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Horcrux: Split your file into encrypted fragments

  • Horcrux is an open-source tool that breaks a file into encrypted sections, eliminating the need for users to recall a passcode for securing distributed storage.
  • The technology operates on the Shamir Secret Sharing Scheme, which fragments an encryption key in a way that only a predefined number of parts can reconstruct it.
  • The tool serves a particular audience that has to encrypt large, sensitive files and disseminate them via several channels to lower interception risks.


  • The discussion centers around several cryptographic tools and techniques such as Horcrux, Shamir Secret Sharing (SSS), HTTP Basic Authentication, polynomial samples, and Oblivious Transfer (OT).
  • The conversation broadly addresses the limitations, security concerns, and potential use-cases of these tools, underlining the need for enhancements and user accessibility.
  • Some unrelated topics, such as Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling's political viewpoints, and transgender rights, are also briefly incorporated into the discussion.

Cystic fibrosis treatment wins Breakthrough Prize

  • Trikafta, a triple-drug combination developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, earns a $3 million Breakthrough award highlighting its effectiveness in treating cystic fibrosis, a severe genetic disorder.
  • The combination treatment improves patients' quality of life and enhances life expectancy by targeting a malformed protein in those with cystic fibrosis.
  • The Breakthrough prizes also acknowledged other achievements such as discoveries related to Parkinson's disease, cancer therapies, and mathematical theories.


  • The discussions revolve around key medical topics like benefits and side effects of groundbreaking treatments for Cystic Fibrosis (CF), current debates on CF research funding, and the high cost and accessibility of CF drugs.
  • The summary captures dialogue on ethical implications of genetic screening and embryo selection while dealing with Down Syndrome, offering an insight into complex ethical questions in medical research.
  • The conversation further delves into the general issue of large expenses related to specific diseases' medication, hinting at profitability concerns about the pharmaceutical drugs industry.

Java 21 makes me like Java again

  • Java 21, slated for launch in September 2023, aims to bring record patterns into switch blocks and expressions, thereby enabling functional programming patterns in Java.
  • The discussed features include product types relevant to Java's record class, the advantages of switch patterns and sealed classes from Java 17, as well as pattern matching with sealed interfaces and the introduction of guard clauses.
  • This upcoming release, namely Java 21, is emphasized as a significant development towards augmenting Java's tools for functional programming.


  • The discussions are centered on several facets of programming languages such as Java, Go, Kotlin, and C#, including new additions like virtual threads and sealed interfaces in Java.
  • Different languages were scrutinized for their simplicity, tooling, and user-friendliness, as well as the hurdles of transitioning to updated Java versions.
  • It was noted that developer opinions varied considerably, with some lauding the robustness and ecosystem of certain languages while others pointed out their constraints and missing features, underscoring the subjective nature of language preferences.

Every Breath You Take – Heart Rate Variability Training

  • The main point is that regulated breathing can manage the body's stress response.
  • A new application has been developed that uses a Polar H10 Heart Rate monitor to measure and train this effect.
  • This app allows users to adjust their breathing rate, measures their breathing control via a chest accelerometer, and displays their heart rate variability response.


  • The post introduces an app designed to both measure and train the body's stress response using a heart rate monitor and controlled breathing techniques.
  • The central focus of the discussion is Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and its associations with various factors like exercise, alcohol consumption, diet, health conditions, and notably, anxiety levels.
  • While HRV is a potential indicator of impending illnesses and anxiety, its reliability and accuracy are debated. However, the concept of managing emotional states through monitoring and manipulating HRV is introduced.

Generative Image Dynamics

  • The research paper details a technique for transforming single still images into looping videos or interactive dynamic scenes.
  • The method involves learning from motion trajectories extracted from real video sequences to predict a per-pixel long-term motion representation, termed as a neural stochastic motion texture.
  • This model can convert the neural stochastic motion texture into dense motion trajectories for video generation, enabling realistic interactions with objects in pictures.


  • Generative Image Dynamics is a new tool that enables the creation of subtle motion in images, akin to cinemagraphs, which can enhance marketing materials or photography.
  • The tool has sparked significant interest and discussion on its potential applications and examples.
  • There is also conversation about the potential integration of similar technologies into video game development.

Game developers turning off all IronSource and Unity Ads monetization

  • Game development companies have collectively asked for the ability to review new terms and conditions.
  • Subsequent to their request, these companies have made the decision to discontinue all IronSource and Unity Ads monetization.
  • IronSource and Unity Ads are popular platforms used by these companies for game monetization, suggesting a potentially significant shift in their revenue models.


  • This Reddit thread discusses concerns about large game companies plagiarizing and profiting from indie games, leading to disputes within the gaming community.
  • Mentioned is Unity's decision to amend its terms of service, which may cause difficulties for smaller enterprises, and whether learning game development principles has significant value.
  • Critiques of game engines like Unity and the influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the gaming industry are also explored, indicating an ongoing evolution in the field.

A look at Apple’s new Transformer-powered predictive text model

  • Apple is introducing a new predictive text feature using a Transformer language model in future iOS and macOS versions.
  • The feature, speculated to be based on a GPT-2 model with roughly 34 million parameters, focuses on emojis and contractions due to their frequent usage in text messaging.
  • Although potentially less proficient at creating complete sentences like larger language models, it offers swift and precise suggestions as the user types.


  • The article brings to light user dissatisfaction with the autocorrect functionality on Apple's iOS devices, citing issues since the switch to a machine learning model.
  • Users have reported unwanted corrections, particularly with proper nouns, and difficulties in multilingual typing, offering alternatives like swiping and voice-to-text as potential solutions.
  • The discussion also touches on limited language support and questionable accuracy of Apple's transformer models, featuring debates on Apple's use of the term "LLM". Users anticipate improved autocorrect in future updates.

Lodash just declared issue bankruptcy and closed every issue and open PR

  • The software library lodash has reportedly declared bankruptcy.
  • This declaration has resulted in the closure of all of its open issues and pull requests.


  • Debates are occurring over several topics associated with the JavaScript utility library Lodash, including the closure of all issues and pull requests, the application of functional programming and the reduce() function, and Lodash's shift to Bun.
  • Conversations include the use of frameworks and libraries in coding and comparison of Lodash's effectiveness with custom code in terms of performance and simplicity.
  • The discussion also brings up the potential of implementing fees for reporting issues in prominent open-source projects and the application opening for Y Combinator's (YC) Winter 2024 cohort.

exaequOS - a new OS running in a web browser

  • The document reveals that GitHub IP's contact documentation is now accessible, and it mentions that ExaequOS, a new operating system, is still being developed.
  • Several new versions of software are available, including VIM 9.0, Bash 5.2.2, and GNU Chess 6.2.9. Additionally, Bywater BASIC software and some games are mentioned.
  • The availability of a new version of GNUed, version 1.19, is announced, and the login information for ExaequOS is provided.


  • ExaequOS is a newly introduced operating system that operates within a web browser, employing a microkernel architecture and leveraging WebAssembly.
  • It aims to function entirely on the web and has features for accessing platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox. If it receives enough attention, further development may take place.
  • Discussions are underway about the possibility of compiling Linux to WebAssembly and the progression of the ExaequOS project, aiming to create a platform suitable for web apps.

“I want to use this tactically vs. GOOG/AAPL” (2022)

  • Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, revealed in a 2022 email his strategic plans to leverage a specific technology against tech giants Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL).
  • The content of the email was made public on September 16, 2023, through a tweet by an account known as "Internal Tech Emails."
  • The specific technology intended for use against Google and Apple is not mentioned in the provided excerpt.


  • The conversations explore a variety of themes such as Apple's entry into iPhone gaming, debates on renting versus owning products, and the influence of streaming services on the gaming industry.
  • Further topics include Microsoft's approaches to competing with Apple, the landscape of cloud gaming services, differing CEO communication styles, and corporate communication and data retention strategies.
  • Participants offer a wide range of perspectives, leading to vigorous debates on multiple facets of these subjects.

I wouldn't be productive enough for today's academic system (2013)

  • Peter Higgs, the physicist known for the Higgs boson, expresses doubts that he would meet the productivity standards of today's academic system.
  • Higgs suggests that due to the contemporary pressure on academics to consistently publish and collaborate, accomplishing a unique breakthrough similar to his own is unlikely.
  • He harbors regrets over the Higgs boson being referred to as the "God particle" and reveals his career was once at risk due to disagreements with the principal of Edinburgh University.


  • The article delves into the current pressure on scientists to maintain productivity, with metrics used as tools to assess their work. It highlights the role of politicians, administrators, and scientists in shaping the academic system.
  • It points to the downsizing of corporate R&D labs, the subsequent shift towards academia and discusses the limitations of metrics in gauging research productivity; presenting a critique about the over-reliance on publication metrics and its detrimental effect on research quality.
  • The discussion further explores hindrances to research freedom, the exploration of alternative career paths, and the conflict between reliance on metrics and cultivating trust within academia; criticizing the current academic system for promoting careerism at the expense of innovative research.

The database servers powering Let's Encrypt (2021)

  • Let's Encrypt, a certificate authority providing TLS certificates for various websites, has enhanced its database servers for better performance and scalability.
  • The organization opted to use AMD EPYC chips and Dell's PowerEdge R7525 servers for the upgrade, which doubled performance and enabled the utilization of NVMe drives, effectively reducing API request processing time and database latency.
  • OpenZFS was incorporated to manage the NVMe drives as part of the upgrade, aiming to accommodate the growing dependency on Let's Encrypt for secure web communications.


  • Let's Encrypt has enhanced its database servers with AMD EPYC processors and NVMe SSDs, improving both performance and scalability, and significantly raising the daily issuance of certificates.
  • Comparisons to other databases and cost savings versus AWS hosting are also discussed, sparking a debate between employing cloud services or investing in physical hardware.
  • Alternative strategies like renting dedicated servers or using colocation services are suggested, emphasizing the need to consider unique circumstances and workloads when making decisions.

Is this fraud? And if so, to what extent am I responsible?

  • A senior technical employee is facing pressure to participate in dishonest actions relating to a client procurement process, raising concerns on personal liability and potential resignation.
  • Suggestions for the employee include seeking legal counsel, documenting all pertinent interactions for evidence, possibly alerting the client, and considering job alternatives.
  • While a culture of deceit may facilitate an immediate sale, it is stressed that maintaining honesty, conducting penetration testing, and addressing difficult questions are emblematic of ethical business practices.


  • The discussion focuses on the ethical quandary faced by an employee being asked to partake in fraudulent practices involving engineering statements and security testing.
  • It delves into potential repercussions including the value of honesty and integrity, the possible legal consequences, and suggests measures like seeking legal advice, documentation, and refraining from engaging in such activities.
  • Job titles, compliance forms, and the intricacy of ethical decision-making in a professional context form another section of the discussion.

  • A startup founder has created a website that monitors layoffs within the tech industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The website has tracked layoffs in more than 1,000 tech companies, reporting a staggering total of over 235,000 employees who have been laid off.
  • In addition to tracking layoffs, the site also provides free salary benchmarking data for over 3,000 tech firms, offering valuable industry insights during this challenging period.


  • The article brings up a decline in tech industry layoffs and scrutinizes the economic issues faced by companies. It also hints at possible collusion among big tech firms and argues some layoffs might be due to changes in remote work policies or return-to-office mandates.
  • The discussion delves into the legality of requiring employees to relocate without compensation, the concept of 'constructive dismissal,' and potential benefits of forming unions for remote work rights.
  • The text mentions a website that lists tech industry layoffs and delves into the impact of venture capitalists (VCs) and interest rates on layoff decisions. It also brings to light a Google spreadsheet with information about laid-off employees, which has sparked varied reactions.

Running one’s own root Certificate Authority in 2023

  • The article provides guidance on setting up a root Certificate Authority (CA) for internet security, outlining the constraints of free alternatives and showcasing how to generate CA and host certificates.
  • It includes technical requirements for serving CA certificates and gives code examples, as well as sharing the author's personal experience in managing a root certificate authority.
  • It notes the risks of the process and emphasizes the importance of maintaining security measures, such as using nameConstraints for security, safeguarding secrets, and rotating certificates yearly.


  • The article explores the merits and challenges of operating a domain-specific Certificate Authority (CA), a critical tool for managing digital certificates, as an alternative to conventional CAs.
  • It highlights the complexity and costliness associated with this system, emphasizing the need for simpler, cost-effective certificate management solutions. The value of running a dependable CA for internal needs is also underscored.
  • It also delves into issues surrounding specific software combinations with Let's Encrypt, the preference for elliptic curve cryptography over RSA for security, and the requirements for safely distributing and revoking root certificates.

AMD’s Phoenix SoC

  • AMD has created the Phoenix SoC, incorporating Zen 4 cores and RDNA 3 graphics to enhance power efficiency and performance for compact and mobile devices.
  • The chip, fabricated on TSMC's N4 process, includes various accelerators, a new GPU with higher memory bandwidth, and next-gen video codec handling capabilities.
  • Besides, the Phoenix APU provides improvements in power usage and machine learning and audio processing performance, setting AMD up as a potent challenger to Intel.


  • The AMD Phoenix SoC, recognized for its performance and gaming capabilities, is nt readily available in ultrabooks, causing user difficulties.
  • Amid praises, privacy and security concerns arise due to SoC's ultrasound feature, leading to comparisons with Microsoft's Pluton and debates over documentation practices.
  • Additional topics include the potential integration of AMD's AI engine, XDNA, into their ROCm platform, developers' adoption of XDNA, the absence of OpenCL drivers, and implications of FPGA adoption.

Linux on a MacBook Pro (M1 Pro): How Good Is Asahi Now?

  • The author experimented with Asahi Linux on a MacBook Pro featuring an M1 Pro CPU, noting that some features ran smoothly, but limits existed, like diminished USB functionality and non-functional external display ports.
  • Although the CPU performance and battery life while streaming YouTube were found to be slightly lesser compared to macOS, GPU drivers' installation did offer improved battery longevity.
  • Although Asahi Linux is viable for the MacBook Pro, its gaming capabilities and app support remain restricted. Therefore, the author recommends considering a device like a Tuxedo laptop or desktop that comes pre-installed with Linux for a more optimized experience.


  • The conversation centers on the issues of using Linux on Apple's M1 processor MacBooks, including hardware support, power consumption, and lack of certain features.
  • Users debate the decision to purchase hardware from Apple, a company that currently does not support Linux, and discuss the pros and cons of using Mac hardware vs other options.
  • The discussion also highlights the development progress of Asahi Linux, with diverse views on the practicality and attractiveness of employing Linux on Apple Silicon devices due to variations in system stability and compatibility.

Unity's Self-Combustion Engine

  • Unity, a renowned game development platform, has met with significant disapproval following its decision to introduce a Runtime Fee based on game installations, triggering confusion among game developers.
  • The new fee has sparked backlash prompting some studios to pull ads and contemplate switching game engines, with Unity's past controversies, layoffs, and perceived lack of trust playing contributing roles in the reaction.
  • Critics question the motive behind the fee implementation, speculating it might be driven by Unity's financial challenges, including accumulated deficits and unprofitability. They argue it violates Unity's past promise of no royalties and is against the principles of transparency and fairness.


  • The article dives into the controversy sparked by Unity's new fee structure, which has garnered criticism from developers.
  • It brings up discussions of potential alternatives to Unity's game engine and speculates on possible purchasers for the company.
  • The trustworthy of Unity's management and the effectiveness of their payment model is questioned, along with the impact if Unity had exclusivity to Apple.

Americas richest 10% is responsible for 40% of its planet heating pollution

  • This study explores the carbon footprints of US households based on income from 1990-2019, identifying major emissions inequalities across economic and racial demographics.
  • The research proposes a carbon tax on investments as a potential strategy for prompting decarbonization and increasing climate finance.
  • The study points out the significant contributions of "super emitters," primarily the top 0.1% income group, to emissions, articulating the need to address this emissions inequality. It also acknowledges potential shortcomings related to unearned income and investment portfolios.


  • A recent study indicates that the top 10% of earners in America are accountable for 40% of the country's climate-heating pollution.
  • The discourse surrounding this topic focuses on the obligations of the affluent, possible solutions like carbon taxes, and the significance of personal responsibility in making ethical decisions to diminish environmental harm.
  • Mentioned topics also encompass warfare, consumption patterns, and the role of government in controlling harmful practices, with a central focus on finding efficient solutions to cut down emissions and lessen the environmental impact.

BtrBlocks: Efficient Columnar Compression for Data Lakes [pdf]


  • The article introduces BtrBlocks, a new columnar compression format designed to enhance the effectiveness of data lakes.
  • BtrBlocks is compared to existing formats like Parquet and Arrow, boasting a high compression ratio, competitive compression speed, and excellent decompression performance.
  • It also discusses the challenges of optimizing data lake formats for unforeseen future applications and the complexity of identifying ideal compression techniques.