Being autistic

A lot of the things David describes in this post resonate with me. As far as I’ve been able to figure out so far, the things my mind is best at are details and systems. It‘s part of what makes me a good programmer: I can hold a lot of detail in my head about how a system fits together, I can mess around with it more easily than most people, and I can pick up on details other people might miss, such as potential bugs....

February 2, 2024

Mars in 4K

The footage, captured directly by NASA’s Mars rovers - Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance - unveils the red planet’s intricate details. These rovers, acting as robotic geologists, have traversed varied terrains, from ancient lake beds to towering mountains, uncovering Mars’ complex geological history. As viewers enjoy these images, they will notice informal place names assigned by NASA’s team, providing context to the Martian features observed. Each rover’s unique journey is highlighted, showcasing their contributions to Martian exploration....

January 31, 2024

Digital books wear out faster than physical books

Brewster Kahle, at The Internet Archive Blogs: Ever try to read a physical book passed down in your family from 100 years ago? Probably worked well. Ever try reading an ebook you paid for 10 years ago? Probably a different experience. From the leasing business model of mega a publishers to physical device evolution to format obsolescence, digital books are fragile and threatened. […] Our paper books have lasted hundreds of years on our shelves and are still readable....

January 30, 2024

Dungeons and Dragons turns 50 today

Dungeons & Dragons played an outsize role in popularizing fantasy literature, ideas, and themes, as well as inspiring many of its devotees to create their own. Roleplaying, as a formal activity, owes nearly its entire existence to the phenomenal success of D&D. Even more remarkable is the extent to which the computer and video game industry, which is bigger and more profitable than the music and movie industries combined, owes a huge debt to the example set by D&D....

January 26, 2024

My grandpa was a Nazi

Powerful and cautionary story. I wondered for many years, how all of this could have happened. How people like my grandpa turned into monsters and people around him watched or turned into monsters with him. The last years made this very clear. More here.

January 21, 2024

Linus Torvalds on the impact of LLMs and AI on programming

I think I like his take on the topic.

January 21, 2024

NTS Radio

NTS Radio is a family of like-minded and passionate individuals, dedicated to supporting exciting music and culture through online radio and events. NTS uncovers the best of the musical past, celebrates the present and cultivates the future of the underground music scene, and prides itself on being open-minded and experimental. (source) I’m certainly a latecomer, but NTS Radio is the bomb. I have not opened Spotify (whose algorithm I find dull and repetitive) in the last week, not even once....

January 13, 2024

The strage story of the grave of Copernicus

Upon his death in 1543 in Frombork, Poland, Copernicus was buried in the local cathedral. Over the subsequent centuries, the location of his grave was lost to history. There were several unsuccessful attempts to locate Copernicus’s remains, dating as far back as the 16th and 17th centuries. Another failed attempt was made by the French emperor Napoleon after the 1807 Battle of Eylau. Napoleon held Copernicus in high regard as a polymath, mathematician and astronomer....

January 10, 2024

pg_rman: a backup and restore management tool for PostgreSQL

The goal of the pg_rman project is to provide a method for online backup and PITR that is as easy as pg_dump. Also, it maintains a backup catalog per database cluster. Users can maintain old backups including archive logs with one command. We’ve always been doing our Postgres backups the rudimentary way via pg_dumpall, which works and is purely logical (one can restore across different Postgres versions), but pg_rman maintains a catalog and has point-in-time recovery....

January 9, 2024

Some hints about what the next year of AI looks like

Professor Ethan Mollick’s Signs and Portents analyzes what AI has achieved, what the effects have been so far, and what we might expect in 2024. To ground ourselves, we can start with two quotes that should inform any estimates about the future. The first is Amara’s Law: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” Social change is slower than technological change....

January 7, 2024