Hugh Daniel is dead – in frighteningly familiar circumstances

Hugh Daniel, a very well known hacker and cypherpunk, was found dead in his apartment a few days ago. Hugh was a terrific guy and a friend of all the world, the kind of cheerfully-larger-than-life personality that makes things a little merrier and more interesting wherever it goes. He’s going to leave a big Hugh-shaped… Continue reading Hugh Daniel is dead – in frighteningly familiar circumstances

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Adobe in cloud-cuckoo land

Congratulations, Adobe, on your impending move from selling Photoshop and other boring old standalone applications that people only had to pay for once to a ‘Creative Cloud’ subscription service that will charge users by the month and hold their critical data hostage against those bills. This bold move to extract more revenue from customers in… Continue reading Adobe in cloud-cuckoo land

On the road, blogging limited

Blogging will be limited for the next week. I’ve received several requests for posts on a bunch of meaty topic, including (a) Adobe’s Creative Cloud move, (b) The Defence Distributed takedown notice, (b) the utility of power-projection navies, (d) current state of the terror war, and others. I won’t get to all of these anytime… Continue reading On the road, blogging limited

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Penguicon party 2013!

My blogging will be light or nonexistent over the next week. I’m on the road in Michigan, at Penguicon; the Friends of Armed and Dangerous party will be here at 9:00 tonight. It really is the 21st century. Yesterday I merged a bunch of patches, ran acceptance tests, and then polished and shipped a reposurgeon… Continue reading Penguicon party 2013!

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What does crowdfunding replace or displace?

In How crowdfunding and the JOBS Act will shape open source companies, Fred Trotter proposes that crowdfunding a la Kickstarter and IndieGoGo is going to displace venture capitalists as the normal engine of funding for open-source tech startups, and that this development will be a tremendous enabler. Trotter paints a rosy picture of idealistic geeks… Continue reading What does crowdfunding replace or displace?

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Penguicon Party Preannouncement

No details yet, but this is a heads-up: I will be at Penguicon 2013, 26-28 April in Pontiac Michigan…and there will be a second annual paty for friends of Armed & Dangerous (or FOAD – now where have I seen that before?) Convention info at http://2013.penguicon.org/

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Sugar turns twenty

This is a bulletin for Sugar’s distributed fan club, the hackers and sword geeks and other assorted riff-raff who have guested in our commodious basement. The rest of you can go about your business. According to the vet’s paperwork, our cat Sugar turned 20 yesterday. (Actually, the vet thinks she may be 19, but that… Continue reading Sugar turns twenty

Coding Freedom: a review

My usual audience is well aware why I am qualified to review Gabriella Coleman’s book, Coding Freedom, but since I suspect this post might reach a bit beyond my usual audience I will restate the obvious. I have been operating as the hacker culture’s resident ethnographer since around 1990, consciously applying the techniques of anthropological… Continue reading Coding Freedom: a review

Don’t overinterpret the Sorrell Doctrine!

I have submitted an essay to the Stanford Law Review for publication. I didn’t tick the box for “exclusive”, so I think I can blog it as well. It’s a reply to Andrew Tutt’s essay on Software Speech.

English is a Scandinavian language?

Here’s the most interesting adventure in linguistics I’ve run across in a while. Two professors in Norway assert that English is a Scandinavian language, a North Germanic rather than a West Germanic one. More specifically, they claim that Anglo-Saxon (“Old English”) is not the direct ancestor of modern English; rather, our language is more closely… Continue reading English is a Scandinavian language?

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The wages of secrecy

One of my regulars, contemplating the increasingly pathetic series of clusterfucks that have passed for exciting new products at Microsoft, wonders why a company with all its advantages – more money than $DEITY to hire the best developers, lots of experience, dominant position in a major technology market – can’t seem to release a decent… Continue reading The wages of secrecy

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A secret of game-fu

Last night I utterly trounced three opponents at the slick new Fantasy Flight reissue of a classic interstellar trade and exploration game, Merchants of Venus. My end score was nearly three times that of the runner-up, and I had acquired so many fame points (which each become 10 victory points at game end) that we… Continue reading A secret of game-fu

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The microzen: a unit of enlightenment

Earlier today one of my commenters caused me to realize that it would be entertaining to try to define a unit for the intensity of “aha!” experiences – moments of sudden insight.

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Storm warning

By now you’ve doubtless heard about Hurricane Sandy; the record-breaking superstorm hype has been pretty hard to miss. Well, I just got a look at the latest NOAA track projection, and it looks like the storm center is going to pass directly over my house sometime Tuesday night. The center track on that map couldn’t… Continue reading Storm warning

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Practical prophecy

Inspired by Dave Logan’s keynote on tribal leadership at AgileCultureCon, I did a breakout session and then an open-space followup on “Practical Prophecy 101”. Recall that in Logan’s terms a “prophet” is a person who moves the behavior of his tribe towards greater cooperation and creativity by (his words) “preaching the inevitability of values-based change”.… Continue reading Practical prophecy

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From Dave in my basement, redux

Dave Taht is crashing in my basement again. While he’s here Dave is planning to cut another release of CeroWRT (the third one to issue from this basement, actually), and he has decided it needs a name. And, well, “the release from ESR’s basement” just lacks a certain…zing.

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