Wildcard Matching

It has been a few days since my last post. Busy with work and family items. The weather in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul has been quite pleasant. The temperature has been at or slightly above average. On the other hand precipitation seems to be below average. Hopefully this pattern will not disrupt farmer’s production.

I had selected a couple articles for brief discussion in this post. I did not bookmark one of them and I am having a hard time finding it. In a nutshell the articled had to do with Pfizer, their COVID-19 vaccine and India being able to mass-produce it. In the USA we have the concept of a patent. It is a great idea that helps the rightful owner of an idea to freely market and sell their invention for a period of time. If not mistaken the period is seven years. I fully agree with such concept. It is fair and invention needs to be rewarded to motivate progress.

Like any other subject, there are always two sides to the same coin. Biden has proposed to ban all COVID-19 patents to help the world win the battle against it. Good for public relations, but would such approach work? My opinion is no. In the USA alone there are about 30% of the people that have and will refuse a COVID-19 vaccine. That said, we will not achieve herd immunity. I have relatives and friends in different countries. Some are very interested in getting a vaccine. Some have traveled to the USA at a high expense, spent a month here, and received the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Some have no desire in getting vaccinated at all. The main reasons are the lack of effectiveness (most vaccines provide 100% protection) and side effects (you can possibly get ill after receiving the vaccine). Not sure how effective is the Pfizer vaccine, but it is not 100%. Regarding the side effects, the COVID-19 vaccines administered in the USA seem to not cause side effects. You cannot say the same for the two Chinese vaccines with are about 70% effective and have shown a large number of people getting very ill with side effects. Hopefully the numbers are rapidly improving with time.

I received a link to the post “18 Reasons I Won’t Be Getting a COVID Vaccine” by Christian Elliot. Some of the points are hard to ignore and our government should act on them. On the other side big Pharma lawyers and lobbyist will make change hard to achieve.

BTW, my wife and I have received the two Pfizer doses. The same holds true for the family of one of our sons. The other is still thinking about it.

The other news that called my interest comes from Yale University. The article “DODD: Sit down, be humble” by Ethan Dodd. Perhaps the article is too political, but politics seem to be something we are all familiar with.

What called my attention was the acceptance that no one has all the answers. That is especially true at work. People have different backgrounds and experiences. That is what diversity means to me. Color of skin, religious believes, and gender as examples, is not what makes people diverse. We are diverse because of our unique experiences. Of course, as the article states, pretending you have all the answers is not beneficial in any company, relationship or society. Keep that in mind the next time you are working on a project. Continue reading “Wildcard Matching”

Alien Dictionary

It is Thursday morning and it has been a long week at work. Apparently we have been experiencing lots of issues with our cloud platform. It seems that the storage server works fine when running on bare metal, but it experiences network related issues when running on virtual machines. We are currently looking at what might be causing the issues with the stack in VMs.

Before we start dealing with the problem at hand, I want to mention that I have a few books on algorithms. Like most people, I like to avoid spending money when I can get the same or similar results by doing a web search and reading the resulting material. I am a member of the ACM. I have access some of O’Reilly materials on-line. I believe both the books and videos have helped me locate quality information and are planning on continuing to use it. Continue reading “Alien Dictionary”

Merge Sort in Java

Today is January 20, 2021 and is the United States presidential inauguration. Not sure what to expect today or in the following days. Hope all goes well and we can move forward. I believe most of the people in our country are tired of reading and watching political news and propaganda.

Yesterday I attended an ACM webinar “Agent-Human Collaboration and Learning for Improving Human Satisfaction” by Sarit Kraus. She is a professor of computer science at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

What called my attention was the concept of having agents for both the automation and the human. I can easily see how that would work in a healthcare or a disaster scenario I do not see how that could work well with autonomous cars. I will go over the slides tomorrow and see if I missed something; otherwise I will send her a message. Hopefully she will have time to respond. Will let you know my findings. Continue reading “Merge Sort in Java”

Can you solve it? Java Solution

Good morning. Hope you are doing well. It is a dark, foggy and cold morning in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. I woke up around 05:00 AM. I finished reading the article Does Facebook Use Sensitive Data for Advertising Purposes? article in the Communications of the ACM magazine. I though the article was interesting. Apparently Facebook has a set of several thousand categories of which up to 1000 can be applied to each user. Not sure if there is an opt out setting. The authors of the paper suggested a tool that can be used in a couple browsers to check and delete the advertising labels assigned to your account. Continue reading “Can you solve it? Java Solution”

Validate Binary Search Tree – Revisited

Hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving Day 2020. My wife and I did even though it was just the two of use for late lunch. We prepared our usual menu with some minor twists. The menu was a young turkey (we usually cook a 20+ lbs bird) which came in at around 11 lbs. with potatoes casserole and meat stuffing (we not prepare the popular / traditional bread based kind). For desert we had monkey bread which we got from one of our neighbors. We had a little more than we should, so we decided to skip our after lunch espresso.

For the turkey, we added some spices, a little garlic clove, some butter and apple vinegar. We inserted a thermometer and cook it to 175F. We then took it out of the oven and let it rest. Typically the temperature rises north of 180F. Since the turkey weighted 11 lbs., the temperature only went up to 178F. Continue reading “Validate Binary Search Tree – Revisited”

Path with Minimum Effort – Java

I have been busy with work, reading and experimenting. So far it has been an interesting and rewarding workweek. That said, I am glad that tomorrow is Friday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic my wife and I do not have big plans for the weekend with the exception of going out for groceries. I assume that you might be in a similar situation.

I decided to tackle LeetCode problem 1631 Path With Minimum Effort. Sometimes I go for the best approach I can came up with. In this case I kind of stopped before implementing it. My first approach timed out as expected. We will discuss the details. My second approach was accepted with a reasonable time. I still want to get one more pass on it but I just do not have time to get that done now. Continue reading “Path with Minimum Effort – Java”

Print a Binary Tree in Vertical Order

Yesterday morning while looking at the news on my phone, I ran into Print a Binary Tree in Vertical Order | Set 2 (Map based Method) by GeeksforGeeks. Without reading the article I just twitted it. I tend to do this with software related articles that call my attention. That way I can go through my Twitter history and read such articles when I have enough time to do so.

By 07:00 AM I was down in my home office ready to experiment and have fun. Most weekend days I work one 2-hour block, buy yesterday my wife and a couple friends were getting together to catch up on things. They sit outdoors on the deck of the house of the gal hosting the gathering in order to keep social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since we live in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, such gatherings should be coming to an end shortly. The high temperature for the following two weeks is forecasted to be in the mid to upper 40’s. That said; today I have enough time for two blocks!!! Continue reading “Print a Binary Tree in Vertical Order”