Blogs of Geeks

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Morons ruining everything

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Fri, 2013-12-20 08:34

The internet is cool, except for they way it lets ignorant munters feel like they're anything other than ignorant munters. But the internet is also cool because sometimes it learns 'em. It learns 'em good.

Apols for the poor image.

You can see the hi res orginal here.

Caption

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Charlie Stross hates Bitcoin

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Thu, 2013-12-19 12:33

Which is news because he's something of a rubfuck mascot for digital libertarians.

He has a blog post at antipope about it and a handy link farm as below:

Mining BtC has a carbon footprint from hell (as they get more computationally expensive to generate, electricity consumption soars). This essay has some questionable numbers, but the underlying principle is sound.

Bitcoin mining software is now being distributed as malware because using someone else's computer to mine BitCoins is easier than buying a farm of your own mining hardware.

Bitcoin violates Gresham's law: Stolen electricity will drive out honest mining. (So the greatest benefits accrue to the most ruthless criminals.)

Bitcoin's utter lack of regulation permits really hideous markets to emerge, in commodities like assassination (and drugs and child pornography).

It's also inherently damaging to the fabric of civil society. You think our wonderful investment bankers aren't paying their fair share of taxes? Bitcoin is pretty much designed for tax evasion. Moreover, The Gini coefficient of the Bitcoin economy is ghastly, and getting worse, to an extent that makes a sub-Saharan African kleptocracy look like a socialist utopia, and the "if this goes on" linear extrapolations imply that BtC will badly damage stable governance, not to mention redistributive taxation systems and social security/pension nets if its value continues to soar (as it seems designed to do due to its deflationary properties).

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Anybody having comment issues here?

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Thu, 2013-12-19 10:43

Both Wardog and NBob have been getting borked comments.

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

All I want for Christmas is this glow in the dark toilet strip

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Thu, 2013-12-19 08:41

As would any right thinking man. And the women who clean up after us.

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

I could a buy new MacBook Pro for this!

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Thu, 2013-12-19 08:30

Honest to fucking god. Four grand a year on store bought coffees? I'm fucked.

At Blunty.

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Future Splodey: WoC tech

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Wed, 2013-12-18 18:39

Thanks to Orin for hooking me up with this vid which seems to grabbed a few ideas from WoC. (Or maybe I just stole them from DARPA).

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Summer reading

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Wed, 2013-12-18 09:09

Found myself over at West End the other day and dropped into one of my favorite secondhand bookstores, Bent Books. All of the books I get to review each year, all of the freebies the publishers send out to me, if I don't want to keep them they end up at Bent Books. West End being the sort of community is, this place runs to more interesting stock than old, dogeared copies of Alistair MacLean. Although it has plenty of the Big Mac as well.

There's a pretty reasonable collection of pre-loved SF and fantasy titles which I like to check in on every now and then, and browsing the shelves on my last visit I came across Patrick Tilley's Amtrak Wars. These things have been hanging around since I was a kid. I remember them taking up real estate in the book section at Cribbe and Foote, Ipswich's finest and only department store. I think that Tilley and Stephen Donaldson basically owned that section.

Having built up a hundred dollars credit at BB and seeing as how they had not just the first in the series but another three or four besides (somebody cleaning out their collection, I suppose) it seemed the time had come to finally dip into this story world. Can't recall who were the fans around these parts – Orin? GuruBob? – but I do remember this series coming up in discussions before. I'll have a read and maybe write up a little review a couple of weeks from now.

I picked up the second book, Bushido, as a hedge against future projects. Reading Jack Weatherford's Genghis Khan history, and helping Anna with her school project about the Tokugawa Shogunate has given me a couple of ideas for some stories I might write a few years down the track. In the meantime I'll be adding books like this to my shelf for research purposes
.

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Bill Murray's vodka ski jump

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Tue, 2013-12-17 12:08

For a Christmas party one year he made a mini ski jump out of ice. Then poured vodka down it. Because he's Bill Murray.

From the Esquire interview:

Bill: I throw a Christmas party at my house. It's not really a Christmas party, because I don't want to call it a Christmas party. But let's just say I put a lot of Christmas trees around the house, so it smells good. I used to serve Christmas wine - a sort of Beaujolais Nouveau - because you could leave it outdoors and it feels right for the season. I'd serve it, and people would just end up at the bar in my house, drinking anything else they could find there. My friends said the party needs a higher octane. They needed something more danceable. Beaujolais doesn't make people dance. So I said to my friend Peter Kelly [co-founder of Slovenia Vodka], a great chef - his restaurants are fantastic, I've been eating in them for thirty years. Have you ever had his food?

ESQ: No, but he gave me a recipe for lobster made with vodka, and it sounds pretty good.

Christmas at Bill's.

Bill: Oh, that one is great. That's really great. He makes the food at this non-Christmas party of mine. I said I should get vodka, and he said, "I've got something." It was this Slovenia Vodka. At that point you couldn't buy it - it was only known to a couple of people. See, what I wanted was one of those ice luges. It's a big magilla to get an ice luge, but if you do, you can pour vodka into it and it chills it on the way down. It looks like an Olympic ski jump. It's more for visual effect. You can put your head underneath it, like you're guzzling gasoline, but we just fill shot glasses. Hundreds of little shot glasses. So, we drank this stuff, and it took the party to a completely other level. The party lasted much longer. No one left. The year before, people would leave at, like, two or three in the morning. With the vodka luge, they didn't leave until five. The last two years I've had this luge. That's how I like to drink. Out of a large ice structure.


Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Chinese Moonshot

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Tue, 2013-12-17 08:05

Glass of water for Mr Havock!

Because China going to the moon is one of the best things happening on this cockamamie planet right now.

At Blunty.

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Helen Razer's Bad Year

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Mon, 2013-12-16 16:44

I know not all of y'all are fans, but fuck you. I would drink a cup of her urine, and her Worst of 2013 is well worth a read too. (Props to Lord Bob of Nowhere for pointing this one out.)

"Bloggers and "writers" and purveyors of pop-sociology might feel they"re doing society a good turn by analysing sexist critique. But, really they"re just providing an elaborate rationale to show pictures of that Tennessee teen"s vagina AGAIN while expecting that the world of high-sales pop culture and justice ever had any kind of contract with each other."

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Louis CK on violence against women

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Mon, 2013-12-16 11:52

Treating the ladies poorly is not funny. But Louis CK is.

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Heavy metal

John Birmingham - Cheeseburger Gothic - Mon, 2013-12-16 09:38

I am as guilty as anybody of thinking of Samsung as nothing more than a phone pirate. Probably more so. But of course they're much more than that. They also steal vacuum cleaner designs!

Kidding, kidding. Well, no, not really kidding. They actually do steal vacuum cleaner designs. From poor Professor Dyson, no less.

But they also do heavy engineering. Like massively heavy engineering, of the sort really only seen in The Thunderbirds, or maybe Pacific Rim. Improbably huge, monstrously heavy metal juggernauts of the sort that Shell commissioned to work the liquid natural gas fields off the North West shelf.

This beast is called the Prelude and will be holding station in one of the most active cyclone areas on the planet for over twenty-five years. It won't be hauling up anchors and hiding in port when a category five storm rolls through. It will just sit there smirking, "Come at me, bro." According to the PR chaff the Prelude will supply enough LNG each year to power a city the size of Hong Kong. This is the first of these vessels, but now they have the template down, apparently they're just going to roll 'em off the line like mobile phones. (Mobile phones which look strangely familiar. Can't put my finger on why.)

Anyway, I love this stuff.

Categories: Blogs of Geeks

a unique creature

sw - Wed, 2007-01-17 21:50
smart, but not genius. empathize at will, avoid with animosity. strong ethics, less morals. patient, but aversive. extroverted ... when it suits, or is required. introspective. confidence often mistaken for arrogance. cynical and world weary. tolerant ... to a point. keeps distance. happy and empty. quick on the uptake. current ...
Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Before heading to the US...

DFS - Thu, 2006-08-03 23:38
So I have been the Chair of the AUDF now for a few months and the other day I actually saw the fruits of our most beneficial program. I had dinner on Tuesday evening with the folks we are sending to WWDC (developer.apple.com) and I have to say I was impressed.
Categories: Blogs of Geeks

Thu, 1970-01-01 10:00

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