Category Archives: Uncategorized

VS Code Text Buffer Reimplementation

The VS Code team has a really good article around their Text Buffer Reimplementation in the latest version. There is a lot of good information around performance and the implications of certain design patters revolving around file size.

Piece Tree Performance
Piece tree performance with a large file and multiple edits.

The part that is very interesting is how the piece tree seemed to be the clear cut winner. It wasn’t until they tested a large file with a large amount of edits, that it stumbled more than the array. Articles like this fascinate me when Javascript is pushed to its limits.

VS Code Blog: VS Code Text Buffer Reimplementation

Finally Apple has cleaned up the App Store

Finally; finally; Apple has removed broken and outdated apps from the App Store. I always hated when you go looking for an app, find one that sounds perfect, and then you find out it hasn’t been updated in two years. Or you find an app that sounds super promising, but it has some bad reviews. And they you realize the developer hasn’t done anything since iOS 5. Hopefully this will make much easier to find apps and reward developers that are keep their applications up to date.

Thanks to AppleInsder:

Hard Drive Confiscated, Data Used 2 years Later

ArsTechnica brings us an article that will make anyone who enjoys freedom sick to your stomach. A person who was subject to an investigation had their computer and hard drive confiscated. At that time the government made a copy of said drive, obviously for evidence in the first case/investigation. They then used that copy two years later to build a separate case against them and that drive provided the damming evidence.

Hard Drive
All your data belongs to us

Now I get it, you may be saying well this person is a prior bad actor. They are a criminal and do not have the rights of us that aren’t. But this shouldn’t matter. This is akin to the government at one time getting a search warrant for your house, to investigate one case, but retaining a key and the right to come back later and have a look around for “other violations.”

Add further the fact that if you say, are crossing an international border, the government can search and seize your device. At that time they could make a clone of said drive and keep and mine the data for either a crime. What about if they keep the data and then try to argue you committed a crime prior to it becoming a crime?

I don’t seem to understand that as we citizens have made the governments job easier going all digital, they seem to need to change the rules that existed for paper and hard evidence. Just because it is now easier to store data/evidence doesn’t mean we should.

And what is the solution now? Do you encrypt and silo all of your data? Sure, there are those that will say if you are doing nothing wrong, what do you have to hide. But in a free society I shouldn’t have to concern myself with these things. Sadly with the way that warrants are handed out nowadays you may be involved in a case that you had no clue was coming. The rest of your data should not and never be used against you.


Thermaltake Tower Project Case

Thermaltake The Tower Project Computer Case
The Tower Project

Thermaltake unveiled a new high end computer case at Computex 2016 called the The Tower Project.  I have to admit at first look I really like it. There is almost this look of it being an aquarium for computer parts, which makes even more sense with liquid cooling.  Granted the downside is the case looks like it would take up a ton of desk real estate which goes against my newer trend of minimalism. Then again, the entire idea is it to be a show piece of your office.

More info here:

iPhone 6S Plus First Look

iPhone 6S Plus
iPhone 6S Plus

Make no mistake, it is big and a bit unwieldy. Surprisingly though, it is not so big that you can put it in your pants front pocket (I’m not one of these back pocket people). Coming from a iPhone 5S, it feels massive, almost like I have a iPad mini in my pocket. In my right hand it feels just fine, but does feel a tad big for my left hand. I don’t use a case on any of my phones and I’ve noticed with the rounded edges of this generation of iPhone, I feel like it can more easily be dropped. There isn’t that sharp edge to dig into your fingers to give you some grip.

The Good:

  • The screen size. It feels just so much more useful. The landscape format of some of the apps like Safari and Mail make it almost so that you don’t need something bigger on short trips.
  • It is so much faster. The performance makes my iPad Air feel slow and lethargic. This phone is one that can definitely be used as a mini tablet replacement if need be. Paired with a keyboard and some sort of display adapter could easily make it a very lightweight computer.
  • So far battery life is amazing. I can go a full 2 days without a charge and still have battery left over when I plug in at night.

The Bad:

  • The size. There is a bit of remorse when I opened the box. The previous iPhone 5S screen size was almost invisible in your pocket. The Plus, well you know it is there.
  • The rounded edges make it a tad bit slippery. Much more so than previous versions of the phone.

The life of a long haul trucker

American over the road truck

This interesting article by esquire takes a look at a Canadian trucker who makes his living riding the roads of the U.S. And Canada. Always an interesting view of life on the road.

In an interesting twist he bashes the commercial driving regulations of the states, since he has to rake more breaks and be on the road less. It definitely goes against the usual narrative that the U.S. Is beholden to corporate interests and overworking people versus our neighbor to the north.

The fuel issue is one of economics I don’t think he gets as well. In the U.S. There is no reason for us to include additives, that are probably bad for the environment, in our fuel in that it never gets to negative 40 here ( in most areas). I would surely never buy warm weather fuel if I was heading to the frozen north. Sounds like certain death to me. The grueling life of a long haul trucker

Microsoft keeping quiet on Windows 10 patch contents

Since I’ve upgraded my work laptop to Windows 10, Microsoft has released a few cumulative patches that have addressed not only security updates, but addressing bugs that surfaced since release day. Having done the upgrade that Saturday of the release week, these cumulative updates have done a good job of cleaning up bugs in the OS.

Windows 10 Logo

Peter Bright at ArsTechnica has a quick write up detailing the fact that Microsoft has been quiet regarding the contents of these updates. I’ve noticed as well that these large updates change a lot of files and don’t detail what other fixes are included. This is definitely frustrating when you have a bug in the OS that you hope is being fixed. I don’t think anyone is expecting a explicitly granular release note list. Some sort of indication would be nice that an issue is fixed, whether the list or a closed issue in the feedback app.

As an aside, if you are using Windows 10 and having issues the feedback application in the OS is invaluable. You can report new bugs and issues or up-vote existing ones that pertain to your issue. Just hit the start menu and type in ‘feedback.’ This will give you a link to a Trusted Store App that will allow you to enter issues.

Ars Technica Link: Microsoft has no plans to tell us what’s in Windows patches

Tiger Direct Founders Guilty of Fraud

As a young kid and tech junkie in the late 90’s, I remember getting the original Tiger Direct catalogs. All of the products had articles written around them like a J. Peterman catalog. As the Internet took over, the catalogs disappeared and small blurbs on websites optimized for search engines took over.

It was the first piece of software I ever purchased, a utility that made Windows 3.1 able to use long file names like its newest cousin, Windows 95. I gave my mom the money to put it on her credit card and order it for me. Two weeks later it arrived and worked like a charm. Minus the slight fact that it was not compatible with the way Windows 95 and all othe subsequent operating systems handled long file names.

It was a quick trip down memory lane when I saw this article describing the guilty pleas of the two Fiorentino brothers who founded tiger direct. Apparently using your company like your personal bank account, getting kickbacks from suppliers, and over charging your own company is not the best way, and legal way, to run a business. I hope the fancy cars and big houses were worth the fun for a bit. Glad I could contribute to the fun!

Fox Business: Systemax brothers guilty of fraud

Ghosts of North Wilkesboro – Jeremy Markovich

A great piece about the track that started it all for Nascar, North Wilkesboro Speedway. It is a sad story about a place that history has left behind. A fan favorite, not a car owners favorite, it is one of the places like Rockingham that was lost in the mix to expand Nascar to places that could care less like California and cookie cutter super speedways.

Many wonder why Nascar’s popularity is waning and I think it has to do with long races at tracks that are eerily similar to each other. These tracks make it so that it literally is cars going in circles for a few hours. It is why Bristol is such a popular track and people love to watch the Mud-summer Classic at Eldora. Track owners at these speedways will still never give up the dates even as they demolish half of the stands and luxury boxes at all their tracks. Maybe one day Nascar will help to revive and return some of these tracks like North Wilkesboro to their glory, but I figure it will be a cold day before that happens.

In the end though it is up to Bruton Smith and SMI to either sell the property for a reasonable cost or gasp, fix it up themselves. Granted with the waning ticket revenues in the sport recently I doubt he has the cash or want to do either for a track that will not host a Sprint Cup level race.

Ghosts of North Wilkesboro – Jeremy Markovich