Top Posts for May 4, 2018

NSA collected 500M U.S. call records in 2017, a sharp rise: official report

Summary: The spike in collection of call records coincided with an increase reported on Friday across other surveillance methods, raising questions from some privacy advocates who are concerned about potential government overreach and intrusion into the lives of U.S. citizens.

Keywords: records, intelligence, number, surveillance, year

Full article on | 450 Points and 232 Comments

Akin’s Laws of Spacecraft Design (2003)

Summary: (alternate formulation) The three keys to keeping a new human space program affordable and on schedule: 1) No new launch vehicles.

Keywords: design, law, analysis, program, laws

Full article on | 413 Points and 99 Comments

The rise of the pointless job

Summary: Many large corporations, for instance, maintain their own in-house magazines or even television channels, the ostensible purpose of which is to keep employees up to date on interesting news and developments, but which, in fact, exist for almost no reason other than to allow executives to experience that warm and pleasant feeling that comes when you see a favourable story about yourself in the media.

Keywords: job, jobs, bullshit, people, fact

Full article on | 412 Points and 342 Comments

Please Stop Using Adblock (But Not Why You Think)

Summary: But when a company has few real costs and makes huge amounts of money, consumers should take pause before contributing to their bottom line.

Keywords: ads, ad, acceptable, eyeo, users

Full article on | 393 Points and 209 Comments

A 1970s Teenager’s Bedroom (1998)

Summary: These were driven by one of the amplifiers with the bass cranked all the way up, the result was a floor that vibrated quite a bit (fortunately this room was on the ground level and no one lived in the basement below!).

Keywords: system, speaker, amp, radio, shack

Full article on | 349 Points and 128 Comments

Canada facing ‘brain drain’ as tech talent leaves for Silicon Valley

Summary: Canada’s best and brightest computer engineering graduates are leaving for jobs in Silicon Valley at alarmingly high rates, fuelling a worse “brain drain” than the mass exodus by Canadian doctors two decades ago, according to a new study.

Keywords: cent, study, canadian, tech, university

Full article on | 338 Points and 564 Comments

What happens before main() is executed in C and why is it important?

Summary: a program with a main() function that simply returns zero) ideally on a microcontroller and use gdb to step through the code.

Keywords: main, initialized, program, run, code

Full article on | 333 Points and 85 Comments

Never Write Your Own Database (2017)

Summary: It was already the case even before the rise of smartphones that our assumptions about our ability to run code at these times was suspect (battery-constrained laptops became dominant starting in the mid-2000’s; “green” AC-powered machines are automatically shut down at night; as disk capacities exploded but IO per second did not, just rewriting all the data could take so long that it could not complete in any maintenance window that was available).

Keywords: file, page, files, data, onenote

Full article on | 329 Points and 124 Comments

C Primer

Summary: This is used commonly among software like GUI toolkits for useful behavior handling, such as when someone “clicks” a button, or when a window resizes, or a slider changes value etc.

Keywords: code, memory, function, data, library

Full article on | 322 Points and 82 Comments

Moving Fast and Securing Things

Summary: We have simplified tasks as much as possible, presenting the items as statements that require little to no prior context to complete, and we acquire feedback via our bug bounty program and incident investigations that help us to improve the checklists as we progress.

Keywords: security, team, sdl, slack, process

Full article on | 317 Points and 50 Comments

Google embraces, extends, and extinguishes

Summary: The “extinguish” with GMail is also well underway - it’s infamous for having an extremely strict spam filter for incoming emails from people who run personal or niche mail servers.

Keywords: google, open, source, standards, extend

Full article on | 303 Points and 179 Comments

AT&T explains why it blocked Cloudflare DNS: It was just an accident

Summary: AT&T sued the Federal Communications Commission in 2015 in order to eliminate net neutrality rules that forbid ISPs from blocking or throttling websites and online services.

Keywords: cloudflare, dns, blocking, customers, address

Full article on | 199 Points and 89 Comments

How Strenuous Exercise Affects Our Immune System

Summary: During an event such as a marathon, for instance, immune cells would begin to flood the bloodstreams of the athletes, apparently flushed there from other parts of the body as heart rates rose and blood sluiced more forcefully through various tissues.

Keywords: immune, cells, exercise, athletes, researchers

Full article on | 197 Points and 177 Comments

The Kruskal Count Card Trick

Summary: To reshuffle and play again hit the reload button on your browser.

Keywords: card, cards, row, deck, click

Full article on | 190 Points and 37 Comments

Ascii Art Generator

Summary: Copy

Keywords: copy

Full article on | 182 Points and 28 Comments

The extraordinary life and death of the world’s oldest known spider

Summary: Throughout the 20th century, farming and industrialization had destroyed almost all the wilderness in the region — leaving patches like the North Bungulla Reserve as precious sanctuaries for the tiny species that held her fascination.

Keywords: main, spider, burrow, mason, door

Full article on | 164 Points and 18 Comments

Mecanum wheel

Summary: In 1997, Airtrax Incorporated and several other companies each paid the US Navy $2,500 for rights to the technology, including old drawings of how the motors and controllers worked, to build an omnidirectional forklift truck that could maneuver in tight spaces such as the deck of an aircraft carrier .

Keywords: wheel, rotation, wheels, mecanum, direction

Full article on | 162 Points and 47 Comments

Extracting Structured Data from Recipes Using Conditional Random Fields (2015)

Summary: That finely structured data, while invisible to the end user, has allowed us to quickly iterate on designs, add granular HTML markup to improve our SEO, build a customized search engine and spin up a simple recipe recommendation system.

Keywords: ingredient, quantity, unit, data, array

Full article on | 155 Points and 19 Comments

The hell that is filename encoding (2016)

Summary: It’s the cause of a huge amount of fiddly boilerplate code in beets, a good number of bug reports, and a lot of sadness during our current port to Python 3.

Keywords: python, paths, bytes, beets, unicode

Full article on | 149 Points and 110 Comments

How much does Apple know about me? The answer surprised me

Summary: Apple makes a big deal about its different approach to privacy on the company website, and it paints quite an effective selling proposition for buying an iPhone vs. a Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel phone.

Keywords: apple, data, google, privacy, personal

Full article on | 145 Points and 70 Comments

Seven Puzzles You Think You Must Not Have Heard Correctly (2006) [pdf]

Full article on | 139 Points and 60 Comments

Say yes to the progressive web

Summary: That last bullet point is technically accurate, and yet it raises an important issue and the main problem with adopting progressive web apps today: The driving force behind PWAs is Google.

Keywords: web, pwas, app, standards, google

Full article on | 139 Points and 121 Comments

China smartphone market suffers hard-landing, shipments decline 21% in Q1 2018

Summary: Palo Alto, Shanghai, Singapore and Reading (UK) – Thursday, 26 April 2018 Smartphone shipments in China suffered their biggest ever decline in Q1 2018, down by more than 21% annually to 91 million units, a number first passed some four years ago in Q4 2013.

Keywords: canalys, market, china, shipments, xiaomi

Full article on | 139 Points and 168 Comments

A Criminal Gang Used a Drone Swarm to Obstruct an FBI Hostage Raid

Summary: While the U.S. military has effectively deployed drone-jamming equipment to the front lines in Syria and Iraq, most of these solutions are either unsuitable or have not been tested for use in American cities where they may interfere with cell phone signals and possibly the avionics of other aircraft, said Ahn Duong, the program executive officer at DHS’s homeland security, science and technology directorate.

Keywords: drones, security, border, criminal, technology

Full article on | 132 Points and 145 Comments

We’re happy with SQLite and not urgently interested in a fancier DBMS (2016)

Summary: There are three reasons I’m unenthusiastic about alternative DBMSes: I’m skeptical that they will actually help performance; it’s a clear case of premature optimization; and SQLite is unbeatably convenient for desktop applications like beets.

Keywords: beets, database, sqlite, performance, workload

Full article on | 130 Points and 115 Comments

Swedish Academy Won’t Award Nobel Prize in Literature This Year

Summary: ET The Swedish Academy won’t name a Nobel laureate in literature this year, depriving the book industry of one of its main annual promotional events, and acknowledging the tarnish on the highest honor in letters.

Keywords: academy, won, swedish, prize, nobel

Full article on | 128 Points and 159 Comments

FoundationDB community highlights, two weeks in

Summary: Beamon, Alec Grieser, Alex Miller, Alexander Lagerström, Alvin Moore, Amanda Aizuss, Ben Halverson, Bruce Mitchener, Chr1st0ph, Dave Lester, Dennis Schafroth, Douglas Daniels, Evan Tschannen, Hiroshi Saito, Iuri Sitinschi, John Brownlee, Martin Junker, Matias Insaurralde, Semih Tok, Steve Malmskog, Umar Farouk Umar, Vince Polsinelli, Yichi Chiang, naru-jpn, tracebundy, and xtreak.

Keywords: foundationdb, community, project, core, umar

Full article on | 124 Points and 46 Comments

Scaleway – NVMe SSD Servers and Hot Snapshot

Summary: On the business side, metrics were growing correctly and we were able to raise strategic investments, which we announced back in November , to solve our stock issues, release new products and expand globally.

Keywords: server, servers, start, cloud, hot

Full article on | 124 Points and 57 Comments

A secondary market has emerged for buying and selling Telegram tokens early

Summary: The Russian government has gone after the messaging app through crude censorship campaign that knocked out swathes of IP addresses — potentially as many as 19 million — in order to prevent Telegram evading its crackdown.

Keywords: telegram, early, price, ico, public

Full article on | 119 Points and 104 Comments

Biology Will Be the Next Great Computing Platform

Summary: After the order is completed, software directs compressors and pumps to push chemical reagents into the rows of instruments, mixing the ­fluids and catalyzing the 100,000 reactions needed to create a single batch of kits.

Keywords: crispr, synthego, gene, companies, company

Full article on | 117 Points and 69 Comments

Testing distributed systems

Summary: SQLite is not a distributed system by any stretch of the imagination, but provides good example of comprehensive testing of database implementation.

Keywords: distributed, systems, testing, bugs, study

Full article on | 114 Points and 2 Comments

Things I’ve learned using serverless

Summary: Lesson #5 — Serverless Framework FTW My early experimentation with Lambda was a clunky affair of coding directly into the AWS console and getting frustrated that it took a lot of work and error messages to do some trivial things.

Keywords: serverless, dynamodb, code, lambda, python

Full article on | 113 Points and 76 Comments

Version 6 of Angular Now Available

Summary: This means that you can remove this polyfill from your application and save approximately 47KB of bundle size, while increasing animations performance in Safari at the same time.

Keywords: ng, update, angular, add, generate

Full article on | 113 Points and 29 Comments

GDPR compliance as a service

Summary: The European Union’s new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which takes effect on 25th May 2018, creates uncertainty and risk for website owners.

Keywords: risk, legal, protection, owners, gdpr

Full article on | 110 Points and 132 Comments

‘My £1,000 Macbook Air was stolen at airport security and no one cares’

Summary: Ardiles, who is studying in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, was travelling home after an Easter break with her parents in London when long delays at the airport meant her bag and MacBook Air went through the security scanner far quicker than she did.

Keywords: airport, security, ardiles, laptop, police

Full article on | 108 Points and 123 Comments

Lisp, Jazz, Aikido

Summary: By introspecting my personal aesthetic sensitivities, I eventually realized that my tastes in the scientific, artistic, and physical domains are all motivated by the same driving forces, hence unifying Lisp, Jazz, and Aikido as three expressions of a single essence, not so different after all.

Keywords: programming, aikido, lisp, jazz, art

Full article on | 107 Points and 132 Comments

Masterminding the largest lottery scam in American history

Summary: In statements to prosecutors, Tipton painted himself in the most generous way possible, a kind of coding Robin Hood, stealing from the lottery and helping people in need: his brother who had five daughters, his friend who’d just gotten engaged.

Keywords: tipton, lottery, sand, man, ticket

Full article on | 106 Points and 58 Comments

First impressions about Graal VM

Summary: Enterprise Edition Free for evaluation and other non-production uses For commercial use and support options, the sales team should be contacted

Keywords: java, graalvm, edition, vm, native

Full article on | 103 Points and 27 Comments

Oni – Modern Modal Editing

Summary: Mouse-free productivity with the perks of modern code editors.

Keywords: easy, modern, productivity, perks, editors

Full article on | 96 Points and 78 Comments

“There is, unfortunately, no such thing as a truly neutral stance on inclusion”

Summary: I am leaving LLVM culture Chris Lattner on “I am leaving LLVM” culture person via sanxiyn 6 hours ago via sanxiyn 47 hours ago | cached | +60, -5 off-topic

Keywords: llvm, ago, hours, leaving, sanxiyn

Full article on | 95 Points and 109 Comments

Searching for a Future Beyond Facebook

Summary: Both of these events are significant, but the latter actually speaks more acutely to the crisis surrounding Facebook, for the truth is that our personal information has long been for sale — through data brokers and other shadowy entities — to any commercial or governmental actor that might be interested.

Keywords: facebook, data, people, personal, company

Full article on | 92 Points and 76 Comments

How to Train and Build a Conversational News Chatbot

Summary: We use Fountain a Natural Language Data Augmentation Tool for Conversational Systems to generate the training dataset.

Keywords: news, intent, content, search, based

Full article on | 85 Points and 3 Comments

Programming Language Theory in Agda

Summary: This book is an introduction to programming language theory, written in Agda.

Keywords: part, ready, comments, foundations, review

Full article on | 84 Points and 9 Comments

California Now World’s 5th Largest Economy, Surpassing UK

Summary: SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest, according to new federal data made public Friday.

Keywords: california, economic, state, gdp, billion

Full article on | 82 Points and 34 Comments

The Question of Quantum Supremacy

Full article on | 77 Points and 9 Comments

Sinister parasites that control their hosts’ minds

Summary: To see this happening, Nina Hafer and Manfred Milinski of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Ploen, Germany infected small crustaceans called copepods ( Macrocyclops albidus ) with multiple tapeworms ( Schistocephalus solidus ).

Keywords: host, infected, cricket, wasp, people

Full article on | 75 Points and 27 Comments

Why Silicon Valley can’t fix itself

Summary: Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has warned about social media’s role in encouraging “mindless scrambles for friends or unworthy distractions”, and Twitter boss Jack Dorsey recently claimed he wants to improve the platform’s “conversational health”.

Keywords: tech, technology, facebook, time, human

Full article on | 74 Points and 54 Comments

Over 400 Startups Are Trying to Become the Next Warby Parker

Summary: Within a one-mile radius, you can walk into stores belonging to a dozen DTC brands–Away luggage, Allbirds sneakers, M.Gemi shoes, Untuckit shirts, Everlane fashion, Indochino menswear, Outdoor Voices active­wear, Bonobos men’s clothing, and, of course, Warby Parker.

Keywords: dtc, wharton, company, companies, warby

Full article on | 72 Points and 66 Comments

Pulling the Plug on GeForce Partner Program

Summary: Still, today we are pulling the plug on GPP to avoid any distraction from the super exciting work we’re doing to bring amazing advances to PC gaming.

Keywords: gpp, gamers, geforce, gaming, tech

Full article on | 69 Points and 36 Comments

If Fortnite Were a Website, It Would Rival Reddit and Amazon

Summary: The reasons why are pretty clear: the game is free; it’s available on PCs, consoles and mobile devices; it has a vibrant, kid-friendly aesthetic, and it’s constantly getting major updates and easter eggs that keep things fresh and exciting.

Keywords: fortnite, google, reddit, gaming, top

Full article on | 67 Points and 61 Comments

SquirrelMail is being removed from cPanel

Summary: benny Vasquez / Apr 19th, 2018 / Products As of cPanel & WHM version 74, we will begin to deprecate our support of SquirrelMail, one of our bundled webmail applications.

Keywords: squirrelmail, webmail, cpanel, version, applications

Full article on | 66 Points and 58 Comments

Help analyze Donald Rumsfeld’s memos

Summary: Now you can explore the early days of the War on Terror - and potentially earn free MuckRock requests and even swag - by helping analyze what was in them, surfacing the most interesting and historically important memos and sharing the results with everyone.

Keywords: muckrock, requests, swag, free, entries

Full article on | 65 Points and 7 Comments

Technique to manipulate electrons with light could make computers much faster

Summary: The main commercial route, pursued by companies such as Intel, IBM, Microsoft and D-Wave, uses superconducting circuits—loops of wire cooled to extremely cold temperatures (-321°F or less), at which the electrons stop colliding with each other and instead form shared quantum states through a phenomenon known as coherence.

Keywords: electrons, quantum, states, qubits, university

Full article on | 65 Points and 9 Comments

There’s no clear evidence Autopilot saves lives

Summary: If Elon Musk truly wanted to settle the debate over Autopilot safety, Tesla could release the full dataset in anonymized form, allowing independent experts to analyze the data.

Keywords: autopilot, tesla, safety, data, nhtsa

Full article on | 64 Points and 68 Comments

Judge the value of what you have by what you had to give up to get it

Summary: Explicitly considering the opportunity cost can help: if I meet for coffee I’ll have to work an hour later, and that means I won’t be able to read my son a story before bedtime.

Keywords: opportunity, cost, spend, money, sony

Full article on | 63 Points and 18 Comments

PagerDuty makes their security training public

Summary: To jump straight in, click one of the images below to view the relevant training course.

Keywords: training, security, relevant, material, pagerduty

Full article on | 61 Points and 3 Comments

How a Medieval Society Withstood Nearly 60 Years of Drought

Summary: “I can now retire from politics ,” he said—the king of cool, the ironist in chief—“after having had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way”: JFK, speaking to the vast audience at Madison Square Garden as Marilyn Monroe tottered away on her high heels, in her flesh-colored dress, leaving behind the hot trail of her sexual desire glowing in the darkness.

Keywords: uighurs, drought, reading, steppe, years

Full article on | 60 Points and 28 Comments

Neural Networks and Primes

Summary: Beyond this, the ability to use the data manipulation capabilities of “numpy” coupled with the complete customisability of “matplotlib” in graphic generation, means that I’ve been able to expand my knowledge base in a remarkably practical direction, gaining the skills required to create much more interesting and fruitful plots than the visuals produced by Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

Keywords: prime, neural, numbers, number, networks

Full article on | 59 Points and 18 Comments

Open Sourcing Seurat: bringing high-fidelity scenes to mobile VR

Full article on | 57 Points and 6 Comments

The Problem with Threads (2006) [pdf]

Full article on | 51 Points and 28 Comments