Interesting Links for 30-03-2017

30 March 2017 12:00 pm
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My CPAP machine is insecure

29 March 2017 02:51 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
So it sends me endless emails explaining how it makes my life easier. Today's was a claim that apnea sufferers who use their CPAP machines correctly halve their odds of experiencing a vehicular mishap, which is kind of funny because I almost got backed over by a car today.
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It's been a tough week at work; not so much on matters of complexity, but rather on sheer volume. With last week's cluster and cloud computing, there has been in an influx of over two hundred master's level students to the HPC system and the inexperience of quite a few is evident. Such is the effects of an entire generation of computer users who have started with the GUI rather than the command-line. Apropos the planned session with the good folk at the University of Freiburg didn't get up for the International Supercomputing Conference. A German co-author responded pithily, You have to see that we are considered heretics. Well, it wouldn't be the first time, that's for sure. So instead we're looking at a publication in Advanced Computing. Given that most of the paper is already written, a draft can be submitted perhaps the end of next week.

Shortly after that [livejournal.com profile] caseopaya, [livejournal.com profile] funontheupfield, and I are heading to New Zealand. Apparently I can't get enough of the place. The latter has never been before so recommendations were put in place for a short trip; Wellington and the Marlborough Sounds, primarily Havelock and Collingwood with opportunities to take short hikes, go spelunking, horse riding, and to see the strange natural landscape that is Farewell Spit. Given that my past two trips to NZ have been almost entirely work-related, I'm rather looking forward to the opportunity to venture 'cross The Ditch entirely for pleasure. Hopefully I will be able to organise dinner in Wellington for the handful of people that I know there.

The native animal population at our home has had a recent increase with a clutch of friendly young magpies deciding that our home is worth a visit, primarily for cat biscuits. A few days later a blue tongue lizard decided to move in. We think it's still in the house somewhere. Our other animal companions however have not been particularly perturbed by our new visitors; apparently our home is an open-plan zoological garden. I must however express some concern with the health of Tramper the rat. Already close to three years old (about ninety in rat-years), he's doing it a bit tough. He's had a bumblefoot infection for a long tiome (which curiously, seems to be healing up), he has a large mammary tumour which is quite inoperable without risk to his life, and now he's has advanced glaucoma in one eye. Tramper now spends much of his time snoozing (even on the rat-scale of things), but also has a good appetite and enjoys scritch time. Despite his illnesses, I think he's going to be around for a few more months.
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The Libertarian Futurist Society
has announced five finalists for the Best Novel category of the 37th annual Prometheus Awards

The Corporation Wars: Dissidence by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
The Corporation Wars: Insurgence by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver (HarperCollins)
The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo (translated by Lola Rogers) (Grove Press/Black Cat)
Blade of p'Na by L. Neil Smith (Phoenix Pick)

Interesting Links for 28-03-2017

28 March 2017 12:00 pm

eeeeee

27 March 2017 10:27 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I get to toy with being a living example of the Peter Principle at work.
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Despite my age, as a small child I watched a fair amount of anime, and in general they were my favorite cartoons (although I had no idea many of them were from Japan, they were merely better than anything else I was watching). The very first cartoon I can remember watching, was when I was around 4 or 5, and was Kimba the White Lion, and a bit later, I watched Astro Boy (which I thought was pretty bad), and Marine Boy (which I loved). Of course, all were dubbed in English, and likely edited.

Recently, while looking up information about when anime first started getting long-term story arcs (a question I still have no clear answer to, other than definitely by the 1980s), I looked up a cartoon I remember particularly loving. In the US, it was called Tobor the 8th Man, about a police officer who was killed, and his mind transferred into a truly awesome robot body, which even when I was less than 10 years old, was something I loved the idea of – to digress a bit, when I learned the term transhumanism in the 1990s, my reaction was "So that's what my oldest and most enduring interest/belief set is called".

In any case, in reading the linked article, I learned why I don't remember seeing much of Tobor the 8th Man - I didn't remember until looking at the link, that the robot body recharged by smoking "energy cigarettes" (which may have seemed like a reasonable idea in 1960s Japan, but today sounds like a covert ad campaign by Japanese cigarette companies), and when US laws regarding portraying smoking on TV changed, the show was dropped, because the protagonist smoking was an essential part of the show. Thankfully, watching that show had no propagandistic effect on me, since (because both my parents smoked), I always found it to be utterly disgusting.

Idea for an anthology

26 March 2017 10:56 am
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


Seeds:

* As previously mentioned, the black woman in this illustration is the only black person of whom I am aware ever depicted in a space colony-related drawing.

* Handing authors a drawing to write a story around is an established thing in SF.

Thus, an anthology with different takes on that one black person in an otherwise entirely white space community.

On this day in 1911

25 March 2017 10:12 am
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Enjoy this preview of what working life will be like in the US once the Republicans strip workers of every legal protection.


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