Author Archives: pappp

Lexington is reporting 10 times as many COVID-19 cases as it was on July 1

Source: -- Fayette County

Article note: Welp, we're gonna have masks again in the fall because people can't get their shit together.

The rolling seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Lexington has jumped to 71 after being as low as seven on July 1, according to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. … Click to Continue »

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When Google Reader Disappeared: The Day the Good Internet Died @ringer

Source: adafruit industries blog

Article note: Reader was amazing because it allowed "unsophisticated users" to do their own curation and aggregation, which provided the network effect to keep the RSS ecosystem healthy. Technical users can still get that experience (I consume most of my internet through TT-RSS), but I'm still convinced Reader had to go because it represented a threat to the manipulate and monetize algorithmic curation business model.

The Ringer writes about a when being online was a thrilling mix of discovery, collaboration, creativity, and chaotic potential. Then Google Reader disappeared.

Google Reader was a slim workhorse of a site launched in 2005 that uses pre-existing RSS feed protocols to turn the chaos of the web into a pleasant lazy river of content. Google Reader is not the world’s first RSS newsreader, nor will it be the last, and over the years plenty of internet power-users will sniff that it’s not even the best. But it’s the one that caught on.

“I don’t know about you, but I think Google Reader is among the best and most important pieces of technology in my life,” a health care blogger whom I followed via Google Reader wrote in October 2011. “I’d give up my microwave way before my Reader.” The offering certainly was, over the course of its 2005 to 2013 existence, an ideal showcase for some of the web’s prevailing strengths at the time—one of which was the emergence of the blogosphere, that backbone of what the Good Internet could be.

And when Google Reader disappeared in 2013, it wasn’t just a tale of dwindling user numbers or of what one engineer later described as a rotted codebase. It was a sign of the crumbling of the very foundation upon which it had been built: the era of the Good Internet.

Read more in the article here

my friends: you need to let it go and move on with your life


— Matt Haughey (@mathowie) August 28, 2020

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The Time Tax

Source: Hacker News

Article note: mmyep. It takes surprisingly little bureaucratic friction to render something unusable to most people, and it especially excludes people who are under time pressure, sick, less-literate, not culturally acclimated to browbeating bureaucrats in the American style... you know, the vulnerable.
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Media Release: The Haiku Project Celebrates the Release of Beta 3

Source: Haiku Project

Article note: Congrats to the Haiku folks! BeOS was full of good ideas, and the Haiku developments have significantly improved it (their package management scheme is great, neither commercial BeOS IP stack was all that great, etc.).


July 25, 2021


Poetry is in motion. The Haiku Project, its developers and team members announced the Haiku operating system released its third beta release, version R1/Beta3, July 25th, 2021. Version R1B3 continues the trend of more frequent releases to provide users and developers with an up to date and stable platform to work on.

This release combines the best of Haiku’s history as a spiritual successor of BeOS and the hard work of a passionate community. It provides several new features and performance improvements that make Haiku even better.

Beta 3 includes the new Czech translation for the system and bundled applications. With this addition, Haiku is now available in 28 different languages. The Haiku Project is thankful to those who have given their time to ensure Haiku is available in a wide variety of languages so the operating system can be used all over the world.

WebKit, the backend of the bundled web browser developed by the Haiku team, WebPositive, received multiple major improvements. This provides a good base for further improvements as well as an improved browsing and website rendering experience in WebPositive, which developers will continue to focus on for the next release, Beta 4 and as Haiku nears its first initial release, R1.

Additional improvements include:

  • A better installation process, with various fixes to the disk partitioner (DriveSetup GUI) to make the process easier and go more smoothly.
  • Improved hardware drivers, with a focus on:
    • improvements to Wi-Fi networking to match FreeBSD 13
    • audio drivers, mass storage, USB
    • performance on NVIDIA graphics cards (GeForce 6200-GeForce Go 6400).
  • Significantly improved WebPositive stability and compatibility.
  • Software updates can now be resumed in case of network issues.
  • New and updated ports of various software, including deprecating Python 2 and making Python 3 the default version installed
  • Greater POSIX compatibility
  • Numerous bug fixes.

All of these improvements have been implemented for the community and by the community, to provide greater control to the end-user over the devices they use every day.

A complete list of changes can be found at

Of course, all this would not be possible without the generous donations from donors all over the world, as well as a passionate and hardworking community. The Haiku Project thanks those who have contributed with their time or with their donations.

Haiku could always use developers and volunteers, with plenty of opportunities for anyone interested to make their mark and the computing world a better place.

Haiku is a free and open-source operating system for personal computing - the download is provided as an ISO file which can be burned to physical media to be installed onto physical hardware, or used in a virtual machine.

For more information, to download or to volunteer, visit or


For media enquiries, please contact:

Download press kit here


Note that screenshots, logos and other resources are included in the press kit for this release for use in publications.

About Haiku:

Haiku is a free and open-source operating system inspired by BeOS and licensed under the MIT license. Specifically targeting personal computing, Haiku is a fast, efficient, simple to use, easy to learn, and yet very powerful system for computer users of all levels, and can be downloaded freely from the official project website as an ISO file. Maintained by a passionate and friendly volunteer community (known collectively as the “Haiku Project”), Haiku welcomes all volunteers and contributors regardless of their skill level or background. For more information please visit

About Haiku Inc:

Haiku Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (registered in the United States) dedicated to supporting the Haiku Project and the development of Haiku. Haiku Inc. holds the trademark registrations for Haiku, collects donations on behalf of and manages finances for the Haiku Project. In the past, donations collected have been used to fund paid development contracts and the Haiku Code Drive - a program similar to Google’s Summer of Code. For more information, please visit

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Google pushed a one-character typo to production, bricking Chrome OS devices

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: JFC google. An elementary error a linter should catch that completely breaks login made it through the QA process, in what is nominally a computers-for-the-computer-illiterate product line.
Google pushed a one-character typo to production, bricking Chrome OS devices

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Google says it has fixed a major Chrome OS bug that locked users out of their devices. Google's bulletin says that Chrome OS version 91.0.4472.165, which was briefly available this week, renders users unable to log in to their devices, essentially bricking them.

Chrome OS automatically downloads updates and switches to the new version after a reboot, so users who reboot their devices are suddenly locked out them. The go-to advice while this broken update is out there is to not reboot.

The bulletin says that a new build, version 91.0.4472.167, is rolling out now to fix the issue, but it could take a "few days" to hit everyone. Users affected by the bad update can either wait for the device to update again or "powerwash" their device—meaning wipe all the local data—to get logged in. Chrome OS is primarily cloud-based, so if you're not doing something advanced like running Linux apps, this solution presents less of an inconvenience than it would on other operating systems. Still, some users are complaining about lost data.

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Lexington records highest single-day total of new COVID-19 cases in five months

Source: -- Fayette County

Article note: "We've had first COVID, yes, but what about second COVID."

The surge in new coronavirus cases in Fayette County continues. On Wednesday, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department reported 79 new cases, the highest single-day total of new cases since Feb. … Click to Continue »

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Kubernetes is our generation’s Multics

Source: Hacker News

Article note: I've made the "Kubernetes is hilariously over-complicated for almost every task to which it is applied" argument a bunch of times, but I like the analogy to Multics. It implies that it's wasting a bunch of smart devs' time, and that there is likely a way out.
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Two-for-Tuesday vulnerabilities send Windows and Linux users scrambling

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: The windows one is a straightforward "wrong default permissions" thing...but that Linux exploit really is something. A valid 1GB path name is like a million inodes on most FSes (like 5GB of junk), so it wouldn't be small or quiet, and it's just to get one semi-controlled out-of-bounds write to break the EBPF security model and run an exploit sequence from there.
A cartoonish padlock has been photoshopped onto glowing computer chips.


The world woke up on Tuesday to two new vulnerabilities—one in Windows and the other in Linux—that allow hackers with a toehold in a vulnerable system to bypass OS security restrictions and access sensitive resources.

As operating systems and applications become harder to hack, successful attacks typically require two or more vulnerabilities. One vulnerability allows the attacker access to low-privileged OS resources, where code can be executed or sensitive data can be read. A second vulnerability elevates that code execution or file access to OS resources reserved for password storage or other sensitive operations. The value of so-called local privilege escalation vulnerabilities, accordingly, has increased in recent years.

Breaking Windows

The Windows vulnerability came to light by accident on Monday when a researcher observed what he believed was a coding regression in a beta version of the upcoming Windows 11. The researcher found that the contents of the security account manager—the database that stores user accounts and security descriptors for users on the local computer—could be read by users with limited system privileges.

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Kentucky State University president suddenly resigns as audit begins, lawsuits continue

Source: -- Education

Article note: Every one I know who has worked there has been convinced it was grift all the way up.

Kentucky State University’s president, M. Christopher Brown II, abruptly resigned on Tuesday. Brown’s resignation after four years on the job comes amid concerns about KSU’s financial health and a half-dozen … Click to Continue »

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Time to assume that health research is fraudulent until proven otherwise?

Source: Hacker News

Article note: This is ugly funding incentives above and beyond the usual story of perverse incentives ruining science. A bullshitter can emit more, fancier sounding bullshit than a good actor can ever hope to match, and challenging bullshit is difficult (time consuming, unrewarded, and actively politically opposed). Plus, bullshitting that benefits commercial actors attracts money, which also advances careers. So the bullshitters become entrenched, and the standards become calibrated to their bullshit, locking out anyone who isn't complicit, and challenging bullshit gets even harder via mass complicitcy, and ... now you broke science.
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