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❝Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.❞ — Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)


• Cecilia Payne won a scholarship to Cambridge.

• Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said to heck with that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.

• Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

• Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne — after telling her not to publish).

• Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.

• Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard and the first woman to head a science department at Harvard. She also inspired entire generations of women to take up science.

• Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.

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Thinking about the Wynyard wooden escalators and the sculpture they were turned into at the end of their life

After going through the process of installing a reader for DRM-enabled PDF files, and even installing Chrome after nothing worked in Firefox, still no DRM PDF for me. 😢

Then I notice there's an "Alternative Document" link underneath all the DRM nonsense that immediately downloads a plain (visually watermarked) PDF 😂

There is probably an argument that this is what I "asked for" because I clicked the ad for the commercial product, which only appears at the top top because of the typo.

This doesn't account for the fact that the average person would have no idea what the exact differences between any of the things in the screenshots are. Or explains why the link to the reader has to be unmarked and unexplained in a footer, well below all the other content...

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I get snarky about open source usability sometimes, but I also easily forget how much proprietary software straight up *fucks with* people via dark UI patterns

Registering on a website to download a security standards document, and the site enforces a maximum password length constraint (12 characters) 🤔

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@aral found this exemplar via HN where it is described as:

"I'm struggling to put my shock into words. I've been around. There's engineering. There's academia. But this falls into straight-up wizardry."

"Everything she does has this level of jaw-dropping amazingness."

Redbean - single-file distributable web server

"redbean can serve 1 million+ gzip encoded responses per second on a cheap personal computer."

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In an upcoming @ieeesoftware #paper I've conducted a longitudinal #genderstudy of authors of #publiccode commits from @swheritage, analyzing 1.6 billion commits contributed by 33 million distinct authors over a period of 50 years. Short thread w/ links at the end 👇 #FOSS [1/6]

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Good to see an article like this from someone like the ABC,

“But in a country with so little civil society infrastructure, our heavy reliance on a corporation to provide such a fundamental public service is deeply problematic.

Facebook, Inc. doesn't care about your fundraiser or political protest.

It couldn't care less about your art exhibition.”

oh, they've set up as a front-end, seemingly to the same backend. Nice!

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Inspired by recent HaD article to dig my SHA2017 badge out again, was impressed to see the OTA infrastructure still up after four years!

Sadly i think they fell into an embedded networking pitfall. cert expired in 2018, has HSTS so modern browsers refuse to load it at all, but (I'm guessing) the badges hard code this cert so they can't replace it 😥

You say you're a cryptographer? Name all the primes.

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Cool, apparently this short piece of Python code:


compiles to over 32TB of bytecode in cpython (per this post)

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Curve25519 implementation is both the most blessed and cursed code in the world.

On one hand, it has the cleanest math and attracted the best minds to work on it. Now the code deployed in most projects have been fully optimized, and formally verified to be mathematically correct and secure. One of the biggest accomplishment in crypto applications in recent years.

On the other hand, the monstrous, machine-generated assembly or C code will give any unsuspected programmer a heart attack.

Seriously, "you are not expected to understand this."

Working and listening to Stone by ruo tan (若潭) when I got the most badass system crash I have ever experienced (sound needed for full impact)

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"...It's very easy to set up and maintain an instance..."

A thing unironically said

My god techies can be so hopeless sometimes. If anyone's struggled to get their friends and family through the most mundane of tasks, they understand immediately why Facebook is still so popular. It's not just because of network effects. You literally only need to know how to type your name, email, and phone

Tech savviness is a barrier to communication as it is. Let's not add more on top

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