My Profile Photo

Sheogorath's Blog


Depending on the time of the day a friend, a colleague, a wise guy. The beauty of the world is its sense of humor to show humans their way by letting them search their own.


  1. USB-A and B

    Today I learned that the original USB-A and USB-B connectors had this fundamentally different design to prevent people from using them to plug computer together and causing short circuits, as the ports back then weren’t able to detect whether there as a peripheral device or another host on the other end. Therefore the incompatible A and B connectors were introduced. And even while the short circuit problem was solved down the line, until USB-C for larger connectors there was no USB socket, that could do both, acting as host and as peripheral device. While this was already possible for mini-USB connectors, since the first version of the Mini-AB connector. …


  2. The form of deadly crossroads

    Today I learned that the shape of crossings might cause deadly incidents even when the landscape is flat, easy to overview and the doesn’t appear to be any traffic. An angled cross-road, means less than a 90 degree angle, can result in biker on the main road becoming invisible to car drivers while they slow down to approach the crossing, as the cyclists end up behind pillar that keeps the car’s roof up, preventing it from resting on your head. In worst case scenarios, this configuration also prevents the cyclist from noting the vehicle before it’s to late, because it approaches from an angle behind the cyclist. …


  3. wtf - please explain

    Today I learned that Fedora contains a package called bsd-games, which provides a binary called wtf. wtf is a tool to “lookup the meaning of one or more term[s]”. It can help to decipher acronyms that you encounter in your daily (online) life. Some examples would be: wtf wtf, wtf iirc or wtf ianal. …


  4. Zapfensteiger are needed

    Today I learned that the job of “Zapfensteiger” is silently dying while the need for it increases. A “Zapfensteiger” is a person that climbs up coniferous trees to harvest cones to dry them and get all the seeds out of them. Given that our forests are either dying by themselves or are actively destroyed by humans depending on where on earth you’re living, those jobs are needed to reforest our landscapes and keeping a healthy ecosystem alive. So if you enjoy climbing and want to help saving the environment, this is a good way on helping. It’s not a full-time job. But there are a few busy weeks. Your local forestry should be able to tell you where to start. …


  5. Wildcards in DNS are evil

    Today I learned that by using wildcard DNS entries you’ll most likely shoot yourself into the foot. The reason for that is, that there is at least one upcoming RFC out there, that tells you explicitly that “Sites which do not use the advanced method but employ wildcard DNS for their sub-domains MUST make sure that the ‘openpgpkey’ sub-domain is not subject to the wildcarding.”. This means that if you aren’t aware of all RFCs out there, you most likely violated on of them by simply using a wildcard DNS entry. …


  6. Arnold Palmer

    Today I learned that drinks made of a mixture of lemonade and iced tea is sometimes referred to as “Arnold Palmer”. According to Wikipedia the name refers to the golfer “Arnold Palmer” who was known to order such combinations more regular. Later on it was obviously made into a brand and is now licensed and sold by various companies. …


  7. In TypeScript "Numbers" don't add up

    Today I learned that “Numbers” in TypeScript don’t allow the usage of the + operator to add them to each other. Instead it shows the wonderful compiler error TS2365: Operator '+' cannot be applied to types 'Number' and 'Number'.. This is explained to be intended behaviour to prevent object overrides to mess up the way those primitive operations work. To fix the problem you simply have to use the native types number, notice the lower case n at the beginning. …


  8. Sunscreen kills coral reefs

    Today I learned that sunscreen might kills coral reefs due to chemicals contained in it. A study by Samantha L. Schneider and Henry W. Lim talks about how chemicals that are part various sunscreens1 might contribute to coral reef bleaching. Making tourists that travel into those regions unaware of it, a contributing factor to the destruction of those important ecosystems. Note: There are so called mineral sunscreens which shouldn’t have this problem. ↩ …


  9. Renovatebot and the regex manager

    Today I learned about the Renovatebot provides a “regex manager”. Managers are a concept in Renovatebot that figure out which files the bot can read, what version schema should be applied and how to find the right line to modify in order to update a dependency. As the name indicates, the regex manager uses a regex string to match the content and update the version number. This allows to setup update mechanism for any custom file definition. …


  10. Hand crafted memory on Saturn V

    Today I learned that hand-crafted memory for computers exist and were a thing during the US space program. This early form of RAM, also known as “magnetic core memory” is made an incredible amount of thin wires that are woven together and using super tiny magnetic “cores” or rings, that have a directional magnetic field going one way or the other. And an electronic current that pulses through this memory, allows to reverse the direction of the magnetic field and this way change a bit from 0 to 1. One of the memory units in the Saturn V had 114688 bits (14 Kibibytes) on it, and the entire navigation system was running 6 of them in total, but in 2 computers doing the same calculations, means the entire programming of the navigation system had to fit it into 42 Kibibytes. The more interesting part is, that each of them was hand made and each of those 6793008 bits were placed onto those woven structures by a person with an incredible amount of patience and skill. …