Geek stuff


In an illustration of combinatorial mathematics, 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 […]


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 […]


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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For two years I have been working on an art project. I’m not sure whether the concept predated when I first heard James Allard’s lecture on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but the lecture is a great demonstration of how labeling does interpretive work when it comes to art. Presented with a digital file, we may struggle […]


For the first time, we may have just detected the a large object that has entered our solar system from interplanetary space: C/2017 U1 PanSTARRS. It’s a shame we don’t have a spacecraft ready to go get a closer look, or maybe even get a sample.


It seems the WPA2 encryption system used by most WiFi networks is badly broken: New KRACK Attack Against Wi-Fi Encryption KRACK! Wifi’s go-to security, WPA2, is fatally flawed, and will probably never be patched in many places WPA2: Broken with KRACK. What now? ‘All wifi networks’ are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers This follows […]


There’s an engaging talk on YouTube from former SR-71 pilot Brian Shul, telling the story of his career as a military pilot and showing some of his photos of and from the world’s fastest plane. Next time I go to Washington D.C., Myshka and I will go check out the SR-71 on display at the […]


The often-excellent NPR Planet Money podcast (which ran an earlier episode about “Freeway” Rick) had two notably engaging recent segments. One included an interesting account of the data-analysis-decision-action cycle in intelligence work, specifically when deciding if an assailant is an enemy counterintelligence agent or drug-addled mugger. The other discussed policy and incentive problems in the […]


A somewhat obvious rule of internet security to add to the first three: Against a sophisticated attacker, nothing connected to the internet is secure. Everything is internet now. You should probably worry more about being attacked online by your own government than by any other organization. Sensitive data about you is largely on the computers […]