reading

Jul. 11th, 2015 06:10 pm
eor: (scribe)
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

reading

Jun. 23rd, 2015 12:10 pm
eor: (scribe)
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.

Grace

Mar. 2nd, 2015 06:44 pm
eor: (Default)
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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-vcErOPofQ .

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.

reading

Feb. 28th, 2015 06:11 pm
eor: (scribe)
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.
eor: (Default)
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.
eor: (scribe)
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.
eor: (scribe)
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.
eor: (greenscreen)
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: http://store.openrov.com/

Use your very own robot arm: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:360108

3d print your imagination!

It would be cool to have thousands of hours to blow playing with all this stuff.
eor: (Default)
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.
eor: (Default)
I'm the only one you loves you enough to post this link.

music

Nov. 24th, 2014 05:53 pm
eor: (Default)
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.
eor: (scribe)
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'Reilly.com 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."
eor: (news3)
This link came from www.oreilly.com .

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.
eor: (greenscreen)
One of the things I've done to re-arrange my relationship with the Internet is to download the Tor browser. No I'm not publishing subversive literature or hunting down the illuminati. I just use it to access mundane sites like bbc.co.uk, cnn.com, and search without feeding the ad factories. I had noticed that Mozilla was getting really balky and it seemed to be entirely ad related. I also noticed that on BBC I kept getting "articles" about cars that only sell in the US. The bubbling irritated me because since I was very young I turned to foreign new sources to get counterspin on the US news sources. Living in Florida I was even able to pick up Radio Moscow out of Cuba, which was both entertaining and enlightening.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Tor browser, it runs Mozilla but in a bit of a cage. It bounces traffic off different servers, encrypting on the way, to make it difficult for those that might want to see who is talking to whom on the Internet. It also makes difficult for websites to tell who is talking to them (until you do something like log in). It has been used by people to do illegal things. It has also been used by people in countries where new is censored to get information from the outside world. The more people who use Tor, the better it becomes as a method of obscuring traffic and the more interested countries become in breaking it. Different departments of the US government 1) use it for their own people and 2) are trying to break it.

What I've found using Tor is that by default I get a notably different version of the news sites when bouncing through the Tor network. On BBC, I get pages that have many more international stories. The stock exchange listings are whatever ones are open, not just the US exchange. Pages load faster than with vanilla Mozilla. Now I could probably get Mozilla to give me the international editions and shape some of the content by constantly dumping cookies. But the idea of random routing and encryption has an innate appeal to this geek.

With Tor I can't watch videos that use flash (because I have it disabled), but I also don't get all those irritating flash ads. If I really need to see the video of the cute cat, I can always fire up vanilla Mozilla and look at that particular thing.

https://www.torproject.org/

tactics

Sep. 5th, 2014 08:31 pm
eor: (ya know what I'm saying)
Un-named country: Send troops into a neighbor, steadfastly denying they have any troops there.
Rest of world: Sits around for weeks and then says, "Oh, you shouldn't do that."
Un-named country: Negotiates a cease fire after securing a good amount of territory.
Rest of world: Sits around relieved that we have a cease fire. Everything is better now.
Un-named country: Moves more troops into to its newly acquired territory. Makes sure cease fire disintegrates. Moves troops into more territory.
Rest of world: Sits around for weeks and then says, "Oh, you really shouldn't do that."
Un-named country: Negotiates a cease fire after securing a good amount more territory, knowing that in round three they'll be able to secure a nice solid land corridor before winter.

That's the point here, secure the land corridor without much fuss and muss, before winter. Why? The last bit of land that was successfully annexed is going to be a helluva costly bit to supply and not provide a whole lot of benefit otherwise. It's easy to accomplish if you can take a break to bring up supplies and reinforcements along the way.

NATO you don't have to send troops. You don't have to send offensive weapons. Send warm clothing, flak jackets, and short range anti-tank missiles. They won't be of any use to anyone shooting down airliners or invading other countries, but they sure as hell will make an armor column think twice about advancing. Hell, for cover you could even sell it at the nice price of $1 per.
eor: (bum)
Comcast is giving large donations to a politician, yawn. No it's not that I like this kind of thing. I just assume that the corporate citizens who have more rights than the natural citizens are doing this all the time.

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