Linux, politics, and other interesting things
Urban Honking has an insightful article about the Arduino and suggests that it is one of the most important factors for the development of the computer industry in the near future . It compares the Arduino to the Altair.
Linux Journal has an interesting article by David Rowe about the “Mesh Potato” which is a Wifi mesh router that also runs VOIP . One particularly interesting aspect of this article is the explanation of the way they designed and tested it.
Susan Shaw gave an informative TED talk about the toxic effects of the attempts to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico . It seems that trying to disperse the oil just makes it worse, and the chemical companies are refusing to disclose the chemicals that are being used.
The New York Times has an interesting article by David Leonhardt about the value of pre-school teachers . Some research on the difference that good teachers can make in economic terms suggests that the make an economic difference to the children to the value of $320,000 per annum (IE a class of 16 children who were taught for a year would on average each receive a benefit of $20,000 over their lifetime). Also there are social benefits which aren’t counted by that study. While I can’t imagine pre-school teachers getting paid $320,000 any time soon, it does seem obvious that good teachers deserve significantly better pay. Of course one problem is how to determine which teachers are good, better test results are not a reliable indication.
The Chive has an amusing post about how to quit a bad job . It would be good if someone really did this, I’m sure that there are enough creative people who don’t like their job.
Hell Pizza in New Zealand published a zombie themed choose your own adventure on Youtube . Unfortunately the options to choose the next segment don’t work on HTML5 with Chromium so if you don’t have flash you miss out.
AskThePilot.com has an informative essay about airline security written by a commercial pilot . The anecdote about the pilot not being allowed to take the type of knife that is issued to first and business class passengers is rather amusing.
FredOnEverything.net has an interesting analysis of Wikileaks and why the Pentagon and Fox News hate it . Fred is a very skillful writer, while he’s not the first person to say some of these things he may have said it best.
The Wikipedia page on Borosilicate glass (which is best known under the trademark Pyrex) is really interesting . Borsilicate glass was formerly known as “Duran” and it’s main characteristic that makes it suitable for lab use is resistance to Thermal Shock, but it’s also harder and has a higher melting point. Apparently you can get Pyrex drinking glasses, I want some!
Eben Moglen gave an interesting talk “Freedom in the Cloud” about the development of free servers to manage personal data and replace Facebook etc (among many other things) . The Debian Wiki has an articla about designing such a system .
The APNIC published an interesting paper on IPv4 background radiation . Apparently some /24’s receive so much random traffic (from broken applications and viruses) that they can’t be delegated. IPv6 will solve this problem by making it infeasible to scan all IP addresses. Also it’s interesting to note the excessive amounts of traffic to 126.96.36.199 which is from applications too broken to correctly send data to 192.168.0.1 which have been installed by sysadmins who are too incompetent to watch what is being sent out of their network.