Weekly Review, March 7

By Sunday, March 8, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Earlier this week, I finished listening to the audio book version of “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas”, by Warren Berger.

In this book, Warren Berger explores the power of questions and the questioning mindset, and how it is used to ignite change in business and in our daily lives. Warren finds that although children start out asking hundreds of questions a day, questioning decreases dramatically as children enter school. He discusses the effect of the education and business culture that rewards answers, and barely tolerates questions. Warren analyzes numerous examples of successful startups (e.g. Google, Airbnb, Netflix, and more), and reveals how questioning is key in their culture, and the driver for innovation. Throughout the book, the author outlines a practical Why-What If-How framework of inquiry to facilitate the process of innovation.

I enjoyed the book very much, and recommend it whole heartedly! It resonated with my own lingering thoughts and concerns about the western education system, that keep growing as my own kids approach entering this broken and outdated system. When the day arrives, I hope I will be able to enroll my kids to a school that embraces and encourages the questioning mindset, instead of demanding canned answers and emphasizing compliance – a culture that served the industrial age, but is harmful at the information age. Are you familiar with such school? In Israel? Around the world? Please let me know!

I also completed today the Cloud Compute Concepts (1) Coursera course. This course was a 5-week MOOC from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, covering some basic technical concepts in cloud computing. The syllabus includes MapReduce, grids, peer-to-peer systems, failure detection and membership protocols, key/value stores (e.g. Cassandra), multicast, time ordering in distributed systems, snapshots, the consensus problem and the Paxos protocol.

I’m not seeking any “formal” qualifications on this subject. When I started my current job at Yowza](http://www.yowza3d.com/), it was the first time I worked with cloud technology at depth. I picked up lots and lots of practical stuff, but I felt I’m missing the background and underlying theory. To compensate for this, I decided to take a series of Coursera courses, whose syllabi looked comprehensive enough. This course was the first in the series, and I think I already produced value from it. For instance, we’re considering using Cassandra, and thanks to the course, I now know more about Cassandra then I knew before.

The Weekly Review is a recurring (sort-of-)weekly summary, reviewing highlights from the last week.

Blog posts from the last few weeks

  1. Added support for external libraries in the last episode in my SCons series.
  2. A new app highlights post on Twilight.
  3. Shell-Fooa bash one-liner to run a distributed grep on a GCE cluster.
  4. The previous weekly review.

The best way to keep up with new posts is to follow the feed.

Web selections

littleBits is running a bunch of free #InventAnything online courses. Want to make something? Join a course!

Here’s a useful collection of printf rules (pun intended), from Brett Terpstra.

CryptoClub, part of the CryptoClub Project, is a site for teaching cryptography and related mathematics. It is intended mainly for middle-grade students. A useful tool to expose kids to these concepts in a gasified way. But why does the website look like one of my Geocities experiments from the 90’s..?

A nice Lifehacker article on what to do if you lose the master password to your password manager.

Why you should talk numbers with your toddler.

Following the Superfish fiasco, How-To Geek ran an article on other such crap that you should remove.

Kids spend time in front of the TV. Usually it means that a parent (or more) needs to tolerate what’s on the TV. If this applies to you – this GeekDad post can help!

Quantom quantom quantum cool physics quantum weee.

Side project updates


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