Monday, May 30, 2016

What have I been reading this week? (20160529)

I missed posting last week because I was finishing up an online course called "Developing with Embedded Linux", which included cross-compiling ARM binaries on an X86 system, followed by cross-debugging for same. I have little experience with the former and none with the latter so completing the lab took a bit of extra time. It's definitely something that I have to keep practicing.

The class itself was interesting. It was an online class with one instructor (somewhere in Britain) and three other students (mostly in the Eastern time zone). There was at least one lab per day (sometimes two). The course was more or less an overview of skills needed when developing on Linux-based SBCs.

U-boot was also covered. The course may have given me enough information to debrick an old NAS in my junk box. Some soldering (putting a header on the JTAG interface) and a bit of courage will be required on my part.

In preparation for this fall's classes (pursuing my next degree)(Dave has been after me to get off of the dime), I've started building my next computer. I'm taking my time with this one and making as few compromises as possible.

In any case, from the past two weeks (usual disclaimers[1] apply):


- The slow death of purposeless walking - BBC News
My parents used to "go for a walk" quite often, taking us kids with them (I miss it). Later in life, it often involved a horse and cart. My father was notorious for going for a "short walk" and not coming back for hours (he would always stop at neighbors' places to chat or help with a chore).

- UC students suit claims Google scanned accounts without permission
Recommend filing this in the "Too Dumb To Read ToS's" category. Is there any hope that they get smacked with the legal fees?


- Academics Make Theoretical Breakthrough in Random Number Generation
Ok, but I'm not holding my breath. How soon can it be practical? I seem to remember that using multiple low quality inputs tends to reduce the quality of the output, not improve it.


- How to Write 225 Words Per Minute With a Pen


- The Curse of Culture

- TOTP SSH port fluxing
Something for my "to do" list.


- Esperanto: the language that never was

- 45 years since its creation. The C language still very popular.

- A list of everything that could go in the header of your HTML document


- 4 bit computer built from discrete transistors
I'm old enough to remember when it was done this way (but I _was_ a kid).

- FaceTime iMessages hang in the balance after possible Apple loss to patent troll
Maybe I'm missing something but, in reading the patent claims, I'm not "seeing" anything new/novel.

- Extinction Level Event
Discusses the future of FPGAs.

- Op-ed: Oracle attorney says Google's court victory might kill the GPL
This one looks like it's in the running for the title of "Most asinine case" (or maybe it should be in the greed category?), competing with the SCO and Prenda cases. Hopefully it doesn't turn into another one of those shambling zombies like the SCO case (which is still out there).

- Three tips for getting started with NLU

- Google stole Java: Oracle loses again case closed for now
You think that this was ugly? I'm watching for a MySQL-related case. From Oracle's commercial license page for MySQL: "Purchasing a commercial license means that the GPL does not apply,..."

Above was generated by a homegrown bolt-on script for Wallabag, which is a free utility for capturing web content so that it can be read later.

[1] Usual disclaimers include but aren't limited to:
   - Commentary is just my own opinion.
   - Don't get yer knickers bunched up!
   - I am NOT a lawyer. If you need, you should consider me a layman or just a dumb blogger.

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