What if realists were in charge of U.S. foreign policy? | Stephen M. Walt
The liberal/neoconservative alliance is responsible for most of America's major military interventions of the past two decades, as well as other key initiatives like NATO expansion. By contrast, realists have been largely absent from the halls of power or the commanding heights of punditry. That situation got me wondering: What would U.S. foreign policy have been like had realists been running the show for the past two decades? It's obviously impossible to know for sure, but here's my Top Ten List of What Would Have Happened if Realists Had Been in Charge.
Elonka’s List of Famous Unsolved Codes and Ciphers
This is an unofficial list of well-known unsolved codes and ciphers. A couple of the better-known unsolved ancient historical scripts are also thrown in, since they tend to come up during any discussion of unsolved codes. There has also been an attempt to sort this list by "fame", as defined by a loose formula involving the number of times that a particular cipher has been written about, and/or how many hits it pulls up on a moderately sorted web search.
Care and Feeding of Yer Books | MetaFilter
To begin with, if you remember nothing else, remember this: A book is a machine. For all the magic, mystique and awe that may surround it, the bound book is a machine. And like all machines, it will obey the laws of physics that have been built into it, whether or not they were what the binder intended. If a book was bound, rebound or repaired without regard to how all the parts work together to make the machine work, the laws of physics will relentlessly tear it apart, even while it is sitting quietly on a shelf. If a binding structure was made aesthetically pleasing, but too weak to support the textblock, gravity will do its job. If a hinge is not properly made, or repaired, it will not be a hinge and do what hinges do, which is to open and close the book. It will instead be a lever, and it will do what levers do, which is to pry apart the book.
The Distro Interview: Microsoft Principal Researcher Bill Buxton — Engadget
Bill Buxton has spent most of his career getting between humans and computers. While his initial focus was on music and digital instruments, that eventually led to an interest in human-computer interaction, and pioneering work with multitouch systems and other user interfaces. He worked with the famed hotbed of innovation Xerox PARC in the late 1980s and early 90s, and was later Chief Scientist for software firm Alias Wavefront before claiming the same title at SGI Inc. when that company acquired the former in 1995. After a time running his own Toronto-based design and consulting firm, he moved on to Microsoft Research in 2005, where he continues to serve as the organization's Principal Researcher. We recently had a chance to pick his brain and get his thoughts on a range of issues, including state of design at Microsoft, the future of natural user interfaces, and whether we're really entering a "post-PC" era.
Immortal ZX Spectrum games
The ZX Spectrum can boast some 15 thousand titles, which is about ten times more than what is currently available for either GBA or NDS alone. This is quite a lot of games to choose from. To put it into perspective, if you try out one title each day, it will keep you occupied for more than forty years. So, where do you start?