Geek stuff

I am aware that site performance here is less than ideal in at least three ways: Sometimes pages are simply slow to load Pages that do exist sometimes fail to load entirely, producing a 404 error instead Sometimes, pages load without images or CSS, showing only text It’s much worse on the administrative side, with […]

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An interesting genre! And you can own a gorgeous-looking replica for $100.

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I’m playing in the qualifying tournament for the online Hive world championship. In the first round, my opponent forfeited. In the second, I lost both games (the tournament structure is to play two against each opponent, alternating who moves first). In the third round, I won the game where I moved second (black on boardspace.net […]

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The concept of Right to Repair is meant to help consumers and tinkerers keep their vehicles, electronics, and other equipment going, despite the preferences of manufacturers that they buy something new or at least pay the original builder for any repairs. In a more sustainable world, we can imagine a Responsibility to Repair, where any […]

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I’ve written before about some problems with biometric security: it seems convenient to be able to use facial recognition to log in to your computer, until you find your co-workers doing it with colour photocopies of your picture. Computers aren’t the only context where we use biometrics for identification. “Don’t you recognize my voice?” has […]

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A recent technology quarterly about new quantum innovations, published in The Economist, referred to a disturbing development in quantum sensor technology: Military types are interested, too. “You can’t shield gravity,” says David Delpy, who leads the Defence Scientific Advisory Council in Britain’s defence ministry. Improved gravity sensors would be able to spot moving masses under […]

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One convincing argument made by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness) is that we intuitively misjudge the importance of the newest information, which is actually the most likely to be trivial and wrong. I wrote about this before. It’s an especially important point in the Trump era, where I […]

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This is an interesting case: Spyware’s Odd Targets: Backers of Mexico’s Soda Tax Related: Protecting your computer Dealing with some MediaWiki malware Google’s new malware notifications Black Code The Stuxnet worm The Storm Worm

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Arguably for millennia, but certainly since the industrial revolution, technological development has been driving changes in labour practices. This has been accelerated by globalization and automation and is likely speeding up as sensors and artificial intelligence improve and costs fall: Both for individuals and governments, it’s hard to discern what this means when planning for […]

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LED bulbs are dramatically more efficient than incandescent or halogen lamps, and beat out compact fluorescent bulbs in terms of how quickly they turn on and avoiding toxic contents. These bulbs, which are now widely available in large hardware stores, plug directly into a socket that would previously have taken an incandescent bulb and include […]

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