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

    Time for you to settle down with a sausage and bacon cob and do some reading, unless you have a meeting later, in which case you can read this lot then

    • Life Without the Tech Giants - ”Reporter Kashmir Hill spent six weeks blocking Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple from getting her money, data, and attention, using a custom-built VPN. Here’s what happened.” It's interesting to see all the ways they intertwine with daily life that you'd never think of.

    • Computational Landscape Architecture - Geoff Manaugh considers the effect of the landscape on the technologies on which we depend: ”Parts of North America are heavily forested enough that the landscape itself has a negative effect on signal performance, including domestic and regional WiFi… You can imagine, for example, vindictive foreign governments purposefully surrounding an American embassy with trees unpermissive of signal propagation.”

    • Into the dark - A vivid, detailed account of the complex rescue operation in Tham Luang cave last year: ”Strength is useless. Skill is useless. Only by emptying his lungs can he flatten his body enough to move an inch backwards. Then another inch. Then another. Breathe out, inch back. Breathe out, inch back. Finally he’s free. Ben is in this cave because of his experience. His experience tells him no amount of experience can beat this cave.”


    • The Double Life of Black Holes - Sabine Hossenfelder on real versus mathematical black holes: ”Astrophysical black holes sit in galactic centers, emit jets of hot plasma, and on occasion swallow stars… Mathematical black holes, on the other hand, serve as the focus of physicists’ thought experiments. They are not formed from collapsing stars, they have existed forever, and they sit in an empty universe.”

    • Solving the mystery of Serengeti's vanishing wild dogs - ”One of the park's lesser-known predators is the African wild dog, Lycaon pictus… In 1991, the dogs simply disappeared from the Serengeti plains, and a huge scientific debate ensued. Why did the wild dogs in the park suddenly go extinct?” New research suggests a reason.

    • 1969 & 70 - Bell Labs - Larry Luckham took photos of his colleagues at work in a Bell Labs data center in Oakland, CA around 1969: ”In those days all of the computer operaations staff were female.”


    • The Wild Experiment That Showed Evolution in Real Time - ”In the fall of 2010, Rowan Barrett was stuck. He needed a piece of land, one with plenty of mice, and after days of futile searching, he found himself at a motel bar in Valentine, Nebraska, doing what people do at bars: telling a total stranger about his problems.” And as a result, he and his colleagues were able to carry out an experiment that allowed them to track survival of the fittest in action down to the genetic level as it happened.

    • Elemental haiku - ”A review of the Periodic Table composed of 119 science haiku, one for each element, plus a closing haiku for element 119 (not yet synthesized). The haiku encompass astronomy, biology, chemistry, history, physics, and a bit of whimsical flair. Click or hover over an element on the Periodic Table to read the haiku.”

    • Inside the Apollo Guidance Computer's core memory - Ken Shirriff is now working on restoring an Apollo Guidance Computer. Here, he looks its massive (in the physical sense) 2K words (15 bits + parity per word) of core: ”Core memory was built from tiny ferrite rings called cores, storing one bit in each core. Cores were arranged in a grid or plane, as in the highly-magnified picture below. Each plane stored one bit of a word, so a 16-bit computer would use a stack of 16 core planes. Each core typically had 4 wires passing through it: X and Y wires in a grid to select the core, a diagonal sense line through all the cores for reading, and a horizontal inhibit line for writing.” Bonus old hardware link from the Living Computers Museum, as it's Monday: this Xerox ALTO stopped working, and it turned out the solder had vanished from a number of joints because of electro-migration: Xerox ALTO – Interesting Issue.

    • The Watercolour World - Before photography became easy, travellers would paint watercolours of places they visited. This site allows you to search the world and see what they painted: ”We are creating a free online database of documentary watercolours painted before 1900. For the first time, you can explore these fascinating visual records on a world map, search for topics that are important to you, and compare watercolours from multiple collections in one place.” This mid-to-late 19th century painting of the Great Sphinx at Giza by Henry Stanier is held at the Wellcome Library:



    Happy invoicing!

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    Time for you to settle down with a sausage and bacon cob
    A what??
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    A what??
    It’s EastMidlandsish for a crusty bread roll

    Soft bread rolls are called “baps”

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    It’s EastMidlandsish for a crusty bread roll

    Soft bread rolls are called “baps”
    Hmmm. The lady next to me is just tucking in to two soft bread rolls and I complimented her on her pair of nice firm baps and she looks less than impressed...
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    Life without tech giants - only goes up to week 4 of 6. I will have to return.

    A great set this week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Hmmm. The lady next to me is just tucking in to two soft bread rolls and I complimented her on her pair of nice firm baps and she looks less than impressed...
    You wait until your good wife finds out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMirror View Post
    Life without tech giants - only goes up to week 4 of 6. I will have to return.
    Apologies - I meant to say it was ongoing, but I forgot

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMirror View Post
    You wait until your good wife finds out.
    The bad one already knows.
    "Being nice costs nothing and sometimes gets you extra bacon" - Pondlife.

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