Practical AI Practical AI #143

AI is creating never before heard sounds! 🎵

AI is being used to transform the most personal instrument we have, our voice, into something that can be “played.” This is fascinating in and of itself, but Yotam Mann from Never Before Heard Sounds is doing so much more! In this episode, he describes how he is using neural nets to process audio in real time for musicians and how AI is poised to change the music industry forever.

Licensing fsf.org

Free Software Foundations declares GitHub Copilot "unacceptable and unjust"

The FSF is funding white papers on “philosophical and legal questions around Copilot”. In their post announcing the fund, Donald Robertson states:

The Free Software Foundation has received numerous inquiries about our position on these questions. We can see that Copilot’s use of freely licensed software has many implications for an incredibly large portion of the free software community. Developers want to know whether training a neural network on their software can really be considered fair use. Others who may be interested in using Copilot wonder if the code snippets and other elements copied from GitHub-hosted repositories could result in copyright infringement. And even if everything might be legally copacetic, activists wonder if there isn’t something fundamentally unfair about a proprietary software company building a service off their work.

One thing is for sure: there are many open questions that need answering. How we (as a community / industry) go about answering those questions is much less clear. But it’ll probably take place on blogs, forums, GitHub Issues, and even court rooms over the next decade.

Jacob Zelko github.com

Javis.jl - Julia animations and visualizations

For the past year, my friend, Ole Kröger, and I have been developing a native animation package in Julia called, Javis.jl. Through our development process, we have been able to build a nearly 70 person developer community, sponsor Google summer of code students, and help new Julia programmers create powerful visuals! We recently presented the tool at JuliaCon, and were able to show its use for educational outreach and beyond.

Our hope is that this open source tool can be used by programmers, educators, professionals and researchers from across the globe to convey their ideas in winsome and understandable ways!

Teleport Icon Teleport – Sponsored

Comparing SSH keys - RSA, DSA, ECDSA, or EdDSA?

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What’s worse than an unsafe private key? An unsafe public key.

The “secure” in secure shell comes from the combination of hashing, symmetric encryption, and asymmetric encryption. Together, SSH uses cryptographic primitives to safely connect clients and servers. In the 25 years since its founding, computing power and speeds in accordance with Moore’s Law have necessitated increasingly complicated low-level algorithms.

As of 2020, the most widely adopted asymmetric crypto algorithms in the PKI world are RSA, DSA, ECDSA, and EdDSA. So which one is best? Well, it depends.

Ivan Nikolić github.com

Node `timers/promises` for browser and server

Node recently introduced timers/promises API which provides functionality such as setTimeout and setInterval but using Promises. Developers usually achieved that functionality with various 3rd-party packages but now they have full STD support with additional features like native cancellation.

So, I thought it would be useful to have that same API available in browsers (even down to IE11) and older Node versions!

Backstage Backstage #17

Consuming podcasts like PB&J

Adam and Jerod sit down to answer a listener question (Hi, Alex! 👋) about how we podcast. Not how we create podcasts, but how we consume podcasts. Along the way we share an update on our comments feature, discuss the Apple Podcasts rollout debacle (and how it affected us launching Ship It!), and give a few personal recommendations of podcasts we’re listening to.

LaunchDarkly Icon LaunchDarkly – Sponsored

An intro to trunk-based development

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Trunk-based development is a method of version control branch management that seeks to remove complexity and user error by eliminating long-lived software feature branches in favor of developers merging to a single branch called the “trunk.” Choosing an effective Git branching strategy is an under appreciated requirement for software managers. Ineffective branching strategies create friction within and between software teams. This friction slows down the speed of development and leads to human error. When people make mistakes reconciling code between different git branches, bugs surface as a result.

This post covers the benefits of trunk-based development (tbd) and strategies for implementing tbd with feature flags.

Get a demo of how LaunchDarkly can help your team ship

Tim Perry httptoolkit.tech

Safari isn't protecting the web, it's killing it

Tim Perry:

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about how “Safari is the new IE”

I don’t want to rehash the basics of that, but I have seen some interesting rebuttals, most commonly: Safari is actually protecting the web, by resisting adding unnecessary and experimental features that create security/privacy/bloat problems.

That is worth further discussion, because it’s widespread, and wrong.

Ship It! Ship It! #12

Grafana’s "Big Tent" idea

Gerhard talks to Tom Wilkie, VP of Product for Grafana Labs. They talk about Loki, Tempo, and how can Grafana Cloud offer such a generous free tier. The solution is in the Cortex architecture, which was used in Loki and in Tempo too. Yes, Tom is the Cortex co-author. We recommend that you listen to this episode in combination with episodes 3 and 11. That’s the best way to get a more complete picture of the topics that we discuss today.

Lastly, would you like to watch Gerhard & Tom pair-up and build Grafana dashboards like pros? Tom has this really interesting approach that Gerhard would like to learn too. We can either have a live YouTube stream, or record and then publish the video. Let us know your preference via our Changelog Slack, or just plain Twitter.

Ahmed github.com

Deploy databases and services easily for dev and testing pipelines

Peanut provides a REST API, Admin Dashboard and a command line tool to deploy and configure the commonly used services like databases, message brokers, graphing, tracing, caching tools … etc. It perfectly suited for development, manual testing, automated testing pipelines where mocking is not possible and test drives.

Under the hood, it works with the containerization runtime like docker to deploy and configure the service. Destroy the service if it is a temporary one.

Technically you can achieve the same with a bunch of yaml files or using a configuration management tool or a package manager like helm but peanut is pretty small and fun to use & should speed up your workflow!

Deploy databases and services easily for dev and testing pipelines

Databases 1729.com

The billion user table

Jon Stokes believes blockchain tech has the opportunity to take us from a world where individual corporations build their siloed users tables to a world where the entire Internet shares a single users table.

In place of a decentralized network of user data silos connected by APIs, there’s a single decentralized user data store accessible via an open protocol and a decentralized network of storage nodes. So the identity-hosting blockchain represents decentralization at the datastore implementation layer, and recentralization at the datastore access layer.

What would this produce? Jon envisions this:

Moving identity on-chain, and thereby removing the possibility of users-table-centric network effects, completely up-ends the entire landscape of API-based, access-controlled interoperability that the present Internet is built on. All of the non-technical market and political dynamics around users table size, leverage, and risk suddenly go out the window.

Kubernetes stackoverflow.blog

Why you should build on Kubernetes from day one

To k8s or not to k8s, that is the question on lots of people’s minds these days. In this post on Stack Overflow’s blog, Max Horstmann argues it’s worth doing… and worth doing right away.

If you’re building a new app today, it might be worth taking a closer look at making it cloud-native and using Kubernetes from the jump. The effort to set up Kubernetes is less than you think. Certainly, it’s less than the effort it would take to refactor your app later on to support containerization.

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