Skip to main content

Reading List, June 2017

  1. Eric Diaz, The oral history of Star Trek: TNG’s best episode: “The Inner Light”, in Nerdist, 31 May 2017. [Online]:

    ‘The Inner Light’ is probably the best Star Trek: TNG episode, and this is a very interesting history on how the episode was conceived and how it made it to its final form. I did not know that we could have had a sequel to this episode. I must say that it was strange that ‘The Inner Light’ was never referenced again except for one small passing reference.

  2. Robert Graham, How The Intercept outed Reality Winner, in Errata Security, 5 June 2017. [Online]:

    All printers insert invisible dots in files that are printed that can identify the model and serial number of the printer as well as the time a document was printed. Just putting this out there, governments mandate printer companies to insert code that tracks the documents we print. Next time you buy a printer, verify that it does not print tracking dots by visiting this link by the EFF.

  3. the grugq, Real talk on reality, in Medium, 9 June 2017. [Online]:

    Perhaps invisible dots had nothing to do with the case. A list of opsec failures that led the DOJ to arrest a leaker.

  4. Chris Lee, Wibbly-wobbly magnetic fusion stuff: The return of the stellarator, in Ars Technica, 9 June 2017. [Online]:

    Possibly the future of devices to contain plasma for nuclear fusion. Reading this article tells me just how far we’ve come, and how much further we have to go.

  5. Peter Bright, According to statistics, programming with spaces instead of tabs makes you richer, in Ars Technica, 15 June 2017. [Online]:

    I usually don’t have opinions about programming style, but I do have a very special hatred in my heart for people who indent C/C++ code using spaces. If you’re one of those evil people, from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.

    This article is short and funny. You could read it in thirty seconds, but spend the next hour laughing.

  6. Arnab Ray, When did we lose the game?, in Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind, 18 June 2017. [Online]:

    Arnab makes a point here about why we should not care about the outcome of a cricket match.

    Because they know, or should, that their pride as a people is not defined or determined by the outcome of a game.

  7. Sidin Vadukut, How to consume news, in Livemint, 26 June 2017. [Online]:

    This is a great article that I would strongly recommend you read. It’s a how-to on maintaining sanity through the twenty-four hour news cycle where non-news becomes news, and the amount of information is overwhelming and designed to engage emotionally rather than logically.

    I used to recommend political podcasts such as “Pod Save America” to my friends. I don’t any longer, mainly because I cannot stand the intense negativity of the reactions to the news. The world hasn’t ended, and probably won’t for the next few years. Until then, our priorities should be to more immediate tasks rather than get outraged about every latest tweet or headline.

    Perhaps the best thing that has happened over the last few weeks is that I’ve found myself getting inured to the news.

  8. Nick Heath, Hacking the Nazis: The secret story of the women who broke Hitler’s codes, in TechRepublic, 26 March 2015. [Online]:

    Something cheerful to end the list. This is a fascinating read on how codebreakers cracked the Enigma code, on the utter secrecy they lived in, and about Tommy Flowers, the unacknowledged British Postal Worker who developed a key piece of hardware – the shift register – that enabled the first electromechanical computers to run. What’s fascinating is that the women who worked on the very first computer and helped the Allied forces win the war went on to their very ordinary lives, sometimes not touching another computer until the present decade.

    This is a longish read, but worth your time.

Popular posts from this blog

Progressive Snapshot: Is it worth it?

I turned 25 last year, which in the highly mathematical and calculating eyes of the US insurance industry meant that I had suddenly matured into a much more responsible driver than I was at 24 years and 364 days of age. As a result, I expected my insurance rates to go down. Imagine my surprise when my insurance renewal notice from GEICO actually quoted a $50 increase in my insurance rates. To me, this was a clear signal that it was time to switch companies.Typically, I score really high on brand loyalty. I tend to stick with a brand for as long as possible, unless they really mess up. This qualified as a major mess up. As a result, I started shopping for insurance quotes.Two companies that quoted me significantly lower rates (30%–40% lower) were Progressive and Allstate. Both had an optional programme that could give me further discounts based on my consenting to the companies tracking my driving habits. Now, I am a careful driver – I hardly ever accelerate hard. I hate using the brak…

Cornell Graduate Students United: At What Cost?

On Monday and Tuesday, we graduate students at Cornell will be voting on whether or not we want to unionise. Actually, scratch that, only graduate students who hold a TA, RA, or GRA appointment can unionise.This is a shitty arrangement, and I will be voting against it.For those of you who are not aware of how graduate school works at Cornell, you could be on one of many appointments.FellowshipA graduate student on a fellowship gets a stipend and tuition paid without associated teaching or research opportunities. Graduate students on a fellowship typically work towards their own theses, but will be excluded from the unionGraduate research assistantshipsA GRA gives a graduate student stipend and tuition without teaching responsibilities. However, this money comes out of a specific project grant, and the students typically work on their own theses. Students on GRAs magically qualify to join the union, whereas there is virtually no difference between a GRA and a fellowship for the most pa…

Reading List, April 2017

Adam Carroll, When money isn’t real: The $10,000 experiment, in TEDxLondonBusinessSchool, 9 July 2015. [Online]: Carroll presents an interesting point – we have abstracted away money through the use of a number of instruments, such as credit and debit cards, NFC payment systems on our phones, and in-app purchases, when we don’t realise how much we are actually spending. Carroll spends some time showing how his kids, aged 7–11 played monopoly differently when they were playing with real money. He goes on to lay his premise, that financial literacy must be taught to children at a young age, when they should be allowed to fail and learn from their failures at a small scale, not at the hundreds of thousands of dollars when they are in student loan debt and just out of college.Carroll’s talk hit a lot of notes with my own experiences with money, and I’m sure that it would resonate with your experiences as well.Brett Scott, If plastic replaces cash, much tha…