Web Excursions 2021-04-22

🌟 [Post of The Day] Do Brain Implants Change Your Identity? | The New Yorker

  • When the device and Leggett began to work together, a new person emerged—a de-novo identity, a symbiosis of machine and mind.

  • When you build your identity in one context, he told me, losing your ability to be useful in that context ruptures your identity.

  • in 2006, a French team published a study about the unexpected consequences of otherwise successful implantations.

    • Two years after a brain implant, sixty-five per cent of patients had a breakdown in their marriages or relationships, and sixty-four per cent wanted to leave their careers.

    • Their intellect and their levels of anxiety and depression were the same as before, or, in the case of anxiety, had even improved, but they seemed to experience a fundamental estrangement from themselves.

  • Many people reported that the person they were after treatment was entirely different from the one they’d been when they had only dreamed of relief from their symptoms.

The Initial Preview of GUI app support is now available for the Windows Subsystem for Linux | Windows Command Line

Some key scenarios:

  • Use your IDE of choice to develop Linux projects

    • running gedit and gvim to edit Linux files directly

  • Run Linux only applications, or Linux specific use cases like testing

    • running TestCafe Studio in WSL to do some web testing from a Microsoft Edge browser running in Linux

  • Build, test and use Linux applications that use audio or the microphone with built in audio support

    • using Audacity running on Linux to record some audio and play it back.

  • Bonus: Leverage WSL’s GPU access to run Linux applications with 3D acceleration

    • Gazebo application simulating a robot exploring a virtual cave, as well as the Rviz application visualizing the camera feed of the robot and its laser field sensor’s output.

    • Thanks to GPU accelerated 3D graphics we can run this demo at 60 FPS

How does this feature work?

  • we didn’t need to start an X server manually. automatically starting a companion system distro, containing a Wayland, X server, pulse audio server, and everything else needed to make Linux GUI apps communicate with Windows.

    • the system distro will automatically end its session as well.

  • fully managed and seamless for usersusing Microsoft’s CBL-Mariner distribution for this system distro

    • an internal Linux distribution used traditionally for Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and edge products and services

  • Windows 10 Insiders preview build 21364 or higherfull install instructions at the GitHub repositories’ README: https://github.com/microsoft/wslg

Notion's page load and navigation times just got faster

  • We split large bundles of code in our JavaScript application, allowing core pieces of the application to load first, then deferring non-critical pieces for later (this is called code splitting).

  • We also improved our general caching infrastructure on both the client and server, which means that we can retrieve page content much more efficiently.

  • We decided to migrate our desktop apps to SQLite

    • because it's a hardened storage solution

    • that's shown marked performance improvements on our mobile applications for the past year.

  • Before SQLite, we relied on IndexedDB for client-side storage.

    • But we encountered storage quotas, a number of bugs, and performance concerns on Windows machines in particular,

    • which meant IndexedDB wouldn’t scale with Notion’s growing user base.

  • Now, using SQLite as our storage layer enables us to circumvent the browser’s storage altogether

    • — avoiding storage limits, nuanced differences between operating systems, etc.

    • — setting a solid foundation for future growth.

Cunningham's Law

Cunningham's Law states "the best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question; it's to post the wrong answer."

The concept is named after Ward Cunningham, father of the wiki. According to Steven McGeady, the law's author, Wikipedia may be the most well-known demonstration of this law.

Cunningham's Law can be considered the Internet equivalent of the French saying "prêcher le faux pour savoir le vrai" (preach the falsehood to know the truth). Sherlock Holmes has been known to use the principle at times (for example, in The Sign of the Four. In "Duty Calls," xkcd references a similar concept.