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July 19, 2021

Daily Tech News 19 July 2021

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  • A critical vulnerability in the Windows Print Spooler lets a sneaky hacker take over your machine. (Bleeping Computer)

    No, not that one. And not that one either. Yes, this is yet another problem with Windows printing.

    In this case, if the attacker can set up a Trojan Horse printer on the network, it can follow the flow upstream and get system-level access to any PC that sends it a print file. The printer tells the PC that it needs to install a specific driver, and the PC simply obeys.

    This one is unlikely to happen on a properly managed network. If you're letting random people wander about the office plugging in strange devices, you're going to have problems no matter how secure your operating system might be.

Anime of the day is Brigadoon, from 2000. It's the story of Marin, the quintessential "genki girl", and Melan, a weird flying alien robot thingy that lives in a bottle.

One thing that makes it stand out is that it's set in Tokyo the late 60s. Most anime is set in the present day, or the future, or some interesting historical period like the Tokugawa shogunate. Others - Akanesasu Shoujo or Ano Natsu de Matteru - are set just long enough ago that ubiquitous smartphones don't immediately derail the plot.

This one does have combat and fires and explosions and the like, but it's not about the combat and fires and explosions. They're just the things Marin and Melan have to work through to get to the real story. And to save the world.

Apparently there's an English-language dub, but word on the street is to avoid it like bottled anthrax.

Tech News

  • Prior art: Amelia Watson's BubbaBot. (TorrentFreak)

    The idea is neat: Rather than playing copyrighted music over your YouTube or Twitch stream and lose your account, have a synchronised playlist people can play on Spotify or some similar service.

    It's so neat that people are already doing it. Amelia Watson from Hololive calls hers BubbaBot after her dog. (She has two dogs and two cats and some sort of perpetual hiccup condition, so her streams are... Entertaining.)

  • Against SQL. (Scattered Thoughts)

    SQL is a general purpose language for expressing the manipulation of relational data. What it is not is nice to use. The Progress 4GL - now OpenEdge - solved many of these issues 30 years ago. It was one of the first programming languages I used for an actual job (the very first was Basic), and I still miss it.

    Not its performance though. It was dog slow.

  • The Cytron Maker Pi RP2040 is a Pi Pico with a swarm of Grove - and other - connectors for ten bucks. (Tom's Hardware)

    The Pi Pico is neat but you pretty much have to solder it into your project. This is much more tinker-friendly, with a total of ten sockets for connecting sensors, motors, and other widgets for robotics projects.

  • Inserting a billion rows into SQLite in under a minute.* (Avi.im)

    The * is because it's a work in progress; currently achieving 100 million inserts in 34 seconds. On a 2019 MacBook Pro, which is not a bad system but is maybe half the speed of a current high-end laptop.

Disclaimer: Do not taint Happy Fun Ball.
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