The Overflow #55: Great impractical ideas in computer science

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Welcome to ISSUE #55 of the Overflow! This newsletter is by developers, for developers, written and curated by the Stack Overflow team and Cassidy Williams at Netlify. It’s a whole new year, and we’re kicking it off with fresh and tasty links: a teardown of the techniques behind the SolarWinds hack, preparing for school-mandated spyware, and how the early web went from bright idea to surfable sites.

From the blog

Podcast 300: Welcome to 2021 with Joel Spolsky stackoverflow.blog We are stepping into a new year with a very special guest, Stack Overflow’s co-founder and chairman, Joel Spolsky. We chat programming, social networks, and what comes next.

Podcast Episode 299: It’s hard to get hacked worse than this stackoverflow.blog We break down some of the code that went into the SolarWinds hack and share programming projects we’re working on over the holidays.

Webinar: Back to Basics with MongoDB promotion Does NoSQL feel like a bunch of NoSense to you? Sign up for this webinar to learn the fundamentals of the world’s most popular NoSQL database, MongoDB, and find out how you can leverage the MongoDB Cloud platform to build modern applications.

Interesting questions

What is the best way to remove 100% of a software that is not yet installed? superuser.com A perfectly reasonable concern when you’re forced to install spyware for school.

Twist in floppy disk cable - hack or intended design? retrocomputing.stackexchange.com ‘Hack’ and ‘intended design’ might not be mutually exclusive.

Is there a way to average resistors together to get a tighter overall resistance tolerance? electronics.stackexchange.com In the real world, factory-produced resistors have unpredictable error values.

How does light, which is an electromagnetic wave, carry information? physics.stackexchange.com Is light carrying data, or is your brain creating information from its signal?

Links from around the web

Out of the Matrix: Early days of the web (1991) blog.yax.com Have we forgotten the initial vision of the web? Here’s a great post about how the web emerged, from someone who was there at the beginning.

Great impractical ideas in computer science: PowerPoint programming www.youtube.com If you’ve ever thought, “Yes, I know PowerPoint,” this talk will… make you question that. Watch Tom Wildenhain build full programs and data structures using only built-in PowerPoint features!

How we built the GitHub globe github.blog GitHub released a new homepage with a WebGL, data-filled globe front and center. Here’s the start of a series of how they built it!

Open source browser tools for everyday use omatsuri.app Here’s a lovely list of open source tools for building your projects, from gradient generators to SVG compressors!

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