• A small notebook for a system administrator

      I am a system administrator, and I need a small, lightweight notebook for every day carrying. Of course, not just to carry it, but for use it to work.

      I already have a ThinkPad x200, but it’s heavier than I would like. And among the lightweight notebooks, I did not find anything suitable. All of them imitate the MacBook Air: thin, shiny, glamorous, and they all critically lack ports. Such notebook is suitable for posting photos on Instagram, but not for work. At least not for mine.

      After not finding anything suitable, I thought about how a notebook would turn out if it were developed not with design, but the needs of real users in mind. System administrators, for example. Or people serving telecommunications equipment in hard-to-reach places — on roofs, masts, in the woods, literally in the middle of nowhere.

      The results of my thoughts are presented in this article.

      Figure to attract attention
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    • Flightradar24 — how does it work?

        I’m going to hazard a guess and say that everyone whose friends or family have ever flown on a plane, have used Flightradar24 — a free and convenient service for tracking flights in real time.



        But, if my friends are any indication, very few people know that the service is community-driven and is supported by a group of enthusiasts gathering and sending data. Even fewer people know that anyone can join the project — including you.

        Let’s see how Flightradar and similar other services works.
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      • How Protonmail is getting censored by FSB in Russia

        • Translation

        A completely routine tech support ticket has uncovered unexpected bans of IP addresses of Protonmail — a very useful service for people valuing their Internet freedoms — in several regions of Russia. I seriously didn’t want to sensationalize the headline, but the story is so strange and inexplicable I couldn’t resist.


        TL;DR


        Disclaimer: the situation is still developing. There might not be anything malicious, but most likely there is. I will update the post once new information comes through.


        MTS and Rostelecom — two of the biggest Russian ISPs — started to block traffic to SMTP servers of the encrypted email service Protonmail according to an FSB request, with no regard for the official government registry of restricted websites. It seems like it’s been happening for a while, but no one paid special attention to it. Until now.


        All involved parties have received relevant requests for information which they’re obligated to reply.


        UPD: MTS has provided a scan of the FSB letter, which is the basis for restricting the access. Justification: the ongoing Universiade in Krasnoyarsk and “phone terrorism”. It’s supposed to prevent ProtonMail emails from going to emergency addresses of security services and schools.


        UPD: Protonmail was surprised by “these strange Russians” and their methods for battling fraud abuse, as well as suggested a more effective way to do it — via abuse mailbox.


        UPD: FSB’s justification doesn’t appear to be true: the bans broke ProtonMail’s incoming mail, rather than outgoing.


        UPD: Protonmail shrugged and changed the IP addresses of their MXs taking them out of the blocking after that particular FSB letter. What will happen next is open ended question.


        UPD: Apparently, such letter was not the only one and there is still a set of IP addresses of VOIP-services which are blocked without appropriate records in the official registry of restricted websites.

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      • PVS-Studio 7.00

          PVS-Studio C#\Java\C++Today is an important day — after 28 releases of the sixth version we present our PVS-Studio 7.00, in which the key innovation is the support of the Java language. However, during 2018 we have acquired many other important changes related to C++, C#, infrastructure and support of coding standards. Therefore, we bring to your attention a note that sums up the major changes that have happened in PVS-Studio for the last time.
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        • Naïve Math: the Mendocino motor and Earnshaw's theorem

          • Tutorial

          The problem statement


          I was surfing the Internet the other day and a rather curious thing caught my mind: the Mendocino motor. It’s an extremely low-friction bearing rotor: the original one had a glass cylinder hanging on two needles, but the modern ones use magnetic suspension. It’s a brushless engine: the rotor has solar batteries attached to it, which generate current for the coils wrapped around the rotor. The rotor spins in a fixed magnetic field, the solar batteries getting exposed to the light source one after the other. It’s a rather elegant solution that’s very possible to recreate at home.

          Here’s the video that explains how it works (in Russian):


          But this video had another curiosity even stronger than the engine itself. In the video description Dmitry Korzhevsky writes: “You CAN’T replace the side support with a magnet! Don’t ask me about this anymore!”
          I LOVE the 'impossible' word!
        • A bot for Starcraft in Rust, C or any other language

          • Translation

          StarCraft: Brood War. This game means so much to me! And to many of you, I guess. So much, that I wonder if I should even give a link to its page on Wikipedia or not.


          Once Halt sent me PM and offered to learn Rust. Like any ordinary people, we decided to start with hello world writing a dynamic library for Windows that could be loaded into StarCraft's address space and manage units.


          The following article will describe the process of finding solutions and using technologies and techniques that will allow you to learn new things about Rust and its ecosystem. You may also be inspired to implement a bot using your favorite language, whether it be C, C++, Ruby, Python, etc.

          Ready to roll out!
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        • Making Git for Windows work in ReactOS

            Good day to you! image


            My name is Stanislav and I like to write code. This is my first english article on Habr which I made due to several reasons:



            This article is an english version of my very first article on russian.


            Let me introduce the main figures in this story who actually fixed the bug preventing Git from running in ReactOS — the French developer Hermès Bélusca-Maïto (or just Hermes with hbelusca nickname) and of course me (with x86corez nickname).


            The story begins with the following messages from the ReactOS Development IRC channel:


            Jun 03 18:52:56 <hbelusca> Anybody want to work on some small problem? If so, can someone figure out why this problem https://jira.reactos.org/browse/CORE-12931 happens on ReactOS? :D
            Jun 03 18:53:13 <hbelusca> That would help having a good ROS self-hosting system with git support.
            Jun 03 18:53:34 <hbelusca> (the git assertion part only).
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          • Stack-based calculator on the Cyclone IV FPGA board

            Introduction


            As first-year students of Innopolis University, we had an opportunity to make our own project in computer architecture. University suggested us several projects and we have chosen to make a stack-based calculator with reverse polish notation. One of the requirements for the project is to use FPGA board provided by the university.



            As our board, we have chosen Cyclon IV. Therefore, we had to write code on hardware description language. In the course we have studied Verilog, so we have chosen it. Also, the university has additional modules for FPGA, such as numpad, thus we decided to use it in our project.

            In this article, we want to share our knowledge about FPGA and Verilog, also provide you with a tutorial to repeat our project.
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          • Ternary computing: basics

              Balanced ternary


              I am working on a computer architecture principles lectures for our university; and as an assignment I'd like to propose to my students to build a simple programmable machine working in ternary. The main reason is fun: as a lecturer I must bring a bit of entertainment, otherwise I won't be listened to. Besides, it is important for historic reasons. Any further «why?!» questions will be answered «Because I can».

              This page describes the very basics, it won't go beyond a simple ternary adder (and its hardware implementation). Stay tuned for more.

              I chose the balanced ternary system: every trit represents one of three possible states, -1, 0 or 1. A very extensive description of this system may be found here.


              Read more →
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            • Counting Bugs in Windows Calculator


                A few days ago, Microsoft made the source code of their Windows Calculator publicly available. Calculator is an application that has traditionally shipped with every Windows version. A number of Microsoft projects went open-source over the recent years, but this time the news was covered even by non-IT media on the very first day. Well, it's a popular yet tiny program in C++. Despite its size, we still managed to find a number of suspicious fragments in its code using the PVS-Studio static analyzer.
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              • System in Package, or What's Under Chip Package Cover?

                  Transistor feature size is decreasing despite constant rumors about the death of Moore’s law and the fact that industry is really close to physical limits of miniaturisation (or even went through them with some clever technology tricks). Moore’s law, however, created user’s appetite for innovation, which is hard to handle for the industry. That’s why modern microelectronic products aren’t just feature size scaled, but also employ a number of other features, often even more complicated than chip scaling.


                  Disclaimer: This article is a slightly updated translation of my own piece published on this very site here. If you're Russian-speaking, you may want to check the original. If you're English-speaking, it's worth noting that English is not my native language, so I'll be very grateful for the feedback if you find something weird in the text.
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                • Checking the Roslyn Source Code

                    PVS-Studio vs Roslyn

                    Once in a while we go back to the projects that we have previously checked using PVS-Studio, which results in their descriptions in various articles. Two reasons make these comebacks exciting for us. Firstly, the opportunity to assess the progress of our analyzer. Secondly, monitoring the feedback of the project's authors to our article and the report of errors, which we usually provide them with. Of course, errors can be corrected without our participation. However, it is always nice when our efforts help to make a project better. Roslyn was no exception. The previous article about this project check dates back to December 23, 2015. It's quite a long time, in the view of the progress that our analyzer has made since that time. Since the C# core of the PVS-Studio analyzer is based on Roslyn, it gives us additional interest in this project. As a result, we're as keen as mustard about the code quality of this project. Now let's test it once again and find out some new and interesting issues (but let's hope that nothing significant) that PVS-Studio will be able to find.
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                  • .NET Reference Types vs Value Types. Part 2


                      The Object base type and implementation of interfaces. Boxing


                      It seems we came through hell and high water and can nail any interview, even the one for .NET CLR team. However, let's not rush to microsoft.com and search for vacancies. Now, we need to understand how value types inherit an object if they contain neither a reference to SyncBlockIndex, not a pointer to a virtual methods table. This will completely explain our system of types and all pieces of a puzzle will find their places. However, we will need more than one sentence.


                      Now, let's remember again how value types are allocated in memory. They get the place in memory right where they are. Reference types get allocation on the heap of small and large objects. They always give a reference to the place on the heap where the object is. Each value type has such methods as ToString, Equals and GetHashCode. They are virtual and overridable, but don’t allow to inherit a value type by overriding methods. If value types used overridable methods, they would need a virtual methods table to route calls. This would lead to the problems of passing structures to unmanaged world: extra fields would go there. As a result, there are descriptions of value type methods somewhere, but you cannot access them directly via a virtual methods table.


                      This may bring the idea that the lack of inheritance is artificial


                      This chapter was translated from Russian jointly by author and by professional translators. You can help us with translation from Russian or English into any other language, primarily into Chinese or German.

                      Also, if you want thank us, the best way you can do that is to give us a star on github or to fork repository github/sidristij/dotnetbook.
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                    • I ruin developers’ lives with my code reviews and I'm sorry

                      • Translation


                      Once upon a time there was a guy on my team so weak that he was going to be fired (a developer! Fired!). Every comment of mine was another nail in his coffin. I could almost hear the bang of the hammer every time I clicked “Submit review”. He was a nice person and I almost felt bad for him, but it didn’t stop me from tearing his work to shreds. I had an inalienable right to criticize his work, right? I’m a better developer, therefore I’m right. No one wants to say that bad code is good, right? He was eventually fired, not before leaving him without the customary bonus for a couple months.

                      I said to myself: “I’m not going to do his work, right? He was taking the place of a more talented developer. I did everything right”. But then I received another pull request for a review, and something changed. Drastically.
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                    • Searching for errors in the Amazon Web Services SDK source code for .NET

                        Picture 1


                        Welcome to all fans of trashing someone else's code. :) Today in our laboratory, we have a new material for a research — the source code of the AWS SDK for .NET project. At the time, we wrote an article about checking AWS SDK for C++. Then there was not anything particularly interesting. Let's see what .NET of the AWS SDK version is worth. Once again, it is a great opportunity to demonstrate the abilities of the PVS-Studio analyzer and make the world a bit better.
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                      • Fancy Euclid's “Elements” in TeX

                        • Translation


                        In 2016, I came across Oliver Byrne's “The first six books of the Elements of Euclid.” The main feature of this book is that instead of ordinary letter designations such as “triangle ABC,” it employs inclusions of miniature pictures directly in the text, that is, for example, an image of a triangle. As difficult as it probably was in the XIX century, as easy, with the right tools, it should be to make such a book nowadays. And so I decided to find out by myself whether that's the case.
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                      • Russian Internet Segment Architecture

                          As many of our readers know, Qrator.Radar is constantly researching global BGP connectivity, as well as regional. Since the Internet stands for “Interconnected Networks,” to ensure the best possible quality and speed the interconnectivity of individual networks should be rich and diverse, with their growth motivated on a sound competitive basis.

                          The fault-resistance of an internet connection in any given region or country is tied to the number of alternate routes between ASes. Though, as we stated before in our Internet Segments Reliability reports, some paths are obviously more critical compared to the others (for example, the paths to the Tier-1 transit ISPs or autonomous systems hosting authoritative DNS servers), which means that having as many reachable routes as possible is the only viable way to ensure adequate system scalability, stability and robustness.

                          This time, we are going to have a closer look at the Russian Federation internet segment. There are reasons to keep an eye on that segment: according to the numbers provided by the RIPE database, there are 6183 autonomous systems in Russia, out of 88664 registered worldwide, which stands for 6.87% of total.

                          This percentage puts Russia on a second place in the world, right after the USA (30.08% of registered ASes) and before Brazil, owning 6.34% of all autonomous systems. Effects of changes in the Russian connectivity could be observed across many other countries dependant on or adjacent to that connectivity, and ultimately by almost any ISP in the world.
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                        • Xcode 10.2, macOS Mojave 10.14.4, iOS 12.1 and other betas



                            New betas are here and these are some of the most important things that I have learned about them.

                            Swift 5 for Xcode 10.2 beta


                            Swift


                            Firstly, the latest Xcode beta is bundled with the following Swift version:

                            Apple Swift version 5.0 (swiftlang-1001.0.45.7 clang-1001.0.37.7)
                            Target: x86_64-apple-darwin18.2.0
                            ABI version: 0.6

                            Let’s start with the most exciting news:
                            Swift apps no longer include dynamically linked libraries for the Swift standard library and Swift SDK overlays in build variants for devices running iOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2, and tvOS 12.2. As a result, Swift apps can be smaller when deployed for testing using TestFlight, or when thinning an app archive for local development distribution.
                            Application Binary Interface stability is coming! And this is excellent news. I think this is the one of the most significant issues at the moment with Swift. Not because of side-effects but because of Swift’s failure to deliver on previous promises. Anyway, I even know people who rewrite their Apple Watch extensions to Objective C to reduce the size of binary (something like 15MB vs ~1MB in Objective C). If you want to know more about the state of ABI, follow the links: Swift — ABI Dashboard and Swift ABI Stability Manifesto.
                            Read more →
                          • Security of mobile OAuth 2.0

                              image

                              Popularity of mobile applications continues to grow. So does OAuth 2.0 protocol on mobile apps. It's not enough to implement standard as is to make OAuth 2.0 protocol secure there. One needs to consider the specifics of mobile applications and apply some additional security mechanisms.

                              In this article, I want to share the concepts of mobile OAuth 2.0 attacks and security mechanisms used to prevent such issues. Described concepts are not new but there is a lack of the structured information on this topic. The main aim of the article is to fill this gap.
                              Read more →