May 17, 2015

Links: 17th May

§ links     # Bleep Mlodinov chance DNS firmware iOS meetup random refresher sleep SSL war

He [Galton] even measured the life spans of sovereigns and clergymen, which, being similar to the lifespans of people in other professions, led him to conclude that prayer brought no benefit.
Leonard Mlodinov

Mlodinov’s “The Drunkard’s Walk…” is a fantastically good book. I couldn’t pull myself away of it, I’d read it in the morning before the work starts and right after I wrap it up for a day. A captivating overview of mathematics of chance, randomness, and statistics put in a very comprehensible form and language, intertwined with amusing digressions into history of mathematical thought, it connects randomness with our everyday life. Scientific American’s comment reflect my feelings: “Delightfully entertaining”.

Recommend it wholeheartedly:

  • Yet another confirmation that our sleep patterns are being confused by blue light emitted by handheld devices: To sleep, perchance? Screens before bedtime harm sleep.
  • What makes it a war? Not every scrap involving armed groups in the same polity is a civil war: on that much the experts agree. That may be all they agree on, though.
  • Standford’s paper on reasons for wars.
  • And more importantly How to stop fighting? It is encouraging to learn that many leaders now realise that even small conflicts left to themselves might burst into overwhelming blaze, like with ISIS.


  • A very handy github-hosted automatic page refresher, will update a given URL in an iframe at a specified interval.
  • For those who seldom face a task of configuring SSL, here’s an SSL config generator for various web servers. The point is this generator gives you a config that matches current demands in terms of security, i.e. vulnerable cyphers would be disabled, etc.
  • If you accidentally downloaded a huge file from an svn repo that you don’t want to keep in your working copy, you can remove and ignore it further on with:
    svn update --set-depth exclude bigFolder
    D bigFolder
    • You can later re-enable the folder with svn update --set-depth infinity bigFolder
  • This has been sitting in my notes for a long time: why DNS root record cannot have CNAME and how to live with it: CloudFlare’s DNS flattening. Frankly, they should just add this bit into DNS specification.
  • Bleep peer-to-peer instant messenger got released. It’s frustrating to see the industry failing at producing a modern advanced and convenient IM really. If Bleep is going to maintain (semi-)direct connections with your contact list, sending updates and notifications, that would dry your battery on mobile devices.
  • Reminder for myself: iOS firmware downloads.

And finally: is a very odd platform. I’ve joined it few months earlier cause we organised a group and now for some reason, decided that I’m some sort of a fraudster or spammer, and limited my account so I virtually cannot do anything, neither send a message, nor edit my profile. After googling I found I’m not the only one suffering: Meetup automatic fraud systems are out of control. Support doesn’t seem to be cooperative at all with the only one suggestion: remove your existing account and register a new one. Well, thanks Meetup, I’ll remove my account; not sure I’ll be registering again though.

— `If you knew Time as well as I do,' said the Hatter, `you wouldn't talk about wasting IT. It's HIM.'
$ Last updated: Feb 7, 2021 at 13:38 (EET) $