Geek stuff

This remarkable interview with Robert Hill, Former Chief Naval Engineer Officer of the Royal Navy, discusses the peculiarities of Hyman Rickover, including some very revealing stories, as well as Rickover’s role in developing the civilian reactor at Shippingport. The description of Rickover’s interaction with the chairman of Rolls Royce is quite amusing, though it also […]

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Spring brought an increasing flow of decrypts about Wehrmacht operations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Senior officers strove to streamline the transfer of information from Bletchley to battlefields, so that material reached commanders in real time. One of the most significant intercepts, detailing German plans for the May 1941 invasion of Crete, reported ‘probable date of […]

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Hut 8 [of Bletchley Park] now had enough information to read some U-boat signals, but the seizure which opened the traffic to fluent decryption was the fruit of chance and high courage, rather than of design. On 9 May 1941 a convoy escort group attacked and forced to the surface Julius Lempe’s U-110. A boarding […]

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Life is hectic with advising my undergraduate students on the first written assignment while grading assignments from the graduate course where I am a TA. I have been using a few breaks to play the excellent and engrossing boardless board game Hive, both online and with the portable pocket set. I haven’t progressed to the […]

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Notably: Canon 24-70 f/2.8L Canon 70-200 f/4L Canon 100 2.8L macro Canon 50 1.4 Metz 44 AF-1 Canon 430EX-II PocketWizard PlusX (x3) Synology NAS

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When I see people out walking dogs, I like reaching a hand out to the creatures and seeing their reactions. Usually the humans are happy about this and volunteer information about the dog’s name and breed. Occasionally, there are people who pointedly ignore me and yank hard on the leash to punish the dog for […]

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There is a widespread expectation that autonomous or driverless cars of the sort being developed by Google will soon become commercially available and active on public roads. A recent Slate article makes some strong arguments for why that expectation may be premature: But the maps have problems, starting with the fact that the car can’t […]

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Between when my family first got internet access (I got my first taste at the Science Al!ve daycamp at SFU, using a primitive form of Netscape) and sometime between my M.Phil / working in Ottawa / starting my PhD, I spent thousands of hours talking with all sorts of friends over ICQ, MSN Messenger, and […]

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The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a constellation of twenty-one primary satellites, and three spares, in near-circular orbits 11,000 miles above the earth at an inclination of 55 degrees to its equator. While the satellites are best known for their role in allowing the precise location of individuals and objects, by 1995 they had been […]

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