Remaindered Links for 27 Jan 2011

Understanding the bin, sbin, usr/bin , usr/sbin split
For anyone who works on a unix system trying to remember which binary lives an be hairy (unless you just throw all of these into your env chain, and then woohoo!). But why did they create so many directories in the first place? Turns out it was all about running out of disc space on a PDP-11 in 1970 when they built the first version of Unix.

Why are software estimations off by a factor of 2 or 3?
Michael Wolfe gives a great explanation of why standard models of estimating software often fail by using something more tangible to most: going on a hike.

Rails 3.2 and 3.2.1 out
Upgraded to these and things seem fine. 3.2.1 fixes a bug that exists as 3.2 was compiled with Ruby 1.9 and would throw all sorts of fun errors like

Invalid gemspec in [/var/www/railsapps/meticulous_admin/shared/bundle/ruby/1.8/specifications/activeresource-3.2.0.gemspec]: Illformed requirement [“# 3.2.0”]

Not good.

George Soros on the Coming US Class War
The Man who Broke the Bank of England and liberal financier George Soros does not have a rosy outlook for our current economic woes: “We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”

Apple Cash Reserves near $100B USD
For a company that almost died in the mid 90s, they now have one of the largest war chests out there. It’s bigger than the GDP of many small countries. It’s also one of the few tech companies whose valuation is remotely in line with it’s actual holdings and worth.