The Amiga platform was and is simply outstanding. Even if only an acquisition of Commodore, the Amiga has massively influenced homecomputing in the 90s, and the large, as active community shows a lot of love for this platform up until today.

But why is that? What made the Amiga so special in its time? These questions can’t be answered in 2 sentences, and that’s why Dave Poo took the time to collect all the facts.

In a real sense, the stakes here are quite high. Even if alternative key layouts only provide a small benefit, and even if the transaction cost is too high to make it worthwhile for any one individual to switch, the costs for society could be significant. There are billions of people out there typing suboptimally, all day, every day. If we were ever given a clear sense of the loss involved in doing something slightly suboptimally over vast periods of time, we might tremble and rue those lost riches. But as it is, the effects are too diffused for us to see them.

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The alleged 2017 deal between Google and Facebook to kill header bidding, a way for multiple ad exchanges to compete fairly in automated ad auctions, was negotiated by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and endorsed by both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (now with Meta) and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, according to an updated complaint filed in the Texas-led antitrust lawsuit against Google.

Back in December of 2016 I took a look at what the next year held in store for us. It spanned three blog posts and ended happily in a nuclear barbecue to put us all out of our misery: start here, continue with this, and finale: and the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth.

It is now early 2022 and I clearly wasn’t pessimistic enough.

Users of popular open-source libraries ‘colors’ and ‘faker’ were left stunned after they saw their applications, using these libraries, printing gibberish data and breaking.

Some surmised if the NPM libraries had been compromised, but it turns out there’s much more to the story.

The developer of these libraries intentionally introduced an infinite loop that bricked thousands of projects that depend on ‘colors and ‘faker’. 

The colors library receives over 20 million weekly downloads on npm alone, and has almost 19,000 projects depending on it. Whereas, faker receives over 2.8 million weekly downloads on npm, and has over 2,500 dependents.

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I’m going to lead with the technical punch line, and then explain it:

Yggdrasil Network is an opportunistic mesh that can be deployed privately or as part of a global-scale network. Each node gets a stable IPv6 address (or even an entire /64) that is derived from its public key and is bound to that node as long as the node wants it (of course, it can generate a new keypair anytime) and is valid wherever the node joins the mesh. All traffic is end-to-end encrypted.

Yggdrasil will automatically discover peers on a LAN via broadcast beacons, and requires zero configuration to peer in such a way. It can also run as an overlay network atop the public Internet. Public peers serve as places to join the global network, and since it’s a mesh, if one device on your LAN joins the global network, the others will automatically have visibility on it also, thanks to the mesh routing.

It neatly solves a lot of problems of portability (my ssh sessions stay live as I move networks, for instance), VPN (incoming ports aren’t required since local nodes can connect to a public peer via an outbound connection), security, and so forth.

Now on to the explanation:

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For a few years now I’ve heard whispers of a RSS resurgence. And maybe in some circles is has come back or will. But, the only way it would be mainstream again is if people gave up social media (which despite the name is only social inside of their platform due to not offering RSS).

One of the things that makes DNS difficult to understand is that it’s decentralized. There are thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands? I don’t know!) of authoritative nameservers, and at least 10 million resolvers. And they’re running lots of different software! All these different servers running software means that there’s a lot of inconsistency in how DNS works, which can cause all kinds of frustrating problems.

But instead of talking about the problems, I’m interested in figuring out – why is it a good thing that DNS is decentralized?

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Dec 31, 2021

As COVID-19 stresses global supply chains, the logistics industry is looking to automation to help keep workers safe and boost their efficiency. But there are many warehouse operations that don’t lend themselves to traditional automation—namely, tasks where the inputs and outputs of a process aren’t always well defined and can’t be completely controlled. A new generation of robots with the intelligence and flexibility to handle the kind of variation that people take in stride is entering warehouse environments. A prime example is Stretch, a new robot from Boston Dynamics that can move heavy boxes where they need to go just as fast as an experienced warehouse worker.

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With all the steaming services available why have your own digital music library? The reason for this is two-fold. First streaming services like Spotify or Deezer have a constant changing library of music as a consequence of the agreements that they make with rights holders. This means that music in your playlist can suddenly disappear (or being greyed out) or, what happened to me, explicit songs are being replaced by clean ones. The latter can cripple them to a point that they aren’t listenable any more. What the examples demonstrate is that eventually you have limited control over the music of these services. Secondly the service itself can change e.g the app that you’re relying on disappears as happens with the Spotify app on my Squeezebox network music player.

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Dec 24, 2021

In the early days of the pandemic, Matt Mullenweg didn’t move to a compound in Hawaii, bug out to a bunker in New Zealand or head to Miami and start shilling for crypto. No, in the early days of the pandemic, Mullenweg bought an RV. He drove it all over the country, bouncing between Houston and San Francisco and Jackson Hole with plenty of stops in national parks. In between, he started doing some tinkering.

Dec 24, 2021

In the old days it made sense for a lot of organizations to run their own email systems. Often they had no choice about it, because there were no real alternatives that could meet their requirements at acceptable cost. But those days have been fading for years and are probably gone for most organizations.

It is a slow, myocardial rhythm.

Like a heartbeat or the glowing pulse of a traffic light at midnight, it’s a hypnotic beat that’s all too familiar.

From Microsoft Word to Google Docs, the blinking cursor is a companion that compels us throughout text documents and text messages and naughty Google searches.

When we falter in our prose, the blinking cursor is there to patiently ask “What’s next?”

The blinking cursor is not just some 1970s invention of yesteryear — it oriented millions of people in the digital world. It’s why and how the words you’re reading right now were created.

Of course, not everyone’s relationship with the blinking cursor is codependent. In fact, months of research to uncover the origin of this ubiquitous feature reveal that it’s been largely relegated to a dusty, forgotten shelf of computing history. Perhaps it’s time to change that.

The blinking cursor claims a backstory of how intuitive computing can stand the test of time and hold its own in an ever-changing digital environment.

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Tired of Big Tech monopolies, a community of hobbyists is taking their digital lives off the cloud and onto DIY hardware that they control.

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Created on May 9, 2020
By @gurlic