Ian Mackenzie

Ian Mackenzie

  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "With 7nm processes on the horizon (and atoms on the order of 1-3nm across)" I think you mean 1-3 angstroms (1A = 0.1nm) for atom size/bond length. Still not many atoms across a 7nm wide wire, but it gives IC...
  • Commented on The light at the end of the tunnel (is not necessarily an oncoming train)
    Hopefully culturally unambiguous ship names you don't want to meet: Recreational Genocide It's no longer a planet It was only a LITTLE supernova... Organicide No Living Enemies Dead Organics Have No Legal Standing Brane Collision Extinction Event...
  • Commented on I can't keep up
    Hi Greg, Might I suggest investing in a no-name USB keyboard? - it has TWO page-down keys, and, at a cost of single-digit pounds, can assist you in lowering your stress levels by deliberately going past and ignoring Seagull output....
  • Commented on Evolver
    Just for fun - note tongue in cheek: This comes about because someone has an ... unexpected ... success in uplifting cats with opposable claws and tells them that being a humanitarian is a good thing. They run out of...
  • Commented on Empire Games
    I had the numbers because I thought the ones who put the quantum dots into the group of humans and gave them the first toy (knot) could move through the vast multidimensional space that a knot-user who starts at a...
  • Commented on Empire Games
    My take on the knots and world-addressing... Each world is designated by a sequence of numbers (eg, 3, 76, 230, -17, -84, 0, 0, 0) Each knot multiplies one of the numbers that applies to the person's locality by -1....
  • Commented on Nightmare Stacks competition results ...
    Congratulations to all the winners. I'm flattered that you liked ETLA2 - it seemed like a useful utility for the Laundry - especially to avoid information leakage about existing code names. The idea was initially sparked by the previous competition...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    I thought NZ was the informal post-apocalyptic meetup (at least according to commanders of US nuclear subs)?? Rather lacking in amenities compared to a functioning europe, though....
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Note: not first entry - just for amusement Designation: BUZZWORD SALAD Purpose: Informavore defense Deployment: BUZZWORD SALAD relies on the metabolism of the informavore: it feeds on free energy (nucleons with non-maximal binding energy, strained nitrogen bonds, etc) and the...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Name: Cthulhu Denial Hastur Bypass Nyarlathotep Negation Classification: Rate-Limited Challenge-Reponse Universal Authentication protocol Deployment: CDHBNN functions as a hyperspherically meta denial of service (1)(2) to those of a different universe. In effect, the entire universe is used as a one-time...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Name: Special K Super-L Classification: Lethal Anti-Super weapon Deployment: Some Supers will put the Laundry Operative in the unenviable situation of having to deal with a Super who is both a clear, present, and immediate danger to the public or...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Name: Norm-L Classification: Non-Lethal Anti "Super" weapon Deployment: The rise of abnormal abilities in random individuals from the general population - so called "Supers" - has, unfortunately, put significant personal power in the possession of a small percentage of people...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Name: Wire Brush Of Enlightenment Classification: Educational tool Deployment: A worryingly high number of Laundry Operatives, when faced with the opportunity to engage in an occult activity, will act as if they believe that normal safety procedures do not apply...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Name: Fe-Lin Classification: Short to medium range weapon. Deployment: Due to events involving CASE NIGHTMARE SPECTRUM, our universe has recently been subject to invasion by Hostile Irom-Sensitive Entities (HISE). These entities are believed to consist of at least one species...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Name: ETLA2 Classification: Laundry Admin staff only Description: ETLA2 (Replaces ETLA GENERATOR) is a utility for generating acceptable Laundry codenames. It can be requested to produce names amenable to grouping (eg CASE NIGHTMARE ZETTAELECTRONVOLT and CASE NIGHTMARE ATTOHERTZ), and will...
  • Commented on FAQ: The Laundry Files--series timeline
    To clarify my sentence above: If we're going to have a future, then I would prefer one where the flavour of one's sexuality is a bad predictor for life-happiness. There seems no need to choose a future that's even more...
  • Commented on FAQ: The Laundry Files--series timeline
    I'm pretty sure that writing stuff for my tastes would be too small a market, but... I don't see any reason for LGBT characters to have a problem with their sexual orientation. And I don't think that had anything to...
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    SO with Alien Space Bats eh? Hmmmmmm... Alien Space B(r)at has an attack of Dunning-Kruger syndrome and has to bail out over unnamed earth city (1) ASB discovers that the subset of local bipeds totally devoted to greed and self-interest...
  • Commented on Repurposing Memory
    Hi Dirk, When you say "If you posit a sufficiently large multiverse then with finite computation it is possible to reconstruct anyone from arbitrarily small amounts of information.", I have a question or three... 1. Are you saying that your...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Re: fire and talking past each other... Heteromeles seems to be saying (much condensed and paraphrased) that any species who managed to become spacefaring on their own would have needed to be physically capable of starting off the whole engineer...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    I suspect that Anathem was a fairly good short story before it metastased ;-)...
  • Commented on Magic, ecospeak and genre distinctions
    One reason why Gen X believe that the UK was using iron to cut the sod since the 7th century would be the 1977 series "Connections" by James Burke, with episode 3 showing a plow with wooden mouldboard but iron...
  • Commented on Let's Talk About Running A Successful Kickstarter Campaign
    Can I just add another supporter for the Twenty Palaces novels? - I particularly liked the lack of same-old, same-old fantasy monsters and the feeling that the world was genuinely new & unexplored before you wrote it....
  • Commented on Apology
    My Daughter the Spy - Book one of the Quantum Pattern War Hopefully longtime readers will make some sense of the series name (better than "Cryptology, Topology, and the Search for Freedom", with or without an extra "Quantum" inserted ;-)...
  • Commented on Apology
    (Tongue firmly in cheek) The New British Empire vs The United States of Terror...
  • Commented on Apology
    Some random thoughts that I hope might be useful: Prince of Spies or maybe Princely Spies? Merchants of Death has almost certainly been taken The Price of Safety Paranoia and Empire (Or Empires of Paranoia) Merchants of Paranoia ? or...
  • Commented on Competition Redux!
    Email Sent. Thank You and congratulations to all winners....
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    While inventive, using Massively Multiversal Codebreaking to delete all the money in every tax haven was NOT an acceptable use of Laundry equipment. What do you MEAN you erased ALL their backup tapes?...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    The Laundry is not authorised to conduct political operations, whether on of off UK soil. Therefore, it is not acceptable to "induce involuntary retirement" and/or "inhume" the Prime Minister of [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and/or New Zealand, EVEN, and I want...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    The Laundry Charter explicitly prevents intervention in UK politics. Therefore, "Exhuming the corpse of [REDACTED], [REDACTED], REDACTED], [REDACTED] and/or [REDEACTED] and reanimating it as an office gopher" is not an acceptable career goal. Even if they ARE an obvious agent...
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