For the final couple of months, Prashanth Chandrasekar has been getting settled in because the new CEO of Stack Overflow. I’m nonetheless happening some buyer calls and have a weekly assembly with him, however I’ve freed up a whole lot of time. I’m additionally actually having fun with discovering simply how little I knew about working medium-sized firms, as I watch Prashanth rearrange all the pieces—for the higher. It’s actually satisfying to comprehend that the absolute best consequence for me is that if he proves what a foul CEO I used to be by doing a significantly better job working the corporate.
Despite the fact that I dwell in Manhattan’s premier NORC (“Naturally Occurring Retirement Group,”) I’m pondering of this time as a sabbatical, not retirement. And in reality I’m actually, actually busy, and, within the curiosity of deflecting 1,000,000 questions on what I’m doing these days, thought I’d replace my long-suffering readers right here.
I’m chairman of three firms. You most likely know all about Stack Overflow so I’ll skip forward.
Fog Creek Software program has been renamed Glitch, “the pleasant neighborhood for constructing the online.” Below CEO Anil Dash, they’ve grown to millions of apps and raised an honest round of money to speed up that development. I feel that in each period there needs to be some sort of simplified programming setting for the quiet majority of builders who don’t want fancy administration options for his or her code, like git branches or multistep deployment processes; they simply need to write code and have it run. Glitch is geared toward these builders.
The third firm, HASH, remains to be sort of underneath the radar proper now, though in the present day they put an entire bunch of phrases up on their web site so I suppose I can provide you a preview. HASH is constructing an open supply platform for doing simulations. It’s an effective way to mannequin issues the place you’ve some concept of how each agent is meant to behave, however you don’t actually know what all that’s going so as to add as much as.
For instance, suppose you’re a metropolis planner and also you need to mannequin visitors in an effort to make a case for a brand new bus line. You possibly can, type of, fake that each bus takes 50 automobiles off the highway, however that’s not going to work except yow will discover 50 commuters who will all resolve to take your new bus line… and the best way they resolve is that they examine if the bus is definitely going to avoid wasting them money and time over simply driving. This can be a case the place you possibly can truly simulate the habits of each “agent” in your mannequin, like Cities: Skylines does, and work out the outcomes. Then you possibly can attempt hundreds or tens of millions of various potential bus routes and see which of them truly cut back visitors.
This sort of modeling is extremely computationally intensive, however it works even if you don’t have a closed-form components for the way bus traces affect visitors, or, basically, how particular person brokers’ habits impacts general outcomes. This sort of instrument shall be extremely helpful in far-ranging issues, like epidemiology, econometrics, city planning, finance, political science, and a whole lot of different areas which aren’t actually amenable to closed-form modeling or widespread “AI” strategies. (I really like placing AI in “scare” “quotes”. There are a whole lot of startups on the market making an attempt to coach machine studying fashions with manner too little information. Generally the fashions they create simply reproduce the unhealthy choice making of the people they’re skilled on. In lots of circumstances a mannequin with simulated brokers working a white field algorithm goes to be superior).
Okay, so these are the three firms I’m nonetheless engaged on ultimately or one other. That also leaves me with a few free days each week which I’m truly utilizing to work on some electronics tasks.
Specifically, I’m actually into pixel-addressable RGB LEDs, like these WS2812b and APA102-type issues. Proper now I’m working on designing a circuit board that connects a Teensy 3.2 controller, which may drive as much as 4416 LEDs at a excessive body price, to a WizNET Ethernet adapter, after which creating some software program which can be utilized to distribute 4416 pixels value of knowledge to every Teensy over a TCP-IP community in hopes of making big installations with lots of of hundreds of pixels. If that made any sense in any respect, you’re most likely already a member of the LEDs ARE AWESOME Fb group and also you most likely suppose I’m dumb. If that doesn’t make any sense, relaxation assured that I’m most likely not going to burn down the house as a result of I’m very cautious with the soldering iron virtually each time.