Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Parkinson's law of triviality, also known as bikeshedding, bike-shed effect


Parkinson's law of triviality, also known as bikesheddingbike-shed effect, or the bicycle-shed example, is C. Northcote Parkinson's 1957 argument that organizations give disproportionate weight to trivial issues.[1] Parkinson observed and illustrated that a committee whose job is to approve plans for a nuclear power plant spent the majority of its time with pointless discussions on relatively trivial and unimportant but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bike-shed, while neglecting the less-trivial proposed design of the nuclear power plant itself, which is far more important but also a far more difficult and complex task to criticize constructively.

The law has been applied to software development[2] and other activities, and the term "bikeshedding" was coined as a metaphor to illuminate Parkinson's Law of Triviality and was popularized in the Berkeley Software Distribution community by Poul-Henning Kamp[3] and has spread from there to the software industry at large.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

from the scorched-net-policy dept.
schwit1 sends this report from The Verge:Most anti-piracy tools take one of two paths: they either target the server that's sharing the files (pulling videos off YouTube or taking down sites like The Pirate Bay) or they make it harder to find (delisting offshore sites that share infringing content). But leaked documents reveal a frightening line of attack that's currently being considered by the MPAA: What if you simply erased any record that the site was there in the first place? To do that, the MPAA's lawyers would target the Domain Name System that directs traffic across the internet

The tactic was first proposed as part of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in 2011, but three years after the law failed in Congress, the MPAA has been looking for legal justification for the practice in existing law and working with ISPs like Comcast to examine how a system might work technically. If a takedown notice could blacklist a site from every available DNS provider, the URL would be effectively erased from the internet. No one's ever tried to issue a takedown notice like that, but this latest memo suggests the MPAA is looking into it as a potentially powerful new tool in the fight against piracy.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

PiDuino kit

This PiDuino kit is an add on board for the Raspberry Pi.

It enables the Pi to have real-time and analog capabilities. Powered by an Atmega328 at 3.3v 8MHz.


Sunday, December 07, 2014

The Computer Chronicles: UNIX (1985)

UNIX: Making Computers Easier To Use -- AT&T Archives film from 1982, Be...

Just ran across this gem. 

For more from the AT&T Archives, visit http://techchannel.att.com/archives

The Unix System: Making Computers Easier to Use - 1982

This 23-minute film about UNIX was designed for students with an interest in engineering, math, computer science or other sciences. The film was made available to the public in December 1982. It covers different ways that UNIX could be employed practically in a computing environment. Another film about UNIX released at the same time, "The UNIX System: Making Computers More Productive," was aimed at computer science majors and corporate trainees, and presented a more detailed discussion of the UNIX system and its various applications.

Hosted by Victor Vyssotsky in a Carl-Sagan-esque turtleneck sweater, this film includes Dennis Ritchie, one of UNIX's inventors, along with Bell Labs staffers and programmers Brian Kernighan, Catherine Ann Brooks, Lorinda Cherry, Alfred Aho, Nina Macdonald, and John Mashey.

Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson started work on what would become UNIX originally in 1969. They developed it to run on a DEC PDP-7 to begin with; it would eventually be ported to other computers. By 1976, UNIX was used in more than 30 Bell Labs groups, and there were UNIX installations at over 80 universities.

Footage Courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ