Interesting Things #42 — Un-environmental


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

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Stop Storing Secrets In Environment Variables! — Any overly-verbose information disclosure vulnerability in a dependency could smash the sand castle. (hn)

Not so smart contracts — Immutability and the lack of human interaction is a feature, not a bug. (hn)

Handling argc==0 in the kernel — Indeed, the caller is not required to provide argv[0] at all. The first pointer in the new program’s argv array can be NULL. (hn)

A New Future for GnuPG (Jan 2021) — A free implementation of OpenPGP has found a funding model. (hn)

Clean and Scalable Architecture for Web Applications in Rust — The so called “clean architecture” is too complex. I propose another approach. (hn)

Booby-trapped sites delivered potent new backdoor trojan to macOS users — Written from scratch, DazzleSpy is the latest advanced piece of Mac malware. (hn)

Once a Defender Always a Defender — Start with a job title like ‘Frontend Engineer’, ‘Backend Engineer’, ‘SRE’, etc. but don’t accept that you’re now unavoidably on that track. (hn)


The Great Resignation has morphed into the Great Sabbatical — Mid-career sabbaticals have tripled over the past four years. The gap year is losing its stigma. (hn)


How you can “think different” — Psychology lessons from Instagram, Uber, Lyft and more. (hn)

The Rise of Open Source Challengers — A look at how OSS takes over the application layer and the potential end of closed source software categories. (hn)

How to execute your business ideas with no-code tools and less than $50 — A list of examples from the real-world. (hn)

Uncharted Waters — Equity is a big part of compensation at startups. However, this approach is not unique in history. (hn)


A Chinese Satellite Just Grappled Another And Pulled It Out Of Orbit — The maneuver raises concerns about the potential militarization of satellites. (hn)

Novel “artificial leaf” design ups the carbon capture rate by 100x — University of Illinois Chicago scientists have developed a new system to capture CO2. (hn)

Many of our proteins remain hidden in the dark proteome — Scientists want to develop new tools and methods to uncover the proteins they’ve yet to see. (hn)

Lizard Scale Patterns Described with Antiferromagnetic Model — The pattern of green and black scales can be described with the two-parameter Ising model for antiferromagnetic systems. (hn)

Gut microbes help hibernating ground squirrels emerge strong and healthy in spring — New research found gut microbes help their hosts hold onto and use nitrogen to build proteins. (hn)

How the Physics of Resonance Shapes Reality — The same phenomenon by which an opera singer can shatter a wineglass also underlies the very existence of subatomic particles. (hn)

The Once-Extinct Aurochs May Soon Roam Europe Again — After a decade, scientists are getting close to bringing back the massive wild cattle. (hn)

How Infinite Series Reveal the Unity of Mathematics — Infinite sums are among the most underrated yet powerful concepts in mathematics. (hn)


California Has No Idea What Its Going To Do With Millions Of Old EV Batteries — The governor wants millions of people to drive EVs. What happens to the batteries when they get old is another issue. (hn)

Cold baths, cherry juice and sleep: the secret to staying fit in your 40s — Despite aching backs and stiff joints, a growing number of elite athletes pushing the clock back. We ask the experts how to do it. (hn)

Can Medieval Sleeping Habits Fix America’s Insomnia? — The history of “first sleep” and “second sleep” holds surprising lessons about preindustrial life and 21st-century anxiety. (hn)

Yanis Varoufakis on Crypto & the Left, and Techno-Feudalism — A panoramic view of what is going at the intersection of money, macroeconomics, and the digital.

How to use analogies for good not evil — Five proposed rules to make sure you’re using analogies for good. (hn)

LG’s Latest Announcement Solidifies Everything Wrong With TVs — It’s a sure sign of more ads with more targeting coming across more screens. That’s not what anyone wants. (hn)


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Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng