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

    The floodwaters should now be receding, at least temporarily, so wring out your laptop and get reading:

    • The Big Bitcoin Heist - ”With its cheap geothermal energy and low crime rate, Iceland has become the world’s leading miner of digital currency. Then the crypto-crooks showed up.” The story behind a spate of thefts of entire Bitcoin farms in Iceland.

    • Earth’s core too hot ‘n heavy for oxygen, but may have rusty coating - ”Our biosphere owes a great deal to a pool of molten iron at the core of our planet. Yet the core presents something of a puzzle to us… No one wants to visit the core. That leaves us with computer models.” The full paper on which this article is based is in Physical Review, FeO Content of Earth’s Liquid Core, should you like rather gnarly-looking equations

    • Stuck in a Polish nuclear weapon bunker, cannibal wood ants found the way home - Cannibal ants! Nuclear bunker! Plenty of food for 1950s sci-fi films here; even bats get a look-in ”The ants were discovered in 2013 thanks to a yearly campaign set to count hibernating bats in the same bunker… At that time, the scientists estimated the presence of at least several hundred thousand workers, arguably close to a million. The insects ended up in this situation as a result of large numbers of wood ants continuously falling down a ventilation pipe to never return to their nest on top of the bunker.” Again, the relevant publications have more for you: Living beyond the limits of survival: wood ants trapped in a gigantic pitfall and Ants trapped for years in an old bunker; survival by cannibalism and eventual escape.

    • Everything Happens So Much - The corrosive effects of breakfast television: ”One of the first jobs I had in TV was for a satirical news program, watching all of the breakfast shows and taking notes… After three months of this, something not particularly surprising happened and I had a discrete, quiet, but robust mental breakdown. The problem, I remember explaining to my wife, was that this media was simply not designed to be ingested in this way.”

    • Dog Vision - If you want to see how a dog sees, András Péter has you covered. Upload a photo, and the "Process" button will convert it to a dog's view. Good job they have noses. This is the human-v-dog view of Forton Services on the M6 in the 1960s:


    • The ugly, gory, bloody secret life of NHL dentists - Ice hockey players suffer a lot of injuries, including to their mouths; if you're of a sensitive disposition when it comes to dental matters, you might want to skip this one: ”When the puck finally came to rest, it was almost entirely inside Craig MacDonald's mouth… an errant, elevated slap shot that instantly cleaved a grisly, bloody and impossibly wide swath of carnage through MacDonald's lips, gums and tongue before reducing nine of his teeth to dust. He spat out the 6 ounces of vulcanized frozen black rubber like it was a rotten MoonPie to reveal a fractured lower gum line and his half-cleaved tongue, hanging by a thread.”

    • Danish Silent Film - ”From around 1910, the Danish film industry was a world leader, both commercially and artistically, with Nordisk Films Kompagni (now Nordisk Film) at the forefront… Now the Danish Film Institute has launched stumfilm.dk, where everyone can follow the digitisation of more than 400 works from the 1897–1928 period. As the films are digitised, they will be streamed on the site, accompanied by posters, photos, thematic articles, scripts and contemporary reviews.” N.B. one of the films I started watching had the caption cards in Dutch, but don't worry: they'd put on subtitles translating them. Into Danish

    • Fantastic False Cognates - Ryan Starkey on words that seem to have the same root, but don’t: ”Who would have guessed that the English words ‘island’ and ‘isle’ aren’t related? But they aren’t! They come from totally different origins, and the similarity in the way they sound is purely coincidental. The world of words is full of strange coincidences like this.”

    • IBM, sonic delay lines, and the history of the 80×24 display - Ken Shirriff investigates why our displays are the size they are: ”In 1971, IBM introduced a terminal with an 80×24 display (the 3270) and it soon became the best-selling terminal, forcing competing terminals to match its 80×24 size. The display for the IBM PC added one more line to its screen, making the 80×25 size standard in the PC world… In this blog post, I'll discuss this history in detail, including some other systems that played key roles.”

    • Incredible Photographs of Shipwrecks (1872 – 1997) - ”The Gibson family’s photographs of shipwrecks were taken in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Four generations of the Gibson family (1872 to 1997) photographed over 200 wrecks along the coasts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in south England.” This is French trawler Jeanne Gougy, lost off Land’s End in 1962:



    Happy invoicing!
    Last edited by NickFitz; 11th November 2019 at 12:33. Reason: Stray colons

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    Fantastic False Cognates - Ryan Starkey on words that seem to have the same root, but don’t: ”Who would have guessed that the English words ‘island’ and ‘isle’ aren’t related? But they aren’t! They come from totally different origins, and the similarity in the way they sound is purely coincidental. The world of words is full of strange coincidences like this.”
    Like Liver in Liverpool and Liver in Liver building are different roots. Hence different pronunciation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    The floodwaters should now be receding, at least temporarily, so wring out your laptop and get reading:

    • IBM, sonic delay lines, and the history of the 80×24 display - Ken Shirriff investigates why our displays are the size they are: ”In 1971, IBM introduced a terminal with an 80×24 display (the 3270) and it soon became the best-selling terminal, forcing competing terminals to match its 80×24 size. The display for the IBM PC added one more line to its screen, making the 80×25 size standard in the PC world… In this blog post, I'll discuss this history in detail, including some other systems that played key roles.”


    Happy invoicing!
    The Hazeltine 2000 terminals connected to the GA16-220 in Siliconix were 74 x 27 which made their replacement a bit inneresting in an awkward sort of way.

    After all, who needs lower case anyway?
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorStrangelove View Post
    The Hazeltine 2000 terminals connected to the GA16-220 in Siliconix were 74 x 27 which made their replacement a bit inneresting in an awkward sort of way.

    After all, who needs lower case anyway?
    The Acorn Atom displayed lowercase characters in inverse video uppercase, which was quite a common thing at the time. Something to do with the MC6847, probably.

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    The 2000 uses core memory so I suppose if I was incautious enough to string a mains supply down to the shed (thanks to the sparkies chopping off the existing cable down there), I could see if the one terminal still says the "MTS Control C" prompt that I remember so well.

    The dear dead days of line editors: "@1/5,P" to print the first five lines of the file.

    Stone me, 7 years of that before it was scrapped in 1986/7.

    Hazeltine 2000 - Wikipedia

    $3k in 1970: $18k in 2018 $.

    The ones we had were 2nd hand.

    Odd that.

    Electronic Brokers were still selling them in 1980.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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    Cheers for the graphic content warning on the dental article

    Love the dog vision link !

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    So basically dogs are like Brexiters. Myopic and stuck in the 1960's

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