2013

In light of recent news, such as “FreeBSD washing Intel-chip randomness” and “alleged NSA-RSA scheming,” what advice should we give engineers who want to use randomness in their designs? My advice for software engineers building things used to be to rely on the OS to get it right. That defers the problem to a small…

Read More What to do for randomness today?

The Gavle Goat has burned again, according to The Local.Se, and of course, it’s Twitter account (yet one more way in which real name policies inhibit natural behavior). Two quick comments. First, the goat survived longer this year than usual. Second, I think it illustrates something. I’m not sure what. But my yule would be…

Read More Gavle Goat Goes Later This Year

Over at the BBC, we read that the “home of Anakin Skywalker threatened by dune,” with awesome pictures: So my question is, what will archaeologists think in 1,000 years when they dig this up? How many careers will be wasted trying to link the bizarre architecture to some real culture? How many anthropologists will be…

Read More What will the archaeologists think?

Can we just agree that “which” and “that” are pretty much interchangable? If you’re relying on a modern audience to be able to perceive the difference in meaning between restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, you’ve pretty much already lost. Which, as they say, makes a mockery of that rule. Alternately, “That, as they say, makes a…

Read More Which and That

I just re-read “A few words on Doug Engelbart.” If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’re probably seen a headline like “Douglas C. Engelbart, Inventor of the Computer Mouse, Dies at 88,” or seen him referred to as the fellow who gave the “mother of all demos.” But as Bret Victor points out, to…

Read More Small thoughts on Doug Engelbart

I have to start off by apologizing for how very late this review is, an embarrassing long time ago, the kind folks at No Starch Press very kindly gave me a copy of “Super Scratch Programming Adventure” to review. Scratch for those that aren’t familiar is a kids oriented programming language designed by Mitchel Resnick…

Read More A Very Late Book Review