Blog posts

  • Untangling Ada

    Stephen Wolfram on Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace:

    Ada Lovelace was born 200 years ago today. To some she is a great hero in the history of computing; to others an overestimated minor figure. I've been curious for a long time what the real story is. And in preparation for her bicentennial, I decided to try to solve what for me has always been the "mystery of Ada". It was much harder than I expected. Historians disagree. The personalities in the story are hard to read. The technology is difficult to understand. The whole story is entwined with the customs of 19th-century British high society. And there's a surprising amount of misinformation and misinterpretation out there. But after quite a bit of research - including going to see many original documents - I feel like I've finally gotten to know Ada Lovelace, and gotten a grasp on her story. In some ways it's an ennobling and inspiring story; in some ways it's frustrating and tragic.

    Absolutely fascinating. (Obligatory link to Sydney Padua's wonderful The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.)

    [Via jwz]

  • 15 things

    15 things Thomas Mauchline learnt about Islam and British values being a gay boy living opposite a mosque:

    1. When finding out you have been dating your boyfriend for 5 years your muslim neighbours will be disgusted that you haven’t proposed. You hear "get a civil partnership - for your mother's sake" a lot.

    [Via More Words, Deeper Hole]

  • Sitting in the Glass House

    Who is sitting in the Glass House?:

    Online privacy is not an easy concept to explain to the majority of Internet users due to its abstract often near-invisible nature.


    Mozilla's Glass House experiment in Hamburg, Germany was an attempt to link privacy online with those at home.

    The organization invited unsuspecting travelers from around the world to spend a night in a specially prepared apartment. Once the couples settled in and used the publicly displayed WiFi password to  connect their devices to the Internet, all walls of the apartment were removed.

    [Via MetaFilter]

  • I think I just drove into a Philip K Dick story

    "I think i just drove into a Philip K Dick story:

  • Trapped in Tokyo

    These photos are why I'm trapped in Tokyo forever now:

    Tokyo, holy excrements from small undefined creatures! We're there. First place we had on our list was Nakagin Tower.

    Spending two whole days there, we finally learned the dread and discomfort of living in a capsule hotel. It was wonderful, apart from the occasional shakeup and earthquake panic you'd feel when your neighbour decides to move his capsule four floors up, at 5 AM. He was courteous enough to leave a box of chocolate with an apology to his neighbouring capsules.


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