All posts:

  • Personal Prediction Markets

    I’ve been fascinated by prediction markets ever since I learned about them in 2021. Scott Alexander’s FAQ on the subject is a great resource, and my Metaculus question about Tether has garnered a lot of attention. Despite some ups and downs, I remain bullish on the potential of prediction markets... »
  • SREcon EMEA Talk

    I recently gave a presentation at SREcon EMEA 2022, an annual gathering of professionals that focuses on Site Reliability Engineering and DevOps. The event was held in Amsterdam. My talk, “Going from 30 to 30 Million SLOs”, centered around the development of the GCE control plane SLOs. You can ch... »
  • Bitcoin Cash & Carry Trade and HMRC Taxation

    First off, I am not an accountant, I am not a lawyer, I am not a financial advisor, this is not legal advice, this is not investment adivce and this is not tax advice. These are just my opinions on how to interpret British law in regards to the Bitcoin cash & carry trade. I will be using this... »
  • Prediction Markets And The Risk-Free Rate

    Prediction markets have caught my attention in recent months. It all started with the 2020 US Presidential Elections, where a lot of people were willing to support their favorite candidate so much, that the betting odds managed to decouple a lot from the polling results. »
  • The Cranberries' 'Linger' - A Wistful '90s Gem That's Pure Irish Poetry

    That night, in a drizzling rain, a ragtag group of travelers walked from the farmhouse hostel down an old stone road into town. We entered a pub and bellied up to whiskeys and stouts. Everyone was enjoying the “Craic,” Gaelic for “What’s happening?” “What’s good?” Shortly after a band of older... »
  • How is poverty changing for higher poverty lines?

  • Internatul testamentar

    Pe șesul unui sat din Moldova, o femeie doarme adânc dis-de-dimineață. E trântită cu fața în jos. O mână o ține sub frunte, iar cu cealaltă și-a cuprins copilul de un an și jumătate, lipit de ea. Micuțul privește petele albe de pe cerul azuriu de vară și bolmojește cuvinte răzlețite și înțeles... »
  • FOSDEM 2018

    Hurray, I’m finally going to Brussels for the Fosdem conference 🎉🚁. I will be not so live blogging when I’m not drinking Belgian beer or eating fries with 5 types of sauce. I’ve prepared myself by reading through the schedule, laughing at engineers who want laugh because Golang does no... »
  • Lessons From Hurricane Harvey: Houston’s Struggle Is America’s Tale

    “Three 500-year floods in three years means either we’re free and clear for the next 1,500 years,” as he put it, “or something has seriously changed.” »
  • Estonia, the Digital Republic

    Kaevats told me it irked him that so many Westerners saw his country as a tech haven. He thought they were missing the point. “This enthusiasm and optimism around technology is like a value of its own,” he complained. “This gadgetry that I’ve been ranting about? This is not important.” He thre... »
  • Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow

    Musk grabs a coffee-table book published by The Onion and starts leafing through it, laughing hysterically. “In order to understand the essential truth of things,” he theorizes, “I think you can find it in The Onion and occasionally on Reddit.” »
  • In 2017, UK water companies still rely on “magic”

    If you had to work out where to dig so that you didn’t cut off the water supply to an entire town, would you rely on a Ouija board for your answer? Probably not, but that is in effect what at least two UK water companies (now ten out of the twelve UK companies) openly admit to doing in 2017. E... »
  • How Sicily Became Ungovernable

    But Francantonio Genovese isn’t locked up in the Gazzi Prison in Messina, where he was confined before his trial. In fact, he is currently standing at the counter of the bar in the Italian parliament, where he has ordered tea, a croissant and a glass of orange juice, sustenance for another day... »
  • Italy’s Soccer Apocalypse

    Why this mad excess, this extraordinary investment of emotion and rhetoric in what is, after all, just a game that ended badly? This is a country where thirty-five per cent of young adults are unemployed, a country which, in the last decade, has lost a large part of its manufacturing base and ... »
  • Rising Waters Threaten China’s Rising Cities

    “The cities we now have are partly based on what we saw in American movies — on the dream of big malls, airports, highways and tall buildings,” Mr. Zhou said. “I belong to the generation that witnessed the biggest change. We had been almost like North Korea, closed off. Suddenly we could see A... »
  • TIL Death Growl

    A death growl (or simply a growl) is a vocal style (an extended vocal technique) usually employed by death metal singers but also used in other heavy metal styles, such as metalcore. Death growls are sometimes criticized for their “ugliness”. However, the harshness of death growls is in keepin... »
  • Envoy and Istio

    Envoy/Istio are designed to move logic out of your apps and into the middleware. »
  • Housekeeping

    I made time this weekend to change stuff again. Since I’ve been procrastinating a lot on writing longer form articles, I’ve added a new section to the blog called links. »
  • Bucharest's Tech Meetup Scene

    After 3 years in Bucharest, I’ll be moving out of it to London. However, I cannot do that without giving a big up to all the tech communities that make the capital of Romania a nice place to learn new and interesting stuff. »
  • Searching for a Software Engineering Job

    A friend of mine recently left Facebook in London. I’ve helped him land a new job in 21 days at Pivotal and I’ve learnt lots of useful things doing this. This is mainly a reference for me in the future. »
  • Python for competitive programming

    InfoClock is the nickname of the Advanced Algorithms course at the Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics in Bucharest. Usually, for competitive programming contests like Codeforces, students prefer C++. Being the only allowed language in high-school competitions, students have got used to i... »
  • Dan Serban's Spark Workshop

    Apache Spark is a big data framework, somewhat like Hadoop. You can use it to run queries and algorithms, over humongous amounts of data. And, you don’t need to think about how you make it distributed over a large farm of servers. »
  • CKAN API Example

    Recently, I had to make a simple script that creates a new dataset and uploads a resource to it. I had to demo the functionality for somebody who is going to upload lots of datasets soon. I thought that it might take only 10 minutes, but it took me well over 2 hours to get it finished. »
  • Informatica la Castel (Computer Science at the Castle)

    This week I’m participating in Arad in a summer school called “Informatica la Castel” (Computer Science at the Castle), where the central theme is open source technology and education. I’m live blogging in Romanian on Gazeta de Informatica. »
  • Cracking the coding interview

    I’ve made another blog where I’ll write about my upcoming interviews and my preparations for them. It will contain mistakes I’ve made, problems I’ve solved and lessons I’ve learned. »
  • InfoEducație 2015

    Off goes this year’s edition. I wrote more thoughts on Gazeta de Informatică. There were 132 participants with 117 projects in the camp. You can check out the results. We built from scratch a new website in Rails and React this year. We had 17 presentations and workshops for the students. I want ... »
  • Working at

    For the last 2 months I’ve been working for the Romanian government on the national open data portal I’ve been keeping a log of everything I’ve been doing there here, since I’m now being paid with public money. Also, all my work is open source. »
  • Application process for the Community Development Lab

    The Community and Development Lab is a traditional yearly ROSEdu project where we teach students how to start contributing to open source software. This year we had 117 applicants and had to select only 19 of them. To do this, we gave them an algorithms problem to filter 60 potential candidates w... »
  • Chaos Communication Congress 31C3

    Between Christmas and New Year's Eve I was in Hamburg at the 31th edition of the Chaos Communication Congress. This is a an annual four-day conference on technology, society and utopia.I learnt about the conference at the EUHackathon in Brussels from Christopher, one of the participants. He told ... »
  • EUHackathon 2014

    This month I've participated at the EUHackathon in Brussels. We had to build tools for increasing transparency and participation in the European Union. I didn't know anybody, made a team on the spot, we hacked together a cool web app that scraped the agenda of european commissioners, won second p... »
  • Presidential Elections 2014

    The people from The House of Journalists made a report about a elections in Colonesti, a village in Romania, where the vote presence was 184% in 2012. This should be an impossible thing, given that the Wikipedia page of that village tells us that there is neither an university there, nor is it a ... »
  • Democracy in Romania

    Hello,My name is Alexandru Palcuie and I am a student at the Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics of the University of Bucharest and citizen of Romania.This month we have presidential elections and last weekend has been first round of voting. Incidents[0] have happened, so I decided the in... »
  • Google Escape from /dev/null

    Last week I participated in the Escape from /dev/null competition, a game created by Peter Svensson and organized in Bucharest with the help Google. I wrote a React client before the game and used it in a hardcore dungeon where the only way to escape was by using algorithms.I found about the comp... »
  • I tested 18 different chat apps to become a better product guy

    One day, I wanted to learn more about products. There's a current now in the tech/startup world that some people are natively good at making good products... and they're not engineers. So, for 14 weeks I've tested different mobile chat applications with my girlfriend, trying to find product flaws... »
  • InfoEducatie 2014

    Last week I was at the InfoEducatie Galaciuc national computer software contest. This time something was different. I was part of the organising team and part of the web committee. The anxiety of the last lines of code for half-working features changed into non-sleeping nights because of pap... »
  • Dotfiles and dev tools provisioned by Ansible

    Lots of nights and years of potential productive work have programmers have lost, by procrastinating on configuring their dotfiles. These simple invisible files may seem pointless for a novice, but in the hands of an expert they become a swiss army knife. I'm no exception and I've used the o... »
  • CoderDojo Coolest Projects Dublin

    This weekend I am going to be in Dublin, Ireland to take part in the Coolest Projects contest. It is organized by CoderDojo, a worldwide volunteer movement, where kids come in one of the 431 dojos from 44 countries and are taught computer programming.CoderDojoI learn first about CoderDojo in the ... »
  • Google Project Tango hackathon in Timisoara

    This weekend I am participating in a hackathon at Startup Hub Timișoara where we will code on Project Tango devices. These are Android prototypes which track the surrounding and create a 3D model of the environment around.I have no experience of developing on mobile devices, let alone working wit... »
  • Automate everything... even opening your dev apps

    Do you hate coming at the office, opening your text editor, looking over the Github issues, seeing a bug you can easily fix and bang... you forgot to open Vagrant. So, you type like a robot vagrant up, you wait 90 seconds for the beast to load and bang... you forgot to connect to the VPN and Pupp... »
  • Python code golf - Square @ Facebook Hacker Cup 2014

    Facebook Hacker Cup is a coding competition held every year, where you have to some algorithm problems. Code golf is a type of recreational computer programming competition in which participants strive to achieve the shortest possible code that implements a certain algorithm. Square was the... »
  • Facebook ROSEdu Hackathon

    Facebook ROSEdu Hackathon is currently ongoing in University Politehnica of Bucharest, and I'm doing live blogging w/ Marius Ungureanu on TechBlog. About 15 teams of student hackers are battling for the chance to represent Romania at the European Facebook Hackathon. »
  • Road trip in Hunedoara

    One day, my whole family moved their asses in the car for a trip around Romania, our beautiful country. We made 500 km in 8 hours and visited 4 monasteries and a castle, from 5 counties.Lainici MonasteryLocated on the Jiu river... really beautiful.Densuș MonasteryNicolae Densușianu has some prett... »
  • Acadnet, Leo Romania Conference & uberVU visit

    Full weekend for me in Bucharest. I qualified for the national networking contest organized by Cisco in Politehnica University, Leos from Romania elect their new board and will visit the new UberVU office. Acadnet ... »
  • Catalysts Coding Contest, Amazon TechO(n) and RIUF

    This weekend I did a little tour of the country. It started Friday, when I went to the Catalysts Coding Contest in Cluj, followed by the Amazon TechO(n) conference in Iași, and finalized with the Romanian International University Fair in Bucharest.Catalysts Coding ContestI got a mail 2 weeks ago ... »
  • Leo Romania Friendship Camp

    Between 23-26 august I was at Fantanita Haiducului, near Sibiu at The Friendship Camp, an event organized by Leo District 124 Romania. It was a very fruitful meeting, where I had a lot of fun, met Leos from all over the country and participated at one of the best workshops in my life.What is Leo ... »
  • InfoEducatie 2012

    InfoEducatie is a national contest high-school programming projects that is held every year in the Galaciuc camp, near Focsani. This year in August, almost 150 students participated in the apps, web, robots, educational and multimedia sections.My project - Black Sea MusicInspired by Vivi's idea o... »
  • IP Workshop Calimanesti Summer School 2012

    After InfoEducatie, I arrived home for a night and then left directly to Calimanesti, which is about half an hour by car away from my town. I didn't know a lot about the summer school where I was going, but for my surprise, I met a bunch of great people and it was a wonderful experience. ... »
  • Millennium Youth Camp 2012

    This week I am participating at the Millennium Youth Camp 2012 in Helsinki, organized by the Millennium Technology Academy. We are 30 teenagers, from all over the world, spending one week in a hotel near Helsinki, visiting Finland and learning about its culture, working on a p... »
  • FII Competition & Adobe HQ visit

    The last 2 weekends were really awesome. First, I went to FII Competition, a contest organised by the student organisation from the Computer Science Iasi Faculty. Second, I went with my school in a study visit at the Adobe HQ in Bucharest. FII CompetitionIt's a computer science contest, with 4 ... »
  • uberVU & ROSEdu Hackdays

    Last weekend I was in Bucharest for 2 hackdays: the first one was at UberVU, a social analytics company where they were developing an open-source Javascript framework, and the second one was at ROSEdu, an organisation in University Politehnica of Bucharest that helps students develop real-world c... »
  • Acadnet 2012 & DELF Exam

    Between 4-6 May I am at University Politehnica of Bucharest for one of my favourite IT contests: Acadnet. It consists of 2 age categories (grades 9-10 and 11-12), each with 2 sections: networking, which contains problems from the Cisco CCNA courses, and computers, which follows the syllabus of IT... »
  • RoTopCoder 2012 & MYCamp

    Last week I won the grand prize at RoTopCoder, a regional Computer Science contest in Targu-Jiu. Furthermore, I learnt that I will meet Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, in Helsinki at the Millenium Youth Camp.RoTopCoderme happy after receiving the grand prizeWhen you go to a contest stressed... »
  • National Computer Science Olympiad - Olimpiada Nationala de Informatica - ONI 2012

    Tomorrow I'll travel to Iasi to participate at the National Computer Science Olympiad, where I will compete with 400 of the best high-school coders in the country. Regional PhaseI qualified first at my age section in my county, but it wasn't without being a little nervou... »
  • Best Spring Ever

    The next months will be really crazy. I will be at the Millenium Youth camp in Helsinki, at the national computer science olympiad in Iasi and at the national networking contest Acadnet, which will be held at University "Politehnica" of Bucharest. Furthermore, I will tell you about a misunderstoo... »
  • Stop ACTA - Valcea

    On the 11th of February, at -10 degrees Celsius, almost 80 people went out in the center of Ramnicu-Valcea, Romania, demanding the EU to reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a global treaty which was signed in secrecy, that could allow corpo... »
  • Open Source all the projects

    Yesterday, I decided to flood GitHub with all my projects that were sitting in remote places on my computer. So, until now I have uploaded People Separator, 2 crawlers, 2 web projects, 5 Wordpress child themes, and a whole bunch of other things. People SeparatorWith this app I went to InfoEdu... »
  • DefCamp 2011 - Bran

    DefCamp 2011, the first cyber-security conference in Romania, was held in Bran between 30 September - 2 October. Almost 70 hackers gathered to talk, share experience and have fun. PrologueI learned about this conference first from Andrei Avadanei at GrepIT. He told me that he has secured 2 nigh... »
  • GrepIT 2011 - Summer Holiday

    GrepIT Botosani 2011, was the final contest of the summer, and took place between 28 August and 2 September. There were 2 categories: developers (split in apps and web) and media (split into stop motion and movies). It was a funny experience, where I felt like the organizers were also contestants... »
  • Letter to Steve

    Author: jonathan mak Dear Steve,This morning, when I woke up... I sensed it was something wrong. And as a matter of coincidence, when I went to school, I took my blue t-shirt with an iPod.Then, when I saw the news, I was shocked. It's funny to see that another genius, Albert Einstein, was right:... »
  • RoJam 2011 - National Romanian Scout Jamboree

    The National Romanian Scout Jamboree took place between 11 and 21 August, in Salistea, Sibiu. Almost 1.300 scouts participated, and I was one of the lucky persons to spend 10 memorable days, with my patrol from our local centre in Valcea. ArrivalWe arrived at Saliste by train. There, we were... »
  • InfoEducatie 2011 - Summer Holiday

    InfoEducatie is a national IT contest, which takes place every year at Galaciuc, Vrancea. It is a place where high-school hackers gather, to present their projects to juries from different universities or companies (Google, Amazon) My project PeopleSeparator - it is a web application, wh... »
  • Summer Holiday 2011 - Munich

    What a holiday and how many things to tell about (only in English from today). First I went to Munich with Europe Direct Valcea, then I participated at InfoEducatie contest in Galaciuc, then I went 10 days with the scouts to the National Jamboree, and finally went to Botosani for GrepIT contest. ... »
  • Yahoo! Open Hack Bucharest - Live Blogging

    So, today I'll do some live blogging from the Yahoo Open Hack Bucharest 2011. Because this is my first conference, and I am a little to young for taking part of a team, I will try to get some opinions about the conference. Arrival 21:43I arrived here, in about 20 mins from the metro station... te... »