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View Full Version : Monday Links from the Sickbed vol. CXXXVII



NickFitz
13th August 2012, 19:04
If there's a bug going round, the music has stopped and it's sat on me :( Just going to post these and then see about an early night:


The Making Of: Jet Set Willy (http://www.edge-online.com/features/making-jet-set-willy) - Matthew Smith, the creator of the classic Spectrum game, explains how it came to be, in great detail: "We wonder how pirouetting rabbits, wobbling jellies and the entire cast of inanimate objects brought disturbingly to life fitted into Smith’s everyday existence. 'That may have been the mushrooms,' he offers, helpfully."


Golden Ratio in logo designs (http://www.banskt.com/blog/golden-ratio-in-logo-designs/) - "Beauty and aesthetics have been praised from time immemorial. But little did people know that the most effective, perfectly balanced, and visually compelling creations followed the tid-bits of mathematics. At least not until 1860, when German physicist and psychologist Gustav Theodor Fechner proposed that a simple ratio, an irrational number defines the balance in nature." Saikat Banerjee takes a look at the ratio as it appears behind the scenes of some famous logos.


Who's That Woman In The Twitter Bot Profile? (http://www.fastcompany.com/3000064/whos-woman-twitter-bot-profile) - Jason Feifer tracks down a woman whose photo has been hijacked for use as an avatar by spambot Twitter accounts: "My goal was to draw a straight line from a Twitter bot to the real, live person whose face the bot had stolen. In the daily bot wars--the one Twitter fights every day, causing constant fluctuations in follower counts even as brands' followers remain up to 48% bot--these women are the most visible and yet least acknowledged victims."


The Writing of E. Nesbit (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1964/dec/03/the-writing-of-e-nesbit/) - Gore Vidal, who died a couple of weeks ago, writing in the The New York Review of Books in 1964 about children's writer E. Nesbit: "[Children] are forced to develop a sense of communality which though it does not necessarily make them any nicer to one another at least makes it possible for them to see each other with perfect clarity, and it is part of Nesbit’s genius that she sees them as clearly and unsentimentally as they see themselves, making for that sense of life without which there is no literature at any level."


An Unexpected Ass Kicking (http://joelrunyon.com/two3/an-unexpected-ass-kicking) - "...an elderly gentleman at least 80 years old sat down next to me with a hot coffee and a pastry. ...'I’ve done lots of things that haven’t been done before', he said half-smiling. 'I created the world’s first internally programmable computer. It used to take up a space about as big as this whole room and my wife and I used to walk into it to program it.'" Joel Runyon has a chance encounter with Russell A. Kirsch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_A._Kirsch) in a Portland coffee shop.


“You will always have work, and it will be the best kind of work” — Richard Rhodes on writing (http://www.niemanstoryboard.org/2012/08/02/you-will-always-have-work-and-it-will-be-the-best-kind-of-work-pulitzer-winning-author-richard-rhodes-on-writing-mayborn-2012-volume-two/) - "Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, and of 23 other books, delivered one of the keynotes at this year’s Mayborn Conference for Literary Journalism. Here are five top takeaways from that address, followed by an edited transcript of his talk and a snippet from the Q-and-A session that followed."


Why I Quit Microsoft To Join A 5 Person Start Up In Toronto (http://jaclynkonzelmann.tumblr.com/post/29070457063/why-i-quit-microsoft-to-join-a-5-person-start-up-in) - Yet another examination of the dysfunctional nature of the management of Microsoft: "My first year at Microsoft was great!... Then I slowly became more and more unhappy with my life and the culture at Microsoft."


Standing the test of time: the 'classic' British sitcom (http://www.comedy.co.uk/features/standing_the_test_of_time/) - "BCG reader David Allan offers some thoughts on why some comedies stand the test of time better than others." Or, just why does Terry & June seem so dated?


Thank You for the Light (http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2012/08/06/120806fi_fiction_fitzgerald?currentPage=all) - The New Yorker rejected this F. Scott Fitzgerald short story in 1936. They've finally changed their minds.


The NeilInnes.org Section That's All ABout The Innes Book of Records (http://www.neilinnes.org/ibor/index.html) - "The Innes Book of Records was Neil Innes' BBC2 TV show from 1979 to 1981." And now, over thirty years on, this new section of his web site puts together the stories behind the songs, the characters, and the guests :happy The perfect thing for the Bonzos/Python fan!


Happy invoicing! :wave:

Bunk
13th August 2012, 19:29
Why I Quit Microsoft To Join A 5 Person Start Up In Toronto (http://jaclynkonzelmann.tumblr.com/post/29070457063/why-i-quit-microsoft-to-join-a-5-person-start-up-in) - Yet another examination of the dysfunctional nature of the management of Microsoft: "My first year at Microsoft was great!... Then I slowly became more and more unhappy with my life and the culture at Microsoft."


I can't help thinking that she's just trying to drum up publicity for her new company. None of the things she mentions are unique to Microsoft; I've experienced most of them at a variety of companies although luckily as a contractor I can avoid a lot of it. She sounds like a whiny grad who's realised that work isn't as much fun as being a student. Welcome to the real world.

Edit: Great links as usual though NF, the Jet Set Willy one has made me particularly nostalgic :(

BrilloPad
13th August 2012, 20:09
Get well soon NF :hug:

Also try more exercise, vitamin c and echinacea...

EternalOptimist
13th August 2012, 20:11
Can I have your slippers

NickFitz
13th August 2012, 22:08
Bonus linky while it's still topical: Mo Farah Running Away From Things (http://mofarahrunningawayfromthings.tumblr.com/) :happy

MarillionFan
13th August 2012, 22:46
Get well soon NF :hug:

Also try more exercise, vitamin c and echinacea...

Well known fact that pedantry leads to catching more common colds and bad health.

ctdctd
14th August 2012, 05:30
Bonus linky while it's still topical: Mo Farah Running Away From Things (http://mofarahrunningawayfromthings.tumblr.com/) :happy

:rollin:

You have way too much time on your hands :yay:

BrilloPad
14th August 2012, 08:14
Well known fact that pedantry leads to catching more common colds and bad health.

So what about me then? Exception to the rule?

SupremeSpod
14th August 2012, 08:18
So what about me then? Exception to the rule?

You're just "different". :wink

SupremeSpod
14th August 2012, 08:24
If there's a bug going round, the music has stopped and it's sat on me :( Just going to post these and then see about an early night:


The Making Of: Jet Set Willy (http://www.edge-online.com/features/making-jet-set-willy) - Matthew Smith, the creator of the classic Spectrum game, explains how it came to be, in great detail: "We wonder how pirouetting rabbits, wobbling jellies and the entire cast of inanimate objects brought disturbingly to life fitted into Smith’s everyday existence. 'That may have been the mushrooms,' he offers, helpfully."
Happy invoicing! :wave:

Reminds me of when we used the "Tatung Einstein" for cross assembly at Ocean.

I think that's what got me involved in embedded development...

Get well soon.

OwlHoot
14th August 2012, 10:20
Golden Ratio in logo designs (http://www.banskt.com/blog/golden-ratio-in-logo-designs/) - "Beauty and aesthetics have been praised from time immemorial. But little did people know that the most effective, perfectly balanced, and visually compelling creations followed the tid-bits of mathematics. At least not until 1860, when German physicist and psychologist Gustav Theodor Fechner proposed that a simple ratio, an irrational number defines the balance in nature." Saikat Banerjee takes a look at the ratio as it appears behind the scenes of some famous logos. ..

Another paper on the Golden Ratio was published only today on the ArXiv, although I haven't looked at it yet:

The Unavoidable Golden Ratio (http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.2269)

I think that link is OK, but I'm currently unable to check on account of to my IP address being temporarily banned from the site by their "rampaging robot" detector (for downloading too many papers in a short time, presumably) :mad

Anyway, get well soon Nick. Hope it's only a summer cold and not the ticker again.

Sysman
14th August 2012, 10:31
Standing the test of time: the 'classic' British sitcom (http://www.comedy.co.uk/features/standing_the_test_of_time/) - "BCG reader David Allan offers some thoughts on why some comedies stand the test of time better than others." Or, just why does Terry & June seem so dated?


Interesting. Having tried to watch Terry and June recently the guy just came out as a loser, and I think that applied to various other comedies of the time. The author is right on the button there by saying our expectations have changed.

On his choices of Classics I have to disagree on Only Fools and Horses. It has been repeated so many times I got sick of it. Fawlty Towers suffers here as well.

I'd put The Good Life way ahead of George and Mildred. To be honest I always found them cringeworthy.

OwlHoot
14th August 2012, 10:58
Interesting. Having tried to watch Terry and June recently the guy just came out as a loser, and I think that applied to various other comedies of the time. The author is right on the button there by saying our expectations have changed.

On his choices of Classics I have to disagree on Only Fools and Horses. It has been repeated so many times I got sick of it. Fawlty Towers suffers here as well.

I'd put The Good Life way ahead of George and Mildred. To be honest I always found them cringeworthy.

I think a lot of the datedness boils down to people being less deferential to authority figures and conformity, of one sort or another, and thus not finding it so funny when this is poked fun at (usually in a very gentle way).

OwlHoot
14th August 2012, 13:39
The Unavoidable Golden Ratio (http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.2269)

I think that link is OK, but I'm currently unable to check on account of to my IP address being temporarily banned from the site by their "rampaging robot" detector (for downloading too many papers in a short time, presumably) :mad ..

Hmm ...




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These types of blocks may be the result of opening many pages rapidly
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--
arXiv admin

:nerd

Scoobos
14th August 2012, 14:41
None of the things she mentions are unique to Microsoft; I've experienced most of them at a variety of companies although luckily as a contractor I can avoid a lot of it. (

Microsoft is particularly bad though, in that its "normal" x 100.

The whole 1-5 bucket rubbish would kill anyones Enthusiasm, its just a matter of time.

This is the killer for most ex - I think this lass is the same . Knowing that in a team of 5, 1 of you has to be rated 1 (best) , 1 has to be rated 2 (second), 1 rated 3 (safe) , 1 rated 4 (time to leave, you're going in 5 next year) , 1 rated 5 (no raise and leave now huh?)

There are people in every team who are just completely useless, but they are there because the rest of the team tolerates them as they know they are filling that 5 spot next year... This is very silly, but totally understandable.

NickFitz
14th August 2012, 16:18
Get well soon NF :hug:




Get well soon.



Anyway, get well soon Nick. Hope it's only a summer cold and not the ticker again.

Thanks all. I popped down to London at the weekend (nothing to do with the Olympics) and reckon I've picked up some bug off all those people on the Tube :(

Worst I've ever felt (much worse than the heart attack, which was only ever discomfort) and the first time I've missed a day's invoicing due to illness :eek:

I'm still running a temperature and have a stinking headache, but no longer shivering uncontrollably and sweating buckets, so hopefully I can get back to the magic money fountain ClientCo tomorrow.

OwlHoot
14th August 2012, 16:34
Microsoft is particularly bad though, in that its "normal" x 100.

The whole 1-5 bucket rubbish would kill anyones Enthusiasm, its just a matter of time.

This is the killer for most ex - I think this lass is the same . Knowing that in a team of 5, 1 of you has to be rated 1 (best) , 1 has to be rated 2 (second), 1 rated 3 (safe) , 1 rated 4 (time to leave, you're going in 5 next year) , 1 rated 5 (no raise and leave now huh?)

There are people in every team who are just completely useless, but they are there because the rest of the team tolerates them as they know they are filling that 5 spot next year... This is very silly, but totally understandable.

Good point - It seems actually a perverse incentive for teams to hold on to duffers as long as possible as useful cover or "cannon fodder" for the rest.

Conversely, the more competent someone is the more of a threat they must be to others so the more chance they'll be hampered and stitched up or even hounded out.

So the management are presumably perpetually shuffling teams around, to try and prevent these inevitable outcomes from developing.

No wonder the muppets take years and years to produce softare of even adequate quality.