Monday, December 23, 2013

As cuddly as a cactus, as charming as an eel

I'm not sure if it's the time of year, or just the Grinch in me coming out, but I'm feeling a bit contrarian, I guess.

I'm not really the only one, though; it seems to be something going around...

  • A Mathematician’s Lament
    For many years there has been a growing awareness that something is rotten in the state of mathematics education. Studies have been commissioned, conferences assembled, and countless committees of teachers, textbook publishers, and educators (whatever they are) have been formed to "fix the problem." Quite apart from the self-serving interest paid to reform by the textbook industry (which profits from any minute political fluctuation by offering up "new" editions of their unreadable monstrosities), the entire reform movement has always missed the point. The mathematics curriculum doesn’t need to be reformed, it needs to be scrapped.
  • Chuck Moore's Creations
    There's no return (;) between them. You can have multiple entry points and exit points in definitions! There is a certain simplicity and power that comes from not having a compiling vs. immediate mode as in regular Forth. Immediate words are just yellow and can be anywhere. Red words can also be anywhere. They simply give names to the current address in the instruction stream. There is no colon (:) word and definitions don't necessarily end with a return (;). It's also common to have an early return rather than an else. It's a different way to program, even for a Forth.
  • Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    Like all currency systems, Bitcoin comes with an implicit political agenda attached. Decisions we take about how to manage money, taxation, and the economy have consequences: by its consequences you may judge a finance system. Our current global system is pretty crap, but I submit that Bitcoin is worst.
  • NSA Spying: Whom Do You Believe?
    This sort of thing can destroy our country. Trust is essential in our society. And if we can't trust either our government or the corporations that have intimate access into so much of our lives, society suffers. Study after study demonstrates the value of living in a high-trust society and the costs of living in a low-trust one.
  • RSA doesn’t quite deny undermining customers’ crypto
    So RSA’s defense is essentially that they didn’t undermine their cusotmers’ security deliberately but only through bad judgment. That’s cold comfort for RSA customers—good security judgment is one of the main things one is looking for in a security company.
  • Aaugh rather than Arragh: Windows Piracy
    The final interesting finding is that IP enforcement does not seem to have any impact on piracy rates. This is no surprise to anyone who understands how the internet work but may be a surprise to policy-makers and corporations lobbying for anti-piracy measures. So when the UK banned the Pirate Bay in 2012 here is what happened to piracy rates:

    See that? Nothing. Zip. Nada. In other words, anti-piracy measures are possible the most ineffective policy instrument ever. Why? Because the Internet.

  • Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing receives royal pardon
    A pardon is normally granted only when the person is innocent of the offence and where a request has been made by someone with a vested interest, such as a family member. On this occasion, a pardon has been issued without either requirement being met.
  • Oracle Buys Responsys
    As a part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, we’ll be able to accelerate our vision of giving marketers across all industries the most advanced platform for orchestrating customer experiences over time and across channels. We couldn’t be more thrilled about what this means for our customers and employees.

Really, now: have you ever seen a more perfect juxtaposition of three words than:

Oracle Marketing Cloud

No comments:

Post a Comment