Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDXXXVIII Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDXXXVIII
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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDXXXVIII

    Second week of freedom, so I suppose I ought to start doing all the stuff I said I didn't have time for because of ClientCo rather than just lying around reading this kind of thing

    • ”I Killed Them All”: The Unbelievable Story of One of America’s Bloodiest Hitmen - Not necessarily unbelievable, but an interesting look at how a man can get away with decades of murders: ”With a lethal professionalism, Martinez set up a fake traffic stop or a false business front or hired honeypots who lured men to lonely places. Then he killed, often with a bullet to the head. Afterward, he collected his money and slipped back into his quiet, unassuming life, taking his children to Disneyland and on other adventures… After months of investigating on the part of police officers from at least three states; after consulting Martinez’s hand-drawn maps of where he dumped bodies; after marveling that he remembered the number and caliber of each bullet he fired, the angle and repose of each fallen victim — detectives from departments across the country decided it was true.”

    • He Was Dying. Antibiotics Weren’t Working. Then Doctors Tried a Forgotten Treatment. - Could bacteriophages help us deal with the problem of antibiotic resistance? ”The Food and Drug Administration has not licensed phage therapy, keeping it out of pharmacies and hospitals. Few physicians have used it even experimentally, and most civilians have never heard of it. But phages are a natural phenomenon, frequently deployed in the former Soviet Union. When used properly, they can save lives.”

    • How Onscreen Sex Sounds Are Made, From Kissing to Hand Jobs - "We talked to several Foley artists about how they create the sounds behind sex scenes. The explanations are at once more pedestrian and more interesting than you might imagine." There’s a lot of chamois leather involved.

    • Quantum Chimpanzees: Do Watched Primates Change Their Behavior? - ”We can only observe primates that tolerate us following them around… With the advent of new technology to remotely observe animals, we can finally begin to figure out what primates do when there aren’t humans watching their every move.” So much for privacy

    • My Crisps Journey: 10 Packets Of Crisps That Have Stayed With Me - Neil Kulkarni’s reflections on various salty snacks: "Forget the images of friends on sofas, sticking their hands in each others bags (seriously, try this when I'm eating Snaps and my heart will quietly condemn you to hell while my arm karate-chops you in the windpipe). Crisps are eaten alone. It is down to you and the bag in your hand… I don’t seek to offend but I do wish my crisps-journey to be an honest one, even if it does ruffle the feathers of the so-called city fathers. This is crisps we’re talking about. Prevarication or timidity is simply not an option.”


    • How North Korean hackers became the world’s greatest bank robbers - Their Bangladesh bank heist was mentioned last week, but that’s not the only thing the North Koreans are up to: ”Like the CIA, North Korea’s RGB is steeped in clandestine overseas plots: assassinations, abductions and lots of spying. But it is perhaps better understood as a mash-up between the CIA, the KGB and the Yakuza… In recent years, North Korea has launched hacks against more than 100 banks and online exchanges in a total of 30 countries. The RGB appears to have successfully pilfered $650 million. That we know of.”

    • The Miranda Obsession - "She said she was a beautiful, well-connected blonde named Miranda, and she enchanted an astonishing circle of powerful men—Billy Joel, Paul Schrader, Buck Henry, and Quincy Jones among them—with her flirtatious, gossipy phone calls. But who was the woman behind the voice?" The strange story of a mystery woman who befriended numerous stars over the phone in the 1980s.

    • Hippos Poop So Much That Sometimes All the Fish Die - An unexpected source of pollution: ”At night, hippos wander into grasslands to graze. During the day, they return to rivers to keep cool and protect themselves from sunburn. As they wallow, they constantly urinate and defecate. Every day, the 4,000 or so hippos in the Mara deposit about 8,500 kilograms of waste into a stretch of river that’s just 100 kilometers long."

    • Inside the 76477 Space Invaders sound effect chip: digital logic implemented with I2L - Another deep dive into an aged chip by Ken Shirriff: ”The 76477 Complex Sound Generation chip (1978) provided sound effects for Space Invaders1 and many other video games. It was also a popular hobbyist chip, easy to experiment with and available at Radio Shack. I reverse-engineered the chip from die photos and found some interesting digital circuitry inside. Perhaps the most interesting is a shift register based white noise generator, useful for drums, gunshots, explosions and other similar sound effects. The chip also uses a digital mixer to combine the chip's different sound generators. An unusual feature of the chip is that it uses Integrated Injection Logic (I2L), a type of digital logic developed in the 1970s with the goal of high-density, high-speed chips.”

    • Greystone Park Psychiatric Center - Another abandoned psychiatric hospital. Poet Allen Ginsberg described the treatment his mother received here in his famous poem Kaddish:
      ”And back to Greystone where she lay three years—that was the last breakthrough, delivered her to Madhouse again—
      On what wards—I walked there later, oft—old catatonic ladies, gray as cloud or ash or walls—sit crooning over floorspace—Chairs—and the wrinkled hags acreep, accusing—begging my 13-year-old mercy—
      ‘Take me home’—I went alone sometimes looking for the lost Naomi, taking Shock—and I’d say, ‘No, you’re crazy Mama,—Trust the Drs.’—”



    Happy invoicing!

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    Inside the 76477 Space Invaders sound effect chip:
    I'm sure I've said it before but I love these reverse engineering articles. Doesn't mean all that much to me to be fair but still very interesting. I do remember playing with this chip as a kid and making airplane and gunshot circuits in electronics club so added interest. Cool article thanks.
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    Surpassed yourself this week. Many thanks.
    Last edited by Lockhouse; 21st May 2018 at 14:42. Reason: Speling
    ...my quagmire of greed....my cesspit of laziness and unfairness....all I am doing is sticking two fingers up at nurses, doctors and other hard working employed professionals...

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    Last line of the Hippo Poop article.

    It’s not a babbling brook of clear water. It’s a world of dead bodies, putrefying poop, and the occasional wave of suffocation..
    Bit like the Mersey then....
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Bit like the Mersey then....
    When I was a kid in Liverpool in the 1960s, we used to joke that if you fell in the Mersey you wouldn't drown, you'd dissolve

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Last line of the Hippo Poop article.



    Bit like CUK->General the Mersey then....
    Gratis.

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