jm + history   124

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 
3 days ago 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 
4 days ago by jm
Internet of 404's
"An archive of the former Internet of Things"
archive  iot  things  internet  nabaztag  startups  acquisitions  tumblr  gadgets  history 
19 days ago 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 
29 days ago 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 
5 weeks ago 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 
9 weeks ago 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 
10 weeks ago 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++ 
10 weeks ago 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 
11 weeks ago 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 
12 weeks ago 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
Search Results - (Author:Thomas H Mason)
Photographs taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, in the National Library of Ireland's newly-digitized online collection
family  thomas-h-mason  history  ireland  photography  archive  nli 
april 2014 by jm
Scarfolk Council
Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. "Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay." For more information please reread.
scarfolk  1970s  england  history  funny  humour  public-information  pagan  morbid 
april 2014 by jm
VERY high resolution scans of original Apollo 11 and Apollo 14 charts
the Apollo 11 ALO and LM Descent Monitoring charts are tidied up and downloadable
apollo  space  history  memorabilia  images  scans  science  nasa 
april 2014 by jm
Irish NewsDiffs
Tracking Irish News Stories Over Time;
Irish NewsDiffs archives changes in articles after publication.
Currently, we track rte.ie and irishtimes.com.
rte  irish-times  diffing  diffs  changes  tracking  newspapers  news  ireland  history 
april 2014 by jm
How Gmail Happened: The Inside Story of Its Launch 10 Years Ago Today
the inside story of the great work done by Paul Buchheit, Kevin Fox, and Sanjeev Singh to reinvent email in 2004
history  gmail  email  smtp  mua  paul-buchheit  kevin-fox  launches  google  web 
april 2014 by jm
How the Irish helped weave the web
Nice Irish Times article on the first 3 web servers in Ireland -- including the one I set up at Iona Technologies. 21 years ago!
history  ireland  tech  web  internet  www  james-casey  peter-flynn  irish-times  iona-technologies 
march 2014 by jm
Freeload
fantastic piece of C=64 history -- the "Ocean fast loader" by Paul Hughes, which allowed Commodore 64 games to load from tape at 4000 baud, far faster than the built-in system implementation, and with graphics and music at the same time
ocean-loader  tapes  c=64  commodore-64  history  1980s  freeload  paul-hughes 
march 2014 by jm
James Casey writes about working at CERN
I am very heartened by Minister of State for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock’s recent announcement of a review of the costs and benefits of Ireland’s membership of international research organisations including CERN. I disagreed with the conclusion of the last review which suggested that costs outweighed the benefits to Ireland. I think it was an extreme oversight not to be a part of the engineering phase of the Collider during the period 1998-2008 – but it’s not too late.
CERN will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2014. There is no public scientific institution its equal in terms of the scale and complexity of problems being analysed and solved. No longer excluding young Irish people from being a part of this, from learning and growing from it, can only help Ireland.


Also, spot my name in lights ;)
ireland  cern  science  europe  eu  sean-sherlock  james-casey  www  web  history 
march 2014 by jm
GCHQ slide claiming that they DDoS'd anonymous' IRC servers
Mikko Hypponen: "This makes British Government the only Western government known to have launched DDoS attacks."
ddos  history  security  gchq  dos  anonymous  irc  hacking 
february 2014 by jm
James Friend | PCE.js - Classic Mac OS in the Browser
This is a demo of PCE's classic Macintosh emulation, running System 7.0.1 with MacPaint, MacDraw, and Kid Pix. If you want to try out more apps and games see this demo.


Incredible. I remember using this version of MacPaint!
javascript  browser  emulation  mac  macos  macpaint  macdraw  claris  kid-pix  history  desktop  pce 
january 2014 by jm
Operation War Diary
Crowdsourcing transcription of some WWI artifacts: 'The story of the British Army on the Western Front during the First World War is waiting to be discovered in 1.5 million pages of unit war diaries. We need your help to reveal the stories of those who fought in the global conflict that shaped the world we live in today.'

(via Luke)
via:luke  war  history  war-diaries  wwi  uk  britain 
january 2014 by jm
Little-known Apollo 10 incident
'Apollo 10 had a little known incident in flight as evidenced by this transcript.' http://pic.twitter.com/NCZy7OdxDU
poo  turds  space  spaceflight  funny  history  apollo-10  apollo  accidents 
january 2014 by jm
Who Made That Nigerian Scam? - NYTimes.com
The history behind the 419 advance-fee fraud scam.
According to Robert Whitaker, a historian at the University of Texas, an earlier version of the con, known as the Spanish Swindle or the Spanish Prisoner trick, plagued Britain throughout the 19th century.
nigerian-scam  419  aff  scams  spam  fraud  history 
january 2014 by jm
Numeronyms
ie. "i18n", "a11y" etc.
According to Tex Texin, the first numeronym [..] was "S12n", the electronic mail account name given to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) employee Jan Scherpenhuizen by a system administrator because his surname was too long to be an account name. By 1985, colleagues who found Jan's name unpronounceable often referred to him verbally as "S12n". The use of such numeronyms became part of DEC corporate culture.[1]
numbers  names  etymology  numeronyms  history  dec  i18n  a11y  l10n  s12n 
december 2013 by jm
British Library uploads one million public domain images to the net for remix and reuse - Boing Boing
this is excellent!
The British Library has uploaded one million public domain scans from 17th-19th century books to Flickr! They're embarking on an ambitious programme to crowdsource novel uses and navigation tools for the huge corpus. Already, the manifest of image descriptions is available through Github. This is a remarkable, public spirited, archival project, and the British Library is to be loudly applauded for it!
british-library  libraries  public-domain  art  graphics  images  history  19th-century  17th-century  18th-century  books  crowdsourcing  via:boingboing  github 
december 2013 by jm
Newegg trial: Crypto legend takes the stand, goes for knockout patent punch | Ars Technica

"We've heard a good bit in this courtroom about public key encryption," said Albright. "Are you familiar with that?

"Yes, I am," said Diffie, in what surely qualified as the biggest understatement of the trial.

"And how is it that you're familiar with public key encryption?"

"I invented it."


(via burritojustice)
crypto  tech  security  patents  swpats  pki  whitfield-diffie  history  east-texas  newegg  patent-trolls 
november 2013 by jm
Tintin And The Copyright Sharks - Falkvinge on Infopolicy
A rather sordid tale of IP acquisition and exploitation, from the sounds of it
tintin  moulinsart  belgium  history  herge  ip  copyright  royalties  rick-falkvinge 
november 2013 by jm
3D-Print Your Own 20-Million-Year-Old Fossils
When I get my hands on a 3-D printer, this will be high up my list of things to fabricate: a replica of a 20-million year old hominid skull.
With over 40 digitized fossils in their collection, you can explore 3D renders of fossils representing prehistoric animals, human ancestors, and even ancient tools. Captured using Autodesk software, an SLR camera, and often the original specimen (rather than a cast replica), these renderings bring us closer than most will ever get to holding ancient artifacts. And if you've got an additive manufacturing device at your disposal, you can even download Sketchfab plans to generate your own.
3d-printing  fossils  africa  history  hominids  replication  fabrication  sketchfab 
november 2013 by jm
The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic
A book published during the presidency of Chester A. Arthur has a greater chance of being in print today than one published during the time of Reagan.
This is not a gently sloping downward curve. Publishers seem unwilling to sell their books on Amazon for more than a few years after their initial publication. The data suggest that publishing business models make books disappear fairly shortly after their publication and long before they are scheduled to fall into the public domain. Copyright law then deters their reappearance as long as they are owned. On the left side of the graph before 1920, the decline presents a more gentle time-sensitive downward sloping curve.
business  books  legal  copyright  law  public-domain  reading  history  publishers  amazon  papers 
september 2013 by jm
"The cricket bat that died for Ireland"
The bat had the misfortune of being on display in the shop front of Elvery’s store on O’Connell Street, then Sackville Street, during the Easter Rising. J.W. Elvery & Co. was Ireland’s oldest sports store, specialising in sporting goods and waterproofed wear, with branches in Dublin, Cork (Patrick Street) and London (Conduit Street). [...] Its location, about one block from the GPO, meant it was in the middle of the cross-fire and general destruction of the main street.
ireland  cricket  1916  history  easter-rising  crossfire  sports  elverys 
september 2013 by jm
Reversing Sinclair's amazing 1974 calculator hack - half the ROM of the HP-35
Amazing reverse engineering.
In a hotel room in Texas, Clive Sinclair had a big problem. He wanted to sell a cheap scientific calculator that would grab the market from expensive calculators such as the popular HP-35. Hewlett-Packard had taken two years, 20 engineers, and a million dollars to design the HP-35, which used 5 complex chips and sold for $395. Sinclair's partnership with calculator manufacturer Bowmar had gone nowhere. Now Texas Instruments offered him an inexpensive calculator chip that could barely do four-function math. Could he use this chip to build a $100 scientific calculator?
Texas Instruments' engineers said this was impossible - their chip only had 3 storage registers, no subroutine calls, and no storage for constants such as π. The ROM storage in the calculator held only 320 instructions, just enough for basic arithmetic. How could they possibly squeeze any scientific functions into this chip?

Fortunately Clive Sinclair, head of Sinclair Radionics, had a secret weapon - programming whiz and math PhD Nigel Searle. In a few days in Texas, they came up with new algorithms and wrote the code for the world's first single-chip scientific calculator, somehow programming sine, cosine, tangent, arcsine, arccos, arctan, log, and exponentiation into the chip. The engineers at Texas Instruments were amazed.

How did they do it? Up until now it's been a mystery. But through reverse engineering, I've determined the exact algorithms and implemented a simulator that runs the calculator's actual code. The reverse-engineered code along with my detailed comments is in the window below.
reversing  reverse-engineering  history  calculators  sinclair  ti  hp  chips  silicon  hacks 
august 2013 by jm
The 1940s origins of Whataboutery
The exchange is indicative of a rhetorical strategy known as 'whataboutism', which occurs when officials implicated in wrongdoing whip out a counter-example of a similar abuse from the accusing country, with the goal of undermining the legitimacy of the criticism itself. (In Latin, this rhetorical defense is called tu quoque, or "you, too.")
history  language  whataboutism  whataboutery  politics  1940s  russia  ussr 
august 2013 by jm
Extract from 1973 HM Treasury document concerning post-nuclear-attack responses
'Extract from 1973 HM Treasury document concerning post-nuclear-attack monetary policy' includes this amazing snippet:

[Contingency] ...(d) a total nuclear attack employing high power missiles which would destroy all but a small percentage of the UK population and almost all physical assets or civilised life. [...] As for (d), the money policy would of course be absurdly unrealistic for the few surviving administrators and politicians as they struggled to organise food and shelter for the tiny bands of surviving able-bodied and the probably larger number of sick and dying. Most of the other departments contingency planning might also be irrelevant in such a situation. Within a fairly short time the survivors would evacuate the UK and try to find some sort of life in less-effected countries (southern Ireland?).


Hey, at least they were considering these scenarios. (via Charlie Stross)
nuclear  attack  contingency  government  monetary  policy  uk  ireland  history  1960s  via:cstross  insane  fallout 
august 2013 by jm
Casalattico - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
How wierd. Many of the well-known chippers in Ireland are run by families from the same comune in Italy.
In the late 19th and early 20th century a significant number of young people left Casalattico to work in Ireland, with many founding chip shops there. Most second, third and fourth generation Irish-Italians can trace their lineage back to the municipality, with names such as Magliocco, Fusco, Marconi, Borza, Macari, Rosato and Forte being the most common. Although the Forte family actually originates from the village of Mortale, renamed Mon Forte due to the achievements of the Forte family. It is believed that up to 8,000 Irish-Italians have ancestors from Casalattico. The village is home to an Irish festival every summer to celebrate the many families that moved from there to Ireland.


(via JK)
rome  lazio  italy  ireland  chip-shops  chippers  history  emigration  casalattico  work  irish-italians  via:jk 
may 2013 by jm
A Giorgio Moroder story
"Dear Mr Tilman, this is the only way I can help you. saluti, Giorgio Moroder". I love it -- someone call Tufte
graphics  giorgio-moroder  history  music  ilx  basslines  donna-summer  synths 
may 2013 by jm
memcached turns 10 years old
Well, apparently tomorrow, but close enough. Happy birthday to bradfitz' greatest creation and its wonderful slab allocator!
birthdays  code  via:alex-popescu  open-source  history  malloc  memory  caching  memcached 
may 2013 by jm
on the etymology of "Ketchup"
'the story of ketchup is a story of globalization and centuries of economic domination by a world superpower. But the superpower isn't America, and the century isn't ours. Ketchup's origins in the fermented sauces of China and Southeast Asia mean that those little plastic packets under the seat of your car are a direct result of Chinese and Asian domination of a single global world economy for most of the last millenium.'
ketchup  china  nam-pla  food  etymology  condiments  history  trade 
march 2013 by jm
TOSEC: Commodore C64 (2012-04-23) : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
A massive, 6.5GB collection of C64 history.
There are an astounding 134,000+ disk, cassette and documentation items in this Commodore 64 collection, including games, demos, cractros, and compilations.
commodore  c64  history  computing  software  demos  archive 
march 2013 by jm
A History Of Ireland In 100 Objects
Now free!
The Royal Irish Academy, the National Museum of Ireland, and The Irish Times are collaborating with the EU Presidency, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Adobe to bring you a gift of A History of Ireland in 100 objects ‘from the people of Ireland to the people of the world’ for St Patrick’s Day. It is available as an interactive app for Apple iPhone and iPad, for most Android tablets and on the Kindle Fire, from our website, as well as associated app stores. You can also experience the book on your computer, smartphone or eReader by clicking on the 'eBook' button below. The gift is free to download until the end of March. 
free  st-patricks-day  museum  ireland  history  objects  eu  apps  iphone  ipad  android  books  ebooks 
march 2013 by jm
Bunnie Huang's "Hacking the Xbox" now available as a free PDF
'No Starch Press and I have decided to release this free ebook version of Hacking the Xbox in honor of Aaron Swartz. As you read this book, I hope that you’ll be reminded of how important freedom is to the hacking community and that you’ll be inclined to support the causes that Aaron believed in.

I agreed to release this book for free in part because Aaron’s treatment by MIT is not unfamiliar to me. In this book, you will find the story of when I was an MIT graduate student, extracting security keys from the original Microsoft Xbox. You’ll also read about the crushing disappointment of receiving a letter from MIT legal repudiating any association with my work, effectively leaving me on my own to face Microsoft.

The difference was that the faculty of my lab, the AI laboratory, were outraged by this treatment. They openly defied MIT legal and vowed to publish my work as an official “AI Lab Memo,” thereby granting me greater negotiating leverage with Microsoft. Microsoft, mindful of the potential backlash from the court of public opinion over suing a legitimate academic researcher, came to a civil understanding with me over the issue.'

This is a classic text on hardware reverse-engineering and the freedom to tinker -- strongly recommended.
hacking  bunnie-huang  xbox  free  hardware  drm  freedom-to-tinker  books  reading  mit  microsoft  history 
march 2013 by jm
GitHub Archive
a project to record the public GitHub timeline, archive it, and make it easily accessible for further analysis. GitHub provides 18 event types, which range from new commits and fork events, to opening new tickets, commenting, and adding members to a project. The activity is aggregated in hourly [gzipped JSON] archives, which you can access with any HTTP client.
github  data  git  history  version-control  oss  archival 
march 2013 by jm
Literate Jenks Natural Breaks and How The Idea Of Code is Lost
A crazy amount of code archaeology to discover exactly an algorithm -- specifically 'Jenks natural breaks", works, after decades of cargo-cult copying (via Nelson):

'I spent a day reading the original text and decoding as much as possible of the code’s intention, so that I could write a ‘literate’ implementation. My definition of literate is highly descriptive variable names, detailed and narrative comments, and straightforward code with no hijinks.

So: yes, this isn’t the first implementation of Jenks in Javascript. And it took me several times longer to do things this way than to just get the code working.

But the sad and foreboding state of this algorithm’s existing implementations said that to think critically about this code, its result, and possibilities for improvement, we need at least one version that’s clear about what it’s doing.'
jenks-natural-breaks  algorithms  chloropleth  javascript  reverse-engineering  history  software  copyright  via:nelson 
february 2013 by jm
Slide Rule Calculations By Example
Harder than using a calculator, that's for sure
slide-rule  gadgets  tech  history  antiques  calculating 
february 2013 by jm
All polar bears descended from one Irish grizzly
'THE ARCTIC'S DWINDLING POPULATION of polar bears all descend from a single mamma brown bear which lived 20,000 to 50,000 years ago in present-day Ireland, new research suggests. DNA samples from the great white carnivores - taken from across their entire range in Russia, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Alaska - revealed that every individual's lineage could be traced back to this Irish forebear.' More than the average bear, I guess
animals  biology  science  dna  history  ireland  bears  polar-bears  grizzly-bears  via:ben 
january 2013 by jm
Ivan Beshoff, Last Survivor Of Mutiny on the Potemkin, founded Beshoffs
wow. there's a factoid! the "Beshoffs" chain of chippers in Dublin were founded by this historic figure, who died in 1987
factoids  beshoffs  chips  dublin  history  small-world  battleship-potemkin  russia 
january 2013 by jm
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