history

There’s been a lot of discussion about the paper written by mathematician Vinay Deolalikar on this interesting problem. The P!=NP problem is so interesting that there’s a million-dollar prize for solving it. It might even be interesting because there’s a million-dollar prize for solving it. It might also have some applicability to computer science and…

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Twenty years ago today, Nelson Mandela was released from prison on Robben Island, where he was imprisoned for 27 years for considering violence after his rights to free speech and free association were revoked by the government. I learned a lot about the stories when I visited South Africa, and then more when my mom…

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On January 30th, 1649, Charles I was beheaded for treason. He refused to enter a defense, asserting that as monarch, he was the law, and no court could try him. That same defense is raised today by Milošević, Hussien and other tyrants. The story of how John Cooke built his arguments against that claim is…

Read More Today in Tyrranicide History

Asked about the timing, the unbriefed propaganda minister mumbled: “As far as I know, effective immediately.” When that was reported on television, the Berliners were off. Baffled border guards who would have shot their “comrades” a week earlier let the crowd through—and a barrier that had divided the world was soon being gleefully dismantled. West…

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Bruce Schneier points in his blog to an article in The Telegraph in which Steve Ballmer blames the failure of Vista on security. Every security person around should clear their throat loudly. Security is not what made Vista unpalatable. Many people liked Vista. My tech reporter friends not only adored it, but flat couldn’t understand…

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South African runner Caster Semenya won the womens 800-meter, and the attention raised questions about her gender. Most of us tend to think of gender as pretty simple. You’re male or you’re female, and that’s all there is to it. The issue is black and white, if you’ll excuse the irony. There are reports that:…

Read More Caster Semenya, Alan Turing and "ID Management" products