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  1. #1

    My post count is Majestic

    NickFitz is a fount of knowledge

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    Default Monday Links from a Puddle of Slush on the Pavement Outside Greggs vol. CLIX

    The snow's almost stopped, so I can venture out in search of lunch once this lot are posted:
    • Internet activist Aaron Swartz killed himself last Friday, apparently due the the persecution he was suffering at the hands of the US Government. Here's a collection of pieces about living from his blog: Raw Nerve - "Next time you start feeling that feeling, that sense of pain from deep in your head that tells you to avoid a subject ó ignore it. Lean into the pain instead. Youíll be glad you did." Alex Stamos, who was acting as an expert witness in the case, has written an informative piece about Aaron's alleged crime.

    • Wednesday Picture: Carreras Art Deco Cigarette Factory, Mornington Crescent - "Could this be the most gloriously incongruous building in all North London? Giant Black Cat statues; oversized Art Deco grandeur; curious hieroglyphic stylings." A look at the history of this excellent building. Also: Mornington Crescent!

    • Nine Unusual Author Deaths - "Sometimes authors donít shuffle off this mortal coil quietly or Ė for want of a better word Ė normally. Sometimes they meet a sticky and untimely end, and sometimes myths build up around an authorís demise and we come to accept legend as fact."

    • Rare Photo of the Mushroom Cloud Over Hiroshima Discovered in a Former Japanese Elementary School - "In the center of Hiroshima, in a part of the city totally destroyed by the explosion and ensuing fires, a long-lost photograph taken shortly after the blast has been discovered among a collection of articles about the bombing." The photo was taken about six miles away from Ground Zero, within five minutes or so of the detonation.

    • Inside the Wild, Wacky, Profitable World of Boing Boing - "It's eccentric. It's unprofessional. And it makes money. How four people who do exactly what they want run one of the most popular blogs on the planet." Good profile of the blog and its contributors.

    • Tales from the Lunar Module Guidance Computer - A paper by Don Eyles: "The Apollo 11 mission succeeded in landing on the moon despite two computer-related problems that affected the Lunar Module during the powered descent. An uncorrected problem in the rendezvous radar interface stole approximately 13% of the computer's duty cycle, resulting in five program alarms and software restarts. In a less well-known problem, caused by erroneous data, the thrust of the LM's descent engine fluctuated wildly because the throttle control algorithm was only marginally stable. The explanation of these problems provides an opportunity to describe the operating system of the Apollo flight computers and the lunar landing guidance software."

    • The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational - "A logical fallacy is an error in logical argumentation (e.g. ad hominem attacks, slippery slopes, circular arguments, appeal to force, etc.). A cognitive bias, on the other hand, is a genuine deficiency or limitation in our thinking ó a flaw in judgment that arises from errors of memory, social attribution, and miscalculations (such as statistical errors or a false sense of probability)." Useful examples can be found in pretty much any thread in General

    • Underground 150: Paddington to Farringdon - To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Tube, London Geezer takes an overground walk along the route of the original Metropolitan Railway: "It's not one of London's greatest walks, to be honest, given that most of it involves breathing in six lanes of carbon monoxide. But bear with it, because it heads past some of the capital's more interesting places, and because I'll be dipping down into the stations too. Let's start at the Paddington end, and probably not at the Paddington station you're expecting..."

    • The Hunt for the Death Valley Germans - "This is the tale of what for me was a rather remarkable adventure. It was assembled on the basis of my personal recollection and experience, emails, GPS logs and some official documents... In the past Iíve kept certain locations regarding this incident fairly well cloaked for a variety of reasons, explained as part of the narrative. Mainly, itís a very difficult, even dangerous, area to get into, and there are a lot of armchair desert adventurers possibly tempted to try it. However in the interest of completeness Iíve decided to include images showing the GPS tracks of the various search efforts." Fascinating account by desert explorer Tom of his long search for a family of German tourists who disappeared in Death Valley.

    • It's Just A Bit Broken - "The rubbish that rubbish human beings try to sell." Wonderful collection of utter crap people have posted on eBay, such as this charming little fellow:


    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

    TPAFKAk2p2

    mudskipper is a fount of knowledge

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    I sold some home made nabaztag ear warmers on ebay



    I was all ready to start my own cottage industry, but only got the one bid (99p), so as a plan B it really wasn't going anywhere. I've still got the pattern somewhere if anyone wants a set

  3. #3

    More fingers than teeth

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    The snow's almost stopped, so I can venture out in search of lunch once this lot are posted:
    • Tales from the Lunar Module Guidance Computer - A paper by Don Eyles: "The Apollo 11 mission succeeded in landing on the moon despite two computer-related problems that affected the Lunar Module during the powered descent. An uncorrected problem in the rendezvous radar interface stole approximately 13% of the computer's duty cycle, resulting in five program alarms and software restarts. In a less well-known problem, caused by erroneous data, the thrust of the LM's descent engine fluctuated wildly because the throttle control algorithm was only marginally stable. The explanation of these problems provides an opportunity to describe the operating system of the Apollo flight computers and the lunar landing guidance software."

    Happy invoicing!
    The descent engine experienced excessive nozzle erosion if operated in the range between 65% and maximum thrust
    Stone me.

    Talk about concentrating the mind.

    Not to mention

    "Hal will take care of it"
    Sorry Dave, I can't do that.

    When Hal Laning designed the Executive and Waitlist system in the mid 1960's, he made it up from whole cloth with no examples to guide him.

    The design is still valid today.

    The allocation of functions among a sensible number of asynchronous processes, under control of a rate- and priority-driven preemptive executive, still represents the state of the art in real-time GN&C computers for spacecraft.
    Gosh. Got it right first time.

    They were giants.
    Last edited by zeitghost; 14th January 2013 at 13:46.

  4. #4

    More fingers than teeth

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    Stone me, the hunt for the lost Germans went on for a bit.

    And then there's his hunt for the lost A12.

  5. #5

    My post count is Majestic

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    Quote Originally Posted by zeitghost View Post
    Stone me, the hunt for the lost Germans went on for a bit.

    And then there's his hunt for the lost A12.
    Well, I did say it was a long search!

    Actually I meant to add a warning that it was a very long read, too, but I forgot

    I haven't read the A12 one yet, so no spoilers

  6. #6

    My post count is Majestic

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    I sold some home made nabaztag ear warmers on ebay



    I was all ready to start my own cottage industry, but only got the one bid (99p), so as a plan B it really wasn't going anywhere. I've still got the pattern somewhere if anyone wants a set
    Definitely FTW!

  7. #7

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    OwlHoot is NOT a disguised employee

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    [*]Internet activist Aaron Swartz killed himself last Friday, apparently due the the persecution he was suffering at the hands of the US Government. Here's a collection of pieces about living from his blog: Raw Nerve - "Next time you start feeling that feeling, that sense of pain from deep in your head that tells you to avoid a subject — ignore it. Lean into the pain instead. You’ll be glad you did." Alex Stamos, who was acting as an expert witness in the case, has written an informative piece about Aaron's alleged crime. ...
    He was apparently facing a 39 year jail term for downloading a terabyte or so of JSTOR papers (which require a paid subscription), with a view to disseminating these.

    I hate to say it, but Cherie Blair was right in some ways when she described the US legal system as being like a creaky old grandfather clock! I can understand painstakingly totting up each instance of a serious felony to arrive at a life sentence or more; but doing the same kind of thing here (if it even is a felony) is ludicrous.

    Most people in academia are pretty pissed off with overpriced journals already, and they'll be absolutely incensed by this (as nearly all the comments on that article attest). So it will be an enormous incentive for them to switch to open access scientific repositories such as ArXiv and projecteuclid.org if they haven't already.
    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result

    Quantum mechanics: Doing the same thing over and over again, and suddenly it works!

  8. #8

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    d000hg - scorchio!

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    Speaking of Greggs, my lunch was a rather nice Tesco Finest smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich. Decent salmon, not the chewy horrible trimmings.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaryPoppins View Post
    I'd still not breastfeed a nazi
    Quote Originally Posted by vetran View Post
    Urine is quite nourishing

  9. #9

    CUK gives you wings

    hyperD has more data than eek

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    Love the Lunar Module article - good find Nick - thanks! Just makes you appreciate just how much effort was made into getting man on the moon. Incredible!
    If you think my attitude stinks, you should smell my fingers.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyperD View Post
    Love the Lunar Module article - good find Nick - thanks! Just makes you appreciate just how much effort was made into getting man on the moon. Incredible!
    Yup.

    Rope memory, who'd have thunk it?

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