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Engineering News

Accelerating Services at Airbnb by Building a Blazing Fast Thrift Binding for Ruby

Achieving Bare-Metal Performance in Ruby Writing performant code in Ruby can be difficult due to its dynamic nature: unlike lower-level languages where the idiom is zero-cost-abstractions, pretty much everything in a dynamic language is expensive. As such, it was no surprise that the Ruby Thrift Binding took advantage of an important tool that is often used to improve the performance of libraries in dynamic languages: C extensions. As a kind of abstraction, C extensions hide all the detail of a performant implementation…

3-D printing technologies transport students to ancient greece

The use of 3-D printing technologies in Victoria University of Wellington’s Classics Museum has students using ancient Greek artefacts the way they were intended—from interacting with 3-D printed ancient objects to designing their own amphorae (storage jars). Dr Diana Burton, senior lecturer in Victoria’s School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, wanted students to have practical experiences with the objects in the Museum without risking damage to the historic pieces. “In Greek art, pretty much everything is functional—they…

New synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals — ScienceDaily

Researchers have developed a new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals. Researchers have developed a new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals for versatile chemical reactions that could help address environmental concerns. Noble metals such as platinum are useful as catalysts for versatile chemical reactions including fuel cell vehicles and reduction of CO2 emission. However, they are too costly to be used for these purposes. As inexpensive alternatives, organic-based catalysts and carbonaceous catalysts were explored, but…

How Square makes its SDKs – Square Corner Blog – Medium

At Square we leverage the OpenAPI standard, Travis CI & Github to build and deliver our client SDKs in a scalable way. The developer platform team at Square is a little different than most. We don’t focus solely on creating the APIs that our developers use, we focus on exposing the internal APIs that our first-party products use to create the best experience for developers. That way, our external developers get to use the same source of truth for all of…

Engineering on a blue streak — ScienceDaily

A pair of engineers at the University of Delaware has developed a process to form interwoven polymer networks more easily, quickly and sustainably than traditional methods allow. Their secret ingredient? Blue light. Abhishek Shete, graduate research assistant in materials science and engineering, and Christopher Kloxin, assistant professor in materials science and engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering, describe their method in a paper featured on the cover of the 24th issue of Polymer Chemistry. The paper is titled “One-pot blue-light…

What’s in your rum? Flavor scientists create a lexicon of terms to describe nuances of popular beverage — ScienceDaily

Aficionados use words like “oaky” to describe some wines, or “hoppy” when talking about certain beers. But for rum — a product with over 1,000 different varieties — putting the words together to describe what imbibers are smelling and tasting is a bit more difficult. Consequently, researchers at the University of Illinois were interested in creating a rum flavor lexicon, but needed to find a way around the biggest problem with tasting rum — sensory fatigue. Having a set of…

The Case Against Kotlin – Pinterest Engineering – Medium

Ryan Cooke | Android Engineer, Core Experience It’s a big decision to start using Kotlin in your app. Right now, Kotlin may be nearing the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” in the Hype Cycle. You can find endless quality blogs, podcasts and videos on the virtues of Kotlin. For this post let’s assume you understand the benefits of it. Here we’ll look in-depth at the challenges Android developers will likely face with Kotlin and offer solutions. There are real costs to…

Newly discovered biomarkers may lead to promising diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s — ScienceDaily

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and determining a patient’s prognosis is an inexact business, and that stands in the way of better personalized care and advances in treatment. A new study from The Ohio State University has identified a potential new way of confirming the disease and predicting a patient’s outlook. First, the team of researchers discovered new physical biomarkers that could help pinpoint a diagnosis — changes to proteins found in the spinal fluid and blood of patients. In particular, as…

Goal is to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics, combat antibiotic resistance — ScienceDaily

Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs, but overuse is leading to one of the world’s most pressing health threats: antibiotic resistance. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are developing a tool to help physicians prescribe antibiotics to patients who really need them, and avoid giving them to individuals who don’t. Scientists from the University’s National Institutes of Health-funded Respiratory Pathogens Research Center identified 11 genetic markers in blood that accurately distinguished between viral and bacterial infections (antibiotics help us fight…