The hottest Computing Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
Top Technology Topics
Astral Codex Ten • 16656 implied HN points • 13 Feb 24
  1. Sam Altman aims for $7 trillion for AI development, highlighting the drastic increase in costs and resources needed for each new generation of AI models.
  2. The cost of AI models like GPT-6 could potentially be a hindrance to their creation, but the promise of significant innovation and industry revolution may justify the investments.
  3. The approach to funding and scaling AI development can impact the pace of progress and the safety considerations surrounding the advancement of artificial intelligence.
The Chip Letter • 6577 implied HN points • 10 Mar 24
  1. GPU software ecosystems are crucial and as important as the GPU hardware itself.
  2. Programming GPUs requires specific tools like CUDA, ROCm, OpenCL, SYCL, and oneAPI, as they are different from CPUs and need special support from hardware vendors.
  3. The effectiveness of GPU programming tools is highly dependent on support from hardware vendors due to the complexity and rapid changes in GPU architectures.
lcamtuf’s thing • 2332 implied HN points • 12 Mar 24
  1. The discrete Fourier transform (DFT) is a crucial algorithm in modern computing, used for tasks like communication, image and audio processing, and data compression.
  2. DFT transforms time-domain waveforms into frequency domain readings, allowing for analysis and manipulation of signals like isolating instruments or applying effects like Auto-Tune in music.
  3. Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) optimizes DFT by reducing the number of necessary calculations, making it more efficient for large-scale applications in computing.
The Chip Letter • 1849 implied HN points • 15 Feb 24
  1. IBM has had a significant impact on the development of computer systems over 100 years.
  2. IBM's influence extends to technologies like mainframes, personal computers, and databases.
  3. The history of IBM shows both positive contributions to technology and darker aspects like the association with controversial events.
Pessimists Archive Newsletter • 648 implied HN points • 24 Jan 24
  1. The US government classified the Power Mac G4 as a super-computer due to its computing power surpassing 1 GIGAFLOP.
  2. In 1979, a GIGAFLOP was seen as powerful and scary, but now we carry thousands of GIGAFLOPs in our pockets with modern devices.
  3. The marketing genius of Apple used the munition classification of the G4 to promote it as a 'Personal Supercomputer', leveraging the restrictions to market the product.
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1517 Fund • 121 implied HN points • 07 Mar 24
  1. Kubrick and Clarke came close to predicting the iPad in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but paper still played a big role in their vision, showing the challenge of imagining the shift to portable computers.
  2. The prediction of flat screens in 2001 was impressive considering they didn't exist at the time; RCA's pursuit of flat-panel technology likely influenced this foresight.
  3. Despite their brilliance, Kubrick and Clarke didn't fully predict the iPad because they were constrained by the prevalent mainframe computing environment and underestimated the advancements in miniaturization and portable computing.
The Chip Letter • 2466 implied HN points • 25 Jul 23
  1. Intel announced APX, the next evolution of Intel architecture, with improvements in registers and performance
  2. The introduction of APX includes doubling the number of general purpose registers, new instructions, and enhancements for better performance
  3. Intel also revealed a new vector ISA, AVX10, to establish a common vector instruction set across all architectures
More Than Moore • 233 implied HN points • 04 Jan 24
  1. At CES, AMD announced new automotive APUs for in-car entertainment, driver safety, and autonomous driving.
  2. The new AMD chips support a gaming experience in cars, with potential for multiple displays and better graphics performance.
  3. AMD's acquisition of Xilinx enhances their presence in automotive technology, particularly in ADAS with their Versal AI Edge processors.
Fprox’s Substack • 39 implied HN points • 12 Feb 24
  1. Softmax is a non-linear normalization layer commonly used in neural networks to compute probabilities of multiple classes.
  2. When implementing Softmax, numerical stability is crucial due to exponential function's rapid growth, requiring clever techniques to prevent overflow.
  3. RISC-V Vector (RVV) can be used to efficiently implement complex functions like Softmax, with stable and accurate results compared to naive implementations.
Confessions of a Code Addict • 158 HN points • 05 Nov 23
  1. A linear algebra technique can be applied to compute Fibonacci numbers quickly with a logarithmic time complexity.
  2. Efficient algorithms like repeated squaring can compute powers of matrices in logarithmic time, improving performance for Fibonacci number calculations.
  3. A closed form expression using the golden ratio offers a direct method to compute Fibonacci numbers, showing different approaches with varied performance.
Technology Made Simple • 159 implied HN points • 17 Oct 23
  1. Reinforcement Learning is a big part of Machine Learning, focused on maximizing rewards for models.
  2. Setting up Reinforcement Learning involves components like RL agents, suitable for teaching AI to play games and develop various skills.
  3. Reinforcement Learning is valuable because it can show unexpected system vulnerabilities by behaving differently from humans.
Insight Axis • 237 implied HN points • 27 Aug 23
  1. Computers must excel at calculations to form the foundation for any further intelligence programming.
  2. After calculation, computers need to progress to reasoning - the ability to evaluate information and use it to make value-based decisions.
  3. The ultimate test for artificial intelligence is creativity - the capability to acknowledge rules but break them intuitively to create something new.
Bzogramming • 30 implied HN points • 29 Jan 24
  1. The physical constraints of computing, such as distance and volume, significantly impact performance and efficiency.
  2. Parallelism at different scales within a program can affect latency and performance, offering opportunities for optimization.
  3. Considerations like curvature of computation, square-cube law, and heat generation play a crucial role in the design and limitations of computer chips.
Cabinet of Wonders • 230 implied HN points • 02 Aug 23
  1. Computing goes beyond utilitarian purposes to bring delight and wonder through creative coding and simulations.
  2. The 'Garden of Computational Delights' is a collection of places that evoke fascination with web, programming, and computing.
  3. The boundaries of what fits in the 'Garden' are fuzzy, personal, and idiosyncratic, showcasing a diverse range of computer-related interests.
Let Us Face the Future • 235 implied HN points • 14 Jul 23
  1. Optical computing uses light particles instead of electrons for computations, promising faster processing speeds and energy efficiency.
  2. Opto-electronic computing is close to commercialization, combining optical and electronic functions to leverage speed and bandwidth advantages.
  3. Optical computing faces challenges in adoption due to the need for changing components and manufacturing processes, but has potential for high-performance tasks like AI training.
Hardcore Software • 334 implied HN points • 19 Apr 23
  1. Software has become a fundamental part of our lives, evolving from its origins in math to touching every aspect of human endeavors.
  2. Regulations have always been key in governing software, ensuring safety, reliability, and functionality in various industries.
  3. The introduction of AI should follow the established regulatory frameworks for software, without seeking a separate or special exemption.
Brick by Brick • 9 implied HN points • 01 Mar 24
  1. Snowflake's stock dropped significantly after the announcement of CEO Frank Slootman's retirement, with a key concern being the impact of Apache Iceberg on moving data out of Snowflake.
  2. Apache Iceberg is a powerful technology that allows for the efficient migration of data out of Snowflake to other systems for processing, causing revenue loss in both storage and compute for Snowflake.
  3. The paradigm shift towards technologies like Iceberg takes time in enterprise settings but can have a significant impact, highlighting the importance of capturing the compute dollars in data processing.
Bzogramming • 30 implied HN points • 07 Jan 24
  1. Physics has alternative framings like Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, which could inspire new ways of viewing computation.
  2. Reversible computing, preserving information by having bijective gates, is crucial for energy efficiency and future computing technologies.
  3. Studying constraint solvers and NP-complete problems can lead to insights for accelerating search algorithms and developing new computing approaches.
Mule’s Musings • 256 implied HN points • 25 Mar 23
  1. Moore's Law drove massive technological progress and changed our lives significantly
  2. Moore's Law enabled the rapid advancement of communication, entertainment, and healthcare
  3. Moore's Law was an aspiration upheld by the semiconductor industry, not a scientific law, but its impact on technology and progress remains profound
Condensing the Cloud • 98 implied HN points • 31 Aug 23
  1. To build value in the tech industry, aim to do things differently, not just better or faster.
  2. Doing something different can polarize users, with some finding it better and others not.
  3. Success in tech often comes from being unique and offering something new, not just improving existing technologies.
spencer's paradoxes • 137 implied HN points • 13 Jul 23
  1. The show Halt and Catch Fire explores the history of personal computers and the early days of the World Wide Web.
  2. Computing can be a tool for creating human connection and meaningful interactions on the internet.
  3. Focusing on creating a computing environment that encourages collaboration, creativity, and shared experiences can lead to a more positive online space.
Deus In Machina • 145 implied HN points • 11 May 23
  1. Bitwise operators manipulate binary data without the need for math, making them powerful tools in programming.
  2. Understanding binary representation is crucial in computer programming, allowing for efficient manipulation of data.
  3. Bitwise operators like AND, OR, XOR, and shift operations are essential in tasks like setting specific bits, masking off bits, or shifting binary numbers.
spencer's paradoxes • 117 implied HN points • 27 May 23
  1. Creating internet spaces that highlight humanity and promote real dialogue between humans and technology is important.
  2. Speculative research and creating 'art' pieces are essential in understanding and envisioning the kind of world we want to build.
  3. Technology should be used to create spaces that acknowledge growth, decay, and change while promoting close attention and quality of interaction.
Technology Made Simple • 59 implied HN points • 22 Aug 23
  1. Randomness in software engineering introduces unpredictability and can be used for various reasons like generating different outputs and introducing randomness into systems.
  2. Careful consideration is needed when using randomness in software engineering to avoid security risks and unnecessary complexity.
  3. To test the randomness of a system, consider using Diehard tests, which are intuitive and effective in evaluating randomness.
Technology Made Simple • 99 implied HN points • 16 May 23
  1. Time complexity refers to the number of instructions a software executes, not the actual time taken to run the code.
  2. Three common asymptotic notations for computing time complexity are Big Oh, Big Theta, and Big Omega.
  3. Understanding time complexity bounds is essential in computer science and software engineering, as they are fundamental concepts that appear regularly.