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Blog

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog. It’s not my first, but I hope it’s my last. 10 years ago, when everything on the Web 2.0 was new and exciting, I started a blog. After about a year I let it die & moved on to different things. Now I think it was a mistake. It would have […]

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Backend

How to install & secure WordPress on a small VPS with Debian, Nginx, MariaDB, 2FA and more

This blog is running on a tiny Linux VPS with 1GB RAM, 1 CPU Core and a 25GB SSD with Debian 10 installed. Thanks to a proper WordPress setup this VPS will handle itself just fine even with substantial traffic. This article describes my setup. Moreover, it costs me only $5 per month. That’s like […]

Categories
Backend

How to redirect POST requests in Apache & Nginx

When you move content, change domains or create aliases on the web, you often use a redirect, like a URL rewrite in your webserver config, to tell browsers that the link should point to something else — but what if you want to move an API that handles POST requests? URL rewrites are useful, because […]

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Backend

How to use utf8 in Perl and don’t go crazy

UTF-8 is the best way to deal with text, and I hope everyone can agree with that. Anyway, while Perl handles any character beautifully within variables, things get messy when you want to save and load these characters into a file, for example. God forbid it’s JSON, then you’re in for a wild ride. But […]

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Research

How random events show that nothing is random

When you toss a coin, you place it in a certain starting position on your fingers, you apply a certain force with your thumb to the particular edge of the coin, it starts rotating within a specific air pressure and movement, only to fall on a surface with a given elasticity and friction. An algorithm, […]

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Research

Electric cars & global balance of power

An anecdote has it that during the Industrial Revolution, electric cars lost to petrol over the range of travel — many cheap workers had to be transported to the factories and back, from rural areas. Electric transportation didn’t work outside of big cities, hence production & research focused on the more universal combustion engines. Fast-forward 100 years, […]

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Frontend

Don’t use IDs in CSS

This article originally appeared on my first blog, f055.net In CSS, you can assign styles to elements in 3 ways: either by a direct reference to an HTML tag, or by a class attribute, or finally, by the id attribute. Each of these approaches has it’s pros and cons, but in this article, I’ll highlight why you should avoid […]

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Research

What are autonomous weapon systems and what ethical issues do they rise?

I wrote this paper in 2008 for an ethics class at Oxford University Computing Laboratory. The original pdf is available here. Autonomous weapon (AW) systems are a new and rapidly developing branch of warfare industry. However, autonomous weapons are not devices that belong strictly to the XIX century, in fact some authors date the birth of […]

Categories
Research

Threats to privacy

I wrote this paper in 2008 for an ethics class at Oxford University Computing Laboratory. The original pdf is available here. The rapid development of computer industry amazed everybody — both the IT experts, government, and society. This unexpected evolution of hardware, explosion of various software and growth of the Internet (in 2000-2007 between 100% […]