Sunday, May 25, 2008

Feynman @ Thinking Machines

Fabulous story of Richard Feynman's time working on the Connection Machine:
When we finally picked the name of the company, Thinking Machines Corporation, Richard was delighted. "That's good. Now I don't have to explain to people that I work with a bunch of loonies. I can just tell them the name of the company."
I do not mean to imply that Richard was hesitant to do the "dirty work." In fact, he was always volunteering for it. Many a visitor at Thinking Machines was shocked to see that we had a Nobel Laureate soldering circuit boards or painting walls. But what Richard hated, or at least pretended to hate, was being asked to give advice. So why were people always asking him for it? Because even when Richard didn't understand, he always seemed to understand better than the rest of us.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Inside Stepney-gate

Wired has a great article reliving the 2007 scandal in Formula One where engineers allegedly stole information from Ferrari and gave it to McLaren.

A few days later, Trudy Coughlan picked up the two CDs, along with the 780 pages of documents. Following her husband's instructions, she destroyed the papers in a home shredder and burned the remains in their back garden. Thus began the biggest scandal ever to rock the world of Formula One racing.

If you enjoy F1 (or tales of industrial espionage) it's a great read.