St. Cyber-Falls

Oh, I forgot to mention the one thing that seemed notably different from last year's SXSW!

So, an unfortunate coincidence of timing is that SXSW occurs across St. Patrick's Day, the Spring Amateur Night. As a result, there are a lot of showcases of Irish bands, which is a mixed bag because you get a bunch of shitty acoustic crooners, but good stuff too -- I'd presumably never have discovered Dirty Epics were it not for the thematic needs of the green beer bros, for example.

Anyway. To my point. This year, the green paper mini-top-hats and fake beards were far, far outnumbered by the girls wearing springy green "cyber-falls" straight out of 1999. Only the green ones, of course, not the pink ones. They also tended to have blinky green LEDs on rings, necklaces, and deely-bobbers.

To a Certain Someone: I hate to break it to you, but your retro look now reads to the general public as "Rock Out With Your Shamrock Out".

"The street finds its own use for things," indeed.

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Transhuman intelligences have deployed icebreakers to accelerate your enslavement.

$1.5 billion: The cost of cutting London-Toyko latency by 60ms

Starting this summer, a convoy of ice breakers and specially-adapted polar ice-rated cable laying ships will begin to lay the first ever trans-Arctic Ocean submarine fiber optic cables. [...] All three cables will connect the United Kingdom to Japan. The completed cables are estimated to cost between $600 million and $1.5 billion each.

All three cables are being laid for the same reasons: Redundancy and speed. As it stands, it takes roughly 230 milliseconds for a packet to go from London to Tokyo; the new cables will reduce this by 30% to 170ms.

And this is what we call "burying the lead":

The massive drop in latency is expected to supercharge algorithmic stock market trading, where a difference of a few milliseconds can gain (or lose) millions of dollars. It is for this reason that a new cable is currently being laid between the UK and US ----" it will cost $300 million and shave "just" six milliseconds off the fastest link currently available.

And this is what we call "some bullshit the PR flack could barely say with a straight face":

The lower latency will also be a boon to other technologies that hinge heavily on the internet, such as telemedicine (and teleconferencing) and education.

Because, you know, in some fantasy world, "telemedicine" is something that exists, and "education" is something that could mobilize a billion dollars.

Previously, previously, previously.

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What it's like to be a jump rope.


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The Bloggess on HR penises

The Dark and Disturbing Secrets HR Doesn't Want You to Know

Today I had to talk to an employee who e-mailed a photograph of his penis to a woman in his department. I knew it was his penis because it said, "This is my penis," in the subject line. Also, his name badge was clipped to his belt and was clearly visible. I practiced saying, "Is this your penis?" over and over in my office until I could say it without giggling, and then I called him and his supervisor in.

"Is this your penis?" I asked, as I pushed the printout of the e-mail over to him.

I think I was expecting him to break into a sweat or try to jump through the window out of embarrassment, because apparently I'd forgotten about the fact that this was the same man who thought it would be perfectly fine to take a picture of his penis in the office bathroom to send it to a shocked coworker. Instead he grinned cockily (no pun in tended), saying, "I think the better question is, Exactly how did you get a picture of my penis?"

"It was caught in the e-mail filter. The picture, I mean. Not your penis. If, in fact, that is your penis, I mean." I was flustered, but tried to gain control of the situation again with a deep, calming breath. "Did you mail a picture of your penis?"

He raised an eyebrow. "Would it make it better if I said I was mailing pictures of someone else's penis?"

Previously, previously.

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The Explorers Club Martini has a cow's eyeball in it for garnish.

(Incidentally, this has never been what's on my bloody mary. Yet.)

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