Links for 12th January 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. in the club

    M John Harrison: "… this is how I feel about my New Wave experience between 1965 (when I first read the Moorcock New Worlds) and 1979. Mike had learned how to use club consciousness to raise the morale of the audience. This exercise extended naturally to the writers. It was, in that sense, a team building culture, always in tension with those “obscure and shameful yearnings”. Lethem’s point is equally applicable to the broader experience of being a writer of sf. Sf has always celebrated itself as a communal effort, an “ongoing discussion” or conversation." Interesting; can that club vibe be recreated by subgenres around focal points? E.g. steampunk?

    Tagged with: sfgenresciencefictionwritingliteraturecommunityconversationsubculture

  2. Storm Worm botnet cracked wide open

    "The team has not yet taken the final step of putting the whole thing into action with a genuine Storm Worm botnet in the wild. From a legal point of view, that could involve many problems. Any unauthorised access to third-party computers could be regarded as tampering with data, which is punishable under paragraph § 303a of the German Penal Code." D'oh.

    Tagged with: stormbotnetcomputersecurityhackingspamresearch

  3. Macquarie Island faces an ‘ecosystem meltdown’ after conservation efforts backfire, scientists warn

    "Things began to go wrong on Macquarie Island, halfway between Australia and Antarctica, soon after it was discovered in 1810. The island's fur seals, elephant seals and penguins were killed for fur and blubber, but it was the rats and mice that jumped from the sealing ships that started the problem. Cats were quickly introduced to keep the rodents from precious food stores. Rabbits followed some 60 years later, as part of a tradition to leave the animals on islands to give shipwrecked sailors something to eat." There's an important lesson here. The AGW denial lobby will spin it to say that we shouldn't mess with the climate until we're sure what's wrong; to me, it says that the likelihood of GW being our fault is pretty bloody high.

    Tagged with: scienceecologynatureecosystemmeddlingbalance

  4. whatever you’re doing, you’re probably wrong.

    "Please note, as a fantasy and science fiction writer, I spend a lot of my time writing things that are really Other–intelligent wolves and giant talking stag-headed ponies, for example. Also angels (fallen and otherwise), hyperintelligent supercolloids, virtual winged dinosaurs, and other stuff. So I keep thinking, well, if I can write something that doesn't even have the same senses I do, how hard can it be to write a Jewish former Army Captain from St. Louis? Well, the problem is, I'm much more likely to run into a Jewish former Army Captain from St. Louis. And she'll tell me I'm getting it wrong. The talking stag-headed flying ponies don't have much of a lobby here on our planet."

    Tagged with: Elizabeth-Bearwritingfictioncharacterothernesstipsadvice

  5. The Royal Enfield Bullet – the world’s longest running production motorcycle

    "The Royal Enfield Bullet has the longest production run of any motorcycle in history, having remained continuously in production since 1948, and with roots back to the1932 Bullet which was one of the fastest bikes on the road at the time… " If I was better off and lived somewhere other than Velcro City, I'd adore one of these. Oh, to blat around the countryside in an open-face lid…

    Tagged with: motorbikeRoyal-EnfieldBullet

  6. Naomi Klein: Enough. It’s time for a boycott of Israel

    "It is in this context that Israeli leaders started their latest war: confident they would face no meaningful costs. It is remarkable that over seven days of wartime trading, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's flagship index actually went up 10.7%. When carrots don't work, sticks are needed."

    Tagged with: economicspoliticsmediawarIsraelGazaboycott

  7. DB Cache « WordPress Plugin

    "… with DB Cache your site will work much faster and will use less disk space for cached files. Your visitors will always get actual information in sidebars and server CPU loads will be as low as posible." New, and sounds too good to be true. Will keep an eye on this one.

    Tagged with: wordpresscacheplugindatabase

  8. SB Child List « WordPress Plugin

    "Adding the hook [sbchildlist] to any post or page will by default show an unordered list showing the children and links to them." Useful; could save a lot of template hackery.

    Tagged with: wordpresspluginchild-pagesshortcodestructuretaxonomywebdev

  9. Nick Cohen: Loth as I am to give Joan Bakewell a kicking…

    "The coming troubles of Britain's youth do not lie simply in the folly of the platitudes – not all politicians are the same, there are real differences between the parties – but in the brutal, practical consequences of political indifference. Democracy is a system in which politicians must in the end respond to those who vote. If the price of power is acceding to the demands of elderly voters to take money from the apathetic young, then accede they will."

    Tagged with: UKpoliticsageboomersschismvotingeconomicstaxationfuturism

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