The tiny chip that powers Montreal subway tickets
The MIFARE Ultralight EV1 chip used in Montreal's subway tickets is a low-cost, disposable NFC chip that uses a simple protocol to communicate with the reader and store data in its EEPROM. The chip is manufactured using an older 180nm process and is designed to be inexpensive, with a per-chip price of nine cents, making it suitable for disposable use.

I am using AI to drop hats outside my window onto New Yorkers
The creator of DropofaHat Zone, a window-based store, shares their journey of developing an AI-powered hat-dropping system using a Raspberry Pi, Adafruit stepper motor, and Roboflow. The system uses object detection to identify pedestrians under the window and drops a hat on their head within a 5-minute time slot.

Y combinator codex
The artwork measures 42cm x 2.4m with white margins, created using various tools and materials. It will be sold as a print or auctioned off at the European Lisp Symposium 2021, with proceeds donated to Lisp-related organizations.

Formal methods: Just good engineering practice?

The author believes formal methods are essential for good software engineering, reducing rework and cost of change, and increasing speed and efficiency. They highlight the value of formal design in large-scale and complex systems, and the importance of considering the requirements process and the type of software being developed.

LINQPad – The .NET Programmer's Playground
LINQPad is a query tool that allows users to query various databases and data sources without installing client software, featuring caching, performance benefits, and advanced features like charting and debugging. It also includes a range of tools for tasks like benchmarking, regular expression evaluation, and Excel file generation, as well as a comprehensive tutorial and reference guide.

How to Do The Jhanas
The jhanas are a series of eight (or nine) altered mental states, which progress from euphoria, to calm, to dissolution of reality – culminating in cessation, or loss of consciousness. They are induced via sustained concentration, without any external stimuli or substances. This is a practical guide on how to do them yourself. The word jhana comes from Buddhist scriptures, where they were ...

Llama.ttf: A font which is also an LLM

Llama.ttf is a font file that also contains a large language model and inference engine, allowing users to run text generation locally in Harfbuzz-based applications. By using the font, users can generate text without relying on vendor implementations, and even chat with their font.

Detecting hallucinations in large language models using semantic entropy
The authors propose a method called semantic entropy to detect confabulations in language models, which are arbitrary and incorrect generations. They demonstrate that semantic entropy can be used to predict model accuracy and improve it by refusing to answer questions when the model is uncertain, and it can also be used to give users a way to know when model generations are probably unreliable.

Deriving Dependently-Typed OOP from First Principles
The expression problem highlights the difficulty of extending types with both new producers and consumers, and dependently-typed programming typically follows a functional model. This paper explores dependently-typed object-oriented programming by deriving it from first principles using duality, providing a dependently typed calculus with dual language fragments and preserving transformations.

Arbitrary shell command evaluation in Org Mode (GNU Emacs)
A vulnerability in Emacs Org mode allows arbitrary Elisp code evaluation when opening a specific .org file. A patch has been released to fix the issue, which has been included in Emacs 29.4 and Org 9.7.5.

Much Ado About First Folios — the world's largest Shakespeare collection reopens
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. has undergone a four-year transformation, reopening with new museum spaces, leadership, and programming outreach, including the display of 82 copies of Shakespeare's "First Folio" for the first time. The library aims to reach a more universal audience, with a focus on the importance of the humanities and arts in a functioning democracy, and ...

Picolisp a Railroad Simulation,compress&gif-q=60&format=webm
The article discusses a railroad model simulation using Discrete Event Simulation (DES) in PicoLisp, featuring a track network and trains with schedules and movements determined dynamically. The simulation can be controlled with keyboard input, allowing users to interact with the layout and toggle switches.

Continue (YC S23) is hiring a founding engineer in San Francisco
The company seeks full-stack developers to join their open-source community, focusing on crafting a great developer experience and building innovative code search and generation tools. Ideal candidates are detail-oriented, user-focused, and passionate about learning from users while shipping high-quality products quickly.

The End-of-Line Story (2004)

The ASCII standard does not define a unique end-of-line character, leading to diversity among operating systems, which was addressed by adopting the CR LF convention for network communication. This convention was enforced by Jon Postel and carried into FTP, SMTP, and other protocols, making it transparent for most users, but still causing issues in certain situations.

Asynchronous Consensus Without Trusted Setup or Public-Key Cryptography
The paper presents an asynchronous Byzantine consensus protocol that does not rely on a trusted setup or public-key cryptography, using only cryptographic hash functions and achieving post-quantum security. The protocol has efficient communication and runs in expected O(1) rounds, making it practical and more efficient than existing setup-free consensus protocols.

Writing an IR from Scratch and survive to write a post
In this post, I will talk about the first version of the Intermediate Representation I designed for Kunai Static Analyzer, this is a dalvik analysis library that I wrote as a project for my PhD, also as a way of learning about the Dalvik file format and improving my programming skills. Kunai was a static analysis library for dalvik bytecode. This library was published on Github, and it also ...

Timeliness without datagrams using QUIC
The user discusses the importance of timeliness in live video protocols and how UDP datagrams can achieve this, but warns against using UDP directly and instead recommends using QUIC streams with congestion control and prioritization. The user also criticizes the use of datagrams in some protocols and encourages developers to use QUIC streams instead, citing the benefits of reliability and flexibility.

Feral pigeons and the London Pigeon String Foot and Rescue group
Feral pigeons, once revered and domesticated, have become widely detested and viewed as dirty, disease-addled, and "flying rats" due to a series of misunderstandings and prejudices. Despite their remarkable intelligence, social behavior, and ability to thrive in urban environments, pigeons are often subjected to cruelty and neglect, and their rehabilitation requires careful effort and ...

Start all of your commands with a comma (2009)

The user created a ~/bin/ directory and added it to their PATH, but encountered issues with command name collisions due to Debian's large number of available commands. They solved this by prefixing their custom command names with a comma, making them distinct from system commands and easily browsable using tab-completion.

"We argue that mitochondria are the processor of the cell" (2022)

The Encyclopedia Project, or How to Know in the Age of AI
The author argues that the internet's reliance on content over knowledge has led to a crisis of epistemology, where it's difficult to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and that we need to return to traditional methods of knowledge management and critical thinking to navigate this crisis. The author also emphasizes the importance of teaching children to think critically about knowledge ...

SquirrelFS: Using the Rust compiler to check file-system crash consistency
SquirrelFS is a new file system that ensures crash consistency through Rust's typestate pattern, allowing compile-time enforcement of operations and eliminating the need for separate proofs. It achieves similar or better performance than state-of-the-art file systems like NOVA and WineFS, with compilation taking only tens of seconds.

US Forest Service proposes protections for old-growth trees, without logging ban
The Biden administration has proposed a plan to preserve old-growth trees in national forests, but environmental groups say it falls short of an outright ban on logging and leaves too much up to individual forest managers. The proposal aims to prioritize preserving old-growth trees, but critics argue it doesn't address protecting mature trees and allows for logging in some cases, sparking ...

Fixing a memory leak of xmlEntityPtr in librsvg

The fuzzer found a memory leak in librsvg when parsing invalid XML documents with entity definitions, which was fixed by adding an impl Drop for a wrapper around xmlEntityPtr to automatically free the entities when the hash table is freed. This approach allows Rust to automatically manage the external resources, making the code simpler and more reliable.

Review of Linux on Minisforum V3 AMD Ryzen Tablet
The user purchased the Minisforum V3 AMD Tablet, a portable Linux device with a 14" 2.5K 165Hz touch screen, AMD Ryzen 7 8840U processor, and 32GB DDR5 RAM, and has been using it for two weeks, finding it to be a nearly perfect device with good performance, versatility, and Linux compatibility. The user notes some minor issues, such as the lack of automatic rotation, volume control issues, ...

Of Psion and Symbian,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/
Psion, a British company, was a pioneer in the development of handheld computers and operating systems, including the EPOC32 and Symbian OS, which were used in various devices such as the Psion Organiser, Series 3, and Series 5. Despite its innovative products and early success, Psion struggled to adapt to changing market trends and was eventually acquired by Nokia, which continued to develop ...

Character Tiling
The author, a programmer, shares their experience with creating tile-based backgrounds for 2D games, including their own games and those of others, highlighting the challenges and techniques involved in designing and compressing level data. They also discuss the evolution of tile mapping, from early 8-bit computers to modern PC games, and the importance of efficient compression and ...

Words you can spell with a calculator (2005)

The input contains a list of words from the /usr/share/dict/words file, filtered by a regular expression pattern. The words are mostly English words, with some proper nouns and abbreviations, and are used to test the filtering pattern.

Hacking eInk Price Tags (2021)
The author reverse-engineered a Samsung/SoluM electronic shelf label (ESL) device, a black-and-white eInk display, and created a custom firmware to enable wireless image updates and a picture frame mode. The author also implemented various optimizations, such as power management, encryption, and wear-leveling, to improve the device's performance and security.

Traffic noise hurts children's brains
Noise pollution is a growing global problem that affects children's health and learning, with cities like Barcelona introducing measures to reduce noise levels and improve air quality. Cities are implementing superblocks, which separate schools from busy roads and add green spaces, to reduce noise and air pollution, and potentially improve children's mental health and well-being.