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Links 1 through 10 of 55 by Simon Phipps tagged History

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Another ingredient to weave into the story the BBC2 series is telling.

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I don't know whether to be excited this exists, depressed that I know so many people on the "Honor Roll" or honoured to be on the Honor Roll myself. Or all of the above.

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I've read plenty of books about the cunning diversionary and alternative intelligence tactics used in the Second World War but these photographs show just how remarkable some of the efforts were.

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Turns out that the electricity crisis triggered by the multiple tragedies in Japan is the result of never having fixed the standards duality in the power supply that arose from having two strong players in their market claiming their standard needed to be respected and instead of picking one, permitting the "two standards" tautology to survive.

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I've heard a number of these historic anecdotes. Resisting and denouncing change has been with humanity from time immemorial. Despite fine stories to help us understand the folly of it, each generation still experiences privileged incumbents using fear of change as their excuse for perpetuating their privilege.

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It seems James Burke's "Connections" series is available on YouTube - this page has links to the whole series.

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Hitting many geek targets in one superbly produced video, this shows a Lego recreation of the Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical calculator of great complexity built by the ancient Greeks which demonstrates their abilities went far beyond sculpture and philosophy.

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Well worth taking the time to read this story of the attempt by Thomas Edison to take control of the nascent movie industry using patent suits, an industry association as a heavy-handed enforcer and then a patent pool as the weapon against any company daring to innovate or meet actual customer demand.

Yes, there is nothing new in the actions of Paul Allen, the RIAA or of MPEG-LA, it's all been done before. Reading this really leaves me wondering why massive patent reform hasn't happened already.

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One of the long-running projects I had at Sun was to get the (pre-GPL, permissive) license on Sun RPC changed so that GNU/Linux could become Free software at last after decades of quietly using Sun RPC under a non-Free licence (Sun never cared).

I had it all agreed by Sun's legal and management teams and was given permission to announce it at FOSDEM in 2009 (which you can see in my blog), but then there was some sort of foul-up after it was all agreed and Red Hat (who were making the change) never received documentation of the decision that was sufficient to give them confidence it was all over. So the changes were rolled back.

Tom "Spot" Callaway at Red Hat persisted and finally got confirmation from an Oracle VP that permission to make the change had indeed been granted. So, at long last, glibc is Free software and we can all breathe easy that this can't cause copyright infringement suits against Linux. Congratulations to Spot for his tenacity! Read his view of what happened.

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