Simon Willison’s Weblog

Sunday, 8th October 2017

fd (via) “A simple, fast and user-friendly alternative to find.” Written in rust, with a saner default command-line syntax than the regular find command. Microbenchmark shows it running 7x faster. Install it on OS X using “brew install fd”. # 9:27 pm

Removing MediaWiki from SPA: Cool URIs don’t change (via) Detailed write-up from Anna Shipman describing how she archived an old MediaWiki as static content using recursive wget and some cunning application of mod_rewrite. # 7:54 pm

Generate dynamic titles for /search/ pages. Fun little enhancement to my faceted search implementation: I now generate dynamic titles for each search results page describing the search, e.g. “Blogmarks tagged security in Feb, 2005” or ““python” in quotations tagged ruby, python in 2007”. # 7:47 pm

Recovering missing content from the Internet Archive

When I restored my blog last weekend I used the most recent SQL backup of my blog’s database from back in 2010. I thought it had all of my content from before I started my 7 year hiatus, but in watching the 404 logs I started seeing the occasional hit to something that really should have been there but wasn’t. Turns out the SQL backup I was working from was missing some content.

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Dillinger. I really like this online Markdown editor. It has source syntax highlighting, live previews of the generated HTML and it constantly syncs to localStorage so you won’t lose your work if you accidentally shut your browser window. The code is also available open source on GitHub. # 6:38 pm

C is a bit like Latin these days. We no longer write everything in it, but knowing it affords deeper knowledge of more-recent languages.

Norman Wilson # 4:03 pm

China Demonstrates Quantum Encryption By Hosting a Video Call. This reads like pure science fiction. “Pan’s team first established a connection and generated a secure key between a ground station in Xinglong and the Micius satellite as it passed overhead, orbiting about 500 kilometers above Earth. [...] Next, the Chinese team waited for Micius to pass over Vienna, where their collaborators at the Austria Academy of Sciences were waiting to also receive the key from the satellite. Then, with the keys in hand, the groups initiated a video conference and used those keys to encrypt the video data through a standard VPN protocol.” # 2:49 am

Facets. New open source visualization and data exploration tool from Google (“Disclaimer: This is not an official Google product”, whatever that means). It’s intended for visualizing machine learning datasets but it’s obviously useful outside of ML as well—any time you need to understand a large dataset this looks like it could be extremely useful. Ships with example jupyter notebooks and an easy mechanism for embedding the Facets interactive UI directly inside a notebook cell. # 12:21 am

2017 » October