TLS 1.3 Connection and Julia Evans’ toy TLS 1.3.
In the world of modern portable devices, it may be hard to believe that merely a few decades ago the most convenient way to keep track of time was a mechanical watch. Unlike their quartz and smart siblings, mechanical watches can run without using any batteries or other electronic components.
Over the course of this article I’ll explain the workings of the mechanism seen in the demonstration below. You can drag the device around to change your viewing angle, and you can use the slider to peek at what’s going on inside:
Charts.css is a modern CSS framework. It uses CSS utility classes to style HTML elements as charts.
Projection Connections: A Very Nerdy Poster
Friends, I’m excited to offer to you a new poster. Not a map this time around, but something map-related. A 16 × 24-inch tangled web showing how 100+ different map projections are all related to each other.
Moiré no more
I showed the original typewriter car scan, added my blurred-then-sharpened photo as a pathetic comparison, and asked: what is the latest in demoireing? Is there some new tech that could help me?
But this pales in comparison to the typewriter car photo I wanted to reuse, the one with all the dots, where we can see the FFT immediately betraying their repeated presence:
This sounded like a prank. You’re telling me that a problem I’ve witnessed for decades could be solved with a 1960s algorithm, and I don’t even have to be particularly careful? But I tried it out. I started crudely drawing over the peaks, one by one. Things were weird at the beginning, but then I saw something astonishing – the halftone dots started shrinking:
An Orbit Map of the Solar System
This map shows the orbits of more than 18000 asteroids in the solar system. This includes everything we know of that’s over 10km in diameter - about 10000 asteroids - as well as 8000 randomized objects of unknown size. Each asteroid is shown at its position on New Years’ Eve 1999, colored by type of asteroid.
Ditherpunk — The article I wish I had about monochrome image dithering
Cameras and Lenses
Cameras and the lenses inside them may seem a little mystifying. In this blog post I’d like to explain not only how they work, but also how adjusting a few tunable parameters can produce fairly different results:
This is amazing work.
This equation will change how you see the world (the logistic map)
That may be over selling it, but cool anyway.
Malofiej 28 visualization awards
In this edition, 162 media outlets from 34 different countries have sent in their works. Of the 1,000 entries in the competition, 400 correspond to printed graphics categories and 600 to digital infographics categories. The jury gave a total of 170 medals, 17 gold, 65 silver and 87 bronze medals in printed and digital media. From the 170 medals awarded by the jury, 58 went to the printed category (5 gold medals, 18 silver and 35 bronze) and 112 went to the online category (12 gold medals, 47 silver and 52 bronze).
The search for the saddest punt in the world
To punt is to give up, and in the 21st century, NFL teams have given up nearly 50,000 times. Most of those punts were reasonable decisions. But a few were so cowardly, and in such defiance of all reason, that they must not be forgotten. In this episode of Chart Party, it’s our mission to find them.
The U.S. Is Getting Shorter, as Mapmakers Race to Keep Up
Scientists are hard at work recalibrating where and how the nation physically sits on the planet. It’s not shrinkage — it’s “height modernization.”
The grand recalibration, called “height modernization,” is part of a broader effort within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, to establish more accurately where and how the United States physically sits on the planet. This new National Spatial Reference System, encompassing height, latitude, longitude and time, is expected to be rolled out in late 2022 or 2023, Ms. Blackwell said. It will replace reference systems from the 1980s that are slightly askew, having been derived from calculations that were done before the advent of supercomputers or global navigation satellite systems such as GPS.
Animation of the SHA-256 hash function in your terminal
Animated optical illusions. These are very nice.
Coronavirus Mutations Map the Global Outbreak
For the first time during a global outbreak, scientists have been able to use genomic data in real time to track how a virus is traveling around the world, revealing sources of outbreaks and shedding light on cases with unknown origins.
By identifying mutations in the genetic sequence of samples of the coronavirus, which are markers for various strains, researchers have offered clues to whether some cases came from a local source or elsewhere in the world.
Forecasting s-curves is hard
S-curves have only three parameters, and so it is perhaps impressive that they fit a variety of systems so well. Broadly, the three parameters describe the initial growth rate, the level-off rate, and the value at which it levels-off. Therefore, if you can estimate these three numbers, then you have the trend curve. Many of us will have learnt in school that if there are three parameters to be found, you need three data points to define the function. This would suggest that you could perfectly predict the level-off point based on only three observations (spoiler: you can’t).
Bilinear texture filtering – artifacts, alternatives, and frequency domain analysis
In this post we will look at one of the staples of real-time computer graphics – bilinear texture filtering. To catch your interest, I will start with focusing on something that is often referred to as “bilinear artifacts”, trapezoid/star-shaped artifact of bilinear interpolation – what causes them? I will discuss briefly some common bilinear filtering alternatives and how they fix those, link a few of my favorite papers on (fast) image interpolation, and analyze the frequency response of common cheap filters.
This Goes to Eleven - Decimating Array.Sort with AVX2
Let’s get in the ring and show what AVX/AVX2 intrinsics can really do for a non-trivial problem, and even discuss potential improvements that future CoreCLR versions could bring to the table.
Everyone needs to sort arrays, once in a while, and many algorithms we take for granted rely on doing so. We think of it as a solved problem and that nothing can be further done about it in 2020, except for waiting for newer, marginally faster machines to pop-up. However, that is not the case, and while I’m not the first to have thoughts about it; or the best at implementing it, if you join me in this rather long journey, we’ll end up with a replacement function for Array.Sort, written in pure C# that outperforms CoreCLR’s C++2 code by a factor north of 10x on most modern Intel CPUs, and north of 11x on my laptop. Sounds interesting? If so, down the rabbit hole we go…
Very well done.