GeekSpeak for 2017-03-15

Martian Spuds Neutral on Daylight Saving Time

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Crazy claims vs net neutrality, game of life programing, NASA gets funding for Mars, Potatoes can grow on Mars, Google’s algos lie about onions, Firefox 52 is awesome, Daylight Savings time is Dumb, CIA leak shows encryption works, the new Raspberry Pi, and much more bits.

Net neutrality hurts health care and helps porn, Republican senator claims

Does the senator’s argument make any sense? Let’s look at the facts.

code challenge - Build a digital clock in Conway's Game of Life - Programming Puzzles & Code Golf Stack Exchange

Anyway, there is actually nothing extraordinary in this design. There are no amazing reactions that have been discovered in this process, and no really clever combinations that nobody thought of before. Just bits taken here and there and put together (and I’m not even sure I did it the “right” way – I was actually completely new to this). It required a lot of patience, however. Making all those gliders coming up at the right time in the right position was head-scratching.

Corrections

Congress Passes Bill Pushing NASA To Send Humans To Mars By 2033 : SCIENCE : Tech Times

Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives March 7, the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 originated in the Senate (S.442, sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz and seven co-sponsors) and was passed last Feb. 17 there. On Tuesday, the bill was passed in the House of Representatives through a voice vote and with nobody speaking out against it.

Indicators show potatoes can grow on Mars

The International Potato Center (CIP) launched a series of experiments to discover if potatoes can grow under Mars atmospheric conditions and thereby prove they are also able to grow in extreme climates on Earth.

Google's Algorithm Is Lying to You About Onions and Blaming Me for It 

Not only does Google, the world’s preeminent index of information, tell its users that caramelizing onions takes “about 5 minutes”—it pulls that information from an article whose entire point was to tell people exactly the opposite.

Firefox 52 will be the last version of Firefox for Windows XP and Vista

FireFox 52 is the last version of FireFox which will support Windows XP and Vista, from this point on a user who wants to snag the latest versions with the newest features of Firefox will have to use Windows 7 and above for support. Firefox will, however, keep this version updated with security fixes for an extended period of time.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 52, the First Browser to Support WebAssembly

Mozilla quietly released Firefox 52, which has officially become the first web browser to support the new WebAssembly standard.

Proof Daylight Saving Time Is Dumb, Dangerous, and Costly

The case against changing the clocks keeps getting stronger.

What the CIA WikiLeaks dump tells us: Encryption works

If the tech industry is drawing one lesson from the latest WikiLeaks disclosures, it’s that data-scrambling encryption works, and the industry should use more of it.

Raspberry Pi Zero W is a $10 Linux-friendly computer with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the $5 Pi Zero in late 2015, and it sold out immediately. Every time new batches of stock arrived, they were snapped up in minutes of going on sale.

New $10 Raspberry Pi Zero comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Still tinier and cheaper than the flagship, the Raspberry Pi Zero goes wireless.

Question and Feedback from Listener about WebASM

Hi Marcus,

> I’m not a big web programmer, so I haven’t heard anything about WebASM yet.

To be honest, I don’t know how much folks outside the web programming community will hear about it. It’s not particularly visible in daily browsing. I think the biggest impacts will be in online games and taking existing libraries to port to the web, e.g., image and video codecs, numerics, and other performance-critical sundries. I think also, it will be a quick and dirty way of getting already-written code ported over quickly, not just for speed.

> Sounds interesting, though. Was the prohibition against DOM and canvas access
> an intentional limitation, or just not specced yet?

It was considered out of scope for initial release. There’s a lot of history with the DOM and a very wide security footprint to lock down. I’ve heard that taking away the limits on access by wasm is on the roadmap, but no firm timetables.

There’s also a question of utility. Once you hit DOM methods, especially writing (triggering layouts), any speed gains you have over straight JavaScript are greatly diminished. Then there’s the issue of the single-threaded, event-driven nature of the web UI. This was the target environment for JavaScript but doesn’t map as cleanly and easily to C source code, for example.

Thanks for listening!


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