Sometime between April 27th and May 17th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • The Case of the Stolen Source Code: Last week, for about three days, the macOS video transcoding app HandBrake was compromised. One of the two download servers for HandBrake was serving up a special malware-infested version of the app, that, when launched, would essentially give hackers remote control of your computer. // In a case of extraordinarily bad luck, even for a guy that has a lot of bad computer luck, I happened to download HandBrake in that three day window, and my work Mac got pwned. // Long story short, somebody, somewhere, now has quite a bit of source code to several of our apps.
  • JSON Feed: Announcing JSON Feed: We — Manton Reece and Brent Simmons — have noticed that JSON has become the developers’ choice for APIs, and that developers will often go out of their way to avoid XML. JSON is simpler to read and write, and it’s less prone to bugs. So we developed JSON Feed, a format similar to RSS and Atom but in JSON. It reflects the lessons learned from our years of work reading and publishing feeds.
  • Let’s discuss the Linguistic & Pragmatic use of the [“N-word”]: No matter what your intentions, the word WILL mean something different depending on your relative status. Language is circumstancial.
  • The neural network writes the episode list for next season’s Dr. Who: I’ve trained this open-source neural network framework on a variety of datasets, including recipes, Pokemon, knock-knock jokes, pick up lines, and D&D spells. Now I give you: training a neural network on the complete list of Dr. Who episodes.
  • What we really need is an adaptation of the original 1740 The Beauty and the Beast: So were you aware that the The Beauty and the Beast story we all know is a heavily abridged and rewritten version of a much longer novella by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve?  And that a lot of the plot holes existing in the current versions exist because the 1756 rewrite cut out the second half of the novella, which consisted entirely of the elaborate backstory that explains all the weird shit that happened before?  And that the elaborate backstory is presented in a way that’s kind of boring because the novel had only just been invented in 1740 and no one knew how they worked yet, but contains a bazillion awesome ideas that beg for a modern retelling?  And that you are probably not aware that the modern world needs this story like air but the modern world absolutely needs this story like air?

…I found this over on /. in the middle of a discussion about Mac OS X. While probably only of interest to my more ‘geeky’ friends, I think it’s damn cool….

Mac OS X is better than I could have imagined!

Let me begin by saying that I used to be a rabid, frothing at the mouth Linux/UNIX advocator. I’ve been using Linux exclusively for nearly two years.

Anyways, when I found out about Mac OS X, I was very excited. I wanted to try it. The interface looked so incredibly well done. Whoever says that Windows has a nice user interface must be joking; I think that the Windows GUI is extremely bland.

So I bought an iMac 233 for a steal over at eBay. I ran Mac OS X Public Beta for many months in anticipation of the final release.

The day the final release came out, I was so impressed with Apple hardware and the beta, that I ran out and bought one of the new iMacs just so that I would have the extra speed boost in running OS X.

Anyways, let me say that I have not been disappointed in the slightest! OS X is everything that Linux should have been. It’s powerful enough for the command line lovers, but elegant enough for the common desktop user. I don’t care what anyone says; Linux is not ready for the common user.

Common Linux scenario. I’m running KDE with some GNOME apps, along with Netscape 4.77 and emacs. Say I want to change my computer’s theme. That means I have to find a KDE theme, a GTK theme (and figure out how to install it from KDE), and edit my .Xdefaults file, testing new values for Netscape and emacs until everything is the way I want.

That’s just too inconvenient. In fact, after running OS X for a week now, I found that there were a lot of annoying inconveniences that I put up with in Linux that I don’t have to deal with in OS X. It got to the point with Linux where I was saying, “I’m so tired of constant sysadmin battles…I just want something that works.” You know what? Mac OS X just works.

Not to mention the fact that I find Apple hardware far superior. There’s none of the Intel Driver Hell that I’ve dealt with using other OSes. I plugged in my iMac (which was equipped with CDRW, ethernet, modem, etc…) and everything worked, no tweaking necessary.

What I like the best is the XonX program that a bunch of sourceforgers are working on. By hitting Command-Alt A, I can switch back and forth between my old XFce desktop and my new, spiffy Aqua desktop.

To those who say that Apple hardware is too expensive…yes, the powermacs and the cubes are still fairly high in price. If you’re looking to play around with OS X, pick up an iMac. They’re very reasonably priced machines that pack a lot of power.

— vorpal^