Blog / Roundup: problems with CPUs, maps, and longevity; also best stuff of 2017, API tools, and complex adaptive systems

January 19, 2018

Explaining CPU vulnerabilities - Murray S

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/why-raspberry-pi-isnt-vulnerable-to-spectre-or-meltdown/

The security vulnerabilites that were announced recently for almost every CPU in existence were clearly pretty scary, but I struggled to understand them in anything more than the general sense that rogue processes can read memory they shouldn’t because something something speculative execution and then my mind goes blank. This article explains the vulnerabilities in the context of the Raspberry PI to show why, even though they use ARM CPUs, they’re not vulnerable to the attacks. I found it to be very clear and now I have a better understanding of the attacks, and how modern CPUs achieve some performance while not really being much faster at the Hz level.

Online shopping in Africa doesn’t work because of this web form - Charlie E

https://hackernoon.com/online-shopping-in-africa-doesnt-work-because-of-this-web-form-e4974a8d165a

Bit of a clickbait title but I think this topic - the problem of street addresses for the developing world - is an interesting one. This post linked to plus.codes, I’ve seen a few things like this but this is the first to break down the code into some kind of ‘meaningful’ parts. Much more useful than what3words.com where the code is totally random and meaningless.

A beginner’s guide to longevity research - Elena T

https://www.ldeming.com/longevityfaq

A visually pleasing intro about how to decrease your chances of dying as you get older. Obviously decreasing your chances doesn’t mean eliminating them altogether.

The best things and stuff of 2017 - Elena T

http://blog.fogus.me/2018/01/02/the-best-things-and-stuff-of-2017

I’ve been working my way through this list and I think it’s worth sharing. It’s a compilation of some great articles (and “stuff”) that have come out in 2017.

Help any website have an API - Elena T

http://www.toapi.org/

A small library that can help add an api service to your website, as long as you define the proper data structures.

Complex adaptive systems - why (for resilience) and what (unpredictable, contagious, modular) - Carrie B

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfnY9gn6ktk

An interestingly simple explanation of how complex adaptive systems work and why they are important for withstanding things like the financial crisis from a dude at Stockholm Resilience Centre who plays football and is willing to alienate his friends at work. Or something.

Track of the Week - Leon O-K

A bittersweet time of year for me. But as I sit in a Cafe looking out onto the beach this is the song setting the tone for the year right now…

Dario G - Voices