The Pond

Today's top links for software engineers
Apple and Google pick top apps bypassing ChatGPTApple and Google have announced their top apps of the year, with AllTrails and Imprint winning over ChatGPT. Sarah Perez reports on the selections that highlight trends in app preferences.22 minutes ago
Q-TransformerYevgen Chebotar and colleagues introduce Q-Transformer, an offline RL method that excels in robotic tasks by utilizing Transformers and discretization for Q-learning. It leverages large datasets, including human demos and failed attempts, to outperform existing algorithms.12 minutes ago
OpenZFS Continues Struggle With Data Corruption IssueOpenZFS is facing a persistent data corruption issue, with a yet-to-be-released fix expected to impact performance. Stay tuned for upcoming benchmarks to gauge the effect.2 hours ago
Kolibri OS fits on a floppy disk programmed using interruptsKolibriOS is a compact operating system with a tiny footprint, needing just a few MBs of disk space and 8MB of RAM. It includes a range of applications and games, boots quickly, and operates at high speed due to its assembly-written kernel and drivers. It's open-source with a GPLv2 license.2 hours ago
Can Generalist Foundation Models Outcompete Special-Purpose Tuning Medicine Case StudyHarsha Nori et al. present how GPT-4's prompt engineering can outperform specialist models in medical benchmarks without domain-specific training, raising questions on the necessity of special-purpose tuning.2 hours ago
Ripgrep surpasses other search tools in speed and functionalityAndrew Gallant introduces ripgrep, a command line search tool that outperforms other tools like grep, ag, and Git grep in speed and correctness, with comprehensive Unicode support and a plethora of features for searching code. Learn why it might become your go-to for command-line searches.3 hours ago
Linux Filesystem HierarchyBinh Nguyen's guide on the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy provides an explanation of directory structures and their purposes, in line with FSSTND v2.3. It's intended to help with system interoperability, efficient administration, and development practices.4 hours ago
BrickceptionBrickception introduces an innovative twist to the classic breakout game, integrating pop-up windows as part of the gameplay. Crafted by Preet Shihn, this game requires players to manage two pop-up windows simultaneously to win. The game code is shared on GitHub, inviting collaboration and exploration.5 hours ago
Repeater – A tool which repeats CLI commandsRepeater by baalimago is a CLI tool for executing a set of commands multiple times, offering progress tracking and error handling, potentially useful for benchmarks or automation tasks.5 hours ago
Losing Metaphors Zip and PasteJeff Kaufman discusses metaphors in programming, focusing on the 'zip' and 'paste' commands used in Python and Unix. While their names originally had metaphorical significance, contemporary meanings of those terms have evolved. Reflect on the origins and current usage of these programming metaphors.9 hours ago
Sam Altman on His OpenAI CEO RollercoasterSam Altman discusses his brief termination and subsequent reappointment as OpenAI's CEO, expressing his emotions and commitment to AI safety but not divulging the reason behind the board's initial decision. Await an independent board review for details.10 hours ago
Intuitive Guide to Merge SortNick M offers an intuitive and visual guide to understanding the merge sort algorithm, a fundamental concept in computer science.9 hours ago
Herbie Find and Fix Floating-Point Accuracy ProblemsHerbie is a tool that automatically improves the accuracy of floating-point expressions. With Herbie, you can identify and replace inaccurate computations with more precise versions, enhancing both the speed and correctness of your numerical software.11 hours ago
Many Tamagotchis Were Harmed in the Making of This PresentationNatalie Silvanovich discusses her exploration into hacking Tamagotchis, from the IR interface to hardware - a journey into reverse engineering a device with stark limitations.12 hours ago
Thunderbird for Android / K-9 Mail October Progress ReportThe latest progress report on Thunderbird for Android and K-9 Mail highlights key developments such as the adoption of Kotlin. Updates on community involvement, particularly the contributions of translators, are also acknowledged. Stay informed on the advancements shaping your email experience on Android.16 hours ago
pgxman - npm for Postgres extensionsIntroducing pgxman, a command-line tool to streamline the discovery, installation, and updating of PostgreSQL extensions, emulating npm's ease of use.15 hours ago
Exploring Self-Hosted Email ServicesExamine an engineer's journey to build and deploy a self-hosted email service that integrates with major providers sans spam issues, leveraging open-source tools like Ansible and BorgBackup.16 hours ago
Oasis – A Repository of Project IdeasOasis is a new platform created by Cornell students for sharing and discovering project ideas across various domains, offering an open, evolving pool of concepts for individuals eager to execute or contribute to these ideas. It promotes collaboration and intellectual engagement, aiming to launch in January 2024.17 hours ago
Llamafile simplifies LLM distribution and executionStreamline AI development with Llamafile by Mozilla-Ocho, a framework that enables single-file distribution and execution of LLMs across various CPU architectures and operating systems.17 hours ago
Apple M1 Pro Outperforms M3 Pro in DAW PerformanceDiscover how Apple's M1 Pro surpasses the M3 Pro in music production software performance, such as Ableton, Logic, and Pro Tools. Uncover the details in this performance showdown that may alter your view on the latest Mac processors.17 hours ago
Write Shaders for the Vegas Sphere SimulationLearn how to create visually stunning shaders for a sphere simulation set in a Vegas-themed environment, using GLSL and the Three.js library. Incorporate time-based dynamic effects and various lighting models for a captivating 3D experience.18 hours ago
How to tackle unreliability of coding assistantsBirgitta Böckeler discusses the evolving role of Large Language Models in coding assistance, exploring their impact on software delivery practices.18 hours ago
Visualizing Pokémon Red and Blue ConnectionsPeter Hajas demonstrates using Graphviz to visualize the connections between towns and routes in Pokémon Red and Blue by parsing game data with grep and awk.19 hours ago
Extracting Training Data from ChatGPTResearchers from Google DeepMind and academia unveil an attack permitting the extraction of training data from ChatGPT for a marginal cost, challenging the security of 'aligned' language models in production.20 hours ago
Understanding the Heap – A Beautiful MessGain insights into the complex landscape of the Heap with jackfromeast's guide on ptmalloc, focusing on system calls, memory allocation methods, and the intricate data structures that govern the dynamic memory allocator in Glibc 2.31.20 hours ago
Graph Networks for Materials ExplorationGoogle DeepMind's GNoME AI discovers 2.2 million new crystals, promising to revolutionize technology with materials like superior superconductors and better batteries. Check out how Amil Merchant and Ekin Dogus Cubuk harness AI to fast-track materials science.20 hours ago
Jaq A jq clone focused on correctness, speed, and simplicityExplore 'jaq', a 'jq' clone by 01mf02 optimized for correctness, speed, and simplicity in processing JSON data. 'jaq' boasts rapid start-up times, straightforward installation, and compatibility with existing 'jq' syntax and operations. It addresses 'jq' quirks, such as handling of NaN comparisons and crashes, promising a more predictable tool for JSON manipulation.20 hours ago
NPMprune: Optimize Storage by Cleaning Node ModulesOptimize storage and speed up deployments by using npmprune, a lightweight script by xthezealot that cleans up node_modules. It features a production mode for more aggressive cleanup, ideal for Docker containers and compatible with Linux and macOS.20 hours ago
Resume Matcher – An open source tool to improve your resumeEnhance your resume with Resume Matcher by srbhr, an open-source tool that uses AI to align your resume with job descriptions. It provides ATS-friendly suggestions, extracts relevant keywords, and gauges vector similarity for better job matching.21 hours ago
Error return traces for Go, inspired by ZigDiscover errtrace, an experimental Go package by bracesdev designed to trace an error's return path, providing an insightful alternative to traditional stack traces and addressing divergences in error paths in Go programs. It includes features for both manual and automatic instrumentation, with the ability to opt out where necessary.a day ago
Roundcube Webmail Software Merges With NextcloudRoundcube, the open-source webmail software, has merged with Nextcloud to enhance webmail capabilities and accelerate development. While no immediate changes are planned for either user base, improved integration is on the horizon. Learn more about the implications of this consolidation for the future of web-based email.a day ago