Where your contributions go

This is a thank-you to my tip-jar contributors. Today I spent $88.76 directly out of the tip jar on engineering samples of GPS dongles specially modified to carry the 1PPS signal out to USB. I will test them, and if the modification succeeds it is quite likely that the company I am cooperating with will… Continue reading Where your contributions go

Categorized as General

Remembering the future

I own a rather large library of paperback SF which I have been collecting since the late 1960s; it includes a lot of stuff that is now quite rare and half forgotten. I owe a great deal to SF and consider these books cultural treasures, The last few years I’ve been wondering if there’s any… Continue reading Remembering the future

Michael Meets Mozart

I love classical music. It was my first musical vocabulary; I didn’t start listening to popular music until I was 14. When I grew up enough to notice that I was listening to a collection of museum pieces and not a living genre, that realization made me very sad. But go listen to this: Michael… Continue reading Michael Meets Mozart

Categorized as Music

Eggs a la ESR

For no particular reason, my recipe for scrambled eggs.

Categorized as General

On becoming a machine

A regular, TomA, asks: “If you could replace your organic body (in its entirety) with a machine, would you do it?” This is one of those questions where examining the implied premises is the most interesting thing about answering it…

Holding up the sky

During the last few years I’ve noticed a change in the meaning of my life – well, my life as a hacker, anyway. I had an exchange on a mailing list last night that made me think it’s not just me, that the same change has been sneaking up on a lot of us. It’s… Continue reading Holding up the sky

John Carter: the movie

I was pretty dubious about John Carter. It was one of those movies which, as a serious SF fan and historian, I have to see even given a quite high likelihood that it was going to offend me with aggressively stupid handling of its source material. Therefore I am surprised and pleased to report that… Continue reading John Carter: the movie

Categorized as General

Return of the hacker ribbons

Penguicon (venue of the upcoming Friends of Armed & Dangerous party) is a combination science-fiction convention and Linux/open-source conference, two geek tastes that taste great together. One of Penguicon’s customs is that people wander around handing out affinity-group badge ribbons to those they deem worthy (or simply to be funny). In many past years I… Continue reading Return of the hacker ribbons

The Smartphone Wars: Back to the Old Normal

It begins to look like the 2012 holiday-season was an anomaly. comScore’s new numbers (for Jan 2012) are out; Android is resuming its long-term growth rate after a temporary slowdown, and Apple’s market share actually dropped slightly.

A civil rights victory

Today we scored what may be the most important civil-rights victory since the Heller ruling in 2008. Woollard v. Sheridan was found for the plaintiffs, and Maryland’s law requiring concealed-carry applicants to show “good and substantial reason” for their permit applications has been found unconstitutional.

Categorized as Firearms

Calling all open-source hardware engineers

How would you like to help fix the Internet? One of the efforts I’ve been contributing to during the last year is the Bufferbloat project, a group of experienced Internet engineers who believe that excessive buffering and poor queue-management strategies may be the real villains behind a lot of network problems commonly attributed to undercapacity.… Continue reading Calling all open-source hardware engineers