jm + history   162

Some great factoids about Glasnevin Cemetery
local landmark and significant chunk of Dublin history. I like this one:
Another odd thing was that people from Dublin had to be buried before noon. This was due to the fact that many funerals stopping at the gate would end up so late in the pub the gates would be closed. A number of times the sextant would open up in the morning to find a coffin or two aganst the gates. For years I thought this was made up but it turns out to be true. A friend had a copy of the cemetary bye laws from (I think) around 1908 and it was in there. I think the rule was if you lived within 7 miles of the GPO you had to be buried before 12 noon.
death  burial  graveyards  glasnevin  dublin  history  d11 
yesterday by jm
Typeset In The Future: Alien
Amazing deep dive into the graphic design of 1980s sci-fi classic, Alien, in particular Ron Cobb's_Semiotic Standard For All Commercial Trans-Stellar Utility Lifter And Heavy Element Transport Spacecraft_ and its application aboard the Weylan-Yutani Nostromo
fonts  typography  movies  cinema  alien  sf  history  1980s  ron-cobb  graphic-design 
2 days ago by jm
The Rise of Pirate Libraries
The history of this is fascinating:
Today’s pirate libraries have their roots in the work of Russian academics to digitize texts in the 1990s. Scholars in that part of the world had long had a thriving practice of passing literature and scientific information underground, in opposition to government censorship—part of the samizdat culture, in which banned documents were copied and passed hand to hand through illicit channels. Those first digital collections were passed freely around, but when their creators started running into problems with copyright, their collections “retreated from the public view,” writes Balázs Bodó, a piracy researcher based at the University of Amsterdam. “The text collections were far too valuable to simply delete,” he writes, and instead migrated to “closed, membership-only FTP servers.” [....]

There’s always been osmosis within the academic community of copyrighted materials from people with access to scholar without. “Much of the life of a research academic in Kazakhstan or Iran or Malaysia involves this informal diffusion of materials across the gated walls of the top universities,” he says.
pirates  pirate-libraries  libraries  archival  history  russia  ussr  samizdat  samizdata  academia  papers 
6 days ago by jm
The Melancholy Mystery of Lullabies - NYTimes.com
Fascinating article on lullabies:

One way a mother might bond with a newborn is by sharing her joy; another way is by sharing her grief or frustration. We see this in songs across time. A 200-year-old Arabic lullaby still sung today goes:

I am a stranger, and my neighbors are strangers;
I have no friends in this world.
Winter night and the husband is absent.

And an old Spanish lullaby from Asturias, written down by the poet Federico García Lorca, goes:

This little boy clinging so
Is from a lover, Vitorio,
May God, who gave, end my woe,
Take this Vitorio clinging so.

We assume the sound of these songs is sweet, as no lullaby endures without being effective at putting babies to sleep. Think of ‘‘Rock-a-bye Baby,’’ the way it tenderly describes an infant and its cradle falling to the ground: The singer gets to speak a fear, the baby gets to rest; the singer tries to accommodate herself to a possible loss that has for most of human history been rela­tively common, and the baby gets attentive care. In the Arabic and Spanish lullabies, the singers get to say something to the one being — their new burden, their new love — who can’t and won’t judge or discipline them for saying it. When even relatively happy, well-supported people become the primary caretaker of a very small person, they tend to find themselves eddied out from the world of adults. They are never alone — there is always that tiny person — and yet they are often lonely. Old songs let us feel the fellowship of these other people, across space and time, also holding babies in dark rooms.
lullabies  songs  singing  history  folk  babies  children 
8 days ago by jm
Inside the GPO in 1916: Desmond FitzGerald’s eyewitness account
'First published 50 years ago, this first-hand account by the father of the future taoiseach Garrett FitzGerald created a storm by claiming that the rebel leaders sympathetically discussed the likelihood of the Germans putting a prince of their own on the Irish throne.'

This is amazing -- the dispair and confusion is palpable. This is the first realistic-sounding account of what went on inside the GPO during the Easter Rising I've read, and the "German prince" gambit is pretty astonishing too.
easter-rising  1916  history  gpo  germany  ireland  desmond-fitzgerald  royalty 
28 days ago by jm
A shot that rang round the world
The international impact of the Easter Rising has rarely been acknowledged. This rebellion did not only rattle British rule in Ireland — it inspired radical movements in Britain itself and across the globe, and it shook colonial rulers and states worldwide.
history  easter-rising  1916  ireland  revolution  colonialism 
4 weeks ago by jm
Modern Irish genome closely matches pre-Celt DNA, not Celtic
Radiocarbon dating shows that the bones discovered at McCuaig's go back to about 2000 B.C. That makes them hundreds of years older than the oldest artifacts generally considered to be Celtic — relics unearthed from Celt homelands of continental Europe, most notably around Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

For a group of scholars who in recent years have alleged that the Celts, beginning from the middle of Europe, may never have reached Ireland, the arrival of the DNA evidence provides the biological certitude that the science has sometimes brought to criminal trials.

“With the genetic evidence, the old model [of Celtic colonisation of Ireland] is completely shot,” John Koch, a linguist at the Center for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies at the University of Wales.
celts  ireland  history  dna  genetics  genome  carbon-dating  bronze-age  europe  colonisation 
5 weeks ago by jm
Before the Split
Good post on Dublin City Council's atrociously revisionist 1916-commemoration banner, celebrating
Henry Grattan, Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and John Redmond:
The banner is not showing parliamentary nationalists who might be included in a history of 1916 (Redmond might have been joined by John Dillon and Tom Kettle, for instance), but displaying the parliamentarian tradition in Irish political history. The people chosen all worked for change via political means, whether obtaining an independent Irish parliament from 1782-1801 (Grattan), working for Catholic Emancipation (Grattan and O’Connell), land reform (Parnell), or trying to repeal the Act of Union and obtain Home Rule (O’Connell, Parnell, Redmond). All were MPs in Westminster at some point. None openly espoused physical force. None aimed at establishing an independent Irish Republic. Putting the history of parliamentarianism on a banner labelled 1916 suggests that 1916 was in the parliamentarian tradition. That suggestion is very far from the truth.
parliamentarianism  1916  history  revisionism  dcc  dublin  politics 
6 weeks ago by jm
There’s Something Fishy About The Other Nefertiti
The last possibility and reigning theory is that Ms. Badri and Mr. Nelles elusive hacker partners are literally real hackers who stole a copy of the high resolution scan from the Museum’s servers. A high resolution scan must exist as a high res 3D printed replica is already available for sale online. Museum officials have dismissed the Other Nefertiti model as “of minor quality”, but that’s not what we are seeing in this highly detailed scan. Perhaps the file was obtained from someone involved in printing the reproduction, or it was a scan made of the reproduction? Indeed, the common belief in online 3D Printing community chatter is that the Kinect “story” is a fabrication to hide the fact that the model was actually stolen data from a commercial high quality scan. If the artists were behind a server hack, the legal ramifications for them are much more serious than scanning the object, which has few, if any legal precedents.
art  history  3d-printing  3d  nefertiti  heists  copyright  data  kinect 
7 weeks ago by jm
Protect me, I am the Donnybrook laundry
Mannix Flynn makes a persuasive case to preserve the last remaining Magdalene Laundry still standing:
Memory is something that fights an eternal battle with the passage of time and forgetfulness.  Time is a great healer for those who can heal and those who are offered healing.  There is no healing here. Time stands still like a festering wound in a well-to-do suburb as somebody attempts to erase a grave and mortal wrong. The McAleese report, the Justice for the Magdalenes, the hundreds of women still alive and their families should know of this place.  Should be present here to witness what can only be witnessed by them.  So that they can understand what’s lost, what cannot be given.  What was taken from them for generations.
magdalenes  injustice  ireland  history  catholic-church  abuse  mannix-flynn 
8 weeks ago by jm
Lasers reveal 'lost' Roman roads
UK open data success story, via Tony Finch:
This LIDAR data bonanza has proved particularly helpful to archaeologists seeking to map Roman roads that have been ‘lost’, some for thousands of years. Their discoveries are giving clues to a neglected chapter in the history of Roman Britain: the roads built to help Rome’s legions conquer and control northern England.
uk  government  lidar  open-data  data  roman  history  mapping  geodata 
10 weeks ago by jm
The Nuclear Missile Sites of Los Angeles
Great article by Geoff "bldgblog" Manaugh on the ruins of the Nike air-to-air missile emplacements dotted around California. I had absolutely no idea that these -- the 1958-era Nike-Hercules missiles, at least -- carried 30-kiloton nuclear warheads, intended to be detonated at 50,000 feet *above* the cities they were defending, in order to destroy in-flight bomber formations. Nuclear war was truly bananas.
war  history  la  sf  california  nike-missiles  missiles  nuclear-war  nike-hercules  cold-war  1950s 
11 weeks ago by jm
Fairytales much older than previously thought, say researchers
Analysis showed Jack and the Beanstalk was rooted in a group of stories classified as The Boy Who Stole Ogre’s Treasure, and could be traced back to when eastern and western Indo-European languages split – more than 5,000 years ago. Beauty and the Beast and Rumpelstiltskin to be about 4,000 years old. A folk tale called The Smith and the Devil was estimated to date back 6,000 years to the bronze age.

The study employed phylogenetic analysis, which was developed to investigate evolutionary relationships between species, and used a tree of Indo-European languages to trace the descent of shared tales on it, to see how far they could be demonstrated to go back in time. Tehrani said: “We find it pretty remarkable these stories have survived without being written. They have been told since before even English, French and Italian existed. They were probably told in an extinct Indo-European language.”
history  mythology  stories  folk-tales  jack-and-the-beanstalk  rumpelstiltskin  language  phylogenetic 
january 2016 by jm
Tim O'Reilly vs Paul Graham: fight!
'In his essay on Income Inequality, Paul Graham credited me for pre-publication feedback. Because he didn’t do much with my comments, I thought I’d publish them here.'

... 'Mostly, I think you are picking a fight with people who would mostly agree with you, and ignoring the real arguments about what inequality means and why it matters.'
inequality  silicon-valley  tech  paul-graham  tim-oreilly  piketty  politics  economics  wealth  startups  history  work  stock-options 
january 2016 by jm
David Bowie: Father Of The Sleng Teng Riddim
A great theory!
I don’t have contact information for Hiroko Okuda, but I am positive that the track she is referring to [as the source of the Casiotone MT-40 "rock" preset] is “Hang Onto Yourself” by David Bowie.
david-bowie  sleng-teng-riddim  riddims  reggae  casio  presets  samples  history  music  trivia 
january 2016 by jm
The Guinness Brewer Who Revolutionized Statistics
William S. Gosset, discoverer of the Student's T-Test. Amazon should have taken note of this trick:
Upon completing his work on the t-distribution, Gosset was eager to make his work public. It was an important finding, and one he wanted to share with the wider world. The managers of Guinness were not so keen on this. They realized they had an advantage over the competition by using this method, and were not excited about relinquishing that leg up. If Gosset were to publish the paper, other breweries would be on to them. So they came to a compromise. Guinness agreed to allow Gosset to publish the finding, as long as he used a pseudonym. This way, competitors would not be able to realize that someone on Guinness’s payroll was doing such research, and figure out that the company’s scientifically enlightened approach was key to their success.
statistics  william-gosset  history  guinness  brewing  t-test  pseudonyms  dublin 
january 2016 by jm
Why Static Website Generators Are The Next Big Thing
Now _this_ makes me feel old. Alternative title: "why static website generators have been a good idea since WebMake, 15 years ago".

WebMake does pretty well on the checklist of "key features of the modern static website generator", which are:

1. Templating (check);
2. Markdown support (well, EtText, which predated Markdown by several years);
3. Metadata (check); and
4. Javascript asset pipeline (didn't support this one, since complex front-end DHTML JS wasn't really a thing at the turn of the century. But I would have if it had ;).

So I guess I was on the right track!
web  html  history  webmake  static-sites  bake-dont-fry  site-generators  cms 
november 2015 by jm
The Okinawa missiles of October | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
'By Bordne's account, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Air Force crews on Okinawa were ordered to launch 32 missiles, each carrying a large nuclear warhead. Only caution and the common sense and decisive action of the line personnel receiving those orders prevented the launches—and averted the nuclear war that most likely would have ensued.'
okinawa  nukes  launch-codes  pal  cold-war  cuban-missile-crisis  history  accidents  ui  security  horror  via:mattblaze 
october 2015 by jm
Brand New Retro – The Book, November 2015
YESSSS. Joe and Brian have delivered -- going to be giving a lot of copies of this for xmas ;)
brand-new-retro  blogs  friends  retro  history  dublin  ireland  books  toget 
october 2015 by jm
How the banks ignored the lessons of the crash
First of all, banks could be chopped up into units that can safely go bust – meaning they could never blackmail us again. Banks should not have multiple activities going on under one roof with inherent conflicts of interest. Banks should not be allowed to build, sell or own overly complex financial products – clients should be able to comprehend what they buy and investors understand the balance sheet. Finally, the penalty should land on the same head as the bonus, meaning nobody should have more reason to lie awake at night worrying over the risks to the bank’s capital or reputation than the bankers themselves. You might expect all major political parties to have come out by now with their vision of a stable and productive financial sector. But this is not what has happened.
banks  banking  guardian  finance  europe  eu  crash  history 
september 2015 by jm
The Alternative Universe Of Soviet Arcade Games
Unlike machines in the West, every single machine that was produced during Soviet-era Russia had to align with Marxist ideology. [...] The most popular games were created to teach hand-eye coordination, reaction speed, and logical, focused thinking. Not unlike many American games, these games were influenced by military training, crafted to teach and instill patriotism for the state by making the human body better, stronger, and more willful. It also means no high scores, no adrenaline rushes, or self-serving feather-fluffing as you add your hard-earned initials to the list of the best. In Communist Russia, there was no overt competition.
high-scores  communism  russia  cccp  ussr  arcade-games  games  history 
september 2015 by jm
Spot Bid Advisor
analyzes Spot price history to help you determine a bid price that suits your needs.
ec2  aws  spot  spot-instances  history 
september 2015 by jm
Sweary Australian Mountains
This is great. Featuring Mount Buggery:
There were no tracks of any sort until they reached Mt Howitt and Stewart, perhaps not quite as fit as he could have been, was finding the going tough after the descent from Mt Speculation. Faced with the prospect of yet another laborious climb he exploded with the words 'What another bugger! I'll call this mountain Mt Buggery.'


and Mount Arsehole:
"We always called it Mt Arsehole... Then they came along with all their fancy bloody maps and ideas. Changed it to Mt Arthur. Christ knows why. Bastard of a place anyway!"
swearing  australia  mount-buggery  mount-arsehole  nsw  victoria  places  history  names  mountains 
august 2015 by jm
Reddit comments from a nuclear-power expert
Reddit user "Hiddencamper" is a senior nuclear reactor operator in the US, and regularly posts very knowledgeable comments about reactor operations, safety procedures, and other details. It's fascinating (via Maciej)
via:maciej  nuclear-power  nuclear  atomic  power  energy  safety  procedures  operations  history  chernobyl  scram 
august 2015 by jm
How .uk came to be (and why it's not .gb)
WB: By the late 80s the IANA [the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, set up in 1988 to manage global IP address allocations] was trying to get all those countries that were trying to join the internet to use the ISO 3166 standard for country codes. It was used for all sorts of things — you see it on cars, “GB” for the UK. [...]

At that point, we’re faced with a problem that Jon Postel would like to have changed it to .gb to be consistent with the rest of the world. Whereas .uk had already been established, with a few tens of thousands of domain names with .uk on them. I remember chairing one of the JANET net workshops that were held every year, and the Northern Irish were adamant that they were part of the UK — so the consensus was, we’d try and keep .uk, we’d park .gb and not use it.

PK: I didn’t particularly want to change to .gb because I was responsible for Northern Ireland as well. And what’s more, there was a certain question as to whether a research group in the US should be allowed to tell the British what to do. So this argy-bargy continued for a little while and, in the meantime, one of my clients was the Ministry of Defence, and they decided they couldn’t wait this long, and they decided I was going to lose the battle, and so bits of MOD went over to .gb — I didn’t care, as I was running .gb and .uk in any case.
dot-uk  history  internet  dot-gb  britain  uk  northern-ireland  ireland  janet 
july 2015 by jm
The Titanium Gambit | History | Air & Space Magazine
Amazing story of 1960s detente via Maciej: 'During the Cold War, Boeing execs got a strange call from the State Department: Would you guys mind trading secrets with the Russians?'
via:maciej  titanium  history  cold-war  detente  ussr  usa  boeing  russia  aerospace 
july 2015 by jm
The old suburban office park is the new American ghost town - The Washington Post
Most analyses of the market indicate that office parks simply aren’t as appealing or profitable as they were in the 20th century and that Americans just aren’t as keen to cloister themselves in workspaces that are reachable only by car.
cbd  cities  work  life  office-parks  commuting  america  history  workplaces 
july 2015 by jm
Eircode - The Alternatives
lest we forget -- this is a 2014-era writeup of OpenPostcode (open), Loc8 and GoCode (proprietary) as alternative options to the Eircode system
eircode  openpostcode  loc8  gocode  ireland  geocoding  mapping  location  history  open-data 
july 2015 by jm
Git team workflows: merge or rebase?
Well-written description of the pros and cons. I'm a rebaser, fwiw.

(via Darrell)
via:darrell  git  merging  rebasing  history  git-log  coding  workflow  dev  teams  collaboration  github 
june 2015 by jm
Why I dislike systemd
Good post, and hard to disagree.
One of the "features" of systemd is that it allows you to boot a system without needing a shell at all. This seems like such a senseless manoeuvre that I can't help but think of it as a knee-jerk reaction to the perception of Too Much Shell in sysv init scripts.
In exactly which universe is it reasonable to assume that you have a running D-Bus service (or kdbus) and a filesystem containing unit files, all the binaries they refer to, all the libraries they link against, and all the configuration files any of them reference, but that you lack that most ubiquitous of UNIX binaries, /bin/sh?
history  linux  unix  systemd  bsd  system-v  init  ops  dbus 
june 2015 by jm
Google Photos - Can I get out?
what's the export policy for Google's new Photos service? pretty good, it turns out
google  export  data  google-photos  photos  archive  history  storage 
june 2015 by jm
ISIS vs. 3D Printing | Motherboard
Morehshin Allahyari, an Iranian born artist, educator, and activist [....] is working on digitally fabricating [the] sculptures [ISIS destroyed] for a series called “Material Speculation” as part of a residency in Autodesk's Pier 9 program. The first in the series is “Material Speculation: ISIS,” which, through intense research, is modeling and reproducing statues destroyed by ISIS in 2015. Allahyari isn't just interested in replicating lost objects but making it possible for anyone to do the same: Embedded within each semi-translucent copy is a flash drive with Allahyari’s research about the artifacts, and an online version is coming.

In this way, “Material Speculation: ISIS,” is not purely a metaphorical affront to ISIS, but a practical one as well. Allahyari’s work is similar to conservation efforts, including web-based Project Mosul, a small team and group of volunteers that are three-dimensionally modeling ISIS-destroyed artifacts based on crowd-sourced photographs.

"Thinking about 3D printers as poetic and practical tools for digital and physical archiving and documenting has been a concept that I've been interested in for the last three years,” Allahyari says. Once she began exploring the works, she discovered a thorough lack of documentation. Her research snowballed. “It became extremely important for me to think about ways to gather this information and save them for both current and future civilizations.”
3d-printing  fabrication  scanning  isis  niniveh  iraq  morehshin-allahyari  history  preservation  archives  archival 
may 2015 by jm
A Piece of Apple II History Cracks Open — May 24, 2015
Lovely description of cracking (ie. copy-protection removal) in the Apple-II era. Very reminiscent of the equivalent in the C=64 scene, from my experience. ;)
history  c=64  apple-ii  personal-computers  archive  cracks  copy-protection  hacking 
may 2015 by jm
Internet of 404's
"An archive of the former Internet of Things"
archive  iot  things  internet  nabaztag  startups  acquisitions  tumblr  gadgets  history 
may 2015 by jm
David P. Reed on the history of UDP
'UDP was actually “designed” in 30 minutes on a blackboard when we decided pull the original TCP protocol apart into TCP and IP, and created UDP on top of IP as an alternative for multiplexing and demultiplexing IP datagrams inside a host among the various host processes or tasks. But it was a placeholder that enabled all the non-virtual-circuit protocols since then to be invented, including encapsulation, RTP, DNS, …, without having to negotiate for permission either to define a new protocol or to extend TCP by adding “features”.'
udp  ip  tcp  networking  internet  dpr  history  protocols 
april 2015 by jm
Exclusive: Chopra says ECB's threats to Ireland were 'outrageous' - Independent.ie
The letters urged the then-government to commit to structural reforms and restructuring of the financial sector.
"That is not their job," Mr Chopra said. "Their mandate is to meet inflation. And if you lecture the ECB as to how they might go about that, they talk about their independence.
"But when it comes to lecturing others about fiscal policy or structural policy, they're not at all hesitant. I'm not surprised that the people in Ireland were very upset about these letters from [Jean-Claude] Trichet."
trichet  banking  ireland  politics  ajai-chopra  ecb  history 
april 2015 by jm
Meet the man whose utopian vision for the Internet conquered, and then warped, Silicon Valley - The Washington Post
Thought-provoking article looking back to John Perry Barlow's "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace", published in 1996:
Barlow once wrote that “trusting the government with your privacy is like having a Peeping Tom install your window blinds.” But the Barlovian focus on government overreach leaves its author and other libertarians blind to the same encroachments on our autonomy from the private sector. The bold and romantic techno-utopian ideals of “A Declaration” no longer need to be fought for, because they’re already gone.
john-perry-barlow  1990s  history  cyberspace  internet  surveillance  privacy  data-protection  libertarianism  utopian  manifestos 
march 2015 by jm
Stu Hood and Brian Degenhardt, Scala at Twitter, SF Scala @Twitter 20150217
'Stu Hood and Brian Degenhardt talk about the history of Scala at Twitter, from inception until today, covering 2.10 migration, the original Alex Payne’s presentation from way back, pants, and more. The first five years of Scala at Twitter and the years ahead!'

Very positive indeed on the monorepo concept.
monorepo  talks  scala  sfscala  stu-hood  twitter  pants  history  repos  build  projects  compilation  gradle  maven  sbt 
march 2015 by jm
Explanation of the Jump Consistent Hash algorithm
I blogged about the amazing stateless Jump Consistent Hash algorithm last year, but this is a good walkthrough of how it works.

Apparently one author, Eric Veach, is legendary -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9209891 : "Eric Veach is huge in the computer graphics world for laying a ton of the foundations of modern physically based rendering in his PhD thesis [1]. He then went on to work for Pixar and did a ton of work on Renderman (for which he recently got an Academy Award), and then in the early 2000ish left Pixar to go work for Google, where he was the lead on developing AdWords [2]. In short, he's had quite a career, and seeing a new paper from him is always interesting."
eric-veach  consistent-hashing  algorithms  google  adwords  renderman  pixar  history  coding  c  c++ 
march 2015 by jm
Amazing cutting from Vanity Fair, 1896, for International Women's Day
"The sisters make a pretty picture on the platform ; but it is not women of their type who need to assert themselves over Man. However, it amuses them--and others ; and I doubt if the tyrant has much to fear from their little arrows."

Constance Markievicz was one of those sisters, and the other was Eva Gore-Booth.
markievicz  history  ireland  sligo  vanity-fair  19th-century  dismissal  sexism  iwd  women 
march 2015 by jm
Halcyon Days
Fantastic 1997-era book of interviews with the programmers behind some of the greatest games in retrogaming history:
Halcyon Days: Interviews with Classic Computer and Video Game Programmers was released as a commercial product in March 1997. At the time it was one of the first retrogaming projects to focus on lost history rather than game collecting, and certainly the first entirely devoted to the game authors themselves. Now a good number of the interviewees have their own web sites, but none of them did when I started contacting them in 1995. [...] If you have any of the giddy anticipation that I did whenever I picked up a magazine containing an interview with Mark Turmell or Dan [M.U.L.E.] Bunten, then you want to start reading.
book  games  history  coding  interviews  via:walter 
march 2015 by jm
Cowen went golfing and officials dithered as country burned in 2008 - Independent.ie
Lest we forget, the sheer bullshitting ineptitude of Fianna Fail as they managed to shamble into destroying Ireland's economy in 2008:
Once that nasty bit of business was done, the Cabinet departed en masse for six weeks on their summer holidays, despite the emerging economic and financial tsunami. Cowen and family famously took up residence in a caravan park in Connemara as opposed to his 'official' residence at the Mannin Bay Hotel nearby.
When pressed by our reporter Niamh Horan as to why he was not at his station, he defensively replied: "I don't understand it. First the media have a go at me because I'm taking a holiday with my family and then they come down to see if I'm having a good time!" he exclaimed.
2008  meltdown  ireland  brian-cowen  connemara  politics  history  fianna-fail 
february 2015 by jm
East of Palo Alto’s Eden
What if Silicon Valley had emerged from a racially integrated community?

Would the technology industry be different? 

Would we?

And what can the technology industry do now to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past?


Amazing article -- this is the best thing I've ever read on TechCrunch: the political history of race in Silicon Valley and East Palo Alto.
racism  politics  history  race  silicon-valley  palo-alto  technology  us-politics  via:burritojustice 
january 2015 by jm
Roman Coin Attribution Toolkit
for 'identifying common late-Roman bronze coins'
roman  coins  numismatics  history  todo 
december 2014 by jm
The US complains that others steal its technology, but America was once a tech pirate itself
History repeating itself -- see the "Gongkai" story today for a modern analogue.
Hamilton used patents to lure immigrants with skills and knowledge to move to the United States. George Parkinson, for example, was awarded a patent in 1791 for a textile spinning machine, which was really just a rip-off of a machine he had used in England. The United States also paid his family's expenses to emigrate and re-locate to the US. [...]

The Brits were not happy about the attempts to steal their intellectual property. Severe penalties were on the books for anyone trying to take machines or designs out of the country, or even to lure skilled workers. It was actually illegal for such skilled workers to leave the country.
china  gongkai  patents  ip  copyright  history  us  uk  textiles  spinning 
december 2014 by jm
Lost avant-garde painting found in Stuart Little’s living room
Two years later, he heard from Lisa S., an assistant set designer on [the movie] Stuart Little. She had bought the painting for $500 from an antiques store in Pasadena specifically for the movie because she thought its cool elegance was perfectly suited for the Little’s New York City apartment. Lisa S. had tracked it down in another warehouse and purchased it from Sony just because she liked it so much. When she contacted Barki, she had no idea of the history of the painting hanging on her bedroom wall.

After Barki visited the painting in person and confirmed its identity, Lisa sold it to a private collector. That collector has now been persuaded to sell it in Hungary. It will go up for auction at the Virag Judit Art Gallery in Budapest on December 13th with a starting price of 110,000 euros ($160,000). Gergely Barki won’t make a dime off of his discovery, but he will have a great story to tell in his biography of the artist.
stuart-little  art  history  hungary  pasadena  movies  set-design  antiques  robert-bereny  post-impressionism 
december 2014 by jm
FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance
The entire letter could have been taken from a page of GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG)—though perhaps as an email or series of tweets. The British spying agency GCHQ is one of the NSA’s closest partners. The mission of JTRIG, a unit within GCHQ, is to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt enemies by discrediting them.” And there’s little reason to believe the NSA and FBI aren’t using such tactics.

The implications of these types of strategies in the digital age are chilling. Imagine Facebook chats, porn viewing history, emails, and more made public to discredit a leader who threatens the status quo, or used to blackmail a reluctant target into becoming an FBI informant. These are not far-fetched ideas. They are the reality of what happens when the surveillance state is allowed to grow out of control, and the full King letter, as well as current intelligence community practices illustrate that reality richly.
fbi  surveillance  mlk  history  blackmail  snooping  gchq  nsa 
november 2014 by jm
How “Computer Geeks” replaced “Computer Girls"
As historian Nathan Ensmenger explained to a Stanford audience, as late as the 1960s many people perceived computer programming as a natural career choice for savvy young women. Even the trend-spotters at Cosmopolitan Magazine urged their fashionable female readership to consider careers in programming. In an article titled “The Computer Girls,” the magazine described the field as offering better job opportunities for women than many other professional careers. As computer scientist Dr. Grace Hopper told a reporter, programming was “just like planning a dinner. You have to plan ahead and schedule everything so that it’s ready when you need it…. Women are ‘naturals’ at computer programming.” James Adams, the director of education for the Association for Computing Machinery, agreed: “I don’t know of any other field, outside of teaching, where there’s as much opportunity for a woman.”
history  programming  sexism  technology  women  feminism  coding 
november 2014 by jm
Need To Know 1999-11-05
15 years ago today -- Sitescooper appeared in NTK!
Official NTK policy is that if you're not reading this in
its definitive, non-proportional e-mail form, you're a
fricking girl. And all the best fricking girls these days
have a Palm, so JUSTIN MASON has been kindly running the Web
page through his brilliant sitescooper (aka snarfnews)
program, and dumping the results for download at his site.
NTK is available in DOC and iSilo formats, as are all kinds
of other girlish, lavender-smelling Websites you may want to
read, like The Register and the Linux Weekly News. And "Dr
Koop's Health News".
ntk  history  hacking  sitescooper  palm-pilot  open-source  1999 
november 2014 by jm
UK museums lobbying for copyright reform with empty display cases
Great to see museums campaigning for copyright reform -- this makes perfect sense.
Display cases in the Imperial War Museum, National Library of Scotland and University of Leeds sit empty. They should contain letters from the First World War; from a young girl to her father serving as a soldier and from soldiers to their families back home. Because of current UK copyright laws the original letters cannot be displayed. At the moment the duration of copyright in certain unpublished works is to the end of the year 2039, regardless how old the work is. The Free Our History campaign wants the term of copyright protection in unpublished texts to be reduced to the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.
copyright  history  uk  law  museums  ip 
november 2014 by jm
The man who made a game to change the world
An interview with Richard Bartle, the creator of MUD, back in 1978.
Perceiving the different ways in which players approached the game led Bartle to consider whether MMO players could be classified according to type. "A group of admins was having an argument about what people wanted out of a MUD in about 1990," he recalls. "This began a 200-long email chain over a period of six months. Eventually I went through everybody's answers and categorised them. I discovered there were four types of MMO player. I published some short versions of them then, when the journal of MUD research came out I wrote it up as a paper."

The so-called Bartle test, which classifies MMO players as Achievers, Explorers, Socialisers or Killers (or a mixture thereof) according to their play-style remains in widespread use today. Bartle believes that you need a healthy mix of all dominant types in order to maintain a successful MMO ecosystem. "If you have a game full of Achievers (players for whom advancement through a game is the primary goal) the people who arrive at the bottom level won't continue to play because everyone is better than them," he explains. "This removes the bottom tier and, over time, all of the bottom tiers leave through irritation. But if you have Socialisers in the mix they don't care about levelling up and all of that. So the lowest Achievers can look down on the Socialisers and the Socialisers don't care. If you're just making the game for Achievers it will corrode from the bottom. All MMOs have this insulating layer, even if the developers don't understand why it's there."
mmo  mud  gaming  history  internet  richard-bartle 
october 2014 by jm
how King Cormac predicted Arguing On The Internet
From <a href='http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/cormac3.html'>The Wisdom of King Cormac</a>:

"O Cormac, grandson of Conn", said Carbery, "What is the worst pleading and arguing?" "Not hard to tell", said Cormac. "Contending against knowledge, contending without proofs, taking refuge in bad language, a stiff delivery, a muttering speech, hair-splitting, uncertain proofs, despising books, turning against custom, shifting one's pleading, inciting the mob, blowing one's own trumpet, shouting at the top of one's voice."
internet  arguing  history  ireland  king-cormac  hair-splitting  shouting  reddit 
october 2014 by jm
To "patch" software comes from a physical patch applied to paper tape
hmason: TIL that the phrase software "patch" is from a physical patch applied to Mark 1 paper tape to modify the program.


It's amazing how a term like that can become so divorced from its original meaning so effectively. History!
history  computing  software  patch  paper-tape  patching  bugs 
october 2014 by jm
UK psyops created N. Irish Satanic Panic during the Troubles - Boing Boing
During the 1970s, when Northern Ireland was gripped by near-civil-war, British military intelligence staged the evidence of "black masses" in order to create a Satanism panic among the "superstitious" Irish to discredit the paramilitaries.

The secret history of imaginary Irish Satanism is documented in Black Magic and Bogeymen: Fear, Rumour and Popular Belief in the North of Ireland 1972-74, a new book from Sheffield University's Richard Jenkins, who interviewed Captain Colin Wallace, the former head of British Army "black operations" for Northern Ireland.
northern-ireland  1970s  the-troubles  ireland  uvf  ira  history  black-magic  satanism  weird  fear  mi5 
october 2014 by jm
'In 1976 I discovered Ebola, now I fear an unimaginable tragedy' | World news | The Observer
An interview with the scientist who was part of the team which discovered the Ebola virus in 1976:
Other samples from the nun, who had since died, arrived from Kinshasa. When we were just about able to begin examining the virus under an electron microscope, the World Health Organisation instructed us to send all of our samples to a high-security lab in England. But my boss at the time wanted to bring our work to conclusion no matter what. He grabbed a vial containing virus material to examine it, but his hand was shaking and he dropped it on a colleague's foot. The vial shattered. My only thought was: "Oh, shit!" We immediately disinfected everything, and luckily our colleague was wearing thick leather shoes. Nothing happened to any of us.
ebola  epidemiology  health  africa  labs  history  medicine 
october 2014 by jm
Confessions of a former internet troll - Vox
I want to tell you about when violent campaigns against harmless bloggers weren't any halfway decent troll's idea of a good time — even the then-malicious would've found it too easy to be fun. When the punches went up, not down. Before the best players quit or went criminal or were changed by too long a time being angry. When there was cruelty, yes, and palpable strains of sexism and racism and every kind of phobia, sure, but when these things had the character of adolescents pushing the boundaries of cheap shock, disagreeable like that but not criminal. Not because that time was defensible — it wasn't, not really — but because it was calmer and the rage wasn't there yet. Because trolling still meant getting a rise for a laugh, not making helpless people fear for their lives because they're threatening some Redditor's self-proclaimed monopoly on reason. I want to tell you about it because I want to make sense of how it is now and why it changed.
vox  trolls  blogging  gamergate  4chan  weev  history  teenagers 
september 2014 by jm
#5045 (epoll_reactor::update_timeout() uses incorrect interrupter if TIMERFD is not available) – Boost C++ Libraries
ah, memories. This is the bug that caused me to have to run a fleet-wide upgrade across the EC2 substrate. Thanks, boost::asio!
bugs  network-monitoring  boost  boost-asio  memories  history 
september 2014 by jm
'The very first release of Gmail simply used spamassassin on the backend'
Excellent. Confirming what I'd heard from a few other sources, too ;)

This is a well-written history of the anti-spam war so far, from Mike Hearn, writing with the Google/Gmail point of view:

Brief note about my background, to establish credentials: I worked at
Google for about 7.5 years. For about 4.5 of those I worked on the Gmail
abuse team, which is very tightly linked with the spam team (they use the
same software, share the same on-call rotations etc).


Reading this kind of stuff is awesome for me, since it's a nice picture of a fun problem to work on -- the Gmail team took the right ideas about how to fight spam, and scaled them up to the 10s-of-millions DAU mark. Nicely done.

The second half is some interesting musings on end-to-end encrypted communications and how it would deal with spam. Worth a read...
gmail  google  spam  anti-spam  filtering  spamassassin  history 
september 2014 by jm
Wiki Loves Monuments

Wiki Loves Monuments is an international photo contest, organised by Wikimedia [...]. This year, the Wikimedia Ireland Community are running the competition for the very first time in Ireland. The contest is inspired by the successful 2010 pilot in the Netherlands which resulted in 12,500 freely licensed images uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. It has grown substantially since its inception; in 2013 369,589 photographs were submitted by 11,943 participants from over 50 countries. Cultural heritage is an important part of the knowledge that Wikipedia collects and disseminates. An image is worth a thousand words, in any language and local enthusiasts can (re)discover the cultural, historical, or scientific significance of their neighbourhood. The Irish contest, focussing on Ireland’s national monuments, runs from August 23 - September 30. Follow our step-by-step guide to find out how you can take part.
wikipedia  wikimedia  images  monuments  history  ireland  contests  creative-commons  licensing 
august 2014 by jm
The dark truth about modern Ireland its media don't talk about
Sinead O'Shea writing for the Guardian:
The economy has been built on cronyism, group-think, the double talk of absurdly low corporate tax rates and light touch regulation, the cult of the leader, an over reliance on "strong" international forces. These were the factors that caused the Celtic Tiger to collapse.

This has had consequences for all. It's the same for the system of shame and sexual repression. The impact has not been restricted to its most obvious victims. Ireland is not just a bad place to be a woman or an immigrant, it's a bad place to be in any way "different." As a result, sadly, it's a bad place to be anyone at all.
ireland  history  women  celtic-tiger  industrial-schools  immigration  sinead-o-shea  tuam  abortion  pregnancy 
june 2014 by jm
Bletchley Park Trust erects "Berlin Wall" to cut off on-site computer history museum - Boing Boing
The Bletchley Park trust have erected a fence, nicknamed "The Berlin Wall," between their well-funded museum and its poorer on-site neighbour, the UK National Museum of Computing, which houses the hand-built replica of the codebreaking Colossus computer. The trust received an £8m lottery-funded grant and set about shitcanning long-serving volunteers, cutting off the computer history museum, and generally behaving like greedy jerks, systematically alienating long-term supporters. Oh, and there was that Snowden business.


WTF. Stupid antics.
bletchley-park  history  wankers  uk  museums  computing 
may 2014 by jm
Composition of crystals
One of the photos taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, around the turn of the century from the NLI collection
ireland  history  science  chemistry  crystals  t-h-mason  photos 
may 2014 by jm
Cell Development
One of the photos taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, around the turn of the century from the NLI collection
ireland  history  science  biology  t-h-mason  photos 
may 2014 by jm
Published image: 'An Irish Village'.
'Cart, man/woman; 2 men and boy serving beer outside, + sign 'Rich King Spirits'. Ragged attire' - One of the photos taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, around the turn of the century from the NLI collection
ireland  history  poverty  t-h-mason  photos 
may 2014 by jm
Holdings: Guinness's Brewery Dublin
'Guinness's Brewery Dublin. Malt House, malt on floor; sign' - One of the photos taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, around the turn of the century from the NLI collection
nli  ireland  photos  t-h-mason  history  dublin  guinness  maltings  beer 
may 2014 by jm
They called it "big iron" for a reason: the Cray Motor-Generator Unit
I think the deal with the Motor-Generator Unit was that the Cray 1 needed not just enormous amounts of power (over a hundred kilowatts!), but also very stable power. So it ran from a huge electric generator connected directly to a huge electric motor, the motor running from dirty grid power and the generator, in turn, feeding the computer's own multi-voltage PSU. The Cray 1 itself weighed a mere 2.4 tonnes, but all this support stuff added several more tonnes.


via RobS.
via:rob-synnott  cray  history  big-iron  motors  power  electricity  generators 
april 2014 by jm
Rope-core memory
as used in the Apollo guidance computer systems -- hand-woven by "little old ladies". Amazing
core-memory  memory  rope-core  guidance  apollo  space  nasa  history  1960s  via:hn 
april 2014 by jm
« earlier      
per page:    204080120160

related tags

3d  3d-printing  3d-scanning  4chan  17th-century  18th-century  19th-century  1940s  1950s  1960s  1970s  1980s  1990s  2000s  a11y  abortion  abuse  academia  accents  accidents  acid-house  acm  acquisitions  acronyms  ada-lovelace  ads  adwords  aerospace  aff  africa  ajai-chopra  alan-turing  alcoholics  algorithms  alien  amazing  amazon  america  amiga  android  andy-warhol  animals  anonymous  antarctica  anti-spam  antiques  apollo  apollo-10  apollo-command-module  apologies  apology  appendectomy  apple  apple-ii  apps  arcade-games  archaeology  archival  archive  archives  arguing  arpanet  art  asshats  atomic  attack  attacks  australia  aws  b+trees  b-trees  babbage  babies  backlog  backpan  backwards-compatibility  bake-dont-fry  banking  banks  basslines  battleship-potemkin  bbc  bbs  bears  beer  belgium  berzerk  beshoffs  big-iron  bill-atkinson  biology  birthdays  black-magic  blackmail  bldgblog  bletchley-park  blogging  blogs  boeing  bog  bog-bodies  bollywood  book  bookmarks  books  boost  boost-asio  brand-new-retro  brewing  brian-cowen  britain  british-library  bronze-age  browser  browsers  bsd  btrfs  bugs  build  building  bunnie-huang  burial  business  c  c++  c64  c=64  ca  caching  calculating  calculators  california  capital  capitalism  carbon-dating  casalattico  casio  catholic-church  cbd  cccp  cd32  celtic-tiger  celts  cern  changes  chemistry  chernobyl  children  china  chip-shops  chippers  chips  chloropleth  chrome  cinema  cities  claris  closed-source  cms  code  code-drops  codebreaking  coding  coins  cold-war  collaboration  colonialism  colonisation  columbanus  columbia  columcille  commodore  commodore-64  communism  community  commuting  compilation  computers  computing  concepts  condiments  connemara  consistent-hashing  contests  contingency  copy-protection  copying  copyright  core-memory  cory-doctorow  cpan  cracks  crash  cray  creative-commons  cricket  crosaire  crossfire  crosswords  crowdsourcing  cryptic  crypto  crystals  css  cuban-missile-crisis  culture  cyberspace  d11  data  data-protection  david-bowie  dbus  dcc  dcu  ddos  death  dec  deer  deletion  deletionpedia  delicious  demos  design  desktop  desmond-fitzgerald  detente  dev  diffing  diffs  dirt  disaster-recovery  dismissal  dna  doctoring  donna-summer  dos  dot-gb  dot-uk  downturn  dpr  drm  dublin  duct-tape  dundalk  east-texas  easter-rising  ebola  ebooks  ec2  ecb  economics  egypt  eircode  eire  electricity  elverys  email  emergency  emigration  emulation  energy  england  english  enterprisey  entrepreneurs  epic-marketplace  epics  epidemiology  eric-veach  ernest-walton  etsy  etymology  eu  europe  excuses  exercises  export  fabrication  facsimiles  factoids  facts  fallout  family  fanzines  fbi  fear  feminism  fianna-fail  filesharing  filesystems  filtering  finance  fixing  folk  folk-tales  fonts  food  fossils  fraud  free  freedom-to-tinker  freeload  friends  fs  fsf  funding  funny  gadgets  game-day  gamergate  games  gaming  gay  gchq  geek  generators  genetics  genome  geocoding  geodata  geography  germany  giorgio-moroder  git  git-log  github  gitpan  glasnevin  gmail  gnu  gocode  gongkai  google  google-photos  government  gpo  gradle  graphic-design  graphics  graveyards  great-war  grizzly-bears  growth  guardian  guidance  guinness  hack  hacking  hacks  hair-splitting  hardware  hashtags  health  heists  herge  hidden-dublin  high-scores  history  history-stealing  hobbies  hominids  horror  hp  hp-ux  html  human-sacrifice  humour  hungary  i18n  ideas  ilx  images  immigration  india  industrial-schools  inequality  information  init  injustice  innovation  insane  internet  interviews  invention  iona-technologies  iot  ip  ipad  iphone  ira  iraq  irc  ireland  irish  irish-italians  irish-times  irony  isis  italy  iwd  jack-and-the-beanstalk  james-casey  janet  javascript  jeff-minter  jenks-natural-breaks  jgc  john-perry-barlow  justice  kde  ketchup  kevin-fox  khtml  kid-pix  kids  kindle  kinect  king-cormac  king-tut  l10n  la  labs  language  laois  launch-codes  launches  law  lazio  legal  lenin  libertarianism  libraries  licensing  lidar  life  links  linus-torvalds  linux  lion  llamasoft  loc8  location  lullabies  mac  macdraw  macos  macpaint  magdalenes  making  malloc  maltings  manifestos  mannix-flynn  mapping  maps  markievicz  marref  mary-mulvihill  maven  medical  medicine  meltdown  memcached  memorabilia  memories  memory  merging  mi5  microsoft  missiles  mit  mixtapes  mlk  mmo  monetary  money  monorepo  monuments  moon  morbid  morehshin-allahyari  motors  moulinsart  mount-arsehole  mount-buggery  mountains  movies  mp3  mua  mud  museum  museums  music  mythology  nabaztag  nai  nam-pla  names  naming  nasa  national-geographic  nefertiti  nelson-mandela  neolithic  network-analysis  network-monitoring  networking  networks  new-yorker  newegg  news  newspapers  nigerian-scam  nike-hercules  nike-missiles  nikola-tesla  niniveh  nli  nobel  northern-ireland  nostalgia  nsa  nsw  ntk  nuclear  nuclear-power  nuclear-war  nukes  numbers  numeronyms  numismatics  objects  obscure  ocean-loader  office-parks  okinawa  old-man-murray  open-data  open-source  openpostcode  opensolaris  operations  ops  oracle  oregon  ornament  oss  over-the-wall  pagan  pal  palm-pilot  palo-alto  pants  paper-tape  papers  parks  parliamentarianism  pasadena  pascal  patch  patching  patent-trolls  patents  paul-buchheit  paul-graham  paul-hughes  pce  perl  personal  personal-computers  peter-flynn  philips  phoenix-park  photography  photos  photoshop  phylogenetic  physibles  physics  pictures  piketty  pinboard  pintman  pirate-libraries  pirates  pixar  pki  places  poddle  poetry  pol-o-conghaile  polar-bears  policy  politics  poo  post-impressionism  poverty  power  pranks  pregnancy  preservation  presets  prioritisation  privacy  procedures  products  profiles  programming  progress  project-management  projects  protocols  pseudonyms  public-domain  public-funding  public-information  publishers  pubs  puzzles  quickdraw  quotes  race  racism  radar  ragas  rathmines  reactor  reading  rebasing  recode  reddit  reggae  releases  renderman  replication  repos  resilience  retro  reverse-engineering  reversing  revisionism  revolution  richard-bartle  rick-falkvinge  riddims  rights  rivers  rms  robert-bereny  robert-watson-watt  roman  rome  ron-cobb  rope-core  royalties  royalty  rte  rumpelstiltskin  russia  russian  s12n  safari  safety  samizdat  samizdata  samples  satanism  sbt  scala  scams  scanning  scans  scarfolk  science  scientists  scram  sean-sherlock  secrets  security  set-design  sexism  sf  sfscala  shipping  shouting  shutdown  silicon  silicon-valley  simulation  sinclair  sinead-o-shea  singing  site-generators  sitescooper  sketchfab  sleng-teng-riddim  slide-rule  sligo  small-world  smtp  snooping  society  software  solaris  songs  source  space  spaceflight  spam  spamassassin  spinning  sports  spot  spot-instances  ssl  ssm  st-columba  st-patricks-day  startups  static-sites  statistics  steamships  steve-jobs  stock-options  storage  stories  stu-hood  stuart-little  subterrainean  surgery  surveillance  swearing  swpats  symantec  synths  sysadmin  system-v  systemd  t-h-mason  t-shirts  t-test  talks  tampering  tapes  taxation  tcd  tcp  teams  tech  technical-debt  technology  teenagers  tees  telnet  tests  text-lite  textiles  texting  the-emergency  the-oatmeal  the-register  the-tain  the-troubles  things  thomas-edison  thomas-h-mason  thomas-piketty  ti  tim-oreilly  tintin  titanium  tls  todo  toget  tourism  tracking  trade  travel  trevelyan  trichet  trivia  trolls  tuam  tumblr  turds  turing  twitter  typography  ucd  udp  ui  uk  universities  unix  us  us-politics  usa  ussr  utopian  uvf  vanity-fair  version-control  via-loreana-rushe  via:adamshostack  via:alex-popescu  via:anildash  via:ben  via:boingboing  via:burritojustice  via:cearta  via:chtm  via:cstross  via:darrell  via:fp  via:hn  via:jgc  via:jk  via:johnke  via:luke  via:maciej  via:mattblaze  via:nelson  via:new-aesthetic  via:pinboard  via:rob-synnott  via:robmanuel  via:shane  via:sinead-gleeson  via:walter  via:waxy  via:xxjfg  vic-20  victoria  videogames  virals  vox  wankers  war  war-diaries  waterways  wealth  web  webkit  webmake  weev  weird  whataboutery  whataboutism  whitfield-diffie  wikimedia  wikipedia  willamette-river  william-gosset  women  words  work  workflow  workplaces  world  wwi  wwii  www  xbox  xor  yaks  yesequality  zfs 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: