What I found interesting this time

by: Artur Dziedziczak

March 10, 2024

“What Should You Work On? (Assuming You Want to Make a Living at It.),” n.d. http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2024/03/what-should-you-work-on-assuming-you.html?m=1

Simple blog post explaining tradeoff that every artist needs to consider while thinking about monetization of their art.

“Think for Yourself: Breaking out of Indoctrination,” n.d. https://open.spotify.com/episode/4NRWhk7Pecijl3ZslfA805?si=UNSmXRvMQnOSTfAe4rYCdQ

Great podcast about Richard Dawkins and his thoughts about escaping from indoctrination.
If you are religious and would like to become an atheist, but you have family or friends that would not accept this, I think this podcast is for you.
Also, there is one funny part where Dawkins is reading messages from his haters. It’s a super funny part!

“Unveiling A Hidden Risk: Exposing Educational but Malicious Repositories in GitHub,” n.d. https://arxiv.org/pdf/2403.04419.pdf

Study time!
Some researchers took GitHub repositories which are marked as “educational” and then used ChatGPT to validate if they contain malicious content.
From what I understand, they classified README, repo description and other metadata via ChatGPT twice and then compared if those results were actually similar.
To check if ChatGPT properly labeled data, they took 100 random repos from 9294 identified by ChatGPT and concluded that their methodology properly detected 85% of the cases.
It’s a really short research, and sadly,  I don’t see the list of those repositories for further validation.

“Babboe Not Allowed to Fire Whistleblower over ‘Life Threatening’ Cargo Bike Reports,” n.d. https://nltimes.nl/2024/03/06/babboe-allowed-fire-whistleblower-life-threatening-cargo-bike-reports

A whistleblower from Babboe company was tired of raising critical issues about frames and other parts of their bikes so he went to court and sued the company.
Apparently, after inspection, it came up that the frames can break and are life threatening.
Then the company tried to fire him and made court case to do it due to labor protective laws in the Netherlands. Apparently the company recorded the conversation with him where they tried to make him say things he will regret.
In the end company lost the lawsuit and judge said they are harmful to the employee.
What’s the conclusion from it?
The conclusion is simple. If you work for a company that builds bikes which carry children, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your dignity and your rights are more valuable than the new Mercedes of your boss. Never be afraid to rise issues and when no one hears it go higher, especially if this will save lives.
titanic_music_background_crack.mp3 playing in the background.

“Scalable CSS,” n.d. https://chriscoyier.net/2023/01/17/scalable-css/

Small blog post about Scalable CSS and how you can characterize well-written CSS.
The conclusion on how to write CSS is actually quite simple. Don’t use many tools, keep it short and do not overwrite stuff. Also, learn as much as you can and don’t get scared of CSS. It’s actually simple to use and if you ever used any other tool to position elements like Qt in C++, you will love how much more flexible CSS is.

“Take a Break,” n.d. https://plus.maths.org/content/take-break

Blog post about error detection algorithms via modular arithmetic.
I loved it! This blog post reminded me about the programs we had to make at university with number correction algorithms!
The examples shown by the author are focussed on basic math. There are also examples of error detection algorithms usage for plane tickets, barcodes (EAN) and  credit cards numbers.

“No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering,” n.d. https://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/Outreach/pc204/NoSilverBullet.html

Long essay about silver bullets in software engineering.
It focuses on the difficulties of software engineering and possible solutions which for the author do not seem to be a silver bullet but rather a better road to solution.
There are some parts I really liked about the essay and I’ll share my thoughts here.
"There is no royal road, but there is a road." I really liked this comparison as after almost 10 years of programming I can clearly see that royal roads or silver bullets do not exist. When I started programming, one of such ways was AGILE methodology. I remember exact changes in industry which aligned with it to deliver faster and better code. Sadly, I think, after 10 years of AGILE we can clearly see that it was only a better road. Not a silver bullet.
"Hopes for the Silver" in this chapter the author focuses on things like "higher-level languages, OOP, AI, Expert systems" as something which we can put focus on to have a better road for the future. What is interesting the author do not believe that AI can be such a silver bullet and living in 2023 we can see that he might be right.
Here are some of my thoughts on programming and future AI development.
When I think about programming, I think about creative problem-solving. The actual coding part is the most fun and productive, but it’s not the essence of programming. I mention this because this creative problem-solving has finally started to emerge in the AI world. Because of GAN networks and LLMs, we can finally generate creativity on demand. I think generating images is a clear example of how a complex, infinite task can be split into smaller parts that deliver actual value in the form of image.
I think the coding is actually quite similar to painting and writing. The tools are programming languages, but the abstract representation of programmer output is usually quite subjective. The only difference is the deterministic aspect of programming. Our programs cannot behave like current AI-generated content. When I look at human-generated faces they are pretty good, but when you look at it closer the more obvious it becomes that something is not right.
Still, there are images which we cannot distinguish from truth. Abstract art, focus on smaller parts of the image already are so good we cannot tell if they were made by AI.
The other benefit of such generative AI is that you can generate millions of copies instantly and pick the best one. As soon as people realize that they can do the same with the code, programming will become another obsolete skill that is used only by people who do it for fun.
I apologize for such depressive mood, but I actually think this will happen. Same as doctors will be replaced by AI and big companies will rule the world.
Ok, that’s it!

“Case 1:24-Cv-00082-JJM-LDA,” n.d. https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.rid.56980/gov.uscourts.rid.56980.10.0.pdf

Apparently, Yuzu creators need to pay Nintendo 2.4 million dollars for damage. I find it disgusting.
Yuzu was a Nintendo Switch emulator and creators of it got sued due to piracy claims.
This is insane. People who make emulators are witch hunted, when the real issue are the people who “pirate” Nintendo games.
Nintendo oppressed a team of dedicated people working on Open Source runtime engine. I understand if these developers would clearly indicate that they are involved in piracy via, for example, hosting pirated titles. They did not do it, though.
Nintendo, sorry, but my switch is permanently switched off. I wonder who will fork this Yuzu. If anyone at all…

“Motion Blur All the Way Down,” n.d. https://www.osar.fr/notes/motionblur/

Amazing article about motion blur, and its implementation as a shader. Author is describing how to achieve motion blur step by step and finally moves everything to WebGL.