Welcome back everyone!
During a brilliant breakfast chat with friends who are visiting from afar, friend S (now 16.67% name-dropped) admitted that the WHV, strange unfocused mishmash of thoughts that it is, contributed positively to his information diet.
In spite of this admission adding to my already considerable posting anxiety, I am enormously grateful for the encouragement. I often worry about this mishmash, as I also aspire to enter the fabled halls of A-list bloggers one day.
Perhaps I should just embrace the mishmash. Again.
In this edition of the mishmash, I extremely sparsely review the weeks from Monday May 8 to Sunday June 11.
During our weekly extra math, science and philosophy lessons, GOU#1 (now 11 years old) and I arrived through serendipity at the topic of Pythagoras. Her mind almost visibly expanded when she discovered the relationship between the 9, 16 and 25 square adjacent squares I drew for her on the 3-4-5 example triangle. Her eyes went wide when I explained that this works for any right-angled triangle.
She was soon happily squaring, adding (long-form on paper of course) and square-rooting away on geometry problems.
Seeing your own child discover the beauty that is math is brilliant.
After complaining about subpar android security and dismal android performance on this blog, I finally decided to bite the bullet and acquired a second-hand iPhone 6S 64GB on May 10, 2017. The phone is in mint condition, and the price was excellent.
So far, the performance is substantially better than any of my previous Androids. In fact, so far I’ve never had to wait for anything on this phone, which was my main issue with the Androids. (Google Maps anyone?!) Besides that, when Apple pushes a software update, all phones immediately get that update, without interference from any third parties, including carriers.
(A word to the wise: There is no official way to transfer your complete WhatsApp message history from Android to iPhone, which was a huge disappointment. There are unofficial, closed-sourced, solutions that require one to connect one’s Android phone in USB debugging mode to the PC. That risk is a bit too great for me.)
After a period of rest, the Visible Orbit website, including the high-resolution microscopic slice data and viewer, is online again! It was quite satisfying getting all of the backed-up data back on the interwebs again.
Since the previous WHV (well actually mainly during the last week), I’ve published five posts on my nerd blog:
- Bitcoin and the blockchain in 10 minutes – I extracted this from WHV #110, because I’ve been spending way too much time on various blockchains (read: cryptocurrencies) and was planning more nerdy blog posts over here.
- Querying RESTful webservices into Emacs orgmode tables – Here I combined two of my obsessions, one old (Emacs) and the other new (cryptocurrencies) to show how you could pull live ticker data (prices) into your Emacs.
- Setting up FastCGI apps on WebFaction – I love it when work leads to spin-off blog posts! In this case, to get the visible-orbit high-res slice viewer working on WebFaction, I had to jump some hoops. This post shows you how to jump them too.
- Adding page sidebar to WordPress Twenty Seventeen theme – Intellectually the least interesting, but still a visible-orbit spin-off that might help at least one other person. I’m crossing my fingers.
- Extracting the Jaxx 12-word wallet backup phrase – After a few hours of analysis on Saturday (yesterday), I discovered a serious vulnerability in a popular multi-cryptocurrency wallet. The post has been picked up by a number of other blogs, and has caused good discussion on the various social media outlets.
Three of those five posts have to do with cryptocurrency, which is to a certain extent a reflection of my free-time mental cycles at the moment. Looking at how technology such as Ethereum and its Smart Contracts (a Smart Contract blog post is currently forming in the back of my head…) seem to be breaking through, I can’t help but be reminded of stories such as those by Charlie Stross in Accelerando (at least the first bits).
Do we find ourselves at the start of something truly significant, or is this just an extremely elegant and high-tech dead-end?
What a time to be alive!
P.S. Here, have another outdoorsy photo on the house!