/Entertaining

A Story About `Magic'

- Erik Brunvand tl;dr: "You don't touch an unknown switch on a computer without knowing what it does, because you might crash the computer. The switch was labeled in a most unhelpful way. It had two positions, and scrawled in pencil on the metal switch body were the words 'magic' and 'more magic'. The switch was in the 'more magic' position."

featured in #342


Sending Spammers to Password Purgatory with Microsoft Power Automate and Cloudflare Workers KV

- Troy Hunt tl;dr: "Earlier this year I created Password Purgatory with the singular goal of putting spammers through the hellscape that is attempting to satisfy really nasty password complexity criteria."

featured in #341


Working In The Software Industry, Circa 1989

- Jim Grey tl;dr: "Lots of things we all take for granted didn’t exist. The internet existed but not the Web. Software was delivered to customers on tapes or floppy disks. The CD burner was still a few years in the future. Java didn’t exist, JavaScript didn’t exist, .NET didn’t exist. Languages commonly in use then were C/C++, FORTRAN, Pascal, Ada, Perl, Tcl, and Lisp."

featured in #333


Markov Chat Bot Disaster Story

- Anders Conbere tl;dr: "Between 2012 and 2014 I worked at Etsy on and experimental remote team "Seller Economics". Etsy was at the time famous for two things: Chat Ops and Hack Weeks. This is a story about how those two cultural touchstones collided to create a near disaster."

featured in #333


The Overengineered Solution To My Pigeon Problem

- Max Nagy tl;dr: "The brains of the operation is a python script using openCV. It compares the current image to the normal background. If the average amount of change of all pixels is above some threshold, we fire the gun."

featured in #328


Code Review: How To Make Enemies

- Iain Cambridge tl;dr: Iain provides ways of getting revenge on co-workers via code reviews: (1) Ask for changes that make no difference. (2) Take your time when responding. (3) Demand they add bugs. (4) Make code style changes in code review requests. (5) Create mega-sized pull requests. And more. 

featured in #325


My Favorite NPM Commit

- Isaac Schlueter tl;dr: "Since setting file timestamps to an arbitrary date in the past is, in a way, a form of time travel, we did this instead..."

featured in #324


The /bin/true Command And Copyright

- John Chambers tl;dr: "One of the fun examples among all the copyright fuss is the extreme example of copyright claims made by AT&T some time in the 1980s. It's the /bin/true program. This is a "dummy" program whose function is to make it easy to write infinite loops in shells scripts. The program does nothing; it merely exits with a zero exit status... But AT&T's lawyers decided that this was worthy of copyright protection."

featured in #319


4 Integers Are Enough To Write A Snake Game

- Andrei Ciobanu tl;dr: "Note that the code should be taken as a twisted joke, or as an exercise in minimalism, or as both, probably a joke. Because of the aforementioned limitations, we are going to write some nasty macros to perform bitwise operations, use global variables, reuse the same counter, etc. This is not a good example of readable or elegant code."

featured in #318


The Project With A Single 11,000-line Code File

- Austin Henley tl;dr: "Something I found hilarious is that a variable might be used on lines 200-210 and then again on line 8544. No where else."

featured in #305