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Interesting fact of the day: The same effect that cuased light in a prism to split up into different colors is what ultimately caused the first transatlantic telegraphic wire in 1858 to fail.

Morse code is transmitted as on-off signals, effectively square waves. Square waves are in fact made up of many different frequencies. Like in a prism different frequencies move at different speeds through a wire. Therefore as the on-off pulses traveled through the transatlantic telegraph wire the signal spread out like it does in a prism and ultimately the pulses would overlap and be indistinguishable.

The effect was so extreme that it took a message of only 98 words (the first message sent) over 67 minutes to send one way and a whopping 16 hours to confirm the message.

Whitehouse, a doctor with little mathematical understanding, thought he could solve the problem by increasing voltage, which we now know was a futile effort. He increased the voltage to the point he managed to short out the cable entirely and made it useless. However Lord Kelvin had already warned of the problem as was ignored and he came up with the law of squares to describe the problem which later was refined to give us the telegraphers equation. The telegraphers equation is still used today to model feedlines in radio transmitters and receivers.

#Science #STEM #Physics #History @Science #QOTOJournal

LRT there's so many heartbreaking stories like this in FOSS, developers putting in lots of work, companies using it to make huge profits but refusing to compensate even a bit

as living costs mount i expect more FOSS devs to give up; being really enthusiastic about something helps, but there are limits

i've been lucky to get pretty much continuous funding for my work maintaining bitcoin core

orionwl boosted

"The industry seems to like using (Apache) PLC4X and open-source in general, but doesn’t seem to be willing to support the people working on it. So, I will stop providing free community support for PLC4X"


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Love the #netbsd #humor in man.netbsd.org/sleep.1 😜

"This sleep command cannot handle requests for durations much longer than about 250 billion years. Any such attempt will result in an error, and immediate termination. It is suggested that when there is a need for sleeps exceeding this period, the sleep command be executed in a loop, with each individual sleep invocation limited to 200 billion years approximately."

Greg Egan's Dispersion—ending 

with all the Greg Egan fans here, i wonder, did anyone understand the ending of Dispersion?

this book seems to be Bear's excursion into a kind of mathematical horror, but still it ended so abruptly

i don't understand the significance of the bird and feathers, was it literal, symbolic, does it help find a cure

orionwl boosted

sure, if everything could be run for free that'd be best, but it's clear that being expected to run things for free is not sustainable in the long run and well, it eventually ends up like Twitter and Facebook: beholden to advertisers and sponsors and investors

there's also no need for a "web3" where everything is redesigned as a flashy NFT, or custom speculative token, or "smart contract"; the tools are already there, with current decentralized and federated internet tech

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what gets lost in all the rabid anti- and pro- bitcoin sentiment is that it is a fully open source, non-proprietary money that could be integrated into projects for donations
with lightning, it's fast and low-overhead as well

e.g. in the case of fediverse, for donations to instances for hosting fees

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@orionwl @ajtowns

it's called "Shadow Flock", published in "Mammoth Book of Best New SF 28", published in 2015. Drones and cryptocurrency :)

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@jb55 which makes me wonder, did anyone succeed in compiling bitcoind for WASM yet ?

i gave up last time with exceptions and threads support, don't know if there's been progress in that regard

orionwl boosted

Tired: paying for proprietary software
Wired: donating to free software

"So, we will look for geometrical solutions to the constraints of Born rigid motion, and explore them under the assumption that any accelerations required can simply be imposed by fiat."

i guess the difference is that physicists take at as a hypothetical example, unlike some economists they don't actually imagine it can be done this way 😀

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Greg Egan's website is a maze of all kinds of random physics information, he's definitely a science fiction writer that takes the science part seriously, for example

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So this morning finally took "Serious Cryptography" by Aumasson off my bookshelf and read it for 20 minutes. I bought it because .. I just like having books like this, but specifically it had a lot of positive comments from people, and is clearly aimed at practicality rather than dense theory.

First impression: this is *very* good - discursive, explanation by example, good advice, up to date (that's rare), and actually interesting. I will be reading a lot more of this.

orionwl boosted

really cool trick I just learned from @0xb10c: using gdb branch tracing to count the number of executed instructions between two breakpoints:


orionwl boosted

attempting to keysend 17000 lightning nodes 1 satoshi. wish me luck.

orionwl boosted

For people wondering whether that maybe useful for them too, I found aaronsw.com/weblog/hatethenews making a good point.

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