This accidentally fell out of her pocket when I bumped into her. Took me four goes.

Saturday, August 28


Australian Election Update, Saturday August 28th


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Thursday, August 26


There's A Site For That

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Wednesday, August 25


Australian Election Update, Wednesday August 25th


Update: Steven notes in the comments that all the major Westminster model countries - UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India - now have hung parliaments. 

This is particularly interesting in that three different voting systems - First Past the Post, Alternative Vote, and Single Transferable Vote - have all produced hung parliaments.  The numbers suggest that Proportional Voting would have produced the a hung parliament in Australia as well.

Why has this happened?  In Australia, it's easy to blame two tragically inept major parties, both of them fresh from stabbing their own leaders in the back.  But when it happens in five countries at the same time, the indication is that it's systemic.

What the solution is, whether there is a solution, and whether we should even be looking for a solution, are all questions I leave for another day.  At the moment, though, I'd throw my support behind a Budgie/Ranga coalition just to deflate the Fruitbats and Noneoftheaboves, who are getting more insufferable by the minute.

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Tuesday, August 24


Still No Government

Pretty interesting, in an extremely boring sort of way.  No court battles, no riots, no nothing, just the ongoing vote-counting and horse-trading.  Lots of whining lefties, but when is there not a lot of whining lefties?

Still, at the end of the day, we're going to be stuck with Team Budgie or Team Ranga.  I'm nominally in favour of Team Budgie because they finally scraped up the courage to oppose Senator Palpatine's Secret Thought Police Act of 2010, but jeeze, it took them long enough, and both major parties are otherwise about as inspiring as last night's potato salad.  (Of course, Team Fruitbat is as inspiring as last week's potato salad...  That someone forgot to put back in the fridge.)

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Little-Known Python Data Structures, Part 213, The Sideways Nesting Iridescent Hash Tree

Well, okay, I'm playing with named tuples some more.  And records too, which are mutable named tuples.  Benchmarks on Tanarotte, a cheap little 3GHz Phenom X4:
tontuple * 1000000: 2.25s 444921.8/s
fromntuple * 1000000: 2.53s 394941.8/s
torecord * 1000000: 2.99s 334648.4/s
fromrecord * 1000000: 2.58s 388138.2/s

tontuple * 1000000: 1.78s 561349.0/s
fromntuple * 1000000: 1.25s 803004.6/s
torecord * 1000000: 2.16s 462985.7/s
fromrecord * 1000000: 1.00s 1001112.3/s
And on Aoi, a very expensive 2.93GHz dual Xeon:
tontuple * 1000000: 1.86s 537917.8/s
fromntuple * 1000000: 2.18s 458282.9/s
torecord * 1000000: 2.70s 370085.8/s
fromrecord * 1000000: 2.26s 442421.5/s

tontuple * 1000000: 1.70s 588383.4/s
fromntuple * 1000000: 2.24s 445920.3/s
torecord * 1000000: 1.95s 513738.1/s
fromrecord * 1000000: 2.24s 447280.2/s
Which tells me two things.

First: Performance is pretty much a wash, so it's fine to use whichever is best for a given task.

Second: Go for the cheaper AMD server next time.  A 2.6GHz quad-core/dual-socket Opteron retails for about $140; a six-core version for $210.  The Xeon X5670s in our current server run about $1460 each.

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Yes We Have No Government

We have no government today!

Since we have a parliamentary system of government in Australia, the party (or coalition) controlling the majority of seats in the lower house gets to appoint the Prime Minister and form the government.  (Of course, if they don't also control the upper house, the upper house can "block supply" and cause all sorts of mishief.)

Currently, the two major parties appear to be precisely tied.  That means that a small number of independents and fruitbats are busy working to extort everything they can in exchange for their support in forming the new government.

Which all means that right now, no-one is in charge.  So I'm off to the beach.


Wait, it's 10° outside.  Also, pitch black.  I'm off to bed.

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Monday, August 23


The Not Safe For Work Science Fiction Author Song

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Sunday, August 22


Well, That's Promising

Just having a little data structure bakeoff here at PixyLabs, comparing Treedicts with Structures with named tuples.  And the winnerer is...
fromdict * 10000: 0.27s 36861.3/s
fromnest * 10000: 1.94s 5147.4/s
tostruct * 10000: 6.02s 1661.8/s
fromstruct * 10000: 4.44s 2254.6/s
tontuple * 10000: 0.02s 446387.8/s
fromntuple * 10000: 0.03s 385176.6/s

fromdict * 10000: 0.26s 38590.5/s
fromnest * 10000: 1.76s 5678.3/s
tostruct * 10000: 4.75s 2106.4/s
fromstruct * 10000: 3.90s 2567.0/s
tontuple * 10000: 0.02s 575279.3/s
fromntuple * 10000: 0.01s 778944.4/s
The named tuple code isn't complete yet, and they don't do type checking (which Structures do), but 250x the performance?  I think we have a winner.

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Saturday, August 21


And So Australia Goes To The Polls

Don't blame me, I voted "None of the above."

Update:  As of a few minutes ago (thanks ABC)

66.5% counted.
Updated Sat Aug 21 09:20PM
Party % Vote Swing Won Predict
38.1 -5.3

Budgie 43.7 +1.5

Fruitbat 11.6 +3.8

Others 6.6 -0.1


And about half a million informal votes.

Unfortunately, there's no way for both the major parties to lose.

Update: Latest predictions are Team Budgie 74, Team Ranga 71, Team Fruitbat 1, and Team Noneoftheabove 4.

Since 76 seats in the House are needed to form government, that would mean that Team Budgie would require the assent of two of the independents, or Team Ranga all of the independents and the Fruitbat.  And that's before we even start thinking about the Senate.

Confused?  I'll let Taiwan explain:

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Friday, August 20



My ISP has gone insane.

They've just announced new plans with download caps of up to 1TB per month.  The price for this is the same as I'm currently paying for 225GB - and that was a free increase from 200GB which was a free increase from 150GB which was a free increase from 110GB.

The one difference is that the new plans count uploads as well as downloads; however, my upstream speed is around 2Mbps, so I can only upload about 500GB a month anyway.

Handy for doing backups of the servers.  In the past I've arranged them carefully to conserve bandwidth; with this I won't have to care.

Update: My backup ISP (since I depend on the internet for work, I have a second, cheaper connection) has just announced a 1TB plan as well.  I'm currently on an unlimited plan with them, but this works out quite a bit cheaper.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:56 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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