Universal basic income and why it won't happen in the United States.

A meme that some of my transhumanist and technoprogressive colleagues have been bandying around for the past half year or so is that of a universal basic income, or at least a negative income tax. The scenario goes something like this:

Greater automation in the workplace due to the ever-greater proliferation of computers and deployment of sophisticated software means that companies have to hire and pay fewer people to do work for them. Sources of gainful employment are not assured these days (even for, say, certified Oracle admins being out of work for four or five years at a time …

Read more...

Turtles All the Way Down: Firmware and bootloaders.

After rethinking this post a little, I feel a need to caveat things: In a previous post in this series I mentioned the possibility of using an open source System On A Chip because it would simplify the construction process somewhat. I've been doing some more research and I'm not certain that all SoC's (if that is the direction a project like this would go in) require system firmware of the sort we're about to discuss. The Broadcom BCM2835 mentioned earlier, for example, has firmware on board that is sufficient to initialize the hardware and then try to load the …

Read more...

Is a cold net.war going on between the US and China?

Every once in a while a news article about attempts to crack US military and government systems coming out of China or the Middle East hits the 'wires; rumors of groups of systems crackers belonging to the Air Force/United Nations/Department of Homeland Security/Microsoft/the Illuminati regularly make their rounds at hacker conventions. Military data nets are increasingly becoming targets of crackers from abroad, safe from prosecution and extradition because it's so difficult to start legal proceedings against someone you don't even know, let alone can grab by the scruff of the neck (police dramas and MLATs to …

Read more...

Random knowledge IV.

Just because it's usually the one-half teaspoon that falls off the holder and it's usually the one-half teaspoon that fell off the holder that you grabbed out of the drawer doesnt't mean that it's the one-half teaspoon that you really grabbed. Always look before you use measuring implements.



When a recipe says to use eggs, use real eggs. Four times out of five, Egg Beaters just won't cut it.

When creaming butter and sugar together (probably butter and anything, I havn't tried yet) it doesn't hurt if you melt the butter in a skillet or frying pan first. If anything …

Read more...