Two great talks from RubyConf 2012:
Neil deGrasse Tyson is discussing his book “The Pluto Files” … basically recounting a few thousand years of finding things in the night sky, naming them and building an understanding of what they are … case in point: (now dwarf planet 😉 ) Pluto … including his hypothesis on why Americans in particular get so worked up about Pluto not being a planet any more. 😀
I take my head off to Jim, that’s a great way to approach a weird intersection of mathematics and programming. 😉 For those who are curious … he uses a very simple mathematical algorithm to explore how you can express recursions in Lambda calculus and thus “derives” the Y combinator.
Totally useless, but worth every minute. 😉
Douglas Merrill from Google talks about what it takes to build a search engine for the web.
Besides that what strikes me as interesting is their choice of languages “focusing” (he didn’t exactly say that, but it’s what you understand, when he says they won a prize for it) their efforts in machine translation on: Arabic and Chinese … o.O
Pascal Finette gave a great keynote at Joomla! World Conference 2012 talking about how Mozilla came to be and what they learned along the way. He shares insights on how to build a competitive product, a healthy community and maybe even a business around it, but developing and governing it the open source way.