75 years ago today, the University of Pennsylvania launched ENIAC, the
first non-classified programmable digital computer
<https://www.theregister.com/2021/02/15/eniac_day/>. (The UK Colossus
preceded it, but the existence of that was kept secret for a few more
decades.) This was not a “stored-program” machine, at least not at
first: programming was initially done using patch cords and switches.
You may also like this interview
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buAYHonF968> with the late Jean
Jennings Bartik, about some of the fun she and her colleagues had
programming the ENIAC, and the innovations they came up with. The
electronics engineers who built the first computers didn’t think of
programming as a very interesting activity, so they left it to women.
Found this <https://www.protocol.com/vlc-history-open-source> linked
from a report on the new version of VLC, describing the history of the
project back to its beginnings. Once upon a time there was “VideoLAN
Server” and “VideoLAN Client”, but today everything has been rolled
into a single “VLC” program.
Of course it’s been in the sights of Intellectual Property lawyers for
a long time:
VLC's success also put it on the radar of patent lawyers, who
started to send the VideoLAN team a growing number of legal
threats, looking to extract licensing fees. Over the years, the VLC
team received hundreds such legal threats over alleged patent
violations. Virtually all of them were without merit, according to
Kempf. Many were based on U.S. software patents that weren't easily
enforceable in Europe. Others were citing technology that VLC was
using even before companies tried to patent it. "No one is checking
whether these patents are valid," Kempf said. "It's a complete
mafia; it's protection money."
The open-source x264 codec implementation was also an offshoot of VLC.
And Jean-Baptiste Kempf says he could have done those software-bundling
deals where unwary users get all kinds of things installed on their PCs
in addition to the package they thought they were installing, and
thereby earned tens of millions of dollars, but he didn’t want to.
The project gets money from donations, but also from companies
employing developers to build custom implementations for their set-top
Owning Arm outright would also allow Nvidia much greater leeway to
innovate upon the design. We've spoken to several vendors who
described the sort of innovation that the RISC-V architecture
allows as effectively impossible with Arm; the vendors have said
"they just won't let you" make changes, like adjustments to the
instruction set. If Nvidia owns Arm, it will no longer face such
And it will be the only company in such a position with respect to ARM.
That may make it more competitive with RISC-V, but it will likely just
drive other vendors away from ARM ... and towards RISC-V.
I recently searched for the User Manual for a Huawei Model HG253s V2 Home Gateway. I found the document which is dated 2015.
Google also found the HG253s V2 open source code.zip file from February 04, 2015 @117MB. Featuring the Linux kernel version 2.6.30 this file was available from huawei.com at...
So, based on what I've heard from the CIA, MI6, GCSB and Five-Eyes, I'm now looking through the source code for the functions that send the messages back to the mothership in China 😉
...Haven't found any code that does this so far !
In summary. I was surprised that Huawei release their source code. Admittedly it's for a device that's at least five years old and, for all I know, it may be the same code that OpenWRT use.
I guess I'll still have to wait a while for the source code for the Huawei 5G routers.
“Dark patterns” is a term coined to describe user interfaces designed
to manipulate people into giving up time, money or personal data that
they didn’t intend to. A common example is the obstacle course you
often have to go through to cancel a subscription to something online.
Another example is the use of countdown timers to rush buyers into
hasty decisions. They may not be out-and-out deceptive, but they do
Now, the US states of California and Washington are looking to pass laws
to restrict this practice.
How do you keep unwanted busybodies out of your videoconference
meetings? This analysis
concludes that common measures like password-protected meetings and
waiting rooms are ineffective because they guard against the wrong
One thing that does help is giving each invited participant a unique
join link. Ideally this link can only be used once. But even if not, it
still allows organizers to identify the source of a leak to a
'With Mozilla's release of Firefox 85 on Tuesday, Adobe's once
ubiquitous Flash technology is really gone for good. The software had
been widely used to expand gaming, video and animation on the web,
though Adobe stopped supporting it at the end of 2020. Firefox was the
last major browser to support Flash. From a report:
Apple, whose late boss Steve Jobs helped sink Flash by banning it from
iPhones and iPads, ditched Flash with Safari 14 in September 2020.
Google Chrome, the most widely used browser, completely excised it on
Jan. 19 with version 88. Microsoft's Edge 88 followed suit on Jan. 21.
The schedule of removals shows just how hard it is to advance
technology foundations as widely used as the web. Browser makers for
years wanted to remove Flash, replacing it with more advanced
standards built directly into the web. Jobs' "Thoughts on Flash"
letter in 2010 solidified the opposition, and Adobe started
recognizing the software's doom by scrapping the Android version of
Flash in 2011. It's taken years of effort to drop Flash completely.
Adobe took until 2017 to announce that Flash would be completely
unsupported at the end of 2020, and still some are willing to jump
through lots of hoops to keep Flash around a little longer.'
-- source: https://it.slashdot.org/story/21/01/26/1618254
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 577-5304
Is Google repeating history, by pushing new browser features regardless
of their security implications, like Microsoft did in the bad old days?
reports on Chrome adding some new capabilities that other browser
developers (like Mozilla and Apple) feel are far too dangerous to
allow, at least in their current form.
The problem is, will most users fail to appreciate the security issues,
see this feature omission as a bug in those browsers, and reinforce the
dominance of Chrome as a result?
'Google has threatened to disable its search engine in Australia if
it's forced to pay local publishers for news, a dramatic escalation of
a months-long standoff with the government. From a report:
The proposed law, intended to compensate publishers for the value
their stories generate for the company, is "unworkable," Mel Silva,
managing director for Australia and New Zealand, told a parliamentary
hearing Friday. She specifically opposed the requirement that Google
pay media companies for displaying snippets of articles in search
The threat is Google's most potent yet as the digital giant tries to
stem a flow of regulatory action worldwide. At least 94% of online
searches in Australia go through the Alphabet unit, according to the
local competition regulator. "We don't respond to threats," Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday. "Australia makes our rules
for things you can do in Australia. That's done in our parliament.
It's done by our government. And that's how things work here in
-- source: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/21/01/22/0339236
However, in related news:
"Google Agrees To Pay French News Sites To Send Them Traffic"
-- source: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/21/01/21/2316209
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 577-5304