NPM changes downloads-stats API and informs the world 38 hours later

There are two parts to this post. The first is about what happened, chronologically and the second part is about why I was so disappointed with this.

Note: All the times in this post which are not annotated are India Standard Time = GMT + 5.5

What happened?

  • Around 10 AM on 29th August, 2017, I was proof reading my resume and clicked on one of the npm-stat.com links that I have there. I reached that page and realised that the number shown there was drastically low compared to the number that I already knew was the real one.

    I was surprised. The first thing that came to mind was that NPM had deleted the old data... Read More

Music Update - August 2017

Ah, so now, I can finally get to it! (I have been wanting to write this article since August 31, but something kept getting in the way. Also, writing it is sort of a hassle because I have to get the screenshots etc. So, maybe I was putting it away.) On with it!

Quickly: There’s a recommendations section at the end. It has 3 songs I think you should listen to. If you are not interested in my droning on and on about lyrics and throwbacks and percieved similarities, press END on your keyboard and check those three songs out!

This month was about two TV shows: the Atypical Season 1 soundtrack and a couple of songs that come... Read More

A response to The Coming Software Apocalypse (an article on The Atlantic)

This is a response to The Coming Software Apocalypse, an article on The Atlantic published on 26th September, 2017.

The approach that the article suggests for programming is Model-based design. I would like to cover some of my own past experiences with bugs that existed in the code I wrote and how the lack of confidence in the foolproof-ness of a piece of software leads to hours spent in thorough (not exhaustive) testing.


1. undefined leads to 15,000 emails

During the past summer at Elanic, there was a typical problem in the ExpressJS based backend that powered the primary REST API that runs the Elanic mobile applications. There were three ways for a user... Read More

Samsung SM-B313E/D - Flashing software and getting out of a fix

It all started with this tweet:

That’s a Samsung SM-B313E/D. I forgot the password and it was actually really disturbing because I couldn’t depend on myself to remember the several other passwords when I forgot a 4-digit password for an old phone.

That aside, I needed a way to fix this. There are several tutorials to do this on the Internet. A selection:

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 2

Tutorial 3

Tutorial 4

There was something... Read More

Primer (2004) - A somewhat better summary with a sequence of events

Spoilers, don’t read if you haven’t watched the movie

Since my first post about Primer, I have watched the movie a few times. I have read some of the recent (and even old) threads on r/primer. I think I understand everything a bit better now.

The First Revision from Abe’s perspective

Trying to draw a complete timeline from the beginning is not that useful, but turns out to be the easiest way to understand the details of the movie:

  • Sunday late night: Abe1 turns on the failsafe box with a few hourse delay and then goes to sleep.

  • Monday 8:30 am: Abe1 turns the box on, proceeds to the hotel and stays... Read More

Primer (2004) - Watch 1, impressions and questions

poster

Well. This movie is one hell of a mind-bender.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

This is a great movie that you don’t want spoiled. Watch it yourself and you will have a GREAT experience trying to figure everything out. (Not that I am there yet, but I have a feeling it will be great!)

Of course, I didn’t understand everything. I sort-of have a sketch of what really happened, but I am not sure on the details, and the last 15 minutes of the movie totally went over my head. For this watch, I am just going to list the things that I could make out. This definitely simplifies the plot, but the specifics are... Read More

Auxilliary material for TLS 1.2 - TLS Parameters - Registries

Part of the TLS explanation series: Auxilliary material

After understanding the TLS handshake, there are still many moving parts that have still not been satisfactorily explained. Perhaps the most important in those is the assignment of the byte values for each of the cipher suites, handshake message numbers, etc to the different things that have predefined lists.

These are defined in the TLS Parameters document, maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). If you didn’t already know, the IANA is also responsible for allocating Autonomous Systems on the Internet backbone which is used for routing packets around the network. They are the ones who have cordoned off 10.0.0.0/8 and some other IPs for LAN usage.

Anyway, this... Read More

Understanding and Explaining the TLS Handshake

Yesterday, I open sourced tls-handshake, a web page that tries to provide an over view of the TLS 1.2 handshake at an abstraction level that is appropriate for students who have taken basic cryptography courses either at the college or school level. It has been one hell of a ride!

The idea came from my lack of understanding of the TLS 1.2 handshake, I really had very less of a clue about what was going on. I often checked certificates, especially on banking and merchant websites where I was entering sensitive credentials. This had become more of a habit. But I was only checking the trust chain of certificates, and the fingerprint and if the browser was giving me... Read More

Music update - July 2017

The past month has been pretty good in terms of the amount of new music that I have heard (although the albums are pretty old themselves)

The Suburbs - Arcade Fire - 2010

cover

This album won the Grammy Album of the Year award in 2010. Before this, I had heard only the second track, Ready to Start. That I absolutely loved, but after listening to the whole album, I am thoroughly spoiled now and I don’t know what to pick.

We Used to Wait, Sprawl I, Sprawl II: I am not inseparable from these three now. The two Sprawls tie seamlessly into each other. And We Used to Wait is such a strong throw-back... Read More

The Siege of Trencher's Farm vs. Straw Dogs (2011) - How loose an adaptation is it?

I just completed The Seige of Trencher’s Farm by Gordon Williams. I also just completed watching 2011 remake of the loose adaptation Straw Dogs (2011).

Fair Warning: HUGE Spoilers ahead.

The adaptation is pretty loose, the whole sexual angle that Kate Bosworth brings into the movie is completely non-existent in the book. There’s also a child in the book, and Louise herself (George’s wife) doesn’t seem to have lived in Trencher’s when she was a kid. She’s from England but not exactly from the place that they have come to stay at for a year.

So, in the book, George, Louise and Karen (8) come to stay at Trencher’s Farm for a year.

Same in the movie, only... Read More