The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that killed millions and set the continent of Europe on the path to further calamity two decades later. But it didn’t come out of nowhere. With the centennial of the outbreak of hostilities coming up in 2014, Erik Sass will be looking back at the lead-up to the war, when seemingly minor moments of friction accumulated until the situation was ready to explode. He'll be covering those events 100 years after they occurred. This is the 78th installment in the series.

Both schools of thought, however, assume that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with new, more powerful weapons did coerce Japan into surrendering on August 9. They fail to question the utility of the bombing in the first place -- to ask, in essence, did it work? The orthodox view is that, yes, of course, it worked. The United States bombed Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, when the Japanese finally succumbed to the threat of further nuclear bombardment and surrendered. The support for this narrative runs deep. But there are three major problems with it, and, taken together, they significantly undermine the traditional interpretation of the Japanese surrender.

The TTY subsystem is central to the design of Linux, and UNIX in general. Unfortunately, its importance is often overlooked, and it is difficult to find good introductory articles about it. I believe that a basic understanding of TTYs in Linux is essential for the developer and the advanced user. Beware, though: What you are about to see is not particularly elegant. In fact, the TTY subsystem — while quite functional from a user's point of view — is a twisty little mess of special cases. To understand how this came to be, we have to go back in time.

Below are some medieval recipes. Unless otherwise noted the interpretations are my own. Whenever possible I've given the source and/or the original text.

My North Korean name is Shin In-kun (South Korean name: Shin Dong-hyuk). I was born on 19 November 1982. I was a political prisoner at birth in North Korea.

Two foundational beliefs have colored our views of nuclear weapons since the end of World War 2; one, that they were essential or at least very significant for ending the war, and two, that they have been and will continue to be linchpins of deterrence. These beliefs have, in one way or another, guided all our thinking about these mythic creations. Ward Wilson who is at the Monterey Institute of International Studies wants to demolish these and other myths about nukes in a new book titled “5 Myths about Nuclear Weapons“, and I have seen few volumes which deliver their message so effectively in such few words. Below are Wilson’s thoughts about the two dominant nuclear myths interspersed with a few of my own.

Vi förutsätter inte att våra studenter ska komma från gymnasiet med perfekta språkkunskaper. Den individuella språkutvecklingen är en process, och alla gör fel ibland. Vi är heller inga bakåtsträvare – som historiker är vi självklart fullt medvetna om att språk förändras. Vad vi önskar är att våra studenter kommer till oss med en svenska som fungerar.

Vi vädjar till landets beslutsfattare att tilldela svenskundervisningen de resurser som behövs. Dagens skolungdomar måste få ett fungerande språk. Vi som undervisar på universitetsnivå har inga möjligheter att täcka upp för de brister som uppstått redan i grund- och gymnasieskolan. Som läget är nu har vi stora svårigheter att ens åstadkomma en acceptabel kunskapsnivå i vårt eget ämne hos våra studenter – alltför många av dem förstår helt enkelt inte vad vi säger.

Suppose I could offer you a choice of two technologies for watching TV online. Behind Door Number One sits a free-to-watch service that uses off-the-shelf technology and that buffers just enough of each show to put the live stream on the Internet. Behind Door Number Two lies a subscription service that requires custom-designed hardware and makes dozens of copies of each show. Which sounds easier to build—and to use? More importantly, which is more likely to be legal?

The Blit (originally named the Jerq!) was an early graphical user interface, connected to a UNIX computer. Inspired by the Xerox Alto from the early 1970s, creators Rob Pike and Bart Locanthi wanted to make a graphics machine for use at Bell Labs that would have the usability of the Xerox, but with the processing power of a 1981 computer. Created using a Motorola microprocessor instead of a Bell one, the machine would be retooled for the commercial market (business market, because it was still expensive) as the AT&T; 5620, which came out in 1984 — using a Western Electric WE32000 microprocessor. The Blit had a vertically-oriented display and an early mouse peripheral; this video explains how it worked.

There are still plenty of ideas out there, ranging from the extremely ambitious — such as Elon Musk’s desire to fly to the Red Planet in the next two decades – to the completely bizarre – like the MarsOne reality-show/one-way-suicide-mission combo.

Here we take a look at historical Mars plans, both crazy and sane, and the few that really stood a good chance at becoming reality.

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