Ric on Twitter

  • 10 September, 2012 - 10:55
    Any watch freaks out there? Time for some early Xmas shopping! http://t.co/kM5C8cyx
  • 25 July, 2012 - 10:14
    Have you kicked the tires on the Joomla 3 Alpha? If so, I'd love to know what you think.
  • 17 July, 2012 - 17:25
  • 17 July, 2012 - 16:18
    The Alpha release of the new Joomla! 3.0 is out now. The release is primarily intended for extension developers... http://t.co/eX31fk0o
  • 9 July, 2012 - 23:45
    My latest book is out: Joomla! Search Engine Optimization http://t.co/3lToGUhh #joomla #seo

Feed Roundup - The Essentials

It woz the <i>Reg</i> wot won it: UK mobe network EE fixes voicemail hack flaw

The Register - 1 hour 32 sec ago
Anti-terror police can sleep safely now, thanks to us

Since we alerted EE to the security flaw in its voicemail system that allowed us to access the messages of anti-terrorism bods, the mobile telco has been working to close the hole.…

Categories: The Essentials

Exclusive ebook offer: MK Wren's Sword of the Lamb

Boing Boing - 1 hour 3 min ago


Since its release, M.K. Wren's acclaimed trilogy about life in the 33rd century has drawn much-deserved favorable comparisons to Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Boing Boing and Diversion Books are pleased to offer Sword of the Lamb, the first book in the series, for $1.99. That's 60% off the regular price. And don't worry, we'll be offering deals on the rest of the fantastic series in case you get hooked. But get the first one here.

Click through below for an excerpt from the opening of Sword of the Lamb:

"Sword of the Lamb (The Phoenix Legacy #1)" by M.K. Wren on Ganxy!function(d,s,i){var j,e=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(i)){j=d.createElement(s);j.id=i;j.async=true;j.src="https://ganxy.com/b.js";e.parentNode.insertBefore(j,e);}}(document,"script","ganxy-js-2");

PHOENIX MEMFILES: DEPT HUMAN SCIENCES:

SOCIOTHEOLOGY (HS/STh)

SUBFILE: LAMB, RICHARD: PERSONAL NOTES

12 SEPTEM 3250

DOC LOC #819/19208–1812–1614–1293250

I'm an old man in some senses; an old man because I'm so close to the end of my life, not because of the number of years that have elapsed since the beginning of it. Those total nineteen, although they seem more.

I thought I had come to terms with the myriad aspects of fear of death. I had learned to live with and in spite of the shadow of death. Under the shadow, the Shepherds say. Before the Selasid uprising in Concordia (in my mind it's always the uprising), I had feared most the not being of death, a state that defies the being imagination. But the uprising was the watershed of my life, and that was due in part to the fact that it expanded -- explosively -- my cognizance of death.

It introduced me to violent death.

On an overcast autumn day -- it was last Avril -- the Elder Shepherd Satva and I sat in his visitation room in the chapel in Compound B discussing the concept of free will over tamas tea. I remember that conversation with extraordinary clarity; in fact, I can repeat most of it verbatim, and I'm not usually a mnemonic adept. Two old men, one in a young but failing body, measuring the dimensions of a concept meaningful to the other only in theological terms.

When Satva's acolyte, Lukis, came tumbling into the room with the news of the "trouble" in the third quad dining hall, only his fear registered with me, but Satva reacted with the ready reflexes of a man trained by intensive drill, although I'm sure he had never previously given any thought to how he would respond in such a crisis.

The All-God and the Holy Mezion will guide your hand.

He threw his brown and green Selasid Bond cloak over my shoulders, thrust my crutches into my hands, lifted me by one arm, ordering Lukis to take the other, and together they carried me out the rear door of the chapel. I translated "trouble" into "uprising" then as they swept me along, my feet dragging and bouncing helplessly in counterpoint to their hurrying, shuffling footfalls. Satva said something to indicate that our destination was the "door," but I didn't know what he meant.

They happen so abruptly, these uprisings, with the instantaneity of a chain reaction, and although this one was only minutes old when Lukis burst into Satva's visitation room, it had already engulfed most of the compound and would soon spread to the adjoining compounds, transmitted by the shriek of sirens, the disaster lights of fire, the massing of House guards, and, I'm convinced, by some subtle frequency emanated by the human brain in a state of terror.

This one began in the service alley behind the third quad dining hall where three Selasid guards entertained themselves with the sequential rape of a Bondmaid, one of the kitchen workers. Her fellow workers couldn't have been unaware of what was happening with only an open door separating them from her abject agony, yet none of them responded to it overtly. There would have been no uprising if the woman's husband hadn't entered the alley at that point.

He killed one of the guards with his bare hands -- a superhuman feat that, if he hadn't been Bond, would have guaranteed him hero status in vidicommed legend -- before he was cut down by the other guards' lasers.

But before he died, he tried to escape into the kitchen; the Bonds there panicked and ran into the dining hall, and in the melee a cooker exploded, adding impetus to the panic, which spread into the hall, filled to capacity -- at least two thousand Bonds. They poured out of the hall (where the casualties were due primarily to trampling, not lasers), and out into the compound; the chain reaction was out of control. The guards 'commed for reinforcements, and no doubt the word "uprising" was first spoken then.

The Lord Orin Badir Selasis later had submitted to him detailed reports on the "disturbances," which assured him unanimously that it all began with an unprovoked attack by a Bondman on a House guard, and when his fellow guards came to his defense, the Bonds in the dining hall "revolted."

I learned the genesis of the uprising from the Bonds who were present in the kitchen and hall at the time. Those who survived. Neither Lord Selasis nor his Fesh overseers questioned a single Bond.

But all that is in retrospect. I neither knew nor cared, any more than the Bonds, about the origins of the holocaust while Satva and Lukis carried me through the fetid baselevel passages. Above us the pedways swarmed with aimlessly fleeing Bonds oblivious to the ampspeaker orders demanding their immediate halt, pursued and overtaken by troops of guards firing -- and using charged lashes or any other handy weapon -- at malicious will.

In my memory color, sound, and smell are interfused. Blue. The laser beams. And charred black, and pinkish red, and osseous white. Hammering, pounding, booted footsteps; shouts, cries, pleas, and, constantly, screams of pain. And saturating it all, the ghastly -- what other word suffices? -- odors of burned flesh and fear.

My brother in his nightmares spoke of those odors. That was later after his personal Armageddon. He never spoke of that consciously; only in sleep when he couldn't know I heard.

The "door" toward which Satva and Lukis carried me was a hidden opening enlarged through a storm drain under the compound wall. That secret access surprised me; it suggested revolutionary intent and planning among the Bonds.

But it represented only a relative revolution. The purpose of the opening wasn't to offer Bonds a means of escape from the compound -- and where would they escape to? The Outside, when the headprice on runaway Bonds is high enough to tempt any Outsider noddy or hound? -- but a means of access into the compound for Bonds unfortunate enough to miss the curfew closure. The penalties for defying the curfew in Selasid compounds are inevitably painful and often maiming.

We weren't far from the "door," and I was panting as hard as Satva and Lukis, yet I hadn't run a step; I couldn't. I could only clutch my crutches to my breast, aware that I'd be helpless without them when I lost my human crutches. On the pedway above us, Bonds and guards clashed in the limited passage ten meters in the air, and three Bonds were forced, or thrown, off the 'way. I heard their descending shrieks, heard sounds I can't even approach in words as they hit the plasment, one no more than a meter in front of us.

The light was dim and erratic, and neither Satva nor Lukis paused before turning into an even darker side passage, yet every detail of that image is as clear in my memory as my theological discourse with Satva on free will.

It was a man, and his body seemed both to burst and to collapse on impact. Horrible, yes. I'd never considered the color of human entrails before.

But what was clearest in my mind was a sense of outrage, not for the man so much as for his body. I mean, his physical, living body. It had been in some way violated, and I was horrified that such a sacrilege -- that seemed the only applicable term -- was possible.

I saw death then as more than not-being, as a wanton violation of the infinitely complex, finely ordered mechanism that houses and sustains life.

And I felt that violation as I hope the man himself did not; felt the sudden disintegration of the physical system, its bursting implosion; felt the whole agony and terror of it as if it were my own.

Sometimes I wonder if we don't think with our cells, and if the brain is only a sophisticated data processing and storage center. If so, wouldn't every cell recoil from the dissolution of the order, the system, that gives it life?

And if -- as Lemric and Kow Daws theorize -- social units can be treated as living organisms, what of the agony of the individual cells, the individual people, within the sustaining mechanism of the dying social organism?

Whose pain did I feel?

Satva helped me through the storm drain and outside the compound wall, where I found myself in a 'way channel that led to a transit plaza. He took the Bond cloak from my shoulders, propped me against the wall on my crutches, and with a plea for my blessing -- my blessing! -- returned to the compound. The 'ways above me teemed with Selasid guards and Conpol reinforcements, but I was alone and unnoticed.

And I was Fesh, not Bond, and thus safe.

Satva returned to his flock. And died with ten thousand Bonds who died -- violently -- in those compounds that day. Izak succeeded Satva as Elder Shepherd of Compound B, but Lukis won't be Izak's acolyte. He died with his Shepherd.

Whose pain? Whose pain did I feel?

"Sword of the Lamb (The Phoenix Legacy #1)" by M.K. Wren on Ganxy!function(d,s,i){var j,e=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(i)){j=d.createElement(s);j.id=i;j.async=true;j.src="https://ganxy.com/b.js";e.parentNode.insertBefore(j,e);}}(document,"script","ganxy-js-2");






Categories: The Essentials

Watch out! KILLER HP firmware update bricks ProLiant server mobos

The Register - 1 hour 31 min ago
If you're using a Broadcom NIC, you need to read this

HP has warned customers that one of its firmware updates can accidentally brick the network hardware in 100 ProLiant Server models.…

Categories: The Essentials

LOHAN spaceplane's budget minicam punches well above its weight

The Register - 2 hours 1 min ago
Pleasant imaging surprise from 'Punch' test flight

Pics + vids Watch Video

Categories: The Essentials

Microsoft's 'evil open source' man on life as HP's top cloud-wrangler

The Register - 2 hours 29 min ago
Sweating the assets and building up OpenStack

He brought Microsoft the open source it had viewed with such dread and now former Redmond man Bill Hilf is challenging the thinking at Hewlett-Packard.…

Categories: The Essentials

FTC Approves Tesla's Direct Sales Model

Slashdot - 2 hours 54 min ago
cartechboy (2660665) writes "We've all read about Tesla and the ongoing battles its having with different dealer associations. Basically, dealer associations aren't too pleased about the Silicon Valley startup's direct sales model. Today the FTC has had made a statement on the matter and it's actually in favor of Tesla's direct sales model. 'In this case and others, many state and local regulators have eliminated the direct purchasing option for consumers, by taking steps to protect existing middlemen from new competition. We believe this is bad policy for a number of reasons,' wrote Andy Gavil, Debbie Feinstein, and Marty Gaynor in the FTC's 'Who decides how consumers should shop?' posting to the Competition Matters blog. The FTC appears to take issue not with those laws, but with how they're being used, and with the direct-sales bans being passed in several states. Now the only real question is how long will it be before Tesla prevails in all states?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: The Essentials

Teen student texter busts 20-second tongue-twisty SMS barrier

The Register - 2 hours 55 min ago
Amrcn usd whirly wrd tek

The nimblest texting fingers on the planet belong to a 15-year-old US student named Gaurav Sharma.…

Categories: The Essentials

All men are part of a PURE GENETIC ELITE, says geno-science bloke

The Register - 4 hours 56 min ago
Something to be smug about over the weekend, guys

According to a new research from genetics gurus, the Y chromosome that all men carry is not at all hobbled by its missing bit.…

Categories: The Essentials

Radical press demands copyright takedown of Marx-Engels Collected Works

Boing Boing - 5 hours 3 min ago

Lawrence and Wishart, a radical press founded in 1936 and formerly associated with the Communist Party of Great Britain, has asserted a copyright over "Marx-Engels Collected Works," a series of $25-50-ish hardcovers, and demanded that they be removed from the Marxist Internet Archive. As Scott McLemee notes, the editions in question were "prepared largely if not entirely with the support of old-fashioned, Soviet-era Moscow gold" and consist, in large part, of arguments about the moral bankruptcy and corrupting influence of claims of private property.

Marx-Engels Collected Works will be removed from Marxists.org on May Day. Here's a torrent of the full set.

If Lawrence & Wishart still considers itself a socialist institution, its treatment of the Archive is uncomradely at best, and arguably much worse; while if the press is now purely a capitalist enterprise, its behavior is merely stupid. I hope some of you will get in touch with the press to say that, or something else appropriate. Here’s the contact information:

Lawrence & Wishart
99a Wallis Road
London E9 5LN
subs and orders:
T: 01621 741607
editorial:
T: 020 8533 2506
F: 020 8533 736

Managing Editor: Sally Davison. sally@lwbooks.co.uk
Finance Director: Avis Greenaway. avis@lwbooks.co.uk
Permissions: permissions@lwbooks.co.uk
Website: Becky Luff office@lwbooks.co.uk
Promotions: Katharine Harris Katharine@lwbooks.co.uk

Karlo Marx and Fredrich Engels / Came to the checkout at the 7-11 [Scott McLemee/Crooked Timber]

(Image: If Karl Marx was alive..., Pete Birkinshaw, CC-BY)






Categories: The Essentials

Former US Test Site Sues Nuclear Nations For Disarmament Failure

Slashdot - 5 hours 28 min ago
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The tiny Pacific republic of the Marshall Islands, scene of massive U.S. nuclear tests in the 1950s, sued the United States and eight other nuclear-armed countries on Thursday, accusing them of failing in their obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament. The Pacific country accused all nine nuclear-armed states of 'flagrant violation of international law' for failing to pursue the negotiations required by the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It filed one suit specifically directed against the United States, in the Federal District Court in San Francisco, while others against all nine countries were lodged at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, capital of the Netherlands, a statement from an anti-nuclear group backing the suits said. The action was supported by South African Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation said."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: The Essentials

Former US Test Site Sues Nuclear Nations For Disarmament Failure

Slashdot - 5 hours 28 min ago
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The tiny Pacific republic of the Marshall Islands, scene of massive U.S. nuclear tests in the 1950s, sued the United States and eight other nuclear-armed countries on Thursday, accusing them of failing in their obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament. The Pacific country accused all nine nuclear-armed states of 'flagrant violation of international law' for failing to pursue the negotiations required by the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It filed one suit specifically directed against the United States, in the Federal District Court in San Francisco, while others against all nine countries were lodged at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, capital of the Netherlands, a statement from an anti-nuclear group backing the suits said. The action was supported by South African Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation said."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: The Essentials

Humanoid wasps' nest built over an abandoned sculpture

Boing Boing - 25 April, 2014 - 11:00


Redditor Countbubs posted this photo of a wasps' nest built over a wooden humanoid sculpture, with the wasps' paper following the contours of the underlying form. It's a genuinely nightmarish image. (via Crazy Abalone)






Categories: The Essentials

Group Wants To Recover 36-Year-Old Historic Spacecraft From Deep Space

Slashdot - 25 April, 2014 - 10:00
An anonymous reader writes "A band of space hackers and engineers are trying to do something never done before — recover a 36 year old NASA spacecraft from the grips of deep space and time. With old NASA documents and Rockethub crowdfunding, a team led by Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing is attempting to steer ISEE-3, later rechristened ICE, the International Cometary Explorer, back into an Earth orbit and return it to scientific operations. Dennis says, 'ISEE-3 can become a great teaching tool for future engineers and scientists helping with design and travel to Mars'. Only 40 days remain before the spacecraft will be out of range for recovery. A radio telescope is available, propulsion designs are in hand and the team is hoping for public support to provide the small amount needed to accomplish a very unique milestone in space exploration."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: The Essentials

Group Wants To Recover 36-Year-Old Historic Spacecraft From Deep Space

Slashdot - 25 April, 2014 - 10:00
An anonymous reader writes "A band of space hackers and engineers are trying to do something never done before — recover a 36 year old NASA spacecraft from the grips of deep space and time. With old NASA documents and Rockethub crowdfunding, a team led by Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing is attempting to steer ISEE-3, later rechristened ICE, the International Cometary Explorer, back into an Earth orbit and return it to scientific operations. Dennis says, 'ISEE-3 can become a great teaching tool for future engineers and scientists helping with design and travel to Mars'. Only 40 days remain before the spacecraft will be out of range for recovery. A radio telescope is available, propulsion designs are in hand and the team is hoping for public support to provide the small amount needed to accomplish a very unique milestone in space exploration."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: The Essentials

Group Wants To Recover 36-Year-Old Historic Spacecraft From Deep Space

Slashdot - 25 April, 2014 - 10:00
An anonymous reader writes "A band of space hackers and engineers are trying to do something never done before — recover a 36 year old NASA spacecraft from the grips of deep space and time. With old NASA documents and Rockethub crowdfunding, a team led by Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing is attempting to steer ISEE-3, later rechristened ICE, the International Cometary Explorer, back into an Earth orbit and return it to scientific operations. Dennis says, 'ISEE-3 can become a great teaching tool for future engineers and scientists helping with design and travel to Mars'. Only 40 days remain before the spacecraft will be out of range for recovery. A radio telescope is available, propulsion designs are in hand and the team is hoping for public support to provide the small amount needed to accomplish a very unique milestone in space exploration."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: The Essentials

Lost artworks by Andy Warhol found on 80s-era FLOPPY DISKS

The Register - 25 April, 2014 - 09:12
Yes, the pop-art king used an AMIGA

The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has recovered a trove of previously unknown works by the pop-art pioneer from an unexpected, yet suitably modern source: a set of Commodore Amiga floppy disks.…

Categories: The Essentials

Band releases album as Linux kernel module

Boing Boing - 25 April, 2014 - 09:00

Cycles Per Instruction by netcat

A band called netcat (also the name of a popular networking tool) has released its new album, Cycles Per Instruction, in a number of formats, including a world first: the album can be compiled as a Linux kernel module. As the band explains, "This repository contains the album's track data in source files, that (for complexity's sake) came from .ogg files that were encoded from .wav files that were created from .mp3 files that were encoded from the mastered .wav files which were generated from ProTools final mix .wav files that were created from 24-track analog tape."

And of course, "Track information will show up in the output of dmesg."

usrbinnc/netcat-cpi-kernel-module [Github]

(via JWZ)






Categories: The Essentials

Viola Smith plays drums on "Snake Charmer" (1939)

Boing Boing - 25 April, 2014 - 08:39

[Video Link] I like her kit!

Wikipedia: "Viola Smith (born November 29, 1912) is an American drummer best known for her work in orchestras, swing bands, and popular music in the 1930s and 1940s. She was one of the first professional female drummers."






Categories: The Essentials

Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, settle employee-fiddling class action suit

The Register - 25 April, 2014 - 08:30
Secret no-hire pact naughtiness could give 64,600 employees a hefty payday

A series of secret pacts among some of the biggest employers in Silicon Valley to cheat their staffers could turn out to be a rather expensive mistake, with Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe now agreeing to settle the antitrust class-action lawsuit out of court.…

Categories: The Essentials

Apple, Google Agree To Settle Lawsuit Alleging Hiring Conspiracy

Slashdot - 25 April, 2014 - 08:10
An anonymous reader writes "A group of tech companies including Google and Apple have agreed to settle an antitrust lawsuit over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. From the article: 'Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another's employees in order to avert a salary war. Trial had been scheduled to begin at the end of May on behalf of roughly 64,000 workers in the class.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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