Computing with light

Decades ago, Grace Hopper, aka Queen of Software, championed light as a communication medium that could be used to build fast, secure computers. The boffins have pushed through another limit, this time silicon photonics. 

Here’s David Letterman’s interview of Admiral Hopper shortly after she retired from the Navy and joined DEC. “How do you get a pair of pantyhose that fit?” wonders one of the greatest minds of our time. (via Scripting News).

419 Recursion

My Gmail spam filter just caught this gem.

Just send us your contact information and our scammers really promise to send you money that you’d lost from those other, less virtuous scammers.

Doc rejoins Celtics, sort of

With Rondo on his way to Dallas, Pierce and KG heading to Brooklyn, and Doc moving west, Celtics fans may despair that the once-great team is being shattered.
Rest assured. We’ve been to this movie before.
In 1978, the original Celtics franchise was sent to Buffalo in a baffling deal that brought the then-Braves to Boston. (There was as baseball team called the Boston Braves that played at what is now Nickerson Field at BU. That franchise is now in Atlanta.) Included in that shuffle was one talented and troubled player, Marvin Barnes, whose story is featured in the “What the Hell Happened To” blog.
That same year, GM Red Auerbach had brilliantly drafted Larry Bird as a junior, even though Bird would return to Indiana for his senior year. The great teams of the 1980s had their basis in the train wreck that was the Celtics ownership of the 70s.
Astute readers will note that current GM Danny Ainge was a good basketball and baseball player and a pretty good basketball executive. Red Auerbach, however, Ainge ain’t.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo team moved to California, first to San Diego and then Los Angeles. So Doc River is now coach of what had been the Celtics.

Dept. of Non-obviousness: Drupal configuration message

You might not think that this stream of messages would be caused by character encoding:

Notice: Undefined index: highlighted in include() (line 126 of C:wampwwwdrupal-7.22modulessystempage.tpl.php). Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in drupal_alter() (line 1042 of

I was editing a configuration file and switched to UTF-8 because I needed to add a few unusual characters to a web page. When I did so, the stream of errors appeared. It took a long time of searching before I discovered. this discussion page where ANSI vs. UTF-8 was mentioned.
It’s not a universal law, but experience shows that the bigger the gusher of error messages, the cause is usually quite small and and the least obvious.