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While almost unknown to Americans, many Europeans have treasured these portraits
August 29, 2012 8:52 PM   Subscribe

Cliff Stoll makes glass Klein bottles. He also sells imported portraits of Gauss.
posted by madcaptenor (26 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also he sells cuckoo eggs.
posted by miyabo at 8:55 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, is that The Cuckoo's Egg Cliff Stoll?
posted by Ad hominem at 8:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes it is!
posted by madcaptenor at 9:00 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tell us more about this "silicon snake oil", cliff.
posted by mrnutty at 9:00 PM on August 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Is That's The Cuckoo's Egg Cliff Stoll

That's surprisingly hard to say.
posted by mattoxic at 9:01 PM on August 29, 2012


His info on the book, from the same site. (To uninitiated: Great computer espionage thriller + true story)
posted by circular at 9:02 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


He’s selling them on the Internet? How can that be? E-Commerce is baloney!
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:02 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


They do not appear to sell Klein bongs.

Which is just as well, they seem sort of frustrating.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 9:05 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hey. I have a portrait of Gauss pinned up behind my desk. Imported it myself back in 2000.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:16 PM on August 29, 2012


I has a Klein bottle! It is full of win. Or would be if it had an interior.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:20 PM on August 29, 2012 [18 favorites]


I am against this and I'm going to start an organization to deGauss everything.
posted by isopraxis at 9:21 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Tell us more about this "silicon snake oil", cliff.

It is still inferior to cookies.
posted by Sebmojo at 9:45 PM on August 29, 2012


Well, obviously I need one of these to keep company with this, and we know this is how collecting madness always starts.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:49 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it was a sad day when Sweden had to degauss its currency.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:33 PM on August 29, 2012


What does it say about me that when I read that "Seven year old Carl Frederich Gauss amazed his teachers instantly adding all the integers from 1 to 100.", I took a moment to try and figure out a way to do this?

I did not arrive at Gauss' method but I came up with something moderately clever:

- I observed that if you consider the ones place only, the sequence 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 9, 0 repeats ten times throughout the range. Add those up and you get 45. Multiply that by ten to get 450.

- Then you have the tens place. 10 shows up ten times, so does 20, 30… 90. Hmm, we can just pull the result we already had for adding up the ones, and multiply that by 100. 4500.

4500+450 = 4950, then add 100 because we haven't accounted for that, and you get 5050.

Not as fast as Gauss, who supposedly did it in 30 seconds after observing that if you pair them off like so: (100+1) + (99+2) + … (50+51), each pair sums to 101, there are 50 pairs, 5050!, but a minute or two adding up numbers in my head ain't too bad I think.
posted by egypturnash at 10:55 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


also oh wow I've kinda been wanting a teapot for a while and I think I found one I like. (scroll down)
posted by egypturnash at 11:00 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


When you stated the problem I visualized 100 stacks. 1 - 100 items. If you split it in the middle you can make it so you have all equal stacks. Then I thought about the otters from the otter post stacking all that stuff. Then I tried to add the stacks in my head and got bored and started watching youtube.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:03 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Welcome back 1999 internet
posted by growabrain at 11:10 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok but seeing the Robert Lang origami Klein bottle was worth reading through all the rest of that.
posted by newdaddy at 3:56 AM on August 30, 2012


E-Commerce is baloney!
no online database will replace your daily newspaper

no computer network will change the way government works

So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet—which there isn't—the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.
At this point, I am willing to pay Cliff to predict that no one will ever, ever give me a million dollars.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:25 AM on August 30, 2012


These Klein Bottles...I can trap Mars flies in them?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:31 AM on August 30, 2012


While it's easy to mock Stoll for Silicon Snake Oil based on quips and quotes and little scraps of the book, I think it's a worthwhile read even now, and a lot of his bigger points haven't been disproven. He was wrong on some points, largely because the capitalist frenzy in the early web years launched us straight into the World of the Future™ well ahead of even the imaginings of science fiction writers, but I think his stance on the virtualization and depersonalization of human contact is still pretty valid.
posted by sonascope at 6:35 AM on August 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I bought an Acme Klein bottle for my mother one Christmas, later she reciprocated with a Klein bottle knit cap. My family is weird, and I thank Cliff Stoll for aiding and abetting our weirdness.

I think the best part of the Klein bottle I bought for my mother was the included volume label, very carefully measuring off 0ml.
posted by sotonohito at 7:26 AM on August 30, 2012


I met Cliff Stoll once when I was a part of a meeting that he attended. I had read his Cuckoo's Egg and was enthralled by the story. I can say without hyperbole that he is the geekiest geek I have ever met. A great guy and funny but hardcore geek in every respect. Almost zany.

It was hard to reconcile him with the story he told in his book. His effusive, bouncing almost manic manner in person was not what I was expecting.
posted by bz at 10:20 AM on August 30, 2012


While it's easy to mock Stoll for Silicon Snake Oil based on quips and quotes and little scraps of the book, I think it's a worthwhile read even now, and a lot of his bigger points haven't been disproven. He was wrong on some points, largely because the capitalist frenzy in the early web years launched us straight into the World of the Future™ well ahead of even the imaginings of science fiction writers, but I think his stance on the virtualization and depersonalization of human contact is still pretty valid.

Yup.

And my klein bottle is still an excellent vase.
posted by madajb at 2:09 PM on August 30, 2012


I really liked his TED talk:

http://blog.ted.com/2008/03/27/clifford_stoll/
posted by philquadra at 7:29 PM on August 30, 2012


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