The eli4d Gazette – Issue 014

Issue 014: 2016-09-14

Tech Pick

I’ve been following Julia Evans’s blog for some time. She is deeply technical and enthusiastic, and her writing emphasizes her core opinion about programming (stated in her about page):

I have one main opinion about programming and it’s — understanding the underlying systems you use (the kernel, the operating system, the network layers, your database, HTTP, whatever you’re running on top of) is essential if you want to do amazing work and be able to fix hard problems. It’s served me well so far.

In line with her opinion, Julia has created some excellent zines that cover programming and debugging. They’re fun creations that are well worth reading and printing. You can find them here:

Media Pick

I accidentally came across the Defiance TV series through Amazon Prime video. It is a SyFy funded show that is well done. Even with three seasons, there are some very decent story arcs.

To me, the SyFy channel has been a mixed bag ranging from the amazing Battlestar Galactica TV series to the questionable Ghost Hunters series (questionable from a science fiction perspective).

Time will tell if SyFy has taken a path back to actual SciFi. This reminds me of a Security Now episode covering this:

STEVE: Anyway, so a number of people were happy to have that. But I wanted to answer the question, what has happened at Syfy? And there was a Wired podcast during which they recently interviewed Bill McGoldrick, who is the new head of programming at Syfy.

Then Wired writes: “For years, Syfy has tried to broaden their appeal beyond science fiction fans, populating the channel with ghost hunters, pro wrestlers, and low-budget creature features like ‘Sharknado’ and ‘Mansquito.’ And while that did pull in new viewers, it also alienated sci-fi fans.” And I’m adding, and how. “McGoldrick was brought in with a clear mandate: Lure the fans back with smart, ambitious shows. Adapting classic books is part of that plan. McGoldrick said: ‘We want to honor that core fan base that is passionate about the material. We’re really trying to focus on that core audience. And I think the way to do that is to respect the stuff that they really liked in the first place.'” Which of course is music to my ears.