Kevin O'Brien

Author's posts

Statistics and Polling

This is a bit of a change of pace, but I got some inquiries about this and thought I would offer my own two cents on something that often confuses people. My qualifications for this are two-fold: In my past life I was a professor who taught classes in Statistics; I have worked for a …

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Review of Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security In An Uncertain World

Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World by Bruce Schneier My rating: 5 of 5 stars Bruce wrote this book in 2003 as a response to 9/11 and how it lead to changes in security practices in the U.S. He criticizes many of the security measures taken as “security theater” that makes …

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Review of The Code Book

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is a very good review of the history on encryption and explains the basic principles involved. It is a lot like David Kahn’s The Code Breakers, but is available for a …

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Review of The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal

The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop My rating: 5 of 5 stars Having just read Katie Hafner’s Where Wizard’s Stay Up Late I was ready to tackle this book, which is both deeper and more ambitious. Where Hafner’s book was purely about the origin of …

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Review of Where Wizards Stay Up Late

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet by Katie Hafner My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is a classic book that sat on my shelf for a while and I just decided to pick it up and read. It was very rewarding. It tells the story of how the Internet came …

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What’s Wrong With Free, Anyway?

So I am at my LUG meeting the other night listening to a spirited discussion, which is pretty normal for us. We have a lot of very opinionated people there, and there is never a lack of discussion. The trick is getting a word in edgewise, and normally three people are all talking at once …

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Tablet share numbers prove I was right

In November 2011 I made the claim here, and on my blog, that by the end of 2012 Apple and Android wold have essentially equal market shares. And the 4th Q 2012 numbers show that I was correct. I doubt there are any wonderful prizes for this, but there it is. My prediction was based …

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Review of The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin

<a href=”http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5273962-the-daemon-the-gnu-and-the-penguin” style=”float: left; padding-right: 20px”><img alt=”The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin” border=”0″ src=”http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348132467m/5273962.jpg” /></a><a href=”http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5273962-the-daemon-the-gnu-and-the-penguin”>The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin</a> by <a href=”http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/328650.Peter_H_Salus”>Peter H. Salus</a><br/> My rating: <a href=”http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/514861960″>4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br /> I give this a high rating because it does what it sets out to do very well.Peter Salus …

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Data-Driven Objectivity

I recently had an exchange online with someone I tend to like, and it was about self-driving cars. My correspondent said that he would never, under any circumstances, get into a self-driven car. In fact, he seemed to think that self-driven cars would lead to carnage on the roads. My own opinion is that human …

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KDE Manifesto Released

The KDE project has released its Manifesto. Since this is my desktop of choice, I thought I should mention it. It is very good: The KDE Manifesto We are a community of technologists, designers, writers and advocates who work to ensure freedom for all people through our software. Because of this work we have come …

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