AAA security is crucial to the modern telecom network. Here’s how the telecom AAA server benefits the operator and mitigates network risks.

As you’re surely aware, Signal has officially jumped the shark with the introduction of cryptocurrency to their chat app. Back in 2018, I wrote about my concerns with Signal, and those concerns were unfortunately validated by this week’s announcement. Moxie’s insistence on centralized ownership, governance, and servers for Signal puts him in a position of power which is easily, and inevitably, abused. In that 2018 article, and in articles since, I have spoken about the important of federation to address these problems. In addition to federation, what else does a chat app need?

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The FSF is done, in my opinion. The should’ve never let RMS back on. Not because of ideological reasons, but it was bloody impractical to have him on the board.

Many major outlets reported on the incident. Often with misrepresentations of Stallman’s words that were so egregious it was hard to believe such mistakes were honest, rather than intentional hit pieces.

5G service-based architecture (SBA) unlocks next-gen use cases, opens monetization opportunities, and simplifies operations. Read its benefits in detail.

Adobe regularly sends takedown notices targeting pirated copies of its flagship software products but the company doesn’t limit itself to newer releases. F-Secure researcher Mikko Hyppönen has had one of his tweets taken down because it linked to an ‘unauthorized’ copy of a 27-year-old release of Acrobat Reader 1.0 for MS-DOS.

This post contains opinions. They may differ from the opinions you hold, and that’s great. This post is not targeted at any individual person or organization. This is a record of my frustration at trying to get Windows to do what I consider “basic development tasks”. Your experiences can and probably will differ. As a reminder, I am speaking for myself, not any employer (past, present and future). I am not trying to shit on anyone here or disregard the contributions that people have made. This is coming from a place of passion for the craft of computering.

With me using VR more and more with my Quest 2 set up with SteamVR, I’ve had to use windows more on a regular basis. It seems that in order to use Virtual Desktop, I MUST have Windows as the main OS on my machine for this to work. Here is a record of my pain and suffering trying to do what I consider “basic” development tasks.

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Squeak is a free Smalltalk system originally released by a team including Alan Kay, Dan Ingalls, Ted Kaehler, John Maloney and Scott Wallace in 1996 when they were working at Apple. You might recognise the first three names from early Smalltalk papers from Xerox PARC. They produced a rather nice Smalltalk system with the unusual virtue that both the image and the Virtual Machine are open source - i.e. free, gratis and “no charge to you sir”.

This is not always true, but in my experience, it tends to hold up. We often build or evaluate tools which aim to replace something kludgy^Wvenerable. Common examples include shells, programming languages, system utilities, and so on. Rust, Zig, etc, are taking on C in this manner; so too does zsh, fish, and oil take on bash, which in turn takes on the Bourne shell. There are many examples.

All of these tools are fine in their own respects, but they have all failed to completely supplant the software they’re seeking to improve upon.1 What these projects have in common is that they expand on the ideas of their predecessors, rather than refining them. A truly great alternative finds the nugget of truth at the center of the idea, cuts out the cruft, and solves the same problem with less.

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Nice to see Sourcehut adding more and more features.

A few days ago, ChessBase released Fat Fritz 2, described on their website as the “new number 1” chess engine “with a massive new neural network, trained by Albert Silver with the original Fat Fritz.” They advertise Fat Fritz 2 as using novel strong ideas compared to existing chess engines, but in reality Fat Fritz 2 is just Stockfish with a different neural network and minimal changes that are neither innovative nor appear to make the engine stronger.

As this is not the first time something like this has happened involving both ChessBase and A. Silver, we would like to share our impression of these releases.

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£> Dependencies matter. Every dependency you add to your project is an invitation to break your project.

You send that invitation to the direct dependency author, and every downstream author. Add dependencies with care. Evaluate the trade-offs between depending on another package/library and using existing functionality.

When you choose to depend on other projects, consider whether you will use the dependency in standard and common ways. You may want to look for an alternative if you would test the boundaries of its’ functionality.

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Feb 16

When you’re strapping a patient to an electron gun capable of delivering a 25MeV particle beam, following procedure is vitally important. The technician operating the Therac-25 radiotherapy machine at the East Texas Cancer Center (ETCC) had been running this machine, and those like it, long enough that she had the routine down.

On March 21, 1986, the technician brought a patient into the treatment room. She checked their prescription, and positioned them onto the bed of the Therac-25. Above the patient was the end-point of the emitter, a turntable which allowed her to select what kind of beam the device would emit. First, she set the turntable to a simple optical laser mode, and used that to position the patient so that the beam struck a small section of his upper back, just to one side of his spine…

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We sill start off by walking though the different parts of a GIF file. (The information on this page is primarily drawn from the W3C GIF89a specification.) A GIF file is made up of a bunch of different “blocks” of data. The following diagram shows all of the different types of blocks and where they belong in the file. The file starts at the left and works it’s way right. At each branch you may go one way or the other. The large “middle” section can be repeated as many times as needed. (Technically, it may also be omitted completely but i can’t imagine what good a GIF file with no image data would be.)

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Once in a while, big companies suggest that the answer to abuse is to ban anonymity and institute a Real Names policy. This time, it is Google’s turn. They think that critical software should only be authored by people with “real names”.

I don’t want to go into whether this is a good idea or not. Nor philosophical discussions of what a “real name” is. I want to discuss how this would work practically.

Let’s assume that a central website – like GitHub – decided to gather real names for contributors to critical software.

Let’s also assume that every user has a passport, driving licence, or other suitable identification document.

How does a website:

  1. Determine the authenticity of the document?

  2. Match the user to the person represented on the document?

There are more questions – but those two will do to start with.

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I agree that complexity is fragile and that abstraction can lead to detrimental ignorance (and grumpy programmers). I also agree that some software relies on completely frivolous abstractions. We don’t need shadow DOMs to render simple blogs and we shouldn’t use a web browser in disguise to run what’s essentially an IRC client with images.

However, I think the completely artificial demand for constant churn is at least as big a culprit in creating fragility. “Agile” development means we shouldn’t have to release something that isn’t properly finished and tested, yet we still constantly do. And then, of course, a lot of programmers will see their code in the wild being combined with an ever-increasing number of ads, trackers and telemetry systems that are basically back doors by design, adding no small amount of fragility and insecurity. This too can be changed, but probably only by some kind of massive pandemonium within not only the software industry but several other ones as well.

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This community is for general discussion about building software, not necessarily just programming.

Created on Oct 17, 2020
By @root