quote of the day n+1th

Wed 14 March 2018

I had the most satisfying Eureka experience of my career while attempting to teach flight instructors that praise is more effective than punishment for promoting skill-learning. When I had finished my enthusiastic speech, one of the most seasoned instructors in the audience raised his hand and made his own short …

the cost of GPL is not in dollars

Wed 28 February 2018

The price for using a math library developed by Foobar Corporation is $10,000 plus 1% of the sale price of your product, or whatever you negotiate with them.

The price for using a GPL’d math library is that you must license your source code under the GPL as …

revisiting Google Fi

Wed 21 February 2018

This is the end of my second year as a Google Fi subscriber.

TL;DR: I’m keeping this service and I recommend it for people who are happy with the limited phone selection.

About a year ago, I wrote about Fi. This is
the update.

Average price per month …

time is not money

Tue 16 January 2018

Many people like to claim “my time is worth the $/hour I could have earned”. It’s usually bull.

If you are paid hourly, it is 95% likely that your hours are set by your employer, not you. You can’t spend a random extra hour working to get another …

books at year end

Wed 27 December 2017

  • Melissa Olson, Nightshades
  • Harry Connolly, The Twisted Path
  • Ryk Spoor, Princess Holy Aura
  • Faith Hunter, Flame in the Dark
  • Mira Grant, Into The Drowning Deep
  • Brandon Sanderson, Oathbound
  • Jim Hines, Terminal Alliance
  • James Allan Gardner, All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault
  • Sebastian de Castell, Spellslinger

I liked all …

a most important job

Thu 21 December 2017

Your company probably needs a librarian. Maybe more than one.

A modern librarian selects, installs, configures and administrates knowledge management software. They are experts in organizational methods and search techniques.

A librarian may take in paper documents and convert them to electronic formats. Everything gets stored, indexed, and made searchable …

do not drink and sysadmin

Tue 12 December 2017

neutral restructuring

Thu 23 November 2017

It’s not enough that Net Neutrality be enforced. That’s just a basic requirement to keep corporations from completely exploiting their customers.

What would a good long-term solution look like?

We can look at history. In 1982, the eight-year antitrust suit against AT&T was ended by the breakup …

wireguard setup

Sun 12 November 2017

Wireguard is a new open source VPN system being initially developed on Linux. I have two major use cases for such a thing: site-to-site protection, and backhauling traffic from a laptop or phone to my house.

Wireguard’s differentiators:

  • Small codebase, because there are very few options. For example, there …

Mac OS X DNS prefers IPv6

Sat 28 October 2017

If you have a Mac and DNS resolution seems really, really slow — like, five seconds or more per lookup — check to see if you have an IPv6 address. You probably do.

Then check to see if you have an IPv6 DNS server listed. I bet you don’t, or it …

switching ISPs

Wed 04 October 2017

I was a customer of RCN for seven years. The service was fine, in the really boring way that you want commodity services to be. There were occasional glitches, and a few months where the internet service was particularly bad due to our house being at the end of a …

technology maturity

Thu 07 September 2017

For any given technology, there will exist at least one point in time in which people are simultaneously not trusting it for being too new and unproven, and other people are depending on it in production.”

( — me )

Every decision involves a cost/benefit analysis. Sometimes they are formal; often they …


Wed 06 September 2017

The resiliency of a system is proven by its behavior in an emergency.

The design of a system is proven by its daily usability.

naming knives

Thu 10 August 2017

I collect pocket knives. It’s rare for me to be dressed and not have a knife in my pocket. Knives are useful tools. I usually find a use for one three or a dozen times a day.

Modern production knife makers (the sort of designer/producer/ manufacturer who turns …

the courage of convictions: competition

Thu 10 August 2017

Ken MacLeod writes science fiction. His job to write stories that entertain us while, perhaps, presenting some interesting ideas. He doesn’t have to be a prognosticator. Nobody really thinks that the future of humanity will be to separate into fast-thinking, fast-evolving AIs in Jovian orbit versus nanotech-equipped paranoid biological …

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