Author Archives: NC

Canons of good spin

Dan Dennet’s canons of good spin (heard in Reverse-engineering Religion): It is not a bare-faced lie You have to be able to say it with a straight face It has to relieve skepticism without arousing curiosity It should seem profound

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Finding system information on Windows

In practical system administration, it is sometimes necessary to record edition and/or version of Windows along with the product key (for example, before installing a non-Windows OS with the view of using the Windows product key on a different machine). … Continue reading

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Dealing with a c-state bug

Computers that run Linux (especially newer kernel versions) on Intel Bay Trail family processors are sometimes affected by a c-state bug. It manifests as a random and total freeze of the system. Screen content remains unchanged, but the machine becomes … Continue reading

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Managing Windows product keys

Windows includes a little-known utility named slmgr (which presumably stands for Software License ManaGeR) that allows the administrator to install and uninstall Windows product keys (may be useful when upgrading). Both installation and uninstallation have to be done from the … Continue reading

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Predictors of hard drive failure

From the ever so helpful people at Backblaze: For the last few years we’ve used the following five SMART stats as a means of helping determine if a drive is going to fail. Attribute Description SMART 5 Reallocated Sectors Count … Continue reading

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GPS and relativity

In order for GPS to work correctly, the software must explicitly take into account both special relativity and general relativity. Adjustment for special relativity is needed because satellites fly around the Earth at approximately 8 km/s, which by itself results … Continue reading

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Literature: fantasy vs. realism

…judged by the standards of fantasy, modernist realist fiction, with its narrow focus on daily details of contemporary human affairs, is suffocating and unimaginative, almost unavoidably trivial, and ominously anthropocentric. (Ursula K. Le Guin, The Critics, the Monsters, and the Fantasists)

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Getting Yahoo! Finance data into Excel

Here’s a little VBA snippet that allows to retrieve Yahoo! Finance data into an Excel spreadsheet. Usage: =yfQuote(ticker, date, field), where ticker (required) is ticker symbol used by Yahoo! Finance. Examples: MSFT, ^GSPC, VXX. date (optional) is the date for which quotes … Continue reading

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Size doesn’t matter; age does

John Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, and Javier Miranda, “Who Creates Jobs? Small versus Large versus Young”, The Review of Economics and Statistics, May 2013, Vol. 95, No. 2, Pages 347-361. Abstract The view that small businesses create the most jobs remains appealing … Continue reading

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The top 15 cities for tech startups

From Infoworld: The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) list measures overall venture capital investment in each respective market to compile its data.

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