Interesting Things #15 β€” Diffusion


This is Beng Tan and welcome to Interesting Things, a curation of interesting stories and links from tech, work, biz, science, life and stuff.

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High Fidelity Image Generation Using Diffusion Models β€” Synthesizing data from pure noise by gradually denoising it until a clean sample is produced.

NPM Package Steals Passwords via Chrome’s Account-Recovery Tool β€” Another vast software supply-chain attack.

What is Pegasus spyware and how does it hack phones? β€” NSO Group software can record your calls, copy your messages and secretly film you. (hn)

Scanning your iPhone for Pegasus, NSO Group’s malware β€” Use Mobile Verification Toolkit (MVT) by Amnesty International. (hn)

Resources for Learning Computational Complexity Theory β€” This guide aims to bring this material together at the introductory graduate level.

Taking Months to Bits β€” A calendrical journey into low-level programming. (hn)

The Regular Expression Edition β€” The origin story of regular expressions. (hn)

Cleaning Up Git History β€” It might seem tedious at first but it gets much easier and faster with practice. (hn)

What is the sorting algorithm behind ORDER BY query in MySQL? β€” Let’s look at how MySQL executes internally with the filesort algorithm.

Awesome Unstable Rust Features β€” I decided to look into unstable features not because I need them but because they were fun. (hn)

My experience crafting an interpreter with Rust β€” I wanted to get some hands-on experience and this seemed a perfect exercise for trying Rust. (hn)

Experimenting with Dart and Wasm β€” Compiling Dart to Wasm, and calling Wasm modules from Dart. (hn)

Thinking About Glue β€” The real problem with glue isn’t moving data, it’s data integration.

What are you even testing for? β€” I want to shine a different light on this: Business Value. (hn)

The best code is easy code β€” Readability is like writing documentation. It takes extra time, more key presses, and you need to stick to it. (hn)

Replicating a PostgreSQL Cluster to Redshift with AWS DMS β€” Pros and cons of using AWS Database Migration Service. (hn)

Reversing for dummies - x86 assembly and C code (Beginner/ADHD friendly) β€” Enough information (hopefully) to start your journey reverse engineering executables.

The four noisy horsemen of Perl hate β€” Deciphering some of the language’s quirks and the ways they can and should be better.


The Case for Location-Independent Salaries β€” Why we decided to go for the equal pay for equal work route.

I Asked Tech Twitter How Much I Should Earn β€” The US has very clearly disparate expectations of salary depending on your location. (hn)

Interviewing as a Programmer in the Video Games Industry in 2021 β€” How to get your foot in the door and what to expect.

Guiding critical projects without micromanaging β€” You can make it harder if there’s too little structure to work with. (hn)

20 Questions a Software Engineer Should Ask When Joining a New Team β€” I took the opportunity to really think about things that I needed to learn in the short term.

The Importance of Taking Extended Breaks from Coding β€” Thoughts on balancing passion and determination with substantial breaks from coding.

The Magic of Boredom β€” How I turned a dead-end internship into a career-launching experience.

Confessions of a 0.8x Developer β€” How I built a web development career without being fast or smart.

#indie biz

The SaaS Org Chart β€” You’ve raised a new funding round. You need to staff up. Here’s what that looks like. (hn)

Study Finds Surprising Source of Social Influence β€” Want to promote your new product or trigger a shift in thinking? Steer clear of the influencers. (hn)

Community β‰  Marketing: Why We Need Go-to-Community, Not Just Go-to-Market β€” The biggest challenge I’ve seen is a lack of a go-to-community strategy. (hn)

5 Reasons Why Your Smaller Clients Are Often The Best Ones β€” If you only prize revenue per client, your business will suffer. (hn)

How to Kill Your Business β€” Use reverse psychology to know what would keep it from succeeding. (hn)

The cost to run a SaaS platform with a few million Annual Recurring Revenue (Jun 2021) β€” Prezly is an 18 person SaaS product, fully bootstrapped and serving about 500 customers globally.


Plants Feel Pain and Might Even See β€” The vine imitated the artificial leaves just as it had imitated the leaves in nature. Proof that the vine can see. (hn)

Dubai Makes Artificial Rain With Drones That Shock Clouds β€” Cloud seeding via drones has enormous potential and shows water can be tapped from the sky. (hn)

First Total Artificial Heart Successfully Transplanted In the US β€” The artificial heart has four chambers and runs on external power. Welcome to a new cyborg future.

How to Find Rational Points Like Your Job Depends on It β€” By knowing just one rational point on a circle or elliptic curve, we can locate infinitely many others. (hn)

Self-powered implantable device stimulates fast bone healing, then disappears without a trace β€” The thin, flexible device is bioresorbable so its components dissolve within the body.

Plasmid, Virus or Other? DNA β€˜Borgs’ Blur Boundaries. β€” Large DNA structures in some archaea defy easy categorization. (hn)

Scientists develop an ‘iron-air’ battery that stores electricity for days through rusting β€” At a fraction of the cost of lithium-ion equivalents.

Can consciousness be explained by quantum physics? β€” My research takes us a step closer to finding out. (hn)

NASA Releases First Detailed Map of the Insides of Mars β€” Highlighting great differences of the red planet from our blue world.


Tour of the Sacred Library β€” I found myself experiencing really complex emotions as I was making this. (hn)

It’s All Training Data: Using Lessons from Machine Learning to Retrain Your Mind β€” Imagine every experience you’ve ever had. That is the training data given to your mind. (hn)

I tracked every minute of my time for the last 4 months. Here are 7 totally unexpected results β€” After the first few weeks, I was confronted with a hard truth: I was wasting time. Lots of it. And not in a vague way.

Prioritizing everything is prioritizing nothing β€” This got me thinking about the idea of prioritizing, and how much the lack of it irked me. (hn)

The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine? β€” We have become so dependent that we need it just to get to our baseline.


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Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng