Microblog

post-1627455191

Surely, the mother of all unboxing videos: unboxing a quantum computer!

IBM Quantum System One assembled in Japan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPMY4oP3Qgk

Wed 28 July 2021

post-1627114689

I recently discovered the Coc plugin for vim, which brings VSCode-like smarts to vim. I can finally use #vim full-time instead of #VSCode, which has become bloated and slow over time. Coc has a marketplace with a large breadth of language support. In a like-for-like comparison, vim uses 500Mb less RAM (including language server) than VSCode for Python or Java editing (with intellisense), and is much faster. I also managed to set up vim for editing and uploading #Arduino and #esp32 code by integrating with PlatformIO.

Conqueror of Completion
https://github.com/neoclide/coc.nvim

Sat 24 July 2021

post-1626770375

A fairly compelling argument for publishing documents as PDF files rather than as HTML pages. #goodread

lab6 Issue 0 (PDF)
https://lab6.com/0

Tue 20 July 2021

post-1626169502

I blogged about how I create audiobooks from epubs and the like, using text-to-speech.

Creating audiobooks
https://tobykurien.com/creating-audiobooks/

Tue 13 July 2021

post-1625762762

Really cool online browser multi-player games to play with colleagues during lunch break: https://shellshock.io https://blocktanks.io https://smashkarts.io https://sidearms.io https://krunker.io

Thu 08 July 2021

post-1625386633

The "Physiological Sigh" provides instant reduction of anxiety and stress and is easy to do, although you shouldn't undo it by resurfacing the anxiety to test if it worked! #neuroscience

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

Sun 04 July 2021

post-1625207794

Sampler is an amazing text visualization tool for the terminal. I was able to make a smart-mirror type of dashboard really easily with it. #text #console #dashboard

Sampler
https://github.com/sqshq/sampler

Fri 02 July 2021

post-1624693415

Some photos from a recent trip to a mountain resort. #photo #trip

Sat 26 June 2021

post-1622647512

"Over a month ago, I came to the realization that my smartphone was having several negative impacts on my mental health... In a desperate attempt to regain some control, I ditched the smartphone."

gemini://tobykurien.com/articles/2021-05-23-digital-declutter.gmi

Digital de-clutter
https://tobykurien.com/digital-declutter/

Wed 02 June 2021

post-1622645776

TIL: there's Android ransomware that works not by encrypting your files, but rather by showing a system modal window that cannot be dismissed by the user until the ransom is paid. Latest variants use machine learning: "TinyML model is useful for making sure [the ransom note] would appear less contrived and more believable" #android #malware #ransomware

Mobile randsomware
https://www.microsoft.com/security/blog/2020/10/08/sophisticated-new-android-malware-marks-the-latest-evolution-of-mobile-ransomware/

Wed 02 June 2021

post-1621786017

A great talk arguing that software is in fact getting worse, because of more complexity. (via alex.flounder.online)

Jonathan Blow - Preventing the Collapse of Civilization
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW-SOdj4Kkk

Sun 23 May 2021

post-1621669924

Photos from a recent trip down to Port Edward, KZN South Coast. A really beautiful and relaxing place for a holiday. #photo #kzn

Sat 22 May 2021

post-1621362863

And here's a gorgeous screenshot of khal in action, if you're still on the fence about #cli PIM tools. #commandline #pimutils #khal

Tue 18 May 2021

post-1621358358

Instead of installing and configuring a heavy GUI app for my calendar and todos, I've discovered the command-line based pimutils. Once vdirsyncer is configured, I can use khal and todoman. Very simple, powerful, portable, and lightweight. #opensource #commandline

pimutils
https://github.com/pimutils

Tue 18 May 2021

post-1619633215

Book recommendation: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. Talk about discovering the right book at the right time! After ditching my smartphone, I needed answers: why was it bad? what do I do with my time? This book answers that and more.

Digital Minimalism
https://www.calnewport.com/books/digital-minimalism/

Wed 28 April 2021

post-1619195244

By a truly unbelievable coincidence [...] I saw a small package fall off a truck ahead of me. 😂

Turns out the software used to extract data from your phone when seized, has security vulnerabilities 😁 #signal #cellebrite

Exploiting vulnerabilities in Cellebrite...
https://signal.org/blog/cellebrite-vulnerabilities/

Fri 23 April 2021

post-1618908395

I made a music player using the awesome Pimoroni Pirate Audio HAT for #RaspberryPi. It plays any format including OGG and even videos, remembers where it left off, buttons work exactly how I like it because I wrote the code, and it has outstanding audio quality (24-bit DAC + headphone amp). The UI needs work tho! #maker #diy #audio

Tue 20 April 2021

post-1618906775

Birds on a wire. They congregrate at this exact spot every morning just before sunrise, and disperse as soon as the sun rises. #birding

Tue 20 April 2021

post-1618742136

I let out some of my frustrations in a ranty response to a Github feature request for my app. I love that a user was invested enough in my app to write a long and frustrated feature request.

Quote:

I sense your frustration in that the app is close to what you want and how you use it, but not quite there. Unfortunately the bad news is that I will probably stop supporting this app this year, despite this app being a labour of love and one I'm proud of. The above-mentioned sandbox leaks, combined with browser fingerprinting, supercookies, FLoC, and other hostile abuses of Web technology, have made me come to the conclusion that the Web is a lost cause for private browsing. Yes, WebApps offers only limited protection, and that protection will probably decrease every year. Something like Gemini (https://gemini.circumlunar.space/docs/faq.gmi) is probably the way forward for privacy minded geeks, and I for one am moving as much of my content creation/consumption there as possible.

Another factor is that Android is also increasingly hostile to the developer (you need at least 16Gb RAM to compile a 3Mb APK, every year devs are forced onto new APIs, Gradle builds break often, Google now wants your developer signing key, the tooling I had used is now deprecated, etc, etc, etc). Couple that with the spyware preloaded onto phones and the increasing difficulty of getting control over your device (e.g. my phone kills VLC after 30 mins and there's nothing I can do about it), and I'm ready to ditch Android and go back to good 'ol desktop computing (https://tobykurien.com/post-1618319359/).

WebApps …

Sun 18 April 2021

post-1618319359

Giving up the smartphone (currently in airplane mode in the drawer) for a dumb phone. I want my attention span back. I want control over my computer. I want to eschew mobile computing for good old fashioned desktop computing.

Nokia 105 Smartphone in airplane mode

Tue 13 April 2021