The Intellectual Wilderness There is nothing more useless than doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

2019.09.11 12:09

H-IIB No.8: Fire on the launch pad

Filed under: Space — Tags: , , , , , — zxq9 @ 12:09

There was a fire on the launch pad today during the final preparation for launch of MHI’s H-IIB No.8, sending HTV-8 to the International Space Station.

Not much is known about the cause yet, but the really amazing thing is that the rocket didn’t blow up, safety systems all worked as designed, and they will get a chance to try again soon.

A (very poor) screen capture from a printout given at the post-cancellation debriefing showing the location of the fire relative to the rocket.

Video of the launch attempt (indexed just before the fire becomes visible):

Press conference (Japanese language only — if you have any questions ask in comments and I can translate):

2019.08.3 05:20

Building Erlang 22.0 on Debian/Ubuntu

Filed under: Computing,Science & Tech — Tags: , , — zxq9 @ 05:20

Every time I switch to a new system and have to build a new release of Erlang with kerl I sit and scratch my head to remember which dependencies are required. Once you’re set up or have a prep script it is just too easy to forget which thing is needed for what over the next few years.

Here is my list of pre-build package installs on Ubuntu 18.04 — note that they are in three groups instead of just being a single long apt install command (why apt couldn’t manage to install these all at once is beyond me…):

Group1:

  • gcc
  • curl

Group2:

  • g++
  • dpkg-dev

Group 3:

  • build-essential
  • automake
  • autoconf
  • libncurses5-dev
  • libssl-dev
  • flex
  • xsltproc
  • libwxgtk3.0-dev

2019.07.23 08:56

Erlang: R22.0 doc Mirror Updated

Filed under: Computing — Tags: , , , , , — zxq9 @ 08:56

The Erlang doc mirror linked here has been updated to include the R22.0 docs.

Note that some of the internal links and labels say “ERTS-10.4” and “Version 10.4” instead of “ERTS-11.0” and “Version 11.0”. This is an error. The docs refer to ERTS 11.0 but that detail seems to not have been updated when these docs were generated (whoops!). I was looking at fixing that throughout the docs and links, but it turns out to be a lot more complicated than I’m willing to deal with because of the number of references that include the string “10.4” (and some of them are in PDFs and other things more annoying to update than HTML pages). When the R22.1 docs come out that will probably be fixed and I’ll update to avoid confusion in the distant future.

2019.06.26 09:40

Before the Fall

Filed under: Society — Tags: , , , , — zxq9 @ 09:40

Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE)

2019.06.22 23:20

Social Prophecy

If you want to feel creeped out in 2019…

Backstory setting for the Cyberpunk 2020 game rulebook Neo Tribes: The Nomads of North America, published in 1994.
Sagan nailed it in The Demon Haunted World.

Mojibake3

Filed under: Uncategorized — zxq9 @ 14:29

After updating the MySQL tables to a UTF8 multibyte encoding…

どうなるかな?

Hopefully that isn’t just a bunch of nonsense.

UPDATE:

WOW! Now things work like they are supposed to!
Unfortunately, however, it seems that all of my previous posts that used UTF-8 are lost… and I have no idea how to recover them. That’s super disappointing.

DDoS

Filed under: Society — Tags: , , , , — zxq9 @ 04:37

My site has been under sustained attack for the last week.
I don’t really care, I just think it is silly.

The main question that has been floating through my mind is, strangely, “When did ‘pwned’ revert back to ‘owned’ for the sake of normies?”

2019.06.20 22:39

Perspective

Filed under: Science & Tech — Tags: , , , , — zxq9 @ 22:39

SpaceX has made rocket booster landings so routine they are almost boring for anyone other than a space tech geek (but I’m a space tech geek, so there’s that). Blue Origin has a full-blown lunar cargo and machinery ferrying service in the works. The first 60 Starlink satellites have already launched. Acoustic simulation is now essentially a solved problem. VR latencies are finally being measured in single milliseconds. AMD is rapidly approaching its goal of having 1000+ cores available on the consumer end of computing devices.

These aren’t prospective projects, they are in development now and most of the underlying tech already works now. It is an absolutely amazing time to be alive.

And yet today I saw a picture of a US Navy destroyer mounted completely dry, high above the water, on a specialized cargoship… (a “wet” drydock? I have no idea what this is even called) and in spite of all the amazing things going on elsewhere in technology I am totally stunned at this. I’m sure it is just a normal thing for the operators of such craft to see, but wow that’s amazing:

ZOMG!

Ad Saturation

Filed under: Computing,Society — Tags: , , , , — zxq9 @ 15:28

The greatest benefit of sharing an IP address with a large number of other people all browsing the same hundred or so websites at the same time is ad saturation. Adsearch auctions still have no idea how to account for a large number of hits that are clearly human, but also trigger frequency protections — so you just see no ads after a while. Nice. (Incidentally, nobody in the world has any clear idea how to distinguish robots from humans, so… have fun with that if your business model depends on any aspect of this.)

A second benefit is a super fast, constantly refreshed, broadly populated DNS cache on the local network.

You don’t have time to play games

Filed under: Games,Science & Tech,Society — Tags: , , , , — zxq9 @ 12:44

There is only one way to develop graduate-level expertise in more than one narrow specialty: self education.

The time commitment required is larger than most people are willing to consider — so large that the people who tend to apply themselves to the degree required don’t notice they are doing it.

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