maradydd: (Default)
For free, even. And with a lot of help from physicists all over the world.

Relatedly, I want to start a collection of Famous Dutch-Speaking Scientists With Distinctive Moustaches:

Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel prizewinning physicist Bart Preneel, rockstar cryptographer

I'm not sure whether to include Edsger Dijkstra or Guido van Rossum, whose beards seem more distinctive to me
maradydd: (Default)
I don't know what the hell bizarro universe I woke up in today, but I kinda like it. Democrats proposing tax cuts? In my Congress? It's more likely than you think...

Don't miss the money shot at 5:11 -- "particularly when we're using a Chinese credit card to pay for it all." Boo yah.

This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway -- call your Congresscritters. Make this happen.

(h/t [ profile] rialian)
maradydd: (Default)
A bit late for Mother's Day, but great nonetheless.


May. 6th, 2010 02:32 am
maradydd: (Default)
There exists an IEEE standard for gigabit token ring networking.

No, I don't know why. It was approved May 4, 2001, so I guess it wasn't the IEEE's answer to all those RFCs we know and love.

(Also, why is it that so many of the April Fool's RFCs have to do with IP? There's IP over carrier pigeon, IP over carrier pigeon with quality of service, electricity over IP, the Evil Bit in the IPv4 header, IPv6 over Social Networks, IP over ATM, IP over semaphore...)
maradydd: (Default)
According to the official channel on YouTube:

Justin Timberlake's Dick In A Box is a holiday favorite

(image links to page where I found it; let's see how long that lasts...)
maradydd: (Default)
Via Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror, The C Programming Language by Brian W Kernighan and Dennis M Ritchie and HP Lovecraft. My favourite part:
I had heard tales of the... thing that C.A.R. Hoare had summoned up in '62– dark hints of choosing one element from an array, and partitioning the rest into lesser and greater sets, and hellishly recursing until the data were twisted into a sorted list– but nothing I could have imagined would be in any way comparable to the daemoniac, blasphemous reality that I saw.
I think any second-semester sophomore encountering quicksort for the first time knows exactly how the narrator feels.

Unrelatedly, was woken by the postman this morning from a dream in which I was giving a talk about error-correcting codes, failures in spoken communication, and formality of register, at a feminist conference (!), using the OSI network stack as an analogy (!!). I had just got through the obvious parts about how explicit, simple protocols and robust error-correction at the application layer reduce misinterpretation (for some reason, my example for that was a bingo game), but when the protocol has no built-in error correction and can be fragmented, the rate of confusion rises (I think where I was going with that was some kind of analogy between natural language and fragmented IP datagrams), but then the doorbell woke me up.
maradydd: (Default)
I did not know that there were so many alternative lyrics to Frère Jacques out there, including ones in many different languages.
maradydd: (Default)
An enterprising open-source hacker who goes by the moniker Famulus, using polywell plasma confinement, has achieved desktop-scale nuclear fusion.

There are some really lovely photos of plasmas and lab equipment on the blog, and all the STL files for the polywell itself, plus Ruby source code for running the thing, are available on github. Go to.

ETA: That's fusion full stop, not "a sustained fusion reaction producing more energy than is consumed by plasma containment". I'd wager my left temporal lobe that he's running at a net energy loss. However, polywell confinement is one of the more promising technologies out there for net-gain fusion; interested parties should check out the work that EMC2 Fusion is doing.
maradydd: (Default)
Oh, don't get me wrong, I laughed, but it's horrible:
I once saw a C++ filesystem driver that overrode the / operator to mean "append". So you could do something like:

directory = "/tmp/subdir1";
filename  = "myfile.txt";
full_path = directory/filename;

and end up with full_path being "/tmp/subdir1/myfile.txt"
And no, Stroustrup's not going to hell for designing a language that lets people do this. The sheer fact that people can do this means he's already there. And so are we.
maradydd: (bad post!)
SFW unless your work is irrational about condoms in a non-sexual context:

maradydd: (Default)
Brought to you by the same guy who did the literal music video version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart", here's the same treatment of David Hasselhoff's "Hooked On a Feeling." Give it some love -- this one's just as brilliant.

maradydd: (Default)
I've sung the praises of Learn You a Haskell here before, but it wasn't until a few minutes ago that I discovered Learn You Some Erlang. Different authors, but very similar styles -- writer Frederic Trottier-Hebert asked Miran Lipovaca (who brought you LYAH) if he could do a spinoff, and Miran said "of course".

My favourite feature so far is the interspersing of "Don't drink too much Kool-Aid" sections throughout the text -- a handy reality check, especially for a language that's caught a lot of buzz recently (thanks, Facebook). Concurrency is rad, the actor model is the New Hotness, but that doesn't make everything else necessarily old and busted, and Trottier-Hebert is happy to tell that to you straight. Oh, and it's a lot more fun than reading the Ericsson docs, which is what I did back when I learned Erlang. If you're wondering what all the excitement is about, go learn you some Erlang and find out.

I also wonder if this is actually a new trend. What will be next? Learn You the Chomsky Hierarchy? Learn You All About Category Theory? I look forward to finding out.

(h/t [ profile] alexey_rom via Twitter)
maradydd: (Default)
The Birther Song cracked me right up. (Not actually a song, unless someone wants to put some music to it, but someone totally should.) Props to the poet for such Ogden Nash-ian rhymes.
maradydd: (Default)
By way of danah boyd, Kate Miller-Heidke takes on 21st-century communications to hilarious effect. (Warning: shaky camera.)

Thing #427 to appreciate about my life: the exes who've found me on LJ or Facebook are all people who had the good sense and common courtesy to re-establish friendly terms before hitting the "friend" button, and who are totally worth staying in touch with. (And thing #428: the exes who know there's not a chance in hell of that have had the good sense not to even try.)
maradydd: (Default)
When you need to glue crayfish to plastic, or anything else to anything else for that matter, This to That is there.
maradydd: (Default)

Words cannot describe how happy this video makes me. I only wish there were some way to strip out the title in the Flash container, it gives things away too soon. :(

(hat tip to's "mashup" channel)
maradydd: (Default)
Michael Jackson, Unseelie Sidhe. Note the four elements of Chair, Fire, Earth and Wall.

I really could not make this stuff up if I tried.

The pervy jokes wrote themselves long ago, so let's have none of that here; deep down I think he was just a guy who liked it when children laughed and enjoyed themselves when he sang, danced, and dressed in elaborate costumes. That in and of itself is no bad thing.


maradydd: (Default)

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