9 October 2023
[comics] The Man Who Knows Fear: Imposter Syndrome and Horror with D.G. Chichester Long interview with the comic editor and writer as he returns to Daredevil. On the Hellraiser comic:‘ I knew the book was going to work both when the John Bolton cover came in, which John Bolton issue looking up painting flames from Hell. It was beautiful and twisted and erotic, and scary and nasty… and it was the story that the editorial group then said, “You’re not running the story in the first issue. It’s too much. You’re coming in too hot. Take it out of the first issue, run a different story. We’ll run it in the subsequent issue.” I dug my heels in and I said, the book is called Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. That’s what it’s called. Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. What the hell did you think you’re going to get?’
23 May 2023
[lost] Into Thin AirPods … Amusing tale of an attempt to find some lost Airpods using Apple’s Find My” app. ‘I texted a group chat that I had lost my AirPods, but was hot on the trail of the thief in a natural history museum, as if my life were a damn Hitchcock movie. I told them I thought I had eyes on the perp, but couldn’t be sure. “Confront!!” They urged. “Apprehend the teen!!! You of all people can take him!!” But what if I was wrong? I couldn’t ruin some nice adorable family’s Friday afternoon, even if it was just to ask a few innocent questions, like, “Hey–You guys look like you ski. Do you ski? What about stealing? Do you steal?”’
8 November 2022
[tech] Can a Computer catch a Spy? … The story of an American Spy – Aldrich Ames – and a look at how computers can replace human intuition in the hunt for spies.

It was a $5,000 deposit in cash made on July 5. Three days earlier the chronology read: Lunch with Chuvakhin. Grimes knit her brow and grabbed the last deposit slip. It was for $8,500 in cash, deposited on July 31. And the chronology showed that on the very same day — Ames had had lunch with Chuvakhin.

“That was it for Sandy,” Grimes said, referring to herself by name. “I said, ‘You guys won’t believe it, this is it — you won’t believe it.” She ran down the hall to tell the head of the CIA’s counterintelligence division, Paul Redmond. “I closed the door and I didn’t wait for him, I just said, ‘It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s going on here: Rick is a goddamn Soviet spy.”

15 June 2022
[tech] I’ve locked myself out of my digital life … A cautionary tale about digital identities. ‘In the boring analogue world – I am pretty sure that I’d be able to convince a human that I am who I say I am. And, thus, get access to my accounts. I may have to go to court to force a company to give me access back, but it is possible. But when things are secured by an unassailable algorithm – I am out of luck. No amount of pleading will let me without the correct credentials. The company which provides my password manager simply doesn’t have access to my passwords. There is no-one to convince. Code is law.’
28 December 2020
[til] 52 things I learned in 2020 … Fifty-two TIL from Tom Whitwell. ‘The inventor of the pixel died in 2020 aged 91. He always regretted making pixels square, describing the decision as “something very foolish that everyone in the world has been suffering from ever since.”’
30 January 2020
[wtf?] 32 Minutes of Soothing, Relaxing, Meditating Vietnam War Sounds for Studying and Thinking … War as relaxing white noise. You can also try: WW1 and WW2.

1 May 2019
[canals] Does Birmingham Have More Canals Than Venice? … Jez Higgins compares the two cities. ‘In fact, the difference between the two is rather less than you might think – Birmingham has around 58km of canal, while Venice has 42km. Given a population about around a million against Venice’s 62,000, that actually means that Birmingham is vastly under-canaled. It has a trifling 5⅘cm of canal per head of population against Venice’s magisterial 67¾cm. For Birmingham to reach Venice-equality we would need to build another 620km of canal.’