Saturday, June 25, 2011

Now this is awesome!

Solar sintering. (Desert, sand, sunlight, Fresnel lens, solar cells, 3D "printing")

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bloody hell! You want to know where the next generation of improvised hi-tech weapons are coming from? Look at what hackers are doing in war-zones!

Yeah, this looks fun.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Very interesting talk by Dmitry Orlov
Boing Boing :

An Apple patent describes a system for allowing venue owners to override compliant cameras. The patent describes using an infrared signal that compliant cameras would detect; in the presence of this signal, the device would not allow its owner to activate its record function. It is intended for use at live events and galleries and museums, and it will be a tremendous boon to policemen who shoot unarmed subway riders, despotic armies putting down revolutions as well as anyone else who is breaking the law or exercising coercive power.

This is part of an increasing trend to designing hardware and software that allows remote parties to override the instructions of the owners and users of devices. This trend, coupled with the increasing degree to which devices are privy to our secrets, our sensitive information, and even our biological functions, worries me an awful lot.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Spanish revolution is in Brighton. The Greek in London.
Excellent critique of drug prohibition in an interview with David Simon.

The drug war is war on the underclass now. That’s all it is. It has no other meaning.
Here's a fascinating Quora answer which shows why BitCoin could be very interesting indeed.

Meanwhile, I asked a question about bitCoin and Botnets.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Now this is hardcore netocratic thinking.

Fascinating points :

Social network place is inherited (though did he really distinguish genetic vs. educational influences?)

Social networks influence obesity. This serious for me. I've gained going on for 14 kg since returning from Brazil to London. Not, probably, because I'm hanging around with more obese people, but because I and my wife have detached ourselves from a lot of people who take exercise and the appearance of their bodies more seriously.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Very nice. For a while I've been making a connection between Bruce Sterling's ideas of Atemporality and Dark Euphoria and some of my favourite musical movements. (That's why the hauntology bloggers are all under "Gothic High-Tech" in my blogroll.)

Now I see Bruce Sterling is debating debated Simon Reynolds who's also been tracing the end of musical progress in recent writings.

Should be a fascinating discussion. Hope there's a podcast.

I have a feeling I should be reading Frederic Jameson.
Cracking Dillow today.

You shouldn’t need me to point out that complaints about benefit abuse is an example of the right’s “small truth, big error” rhetorical trick. But I will:

- According to the last DWP accounts, benefit fraud cost £1bn in 2008-09. That’s less than the cost of the DWP’s own administrative errors, and much less than the amount of benefits that people are entitled to but do not claim.

- From a Keynesian perspective, benefits serve a useful counter-cyclical function in stimulating demand. They are a roundabout way of boosting the profits of Lidl and Primark.

- Insofar as people don’t want to work, it could be that this what Jon Elster called an adaptive preference. Having tried and failed to get work, people reduce their cognitive dissonance by coming not to want work. People aren’t unemployed because they don’t want to work, but instead don’t want to work because they are unemployed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Horrible things about getting old #2 :

My question to Quora : Now I'm old and overloaded with experience, how can I cultivate naive enthusiasm and credulity?
Horrible things about getting old #1 :

Everyone says you shouldn't get stuck in your ways and should be open to new ideas. You want to take that advice seriously and you know that you do seem to be getting fixed ... but you now know so many different ideas, that you can't tell which way to jump.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Not that I usually read the Telegraph or anything but I found a link to this piece bigging up the right-wing Conservative "revolution" in the US.

And as a Gallup poll showed, America is unquestionably a conservative country ideologically, but one that is ironically led by the most left-wing president in the nation’s history.

WTF? Does anybody believe that Obama is "the most left-wing president" in US history?
Bloody hell! This seems pretty important : Cheap GPUs are rendering strong passwords useless.

Fast GPUs can generate all combinations of passwords in a very short time. I guess the real way to stop this is for systems not to allow brute force testing of passwords to be too quick. Unix's tendency to make you wait to discover your password is wrong is a good thing.

Update :

Ouch! Someone just commented on the story :
These tools operate on the file containing the password hashes, which anyone can access. Since they are only making guesses against the hashes, there are no "failed logins". The only login attempt would be the correct login after they retrieve the correct password.