Since 2010

The character of a man

Monday 24 July 2017

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.

— Malcolm S. Forbes.

Outlawing maths

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Tom Scott, on Why The Government Shouldn’t Break WhatsApp on YouTube.

At about the 10 minute mark:

Anyone who wanted secure communication for evil purposes would just use something else. Any of thousands of smaller services that the government hasn’t noticed yet, or that they couldn’t possibly have jurisdiction over. Or if even that is not an option then they can come up with a code themselves.

M&M cookies

Sunday 25 June 2017



Saturday 17 June 2017

I stumbled upon this in Mozilla’s core source code:

This extracts the hostname from the URI and reverses it in the form that we use (always ending with a “.”). So “” becomes “moc.tfosorcim.”

The idea behind this is that we can create an index over the items in the reversed host name column, and then query for as much or as little of the host name as we feel like.

For example, the query “host >= ‘gro.allizom.’ AND host < ‘gro.allizom/’ Matches all host names ending in ‘’, including ‘’ and just ‘’ (since we define all reversed host names to end in a period, even ‘’ matches). The important thing is that this operation uses the index. Any substring calls in a select statement (even if it’s for the beginning of a string) will bypass any indices and will be slow).

Ingenious! Software is hard.