August 28, 2009


Max Headroom Interview from the 80's

Defying Experts, Rogue Computer Code Still Lurks

Like a ghost ship, a rogue software program that glided onto the Internet last November has confounded the efforts of top security experts to eradicate the program and trace its origins and purpose, exposing serious weaknesses in the world’s digital infrastructure.

The program, known as Conficker, uses flaws in Windows software to co-opt machines and link them into a virtual computer that can be commanded remotely by its authors. With more than five million of these zombies now under its control — government, business and home computers in more than 200 countries — this shadowy computer has power that dwarfs that of the world’s largest data centers.

Alarmed by the program’s quick spread after its debut in November, computer security experts from industry, academia and government joined forces in a highly unusual collaboration. They decoded the program and developed antivirus software that erased it from millions of the computers. But Conficker’s persistence and sophistication has squelched the belief of many experts that such global computer infections are a thing of the past.

The New York Times

August 27, 2009

My buddy Slim is in the process of becoming a history teacher, and has a blog that catalogs useful information: A History Teacher's Blog. His latest post features, an amazing collection of old school documentaries, such as this:

Check it all out.

The Abolition of Man

In order to understand fully what Man's power over Nature, and therefore the power of some men over other men, really means, we must picture the race extended in time from the date of its emergence to that of its extinction. Each generation exercises power over its successors: and each, in so far as it modifies the environment bequeathed to it and rebels against tradition, resists and limits the power of its predecessors. This modifies the picture which is sometimes painted of a progressive emancipation from tradition and a progressive control of natural processes resulting in a continual increase of human power. In reality, of course, if any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education, the power to make its descendants what it pleases, all men who live after it are the patients of that power. They are weaker, not stronger: for though we may have put wonderful machines in their hands we have pre-ordained how they are to use them. And if, as is almost certain, the age which had thus attained maximum power over posterity were also the age most emancipated from tradition, it would be engaged in reducing the power of its predecessors almost as drastically as that of its successors. And we must also remember that, quite apart from this, the later a generation comes—the nearer it lives to that date at which the species becomes extinct—the less power it will have in the forward direction, because its subjects will be so few. There is therefore no question of a power vested in the race as a whole steadily growing as long as the race survives. The last men, far from being the heirs of power, will be of all men most subject to the dead hand of the great planners and conditioners and will themselves exercise least power upon the future.

The Abolition of Man

C.S. Lewis

Thanks to Jonathan for this post.

August 26, 2009

August 25, 2009

Forget Teens: Gamers Are 35, Overweight — And Sad, CDC says

When you think of a hard-core gamer, do you picture a teenage boy battling his friends in World of Warcraft?

Think again.

The average gamer, far from being a teen, is actually a 35-year-old man who is overweight, aggressive, introverted and … often depressed, according to a report (.pdf) out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The study also showed when children and teenagers become game players, a trend toward physical inactivity and corresponding health problems extends and exacerbates into adulthood.


August 24, 2009