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Carlos Fenollosa

Carlos Fenollosa

Engineer, developer, entrepreneur

Carlos Fenollosa — Blog

Thoughts on science and tips for researchers who use computers

Links for 2019-12-08

December 08, 2019 — Carlos Fenollosa

💻 Hack your Thinkpad

My personal fight against the modern laptop (45 min, video, via)

In this talk, I will take you through the tools and techniques I used to reverse engineer the keyboard controller in my Thinkpad laptop and re-flash it with custom firmware.

Thinkpad keyboards, never such a niche topic has generated so much debate

Comparison of Thinkpad keyboards

💥 Fight AMP

How to fight back against Google AMP as a web user and a web developer (5 min, via)

The actual contents of the article are not that interesting —don't use Google, don't use Chrome, speed up your website— but the topic is, and the HN discussion is quite insightful

HN user soyyo comments

For publishers, amp is about trying to top the results on google search and capture traffic, it's their only motivation to publish their content using amp, and the only metric they look in order to evaluate the results.

🐲 AI-generated text adventure

AI Dungeon 2 – AI-generated text adventure built with 1.5B param GPT-2 (RH, via)

Imagine an infinitely generated world that you could explore endlessly, continually finding entirely new content and adventures. What if you could also choose any action you can think of instead of being limited by the imagination of the developers who created the game?

If you love text adventures (you should) and you're ready to be mildly amused by the fact that an AI is generating the game (you should), go ahead and give it a go.

📲 2/3 of your battery is used to move data around

In mobile, 62.7% of energy is spent on data movement (15 min, PDF, via)

The title may suggest that we're talking about the antennas, but it's focused on moving data from memory, and suggests designing new RAM systems with specific instructions for copying and zeroing data.

A bit long, but very interesting.

📹 30 -> 60 fps using AI

Turning animations to 60fps using AI! (4 min, video, via)

Depth-Aware Video Frame Interpolation [DAIN] is a project that let you interpolate frames using an advanced AI.

Just watch this video:

🐇 A first look into Plan 9

Plan 9: Not dead, Just Resting, by Ori Bernstein (1h, video, via) and How I Switched To Plan 9

Plan 9 is an experimental OS that takes some UNIX principles to the extreme.

Plan 9 from Bell Labs is a research system developed at Bell Labs starting in the late 1980s. Its original designers and authors were Ken Thompson, Rob Pike, Dave Presotto, and Phil Winterbottom.

Plan 9 demonstrates a new and often cleaner way to solve most systems problems. The system as a whole is likely to feel tantalizingly familiar to Unix users but at the same time quite foreign.

In Plan 9, each process has its own mutable name space. A process may rearrange, add to, and remove from its own name space without affecting the name spaces of unrelated processes. Included in the name space mutations is the ability to mount a connection to a file server speaking 9P, a simple file protocol. The connection may be a network connection, a pipe, or any other file descriptor open for reading and writing with a 9P server on the other end.

It is not well suited for most people's daily needs, but it is very interesting both from a research and from a hobbyist point of view.

Think about it as "Plan 9 is to OpenBSD what OpenBSD is to Linux."

Make sure to check out the links above and fall into the Plan 9 rabbit hole.

🐍 Malicious Python libraries

Two malicious Python libraries caught stealing SSH and GPG keys (1 min, via)

The first is "python3-dateutil," which imitated the popular "dateutil" library. The second is "jeIlyfish" (the first L is an I), which mimicked the "jellyfish" library.

Well, another attack to add to the books. Let's keep vigilant when including non-vetoed libraries in our code.

🧮 Vim-like tools

Big Pile of Vim-like (RH, via)

E-mail clients, file managers, browsers, music players... a bunch of software designed after some vim feature.

If you're a vim fan this is a must read!

🍎 What it's like to sell your company to Steve Jobs

Andy Miller | Sold 1st Co. For $275m, Future of Esports (1 hour, video)

What a fascinating story! Andy Miller explains how he sold his company to Apple, with plenty of anecdotes.

A very rare window inside the mind of Steve Jobs: how he lowballed the exit price with a veiled threat, how he pushed people over acceptable limits to make the most out of theirselves, and how Andy stole Jobs' laptop by mistake on what probably was the worst day of his life.

If you're a Jobs fan, this piece is one of a kind. Watch the video, or convert it to mp3 and listen to it as a podcast.

🌌 The end of the universe

TIMELAPSE OF THE FUTURE: A Journey to the End of Time (30 min, video)

Do you wonder how the universe will end? This excellently produced video explains how the stars will die, and then black holes, and then photons, until there is nothing in the universe, and that nothing stays forever.

A beautiful, moving piece, very informative, that helps put things into perspective.

📡 How radar works

How Radar Works (15 min, via)

The author makes great effort into explaining how radar works, both from a theoretical point of view, and also with formulas.

I must admit that the math is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I recommend that you read it and at least try to understand the basic concepts. It's worth it.

Tags: roundup

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