tech

/Tag: tech

Turing complete(ish).

Interesting look at whether CSS can be considered Turing complete and thus, despite all conventional wisdom, an actual programming language.

Apparently in the last decade or so when I wasn’t really paying attention, it became Cool™ to shit on CSS. Which, as someone who grew up doing things like radically transforming my profile page in Gaia Online with the power of CSS alone, I find really—

Okay, I was going to say “odd” here but it’s not “odd” at all, is it? It’s frustrating. Because people shit in CSS because it’s, a) associated with girls doing things like modifying their Gaia Online profiles, and thus b) feminized and scorned.

Same as it ever was, I guess…

2019-01-07T08:24:59+10:0017th May, 2019|Tags: css, culture, tech|

Blockchain is still garbage, film at 11.

So… okay. I will freely admit to being a Blockchain Skeptic™… but not even I would’ve predicted a 0.00% success rate in a survey of blockchain technologies. Yikes.1

Note also that this is specifically blockchain, not cryptocurrency, which is an implementation of blockchain. And even the most diehard crypto-detractor (i.e. yours truly) would probably have to concede cryptocurrencies are “successful”, for a given definition thereof, so I assume they were specifically excluded from the above-linked survey.

  1. But also: lol. []
2019-01-07T08:12:10+10:0015th May, 2019|Tags: blockchain, cryptocurrency, tech|

Unexpected future in the bagging area.

I have this half-assed theory that Americans hate self-checkouts so much because status in their weird classist society is built entirely around how many people you can coerce into doing obsequious minimum wage labor on your behalf, and self-checkouts (and their refusal to buckle under threats, shouting, or bribery) break that.

Also… this whole thing about “‘ware the self-checkout because it’s robots coming for your JOBS!!!!” is like… yes. Yes, that’s good. Automate humans out of work! Kill the bullshit notion of “full employment”! I want my post-capitalist automated leisure society and, yeah, that’s gonna take work to make and it’s not going to come naturally, but pretending it’s not coming at all is just a recipe for leaving people destitute when it inevitably does, rather than preempting it by putting in strong social policies to deal with a post-work society. Which we really, really need to get onto, pronto.

Also also… I just like self-checkouts. Go figure.

2019-01-04T09:42:35+10:0010th May, 2019|Tags: culture, tech|

Slow down and be mindful.

But ubiquitous quality has given rise to a new problem: If everything just works, how are you supposed to choose what to buy?

My advice: Don’t just consider how well a product works, but look at who’s making it and how it is sold. Before you dive into any new doodad, consider a company’s ethics, morals, branding and messaging. If you aren’t comfortable, look to alternatives. […] Most important, when you’re choosing tech, it’s wise to consider the business model — because it’s in the buying and the selling of a product, rather than in the using, that you can best figure out its dangers.

Farhad Manjoo on tech mindfulness.

Manjoo is specifically talking about tech here, and I do think there are limits to the whole “ethical consumption” thing.1

Nonetheless, the perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of the good and all that, and if part of that is being more mindful about the tech we support and the platforms we use? Then I think that’s okay. It’s not going to, like. Cause radical systemic change or whatever, but… it’s still worth something.

  1. By which I mean, I mostly think it’s garbage. Not quite “no ethical consumption under capitalism” but rather that there are no ethical consumables under capitalism. []
2019-01-03T10:44:20+10:007th May, 2019|Tags: tech|

Radio made the videogame star.

I mean, it makes sense—encoding data-as-sound is, like, how dial-up worked, which those of us who are Old™ will be familiar with—but it’s still kinda wild that people used to download computer programs from the radio.

2019-04-29T12:03:31+10:007th May, 2019|Tags: tech|

gatekeeping.js

As someone whose (primarily web-based) programming output decreased in inverse proportion to the rise of JavaScript, I really feel this article a lot…

2019-01-03T09:25:10+10:005th May, 2019|Tags: programming, tech|

Who’s who.

Recent data from anti-phishing company PhishLabs shows that 49 percent of all phishing sites in the third quarter of 2018 bore the padlock security icon next to the phishing site domain name as displayed in a browser address bar.

Brian Krebs on legitimacy.

Spoiler alert: SSL is still a goddamn scam.

2018-12-31T22:49:16+10:003rd May, 2019|Tags: infosec, tech|