Content Creation Without Publishers

For the longest time, spreading writing and music was a slow and expensive process. Writing had to be duplicated by clerks; music and other performance art had to be transmitted in person or in writing. Authors required generous patronage or considerable fame to enjoy widespread reproduction of their works, and usually derived no income from … Continue reading “Content Creation Without Publishers”

Hacking the Cloud

As cracking passwords and encryption by technical means is getting harder, the employees in charge of security become the weakest links in the chain. Social engineering hacks use a combination of publicly available data and expert bluffing to tweak confidential data out of customer service personnel. “Are you the LOD today?” contestant J.C. asked as … Continue reading “Hacking the Cloud”

Ubiquitous Robot Surveillance

Charlie Stross’s recent speech How low (power) can you go? is a fascinating and terrifying glimpse into a future where tiny computerized sensors have become ubiquitous thanks to ever-greater circuit density (Moore’s Law) and energy efficiency (Koomey’s Law). Stross performs back-of-the-envelope calculations for all his projections to ensure they are somewhat realistic, but in the … Continue reading “Ubiquitous Robot Surveillance”

No Metro in Windows 8

I apologize for yet another Microsoft rant this week, but this is just incredible. Days after Windows 8’s release to manufacturing, Microsoft renames Metro to “New User Interface”! Apparently someone just discovered that Germany, one of the company’s biggest markets and primary localization targets, is home to wholesale & retail giant Metro AG (2011 sales: … Continue reading “No Metro in Windows 8”

No .NET 4.5 for XP/2003

Microsoft has just declined a UserVoice request that the upcoming .NET 4.5 should be made available for Windows XP and Server 2003. With 3,322 votes this was the second most popular request on Microsoft’s own feedback site, proving once again that actively providing any sort of feedback to Microsoft is generally a waste of time. … Continue reading “No .NET 4.5 for XP/2003”

The Decline of the Open Platform

Tim Anderson’s Mac App Store, Windows Store, and the decline of the open platform reports two complaints: Gabe Newell’s (Valve) about the upcoming Windows 8 app store, and Sherman Dickman’s (Postbox) about the existing Mac OS X app store. Newell hates losing his Steam business; Dickman hates conforming to app store restrictions. What a coincidence! … Continue reading “The Decline of the Open Platform”

Self-Links: Isolation and Promotion

Nicholas Carr’s When links turn inward discusses Mark Coddington’s recent study, Building Frames Link by Link: The Linking Practices of Blogs and News Sites. Carr’s post is a good read, but in the following I refer directly to the study. Coddington analyzes the links in political articles drawn from three sample sets: Six big mainstream … Continue reading “Self-Links: Isolation and Promotion”

Java adds numbers really fast

Daniel Lemire has posted a tiny benchmark for a basic part of many numerical applications: a loop that sums up numbers in an array. The astonishing part is the performance of Oracle Java 7 which dramatically outperforms an older GCC version, and keeps up quite well with newer compilers! I tested the same code against … Continue reading “Java adds numbers really fast”

Simulated Life

Computational biology reached a milestone last week. Scientists at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute presented the first software simulation of an entire living organism, albeit an extremely simple one: the single-cell bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium. The simulation models M. genitalium’s metabolic functions and all of its 525 genes (for comparison, multicellular organisms can … Continue reading “Simulated Life”

Tektosyne 5.6.4 Released

Uploaded Tektosyne 5.6.4 with an embarrassing bug fix. The quad tree’s FindNodeByValue method threw a null reference exception on anything but very small trees. I didn’t notice for a long time since this method is used only during debugging… and I had plainly forgotten to call it in my unit tests. Both issues are fixed … Continue reading “Tektosyne 5.6.4 Released”