Year: 2019

Flagging “bad” content cannot make social media safer

Social media platforms get in public hot water these days for they way they recommend material to their users. Ysabel Gerrard and Tarleton Gillespie wrote an an article in Wired called When Algorithms Think You Want to Die.  They described how Pinterest and other platforms, by their recommendations, amplify peoples’ exposure to potentially dangerous material. The mechanism is straightforward. When… Read more →

Super simple Javascript Queue class

It’s tempting, when in a hurry, to create a queue object in Javascript with an array. To enqueue something, push() it onto the array. To dequeue it, shift() it off. It works. But it’s slow, because shift() takes O(n) time where n is the length of the queue. Kate Morely cooked up an almost-as-simple but much faster queue implementation. She… Read more →

Grid-interactive power? When?

National Grid, the company selling electricity here in eastern Massachusetts, ran a Smart Energy Solutions pilot program in Worcester from 2015-2018. Serving about 15,000 customers, this program gave discounts when customers used energy off-peak.  Here’s how it worked. As of November 2018, they sold energy at three rates: Off-peak: $0.10697 per kWh On-peak: $0.13100 per kWh Peak-event (brownout conditions): $0.66997… Read more →

Third winter with my electric vehicle

I’ve had the Model S for two and a half years now, and it has about 39,000 miles on the odometer. It’s a 2016 90D with the first-generation sensor set and 19-inch wheels. Here are some thoughts in the car’s third winter. Its factory tires got to the end of their useful live at 38,000 miles, and I replaced them… Read more →