Geek stuff

Charlie Stross’s talk at the 34th Chaos Communications Congress highlights risks associated with artificial intelligence technologies in combination with factors like geolocation, the engineering of content online to produce emotional responses, and people with malicious objectives from manipulating elections to harassing women seeking abortions. It’s worth watching, and starting to think about what sort of […]

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Google has warned me that: “We believe that attackers backed by certain states may be attempting to compromise your account or computer”. There’s a good chance this is because of the Stratfor hack, though it may also be for anti-pipeline/activism related reasons. For a couple of years now, I have been using the two-factor authentication […]

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As an experiment in living and in an effort to protect my sleep I have set my router to disable internet access from all my devices between 2:00am and 7:00am seven days a week. Especially when I am feeling down and wishing I could avoid things, there is a temptation to just keep clicking through […]

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I’m surprised I have never mentioned Dan Carlin’s historical podcasts here yet. I got a lot out of “Blueprint for Armageddon“, his six-part history of WWI (source of this account). Listening to his thoroughly-researched and passionately-delivered work has led me back to a number of books by serious historians as well as primary accounts. Those […]

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Even at Google collaborative skills matter more than technical ones: In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, […]

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Here are a couple of interesting journalistic accounts of complex modern board games: Table-top generals In the world of role-playing war games, Volko Ruhnke has become a hero They both emphasize games that seek to accurately model military conflicts, particularly “A Distant Plain“, which is about the post-2001 intervention in Afghanistan. A few years ago, […]

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In an illustration of combinatorial mathematics, what3words.com will represent any location on Earth as a set of three simple English words. It’s intended to help in cities that lack formal maps and street names. The points it distinguishes are close enough together that for a building of any size you get various choices. The Toronto […]

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I have been curious about picking up a Raspberry Pi one board computer. They are the standard hardware for nodes on the Toronto Mesh network, so with a suitable USB radio transceiver I could use it in small areas as a bridge to their network via the IPv6 Hyperboria network. I could also use it […]

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Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 DNA polymerase IV (Dpo4) is a DinB homolog that belongs to the recently described Y-family of DNA polymerases, which are best characterized by their low-fidelity synthesis on undamaged DNA templates and propensity to traverse normally replication-blocking lesions. By Bathsheba

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