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Building a Functional Lego Orrery: Challenges and Innovations

  • A Lego Technic enthusiast built a functional orrery, modeling the orbits and rotations of the Earth, Moon, and Sun, inspired by a 2016 design from JK Brickworks.
  • The project involved complex mechanisms, precise gear ratios, and faced challenges like friction and weight, leading to a redesign for simplicity and stability.
  • Despite detailed digital instructions and promotional efforts, the project wasn't commercially successful, and the author later preferred a simpler orrery from CaDA, hoping for more elaborate designs in the future.


  • The blog post on explores the intricate process of designing a Lego orrery, focusing on the challenges of modeling axial tilt and creating detailed building instructions.
  • The discussion includes reflections on the educational value of such projects, the evolution of LEGO Technic sets, and the potential for incorporating LEGO mechanics into school curriculums.
  • Participants express diverse opinions on the intellectual value of detailed Lego projects, acknowledging their role in fostering creativity and problem-solving skills.

Personalized Markdown Profiles for Hacker News Users with ""

  • "" is a project providing Hacker News users with personalized subdomains displaying their HN bios in markdown format.
  • The site is opt-in, has limited functionality, and may soon include a user listing feature for improved profile discoverability.
  • The project is open for contributions on GitHub, inviting community involvement and enhancements.


  • A user named padolsey created "," an open-source site allowing Hacker News (HN) users to display their profiles in markdown format on subdomains.
  • The project raises technical and ethical issues, including concerns about misuse for promotion, handling encoding problems, URL linkification, and preventing XSS vulnerabilities.
  • Discussions also cover GDPR compliance, data privacy, and technical feedback such as invalid HTML, subdomain handling, and "nofollow" links to prevent spam.

Libtree: Visualize Shared Library Dependencies with Tree Format and Detailed Insights

  • Libtree is a tool that converts ldd output into a tree format, helping users understand shared library dependencies and issues.
  • It offers various verbosity levels, path display options, and recursion depth limits to customize the output.
  • Prebuilt binaries for version 3.1.1 are available for multiple architectures, with installation instructions for several Linux distributions, and users can also compile from source if needed.


  • "Libtree" is a tool that displays library dependencies in a tree format, providing insights into why a library is found or missing.
  • Unlike "ldd," "Libtree" does not execute the target binary but manually parses ELF files and their dependencies, making it safer and more informative.
  • It is particularly useful for troubleshooting complex dependency issues, considering various search methods like LD_LIBRARY_PATH, RPATH, and RUNPATH, and is seen as an improvement over traditional tools like "ldd" or "readelf." A Decentralized Social Network Powered by Mastodon

  • is a decentralized social network built on the Mastodon platform, allowing users to follow profiles, favorite, share, and reply to posts.
  • Users can interact across different servers, enhancing connectivity and community engagement.
  • The platform offers transparency with details on its administration, server statistics, and privacy policy.


  • Elsevier's use of unique hashes in PDF metadata to track downloads has drawn criticism for prioritizing profit over knowledge sharing, with high fees and restrictive practices seen as hindering societal progress.
  • Critics argue for copyright law reforms to promote fairer access to information, highlighting issues with the publication metric system and the high costs of open access mandates for authors.
  • The debate advocates for alternatives like Sci-Hub and open access platforms to promote innovation and calls for systemic change in the ethics and business practices of for-profit academic publishers.

Yale Experts Reveal How Burnout Impacts Brain Function and Ways to Combat It

  • Yale faculty discuss the neurobiological basis of burnout, focusing on its impact on the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for higher cognitive functions.
  • Stress weakens the prefrontal cortex, leading to symptoms such as emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and a reduced sense of accomplishment, with uncontrollable stress shifting brain function to more primitive areas.
  • Strategies to mitigate burnout include seeking help, maintaining a balanced lifestyle, and engaging in hands-on activities, emphasizing the importance of perceived control over stressors.


  • The article delves into burnout through neuroscience, personal stories, and coping strategies, emphasizing personalized mental health approaches and advice from parents of autistic children and those with ADHD.
  • It discusses the psychological impact of societal pressures, the unsustainable pace of change, and the search for meaningful work, highlighting dissatisfaction in academia and industry.
  • Burnout in tech jobs is examined, with suggestions for job rotation and maintenance tasks, concluding with personal stories of severe burnout and the need for mental health services.

Woman Showcases Washer Collection at Portland's First Friday, Gains Admirers

  • A woman in Portland, ME showcased her collection of washers during First Friday, providing descriptions but not selling them.
  • Jeff Woodbury highlighted this event on Twitter, expressing admiration for the woman's unique approach.


  • A woman showcased her washer collection at Portland's First Friday Art Walk, igniting discussions about niche interests and specialized museums.
  • The conversation broadened to include historical tool and firearm museums, a YouTube channel on unusual guns, and personal anecdotes about various collections.
  • Debates emerged on the technical aspects of washers, the functionality of a RAM module, different locking mechanisms, and the ethics of sharing images online.

WebKit Update Introduces Quirk to Address TextAutoSizing Bug on Hacker News

  • A recent WebKit commit addresses a bug in TextAutoSizing on, where RenderBlockFlow::width calculations were inconsistent.
  • The issue caused different font sizes on initial load versus refresh, with the width initially larger than visibleWidth but matching on refresh.
  • As a temporary solution, the commit introduces a quirk to skip TextAutoSizing for the site, with updates to LocalFrameViewLayoutContext.cpp, Quirks.cpp, and Quirks.h to bypass TextAutoSizing for specific URLs.


  • A WebKit fix bypasses TextAutoSizing for news.ycombinator due to an unresolved bug, with a temporary workaround implemented.
  • Discussions focus on Apple's inconsistent app guidelines, the 30% "Apple tax" on in-app purchases, and mandatory app sign-ins, sparking debates on app store policies and hidden fees.
  • Broader frustrations with web compatibility, transparency from big tech, and controversial WebKit pull requests for site-specific behaviors are noted, alongside speculation about Google potentially bringing Blink to iOS due to the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Daily Word Challenge Game with Timed and Marathon Modes


  • A Hacker News discussion showcases various quick, low-stakes browser games that are both fun and mentally stimulating, such as Linxicon, WhenTaken, Angle, Metazooa, Tradle, and Globle.
  • Users share their own game creations, including Logiquiz, Zebra Puzzles, and Chrono, and provide feedback on game mechanics and user experiences.
  • A user compiles a comprehensive list of over 200 daily games at, reflecting a community interest in simple, engaging games for daily play.

Apple Surprises Swift Student Challenge Winners with Exclusive Tim Cook Demo Session

  • Apple hosted an exclusive demo session for winners of the Swift Student Challenge, led by CEO Tim Cook on June 9, 2024.
  • This event highlights Apple's commitment to nurturing young talent and providing unique opportunities for student developers.
  • The session likely included insights into new technologies and development practices, making it a significant experience for the participants.


  • Apple's decision to block a PC emulator from its iOS App Store and third-party app stores has raised concerns about anti-competitive behavior and potential violations of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
  • Users are divided, with some appreciating Apple's control for security and quality, while others find the restrictions on virtualization and app control limiting, prompting considerations of switching to other hardware vendors.
  • The debate underscores the balance between a polished user experience and software freedom, touching on issues like scam app reduction, app updates, battery life, performance, and contrasting iPhone's user-friendliness and privacy with Android's flexibility.

IRS Permanently Adopts Direct File for Federal Tax Returns Starting 2025

  • The IRS will make Direct File a permanent option for filing federal tax returns starting in the 2025 tax season, following a successful pilot in 2024.
  • The agency plans to expand eligibility and partner with more states to cover a broader range of tax situations, based on positive feedback from users and stakeholders.
  • Direct File aims to simplify tax filing, save time and money for taxpayers, and support the IRS's digital transformation, while maintaining other free filing options like Free File, VITA, and TCE.


  • The IRS has permanently introduced Direct File for federal tax returns, noted for its simplicity and efficiency, contrasting with deceptive "free" services that impose hidden fees.
  • The IRS is also working on streamlining data transfer to state tax systems, aiming to make the process more seamless.
  • The introduction of Free Fillable Forms and Direct File is expected to increase competition and reduce reliance on third-party services, despite resistance from the tax preparation industry.
  • Recordings and transcripts from the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline are being shared with researchers, AI developers, and corporations without caller consent, raising significant privacy concerns.
  • Investigations reveal vague, contradictory, and deceptive privacy policies, with data stored and shared across multiple platforms and call centers, some of which profit from sharing data.
  • Public outrage has led to calls for better privacy practices, with critics arguing that these practices exploit vulnerable individuals and that AI cannot replace the compassionate human connection essential in crisis support.


  • The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, a government-funded mental health service, faces allegations of sharing call data with corporations, potentially violating HIPAA regulations.
  • Critics argue that this potential breach of confidentiality could deter individuals in crisis from using the service, raising concerns about privacy and data protection.
  • The debate hinges on whether 988 is classified as a mental health service, which would mandate strict confidentiality under HIPAA.

Anime Studio Gainax, Creator of 'Evangelion,' Files for Bankruptcy

  • Gainax, the anime studio famous for "Neon Genesis Evangelion," filed for bankruptcy on May 29, 2024, due to long-term business decline, mismanagement, and loss of key staff.
  • The company's representative director was arrested in 2019 for alleged sexual abuse of a minor, further impacting its reputation and operations.
  • Despite support from Khara, which owns the Evangelion rights, Gainax faced lawsuits over unpaid debts and ultimately could not sustain its operations, expressing regret and gratitude to its fans in a statement.


  • Gainax, the anime studio known for "Neon Genesis Evangelion," has declared bankruptcy due to financial struggles and mismanagement.
  • Key talents left Gainax for other studios like Khara and Trigger, and the studio engaged in unrelated ventures such as tomato farming.
  • Studio Khara now holds the rights to "Evangelion" and other Gainax properties, potentially revitalizing them, while the anime industry remains healthy with contributions from former Gainax talents.

Return-to-Office Mandates Drive Senior Staff to Seek Flexible Work Elsewhere

  • Companies enforcing strict return-to-office (RTO) mandates are experiencing backlash, leading to increased employee attrition, particularly among senior-level staff, women, and millennials.
  • Research shows that rigid RTO policies are driving employees to seek jobs with more flexible remote work options, with the Federal Trade Commission's potential ban on non-compete agreements possibly intensifying this trend.
  • Companies like Amazon, Dell, and Google are using invasive tracking methods to monitor RTO compliance, further straining employee relations and highlighting the financial and personal costs of commuting.


  • Senior employees are leaving companies enforcing return-to-office (RTO) policies, causing operational issues and staff dissatisfaction.
  • A newly independent company experienced significant departures when its CEO mandated a 4-day office week, perceived as a tactic to reduce headcount.
  • A Gartner survey revealed substantial senior-level departures due to RTO mandates, with the loss of AI talent seen as particularly detrimental.