13 August 2022
Preview of 'Arrest of suspected developer of Tornado Cash'

Arrest of suspected developer of Tornado Cash

"Wow, just wow. Am i alone in thinking this is not going to fly if all he did was write some software that helps with your financial anonymity? There must be more. Perhaps he also deployed it? That would be a different story. The article is quite murky in that regard. Perhaps they don't know yet.In there is an interesting paragraph explaining what Tornado Cash is:… The (criminal) origin of the cryptocurrencies is often not or hardly checked by such mixing services. Users of a mixing service mostly do this to increase their anonymity.Note how they sneaked "criminal" in there. There are of course legitimate reasons to desire anonymity for financial transactions! It's one of the reasons people like to pay cash.Satoshi Nakamoto is wise to remain anonymous."

"A lot of the apologists for this are making arguments along the lines of "being decentralized doesn't make you exempt from the rules" or "imagine if a bank laundered this much money".The problem is it doesn't make sense to treat protocols like companies. And it definitely doesn't make sense to treat protocol devs as if they were the executives of those companies. The CEO of a bank and the lead dev of a protocol have very very different powers and responsibilities, and we can't just throw our hands up in the air and say "the law's the law, and you gotta follow it" (even when it's literally impossible given the decentralized and autonomous nature of the protocol).Analogously when joint-stock corporations first entered the scene it required the development of whole new branches of Western law. That law had to be tailored to reflect the realities and nature of joint-stock corporations. What would have been very dumb is simply to pretend like nothing changed and say "same rules apply" and make individual shareholders liable for the action of the corporate entity the same way we're trying to make software devs liable for the action of the decentralized protocol."

"The effect of all of this nonsense will to drive developers into pseudonymity. It won't solve the "problem" of developers building privacy tools. It won't stop experimentation with shitcoins. But it will eliminate the phenomenon of the Buterin-style project lead and "core developer".The bullseye has been painted. And now those who have reaped the benefits of fame will come to know why Satoshi concluded that it was a trap to be avoided. The legal pressure that will be brought to bear on the Ethereum foundation to enact various changes will be enormous and never-ending.It doesn't matter whether or not this case flies. That will take many years to sort out. In the meantime, rational actors will do the rational thing. Everyone else will receive summons and indictments."

Preview of 'Goat Rental – Hire Goats'

Goat Rental – Hire Goats

"Story time - My dad asked the local school which had a goat if he can borrow it for a weekend. It was to tame his backyard. As the backyard was enclosed with no chance of the goat escaping, we left it by itself. The goat was be extremely hungry and ate everything insight including the roots, leaves and bark. By Monday, the backyard is barren and took months recover.Moral of the story - keep an eye on the goat."

"My sister has a small farm and in addition to cows and horses she also has rabbits. Every spring, parents show up to buy a rabbit to have at home. When the deal is done my sister takes the parents aside and tell them that if they plan or feel by the end of the summer that they want to let the rabbit loose, they can return it for free.What she does not tell is that our brother-in-law is a chef and happily makes rabbit stew of the returned rabbits. If there was ever a win-win situation, this is it."

"Another story from a fellow hacker with a backyard goat - It actually starts in a very subtle way. Goats have different tastes and moods, and it's not like they eat everything right away unless the density of a goat per backyard m2 is too high. I started giving mine some free "roaming" time with the chickens every day before the sunset. It looked very innocent - first few days she ate just some weeds, nettle and some low hanging branches of pear trees. No worries, I was planning to cut those anyways. After few weeks of not paying that much attention in the evenings, bottom third of all our ~12 trees were gone, she got into salads, potatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, peppers and cucumbers, all nettle was done, and she started checking out tomatoes (which seemed that she is really really not into at first). I am building a new goat house with it's own separate "backyard" with weeds that she won't be able to escape. :)"

Preview of 'Study finds link between 'forever chemicals' in cookware and liver cancer'

Study finds link between 'forever chemicals' in cookware and liver cancer

"The study didn’t actually find anything related to cookware. Modern Teflon in the US doesn’t expose people to PFOA/PFOS like old version did due to new regulations. The chemicals could also be entering peoples body’s through drinking water or bioaccumulation in meat or plants.You should throw away nonstick cookware from before 2013, but new nonstick cookware sold in the US does not have PFOA. I believe the EU followed suite recently.Edit: After doing more research based on many comments here, I realized I was wrong. The brand Teflon replaced PFOA with GenX, a different fluorosurfactant that's probably worse than PFOA. From what I can tell, fluorosurfactants are more or less required to make PTFE and it seems quite likely that all fluorosurfactants are toxic. Personally I choose to use Teflon for eggs and stainless or cast iron for everything else. That feels like a decent trade off to me comparing years of life lost from liver cancer to time spent scraping scrambled eggs off of pans.I want to add that a lot of cool startups are working on PFAS remediation. One I know of is Cyclopure, they make a Brita filter replacement that filters out PFAS (it's very expensive at the moment, though). Probably worth it if you live near a chemical plant, airport, or US military facility (airports and military bases both use PFAS fire-extinguishing foams which they typically fail to contain)."

"They're finding PFAS in everything now.https://www.consumerreports.org/bottled-water/pfas-in-bottle...https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7gban/rainwater-everywhere-...https://www.dcourier.com/news/2022/aug/11/prescott-valley-sh..."

"There isn't a human alive today whose blood is free from PFOA and/or PFOS. The question to answer is what are the major routes by which this is happening.There is a lot of discussion in this thread about cookware. The problem is that these chemicals are now found throughout the environment and used in countless products. The stuff is found increasingly in drinking water and foods. Maybe cookware is a major contributor, but the truth is nobody knows yet.Nor does this effect appear limited to liver cancer. The paper notes:> Studies examining associations of PFAS exposure with risk of other cancers, such as kidney cancer, in the general population have found similar associations to those reported here. For example, in the only existing nested case-control study examining the prospective association between PFAS levels and risk of renal cell carcinoma, PFOS levels >50 μg/L were associated with more than two-fold increased risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (OR=2.51; 95% CI: 1.28-4.92), and similar associations were reported for PFOA and PFHxS [[52]]. These findings are notable due to the similarity in PFOS concentrations associated with risk of HCC in our study. ...https://www.jhep-reports.eu/article/S2589-5559(22)00122-7/fu...For its part, the paper never mentions the word "cookware" and is instead focused on the link between blood concentrations and cancer.Edit: Wikipedia has the following paragraph on the topic of cookware:> Despite DuPont's asserting that "cookware coated with DuPont Teflon non-stick coatings does not contain PFOA",[91] residual PFOA was also detected in finished PTFE products including PTFE cookware (4–75 parts per billion).[87] However, PFOA levels ranged from undetectable (<1.5) to 4.3 parts per billion in a more recent study.[48] Also, non-stick cookware is heated—which should volatilize PFOA; PTFE products that are not heated, such as PTFE sealant tape, had higher (1800 parts per billion) levels detected.[92] Overall, PTFE cookware is considered an insignificant exposure pathway to PFOA.[93][94]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfluorooctanoic_acid"

Preview of 'The hacking of Starlink terminals has begun'

The hacking of Starlink terminals has begun

"Relevant presentation on DEFCON Media server:https://media.defcon.org/DEF%20CON%2030/DEF%20CON%2030%20pre...https://media.defcon.org/DEF%20CON%2030/DEF%20CON%2030%20pre..."

"Eh low threat hack. Requires physical access to dish and installs piece of easily identifiable hardware. Tbh give unfettered access to most hardware and you can hack it."

"This WIRED article[1] references a release of tools and information about the research on GitHub[2] however it 404s. Hope that is not being censored.[1] https://www.wired.com/story/starlink-internet-dish-hack/[2] https://github.com/KULeuven-COSIC/Starlink-FI"

Preview of 'Excel is pretty dang cool'

Excel is pretty dang cool

"I quote, "Excel has actual programming affordances now"... Range names "fixes one of the biggest problems that makes spreadsheets illegible""Instead of writing the formula =A1B1, you can do =WidthHeight like you should have been able to 30 years ago."Not sure what this dude is talking about. Range names have been in Excel for decades."

"The one thing that drives me crazy about Excel is that function names are localized. So if you use the German version you'll have to use "SUMME" instead of "SUM" etc. this is really annoying and I wish there was a way to always use the English word. I'd love to talk to the person who made the decision that this was a good idea. In the CAS tool Rhino, you can always do _command to use an English command even in localized versions...wouldn't be that hard to provide this feature."

"If their mind is blown by named ranges, they are going to faint when learning about the nice structure a proper table (Insert -> Table) gives!It's so handy typing =SUM(tbl_Sales_Transactions[Total]) And knowing you don't have to adjust the range of the named area as long as the table is the correct length. Far nicer than SUM(F:F) or SUM(F2:F1000) which can cause performance issues and could be exceeded when pulling in new data respectively.Within the table, you can do this syntax to use items on the same row of data. =[@[Price]*[@[Tax Rate]]"

Preview of 'Dotfiles being hidden is a UNIXv2 mistake (2012)'

Dotfiles being hidden is a UNIXv2 mistake (2012)

"I love how so many behaviors we depend on were mistakes or temporary fixes"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move""

">How many bugs and wasted CPU cycles and instances of human frustration (not to mention bad design) have resulted from that one small shortcut about 40 years ago?Not many? In the sense that, considering several UNIX and C design issues and footguns, the dotfiles are the least of our worries (compare e.g. to C buffer overflows or shell escaping rules, to name but two)...I also don't particularly like the repeated ditches at "lazy programmers" - isn't the whole "New Jersey" style [1] heavy on laziness?In fact, if those "lazy programmers" were given OS level-APIs and libs doing the right thing about dotfiles, they wouldn't have recoded them on their own in their programs...[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worse_is_better#New_Jersey_sty..."

"The code in question: https://github.com/dspinellis/unix-history-repo/commit/389a4..."

Preview of 'Why thinking hard makes us feel tired'

Why thinking hard makes us feel tired

"See this is why I get annoyed at a body evolved for caloric scarcity. We shouldn't get tired, we should get hungry! Oh, pollutants build up in the brain? Burn more energy to get rid of them! I should be able to strap an icepack to my head, fill a bottle with olive oil, and overclock my brain to 10x speed."

"I don't know which is more tiresome, 3-4 hours of focused programming and thinking, or 8 hours attending two children below 5.They are both tiring, but differently. Intensive programming is like working hard at the gym. Tiring, but content. Attending children is low intensity in attention, but constantly vigilant. And you are expected to pay that kind of attention for another maybe 4 years. Very different kind of tiring indeed, both makes you unable to focus afterwards. So while thinking hard makes us tired, not thinking hard can also makes us tired."

"Maybe it's just me, but I find meetings to be way more mentally fatiguing than, say, coding. Even if I'm just listening in.A 1.5hr meeting cooks me. After a showcase, which can go for 2 hours, I'm done for the day.However what works for me isn't having a rest, or flicking through YT for some quick mental rewards. A good walk, or doing some gardening, mowing the lawns - basically anything physical - helps me regenerate. Especially being outside.That's been a big benefit of working from home. Yesterday at lunchtime I just went out back with a skillsaw and cut a whole bunch of wood for an hour (not random cutting, I need it for a project haha). Came back in feeling great!"

Preview of 'Ask HN: What are the best tools for web scraping in 2022?'

Ask HN: What are the best tools for web scraping in 2022?

"It's increasingly difficult these days to write scrapers that don't at some point need to execute JavaScript on a page - so you need to have a good browser automation tool on hand.I'm really impressed by Playwright. It feels like it has learned all of the lessons from systems like Selenium that came before it - it's very well designed and easy to apply to problems.I wrote my own CLI scraping tool on top of Playwright a few months ago, which has been a fun way to explore Playwright's capabilities: https://simonwillison.net/2022/Mar/14/scraping-web-pages-sho..."

"Beautiful Soup gets the job done. I made several app by using it.[1] https://github.com/altilunium/wistalk (Scrap wikipedia to analyze user's activity)[2] https://github.com/altilunium/psedex (Scrap goverment website to get list of all registered online services in Indonesia)[3] https://github.com/altilunium/makalahIF (Scrap university lecturer's web page to get list of papers)[4] https://github.com/altilunium/wi-page (Scrap wikipedia to get most active contributors that contribute to a certain article)[5] https://github.com/altilunium/arachnid (Web scraper, optimized for wordpress and blogger)"

"In the world of SPA (single page applications), headless browser API is super helpful, playwright[1] and puppeteer[2] are very good choices.[1] https://github.com/microsoft/playwright[2] https://github.com/puppeteer/puppeteer"

Preview of 'Man overcharged 20 rupees for India train ticket wins 22-year legal battle'

Man overcharged 20 rupees for India train ticket wins 22-year legal battle

"I love little cases/stories like this. I think many of us have some things that we will doggedly pursue, which in the greater scheme of things may be small... but it becomes a matter of principal mixed with amusement.In London our transport network is managed by TFL. Their website lets you search for routes, and in the route options you can go for the fastest route, or choose this option: "Routes with the least changes". Every year on the same date, I would contact them and ask them to change that to "Routes with the fewest changes" and they would respond with something to the effect of "thanks for the feedback, passed it on, go away now".I think I did this for over 10 years until one day it did get changed on their site. They did accompany it with a greater set of changes, that made the results more convoluted with pointless waypoints that clutter the results, but that's a new matter to pursue."

"> Equally surprising was that Indian Railways, the country’s largest employer, chose to continue fighting the case.If you think it's crazy for this lone lawyer to have gone through this crusade, keep in mind that Indian Railways fought in a 100 hearings for ~25 cents, and their lawyers don't work for free. How bonkers is that?"

"Reminds of the time I had an argument over the phone with a guy from a UPI app (PhonePe). There was a hack going around on dormant accounts. I had one account with them which was (maybe?) used only a few times.I called customer care and asked if they could delete my account. They said, and I quote, "due to RBI regulations, we can't". Naturally, I asked "which regulation document? do you have a number?". The other person did not have an answer and escalated my call. They said they would get back to me and in the meantime, I read all the regulations there were. The regulations clearly stated that issuers shall give an option to close the account at any time. There was no such option in the app.I pressed again to close the account to prevent misuse and/or fraud. The person on the other end of the call asked me (beratingly) to logout and delete the app. Because it was the same as deleting the account. I argued that it is not the same thing. To which his tone was more or less like, [my words, this is how it sounded] "you blithering idiot, you blasphemous imbecile, do you know how miniscule you are in the grand scheme of things. I am God here and you should bow down to my superiority and accept my solution"I wonder if I should have sued."

Preview of 'Review of /e/ – Android-based alternative for mobile phones'

Review of /e/ – Android-based alternative for mobile phones

"I have used /e/ as my main phone for 1 year - and I am a heavy user. It’s a bliss! I also got a phone with /e/ installed on it for my 73 years old mother. She loved it. It’s really surprising to see how the bigtech monopoly has nothing to do with the quality of their services, but everything with their unfair practices - Microsoft yesterday, Google today."

"From the /e/ Foundation website:"The easy-installer beta version supports 15 devices"This is the #1 problem, but it's not /e/ developers fault, as supporting devices is a time consuming and costly activity, and the risk of bricking an expensive device is just too high for normal users to want to try. Manufacturers are to blame. It's not a technical problem but rather a political one; manufacturers should be forced by law to unlock boot loaders and publish at least the bare minimum documentation enough for porting software to devices that became obsolete either by the introduction of a newer version, or after support has ceased. Until that happens, I'm afraid we'll see more and more projects supporting only a very small part of the available devices."

"I use /e/ daily as does a co-worker (we aren't working in tech). It's the one piece of alternative software that I'm comfortable recommending to anyone. It "just works" just as much as Android "just works"."

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