Four short links: 29 October 2019
Remastering Games, Rethinking Encryption, Text Editors, and Digital Wellbeing
- The Pawn, Remastered From Source — this business of remastering old games, updating the audio and video, is nifty.
- Rethinking Encryption (Lawfare) — a former FBI general counsel comes out as pro strong encryption. Cory Doctorow’s summary: [Jim] Baker’s argument is primarily instrumental: he rejects the idea that you can create cryptography that works perfectly when it’s being used to protect good guys, but fails completely when bad guys try to use it. He acknowledges that any effort to ban working cryptography would simply send American criminals to offshore software repositories to get access to working crypto, and that in so doing, it would be much harder for American law enforcement to spy on its adversaries, because the metadata from their encrypted communications would be out of US law enforcement’s reach.
- Text Editing Hates You Too — examples of why it’s so hard to write a text editor, from caret positioning to emoji. It is quite approachable at the start, and gets technical later on. E.g., Windows solves this with its eight (8!) types of locks. Although holding a lock across process boundaries may sound questionable to you, most other platforms try to use imperfect heuristics to fix concurrency issues. Or they just hope race conditions don’t happen. In my experience, prayers are not a very effective concurrency primitive.
- Digital Wellbeing Experiments (Google) — a collection of [open source] ideas and tools that help people find a better balance with technology.