"...hoping that the monsters don't do what monsters are always going to do because if they didn't do those things, they'd be called dandelions or puppy hugs."

This is the best article you will read on processor design for the next eighteen months.

James Mickens: The Slow Winter:

You'd give your buddy a high-five and go celebrate at the bar, and then you'd think, "I wonder if we can make branch predictors even more accurate," and the next day you'd start XOR'ing the branch's PC address with a shift register containing the branch's recent branching history, because in those days, you could XOR anything with anything and get something useful, and you test the new branch predictor, and now you're up to 96% accuracy, and the branches call you on the phone and say OK, WE GET IT, YOU DO NOT LIKE BRANCHES, but the phone call goes to your voicemail because you're too busy driving the speed boats and wearing the monocles that you purchased after your promotion at work. [...]

When John went to work in 2003, he had an indomitable spirit and a love for danger, reminding people of a less attractive Ernest Hemingway or an equivalently attractive Winston Churchill. As a child in 1977, John had met Gordon Moore; Gordon had pulled a quarter from behind John's ear and then proclaimed that he would pull twice as many quarters from John's ear every 18 months. Moore, of course, was an incorrigible liar and tormentor of youths, and he never pulled another quarter from John's ear again, having immediately fled the scene while yelling that Hong Kong will always be a British territory, and nobody will ever pay $8 for a Mocha Frappuccino, and a variety of other things that seemed like universal laws to people at the time, but were actually just arbitrary nouns and adjectives that Moore had scrawled on a napkin earlier that morning. [...]

Of course, lay people do not actually spend their time trying to invert massive hash values while rendering nine copies of the Avatar planet in 1080p. Lay people use their computers for precisely ten things, none of which involve massive computational parallelism, and seven of which involve procuring a vast menagerie of pornographic data and then curating that data using a variety of fairly obvious management techniques, like the creation of a folder called "Work Stuff," which contains an inner folder called "More Work Stuff," where "More Work Stuff" contains a series of ostensible documentaries that describe the economic interactions between people who don't have enough money to pay for pizza and people who aren't too bothered by that fact. [...]

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Dazzle is very in right now.

Apparently car manufacturers are using it to try and defeat auto-focus, but it doesn't work.

Cars in testing are often spotted in zebra-like looks that would make an active autofocus system struggle. Other cameras like SLRs have another form of autofocus which looks at contrast in the subject, to make its focus adjustment.

Again all the black and white swirls and lines on a prototype car make it nearly impossible for even some of the better autofocus systems to work. Add in the fact that cars in testing are usually on the move and you'll see it's not that easy getting those spy photos.

Opinions vary about the different designs of car camo. Brenda Priddy is a legendary automotive spy photographer, her photos appearing in almost every major auto magazine, paper and website. She tells us, "Frankly, I find the new breed of camo (swirly lines and sometimes colorful patterns) very photogenic!" Priddy questions the function of the camo too. "They haven't interfered with my camera's focusing abilities, and they help make the photo even more interesting," she said. Further mocking those she stalks for a living, Priddy adds, "It seems the camouflage changes every year. I can't wait to see what they come up with this year."

The curve of that SUV's fender is highly classified, you guys.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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SF Techie Explains Why the World Should Revolve Around Bay Area Techies

Oh snap.

They have to come here. One of the great promises of the Internet, after all, is liberation from the petty constraints of geography. But in practice, that's absurd -- if you want to be anyone in tech, you have to be in the Bay Area. Which means that, this one time, the Internet didn't actually live up to its promise to change something. But that's the only time that happened, or ever will happen. That and ending racism. And raising the living standard of the middle class. It turns out the internet has failed to do any of that.

But that's it. We should be confident that every other promise made about the Internet by tech-funded economists, tech-funded journalists, and tech-entrepreneurs, will come true. Why? Because: Technology. Disruption. New Economy. 2.0. [...]

Study the roots of our new tech economy, and you'll find that it differs in important ways from the Internet bubble of the '90s. That blip was fed by the promise of future billions that we were certain to realize from the web economy. Today's tech industry, on the other hand, is fed by the promise of future billions from the mobile economy.

It's a completely different economy. And unlike the web, which never caught on, people actually use mobile devices. [...]

Why should we assume that the thousands of new aspiring tech workers pouring into the Bay Area will decimate the arts, cultural diversity, tolerance, and neighborhoods of San Francisco, just because that's what happened last time? Technology is about innovation. If the industry destroys your city the same way twice, it hasn't done it right. We've obviously learned from our mistakes, the same way Wall Street has. [...]

These newcomers are not barbarians at our gates -- these are people whose values largely mirror those of the city dwellers they are ruthlessly pushing out. They're just like you, only whiter and able to live here. There's absolutely no rational reason to expect you won't enjoy knowing they're living in what used to be your apartment.

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Well you can't let people do just anything with their computers!

It took just a week for nearly 300 students who got iPads from their LA high school to figure out how to alter the security settings so they could surf the Web and access social media sites.

The breach at Roosevelt High and two other LA schools has prompted Los Angeles Unified School District officials to halt a $1 billion program aimed at putting the devices in the hands of every student in the nation's second-largest school system, the Los Angeles Times reported. The district also has banned home use of the iPads until further notice as officials look for ways to make sure students use the devices for school work only.
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Now you're thinking with robots. And projection mapping.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Greetings From Fragrant SOMA


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Orion Nuclear Pulse Rocket simulation

Seems legit.

At around 19 minutes, he mods it into a nuclear pulse airplane.

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The new Laundry novella by Charles Stross is online now! It's awesome.

Previously, previously.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein the parklet is usable!

We installed the bar top today! The parklet is now open for business.

For now, we're borrowing some stools from Above DNA, but permanently-mounted stools are coming soon. Also still on the agenda is a piece of hinged diamond-plate to cover the gap between the parklet and the sidewalk. After that, we're waiting for the city to install the bicycle rack.

The bar top is several pieces of wood glued together. The first pass of glueing happened in the shop, but to transport it, it still needed to be in 3 large pieces. This is a shot of them being glued together.

Also, look, the fins are getting a nice patina on them already! That's just from the rain on Saturday.

Party photos:

Moving Units
Hubba Hubba
Battle of the Bands
Atlas Obscura: Absinthe
The Atlas Obscura event was our first in a four part series of talks about the history of various liquors, including tastings! That one was on absinthe; the next one is on whisk(e)y and you should definitely attend. Did I mention tastings!

Oh, we got a nice review of the Moving Units show.

I strongly recommend you come by for the Icky Blossoms show on Sunday, Sep 23 because they are awesome. That's the evening after Folsom Street Fair. They're also performing at the fair, but that's probably only a half hour set -- this is a full show.

I'm also looking forward to Claire on Oct 13 and Charli XCX on Nov 1, where she will be DJing in Above DNA following her show at Slim's.


A Steampunk-themed haunted house that you go through naked.

Don't forget to glue a gear to your nuts.

Themed in Steampunk, a sub-genre of science fiction, your journey into The Unknown begins with a pre-show experience that will overwhelm your senses with surround sound audio and amazing 3D video. If you survive, you'll venture into The Unknown through a two-story stack of wooden shipping crates to learn what secrets hide inside.

Naked and Scared Challenge is not offered on Sundays.

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