Big Tech &
Framework’s next-gen Laptop follows through on its upgradeable promises (16 minute read)
Framework promises its users fully user-serviceable, upgradeable laptops. Its laptops are easy to open and work on and well-built enough to stand up to its competition. This article presents a review of Framework's second-generation laptop. While the laptop is good, it's not great. It still has problems with battery life, screen size and aspect ratio, and speakers. Framework's model means that the company is available to fix these problems in future iterations.
Instagram gets worse with dark patterns lifted from Tiktok (6 minute read)
Instagram is testing features with some users that make the app more like TikTok. The new feed shows as much algorithmically targeted video content as possible and tries to maximize engagement wherever practical. It removes the ability for users to mute or unmute videos by tapping on them. The feed has also switched from an infinite scroll to an item-by-item flipping style. When users reach the end of their organic content, the feed now presents half an algorithmically selected post to encourage users to continue.
This Might Be the Weirdest-Looking Rocket We've Ever Seen (7 minute read)
ARCA Space's EcoRocket Heavy's design is one of the strangest ever seen. The steam-powered rocket will be made up of 540 Propulsion Modules and be wider than it is tall. It is not the first time this type of design has been proposed, but previous attempts were shut down due to substantial technical challenges. ARCA plans to raise funds for asteroid mining missions by selling crypto tokens that can be exchanged for mined ore.
Ancient Lava Caves in Hawai'i Are Teeming With Mysterious Life Forms (3 minute read)
Scientists recently found a marvelous assortment of novel microbes thriving in the geothermal caves, lava tubes, and volcanic vents of Hawai'i. These underground structures were formed up to 800 years ago and receive little or no sunlight. They can also harbor toxic minerals and gases. The older sites hosted more diverse populations than those less than 400 years old, but the younger sites had more complex microbe interactions. Many more details about the microbes are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Blueboat (GitHub Repo)
What they don't teach you about sockets (8 minute read)
This article discusses realizations about writing applications that communicate via websockets that aren't explicitly talked about in documentation. It covers TCP reliability vs application reliability, recv() and SIGPIPE, using Linux APIs with sockets, and using main select() loops in applications.
75-mile-long mirror skyscrapers will be reportedly built in Neom city of Saudi Arabia (3 minute read)
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, last year announced his vision to build a linear city with 1,600-feet tall skyscrapers that run for 75 miles across the desert, mountain, and coastal terrains. The buildings would be connected with walkways and there are plans for vertical farming to help feed the residents of the city. The project is expected to cost the Kingdom a trillion dollars. The Crown Prince wants the project to be completed in 2030, but there are many problems facing its construction.
Tech Giants Want to Banish the Leap Second to Stop Internet Crashes (3 minute read)
Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon have launched a public effort to scrap the leap second. The leap second is an occasional extra second that keeps clocks in sync with the Earth's actual rotation. Researchers predict that it could be removed without much effect for at least 2,000 years. US and French time-keeping authorities agree with the removal of the leap second.
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Comcast (GitHub Repo)
Comcast is a tool designed to simulate common network problems like latency, bandwidth restrictions, and dropped/reordered/corrupted packets.