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Burn After Reading - Issue #6

Locks, drugs, cakes, fakes, fonts, and more. Try saying that three times fast!
Burn After Reading - Issue #6
By Kristian Glass • Issue #6 • View online
Locks, drugs, cakes, fakes, fonts, and more. Try saying that three times fast!

Assorted
It’s great to see more and more home automation kit on the market. It’s sad to see how much of it is terrible, overly intrusive, or unnecessarily internet-connected. As a homeowner, fortunately, it’s almost entirely my choice. Unfortunately for Lesley Carhart, the building she rents from is forcibly converting everyone to “smart locks”, and she’s written an excellent analysis with insightful questions and considerations and concerns.
Doing illegal things is generally bad and not recommended. But reading about modern techniques can be fascinating! “Dropgangs, or the future of dark markets” describes a modern drug sale and distribution system with low trust requirements, decentralisation, verification procedures, and more - and it feels like it could have been lifted straight from a sci-fi spy novel…
On the subject of “things that are not recommended”, Patisserie Valerie - the business behind my wife’s favourite cakes - have recently had issues with “very significant manipulation of the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts”. YoungFIGuy has a great summary of the Pat Val situation, insights into the work of auditors, and what might be coming next.
AI-generated synthetic images and videos of humans are technologically fascinating and conceptually rather disturbing - see “deepfakes” for some particularly problematic examples. Kyle MacDonald’s “How to recognize fake AI-generated images” shows examples of some of the latest (published) achievements, and some tell-tale giveaways that still remain - for now…
Tech
I love the micro:bit and I love genetic simulations (I spent hours playing Creatures when I was younger) so Sean Tibor’s fusion of the two - “uorganisms” - was great to discover, and it’s neat he’s putting together an accompanying worksheet and lesson plan for teachers to use it too.
My personal position is that most organisations wanting “High Availability PostgreSQL” should just pay for AWS Aurora because Amazon will probably do it better and/or cheaper than them. Sometimes though, DIY is the best way (even if I think that’s less often than a lot of others do…), and for that, ScaleGrid have a nice explanation and comparison of three popular tools.
So
Thanks for reading! Please give me any and all feedback you may have, whether email, tweets, or the thumbs up (or down!) button at the bottom. As ever, if you think someone else might enjoy this too, then please just forward this on!
Cheers, Kristian
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Kristian Glass

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