Friday, January 25


Daily News Stuff 25 January 2019

Tech News

  • JMAP is a modern email protocol that doesn't suck.

    It works over HTTPS (okay) and uses JSON (yay!)  It's stateless where IMAP and POP are stateful, but that's probably a win on balance.

    There are a couple of Python libraries already, though not yet in the robust state of libraries for protocols that were laid down in 1986.

    JSON lacks support for some data types (dates and times) but it is simple, fast, and robust, where formats like XML or YAML are none of those things.

  • A DNA voltmeter for organelles.

    Just the thing I need.

  • Apple has laid off 200 employees from their automotive division.  (Mashable)

    The whole project never made any sense anyway. 

  • There's a steganographic JavaScript advertising attack in the wild and targeting Mac users.

    It downloads an image that looks like a plain white rectangle and a snippet of JavaScript that decodes the hidden content.  Once decoded, it tries to convince you to download a fake update to Adobe Flash which contains the real payload - the Shlayer trojan.

    All the rigmarole is to hide from real-time virus scanners, and it worked, for a while.

  • Chrome has added new protection against downloads not specifically requested by the user.  (Bleeping Computer)

    The existing protections are already a significant nuisance when trying to get your purchases from Humble Bundle, but given the story immediately above I guess we'll just have to deal with it.

  • A look at modern big iron: The Dell EMC PowerEdge MX.  (Serve the Home)

    It's basically a whole lot of PCs on a very fast backplane.  A single-width compute sled can contain 56 cores and 3TB of RAM, and a double-width sled twice as much.  Eight (or four) such sleds fit in a 7U rack module, which can weigh up to 400 pounds fully populated.

  • NumPy has a remote execution bug.  (Bleeping Computer)

    NumPy is a very widely used Python library for scientific computation.  Turns out it uses Python's Pickle library by default when saving data, which has been known to be unsafe for about a trillion years.  The problem is even documented by NumPy...  Just not actually fixed.

  • Fucking magnets, how do they work?  (Quanta)

    Turns out that is actually a good question.

  • NekoMiko gets a pervert patch to bypass the shutoff valve that was blocking steamy content.  (One Angry Gamer)  [Potentially NSFW]

    Steam has gotten censorious again - nobody seems to know why they keep changing their minds, and Valve aren't talking - and blocked a whole bunch of games (the above site calls this waifu holocaust 2.0).  So the developers are publishing a tame version and then making a patch file publicly available.

    Also, that site was loading while I was typing this in another Chrome window, and it popped up an alert, stole the input focus while I was typing, and disappeared the alert before I had a chance to see what it said.

    What the actual fuck was that, Google?  Never, ever, ever do that.

  • Google has appealed to the Supreme Court to smack down the idiots in the appeals court who overturned the original (and correct) ruling in the original trial of Fuckheads Who Want to Copyright API Definitions v. The Rest of the Universe.  (

  • Some researchers working to make the BGP protocol more robust managed instead to crash a number of routers at major internet providers.  (ZDNet)

    Then two weeks later they did it again.

    I mean, point made, but could you maybe not experiment on a live patient?

Social Media News

  • The Huffington Post just laid off their entire opinion section.  (CNN)

    All together now: Isn't that everything they do?

  • BuzzFeed meanwhile is laying off 15% of its employees.  (CNN)

    The truly shocking thing here is that BuzzFeed has 1450 staff.  Doing what?  Posting "10 reasons why your cat may be an alien" and "Donald Trump takes orders from Mars and we have the documents to prove it (in Martian)"?

  • Why is all this happening?  Newspapers have been in decline for forty years and their responses to this decline have been to make themselves more and more isolated, irresponsible, and unreliable, and to blame everyone else for their own failings.  The thread is a fascinating mix of historical fact and wilful ignorance.  But it can be summed up in one picture.

    Not that newspapers were ever trustworthy, on the whole.  The ghost of William Randolph Hearst is laughing heartily.

Video of the Day

Gawker is gone.  Again.  It lasted six and a half minutes this time.

Bonus Video of the Day

Does it spark HONK?

Wait, Alex is Australian?

Anime Op/Ed of the Day

Some people look at old anime that has been remastered in 1080p and ask why.

Fair enough.


I was planning to do Magic Knight Rayearth, but the HD clips of the season one opening have been stomped.

Well, okay.

One more, unrelated.

Picture of the Day


Disclaimer: So, logically--
- If she weighs the same as a duck...
- she's made of wood.
- And therefore?
- A witch!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:24 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 873 words, total size 9 kb.

1 "IMAP is awesome unless you write code for it in which case it will ruin you. Regardless IMAP is the common standard these days."
1.  Who's using IMAP? 2.  He's right about the first sentence--years ago I started writing an IMAP client just for the heck of it and quickly decided it wasn't much fun and quit.

Posted by: Rick C at Saturday, January 26 2019 09:03 AM (Q/JG2)

2 "The truly shocking thing here is that BuzzFeed has 1450 staff."
It takes a LOT of people to write all that anti-Trump stuff--they keep having to retire to the fainting couches.

Posted by: Rick C at Saturday, January 26 2019 09:11 AM (Q/JG2)

3 I've done POP, SMTP, and NNTP, but never got IMAP working.  It's way over-complicated for what it does.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, January 26 2019 11:42 AM (PiXy!)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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