Jul. 19th, 2015 04:27 pm
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Wonder if this explains why I've been having a hard time maintaining my usual summer energy level:

NameValueReference Range

This could make for a fun time.


Jul. 19th, 2015 01:22 pm
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19. Terry Pratchett Raising Steam This wasn't up to Terry standards. I felt some of the characters wandered quite far from their character and the writing wasn't there. I agree with Rhianna's decision and feel that the best way to honor her father's work is to re-read the prime stuff.
20. Iain Sproat Wodehouse at War Interesting and quiet readable for something that is basically a history book of a very tiny slice of history. Sad that it happened at all.
21. Marilyn Duckworth Pulling Faces Got this through a "random giving". Tries too hard to be art. Written in '87 as near future (1999). At first it was only fun to make fun of the writing, then in the middle I was just waiting to see if anything happened. At the end it did, but an end that could only be loved by a nihilist.


Jul. 11th, 2015 06:52 pm
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Hike Katahdin Mountain on June 18th and was blessed with ideal weather. Overcast on the way up so it was a bit cooler climbing then clearing for the descent. Left Roaring Brook Campground at 5:05AM, took Chimney Pond Trail to Cathedral Trail to Baxter Peak, then across the Knife Edge to Pamola Peak, then down Helon-Taylor Trail. Reached Baxter Cutoff at 9:30AM, Baxter Peak at 9:55AM, Pamola Peak at 11:10AM and the campground again at 2:05PM. I felt better after this hike than any other ascent of Katahdin I've done, no major problems the next day, although I don't think I could have climbed another mountain. 9.3 miles and about 3,700ft of elevation, 9 hours.

No pictures of the peaks because I did the high stuff solo and didn't think to take a camera with me.

Now I've only got three trails on the main part of the mountain I haven't climbed: Abol, Dudley, and Saddle. Abol is closed at present due to a rockslide wiping out the trail. I'm thinking next year I may do Dudley and if the weather is perfect combine it with Saddle. We'll see how I feel.


Jul. 11th, 2015 06:10 pm
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15. Philip K. Dick & Roger Zelazny Deus Irae (this one was earlier but I forgot to put it on my list)
16. Asimov's Science Fiction April/May 2015
17. Asimov's Science Fiction August 2015
18. Philip Pullman The Golden Compass


Jun. 23rd, 2015 12:10 pm
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In no particular order because I can't remember what order they came in.

5. Asimov's June 2015
6. Asimov's July 2015
7. St. Jude and R.U. Sirius The Real Cyberpunk Fake Book
8. Edward Lear More Nonsense
9. Francis Gross 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
10. Gelett Burgess The Good Directory of Juvenile Offenders
11. Edith B. Ordway The Handbook of Conundrum
12. Louisa May Alcott Hospital Sketches
13. L.H. Bailey The Apple-Tree
14. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm The Complete Illustrated Stories of the Brothers Grimm

Still not doing much reading, but I've already hit last year's mark. I want to do some re-reads this year if I ever get around to it, most notably Wodehouse and Pratchett.


Mar. 2nd, 2015 06:44 pm
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Grace Hopper has been one of my heroes for years. The very smart guy who taught me COBOL back in 1982, in addition to teaching us to use binary searches to get free drinks at the bar, taught us the big role of that tiny woman. Both of those lessons stayed with me. The other day I was explaining her importance to a couple of my peers, who are youngsters and hadn't heard of her before.

Pop on over to youtube and watch her in action .

These days we hear a lot about the lack of women in technology. That sentence is woefully incomplete. It should always end in "at the moment." Remember Grace Hopper, the women working on ENIAC, and at Bletchley Park and consider where we would be today if we were applying all of our technical resources instead of somewhere around half.

We are wasting a whole lot of nano-seconds.


Feb. 28th, 2015 06:11 pm
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3. Asimov's March 2015

I enjoyed this installment of Asimov's. If I were to give it a theme this month it would be old school science fiction. Gregory Normal Bossert's "Twelve And Tag" could have taken place on Samuel R. Delany's "Triton". Suzanne Palmer's "Tuesdays" has a classic sci-fi short story final line kick. Gwendolyn Clare's "Holding The Ghosts" makes good on a creepy, quite believable, scenario.

4. Jasper Fforde "The Eye Of Zoltar"

The Eye was a fun book, but it feels like the story arc is starting to weigh down the books. The humor is kind of squished and the action feels somewhat obligatory. It's almost as is the characters are stand ins, ala Thursday Next when the real characters are on vacation and the reader gets a fill in.
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So Walmart is getting all kinds of press because they've announced they will give 40% of their workers a raise.

By Feb 2016.

The average full time worker will be getting a 1.17% raise. For the last calendar year, the inflation rate in the US has been .8%. When you figure in the inflation rate in 2016, by the time those workers actual get their raises they won't even be keeping up with inflation. Thank you, oh so much.

The average part time worker will fair much better getting a 5.5% raise. They may actually see their wages go up in comparison to their cost of living. Of course, those part time workers at $10/hr won't come anywhere near making it to poverty line, even if they managed to work 40 hours per week, which being part time they never will.

Let's not pretend this is a great day for workers.
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1. H.P. Lovecraft "The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft"

I'd been working at this one for quite a while. I hadn't read any Lovecraft before, so didn't know what to expect. It wasn't as scary as I expected. The language was at times delightful and at times tiring. I enjoyed the traces of Lovecraftian humor immensely and wish he had indulged that aspect of his writing a bit more.

2. Asimov's February 2015

I really enjoyed this issue. It was a distinctly love themed fitting for the month, but it was distinctly not all chocolates and flowers. It covered a wide variety of aspects of love and relationships. A very good mixture of thoughtful stories.
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12. J. M. Barrie "Peter and Wendy" aka "Peter Pan"
13. Christopher Moore "Serpent of Venice"
14. Asimov's January 2015

This was a pretty pathetic year for reading. I was very busy doing other things and I took on some big books that didn't make the list this year. I'm most of the way through the complete works of Lovecraft and the full set of Grimm's Fairy Tales. It doesn't help that I didn't take any vacations involving long stretches of time on planes or trains or sitting by a pool.

Maybe 2015 will be better on the books front.
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I sometimes feel sorry for the kids today because, well, just what will they have to live through in the coming decades. But I envy today's geek kids. I wish I had time to explore all the geeky possibilities. There is just so much cool stuff out there now.

I mean lego mindstorms, arduino, raspberry pi are just the start!

Be an undersea explorer:

Use your very own robot arm:

3d print your imagination!

It would be cool to have thousands of hours to blow playing with all this stuff.
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I love the wiki write-up of the Dining Cryptographers problem. Using the example of the NSA paying for dinner is just perfect. Of course, from there you have to go to the Dining Philosopher's Problem and the Anonymous Veto Network.

I like the idea of an Anonymous Veto Network.
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I'm the only one you loves you enough to post this link.


Nov. 24th, 2014 05:53 pm
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Did I post a link to Sous Le Pont already? Well, if I did it can stand to be repeated.

Playful trombone, marimba, and accordion. And it's free music.
eor: (Malcolm huh?)
The other day I posted a link to the Internet Arcade, but that's just the tip of the iceberg of neat free stuff.

On the same site, Archive.Org, they have free audio. There collection is a mixed bag, with news shows, interviews, professional music and amateur music. You can browse the catalog, but that can be a wade through a lot of stuff you're not interested in. They also have a search, which I've had some luck with if I'm in the mood for something in particular.

What has stuck me is the incredible quality of some of the live recordings. They have live music that is better than most Cd's out there.

They also have some weird shit on there. I just found some 8-bit Apple II robo-punk. And banjo punk. Nuff said.
eor: (greenscreen)
Old school games, but you don't have to put in quarters.
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My pace of reading hasn't increased a whole lot over the last few months, but it has picked up a little with the earlier sunsets. I'd recommend a pass on "The Girls' Guide To Hunting And Fishing", although it's an easy read. It just doesn't enhance life.

9. Asimov's Oct/Nov 2014
10. Melissa Bank "The Girls' Guide To Hunting And Fishing"
11. Asimov's Dec 2014
eor: (Harold)
Picked up a study the effect of online feedback from O' today (that's O'Reilly Books, Tim O'Reilly's place, not Bill O'Reilly).

The subset is news sites, so the behavior may be significantly skewed by tribalism that may not be as bad in other communities.

I do find it interesting that negative feedback has an effect (although perhaps not the desired effect), but positive feedback doesn't seem to change behavior much at all. My off the hip explanation is that people who post to news sites and get a negative response start frothing at the mouth and spewing pure vitriol after the 1st negative feedback. But it certainly goes with my rule: "Don't argue with people on the Internet."
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This link came from .

I don't use Gmail and honestly hadn't thought about the business model at all, but I probably should have. And people who use it probably should even more.

Now I understand much better why countries like the U.S. Russia and China want the Google servers for their users stored in their country. What a lovely mine of info. No need to take everything off the Internet and store it, someone is already storing it for you.


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