Sunday, July 15, 2018

Here is a meal you can make yourself from all natural ingredients in minimal time with little to clean up afterward. It never fails and requires very little of your time. I use one low-tech gizmo to save time and ensure success, but you can use alternative means at the cost of a bit more fussiness and time. Start with: A good cut of steak, 250 to 350 grams per person Roquefort cheese, 100 g Sliced mushrooms, 200 g before draining Garlic purée, around a tablespoon (15 ml) Cooking oil (olive, etc.) We're going to cook the steak in...

Read more...

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Carreyrou, John. Bad Blood. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2018. ISBN 978-1-984833-63-1. The drawing of blood for laboratory tests is one of my least favourite parts of a routine visit to the doctor's office. Now, I have no fear of needles and hardly notice the stick, but frequently the doctor's assistant who draws the blood (whom I've nicknamed Vampira) has difficulty finding the vein to get a good flow and has to try several times. On one occasion she made an internal puncture which resulted in a huge, ugly bruise that looked like I'd slammed a car door on my...

Read more...

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Version 3.0 of UNUM is now available for downloading. Version 3.0 incorporates the Unicode 11.0.0 standard, released on June 5th, 2018. The update to Unicode adds support for seven scripts for languages, additional CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) symbols, 66 new emoji, and assorted symbols such as half-stars for rating systems. There are a total of 137,374 characters in 11.0.0, of which 684 are new since 10.0.0. (UNUM also supports an additional 65 ASCII control characters, which are not assigned graphic code points in the Unicode database.) This is an incremental update to Unicode. There are no structural changes in...

Read more...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Nury, Fabien and Thierry Robin. La Mort de Staline. Paris: Dargaud, [2010, 2012] 2014. ISBN 978-2-205-07351-5. The 2017 film, The Death of Stalin, was based upon this French bande dessinée (BD, graphic novel, or comic). The story is based around the death of Stalin and the events that ensued: the scheming and struggle for power among the members of his inner circle, the reactions and relationships of his daughter Svetlana and wastrel son Vasily, the conflict between the Red Army and NKVD, the maneuvering over the arrangements for Stalin's funeral, and the all-encompassing fear and suspicion that Stalin's paranoia had...

Read more...

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Many Web sites use “HTTP cookies” to follow a user through a session which may involve a series of individual Web pages. While cookies can be used for intrusive tracking and have developed a somewhat dodgy reputation as a result, for some applications such as providing persistent log-ins to a site from a certain computer and browser they are nearly essential. The Hacker's Diet Online uses cookies to implement its “Remember me” login feature. If this box is checked when the user logs in, a cookie is stored in the browser which contains an opaque credential that allows the user...

Read more...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The travelling salesman problem—finding the shortest itinerary to visit each of a number of cities—is a classic of combinatorial optimisation. Finding optimal solutions by brute force is effectively impossible: there are more than 1032 possible paths to visit thirty cities, and if you could test a billion paths a second, it would take 600,000 times the age of the universe to compare them all and choose the shortest. If you don't require an absolutely optimal solution, but rather one that's within a few percent of the best possible, there are a number of optimisation techniques which will get the...

Read more...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Suarez, Daniel. Influx. New York: Signet, [2014] 2015. ISBN 978-0-451-46944-1. Doesn't it sometimes seem that, sometime in the 1960s, the broad march of technology just stopped? Certainly, there has been breathtaking progress in some fields, particularly computation and data communication, but what about clean, abundant fusion power too cheap to meter, opening up the solar system to settlement, prevention and/or effective treatment of all kinds of cancer, anti-aging therapy, artificial general intelligence, anthropomorphic robotics, and the many other wonders we expected to be commonplace by the year 2000? Decades later, Jon Grady was toiling in his obscure laboratory to make...

Read more...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mills, Kyle. Enemy of the State. New York: Atria Books, 2017. ISBN 978-1-4767-8351-2. This is the third novel in the Mitch Rapp saga written by Kyle Mills, who took over the franchise after the death of Vince Flynn, its creator. It is the sixteenth novel in the Mitch Rapp series (Flynn's first novel, Term Limits [November 2009], is set in the same world and shares characters with the Mitch Rapp series, but Rapp does not appear in it, so it isn't considered a Rapp novel), Mills continues to develop the Rapp story in new directions, while maintaining the action-packed and detail-rich...

Read more...

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Oliver, Bernard M., John Billingham, et al. Project Cyclops. Stanford, CA: Stanford/NASA Ames Research Center, 1971. NASA-CR-114445 N73-18822. There are few questions in science as simple to state and profound in their implications as “are we alone?”—are humans the only species with a technological civilisation in the galaxy, or in the universe? This has been a matter of speculation by philosophers, theologians, authors of fiction, and innumerable people gazing at the stars since antiquity, but it was only in the years after World War II, which had seen the development of high-power microwave transmitters and low-noise receivers for radar,...

Read more...

Thursday, May 31, 2018

I have added the following document to the Software section of the Univac Document Archive. UNIVAC 1106/1108 Assembler Programmer's Reference This is a PDF of a scanned paper document in my collection. This document was published in 1969 (two earlier editions date from 1966 and 1967). This describes the “classic” assembler, which was derived from the SLEUTH II assembler for the Univac 1107. As of the publication of this manual, the assembler supported only FIELDATA character code and six bit characters; it would later be extended to support ASCII code and nine bit (quarter word) character representation. In the 1970s,...

Read more...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Schantz, Hans G. A Rambling Wreck. Huntsville, AL: ÆtherCzar, 2017. ISBN 978-1-5482-0142-5. This the second novel in the author's Hidden Truth series. In the first book (December 2017) we met high schoolers and best friends Pete Burdell and Amit Patel who found, in dusty library books, knowledge apparently discovered by the pioneers of classical electromagnetism (many of whom died young), but which does not figure in modern works, even purported republications of the original sources they had consulted. As they try to sort through the discrepancies, make sense of what they've found, and scour sources looking for other apparently suppressed information,...

Read more...

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Mercer, Ilana. Into the Cannibal's Pot. Mount Vernon, WA, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9849070-1-4. The author was born in South Africa, the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Benzion Isaacson, a leader among the Jewish community in the struggle against apartheid. Due to her father's activism, the family, forced to leave the country, emigrated to Israel, where the author grew up. In the 1980s, she moved back to South Africa, where she married, had a daughter, and completed her university education. In 1995, following the first elections with universal adult suffrage which resulted in the African National Congress (ANC) taking power, she and her...

Read more...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Brown, Dan. Origin. New York: Doubleday, 2017. ISBN 978-0-385-51423-1. Ever since the breakthrough success of Angels & Demons, his first mystery/thriller novel featuring Harvard professor and master of symbology Robert Langdon, Dan Brown has found a formula which turns arcane and esoteric knowledge, exotic and picturesque settings, villains with grandiose ambitions, and plucky female characters into bestsellers, two of which, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, have been adapted into Hollywood movies. This is the fifth novel in the Robert Langdon series. After reading the fourth, Inferno (May 2013), it struck me that Brown's novels have become so formulaic...

Read more...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hanson, Victor Davis. The Second World Wars. New York: Basic Books, 2017. ISBN 978-0-465-06698-8. This may be the best single-volume history of World War II ever written. While it does not get into the low-level details of the war or its individual battles (don't expect to see maps with boxes, front lines, and arrows), it provides an encyclopedic view of the first truly global conflict with a novel and stunning insight every few pages. Nothing like World War II had ever happened before and, thankfully, has not happened since. While earlier wars may have seemed to those involved in them...

Read more...

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Thor, Brad. Use of Force. New York: Atria Books, 2017. ISBN 978-1-4767-8939-2. This is the seventeenth novel in the author's Scot Harvath series, which began with The Lions of Lucerne (October 2010). As this book begins, Scot Harvath, operative for the Carlton Group, a private outfit that does “the jobs the CIA won't do” is under cover at the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. He and his team are tracking a terrorist thought to be conducting advance surveillance for attacks within the U.S. Only as the operation unfolds does he realise he's walked into the middle...

Read more...


Powered by MovableType 4.23-en