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Self-Balancing Cube: Open Source Design Achieves Cubli-like Balance and Rotation

  • The author created a balancing cube based on the "Cubli" by researchers at ETH Zürich.
  • The cube utilizes clever controls and reaction wheels to balance on one corner and rotate around its axis.
  • The cube's designs are open source, serving as a learning experience and research project.


  • The conversation explores various topics related to engineering, including designing a self-balancing cube and common engineering errors.
  • Trial and error techniques and challenges of plugging in cables correctly are also discussed.
  • The conversation delves into the joy of programming, starting with simple projects, and ethical considerations in engineering.
  • The author shares their personal experience of being laid off from a software developer job and the challenges they faced in finding a new job.
  • They found difficulties with job searching on platforms like LinkedIn but had more success with a site called Demando.
  • The author emphasizes the importance of experience in a specific programming language, the preparation for coding interviews, and the strategies they used for salary negotiation.


  • Software developers in the job market face challenges and frustrations, such as being ghosted by recruiters and high expectations for specific tech skills.
  • Many individuals have experienced rejections and downgraded job offers, with lower salaries than their current positions.
  • The reputation of FAANG companies, particularly Amazon, is mentioned in the discussion about hiring practices, transitioning from large tech companies to startups, and concerns about dishonesty in resumes. There is also debate about discrimination, bias, and the use of photos in job applications.

Bitwise Liminal: A 256-byte Code Unleashes Disturbing Dreams and Obsession

  • A person stumbles upon a mysterious VHS tape called "Bitwise Liminal" and starts having bizarre dreams after watching it.
  • They investigate and find out that it contains a 256-byte program, which they open in a web browser.
  • The program starts interfering with their sleep and they become fixated on it, leading to an intriguing ending with a cryptic message.


  • A short film called "Bitwise Liminal" has been produced using just 256 bytes of code.
  • The film was found on an old VHS tape and restored using specialized software.
  • The code, created in a web browser, generates a visually striking experience evocative of unsettling dreams, earning praise for its minimalistic approach and distinctive visual style.

OpenStreetMap revolutionizes with interactive vector maps

  • OpenStreetMap is implementing vector tiles on their website, enhancing the customization and interaction of map data.
  • Paul Norman, a skilled cartographer, has been recruited to spearhead this project.
  • The adoption of vector tiles will enhance user experience, unlock new features such as 3D maps, and facilitate the integration of additional datasets. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is requesting donations to support this endeavor.


  • The article explores the use of OpenStreetMap vector maps for offline navigation and provides insights into different apps and software options to access and style OpenStreetMap data on various devices.
  • The discussion covers alternative map providers, self-hosting vector maps, challenges with implementing vector tiles, and concerns about trust violations and lack of support within the OpenStreetMap community.
  • Controversies surrounding the OSM Buildings project are also discussed, along with recommendations for enhancing the OSM Vector Tile service and the need for a standardized vector tile format. Furthermore, the article delves into the integration of tilesets into the mapping ecosystem and the advantages and limitations of using PMTiles for updating and serving map tiles in the OpenStreetMap project.

Deleting and Destroying Finished Movies: Should it be a Criminal Act?

  • The article asserts that the act of deleting and destroying finished movies, like Coyote vs Acme, should be classified as a criminal offense.
  • The argument is based on the belief that such actions amount to an attack on art and creative expression.
  • The article promotes the idea that legal protection should be extended to completed films to prevent their destruction.


  • The topic of discussion is the deliberate destruction of movies for tax purposes, with arguments for and against this practice.
  • The debate encompasses artistic integrity, individual and corporate freedom, asset valuation, potential exploitation of public resources, and the impact on the film industry.
  • Questions arise about the legality, ethics, and tax implications of destroying assets for tax write-offs, with considerations for intellectual property rights, film distribution complexity, and the effects of tax breaks on the film industry.

Aligning a Language Model with Human Preferences using RLHF and LoRA

  • The text introduces the concept of aligning a Language Model (LLM) with human preferences using Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback (RLHF).
  • DataDreamer is a software that simplifies this alignment process.
  • The example in the text showcases how to train the LLM using a dataset of human preferences and optimize its responses to align with human preferences.


  • The discussion focuses on the pros and cons of various machine learning research approaches, such as RLHF + PPO, RLHF with LLM in DPO, and local reinforcement learning.
  • Participants debate the significance of abstractions and reducing lines of code in programming projects.
  • The viability and challenges of RLHF, including effective steering and data collection, are questioned, and there is criticism and suggestions for improving the provided code examples.

Why Software Engineers Love Woodworking

  • The article highlights the parallels between woodworking and software engineering, pointing out commonalities in tool-building, resource management, design, and tangible outcomes.
  • It emphasizes the motivation derived from having users or recipients of the creations in both fields.
  • The author acknowledges the appeal of woodworking but expresses a lasting passion for software engineering.


  • Software engineers are finding woodworking to be an increasingly popular hobby due to its tangible results, established techniques, and sense of completion.
  • Woodworking presents a unique challenge as there is no "undo" option, adding to the satisfaction but also the cost of fixing or discarding mistakes.
  • Woodworking offers learning opportunities without constantly needing to invent new things and allows for the recycling of scraps for future projects.

Obsidian: User-Supported Software Upholding Principles

  • Obsidian is a software app that is completely supported by its users and does not have venture capital investors.
  • The company's goal is to remain small and adhere to their principles, prioritizing user satisfaction and product quality over growth.
  • By being user-supported, Obsidian aims to create software that gives users control over their data and privacy.


  • The discussion covers various topics such as startups shifting to venture capital funding, principled software development, visual editing and vendor lock-in in relation to the app Obsidian, the preference for open-source note-taking apps, and the significance of prioritizing user support and creating desired products regardless of funding source.
  • The risks and benefits associated with VC-backed companies and open-source software are highlighted.
  • The importance of building products that people want and providing user support is emphasized throughout the discussion.

Introducing Miracode: A Readable Minecraft-inspired Programming Font

  • The writer has developed a new programming font named Miracode, which draws its inspiration from the popular game Minecraft.
  • By transforming the pixels of the Monocraft font into strokes, the writer has achieved a more readable and polished visual aesthetic for Miracode.
  • The writer is actively looking for feedback on their newly created font, indicating a desire to improve and refine its design.


  • Miracode is a Minecraft programming font designed to be more legible than Monocraft.
  • It uses a custom algorithm to convert pixels into strokes, resulting in smoother and more readable text.
  • The font includes ligatures for programming terms, like TODO, making it unique.

Popcorn Time 0.5.0 Release: New Features and Bug Fixes

  • There is a public notification fork of popcorn-desktop with 605 stars and 8.6k code issues.
  • The latest release, version 0.5.0, includes new features such as an updated NW.js runtime, an Anime tab, a Watched tab, a Seedbox option, VLC flatpack external player support, a Transparency option for Movies/Series UI, and a new theme called Dutchy's Dark Orange.
  • Bug fixes address issues like high CPU/memory usage from WebTorrent, broken bookmark entries, title translations, the default Chromium player, saving magnet links, missing provider icons, and series poster zoom implementation. Additionally, there are updates to the build system, outdated code, torrent collection providers, trackers, and modules/dependencies.


  • Users are dissatisfied with Popcorn Time's compatibility issues and discuss alternative methods like using a cloud server for downloading and streaming movies.
  • The benefits of different resolutions and the management of large media collections are debated, as well as the concept of hoarding movies.
  • There are concerns about the reliability of technology, data safety measures, and the potential need for therapy in extreme cases. The use of an unsigned installer package for MacOS users also raises concerns about its source and authenticity, along with the role of code signing. The conversation also touches on the evolution of the JavaScript ecosystem, Popcorn Time as a streaming option, and Netflix's content strategy and library limitations. Private trackers, download-to-upload ratios, and security concerns are also discussed.

Fewer Cousins: How Declining Fertility Rates Reshape Childhood

  • A recent study shows that Canadian children have fewer cousins as the fertility rate declines, leading to smaller extended families.
  • This trend is not unique to Canada but is occurring globally, resulting in a change in the childhood experience.
  • Many Canadians are opting to postpone parenthood or choose not to have children, which adds to the decrease in the number of cousins.


  • The online discussion encompasses various subjects, including childhood experiences, family formation, housing costs, and declining birth rates.
  • Participants share personal stories, debate the validity of homeownership rates, highlight affordable housing challenges, and analyze societal influences on the decision to have children.
  • The conversation explores government involvement, societal expectations, financial factors, and the pros and cons of parenthood, emphasizing the intricate and multifaceted nature of these topics.

Javalin: Lightweight Web Framework for Java and Kotlin

  • Javalin is a user-friendly, lightweight web framework for Java and Kotlin, known for its simplicity and flexibility.
  • It is built on the Jetty web server and allows seamless integration between Java and Kotlin.
  • Javalin supports OpenAPI and has gained significant popularity since its launch in 2017, with a thriving community and a high number of downloads.


  • The article and discussion forum cover various web frameworks for Java and Kotlin, such as Javalin, Spring Boot, Jakarta EE, and MicroProfile.
  • Users analyze the pros and cons of these frameworks including simplicity, ease of use, documentation limitations, and performance.
  • The debate over microframeworks versus batteries-included frameworks is addressed, as well as the challenges of maintaining community libraries, and the limitations and challenges of using frameworks like Django and Spring are also discussed.

Orbit: A Game-Changing Performance Profiler for C/C++ Developers

  • Orbit is a standalone native application profiler for Windows and Linux that helps developers identify performance issues in complex applications.
  • It visualizes the execution flow without the need for code changes or recompilation of the target application.
  • Orbit supports native applications written in languages such as C, C++, Rust, or Go and is primarily focused on the Linux version, but can still be used for Windows local profiling with some limitations.


  • Orbit is a performance profiler developed by Google for C/C++ applications mainly targeted at Linux, with limited support for Windows.
  • There are concerns about Orbit's future because Google has invested in another profiler called Perfetto.
  • Users have compared Orbit to other profilers like VTune and Tracy, but opinions on its usefulness vary.