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today's leftovers

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  • Question the Current Dogma: Is Kubernetes Hyper-Scale Necessary for Everyone?

    Kubernetes in 2020 has become synonymous with the term cloud native and is also often used as a vehicle for vendors and IT organizations alike to claim they are transforming or modernizing their workloads. But what are they actually transforming? What is Kubernetes itself actually providing?

  • Enabling the persistent journal in Debian

    It seems unlikely that anyone on any "side" of the systemd war that has raged in Debian over the last few years thought that the results of the recent general resolution (GR) vote ended the matter. The vote showed a clear preference for moving ahead with systemd as the preferred init system, though it was far from any kind of landslide—there were definitely plenty of voters who would have preferred a different outcome. It was a complicated GR, with a wide spectrum of options, but at this point, the project as a whole has spoken. Actually implementing some of the changes that the GR enabled may not have the smooth path that some might have hoped for, however.

    On February 1, Michael Biebl posted a message to the debian-devel mailing list noting that he had fixed a wishlist bug (from 2013) by enabling the systemd persistent journal. Prior to that, journald would log to the non-persistent /run/log/journal directory by default and rsyslog would create the persistent text log files in /var/log. The change to the Debian systemd package would create the /var/log/journal directory where journald will store its persistent binary log files. That way, the journals will still be available after a reboot.

    The message said that new installs and upgrades of the systemd package would create the directory, but it also included instructions on how to revert to the existing behavior; further upgrades to the systemd package will respect that choice. Beyond that, though, running both the persistent journal and rsyslog means that the log files are effectively stored twice on disk, so Biebl may ask the Debian ftp-masters to lower the priority of rsyslog so that it is not installed by default for the upcoming Debian 11 ("bullseye") release. Those who want to have a different system logger can add it after the initial install, of course.

  • Sustain OSS 2020: quick rewind

    I loved Sustain OSS 2020 because it is a unique collection of people from various backgrounds in the Free/Open Source movement. Both old and new folks, software engineers and designers, open source program office folks and the FOSS lawyers, all together in one room. Perhaps the best part for me is leaving with a sense of empowerment and connection to a bigger movement of people.

  • Top 7 Anime Based Open-Source Projects

    Anime is no longer limited only to Japan and China; it has gone global. It has attracted many people towards it because of its high-end graphics, vivid imaginations for the future, using highly advanced technologies which only find their place in our imaginations and artificial intelligence (AI) depiction in their storylines. Naturally, it serves as a means of entertainment for any kind of audience that watches it and also it could be fun to do projects related to it. And we all know Elon Musk likes anime too:

  • Synchronous Messaging: We’re Live.

    After a nine month leadup, chat.mozilla.org, our Matrix-based replacement for IRC, has been up running for about a month now.

    While we’ve made a number of internal and community-facing announcements about progress, access and so forth, we’ve deliberately run this as a quiet, cautious, low-key rollout, letting our communities find their way to chat.m.o and Matrix organically while we sort out the bugs and rough edges of this new experience.

    Last week we turned on federation, the last major step towards opening Mozilla to the wider Matrix ecosystem, and it’s gone really well. Which means that as of last week, Mozilla’s transition from IRC to Matrix is within arm’s reach of done.

    The Matrix team have been fantastic partners throughout this process, open to feedback and responsive to concerns throughout.
    It’s been a great working relationship, and as investments of effort go one that’s already paying off exactly the way want our efforts to pay off, with functional, polish and accessibility improvements that benefit the entire Matrix ecosystem coming from the feedback from the Mozilla community.

  • Trump hesitates on plan for open access mandate

    The Trump administration is backing away from a widely reported plan to bypass publisher paywalls on scientific research resulting from federal investment, making plans instead to study the matter further.

    The chief White House science adviser, Kelvin Droegemeier, said that after two years and nearly 100 meetings with publishers, universities, researchers and others, administration officials wanted more consultation.

  • Always Use UTF-8 & Always Label Your HTML Saying So

    To avoid having to deal with escapes (other than for <, >, &, and "), to avoid data loss in form submission, to avoid XSS when serving user-provided content, and to comply with the HTML Standard, always encode your HTML as UTF-8.

  • Why Supporting Unlabeled UTF-8 in HTML on the Web Would Be Problematic

    UTF-8 has won. Yet, Web authors have to opt in to having browsers treat HTML as UTF-8 instead of the browsers Just Doing the Right Thing by default. Why?

    I’m writing this down in comprehensive form, because otherwise I will keep rewriting unsatisfactory partial explanations repeatedly as bug comments again and again. For more on how to label, see another writeup.

  • Larry Tesler, the Inventor of Copy-Paste, Was More Influential Than You Realize

    Larry Tesler perhaps wasn’t the most high-profile figure in tech history, but his impact is most certainly felt in ways big and small to this day.

    By far, his best known contribution is the cut/copy-paste functionality that he is widely credited with inventing.

    Tesler, who died this week at the age of 74, is widely credited with the invention of the basic idea thanks to his role at the famed Xerox PARC, the experimental research center that helped formulate many of the general ideas behind the personal computer. While there, Tesler came up with Gypsy, one of the first WYSIWYG document editors that was reliant on a keyboard-mouse combo, for an Xerox subsidiary, Ginn & Company. While an earlier Xerox PARC tool named Bravo predated Gypsy, Gypsy was “modeless,” meaning that the user interface was always in an editable state, rather than an editor with modes, which requires commands to be typed first before text can be modified. (The modern-day Unix editor Vim is an example of a mode-based editor, which is relatively uncommon in the modern day.)

  • Larry Tesler cut and pasted from this mortal coil: That thing you just did? He probably invented it

    Larry Tesler – self-described "primary inventor of modeless editing and cut, copy, paste" – has died at the age of 74.

    Tesler had a hand in many of the computing concepts taken for granted today. On his website he wrote: "I have been mistakenly identified as 'the father of the graphical user interface for the Macintosh'. I was not. However, a paternity test might expose me as one of its many grandparents."

    After a stint at Stanford culminating in AI research in 1973, Tesler became a member of the research staff at Xerox's famed Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

  • The mess behind Microsoft’s yanked UEFI patch KB 4524244 [Ed: Microsoft shoots itself in the foot and even Microsoft boosters like Woody Leonhard are not happy. UEFI 'in action'...]

    Patch Tuesday’s truly odd Win10 patch KB 4524244 wreaked havoc before it was finally pulled last Friday night. Since then, accusations have flown about Kaspersky, in particular, and Microsoft’s complicity in signing a rootkit. There’s plenty of blame to go around — and much more to the story.

  • Stop Using Encrypted Email

    The least interesting problems with encrypted email have to do with PGP. PGP is a deeply broken system. It was designed in the 1990s, and in the 20 years since it became popular, cryptography has advanced in ways that PGP has not kept up with. So, for example, it recently turned out to be possible for eavesdroppers to decrypt messages without a key, simply by tampering with encrypted messages. Most technologists who work with PGP don’t understand it at a low enough level to see what’s wrong with it. But that’s a whole other argument. Even after we replace PGP, encrypted email will remain unsafe.

    Here’s why.

  • U.S. agency that handles Trump's secure communication suffered data breach

    The agency provides direct telecommunications and IT support for President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, their staff, and the U.S. Secret Service, according to its website.

    It also provides direct support to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior members of the armed forces, and its field offices support U.S. military commanders abroad.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The letter gave few further details. For example, it did not say what part of DISA’s network had been breached, nor identify which individuals may have had their data compromised.

More in Tux Machines

Debian: RcppSimdJson, Opinionated IkiWiki and More

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppSimdJson 0.0.4: Even Faster Upstream!

    A new (upstream) simdjson release was announced by Daniel Lemire earlier this week, and my Twitter mentions have been running red-hot ever since as he was kind enough to tag me. Do look at that blog post, there is some impressive work in there. We wrapped up the (still very simple) rcppsimdjson around it last night and shipped it this morning. RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire. Via some very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. For illustration, I highly recommend the video of the recent talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (which was also voted best talk). The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle use per byte parsed.

  • Jonathan Dowland: Opinionated IkiWiki

    For various personal projects and things, past and present (including my personal site) I use IkiWiki, which (by modern standards) is a bit of a pain to set up and maintain. For that reason I find it hard to recommend to people. It would be nice to fire up a snapshot of an existing IkiWiki instance to test what the outcome of some changes might be. That's cumbersome enough at the moment that I haven't bothered to do it more than once. Separately, some months ago I did a routine upgrade of Debian for the web server running this site, and my IkiWiki installation broke for the first time in ten years. I've never had issues like this before.

  • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in March 2020

    This month I accepted 156 packages and rejected 26. The overall number of packages that got accepted was 203.

Python Programming

  • Python 2.7.8 : Using python scripts with Revit Dynamo.

    Dynamo is a visual programming tool that extends the power of the Revit by providing access to Revit API (Application Programming Interface. Dynamo works with node, each node have inputs and outputs and performs a specific task. This is a short tutorial about how you can use your python skills with Revit and Dynamo software.

  • Getting started with Django middleware

    Django comes with a lot of useful features. One of them is middleware. In this post I'll give a short explanation how middleware works and how to start writing your own.

  • Talk Python to Me: #258 Thriving in a remote developer environment

    If you are listening to this episode when it came out, April 4th, 2020, there's a good chance you are listening at home, or on a walk. But it's probably not while commuting to an office as much of the world is practicing social distancing and working from home. Maybe this is a new experience, brought upon quickly by the global lockdowns, or maybe it's something you've been doing for awhile. Either way, being effective while working remotely, away from the office, is an increasingly valuable skill that most of us in the tech industry have to quickly embrace. On this episode, I'll exchange stories about working from home with Jayson Phillips. He's been writing code and managing a team from his home office for years and has brought a ton of great tips to share with us all.

  • How TO GET STARTED WITH Machine Learning
  • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxii) stackoverflow python report

today's howtos

Games: Anodyne, Streets of Rogue, Vendetta Online and More

  • Analgesic Productions have opened up the source for their Zelda-lite 'Anodyne'

    Anodyne, a Zelda-lite action adventure from Analgesic Productions from back in 2013 has today had the code opened up. Looking over the project, it's not open source as they have their own custom licensing with a number of restrictions on it. So by the definition of open source, it is not, it's more like "source open" but it's still a very nice gesture. It's similar in spirit to what Terry Cavanagh did with VVVVVV, in fact the licensing is actually an adaption of theirs. Hopefully with this move, someone can port it over to something more modern rather than Flash/Air—that certainly would be nice to see. Especially if the developer then pulled that back in to update it for everyone.

  • Looks like there's going to be a 'Streets of Rogue 2' and I'm definitely happy with that

    Streets of Rogue released in 2019 and it's one of my absolute favourites from last year (still is this year to be honest with you, it's just that good). The developer, Matt Dabrowski, recently outlined their future plans which will include a sequel. The 2019 release was after over six years of development, and at least half of that it was available in some form to the public. First as a free taster and later a full game. In an announcement on Steam about the latest update, Dabrowski mentioned how they would like to "take Streets of Rogue in some big new directions" and so they've "decided to begin work on a sequel".

  • Vendetta Online goes free to play until June 1 giving anyone full access

    Vendetta Online, something of a classic MMO space game is now free to play for everyone until June 1. Everyone will be treated as if they're a paying player during this time. Why are they doing this for so long? They said they wanted to offer a bit of sanctuary to players, somewhere "they can virtually go and be (politely) social, interact with others, and perhaps get a little respite from the chaos". They are of course referring to the Coronavirus situation. Read more on that here.

  • “Crunch”: Video Game Development’s Dirty Secret

    James Wood reported for Game Revolution that game director Masahiro Sakurai, who created Super Smash Bros Ultimate,  went “to work with an IV drip instead of taking a day off.” As Wood noted, Sakurai’s admission “have raised eyebrows, even in an industry where he is known as “notoriously hard-working.”