Interesting Things #55 — Forgetting memory


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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Forgetting about the problem of memory — There is a notion that it is acceptable for a program to crash if memory is exhausted. This bothers me. (hn)

A little fixed point math for embedded audio — That, and a look-up table, reduced the total CPU usage to about 20% of the original amount. (hn)

Wiz Research discovers “ExtraReplica”— a cross-account database vulnerability in Azure PostgreSQL — This vulnerability allows unauthorized read access to other customers’ PostgreSQL databases, bypassing tenant isolation. (hn)

Uncurled — Everything I know and learned about running and maintaining Open Source projects for three decades. (hn)

Paying a visit to planet BSD — All systems have bits of weirdness. (hn)

Why isn’t there a decent file format for tabular data? — Tabular data is everywhere. But all the tabular data formats suck. (hn)

The future of Linux: Fedora project leader Matthew Miller weighs in — Since we’re making this for a reason other than finding something to sell, it’s a different, better way for the world to be. (hn)

Beyond The Web: Reassembly of the Internet — Human dignity and happiness requires autonomy. Modern technology has, for the most part, decreased autonomy. (hn)

Indirect ownership, shallow borrow and self-referential data structures — I decided to explore how this could look like if it was a first class Rust language feature, to flesh out what exactly we want as users. (hn)

Pseudo-Random Number Generation using Generative Adversarial Networks — We introduce a novel approach by proposing the use of generative adversarial networks (GAN) to train a neural network to behave as a PRNG. (hn)

A Hybrid AI Just Beat Eight World Champions at Bridge—and Explained How It Did It — French startup NukkAI and its NooK bridge-playing AI outplayed eight bridge world champions in a competition held in Paris last week. (hn)


Prioritization as a Superpower — The ability to prioritize well is a trait of the best leaders. (hn)

Airbnb embraces home working with location-blind equal pay model — Firm to pay staff in US, UK and other countries flat rates regardless of their region’s living costs.

Why Success Is Often Elusive at the Highest Echelons — It’s rare to hear about successful engineering leaders replicating the same success when they change jobs. (hn)

The secrets of big tech — We dig inside the finances of Apple, Amazon and others. (hn)


Millions of Bees Bound for Alaska Are Rerouted and Die in Atlanta — Local beekeepers tried to come to the rescue, but very few survived. (hn)


Educate to indoctrinate: Education systems were first designed to suppress dissent — Public primary schools were first created to reinforce obedience among the masses and maintain social order rather than for upward social mobility. (hn)

US army replaces cake it stole from Italian girl 77 years ago — Now 90, she was 13 when soldiers took her birthday cake as it cooled on windowsill in San Pietro. (hn)

Researchers find Amazon uses Alexa voice data to target you with ads — Amazon and third parties use data from smart speakers to sell you stuff, says report. (hn)

Hollywood’s Fight Against VPNs Turns Ugly — Beyond accusations of encouraging copyright infringement, film companies have begun accusing VPNs of enabling a slew of illegal activity. (hn)

Millions of South Koreans Could Soon Get Younger (on Paper) — South Korea has three ways of calculating age, often adding a year or two to the international standard. (hn)

Rescuing the Art of Disagreement — How we can have more productive disagreements, and why it’s gotten so hard. (hn)

He Fast-Forwarded Evolution into the Future — Forty years ago, a paleontologist pictured Earth millions of years from now. His vision is a wake-up call for us today. (hn)

The End of Alcohol — Glamorous influencers are blending science and superstition to help people “change their relationship to drinking.” (hn)

The Future of the Web Is Marketing Copy Generated by Algorithms — The killer app for GPT-3 could help marketers lure clicks and game Google rankings. (hn)


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Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng