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mcherm : blogworthy   114

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In defense of functional CSS | Hacker News
He proposes using non-semantic CSS markup. I write why this is foolish.
mypostings  blogworthy  css  via:HackerNews 
september 2018 by mcherm
About naming servers and cloud computing
With cloud computing, you can't stick a photo n the server anymore.
cloudcomputing  via:reddit  mypostings  blogworthy 
april 2018 by mcherm
Surprising Things About School | Hacker News
I use a basic "can't be a dollar on the sidewalk" argument, and also demolish it in a discussion of how some people could be successful if they could just round up $400 for basic education.
mypostings  blogworthy  via:HackerNews 
march 2018 by mcherm
The story (part of it) of why TeX may be the greatest program ever written.
DonaldKnuth  history  programming  TeX  blogworthy 
november 2017 by mcherm
Orange people in public
Someone posts asking why they had to be near inmates in public while at the courthouse, and I rip into them.
ethics  blogworthy  mypostings  via:reddit 
july 2017 by mcherm
Don’t Settle For Eventual Consistency – Robert Yokota
An explanation (partly just an appeal to authority) of why eventual consistency is NOT a good idea for databases.
via:reddit  blogworthy  database 
february 2017 by mcherm
Update: Duped to wire money for a home sale : legaladvice
Capital One managed to NOT lose this person's entire mortgage down payment by properly implementing security procedures.
CapitalOne  blogworthy  security  fraud 
february 2017 by mcherm
An entire alternate to set theory as a foundation for math : bestof
I posted this, and I wrote an extensive comment (and a second good comment).
math  set-theory  mypostings  blogworthy 
may 2016 by mcherm
Computer scientists prove that a 40-year-old algorithm is optimal | Hacker News
I say why things like heuristic and probabilistic algorithms are likely to be really, really important in computer science.
computerscience  mypostings  blogworthy  via:HackerNews 
june 2015 by mcherm
What actually happens internally when I deposit money in the bank? : Banking
It's a basic topic, but I wrote enough here to be worth putting in a blog entry.
mypostings  blogworthy  via:reddit 
june 2015 by mcherm
Airport workers, including TSA, raid unlockable luggage for valuables - Boing Boing
This is EXACTLY why even a split key government master key to unlock all crypto is a bad idea.
security  TSA  CoryDoctorow  via:boingboing  blogworthy 
april 2015 by mcherm
Code rant: The Lava Layer Anti-Pattern
A REALLY good point: changing to the latest thing all the time leads to a mess.
softwaredevelopment  programming  via:HackerNews  blogworthy 
december 2014 by mcherm
How would you handle a murder mystery? [3.5] : loremasters
My advice on how to run a murder mystery in a gaming campaign.
mypostings  blogworthy  gaming  rpg 
december 2014 by mcherm
What new Ray Rice video proves: the people who have the footage have the power - Vox
An interesting point: deciding to (or not to) release video evidence has a profound effect on the outcome. I wonder what the standards ought to be.
ethics  surveillance  via:vox  vox  blogworthy 
september 2014 by mcherm
[messaging] Modern anti-spam and E2E crypto
A detailed explanation of how Google has managed spam on gMail over history and why, all the way up to the current day.
spam  email  google  gmail  blogworthy 
september 2014 by mcherm
A Fascinating Look Inside Those 1.1 Million Open-Internet Comments : All Tech Considered : NPR
A diagram of the topics of the million comments to the FCC on net neutrality. (1) 50% of the comments were original (not from a template) (2) the pro-net-neutrality comments were basically all from 4 templates.
politics  netneutrality  npr  via:reddit  blogworthy 
august 2014 by mcherm
Researchers reconstruct human speech by recording a potato chip bag | Ars Technica
Point a VERY high-speed camera at a bag of potato chips and you can pick out the motion due to sound waves and extract the sound from a video feed. Consumer-grade cameras scan a row at a time; you can treat this as a high-speed camera and it ACTUALLY WORKS!
security  via:ArsTechnica  blogworthy 
august 2014 by mcherm
Experimental Drug Likely Saved Ebola Patients | Hacker News
I complain about the ethics of providing experimental drugs only to Americans.
mypostings  ethics  blogworthy  medicine 
august 2014 by mcherm
Using Spreadsheets In Bioinformatics Can Corrupt Data, Changing Gene Names Into Dates | Techdirt
Excel converts "DEC1" (the name of a gene) into a date. This has actually corrupted some data in gene databases. What's the lesson for a programmer?
programming  softwaredevelopment  bug  via:Techdirt  techdirt  blogworthy 
july 2014 by mcherm
Role of a architect in a Agile organization : agile
A brief essay I wrote about the architect role. I should turn this into a blog entry.
agile  softwaredevelopment  mypostings  blogworthy 
july 2014 by mcherm
The Multiple Index Problem - Wishful Coding
There is a fundamental problem with immutable data structures: if you need multiple indexes they can't all point to the (mutable) location of the data element, so you can't keep multiple indexes up to date.
datastructures  immutable  programming  via:HackerNews  blogworthy 
july 2014 by mcherm
The Indie Bubble Is Popping | Hacker News
I talk about how indie games need to open up new markets -- people like me. I even comment on how that might work.
mypostings  blogworthy  marketing  via:HackerNews 
may 2014 by mcherm
PyPy.js: Now faster than CPython
JITs galore! This guy has PyPy running on Javascript in the browser. He can run pystone faster than cPython (!!) and he discusses the differences between the Javascript JIT for Firefox and that for Chrome and why Chrome's is (eventually) better.
python  pypy  javascript  firefox  chrome  jit  via:reddit  blogworthy 
may 2014 by mcherm
Hot or Not: Revealing Hidden Services by their Clock Skew
An astounding side channel attack to locate a TOR server. Close observation can detect even tiny clock drifts. Quartz clocks change speed with temperature. CPU load changes temperature. Use this to probe even TOR hidden services to find if they are on a target machine and if they share space with another TOR service.
security  blogworthy  privacy  tor  anonyminity  sidechannelattack  via:reddit 
may 2014 by mcherm
How the Guardian successfully moved domain to | Info |
How did the Guardian test it's move to a new domain and avoid a "big bang" development project yet still have a single splashy release? They checked for "special HTTP headers" and activated the new site for any browser anywhere that was sending those headers. (Also used URL rewriting to support both sites from the same pages.)
softwaredevelopment  testing  devops  TheGuardian  via:HackerNews  blogworthy 
february 2014 by mcherm
Rewrites of the STM core model – again | Hacker News
I attempt to summarize the latest news in PyPy's implementation of software transactional memory.
mypostings  blogworthy  softwaretransactionalmemory  threading  ArminRigo  concurrentprogramming  pypy  via:HackerNews 
february 2014 by mcherm
Different types of overheads in software projects | David R. MacIver
Dev time as a function of project size: A + Bx + Cx^2, where A is startup, B is doing the work, and C is cost of interactions. Different development methodologies have different values for the constants, so pick your methodology based on the project size.
DavidMacIver  via:DavidMacIver  blogworthy  softwaredevelopment  programming  estimation 
january 2014 by mcherm
Basic Data Structures: Hash Tables | Good Math, Bad Math
Worth blogging: I comment on Python's recent change to their hash table algorithm.
mypostings  blogworthy 
october 2013 by mcherm
A Court Order is an Insider Attack
A defense of designing Lavabit so it was difficult to comply with court ordered releases. Because the same technology is needed to prevent insider attacks: the system can't distinguish between an employee compelled by a court order and one bribed by a drug cartel.
via:boingboing  security  law  EdFelten  lavabit  blogworthy 
october 2013 by mcherm
The false proxies of mirror images | David R. MacIver
David MacIver says "don't hire based on hobbies, it may discriminate". I reply "we need the signal anyway, just keep in mind that it may discriminate". I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the position I express here.
blogworthy  DavidMacIver  via:DavidMacIver  hiring  mypostings 
october 2013 by mcherm
Ben Northrop - Consistency and Innovation: Pick One
A useful insight on how to make the decision of whether or not to go back and refactor old code to introduce new techniques.
programming  softwaredevelopment  blogworthy 
september 2013 by mcherm
How learning Scala made me a better programmer | David R. MacIver
The Scala compiler was buggy, so he learned to generate a reproducible error and then minimize the program that generates it. This is a slow but vital debugging technique whenever you cannot isolate the error.
programming  via:DavidMacIver  DavidMacIver  scala  debugging  blogworthy 
september 2013 by mcherm
Twitter's Killer New Two-Factor Solution Kicks SMS to the Curb | Threat Level |
Twitter invented this complicated for two factor authentication. Google just used the standard RFC.
blogworthy  twitter  crypto  cryptography  security  wired  via:HackerNews 
august 2013 by mcherm
Building Real Software: 7 Agile Best Practices that You Don’t Need to Follow
You don't need TDD, pair programming, emergent design, stories-on-a-card, stand-ups, collective code ownership, and having a product owner. I agree about the first four.
agile  softwaredevelopment  via:reddit  blogworthy 
june 2013 by mcherm
Twitter is forcing us to drop users ability to flattr creators by favoriting their tweets
Another case of corporate policies getting in the way of innovation. In this case, it's not an App Store policy, it's twitter's policy on the use of their API which is prohibiting flattr from letting users donate money via tweets.
twitter  flattr  via:HackerNews  appstore  blogworthy 
april 2013 by mcherm
How To Survive a Ground-Up Rewrite Without Losing Your Sanity
Some REALLY, REALLY good advice on how to do a major rewrite of a software system. This is the kind of stuff that makes my job difficult and my skills valuable.
blogworthy  softwaredevelopment  agile  programming  refactoring  via:HackerNews 
april 2013 by mcherm
Deterministic voting is just too random | David R. MacIver
I explain why I think that any voting procedure that involves randomness, however safe, will be unacceptable because some of the population simply cannot understand the math behind the probability.
voting  mypostings  blogworthy  via:DavidMacIver  DavidMacIver 
april 2013 by mcherm
Can you explain, in simple terms, how i^i is real? : math
A cool mathematical point with interesting explanations, and I chime in to explain how when you have equivalent mathematical concepts you can't say one is "right".
blogworthy  mypostings  math  philosophy 
april 2013 by mcherm
Why “Innovation Experts” are Selling Snake Oil
Beware consultants who tell the company how to create "inovation". And I add that there may be structural problems in the company that cause it.
blogworthy  mypostings  management  softwaredevelopment  via:VanceCrowe 
april 2013 by mcherm
An update on our war against account hijackers | Official Google Blog
Google shares some information about attacks on Gmail accounts. Apparently they're filtering ~99% of spam. Attacks on accounts by guessing passwords used elsewhere is rampant and organized... a few organizations do 100s of attacks per second. They combat this with extra authentication for suspicious login attempts and 2-factor authentication.
google  security  spam  hacking  phishing  gmail  blogworthy  via:boingboing 
february 2013 by mcherm
We don't know why lithium batteries work
People think science begins with grand questions about the distant past or future. But, for example, we don't even understand how Lithium Ion batteries work, and they power all our latest gadgets!
science  materialsscience  via:HackerNews  philosophy  blogworthy 
january 2013 by mcherm
Why Everyone Eventually Hates or Leaves Maven | Hacker News
Maven doesn't allow programmers flexibility to "program" in their build tool. It should.
mypostings  programming  build  blogworthy  via:HackerNews 
january 2013 by mcherm
The Mathematics of Reddit Rankings, or, How Upvotes Are Time Travel – Built on Facts
A great example of finding a physical interpretaton to give insight into a mathematical equation. Also, a good source of ideas for MY thoughts about how news should be sorted.
math  reddit  socialcomputing  via:reddit  blogworthy 
january 2013 by mcherm
A humble suggestion to protect your important information « Otaku, Cedric's blog
Use a separate email for communication and for account resets. It's a big step forward in security. So why don't systems support doing this?
security  blogworthy  via:CedricBeust 
january 2013 by mcherm
Date Chicken: Ponderous Programmer
Joe describes "date chicken", where each department tries not to be the one who gets credit for slipping the date. I talk about management's perspective and how Scrum might help address that.
mypostings  blogworthy  via:JoeCampbell  JoeCampbell  agile  scrum  estimation 
january 2013 by mcherm
Schneier on Security: Experimental Results: Liars and Outliers Trust Offer
He offered a free book for a review. I (and most others) didn't carry through. (PS: it's a good book!)
mypostings  blogworthy 
january 2013 by mcherm
My app is getting 1-star ratings from another dev : Android
The sordid tale of a scummy app developer who opened 20+ google accounts so he could give his app 5* ratings and give every competing app 1* ratings. Also my post to Google saying that they need customer service.
google  appstore  android  via:reddit  mypostings  blogworthy 
january 2013 by mcherm
Personal Time Capsule | Hacker News
As I move from one system to another I have lost electronic records of my early programming attempts. But a few survive on paper.
mypostings  history  blogworthy  via:HackerNews 
december 2012 by mcherm
Apple really needs two passwords, not one for everything | My Thoughts
Apple should offer 2 passwords, one for low-security actions and one for high-security actions. And it's not just Apple... lots of companies should allow that. It should be optional.
mypostings  passwords  security  via:HackerNews  blogworthy 
december 2012 by mcherm
The Most Revealing Job Interview Question | Hacker News
Ignore the linked article. Read the top-rated comment instead. It references actual research about what to ask. Specifically, ask for a work product in the subject area of the job, and also do a general IQ test (but not in the US where that may be illegal).
hiring  via:HackerNews  blogworthy 
october 2012 by mcherm
Is the reason that math is so unintuitive for many that it's built on a strict rejection of paradox, whereas the many people don't immediately assume that's the case? : math
Another observation that thinking in Math is different precisely because it is so careful about avoiding paradox. Thinking in other fields is not so picky.
math  philosophy  mypostings  blogworthy 
september 2012 by mcherm
Compelling Arguments in Mathematics
This blog comment describes how in math one can encounter a compelling argument and suddenly realize you were 100% wrong before, and instantly switch to the opposite opinion. In law, religion, or politics such a complete and sudden flip is unlikely and reasonable. This is a fundamental difference between the disciplines.
philosophy  math  philosophyOfScience  blogworthy 
september 2012 by mcherm
Too Much Specialization Is Making Programming a Poorer Experience : The Codist
Giving everyone specific roles (BA, QA, architect, programmer, DBA, etc) is a very different experience, and far less efficient than people who understand it all. Personally, I wonder whether a few people who cross lines can help hold together a bigger team of mostly single-functional people.
softwaredevelopment  architecture  via:theCodist  blogworthy 
april 2012 by mcherm
The earth is not rotating - spinning - or moving !! - YouTube
YouTube video in which he explains how the earth isn't rotating (which matches what the bible says). But what *I* thought was that he's actually doing it *RIGHT*. He's using rational thought and experiments instead of taking things at face value. THIS is a TRUE scientist (but a little bit deluded).
via:boingboing  personal_net  religion  science  ScientificMethod  blogworthy 
february 2012 by mcherm
A client-side Bayes classifier for Hacker News - Japomatik
He enhanced Hacker News by providing a way to rate the stories with your own personal bayesian classifier based on keywords. And integrated it in as a bookmarklet. Cool! Lots of sites could use this.
javascript  programming  socialcomputing  blogworthy 
february 2012 by mcherm
Convergence - SSL without a list of trusted roots
An attempt at building a PKI infrastructure that is not dependent on a list of trusted root certificates.
security  ssl  cryptography  pki  blogworthy  firefox 
february 2012 by mcherm
Unit-testing of inherently random/non-deterministic algorithms - Programmers - Stack Exchange
He asks how to test that a random algorithm is "fairly" distributed. I explain he shouldn't bother, then explain some really cool and interesting ways to do it anyway.
programming  random  testing  unittest  mypostings  via:twitter  blogworthy 
february 2012 by mcherm
And, Why Didn't Dijkstra Like Lisp? - Kazimir Majorinc's Lisp Programming Blog
Dijkstra didn't like Lisp because he didn't like the fundamental Von-Neuman idea of treating data as code. It is fundamentally at odds with the attempt to achieve provably correct programs.
dijkstra  programming  philosophy  via:twitter  blogworthy 
february 2012 by mcherm
Log in to google with protection from keyloggers
Visit this link, use your phone to read the barcode it shows, then enter login info into the phone. Keylogger-proof!
security  google  authentication  gmail  blogworthy  via:reddit 
january 2012 by mcherm
Is Your Online Bank Vulnerable To Currency Rounding Attacks? | Hacker News
An attack on banks where you do currency conversion on 1-cent amounts where the rounding is in your favor. I respond by saying banks need (and have) a combination of human and machine processes to catch things like this.
mypostings  banking  security  blogworthy  via:HackerNews 
january 2012 by mcherm
Cognitive Screening Test Killed Over Infringement Claims | Techdirt
You thought patents on medical procedures were bad? Here's a case where *copyright* law (lasts 100+ yrs easily) is used to maintain control over a diagnostic test and even prevent a different diagnostic test (claiming it is a "derivative work").
law  ip-law  copyright  copyrightabuse  patent  patentabuse  medicine  via:Techdirt  techdirt  blogworthy 
january 2012 by mcherm
The Coming War on General Purpose Computation - Boing Boing
Cory Doctorow: copyright wars have been the least of it: governments wishing to prevent ANYTHING will seek to do so by installing universal spyware. And it won't work, but govt will continue to push. What this needs is more explanation of why computing devices controlled by their owners are important.
copyright  freedom  computers  future  CoryDoctorow  security  privacy  via:CoryDoctorow  blogworthy 
december 2011 by mcherm
Paswords - You Can't Do It Right
Why passwords are no longer an acceptable security mechanism. (1) people are dumb with them, (2) people who TRY to be smart with them fail, (3) cracking is amazingly fast. My current scheme takes only 4 yrs to crack w/ just one machine.
security  programming  hacking  encryption  cryptography  via:JamesIry  blogworthy 
december 2011 by mcherm
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