Sometime between April 27th and May 17th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
The Case of the Stolen Source Code: Last week, for about three days, the macOS video transcoding app HandBrake was compromised. One of the two download servers for HandBrake was serving up a special malware-infested version of the app, that, when launched, would essentially give hackers remote control of your computer. // In a case of extraordinarily bad luck, even for a guy that has a lot of bad computer luck, I happened to download HandBrake in that three day window, and my work Mac got pwned. // Long story short, somebody, somewhere, now has quite a bit of source code to several of our apps.
JSON Feed: Announcing JSON Feed: We — Manton Reece and Brent Simmons — have noticed that JSON has become the developers’ choice for APIs, and that developers will often go out of their way to avoid XML. JSON is simpler to read and write, and it’s less prone to bugs. So we developed JSON Feed, a format similar to RSS and Atom but in JSON. It reflects the lessons learned from our years of work reading and publishing feeds.
What we really need is an adaptation of the original 1740 The Beauty and the Beast: So were you aware that the The Beauty and the Beast story we all know is a heavily abridged and rewritten version of a much longer novella by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve? And that a lot of the plot holes existing in the current versions exist because the 1756 rewrite cut out the second half of the novella, which consisted entirely of the elaborate backstory that explains all the weird shit that happened before? And that the elaborate backstory is presented in a way that’s kind of boring because the novel had only just been invented in 1740 and no one knew how they worked yet, but contains a bazillion awesome ideas that beg for a modern retelling? And that you are probably not aware that the modern world needs this story like air but the modern world absolutely needs this story like air?
Volunteers, Professionals, and Who Gets to Have Fun at Cons: If your fun is dependent using your status as a volunteer as an excuse to not act responsibly, if it requires victims to stay quiet about mistreatment: then it’s not really a fun time for “everyone” is it? It’s not the expectation of professionalism that’s killing the fun at cons, it’s the lack of it.
Time to Fix the Missing Stair: It’s time to stop pretending the missing stair doesn’t need to be fixed. Relying on word-of-mouth means that the people who are new, who are just entering, are the ones most at risk of trying to step on it.
seriously, the guy has a point: A global investment firm has used a global advertising firm to create a faux work of guerrilla art to subvert and change the meaning of his actual work of guerrilla art. That would piss off any artist.
Westboro Wannabes Picket Norwescon: Thank you for proving, by your actions, the value that Norwescon (and all such fan-run conventions) have in this world. Thank you for proving that we can’t be bullied. You gave us all a teachable moment, and we learned something about ourselves.
Sometime between March 31st and April 2nd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
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Joss Whedon’s obsession is not feminism: The problem is that at some point in his career, Joss became so intent on the masochistic fantasy of being hated by strong women for being a nerd that he spent a decade writing stories about violating those women to ensure they would hate him.
Of dwarves and gender: So one day a dwarf is talking to a human and finally realizes that when humans say woman, they generally mean “person who is theoretically capable of childbirth” because for whatever reason, humans assign social expectations based genital differences.
On Wm. Golding’s Lord of the Flies: Basically all the good Golding scholars agree that Lord of the Flies is intended as a condemnation specifically of western positivism and superiority, not a condemnation of human nature. Golding believed that good societies were possible, but that he was not living in one.
Obviously, a list like this one is subject to a lot of debate due to everyone’s personal taste. Still, it’s not a bad list of works. Herewith, in true blog-meme style, the list, with those that I’ve read in bold. 35 out of 100. Not bad, but could be better!
(Note: Though this list is numbered 1-100, it should be read as being 100-1. That is, the #100 spot on this list is the #1 spot on the original list. Just a side effect of the HTML list that I don’t feel like trying to hack around.)
The Word For World Is Forest by Ursula K. LeGuin
Sorcerer’s Son by Phyllis Eisenstein
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Company by K.J. Parker
An Evil Guest by Gene Wolfe
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Danny, The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Camp Concentration by Thomas Disch
Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
Sphere by Michael Crichton
Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
The Alteration by Kingsley Amis
The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Griffin’s Egg by Michael Swanwick
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Free Live Free by Gene Wolfe
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
Ringworld by Larry Niven
Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Maske: Thaery by Jack Vance
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Flow My Tears The Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick
The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
The High Crusade by Poul Anderson
A Song for Lya by George R.R. Martin
At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Wildlife by James Patrick Kelly
The Book of Knights by Yves Maynard
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan(Well, I made it up to book six or seven, then decided to wait until he was dead or the series was finished, since there was no end in sight. Now he’s dead, and I’m just waiting for the last book to appear in paperback before starting over.)
Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
Nightwings by Robert Silverberg
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
The Book of the Short Sun by Gene Wolfe
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The Demon Princes by Jack Vance
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
Alastor by Jack Vance
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
Flatland by Edwin Abbott
Farmer in the Sky by Robert Heinlein
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams