Topic: Computing/Software

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πŸ”— Hy

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Computer science πŸ”— Computing/Software

Hy (alternately, Hylang) is a programming language, a dialect of the language Lisp designed to interact with the language Python by translating expressions into Python's abstract syntax tree (AST). Hy was introduced at Python Conference (PyCon) 2013 by Paul Tagliamonte.

Similar to Kawa's and Clojure's mapping of s-expressions onto the Java virtual machine (JVM), Hy is meant to operate as a transparent Lisp front end to Python's abstract syntax. Lisp allows operating on code as data (metaprogramming). Thus, Hy can be used to write domain-specific languages. Hy also allows Python libraries, including the standard library, to be imported and accessed alongside Hy code with a compiling step converting the data structure of both into Python's AST.

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  • "Hy" | 2019-08-04 | 850 Upvotes 141 Comments
  • "Hy" | 2016-11-07 | 70 Upvotes 5 Comments

πŸ”— Year 2038 Problem

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Computing/Computer science πŸ”— Time

The Year 2038 problem (also called Y2038 or Y2k38 or Unix Y2K) relates to representing time in many digital systems as the number of seconds passed since 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970 and storing it as a signed 32-bit integer. Such implementations cannot encode times after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038. Similar to the Y2K problem, the Year 2038 problem is caused by insufficient capacity used to represent time.

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πŸ”— Oberon Operating System

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Computing/Free and open-source software

The Oberon System is a modular, single-user, single-process, multitasking operating system written in the programming language of the same name. It was originally developed in the late 1980s at ETH ZΓΌrich. The Oberon System has an unconventional visual text user interface instead of a conventional CLI or GUI. This "TUI" was very innovative in its time and influenced the design of the Acme text editor for the Plan 9 from Bell Labs operating system.

The latest version of the Oberon System, Project Oberon 2013, is still maintained by Niklaus Wirth and a number of collaborators but older ETH versions of the Oberon Systems have been orphaned. The Oberon System also evolved into the multi-process, SMP-capable Bluebottle operating system, with a zooming user interface.

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πŸ”— Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Marketing & Advertising πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Computing/Free and open-source software πŸ”— Open πŸ”— Microsoft

"Embrace, extend, and extinguish" (EEE), also known as "embrace, extend, and exterminate", is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found was used internally by Microsoft to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences in order to strongly disadvantage its competitors.

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πŸ”— Xv6

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Computing/Free and open-source software

xv6 is a modern reimplementation of Sixth Edition Unix in ANSI C for multiprocessor x86 and RISC-V systems. It is used for pedagogical purposes in MIT's Operating Systems Engineering (6.828) course as well as Georgia Tech's (CS 3210) Design of Operating Systems Course, IIIT Hyderabad, IIIT Delhi and as well as many other institutions.

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  • "Xv6" | 2015-11-14 | 350 Upvotes 47 Comments

πŸ”— Yoda conditions

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Star Wars

In programming jargon, Yoda conditions (also called Yoda notation) is a programming style where the two parts of an expression are reversed from the typical order in a conditional statement. A Yoda condition places the constant portion of the expression on the left side of the conditional statement. The name for this programming style is derived from the Star Wars character named Yoda, who speaks English with a non-standard syntax.

Yoda conditions are part of the Symfony, and the WordPress coding standards.

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πŸ”— Zooko's Triangle

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Computer Security πŸ”— Computer Security/Computing πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Computing/Computer science πŸ”— Cryptography πŸ”— Cryptography/Computer science πŸ”— Computing/Computer Security

Zooko's triangle is a trilemma of three properties that are generally considered desirable for names of participants in a network protocol:

  • Human-meaningful: Meaningful and memorable (low-entropy) names are provided to the users.
  • Secure: The amount of damage a malicious entity can inflict on the system should be as low as possible.
  • Decentralized: Names correctly resolve to their respective entities without the use of a central authority or service.

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πŸ”— Scunthorpe Problem

πŸ”— Internet πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Internet culture πŸ”— Freedom of speech πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Computing/Computer Security πŸ”— Popular Culture πŸ”— Lincolnshire

The Scunthorpe problem is the unintentional blocking of websites, e-mails, forum posts or search results by a spam filter or search engine because their text contains a string of letters that appear to have an obscene or otherwise unacceptable meaning. Names, abbreviations, and technical terms are most often cited as being affected by the issue.

The problem arises since computers can easily identify strings of text within a document, but interpreting words of this kind requires considerable ability to interpret a wide range of contexts, possibly across many cultures, which is an extremely difficult task. As a result, broad blocking rules may result in false positives affecting innocent phrases.

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πŸ”— Gridcoin: An open source cryptocurrency that rewards work performed on the BOINC

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Numismatics πŸ”— Numismatics/Cryptocurrency πŸ”— Cryptocurrency

Gridcoin (ticker: GRC) is an open source cryptocurrency which securely rewards volunteer computing performed on the BOINC, a distributed computing platform that is home to over 30 science projects spanning a range of scientific disciplines.

Gridcoin attempts to address and ease the environmental energy impact of cryptocurrency mining through its proof-of-research and proof-of-stake protocols, as compared to the proof of work system used by Bitcoin.

πŸ”— British Post Office Scandal

πŸ”— Human rights πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Finance & Investment πŸ”— Law πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Software πŸ”— Software/Computing πŸ”— United Kingdom

The British Post Office scandal is a widespread and long-lasting series of individual miscarriages of justice which, between 1999 and 2015, involved over 700 subpostmasters being wrongly convicted of theft, false accounting and fraud when shortfalls at their branches were in fact due to errors of the Post Office's Horizon accounting software. In 2019, the High Court ruled that the Horizon system was faulty and in 2020 the government established a public inquiry. Courts began to quash convictions from 2010. As of January 2024, some victims are still fighting to have their convictions overturned and receive compensation, the public inquiry is ongoing, and the Metropolitan Police is investigating the Post Office for potential fraud offences.

The Horizon accounting system was developed by ICL Pathway, owned by the Japanese company Fujitsu. In 1999, the Post Office started to roll out the new software to its branch and sub-offices, the latter managed by subpostmasters on a self-employed basis under contracts with the Post Office. Almost immediately, some subpostmasters noticed the new system reporting false shortfalls, sometimes for thousands of pounds. The Post Office insisted that the system was robust and, when shortfalls occurred, prosecuted the subpostmasters or forced them to make up the amount. The impact of court cases, criminal convictions, imprisonment, loss of livelihood and homes, debt and bankruptcy took a heavy toll on victims and their families, leading to stress, illness, divorce and, in at least four cases, suicide. In May 2009, Computer Weekly broke the story about problems with Horizon software and in September 2009 subpostmaster Alan Bates set up the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance (JFSA). In 2012, as a result of pressure from campaigners and Members of Parliament, the Post Office appointed forensic accountants Second Sight to conduct an investigation into Horizon. The investigators concluded that Horizon contained faults that could result in accounting discrepancies, but the Post Office insisted that there were no system-wide problems with the software.

In 2019 a group of 555 subpostmasters led by Bates won a group action brought in court against the Post Office, with the judge ruling that Horizon contained bugs, errors and defects. The Post Office agreed to settle out of court for Β£58 million. The subpostmasters' legal costs amounted to Β£47 million of, leaving them with only about Β£20,000 each. The government later agreed to supplement the settlement, as they were excluded from the compensation scheme set up by the Post Office for other victims of the scandal. The first convictions to be quashed were those of six subpostmasters who had been convicted in magistrates' courts and whose appeals were heard at Southwark Crown Court in December 2020. In allowing the appeal by 39 subpostmasters in April 2021, the Court of Appeal judges ruled that in cases that relied on Horizon data a fair trial was not possible. Further appeal cases followed.

In September 2020, the government established the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry, chaired by retired judge Sir Wyn Williams, to look into the implementation and failings of the Horizon system that led to the prosecution of subpostmasters and termination of their contracts. Evidence was due to be heard from subpostmasters, the Post Office, UK Government Investment, the Department for Business and Trade, and others.

A four-part television drama, Mr Bates vs the Post Office, was broadcast on ITV in January 2024, after which the scandal became a major news story and political issue.

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