Category Archives: digital

Vocoder Duet

You can think of them as the Fry and Laurie of malevolent synthetic intelligences that are going to murder you. In a fortuitous coincidence, this video – a collection of communications from SHODAN, antagonist of the classic System Shock 2, and this video, of GlaDOS‘ spoken dialogue from the first Portal, … are both about […]

A Glass Half Broken

A friend of mine has called me a glass-half-broken kind of guy. My increasingly venerable Nokia N9 has been getting squirrelly for a few months, and since it finally decided its battery was getting on in years it was time for a new phone. I’m going to miss it a lot. The hardware was just […]

Citation Needed

I may revisit this later. Consider this a late draft. I’m calling this done. “Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration.” — Stan Kelly-Bootle Sometimes somebody says something to me, like a whisper of a hint of an echo of something half-forgotten, and […]

Algorithmically Marginalized

I wouldn’t have thought that mathematics or signal processing would have a cultural bent, but I just sat through a conference call where everyone was reasonably clear except for one guy, with a pronounced central-African accent, whose voice was getting audibly butchered by the noise cancellation algorithm on the line. The beginning of every sentence, […]

Crypto Is Not A Panacea

I was going to write this to an internal mailing list, following this week’s PRISM excitement, but I’ve decided to put it here instead. It was written (and cribbed from other stuff I’ve written elsewhere) in response to an argument that encrypting everything would somehow solve a scary-sounding though imprecisely-specified problem, a claim you may […]

How Does Anyone Work In These Conditions

A little while ago, the espresso machine in our office broke down. This doomsday scenario is, and I say this without the least bit of hyperbole, the most catastrophically dire situation that can exist in this or any other possible universe. If the intertubes felt slow for you the last few weeks, that’s probably why. […]

Lightweight Notepad In A Bookmark

So, this is a cute trick that’s been making the rounds: In Firefox, right-click your bookmarks bar and pick “new bookmark”. Call it “Quick Notepad”, and in the Location box, put: data:text/html,<html contenteditable> and now when you click on that bookmark, your browser window will basically become Notepad, a very light text editor. File -> […]

All Scrollbars Are Fleeting

“For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph – a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking […]

Raising A Revolution

I had a long conversation with the very excellent people of Samantha Blackmon’s “Not Your Mama’s Gamer” podcast the other day; I get rolling at around the half-hour mark. They’re quite flattering about the whole thing; we talk a lot about video games and parenting, and I had a great time doing it. One of […]

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service

If you own a public establishment, consider putting one of these near the door. The keynote file it comes from is right here, under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license, and you’re welcome to use it as often as you feel is necessary.