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Sunday, January 31st, 2021

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Running Pi-Hole as a recursive DNS server (youtube.com)


I came across this on YouTube last night. I run Pi-Hole on a Raspberry Pi 3b in our house, but up to now I've solely done it as a filter for ads. However when I learned I can increase it to be more of a complete local DNS server I knew I had to give it a try.

1/31/2021 10:57 am | |
Tags: raspberry pi, ad, ad blocking, dns

Toledo Javascript Chess Game (nanochess.org)

A reddit post shared a user's old chess computer, and I wondered if any nerds had emulated some of the old chess systems to play. I am not a grandmaster, but I'd love to play against them and see how I'd do. In googling, I came across this tiny Javascript chess engine. The total script is 2.1 kilobytes which is stunning. The javascript which runs the backend of Glowbug is many times that size, and looking at the Toledo sourcecode, it is incredibly dense.

It's so dense in fact, the creator has released a book that dives into his code and explains every single detail. I haven't purchased the book, but it's existence is case enough to be impressed.

I played two games against the computer and was very impressed. I won one and managed to draw the other.

1/31/2021 11:06 am | |
Tags: programming, chess, javascript

New Whale Species Identified In Gulf Of Mexico (npr.org)

Came across this headline last night. I always am amazed when we find a new species of a mammal. Granted it seems this one is a close relative of another species, so it's possible we've seen it before and never realized it was different, but still. Now, hopefully we can save it from extinction.

1/31/2021 11:08 am | |
Tags: biology, nature, whales

Yesterday was Fred Korematsu Day (npr.org)

Internment camps are among the worst things in America's history. And it is wrong that in learning about it in school, I don't recall learning about Korematsu. It wasn't until I was out of college that I heard his name, and so it is all the more important to ensure others learn of him as well.

"Korematsu challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, the decree that forced the relocation of people of Japanese descent to internment camps. The court ruled in favor of the government and against Korematsu in what is now widely considered one of its worst decisions. The majority of justices claimed the detentions were not based on racial discrimination but rather on suspicions that Japanese-Americans were acting as spies."

I wonder if there is a book for parents that focuses on arming them with the darker lessons in history that schooling often overlooks. Seems like it would be a good resource for raising a socially and historically aware child.

1/31/2021 11:18 am | |
Tags: us history, internment camps, world war 2, supreme court

Alan Turing's chess computer (history.com)

I think I came across this article while looking for the previously posted old computer engines. This is a nice little article discussing Turing's chess engine. Notably he acted as the computer with it, there was no computer able to originally run it. So he had to do the math by hand and would take around 30 minutes to calculate a move.

Sadly the "code" for it has been lost. In the 2000s, Chessbase (then a giant in chess computing) built a chess engine based on the Turing engine. But it was overall underwhelming, and later removed (though I can find no reason why.)

Here is an excellent companion article, which covers more of the methodology that went into Chessbase's Turing engine.

It's still interesting to read about. I became aware of Turing's chess love when I was reading the biography of Claude Shannon, who was a contemporary of Turing and the two bonded over chess (and, of course, their national roles in WW2.)

1/31/2021 11:29 am | |
Tags: programming, computer, chess

Baba Yaga lego idea post (ideas.lego.com)

Came across this on twitter and wow! I love it.

1/31/2021 11:35 am | |
Tags: legos, folk tales

This morning's Glowbug coding is a long overdue feature: admin searching. This is for my use, I haven't yet decided how to give visitors search capabilities. I'm tempted to offload that to google, but that would be a stopgap solution. Eventually I'd want to give actual search I think.

But for now, I can now do searching based on titles, urls, and the body text. I haven't yet done searching based on the tags. That will be slightly more complicated. I might tackle it later today, we'll see.

1/31/2021 12:42 pm | |
Tags: glowbug, programming

Impressive AF (twitter.com)


Tonight's writing music (youtube.com)


1/31/2021 11:16 pm | |
Tags: music

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