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Carlos Fenollosa

Carlos Fenollosa

Engineer, developer, entrepreneur

Carlos Fenollosa — Blog

Thoughts on science and tips for researchers who use computers

Link roundup for 2019-09-22

September 22, 2019 — Carlos Fenollosa

Welcome to this roundup! Starting with this issue, all headers will contain a permalink 🔗 to reference them inside the document.

Amazing pics taken with a cellphone

iPhone 11 Pro Camera Review: China (5 min) is a review of the iPhone camera through the eyes of a professional photographer.

If somebody told you five years ago that those pictures were taken with a cell phone, you wouldn't have believed them.

The interesting thing is that, in hindsight, it was inevitable. As an amateur, I used to take many pics with different exposures with my crappy reflex and then post-process them at home. Color adjustments, crops, panoramas, HDR...

I remember trying lots of software to extract the most of my raw files, and managing to get great shots by combining the definition of low ISOs with the light of higher ISOs. I have nice pics of dark chapels and cozy restaurants. It was only a matter of time that cellphones started doing that process automatically on the same phone.

For all the criticism cellphones receive by a sector of the population, having a fantastic camera in your pocket at all times is a net win for mankind. I'm truly happy that computational photography has finally happened and that it's available for everyone.

The bash bible

pure bash bible: A collection of pure bash alternatives to external processes (RH, via) is a cookbook with a lot of bash recipes.

As a bash fan myself, this content is 100% gold.

When watching TV, you are the product

Information Exposure From Consumer IoT Devices: A Multidimensional, Network-Informed Measurement Approach (10 min, via)

Through a total of 34,586 [...] experiments, we characterize information exposure [...] and whether there are unexpected exposures of private and/or sensitive information (e.g., video surreptitiously transmitted by a recording device).

FT published a paywalled article with a more accessible text. You can bypass the paywall by searching the title on Google and clicking on the result.

The only conclusion is: Minimize the number of Internet-enabled devices.

More specifically, don't use Smart TVs, or internet-enabled hardware from companies that either (a) don't know how to do secure software, or (b) have a strong incentive on selling your data.

Critical software in hands of volunteers

The Internet Relies on People Working for Free (5 min, via) is a good reminder that the software that keeps everything running is maintained by volunteers.

Not much to add, just a big thank you to all of them. And, if your business relies on volunteer-developed software, you should have a Plan B in case something happens.

Stallman resigns from the FSF and MIT

Resignation (1 min, via) and Richard M. Stallman resigns (1 min, via) succintly explain how rms has resigned from his bigger political responsibilities.

Stallman was on fire after a Vice article criticising his mails where he kinda provides excuses/justifications about people accused of having sex with coerced minors.

The Epstein-Minsky-pedophilia topic is so sensitive that Stallman, despite being in the spectrum, should have known better than to talk about it on MIT mailing lists.

Yes, his latest mails and opinions have been misrepresented. Yes, as a very public figure, he should have been more careful and do not enter a discussion over semantics, as he always does, on such a sensitive topic as pedophilia. Yes, it seems that the white old guy argument has precedence over the ableism argument, since anybody who has interacted with him in the slightest knows he is barely functional. Yes, him defending "consensual" sex with minors in the past as something acceptable did not help at all, and neither did the fact that he's a jerk to most of the people he interacts with—speaking from own experience, unfortunately.

The saddest part is, despite his social limitations, and holding a horrible stance for many years, he was making an honest effort to change for the better.

But that doesn't matter. Child sex is a storm that engulfs anybody that comes near it. The crime is so vile that it is probably warranted.

Still, I find it unjust that this was, as many people said, "the straw that broke the camel's back". Stallman was not defending pedophilia this time —sigh—, and there should not be any argument that people cannot discuss. However, that was neither the place nor the moment.

As reddit user im_not_juicing intelligently states,

I think we all could learn a lesson here: it is not worth to waste our lifes arguing over the Internet about random stuff.

The only winning move is not to play

If you want to read more, check out the HN discussion, this thread on /r/stallmanwasright and pg's essay "What you can't say"

Update 2019-09-22 22:08. Thomas Bushnell has a very informed and reasonable opinion on this topic that you definitely should read.

6502 homebrew projects

Build a 6502 computer (RH, via) is a tutorial on how to build a basic board with a 6502 and program it.

I'm a huge fan of development boards myself, and have half a dozen at home. But I had never seen one with a 6502.

Watch his "Hello, world" from scratch on a 6502 video, too.

On a related note, David Murray, the 8-bit guy is also designing a 6502-based computer

Set up your own mailserver

Setting up a mail server with OpenSMTPD, Dovecot and Rspamd (30 min, via)

is yet another tutorial that tries to get engineers to host their own mail.

I do it myself, and though setup is easy, deliverability is a real pain. Your emails go directly to spam, or nowhere at all, and there is no real way to debug it.

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