"geek culture" entries

Four short links: 3 September 2009

Four short links: 3 September 2009

Smarter Eyes, Urinal Protocol Efficiency, Petabytes on a Budget, and LocaLondon

  1. Many Eyes Make All Bugs Shallow, Especially When The Eyes Get Smarter (David Eaves) — Mozilla released bug submission data, and David realizes with some minor investment (particularly some simpler vetting screens prior to reaching bugzilla) bug submitters could learn faster. For example, a landing screen that asks you if you’ve ever submitted a bug before might take newbies to a different page where the bugzilla process is explained in greater detail, the fact that this is not a support site is outlined, and some models of good “submissions” are shared (along with some words of encouragement). By segmenting newbies we might ease the work burden on those who have to vet the bugs.
  2. Urinal Protocol Efficiency (xkcd blog) — geeks are pattern-matching creatures that can count. This leads us to a question: what is the general formula for the number of guys who will fill in N urinals if they all come in one at a time and follow the urinal protocol? One could write a simple recursive program to solve it, placing one guy at a time, but there’s also a closed-form expression. If f(n) is the number of guys who can use n urinals, f(n) for n>2 is given by: […] The protocol is vulnerable to producing inefficient results for some urinal counts. Some numbers of urinals encourage efficient packing, and others encourage sparse packing. (via Hacker News)
  3. Petabytes on a Budget: 67Tb for $7,867 — DIY cloud hardware. (via timhaines on Twitter)
  4. LocaLondon (Chris Heathcote) — informative, ingenious, and replicable (like all that Chris does), it’s a Twitter feed of art exhibitions in London (when they open, when there’s a week left, and on the last day) and a glorious horizontal touchscreen-friendly meta-reviews site so you can quickly see at a glance what’s on now and what people think of it.

Fabulous Eulogy for Gary Gygax

Writing in yesterday's New York Times, Wired senior editor Adam Rogers contributed a wonderful meditation on the recent death of Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, in which he argues that Gygax's contribution to modern culture is far more profound than most people realize: GARY GYGAX died last week and the universe did not collapse. This surprises me a…