1 April 2011

The NCP address crunch

[Note: This text was posted through a time warp from 1979. Special thanks to Dan Bernstein and Avery Pennarun for their technical expertise.] Computers on the ARPAnet talk to each other using NCP, the Network Control Protocol. Each computer on the ARPAnet has its own public NCP address, similar to a street number; for example, 207. The target of each packet of data is identified by a public NCP address. ... Read more

13 March 2011

SXSWi report

I started my afternoon by shuffling to the bus stop at the end of our street, to get the bus downtown. It wasn’t long before a SXSW attendee turned up, badge in hand. The bus was on time, and quickly filled up with mothers and children who were traveling to the capitol building to protest the planned cuts in education. I chatted and expressed my support, but it wasn’t my destination. ... Read more

21 February 2011

Haute: The EZ of 2011

Groupon in Austin today was a special from a company calling itself Haute Cakes Couture Desserts. Let me explain why that’s a horrible name for a company. Firstly, “Haute” is pronounced “oat”. So it’s oat cakes. Oatcakes are a kind of flat unleavened Scottish cake. They’re nothing like the cakes the company sells. Secondly, “Couture” is dressmaking. So put together all the concepts the name brings to mind, and we have “Fashionable dry oatmeal pancake dressmaking desserts”. ... Read more

10 January 2011

The way the world works, and the god that sucks

How The World Works in The Atlantic is the best article on economic theory I’ve read in ages. Granted, I don’t exactly go out of my way to read articles on economic theory, but that’s largely because most of them exhibit the blindness cataloged in this article. Certain (mostly American) economic theories have somehow taken on the aura of absolute truth. It is drummed into us that free markets always optimize; what’s best for the individual is best for everyone; protectionism is bad. ... Read more

2 January 2011

The gangster chic of remix culture

Giles Bowkett ponders remix culture, and writes: There’s an interesting and somewhat alarming correlation between culture based on recycling other culture and organized crime. I don’t think there’s any particular mystery about why this is the case. It’s down to the unfortunate fact that corporations have decided to try and make artistic collage and appropriation into a form of illegal art. If you make music via extensive sampling, sooner or later you’re going to get sued, or at least seriously threatened with a lawsuit. ... Read more

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