The Assclown Offensive

November 9, 2009

Via Suzanne, the article on Wired about 4chan’s blitz on the Church of Scientology.

When the day arrived, thousands of Anonymous members, many with their faces obscured by scarves or Guy Fawkes masks, turned out in scores of cities to protest lawfully and nonviolently (depending, of course, on your definition of nonviolence: In London, an Anonymous crowd carrying boom boxes subjected staffers in a Scientology building to a day of real-life rickrolling). A second protest followed in March, with numbers matching the original.

One of my friends once mentioned that the Church of Scientology must be terrible, because even 4chan hates them; but this article suggests that it’s almost random chance that 4chan decided to have a vendetta against them. There are so many other worthy causes that could be used to mine lulz in exactly the same way, but somehow the hive mind settled on the Scientologists.

To me this suggests that the hive mind of Anonymous does not strike out on its own; there are implicit restrictions involving what other people already see as "cool" or "funny". Obviously, more research is called for.

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Rebench: cutting through the myths of I/O performance

November 9, 2009

Seen via Adam: an article on Rebench, a tool used to benchmark hard drive performance.

We know that a random, uniform distribution workload with 512 byte block size results in 87 I/O operations per second on our rotational drive. Let’s try sequential reads:

$ sudo rebench -w seq /dev/sda
Benchmarking results for [/dev/sda] (74GB)
Operations/sec: 9778 (4.77 MB/sec)
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I’m still waiting for the superballs.

November 9, 2009

Seen on JWZ: a planet where it rains rocks.

Much like the Earth’s atmosphere causes water cloud to form resulting in water droplets, COROT-7b’s atmosphere is believed to form rock clouds that then rain little pebbles and other forms of rock.

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