My Favorites Books 2016

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-11-22-27-pmHere are some of the books I’ve enjoyed in the past 6 months. I am trying to alternate between fiction and non-fiction on a weekly bases. I did two official marathons (Teveria and California international marathon) and another 2 that weren’t part of an organized race, so in the training for these events, I had a lot of time to listen to audio books.

Below are the ones that I really liked.

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

It’s an intersting story (behind Money Ball) that I enjoyed a lot thanks to Michal Lewis. It’s about two Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky who wrote together a series of breathtakingly studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Daniel Kahenman received at 2002 the Nobel price for economic on¬†their work on physiology and how the human mind is being fooled in many situations.

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

It’s a long one, but with the great talent that Mr. Friedman got it’s passing quickly. In this book, he cover what he think we need in order to¬†understand the twenty-first century. It’s about the planet‚Äôs three largest forces:

  1. Moore’s law РThe acceleration in technology. From hardware/Internet Of Things/Mobile to big data to tools to analyze it and use it (e.g. Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning).
  2. The Market – Globalization. The ‘world if flat’ and the way we are all connected more then ever. The fact that many companies are global and¬†markets are very connected.
  3. Earth – Climate change and biodiversity loss.

These fast accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. What does it means for you? Well, it will change the way you understand the news, the work you do, the education your kids need, the investments your employer has to make, and the moral and geopolitical choices our country has to navigate.

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

I wrote about this one here.

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets

It’s a story that is told by the talented Sudhir Venkatesh. He is the source for some of Freakonomics great articles¬†and ideas. In this book, Sudhir take us with him when he walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago‚Äôs most notorious housing projects. How he meet and¬†befriend a gang leader named JT and later¬†spend the better part of a decade embedded inside the projects under JT‚Äôs protection.¬†From this unique position of unprecedented access, Venkatesh observed JT and the rest of his gang as they operated their crack-selling business, made peace with their neighbors, evaded the law, and rose up or fell within the ranks of the gang‚Äôs complex hierarchical structure. It’s an amazing story. I highly recommend it to anyone who is running a business or just curious to learn more. Continue reading


The Idea Factory Review


I’ve just finished “The Idea Factory” and although¬†it was long, I really enjoyed it.

It deals with a question¬†that kept me (and many others) busy in the past few years:¬†What causes innovation? and it’s doing it by telling the history of¬†the most productive scientific laboratory on the planet (between 1920 to 1980): Bell Labs.

How did this organization become such a success story?

Bell labs produced seven Nobel Prizes and contributed important innovations: the transistor, transatlantic cable, the laser, UNIX, C++, photovoltaic cells, error-corrected communication, charged-coupled devices, digital communications and the mobile phones. Continue reading

building tip

Recommended Books

A mid year reflection on¬†the books I’ve been lucky to read in the past 6-7 months. I usually try to blend one ‘learning’¬†book and one ‘story’ book. However, in most cases, it’s not an easy definition and these types are blending.

Smarter Faster Better – It’s a book that I took with me on a long flight (TLV-LAX) and it was good learning experience. At the core of this book there¬†are eight key productivity concepts: from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making. It try to¬†explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics‚ÄĒas well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters.

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life – This is one of the best books I’ve read in the past years. The snowball¬†makes immensely clear why Buffett is so respectable. I liked the fact that Alice Schroeder (a great writer btw) paint a picture of a¬†human,¬†that¬†like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth, Buffett‚Äôs legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people‚Äôs lives. There are many lessons in this book and I plan to go over it again. It’s a long one but full of great mini stories in it.

Year Of YES – This is a wonderful, funny and easy book by Shonda Rhimes. After reading it, I wasn’t surprised to learn that she is the extremely talented creator of Grey‚Äôs Anatomy and Scandal and of How to Get Away With Murder. It is a great story that show to power of positive attitude and how to be (even) more productive. I specially liked that description that she gave to her roll: “Laying the tracks to the railroad”. In her cases, it’s a lot of long-long rails.


The rest of the list is below. Have fun.

books 2016

Happy reading.

Business, life, Sport

2015 Year Summary – Code, Books And Running

Overall, it was a very interesting and busy year. A quick overview on some of the fronts that kept me busy.


On the coding front, it was a year that the ‘progressive web apprevolution started. It will be interesting to see what developers will build during 2016. You can see the main¬†projects that kept me busy on this blog (e.g. monetization,¬†startups, web forms) and on my project site. It always great fun to meet developers around the world that are passion on the same topics you are. Here are¬†a few presentations that I gave.

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 9.52.52 AM

I started to push the monetization efforts, both in code (e.g. like this demo¬†or this article on Autofill) and with two courses with¬†Udacity¬†. Check out the courses, they both great (and yes – I’m totally objective on this one).


On the running front,¬†I had the pleasure to run¬†all over the world. From “down under” to Europe, San Francisco, New York, Barcelona, Paris, London and even in the holy land. On the cycling part, I had the pleasure to participate in 110mile event that few good friends in CA organized – It was one big loop, from Mt. hamilton to Livermore and back. There were also, a lot of good rides in Ben Shemen and other woods. Continue reading

Business, life

Great Business/Life Books

Views on sun raise Here is a list I’ve saw in the past and I thought it would be great to put it in the ‘air’ and gain more feedback on what you wish to see in a ‘must read’ book list that will open your mind to new ideas (and hopefully improve you in business life).
Please feel free to add stuff in the comments.

  • Good To Great¬†by Jim¬†Collins
  • Peopleware by Tom DeMarco
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Talab
  • The Black swan by Talab
  • Getting More by¬†Stuart Diamond
  • Rework¬†by 37 signals founders
  • Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson
  • Malcolam Gladwell: The Tipping point, Blink, Outliers, What the dog saw
  • Freakonomics¬†by¬†Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
  • Predictable Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality¬†by Dan Ariely
  • Small Giants by Bo Birlingham.
  • Stumbling on happiness by Daniel Gilbert.
    He also have a very good TED talk
  • Crossing the Chasm by Geoff Moore
  • Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
  • Drive by Daniel Pink
  • Getting things done by¬†¬†David Allen
  • The Silent language of leaders
  • Thank you for Arguing
  • How to Speak like a CEO
  • Content Rules
  • Writing that works
  • Crucial conversations
  • First, break all the rules
  • Imagine : How creativity works
  • Truth about being a leader
  • Confessions of a Public Speaker
  • Team Geek
  • Don’t Make Me Think

I had this list of “must read books” from one of the¬†conferences¬†I’ve attended back in 2010. There are¬†some good ones over there as well. However, it covers more technical books for developers and less¬†business¬†books. Don’t forget “There is creative reading as well as creative writing”.


2012 Year Summary – This Blog, Books And Running

This year I have covered a bit more then 1000 miles. Here are some of the stats that nike site is giving you. First you can see I run mostly¬†off-road¬† This is great not only due to the amazing views but also because it’s quite and give you a chance to think without any ‘city’ noise around.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 12.48.59 PM Continue reading

Chrome, HTML5, JavaScript, webdev

Web Workers And Big Data – A Real World Example

Web Workers in the 19th centery

I had an interesting conversation on G+ with developers around web workers and the need to a ‘real world’ example that use ‘big chunk’ of data.¬†In this example we will dive into this senario. No more, ‘hello world’ and calculation of some nice number (Pi, e etc’). In the code we will take an array of 33.55¬†millions¬†numbers (~=32MB) make some calculation on each and everyone of them and return the new data to our main page/app. We will use¬†¬†transferable objects¬†because they are a new powerful option to ‘move’ (not copy) big arrays in and out the worker. Since the support for transferable objects is done with:¬†webkitPostMessage()¬†(so far). We will use Chrome as the browser for these examples.

This is the main page of our example. In the code snippert below you can see the test function that let us choose the method of delivery.

// The entry point for our comparing. 
function test(useIt) {
  // useIt: true  - use transferrable objects
  //        false - COPY function for sending the data. 
  var useTransferrable = useIt;
  setupArray(); // create the 32M array with numbers

  if (useTransferrable ) {
    console.log ("## Using Transferrable object method on size: " +
    // This is the syntax to send by using trans-obj.
    worker.postMessage(uInt8View.buffer, [uInt8View.buffer]);
  } else {
    console.log ("## Using old COPY method on size: " + 
    // Simple send msg that copy the data to the worker
    worker.postMessage({'copy': 'true', 
                      'ourArray': uInt8View.buffer});

and here is the worker that is doing the hard work on 32M of numbers. You can think on better ways to do ‘hard work’… Specially if you are in the world of WebGL and you have big matrix under your arms.

  // Here we are 'computing' something important on the data. 
  // In our case - just play with % if you have new hardware
  // try: Math.sqrt( uInt8View[i] * Math.random() * 10000);
  for (var i=0; i < dataLength; i++ ) {
    uInt8View[i] = uInt8View[i] % 2;
  if (useTransferrable) {
    self.postMessage(uInt8View.buffer, [uInt8View.buffer]);
  } else {

The results are clear (as the sun over the beach in Maui). It was much faster to work with transferrable objects.

web workers - compare options to move data in and out
With transferrable objects it took us 292ms while with copy it was 533ms.
Last but note least, you can find more examples and deep coverage on web workers in my book on web workers. Psst… if you can’t sleep, it might help you on that front as well.
Web Workers - The book