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Spark vs Pandas, part 2 — Spark

  • As opposed to Pandas, Spark doesn’t support any indexing for efficient access to individual rows in a DataFrame.
  • This sort of support for complex and deeply nested schemas is something which sets Spark apart from Pandas, which can only work with purely tabular data.
  • Instead of relying on usable indices, Spark will reorganize the data under the hood as part of implementing an efficient parallel and distributed join operation.
  • In contrast to Spark, Pandas was also able to perform row-wise aggregations over all columns of a DataFrame.
  • Spark does not offer these operations, since they do not fit well to the conceptional data model where a DataFrame has a fixed set of columns and a possibly unknown or even unlimited (in the case of a streaming application which continually processes new rows as they enter the system) number of rows.

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Rediscovering Lotus Agenda (MS-DOS, 1989)

  • Terminal tools like GNU screen work, you can copy and paste between native applications, and you can use it over ssh.
  • I configured DOSEMU to map a few directories so I can save my files in the usual places, you just need to add something like lredir I: \\linux\fs\home\taviso\Documents to autoexec.bat.
  • The guide has you use Agenda as a task planner to enter upcoming events, like “Call Sarah this Friday to give her feedback on her proposal”, and demonstrates how Agenda can extract dates and activities from text you enter.
  • I wrote a quick parser that can convert it to JSON, so now you can use modern tools like jq to manipulate and transform the data however you wish.
  • If there is a commandline tool that will import data, e.g. a TaskWarrior user might use task add drop off laundry at dry cleaners, then you can create a macro in Agenda that simply launches that command.

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Uber sued by drivers over 'threatening' Prop. 22 messages in app - Business Insider

  • Earlier this month, as part of its multi-million dollar bid to get California's Proposition 22 passed at the polls in November, Uber sent a series of push notifications and in-app messages to drivers and riders.
  • In August, California's Attorney General filed a lawsuit against both Uber and Lyft, accusing them of breaking the state's new employment law that was passed at the beginning of the year.
  • Because drivers set their own hours, use their own cars, and can work for competing apps, Uber has long maintained that it is not breaking the law by treating them as contractors.
  • 22, which is supported by nearly $200 million in funding from Uber, DoorDash, Lyft and other gig-work companies, would establish a benefits fund that would follow workers across apps and jobs, while keeping them as contractors.

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Uber sued by drivers over 'threatening' Prop. 22 messages in app - Business Insider

  • Earlier this month, as part of its multi-million dollar bid to get California's Proposition 22 passed at the polls in November, Uber sent a series of push notifications and in-app messages to drivers and riders.
  • In August, California's Attorney General filed a lawsuit against both Uber and Lyft, accusing them of breaking the state's new employment law that was passed at the beginning of the year.
  • Because drivers set their own hours, use their own cars, and can work for competing apps, Uber has long maintained that it is not breaking the law by treating them as contractors.
  • 22, which is supported by nearly $200 million in funding from Uber, DoorDash, Lyft and other gig-work companies, would establish a benefits fund that would follow workers across apps and jobs, while keeping them as contractors.

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Spark vs Pandas, part 2 — Spark

  • As opposed to Pandas, Spark doesn’t support any indexing for efficient access to individual rows in a DataFrame.
  • This sort of support for complex and deeply nested schemas is something which sets Spark apart from Pandas, which can only work with purely tabular data.
  • Instead of relying on usable indices, Spark will reorganize the data under the hood as part of implementing an efficient parallel and distributed join operation.
  • In contrast to Spark, Pandas was also able to perform row-wise aggregations over all columns of a DataFrame.
  • Spark does not offer these operations, since they do not fit well to the conceptional data model where a DataFrame has a fixed set of columns and a possibly unknown or even unlimited (in the case of a streaming application which continually processes new rows as they enter the system) number of rows.

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What comes after Zoom fatigue

  • So you might say that we’ve struggled with Zoom fatigue for quite some time, when you consider that abysmal picture quality, stuttering audio, and the general awkwardness of talking to screens have always been features of the video chat experience.
  • While I do remember trying FaceTime when it launched, until the pandemic, I never actually wanted to video chat rather than talk on the phone or over text, especially in my personal life.
  • Most of the major tech companies have now built their own video chat platforms, with the most prominent ones, like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, aimed at business customers.
  • During the pandemic, we’ve all started relying on video chat technology for health care, religion, entertainment, and simply keeping up with friends.
  • That explains my initial surprise when the folks from Microsoft Teams started telling me how their workplace software had taken on new roles, like social networking, in many users’ lives.

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HBO Max hits 28.7M subscribers in Q3, but few are over-the-top

  • Despite not being available on Roku, one of the top streaming platforms in the U.S., AT&T said new HBO Max activations more than doubled from second-quarter levels, reaching 8.6 million in Q3.
  • In total, 28.7 million customers were eligible to stream their HBO Max subscription by the end of the quarter, the company said.
  • In fact, some significant portion of these 8.6 million new “activations” may not yet even know that HBO Max exists — especially if the service is unavailable on their favorite streaming platform, like Roku.
  • This will give Apple customers a way to stream from apps that haven’t launched on the Roku platform itself.
  • AT&T also said it’s continuing to invest in HBO Max, having poured around $600 million in the service during Q3, bringing its investment to $1.3 billion for the year so far.

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I survived Liberia's civil wars. Here's my advice to American voters

  • When I was 15, my family fled our homes to escape the violence, and we went to live in a displaced people's camp in Liberia's Salala district.
  • The election taught me that local groups like the YMCA of Liberia, where I served as a youth leader, had earned everyday trust.
  • In 2005, institutions like the YMCA helped to boost confidence in a fair vote, and Johnson Sirleaf stepped into office on the strength of ballots, not bullets.
  • For the next post-war elections in 2011, I was working for the peace-building organization Search for Common Ground.
  • Thanks to years of steady work, these figures had earned community trust and could promote a fair and peaceful vote.
  • Know that people before you -- in Liberia, Sierra Leone and many other countries -- have weathered difficult elections.

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An ed-tech specialist spoke out about remote testing software — and now he’s being sued

  • Between August 23rd and 24th, Ian Linkletter, a learning technology specialist at the University of British Columbia (UBC), made a series of tweets criticizing a software that his school uses.
  • The software was called Proctorio, an online test-proctoring tool that monitors students for suspicious behavior while they take virtual exams.
  • Then, in early September, Linkletter got an unexpected call from a reporter at the Vancouver Sun. Proctorio was suing him for tweeting the videos, as well as a screenshot of its website — the company claimed he’d infringed its copyright and distributed confidential material.
  • Unlike services like Examity and ProctorU, which can put students in front of a live proctor, Proctorio is fully algorithmic, using what its website describes as “machine learning and advanced facial detection technologies.” The software is able to, through a student’s webcam, record them as they work, and monitor the position of their head to track whether they’re looking at their test.

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The Story Behind Markdown

  • Decades later, we'd call that Markdown, use it to format text without clicking buttons, to write for the web without HTML.
  • What it did cover were the things you’d use to write and blog, borrowing from plain text email formatting where possible.
  • One underscore or asterisk for italics (matching the convention in emails in the ‘90's and comic strips from the ‘60’s and earlier), two asterisks or underscores for bold, greater-than symbols for quotes (as email apps show quoted sections of previous emails in replies), and hashes for headers (something ATX, email, and typewritten documents all used).
  • Markdown gives two ways to write bold and italics, two ways to add code blocks, three ways to add bullet lists.
  • Markdown even became a generic term for plain text formatting; Slack's markup is closer to Textile, with asterisks for bold and underscores for italics, but they referred to it as markdown formatting.

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