Posted on July 23, 2008.
I went to a talk by Cory Doctorow last night on the Information Economy, and it was incredibly interesting. He made a number of points that, while not terribly complex, I'd not heard presented in such a succinct manner before. For example, he noted that while the internet is very good at being a large copying machine, it's actually even better at reducing overhead and costs for getting people together to do superhuman (in the literal sense) stuff. Indeed, Boing Boing has recently had to hire someone to do the stuff that needs co-ordinating, as they're so bad at it, simply because they're so streamlined at stuff that doesn't need co-ordinating.
He also used the phrase "Paris Hilton's genitals have joined the undead and will roam the Earth forever" - or in less exciting terms (if indeed exciting is the right term to use when discussing anything related to Paris Hilton's genitals. I have my doubts.), once the internet knows something, it doesn't forget it if it is sufficiently interesting. There's going to be a video of the talk going up, allegedly, and I may well watch it again should it appear as promised.
I ran across one of the new coins for the first time today; a penny. I'm going to keep hold of it until I get one of each, so I can make the coat of arms. It's very impressive the amount of detail they have on them - the pictures don't really do it justice. I do wonder how attractive they'll be once this detail has worn off after a few years, though - but having said that, it's not really something we concern ourselves with regarding the current coinage.
I've run across quines before (programs that print their source code), but I ran across polyglots for the first time the other day. These are programs that compile to do the same thing in multiple languages. This lead me to their inevitable unholy spawn: polyglot quines. Or quine polyglots, if you prefer. The mind boggles at how you would even go about beginning to come up with such a program.
One of the new pages is present in its prototypical stages - Einstein Says, in the sidebar. There's a description of what it is there, and thanks to Flickr and the phpFlickr library, it's going to be dead easy to keep updated.
Lastly, I learned something today in the lab. There are two types of BNC connectors - short ones, and long ones. Confusing the two, especially having finished making your cables, is likely to cause intense frustration.