Link list

‘Happy Hanukkah from space,’ Jessica Meir says wearing menorah socks [The Jerusalem Post] When you’re an astronaut, you can spell "Hanukkah." I’m still working on that.


Hardcore History 64 – Supernova in the East III [Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History]
The Japanese only had a slim chance of winning the war when they struck at Pearl Harbor. But they had a couple of things going for them, including racism that led Americans to grossly underestimate the Japanese and go to battle unprepared.

This is Part III of Dan Carlin’s outstanding history of World War II in the Pacific. It’s nearly five hours long and always interesting. Carlin is like the most fascinating history professor you ever had in college, he’s spontaneous, articulate and well-informed. He can talk about World War II and work in references to ancient Sumer and Star Trek and make it all work. I feel a lot smarter after having to listened to Carlin for years.


FOSS Social [Pragmatic] Dan Chartier and John Chidgey discuss open source and federated alternatives to the big monolithic social networks.


Into the Abyss James David Nicoll re-reads Robert A. Heinlein’s "Starship Troopers:" "It is probably just as well that Heinlein never fathered children because the more he expounds on how to raise kids, the more I am convinced that it would have been a terrible thing to be Heinlein’s kid. And given what he says about animals, probably not much better to be his dog."


School apologizes after parents complain that "Santa Goes Green" Christmas concert was anti-oil [David Pescovitz at Boing Boing] I was prepared to mock these parents but these are people concerned about losing their jobs in a troubled industry. Their concerns are legitimate.

Though it could all be astroturfed in which case fuck those guys.


Cox piracy ruling could open Pandora’s Box for US telcos Cox Communications has found itself on the wrong side of a $1 billion check after a court ruled it did not do enough to prevent illegal download of content across its network. [Jamie Davies, Telecoms.com]


F5’s $1B Shape Security Acquisition: What It Means for SPs [Me, Light Reading] F5’s $1B Shape acquisition has ramifications for service provider security and managed services.


Jefferson Airplane Electrifies Hunter Audience [NYtimes] Wonderful, well-written article about an appearance by the band in 1967. My cousin was there and asked me if I could send her the article. From TimesMachine. Subscription required.


The Paranoia of Early Radio Listeners, 1932 [wilwheaton.tumblr.com]


Ian Elsner & His Stick of Gum PC [Mac Power Users] Ian Elsner creates interactive exhibits for museums using an Intel Compute Stick – a PC running Windows, the size of a stick of gum — connected to an iPad Pro used as an external display. He talks about the art of creating interactive museum exhibits, including a flying bird simulator, and using Apple and other technology.


The Less People Know About Us [Criminal] Axton Betz-Hamilton’s mother raised her to believe that nobody outside the immediate family could be trusted. When Axton was an adult, she learned her mother had been leading multiple lives in secret, and betraying her own family.

As a child, Betz-Hamilton was the victim of identity theft, which ruined her credit rating into adulthood. As an adult she learned that her mother was the thief. She’s now a financial counselor who specializes in identity theft.


Innocent farmboys, spoiled heiresses and lovable rogues James D Nicoll re-reads Robert A. Heinlein’s "Starman Jones."

When I re-read this novel, I imagine the lovable rogue Sam played by Harrison Ford. I can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

Nicoll suggests Peter Riegert, who I love, and could do it well I suppose. But Harrison Ford is the guy.


Future of coffee ordering? Testing Starbucks’ new pickup-only store in New York City [GeekWire] Starbucks is trying out a new kind of store in New York’s Penn Station; all you can do there is pick up an order you made on the app. Can’t sit, can’t order at the counter. Just pick up an order you made on the Starbucks app.

I almost never use Starbucks at home in San Diego, but I hit it multiple times a day when I travel. I never use the app, though. I really should.


What We Learned About the Technology That Times Journalists Use [The New York Times] The Times has a long-running series about the tech its reporters use; it summarizes its findings. "The most tech-enthused journalists were not tech reporters." Reporters who work in politics and investigations need to pore over thousands of pages of documents or inspect website code. Photographers have embraced drones. Tech journalists, on the other hand, are cautious about adopting new tech.


The researcher whose rats predicted the Internet  [Retropod] Researcher John Calhoun in the 1960s built a paradise for rats to study how populations grow and adapt, only to watch the rats turn it into rodent hell. His experiments were influential on sociology and the Internet today.


When Big Tech calls 911 [Reset] Tesla and Facebook have built sprawling facilities that tax the emergency services of the small communities where they’re located. Their relationships with those communities are very different.


The researcher who loved rats and fueled our doomsday fears [Fredrick Kunkle/The Washington Post]

John B. Calhoun loved rats. He designed elaborate colonies for the creatures that became a kind of paradise, free of predators and disease, with an unlimited supply of food.

But paradise soon became a crowded hell, and that’s why his work half a century ago has had such a profound impact on our understanding of humans .


Here’s Anthony Bourdain’s Foreword to Marilyn Hagerty’s Book ‘Grand Forks’ [Eater] "[Marilyn] Hagerty became a household name in 2012 when her positive review of an Olive Garden in Grand Forks, North Dakota, became a viral internet phenomenon: Readers embraced the octogenarian’s sincerely fawning review of the chain restaurant, which she dubbed ‘the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks.’"


Thank Heaven for Little Girls Robert A. Heinlein’s 1957 time travel novel "The Door Into Summer" has a lot going for it but the Ricky subplot is OMGWTF???!!!!! James Nicoll re-reads the book.


Not Ready For The Darkness "To Your Scattered Bodies Go," by Philip Jose Farmer, is the first volume of the multi-book Riverworld series. I read all five and should have stopped at three. Farmer was lousy at endings. But those first three books were wonderful.

The second, "The Fabulous Riverboat," featured Mark Twain as a character, and made me a lifelong Twainiac. I particularly love Twain’s memoirs, "Life on the Mississippi," "Roughing It," and the autobiography.

James D Nicoll re-reads the first book.

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