ap + !   1454

MSYS2 installer
MSYS2 is an independent rewrite of MSYS, based on modern Cygwin (POSIX compatibility layer) and MinGW-w64 with the aim of better interoperability with native Windows software. […] MSYS2 uses Pacman (of Arch Linux) to manage its packages and comes with three different package repositories
!  ms-windows  software-package 
march 2016 by ap
Long range forecast | Charlie Stross
Every nation that isn't impoverished or devastated by climate change will see a wave of immigration, and every nation undergoing a wave of immigration will see a nativist political reaction.
!  environment  economics  society  politics  depressing  future 
february 2016 by ap
Further Die Casting | Jerry “Tycho” Holkins @ Penny Arcade
“The die is cast” is roughly synonymous with “this is the point of no return,” like “crossing the Rubicon”. And I knew that’s what it *meant*, but the imagery I used to get there was different.

I mentioned *en Twittre* that, until very recently – the last year maybe – I thought the phrase “The Die Is Cast” was referring to a manufacturing thing, like a shaping tool. The tool that will determine the shape of events is already made. I was overjoyed to learn I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. But there were also a third group of people who thought it was referring to dye, that an indelible mark had been made and that was the shape of things. The reason nobody had their assumptions challenged for so long was because they were all using the term identically, with full compatibility, independent of the metaphor. This is the kind of thing I like.
!  language  :fullquote 
january 2016 by ap
Solved by Flexbox — Cleaner, hack-free CSS
CSS has been lacking proper layout mechanisms for far too long. […] Finally […] we have a solution. […] Problems once hard or impossible to solve with CSS alone, now made trivially easy with Flexbox.
css  ! 
october 2015 by ap
How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus | Andrew B. Myers @ The Atlantic
Students who call for trigger warnings may be correct that some of their peers are harboring memories of trauma that could be reactivated by course readings. But they are wrong to try to prevent such reactivations.
culture  society  psychology  ?  ! 
august 2015 by ap
Given Enough Money, All Bugs Are Shallow | Jeff Atwood
While I applaud any effort to make things more secure, and I completely agree that security is a battle we should be fighting on multiple fronts, both commercial and non-commercial, I am uneasy about some aspects of paying for bugs becoming the new normal. […] The incentives feel really wrong to me. As much as I know security is incredibly important, I view these interactions with an increasing sense of dread because they generate work for me and the returns are low.
software-development  ! 
april 2015 by ap
Why My MOOC is Not Built on Video | Dhawal Shah @ MOOC Report
The concepts [outlined in the videos] were clear: I could follow the explanations easily and the examples put things in context and helped me understand the importance of knowing statistics! But 2 weeks later… I couldn’t remember [how to relate the concepts]. I had to watch the videos one more time, then everything was clear again. But a month later … You know where this is going. […] Without manipulating the new concepts through writing things down, making summaries, diagrams, working through examples and so on… I just forgot.


Derek Muller (Veritasium) claims […] typical physics videos do nothing to clear students’ misconceptions – unless these misconceptions are tackled head on, creating a sense of confusion.
education  cognition  ! 
march 2015 by ap
False Equivalence | David Willis @ Shortpacked!
Let’s throw in some rosy cheeks and kissable lips.
feminism  :comic  ! 
march 2015 by ap
Boiling React Down to a Few Lines of jQuery | Саша Щепановский
1. Put all state that affects UI in any way in a data structure
2. Write purely functional code that generates the UI from that data structure
3. Write your event handlers as a) update the data structure b) call the UI renderer
javascript  jquery  reactjs  ! 
march 2015 by ap
Improved default settings for Linux machines
The reason I set [the kernel limits] high is that the machines I work on are not multi-user in any way. […] There's only one user/application that pretty much never wants or expects to hit the ridiculously low default limits. [… I] have never seen them cause an issue; in fact quite the opposite happens: users are not surprised by silly limits like 1024 file handles or applications going away for non-deterministic amounts of time while the kernel fetches application pages from swap that were only swapped out to make room for VFS. […] These are improved defaults for opening up the Linux network stack. I recommend Googling "Linux C10k" to learn more about what they mean. […]
linux  sysadmin  advice  ! 
february 2015 by ap
Bitcoin revealed: a Ponzi scheme for redistributing wealth from one libertarian to another | The Washington Post
Bitcoin miners, you see, borrowed [real dollar money] that they could only pay back if Bitcoin prices kept rising. […] Bitcoin, remember, is a digital “currency” that lets you send money online without needing a bank to confirm it. That’s because it substitutes a decentralized network of middlemen for a single middleman. And instead of paying [the miners real dollar] fees, it pays them with new Bitcoins. [… Now] Bitcoin prices are free falling [and so] miners are spending more money running their supercomputers than they’re making from new coins [which forces them to] sell the only assets they have—Bitcoins—to pay back their dollar debts […] Bitcoin, in other words, is suffering a deleveraging shock like the one that hit our economy in 2008, but without a Federal Reserve to cushion the blow.
economics  ! 
january 2015 by ap
Environment Variables Considered Harmful for Your Secrets
The environment is implicitly available to the process. It's hard to track access and how its content gets exposed. […] The whole environment is passed down to child processes (if not explicitly filtered) which violates the principle of least privilege. So your secret keys are implicitly made available to any 3rd-party tools you're using (like ImageMagick to resize an image). It's hard to say what those 3rd-party tools will do with the environment, especially in rare occasions like crashes.
programming  security  advice  ! 
january 2015 by ap
Building Infrastructure | Poul-Henning Kamp
For the parameters I use table-driven programming, and since few people seem to be aware you can even do that I’ll switch to digitus magistrans mode for a moment: […] Another convention I have adopted are a set of macros to manage and tag structs. […] Asserts — Yes, I love them, [and] three macros I use a lot are:
c  programming  advice  ! 
december 2014 by ap
Lego Friends | Maritsa Patrinos @ Seasonal Depression
If you want to appeal to girls, you don’t need to, like… make a whole *separate* line of toys. You just need to add *one* piece.
recommended  feminism  :comic  ! 
december 2014 by ap
Dada Data and the Internet of Paternalistic Things | Sara M. Watson @ The Message
My stupid refrigerator thinks I’m pregnant. […] I guess I should have seen it coming. Our Fountain™ tracking toilet noticed when I got off hormonal birth control and got an IUD instead. But I thought our toilet data was only shared between Nest and our doctors? What tipped off our Samsung fridge? I got a Now notification that I was ovulating a few weeks ago. I didn’t even know it had been tracking my cycle, let alone by basal body temperature through my wearable iRing.
life-under-the-cloud  ?  ! 
december 2014 by ap
Help Fund Open-Wash-Free Zones | Bradley M. Kuhn
Our community suffers now from regular and active cooption by for-profit interests. […] The primary mechanism of cooption: encourage funding only from a few, big sources so they can slowly but surely dictate project policy. […] This problem is actually much worse than traditional open-washing. I'd call this for-profit cooption its own subtle open-washing: picking a seemingly acceptable license for the software, but “engineering” the “community” as a proxy group controlled by for-profit interests. ¶ This cooption phenomenon leaves the community-oriented efforts of Free Software charities underfunded and (quite often) under attack. These same companies that fund plenty of Open Source development also often oppose copyleft.
libre-software  politics  licence  freedom  ! 
december 2014 by ap
Not Safe For Not Working On | Dan Kaminsky
It’s really quite tempting to say: “No, it’s OK. Only these celebrities got hacked, not me, because they were so stupid they took sexy photos. It attracted the hackers.” As if the hackers knew there had to be such photos in the first place, and only stole the photos. As if we don’t all have private lives, with sensitive bits, that could be or already have been acquired by parties unknown. We’ve all got something to lose. And frankly, it may already be lost.
security  sociology  usability  ! 
september 2014 by ap
Sorry but your password must contain an uppercase letter, a number, a haiku, a gang sign, a hieroglyph, and the blood of a virgin. | someecards.com
Sorry but your password must contain an uppercase letter, a number, a haiku, a gang sign, a hieroglyph, and the blood of a virgin.
funny  security  :picture  :fullquote  ! 
april 2014 by ap
Big data: are we making a big mistake? | FT.com
Professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger […], co-author of Big Data, told me that his favoured definition of a big data set is one where “N = All” – where we no longer have to sample, but we have the entire background population. [In that case] there is indeed no issue of sampling bias because the sample includes everyone. [… E.g.] it is in principle possible to record and analyse every message on Twitter and use it to draw conclusions about the public mood. [… But] in 2013, US-based Twitter users were disproportionately young, urban or suburban, and black. There must always be a question about who and what is missing, especially with a messy pile of found data. [… Kaiser Fung:] “N = All is often an assumption rather than a fact about the data.”
bigdata  statistics  science  ! 
april 2014 by ap
mozilla/mozjpeg – Mozilla JPEG Encoder Project
This project's goal is to reduce the size of JPEG files without reducing quality or compatibility with the vast majority of the world's deployed decoders.
compression  algorithm  software-package  ! 
april 2014 by ap
Save $400M printing cost from font change? Not so fast… | Thomas Phinney
Garamond lowercase is about 15% smaller than the average of the fonts they compare it to […] Setting *any* font 15% smaller would save 28% of its area coverage. […] But any of those changes, swapping to a font that sets smaller at the same nominal point size, or actually reducing the point size, or picking a thinner typeface, will result in slightly less legible text. […]
fonts  typography  ! 
april 2014 by ap
A rare insight into Kowloon Walled City | Mail Online
Once thought to be the most densely populated place on Earth, with 50,000 people crammed into only a few blocks, these fascinating pictures give a rare insight into the lives of those who lived Kowloon Walled City. Taken by Canadian photographer Greg Girard in collaboration with Ian Lamboth the pair spent five years familiarising themselves with the notorious Chinese city before it was demolished in 1992. The city was a phenomenon with 33,000 families and businesses living in more than 300 interconnected high-rise buildings, all constructed without contributions from a single architect […] and ungoverned by Hong Kong’s health and safety regulations.
location  history  anthropology  ! 
april 2014 by ap
Get Good at Idea Generation | James Hague
Here's what I do: I start writing a list of random solutions on a piece of paper. Some won't work, some are simple, some are ridiculous. What I'm trying to do is work through my initial batch of middling thoughts to get to the interesting stuff.
creativity  advice  ! 
april 2014 by ap
I reckon your message broker might be a bad idea. | Tef
Brokers are a great way of isolating components in your system, and unfortunately we’d isolated the crawler and workers from finding out if something had failed. […] In the end, it isn’t so much about message brokers, but treating them as infallible gods. By using acknowledgements, back-pressure and other techniques you can move responsibility out of the brokers and into the edges.
system-architecture  reliability  ! 
april 2014 by ap
Accidentally Turing-Complete | Andreas Zwinkau
Some things were not supposed to be Turing-complete. This is a collection of such accidents.
compsci  complexity  ! 
april 2014 by ap
The Map Is Not the Territory: An Essay on the State of Economics | John Kay @ The Institute for New Economic Thinking
[In] 1995, Lucas described his seminal model [which] developed into the dominant approach to macroeconomics today, now called Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium. […] All science uses unrealistic simplifying assumptions. […] But Lucas and those who follow him were plainly engaged in a very different exercise […] The distinguishing characteristic of their approach is that the list of unrealistic simplifying assumptions is extremely long. […] Lucas was explicit about his objective – “the construction of a mechanical artificial world populated by interacting robots that economics typically studies”. […] Consistency and rigour are features of a deductive approach, which draws conclusions from a group of axioms – and whose empirical relevance depends entirely on the universal validity of the axioms. The only descriptions that fully meet the requirements of consistency and rigour are complete artificial worlds, like those of Grand Theft Auto […] Much of the modern research agenda of the economics profession is thus unconnected to the everyday world of business and finance. [… Becker claims that] a priori deduction from a particular set of unrealistic simplifying assumptions is not just a tool but “the heart of the economic approach”. […] Believing that economics is like they suppose physics to be – not necessarily correctly – economists like Becker regard a valid scientific theory as a representation of the truth – a description of the world that is independent of time, place, context, or the observer. […] If there were to be such a universal model of the economic world, economic agents would have to behave as if they had knowledge of it […] This is a 𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰 𝘢𝘥 𝘢𝘣𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘥𝘶𝘮 argument, which demonstrates the impossibility of any universal model – since the implications of the conclusion for everyday behaviour are preposterous [… But] since the followers of this approach believe strongly in the premise – to deny that there is a single pre-specified model that determines the evolution of economic series would, as they see it, be to deny that there could be a science of economics – they accept the conclusion that expectations are formed by a process consistent with general knowledge of that model. […] This is not science, however, but its opposite.
economics  history  recommended  ! 
march 2014 by ap
Once Greece goes… | John Lanchester
[Completely accurate historical backgrounder and excellent analysis of the situation as of 3 years ago.]
greece  economics  politics  gfc  ! 
march 2014 by ap
How the SCP protocol works | Jan Pechanec
You can understand now from the way how scp protocol works why copying many small files over a high latency link might take so long in comparison to tarring the whole directory and pipe it through ssh. Those confirmation messages after every protocol message and data transfer is a big overhead. […] The protocol is very simple so the question is how extensible can it be. […] The problem is […] You could start the scp command on the other side with a new option meaning some specific extensions can be used. […] However, I'm not sure this is worth the hassle. Some vendors use SFTP protocol even for scp(1) and that is what we are thinking about, too.
ssh  protocol  ! 
march 2014 by ap
Toward Better Master Passwords | Jeff Shiner @ AgileBits
[To] get the most security out of it, you should combine Diceware with your own private system. Create a short random password, including digits and symbols and use that in place of one of the dicewords in your final password. So going back to my dogs, Molly and Patty, I might create a weak password like “2dM&P”, and suppose my rolls of the dice gets me “cleft cam synod lacy”, I could then create a master password like “cleft 2dM&P cam synod lacy”, which would be a very good master password.
security  advice  recommended  ! 
march 2014 by ap
Networks all the way down. | Fabian Giesen
We don’t really tend to think of them as such, but not only are all kinds of peripherals on network links these days, they also have general-purpose CPUs [… so] what we think of as “computers” today are, in practice, already fairly large, heterogeneous clusters of different specialized smaller computers […] Absolutely everything you plug into a computer these days is – by itself – another computer. Even stuff you think of as “passive” components, like batteries and thumb drives. […] Let me conclude by formulating an analogue to Zawinski’s Law of Software Envelopment:
Every data link standard converges to serial point-to-point links connected in a tiered-star topology and transporting packets. Those link standards which cannot so converge are replaced by ones which can.
hardware  system-architecture  networking  ! 
march 2014 by ap
Functional programming in object oriented languages
I’m starting to think of constructor arguments as the mechanism for partially applying all the methods on an object. Considering an object as a partial application of a set of methods is really quite interesting to me. It almost dictates that methods MUST operate, in some way, on the state of the object – just as we always read good OO code should
programming  functional  oo  ! 
march 2014 by ap
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webdesign  service  ! 
march 2014 by ap
Entropy Attacks! | Dan J. Bernstein
New entropy is a problem [because] each addition of entropy is a new opportunity for a malicious entropy source to control “random” outputs – breaking DSA, leaking secret keys, etc. […] With this as-deterministic-as-possible approach, the entire influence of the malicious entropy source is limited to controlling a few “random” bits somewhere.
randomness  cryptography  ! 
march 2014 by ap
Myths about /dev/urandom
Both /dev/urandom and /dev/urandom are fed by *the same* CSPRNG. Only the behavior when their respective pool runs out of entropy, according to some estimate, differs: /dev/random blocks, while /dev/urandom does not. […] *If* you really need information-theoretically secure random numbers (you don't!), and that's about the only reason why the entropy of the CSPRNGs input matters, you can't use /dev/random, either!
randomness  cryptography  ! 
march 2014 by ap
How To Safely Generate A Random Number
The kernel has access to raw device entropy [and] can promise not to share the same state between applications. […] Study the last 10 years of randomness failures and you’ll read a litany of userspace randomness failures. Debian’s OpenSSH debacle? Android Bitcoin wallets repeating ECDSA k’s? Gambling sites with predictable shuffles? [All] userspace random.
cryptography  randomness  advice  ! 
march 2014 by ap
Clear Sans
A versatile OpenType font for screen, print, and Web. We designed Clear Sans with on-screen legibility and glanceability in mind. It strikes a balance between contemporary, professional, and stylish expression and thoroughly functional purpose. It has a sophisticated and elegant personality at all sizes, and its thoughtful design becomes even more evident at the thin weight.
fonts  ! 
march 2014 by ap
I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society
Here was a group that included many of the executives whose firms had collectively wrecked the global economy in 2008 and 2009. And they were laughing off the entire disaster in private, as if it were a long-forgotten lark. (Or worse, sing about it – one of the last skits of the night was a self-congratulatory parody of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” called “Bailout King.”)
finance  gfc  ! 
march 2014 by ap
The Book of Graham | Amit Chatwani
The accelerator takes small amounts of risk and offloads that aggregate risk onto a market of investors (the VCs). Its Demo Day, which first showcases its companies, is a coming out event, like an IPO. And it attracts top young graduates, like my cousin, from across the world. I spent nearly a decade on Wall Street, and let’s be clear: that’s our model. Employing Type A personalities to shuffle around amorphous blobs of questionable value is not called a “startup accelerator”; it’s called Investment Banking.
finance  gfc  ! 
february 2014 by ap
Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person... | Gina Crosley-Corcoran
I, maybe more than most people, can completely understand why broke white folks get pissed when the word “Privilege” is thrown around. As a child, I was constantly discriminated against because of my poverty and those wounds still run very deep. But luckily my college education introduced me to a more nuanced concept of Privilege; the term Intersectionality. The concept of Intersectionality recognises that people can be privileged in some ways and definitely not privileged in others.
recommended  ?  ! 
january 2014 by ap
Vertically align anything with just 3 lines of CSS
position: relative;
top: 50%;
transform: translateY(-50%);
css  ! 
january 2014 by ap
Jump Point Search Explained
The A* algorithm expands its search by doing the simplest thing possible: adding a node's immediate neighbors to the set of what to examine next. What if we could look ahead a little bit, and skip over some nodes that we can intuit aren't valuable to look at directly? We can try and identify situations where path symmetries are present, and ignore certain nodes as we expand our search.
algorithm  ! 
july 2013 by ap
zopfli – Zopfli Compression Algorithm | Google Project Hosting
A new zlib (gzip, deflate) compatible compressor [which] takes more time (~100x slower), but compresses around 5% better than zlib and better than any other zlib-compatible compressor we have found.
compression  algorithm  software-package  ! 
april 2013 by ap
How does biology explain the low numbers of women in computer science? Hint: it doesn't | Terri Oda @ SlideShare
I used to do this back-of-the-napkin style presentation on whatever paper was handy when someone told me in person that women just weren’t good at math, and that’s why there were so few women in computer science. […] Yes, there is some gender disparity in math skills, but if you do the math, it simply doesn’t add up: those differences simply cannot explain why there are so few women in computer science (or in open source software, or in physics, or whatever).
diversity  mathematics  :slides  ! 
january 2013 by ap
Why diversity matters (the meritocracy business) | Eric Ries
And yet, when I suggest this practice to hiring managers and recruiters alike, they rarely do it. Hiring managers say, “the recruiter would never go for it” while recruiters say, “the hiring manager won’t accept it.” What I think we’re really saying is: “I don’t want to know if I am biased.” That’s understandable – it’s embarrassing! Even if our biases are only implicit and not consciously held, the systems we build can still contain bias. When we change a hiring policy, especially if we do it in a visible way, we reap two benefits. We actually improve our hiring process and also signal our commitment to meritocracy.
diversity  cognition  bias  advice  recommended  ! 
january 2013 by ap
Racism And Meritocracy | Eric Ries @ TechCrunch
I previously described on my blog one simple change I made to the hiring process at my last company. I asked all of our recruiters to give me all resumes of prospective employees with their name, gender, place of origin, and age blacked out. This simple change shocked me, because I found myself interviewing different-looking candidates – even though I was 100% convinced that I was not being biased in my resume selection process. If you’re screening resumes, or evaluating applicants to a startup school, I challenge you to adopt this procedure immediately, and report on the results.
I asked if they were planning to apply. Their response: “oh, no, it’s a waste of time. Y Combinator doesn’t accept people like me.” Where did they get that idea? Surely not from YC’s partners, who as far as I can tell are scrupulously fair in their dealings with entrepreneurs. Rather, they got that impression by inferring that there is probably implicit bias in YC’s admissions process, and that they’d be better off spending their time doing something else other than applying to YC. […] There are qualified minority applicants who are choosing – rationally – to invest their time and energy elsewhere.
diversity  cognition  bias  advice  recommended  ! 
january 2013 by ap
CSS: Taking control of the cascade | Jason Zimdars @ 37signals
It wasn’t until we had begun our third project using SCSS that we really embraced nesting for more than convenience. We began to notice that when used properly, nested CSS started to look a lot like the HTML document it is applied to.
css  webdesign  ! 
january 2013 by ap
 Design is not veneer | Aral Balkan 
The article, in summary, serves up design as a series of ingredients that you can simply add to your projects without thinking about *why* you’re adding them or the people who will be using your product. Want to add design to your site? Drop in a grid framework, add a few “sweet fonts”, embellish using colours, textures, icons, and a background image, and voilà, you have a beautiful website. […] That’s the great shortcoming of this article: it doesn’t consider the motivations or reasons for using the tools and materials that it suggests.
design  ! 
january 2013 by ap
Why Are People More Scared of Facebook Violating Their Privacy than Washington? | Reason.com
[There was a successful] bipartisan effort to stop amendments to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 that would make the domestic surveillance program more transparent and require compliance with the Fourth Amendment. […] The traditional media response […] has been remarkably nonexistent. […] Compare the lack of response to the way people react to privacy breaches connected to Facebook or Twitter.
privacy  ?  ! 
december 2012 by ap
It’s “locking” if it’s blocking | Yosef Kreinin
They’re both loops, and very similarly-looking ones. Moreover, we can get stuck at both loops for an indefinite period of time. How come they're at the opposite sides of the locking/lock-free distinction?! Where's the difference?
compsci  concurrency  programming  ! 
december 2012 by ap
Austerity Can’t Be Just for Regular People | Matt Taibbi @ Rolling Stone
The model for economic progress in the financial bubble era, after all, is supposed to go something like this:
1. Let banks inflate massive asset bubbles with the aid of cheap or even free government cash, and tons of leverage;
2. Before it all explodes, carve out gigantic sums for bonuses and compensation for the companies that inflated those bubbles;
3. After it explodes, get the various governments to bail those companies out;
4. Pay for it all by slashing services to what’s left of the middle class.
:quotation  gfc  ?  ! 
december 2012 by ap
Push to End Too-Big-To-Fail Goes Mainstream | Matt Taibbi @ Rolling Stone
Moreover, [Harvey Rosenblum] talks about an inherent perversion of the system that has led to a two-tiered regulatory environment: a top tier where the misdeeds of [too-big-to-fail] banks are routinely ignored and unpunished (“virtually nobody has been held accountable for their roles in the financial crisis”, he writes), and a lower tier where small regional banks are increasingly forced to swim upstream against “the law’s sheer length, breadth and complexity”, leading to a “massive increase in compliance burdens.” To me, the dichotomy outlined by Rosenblum helps explain the appearance of two seemingly contradictory major protest movements: a Tea Party movement fulminating against a repressive, overweening regulatory regime, and the Occupy movement railing against an extreme laissez-faire system bordering on lawlessness.
:quotation  gfc  ?  ! 
december 2012 by ap
Plutocracy, Paralysis, Perplexity | Paul Krugman @ NYTimes
For the past century, political polarization has closely tracked income inequality, and there’s every reason to believe that the relationship is causal. Specifically, money buys power, and the increasing wealth of a tiny minority has effectively bought the allegiance of one of our two major political parties […] The real structural problem is in our political system, which has been warped and paralyzed by the power of a small, wealthy minority.
gfc  economics  ?  ! 
december 2012 by ap
The Moons of the Solar System | Visual News
[The design was inspired by old science ads with a touch of modern graphic elements.]
:picture  astronomy  space  visualisation  ! 
december 2012 by ap
Colour Accessibility | Geri Coady @ 24 ways
There are many tools out there for simulating different types of colour blindness, and it’s worth checking your design to catch any potential problems up front.
webdesign  colour  perception  accessibility  ! 
december 2012 by ap
Effects of Typography on Reader Mood and Productivity | Dmitry Fadeyev @ UsabilityPost
In their paper titled _The Aesthetics of Reading_, Kevin Larson and Rosalind Picard present their findings on the effects of typography on reader mood and cognitive performance. They conducted two studies, each involving 20 people. […] The lesson here is […] good typography has a clear impact on the mood of the reader [… and thereby] on our productivity, at least in the sphere of certain creative tasks.
typography  cognition  ! 
november 2012 by ap
An f2fs teardown | LWN.net
A new filesystem for Linux recently announced by engineers from Samsung. Unlike jffs2 and logfs, f2fs is not targeted at raw flash devices, but rather at the specific hardware that is commonly available to consumers [with a] flash translation layer already built in. […] The FTL typically uses a log-structured design to provide the wear-leveling and write-gathering that flash requires [… so] f2fs makes no effort to distribute writes evenly across the address space to provide wear-leveling. The particular value [it] brings […] is that it provides large-scale write gathering so that when lots of blocks need to be written at the same time they are collected into large sequential writes which are much easier for the FTL to handle.
linux  ssd  filesystem  ! 
october 2012 by ap
HTTPS Everywhere | Electronic Frontier Foundation
A Firefox and Chrome extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. […] Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over HTTPS, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site. The HTTPS Everywhere extension fixes these problems by using a clever technology to rewrite requests to these sites to HTTPS.
firefox  google-chrome  privacy  security  software-package  ! 
october 2012 by ap
The Mars Landing Approach: Getting Large Payloads to the Surface of the Red Planet
“There’s too much atmosphere on Mars to land heavy vehicles like we do on the moon, using propulsive technology completely,” said Manning, “and there’s too little atmosphere [and too much gravity] to land like we do on Earth [using atmospheric drag and lift].” […] Plainly put, with our current capabilities, a large, heavy vehicle, streaking through Mars’ thin, volatile atmosphere only has about 90 seconds to slow from Mach 5 to under Mach 1, change and re-orient itself from a being a spacecraft to a lander, deploy parachutes to slow down further, then use thrusters to translate to the landing site and finally, gently touch down.
space  engineering  ! 
september 2012 by ap
Stanford researchers’ cooling glove “better than steroids”
Even in prototype form, the researchers’ device proved enormously efficient at altering body temperature. The glove’s early successes were actually in increasing the core temperature of surgery patients recovering from anesthesia [in under 10 minutes. …] But the glove’s effects on athletic performance didn’t become apparent until the researchers began using the glove to cool a member of the lab – the confessed “gym rat” and frequent coauthor Vinh Cao – between sets of pull-ups. The glove seemed to nearly erase his muscle fatigue; after multiple rounds, cooling allowed him to do just as many pull-ups as he did the first time around. So the researchers started cooling him after every other set of pull-ups. “Then in the next six weeks he went from doing 180 pull-ups total to over 620,” said Heller. “That was a rate of physical performance improvement that was just unprecedented.”
biology  science  hacking  ?  ! 
september 2012 by ap
Two Solitudes | Greg Wilson
I proposed that the only way to improve communication between researchers and practitioners in software engineering is to create an empirical, evidence-based course in software engineering (with assignments and exams that require students to analyse code and data themselves, do grounded theory analysis of interviews, etc., so that they understand how these studies actually work and what questions they can and can’t say), and then wait ten years for those students to become team leads and managers.
software-development  engineering  :slides  ! 
september 2012 by ap
You should log all successful user authentication | Chris Siebenmann
Every place where users can authenticate over the network to your systems should log successful authentications, including the source IP address. Every place. No exceptions.
sysadmin  advice  ! 
august 2012 by ap
Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital | Matt Taibbi @ Rolling Stone
“A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and our nation,” he declared. “Every day we fail to act, that fire gets closer to the homes and children we love.” Our collective debt is no ordinary problem: According to Mitt, it’s going to *burn our children alive*. ¶ And this is where we get to the hypocrisy at the heart of Mitt Romney. […] Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth. ¶ By making debt the centerpiece of his campaign, Romney was making a calculated bluff of historic dimensions – placing a massive all-in bet on the rank incompetence of the American press corps. The result has been a brilliant comedy: A man makes a $250 million fortune loading up companies with debt and then extracting million-dollar fees from those same companies, in exchange for the generous service of telling them who needs to be fired in order to finance the debt payments he saddled them with in the first place. That same man then runs for president riding an image of children roasting on flames of debt, choosing as his running mate perhaps the only politician in America more pompous and self-righteous on the subject of the evils of borrowed money than the candidate himself[, Paul Ryan]. If Romney pulls off this whopper, you’ll have to tip your hat to him: No one in history has ever successfully run for president riding this big of a lie. It’s almost enough to make you think he really is qualified for the White House.
politics  economics  usa  media  gfc  ! 
august 2012 by ap
GitX (L)
This is my own version of GitX and it meets all my requirements on my day-to-day use of Git on MacOSX.
mac  git  software-package  ! 
august 2012 by ap
“It’s done in hardware so it’s cheap”
There’s this idea that we can have a machine that makes “high-level languages” run fast […] Object-orientation and dynamic typing frequently result in indirection: pointers instead of values and pointers to pointers instead of pointers. […] This kind of thing can never be sped up by specialization, because memory access fundamentally takes quite a lot of time and energy, and when you do p->a, you need one such access, and when you do p->q->a, you need two, hence you’ll spend twice the time. Having a single ”LOAD_LOAD” instruction instead of two – LOAD followed by a LOAD – does nothing for you. […] Hardware can only deliver “efficiency miracles” for operations that are fundamentally cheap to begin with.
hardware  algorithm  complexity  system-architecture  ! 
august 2012 by ap
Vilistextum is a HTML to text converter specifically programmed to get the best out of incorrect HTML.

• small and fast
• understands HTML 3.2 upto 4.01 and XHTML 1.0
• creates footnotes for links
• can swallow multiple empty lines
• removes empty ALT attributes
• converts characters and entities between 128 and 159 from the windows1252 charset to meaningful strings in ISO-8859-1
• output can be optimized for ebook reading
• supports various multibyte encodings (e.g. Unicode, Shift_JIS)
html  email  software-package  ! 
august 2012 by ap
The best answer requires some aggravation | Havoc Pennington
• I thought I had a pretty good approach, or didn’t think anything better was possible, and wasn’t looking to spend more time on the problem.
• Someone had the passion to keep pushing, and we either stayed in the room or kept the email thread going beyond a “reasonable” amount of effort.
• We came up with a much better approach, often reframing the problem to eliminate the tradeoff we were arguing about at first.


A feeling of harmony or efficiency probably means you’re making a boring, routine decision. Which is fine, for routine stuff. But if you have an important decision to make, work on it until the whole team wants to kill each other. Grinding out a great decision will feel emotional, difficult, and time-consuming.
advice  ! 
june 2012 by ap
Why you should never use hash functions for message authentication | James Coglan
Many hash functions are based on something called the “Merkle-Damgard iterated construction” […] First we take IV and M0 and compute h(IV,M0) to get H0. Then we take H0 and M1 and compute H1 = h(H0,M1) and so on down the chain. Whatever value comes out the end of the chain is the result of the hash function […] The construction of hash functions means that if you know the value of `hash(string)`, you can easily work out the value of `hash(string + modification)` *without knowing what `string` is*: you just take the hash you already have, and do some more rounds of Merkle-Damgard with your modification.
hash  cryptography  security  ! 
june 2012 by ap
UTF-8 Everywhere
Q: What do you think about BOMs?
A: Another reason not to use UTF-16.
unicode  advice  :quotation  ! 
may 2012 by ap
Editing/Publishing Separation | Martin Fowler
Editing involves small number of people frequently accessing the article, doing both reads and updates. Publishing involves many more people (we hope) accessing the article, but all doing reads. […] With two such different access paths, a few CMSs keep separate copies of the articles, controlled by relatively independent modules. The editing module is geared around the frequent updates, it provides support for editing, tracking changes and monitoring the workflow of the editing process. When an article is published it’s copied over the publishing module. The publishing module treats the article as largely read-only, updated rarely and only by the editing module. Consequently the publishing module is designed around serving that article to a large number of readers. At the least this involves a different configuration of the data storage.
system-architecture  advice  ! 
april 2012 by ap
The iPhone, an automobile for your mind | Jason Kottke
Tom Vanderbilt says Americans don’t walk as much as they used to; automobile usage has eaten into our perambulation time. […] Sherry Turkle says young Americans don’t converse as much as they used to; usage of mobile devices like the iPhone and iPod has eaten into our chat time. […] Steve Jobs was fond of saying the personal computer was “a bicycle for our mind”: […] Perhaps then the iPhone is an automobile for our mind in that it allows us to go anywhere very quickly but isolates us along the way.
technology  sociology  ! 
april 2012 by ap
Credential Caching for Wrist-Friendly Git Usage
One of our users, Andrew Nurse, has come up with a great utility that utilizes Git 1.7.9’s HTTPS Credential Caching support to provide a native password cache for Windows.
git  ms-windows  software-package  ! 
april 2012 by ap
Amazing Round of “Split or Steal” | Bruce Schneier
The more I think about the psychology of it, the more interesting it is. I’ll save my comments for the comments, because I want you to watch it before I say more. Really.
game-theory  psychology  ! 
april 2012 by ap
If You Have a Smart Phone, Anyone Can Now Track Your Every Move | Technology Review
It shouldn’t be surprising that carrying around a little RF transmitter in your pocket makes you visible to all sorts of tracking technology.
mobile  privacy  :quotation  ! 
april 2012 by ap
Server Seizure, April 2012 | Riseup
Q: Doesn’t Mixmaster/anonymous remailers enable criminals to do bad things?

A: Criminals can already do bad things. Since they’re willing to break laws, they already have lots of options available that provide better privacy than mixmaster provides. They can steal cell phones, use them, and throw them in a ditch; they can crack into computers in Korea or Brazil and use them to launch abusive activities; they can use spyware, viruses, and other techniques to take control of literally millions of Windows machines around the world. Mixmaster aims to provide protection for ordinary people who want to follow the law. Only criminals have privacy right now, and we need to fix that.
privacy  anonymity  :quotation  ! 
april 2012 by ap
It’s definitely a bubble | Dave Winer
We’re bundling young people into things called start-ups, and selling them to investors for ever-increasing amounts of money. In an effort to bring more suckers in, they just passed a law that makes it legal to pimp these start-ups to people who don’t know anything.
business  economics  ! 
april 2012 by ap
The neuroscience of Bob Dylan’s genius | The Guardian
Unless poets are stumped by the form, unless they are forced to look beyond the obvious associations, they’ll never invent an original line. […] When a poet needs to find a rhyming word with exactly three syllables or an adjective that fits the iambic scheme, he ends up uncovering all sorts of unexpected connections; the difficulty of the task accelerates the insight process.
cognition  creativity  recommended  ! 
april 2012 by ap
Angry Birds, Farmville and Other Hyperaddictive ‘Stupid Games’ | NYTimes.com
Game-studies scholars (there are such things) like to point out that games tend to reflect the societies in which they are created and played. […] The enemy in Tetris is not some identifiable villain (Donkey Kong, Mike Tyson, Carmen Sandiego) but a faceless, ceaseless, reasonless force that threatens constantly to overwhelm you, a churning production of blocks against which your only defense is a repetitive, meaningless sorting. […]

When I spoke to Frank Lantz, the creator of Drop7, he seemed humbled by his own game. He said Drop7 felt less like something that he and his team had created than something they had discovered — “a little corner of the universe that people hadn’t visited before, that predates us and will be around after we’re gone.” […]

“There’s no word for that in English, for a thing that does both of those at the same time. But it’s wonderful.” I asked him if he knew a word for that in another language. He said no, but then he thought for a minute.
games  cognition  psychology  sociology  beauty  recommended  ! 
april 2012 by ap
Introducing awfulness.js | Tom Morris
Is your website too boring, functional and usable? Want to make it more exciting and “responsive”? Just include awfulness.js and you can benefit from all these new features.
1. Badly reimplemented statefulness
2. Infinite scrolling: because paging is too convenient
funny  ajax  rant  ! 
april 2012 by ap
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