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CatalaLang/catala: Programming language for law specification

  • Catala is a new domain-specific language that can create algorithms from legal documents, ensuring high fidelity between the code and the law.
  • The language is built to reflect the logical structure of the law, making it accessible for review and certification by legal professionals; it even has a compiler that generates lawyer-readable PDFs.
  • Named after Pierre Catala, a pioneer in French legaltech, the Catala project is a research initiative led by Inria, France's National Research Institute for Computer Science. However, the compiler remains unstable and feature-limited.


  • The conversation focuses on using Catala, a programming language, in specifying laws and legal documents, emphasizing on its benefits, drawbacks, and the potential challenges of translating English into a formal logic system.
  • There is a debate about the use of code as a regulator, the complexity of legal code, the use of coding symbols in legal agreements, and the concept of encoding intent into laws using programming languages.
  • Participants discussed the idea of writing clear legal texts, the role of a domain-specific language for legal contracts, comparing software development to the legal system, and concerns about the name choice for such programming languages.

Run LLMs at home, BitTorrent‑style

  • Petals is a platform enabling users to operate large language models - such as Llama 2, Falcon, and BLOOM - on their devices using consumer-grade GPU or Google Colab.
  • The platform allows its users to join a network for serving different parts of the model and adapt models for diverse tasks, providing both an API and flexible options with PyTorch and Hugging Face Transformers.
  • Petals' project has been highlighted in the BigScience research workshop, further indicating its significant contribution to the field of language model development.


  • The article examines the potential of running large language models (LLMs) at home using a BitTorrent-style method by pooling compute resources, creating derivative models, and utilizing parameter efficient fine-tuning and LoRA methodology.
  • The difficulties and costs associated with training large models are discussed, with possible solutions like water cooling and modifying older server cards. Concepts like decentralized computing and fine-tuning models are also addressed.
  • There's mention of Petals, a service for running LLMs on low-end devices, with mixed reviews among participants. The piece speculates about the possible use of tokens and decentralized computing to support open-source LLMs in the future.

Brian Bucklew Porting Caves of Qud from Unity to Godot

  • The tweet indicates the individual's plan to participate in irresponsible activities and chronicle the subsequent damage they inflict.


  • Brian Bucklew is transitioning the game Caves of Qud from Unity to Godot, a move that is well-received due to Godot's user-friendly nature and benefits in developing tools and applying 2D graphics.
  • Despite Godot not having a store and marketplace ecosystem similar to Unity, efforts are underway to rectify this issue.
  • The author highlights challenges in using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in game engines and suggests the employment of rendering libraries as a solution.

Close to 2k environmental activists killed over last decade

  • Global Witness, in a recent report, highlights the concerning trend of environmental activist killings, nearly 2,000 worldwide between 2012 and 2022, with 177 incidents in 2022 alone.
  • Latin America, especially Colombia, was identified as high-risk for environmental activists, with Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, and the Philippines also reporting high fatality rates. Indigenous people constituted one-third of the victims, underlining their critical role in climate mitigation.
  • The report underscores the urgency to safeguard and assist those advocating for environmental protection.


  • The discussions underline a range of topics such as the risks confronting environmental activists, the crucial role of indigenous cultures in environmental conservation, and the strategies and reputation of climate activists.
  • They also delve into issues on the ethical implications of man-made environmental catastrophes, the phenomenon of police immunity and its impact on criminal justice, gun ownership and related homicides, and concerns about media credibility and propaganda.
  • The shooting death of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán by police officers is also a highlighted subject, with the conversations underscoring different viewpoints and perspectives, underscoring the controversy and complexity of these topics.

What If OpenDocument Used SQLite?

  • The article proposes the idea of utilizing SQLite, a software library that provides a relational database management system, as a container for OpenDocument Presentation files, instead of the current ZIP archive format.
  • It suggests potential improvements, like breaking down content into smaller parts and adding versioning capabilities, that could be facilitated by this switch.
  • The author underscores the benefits of using SQLite as an application file format, including enhanced user experience and performance, therefore potentially increasing the efficiency of applications.


  • The discourse is about using SQLite as a file format for OpenDocument, comparing its strengths and limitations against other formats like XML.
  • SQLite's lack of standardization poses challenges for interoperability and ISO standardization, despite its greater functionality.
  • Conversation also covers the concept of autosaving user data, technicalities of saving data, and potential advantages and disadvantages of SQLite in various contexts, emphasising the need for a balance between autosaving and user control.

Introduction to Immutable Linux Systems

  • The article delves into the concept of immutable Linux systems, exploring specific implementations like NixOS, Guix, Endless OS, and Fedora Silverblue.
  • The unique traits of each system are discussed, including their package managers and rollback capabilities; personal experiences and opinions are also shared.
  • Despite noting the rising popularity of immutable operating systems in the open-source field, the article also points out the associated challenges and various strategies to immutability.


  • This article explores the idea of immutable Linux systems, presenting several distributions that implement this model, including EndlessOS and Fedora CoreOS.
  • The pros and cons of using immutable systems versus mutable systems are discussed, covering aspects like package management, customization, and system control.
  • Users' experiences and views on NixOS and Fedora are shared, taking into account factors such as accessibility, compatibility, and rollback procedures.

Things that do not exist in Dimension Apple

  • The article discusses the recurring themes and characters in Apple's marketing materials, especially focusing on the depiction of fake text conversations.
  • The author notes the distinct culture in these fictional conversations, marked by an absence of irony and a focus on sharing photos and organizing social events.
  • It speculates about a parallel universe called "Dimension Apple," likened to certain experiences in parent WhatsApp groups, and includes a compilation of screenshots of fake Apple texts.


  • The article critically reviews the text message portrayals in Apple's marketing resources and contrasts them with how individuals really interact.
  • Discussions revolve around whether Apple's communication strategy mirrors reality, the diminishing use of social media integrations in the company's marketing, and the constraints of sharing large image files via messaging apps.
  • There is also speculation concerning Apple's absence from the crowd of companies offering social media services.

Chili Oil Notes

  • The author shares their insight on the preparation of chili oil, exploring different extraction methods like hot flash and slow infusion.
  • The correlation between different temperatures and types of oil and the resultant flavor is examined.
  • The post suggests experimenting with various chilies, spices, and seasonings to discover distinct nuances of chili oil.


  • The main article outlines a suggested method for making chili oil, as well as alternative techniques such as sous vide.
  • In the comments, participants share personal experiences and perspectives on making chili oil, with discussions around safety measures and flavor profiles.
  • Conversations deviate to other topics like tea-making, food safety, and the crucial role of grind consistency and quality grinders in pour-over coffee brewing.

AWS IPv4 Estate Now Worth $4.5B

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) has increased its number of IPv4 addresses by 27 million, resulting in a total of 128 million; it makes their IPv4 estate approximately worth $4.5 billion, a sizable increase from 3 years ago.
  • Notably, each IPv4 address is estimated to be worth $35 due to the increasing scarcity and cost of IPv4 addresses.
  • AWS has planned to charge customers for IPv4 addresses at a rate of $0.005 per IP per hour, which could generate an estimated annual revenue of $500 million to $1 billion.


  • The post discusses the difficulties and frustrations encountered in transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6, including concerns about compatibility, network upgrades, and slower than expected adoption by ISPs.
  • There are debates about alternative solutions, like extending IPv4 or creating a new version, and criticisms about the complexity and usability of IPv6 addresses, as well as the lack of economic motivation for migration.
  • The post also highlights the shortage of IPv4 addresses and the potential for anti-competitive behavior from key participants, suggesting a need for a smoother conversion process and a more user-friendly solution.

Homebrew Website Club

  • Homebrew Website Club is a global network of meetups designed to help individuals gain more control over their online experience, particularly in relation to blogging.
  • The resource includes details about recent and future meetups, presenting information such as dates, organizers, venues, and guides for arranging both virtual and physical meetings.
  • Throughout the pandemic, the club has transitioned to online gatherings and provides resources for organizing IndieWebCamps, independent efforts to build private websites as opposed to using centralized web services.


  • The dialogue places emphasis on minimalist website designs with reduced JavaScript usage and the significance of consent banners.
  • Participants express their fondness for the Homebrew Website Club, personal website ownership, and creating innovative web designs using tools like React and Angular.
  • The talk underlines the value of creativity and personalization in the current web landscape, which includes having personal websites and attending IndieWeb events.

Large Language Models for Compiler Optimization

  • The paper investigates the application of Large Language Models (LLMs) in code optimization, using a 7 billion parameter transformer model for optimizing Low Level Virtual Machine (LLVM) assembly code size.
  • The model is trained to predict instruction counts before and after optimization, and subsequently provide the optimized code.
  • Tests conducted on a vast range of programs revealed a 3.0% improvement over the traditional compiler, showcasing the model's robust code reasoning capabilities.


  • The summary broaches the discussions about the advantages and constraints of using Language Learning Models (LLMs) in compiler optimization, such as reducing instruction counts and generating compilable code.
  • It also discusses concerns related to code semantics and correctness when using LLMs, along with challenges like the need for larger datasets.
  • The text references further dialogues on the utilization of AI in optimizing compilers, risks associated, and the investigation of LLMs' functionality within different phases of the compilation process.

How the Mac didn’t bring programming to the people

  • This article delves into the history of programming languages on Mac platforms and their unsuccessful attempts at making coding more approachable for the general public.
  • Emphasis is placed on Prograph, a visual programming language, suggesting that a similar but more efficient visual language might bring about a significant shift in the field.
  • The author indicates that despite some interesting elements in languages like Swift, the impact of Mac on the programming realm remains limited compared to its influence in desktop publishing.


  • The discussion centers on Apple's efforts to make programming accessible to regular users, illustrating challenges that occurred while learning programming on Mac computers during the 90s.
  • It highlights the contrasts between Apple and Microsoft's strategies towards software development, underscoring the significance of nurturing environments that simplify programming and empower users.
  • The conversation reflects on the constraints of specific programming tools and the identified discrepancy between various automation and scripting forms, offering diverse viewpoints on programming and user experiences across multiple platforms and tools.

Changing the Rules of Rust

  • This post examines the API decisions and marker traits in Rust programming language, particularly focusing on Send, Move, and Leak traits.
  • The author contemplates incorporating a Leak trait to Rust but opposes it due to potential confusion and compatibility challenges it may create.
  • Despite experessing regret for not integrating the Leak trait earlier, the author acknowledges the complexities in implementing such modifications at the current stage.


  • The RustHacker forum underlines the challenges of making modifications in Rust, primarily concerning async Rust, due to the absence of a Leak-style trait, therefore necessitating workarounds.
  • There is ongoing discourse about the implications of accommodating outdated compilers, potential remedies, and the prospect of unveiling a new iteration of Rust comparable to JavaScript and TypeScript.
  • The participants express diverse viewpoints on the intricacies and constraints of programming languages, which include pinning in Rust and comparisons with C++, demonstrating the complexities and compromises inherent in programming language design and execution.

Tech Independence

  • The article explores the idea of tech independence, encouraging the use of open source solutions like Linux or BSD operating systems to gain control over one's digital presence.
  • It provides detailed guides on tasks like registering a domain, setting up a server, and configuring email; underlining the importance of easy provider switching without data or functionality loss.
  • The piece further includes specific instructions for Android and Apple iPhones, along with suggestions for troubleshooting and valuable learning resources to enhance individual proficiency.


  • The article delves into the concept of tech independence, emphasizing the need for simpler, more user-friendly, and accessible self-hosting solutions.
  • It underscores the limitations of existing P2P (Peer-to-Peer) systems, describes various platforms and projects, and offers suggestions for self-hosting websites and personal files at home, advising caution.
  • The article fosters a debate on the degrees of tech independence feasible with the use of cloud host IP, eliciting contrasting perspectives on the reliability of third-party services.

OpenRA – Classic strategy games rebuilt for the modern era

  • OpenRA, a volunteer-driven project, has reconstructed classic real-time strategy games like Red Alert, Command & Conquer, and Dune 2000 for contemporary systems, supporting Windows, macOS, and Linux natively.
  • The games feature improved gameplay mechanics, online play including mod support, and novel campaigns. This project thrives on open source development and community contribution.
  • Their latest playtest comprises bug fixes, new tasks, enhanced modding support, and forward movement in compatibility with the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. Feedback on any issues is welcomed by the developers.


  • OpenRA is a project aimed at revamping classic strategy games to accommodate modern platforms, simplifying installation and offering cross-platform compatibility.
  • OpenRA has enhanced game mechanics and provides options to import assets from the original games, hence improving the overall gaming experience.
  • The project has sparked interest and active discussions among users about the possibility of re-implementing other classic games.

Donut math: how donut.c works

  • The article detailed the renewed interest in the "donut" code from 2006, which uses a framebuffer and a Z-buffer to visualize a torus as low-resolution ASCII art without raytracing.
  • It provided an explanation of the mathematics behind 3D perspective rendering and the method of projecting each point onto a 2D screen.
  • The piece also features the original code and includes a link to the JavaScript source for ASCII and canvas rendering.


  • The article discusses the implementation of donut.c code, comparing it to other creative coding projects.
  • Instructions are provided on how to compile this code on specific platforms, along with solutions of some compilation issues.
  • The comments section comprises insightful discussions and shared personal experiences related to the topic.

Why Is Booz Allen Renting Us Back Our Own National Parks?

  • The article scrutinizes consulting firm Booz Allen's practice of charging fees via the website for access to U.S. federal lands and waters, causing concerns about control and profit from national parks.
  • A lawsuit challenging the fees for visiting Red Rock Canyon has triggered a public comment process to decide on the contractor's remuneration.
  • The author recommends more stringent regulations to avoid such practices, emphasizing the value of public lands and the influence of Henry George's philosophies.


  • The article examines disputes about's handling of national parks' rentals, where operator Booz Allen Hamilton is accused of price gouging and exploiting a monopoly.
  • Amid calls for transparency, critics urge more competition in governmental website development and a clear disclosure of revenue and operational costs.
  • The piece also tackles the controversial online booking fees for campsites, with some suggesting a non-profit entity or government institution should manage the reservation system, while others question the private companies' imposed fees and contracts.

Hush – Noiseless Browsing for Safari

  • Noiseless Browsing, a free content blocker by Joel Arvidsson is available for Safari on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
  • The application prevents unwanted cookie and privacy tracking notifications, meanwhile it does not collect personal data, ensuring user privacy.
  • Advertised as lightweight, fast, easy to use, and being open-source, it is also compatible with the latest Apple technology.


  • The article discusses multiple extensions and browsers capable of blocking ads and cookie banners on the Safari browser.
  • It delves into user irritations regarding cookie banners and the data collection rules under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • The discussion brings up concerns about privacy and the safety of software tools, highlighting the current debate and user preferences about online privacy and tracking.

Plants can detect sound

  • Scientific studies have shown that plants can detect and react to sound, and potentially produce sound themselves.
  • Various experiments reveal different sound types can influence plant growth and stress compound production. For instance, an Asian shrub reportedly showed growth in leaf size after exposure to Buddhist chants.
  • Some sounds can have negative effects on plants, as a study demonstrated stunted growth in plants exposed to traffic noise.


  • A study has discovered that the Boquila trifoliolata species of plants has the capacity to identify sounds, although the mechanism behind this is still under debate.
  • There's disagreement among experts about the study's design and interpretation, especially on the topic of whether all senses in plants can be classified as a form of touch.
  • Skepticism about pseudoscientific claims is present, with calls for more rigorous research, as exampled by a separate experiment studying the effect of traffic noise on plants in a laboratory setting.

Browsing like it's 1994: Integrating a Mac SE, ImageWriter II into a modern LAN

  • The author recounts an experience of using vintage Macintosh computers and AppleTalk protocols to recreate an internet browsing experience akin to 1994.
  • The text provides a guide on installing and configuring Netatalk 2.x, which is a Linux implementation of Apple protocols, and explains the process of getting an old Macintosh computer online.
  • It also touches upon the utilization of specific browsers, the advantages of using IPv4 Link-Local addressing, and methods of connecting printers to newer Mac devices.


  • The article centralizes on integrating a vintage Mac SE and ImageWriter II into a modern Local Area Network (LAN) and revisits the usage of Localtalk and PhoneNET during the '90s.
  • Participants share cherished experiences with old Macs and peripherals, including the use of vintage printers and their connection to modern networks.
  • The discussion also touches on browsing the internet using outdated machines and reminiscing on favorite word processing software from the past.