Archive for the 'Tech' Category

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.NET Garbage Collector making me batty, again

I wrote previously about two things I had learned, through great pain, about the .NET garbage collector.

Now I have another lesson to add to that.

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Delay-loading assemblies in .NET

I was trying to find a .NET equivalent to the “/delayload” option that the linker has for unmanaged code. For the uninitiated, “/delayload:someDLL.dll” changes the resulting .EXE/.DLL so that someDLL.dll will not be loaded until the first time a function in it is called. It’s a handy option you can use so that you do not need to install someDLL.dll on computers where you know it’s not going to be needed.
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.NET garbage collector making me batty

I’ve spent a few days trying to track down a garbage collection problem in some code I’ve been working on.  I finally figured it out. Along the way, I’ve learned more about .NET garbage collection than I ever wanted to know, and discovered a useful tool to help with these kinds of problems.

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Large Hadron Collider

The world’s most powerful particle-accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, is scheduled to be switched on for the first time tomorrow. There are assorted kooks who believe that the LHC will destroy the world in one or more of the following ways:

The whole thing is reminiscent of the fear many years ago that the first atomic bomb test would burn the entire atmosphere of the planet.

There another possibility that the kooks don’t seem to have considered. The LHC may open a gateway to a parallel universe full of evil creatures.

In the background... isn't that Dr. Gordon Freeman of the disastrous Black Mesa project?

In the background... isn't that Dr. Gordon Freeman of the disastrous Black Mesa project?

Here is a page with some really amazing pictures of the LHC under construction.

Psychology of risk

Interesting article I just read, linked from Bruce Schneier’s blog (one of my favourite morning reads), about how irrational people are about judging and comparing risk. People often overestimate one risk, and underestimate another, and end up making poor choices.

An example from the article: after 9/11, people became irrationally afraid of flying. They cancelled flights, and drove their cars instead. As everybody knows (but somehow manage to ignore), driving is statistically much more dangerous than flying. Predictably, in a short period following 9/11, approximately 1000 more Americans died in car accidents than in the same period a year before.

I don’t imagine Bin Laden planned on that, but he can’t be too upset about it either.

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