Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Links from September

I'm going to be starting to collect links and post them every month.  I've only been collecting these for a couple of weeks, so there'll probably be more next month.

Calvin and Muad'Dib, quotes from Dune as illustrated by Calvin and Hobbs.  It's pretty hilarious.

Guardians of the Galaxy as a short tabletop campaign.  I just discovered Max Gladstone's blog (thanks Brian) and I've been enjoying it.  He also wrote a book that was very good.  Oh, and apparently Gostbusters is the best comedy ever made about the limits of the Lovecraftian worldview.

I've always thought that augmented reality is a much cooler idea than virtual reality, and it looks like people are continuing to work on making the dream a reality.

India's Mar's mission arrived and is in a stable orbit.  This was impressive both because they managed to succeed on the first try unlike certain other space agencies and also because it cost of the movie Gravity.  I thought the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle used to launch it was pretty nifty too.  For those of you who dont' play Kerbal Space Program, solid rockets are cheap and effective but once you light them they stay on at full power until they run out of fuel.  Liquid fuel rockets are trickier and more expensive, but you can throttle them and turn them off early.  Most space missions have used several liquid stages with maybe a few solid rocket boosters at the very beginning to get things going.  What the PSLV did, however, was to alternate solid and liquid stages, doing a lot of work with solid stages but still having the control of liquid stages in between to correct any problems with the trajectory that came up while they couldn't control the throttle.  A pretty clever idea.

They're making a Tetris movie?  And no, I don't mean the entertaining youtube Soviet history to the tune of Tetris.

Horribly Technical Links

Hopefully you already heard about this but there was a pretty bad bug in bash.  UNIX is very old and there's a lot of very impressive software that's been made for it, but this sort of thing makes you wonder if it would be better to just start over from scratch every few decades.

The Mill folks have new video out on their approach to pipelining loops.  It's very clever, as all their stuff is.

And speaking of computer architecture, here's pretty interesting paper on an idea for multipass execution as an alternative to the more expensive out of order execution we do nowadays to keep our computers running fast despite the continual risk they run of trying to grab some particular piece of memory and finding that they have to wait to fetch it all the way from RAM.

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