Weekly Review, October 18

By Saturday, October 18, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Last week of the holidays for the foreseeable future. Back the work..!

Google announced Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and Nexus 6 and 9 the other day. That’s pretty exciting! I can’t wait to get Lollipop on my Nexus 5 (no, I don’t want to install developer preview on my daily-use phone)! As much as I love the Nexus line, I can’t be too excited about the Nexus 6. It got decent specs, although I’d expect a 128GB option if there’s no SD expansion slot. But the size! And the price! Oh my god! 5.96″?! for $650?!?! Damn you Google, I don’t want that! What I really liked about the Nexus line so far was “excellent Google-experience devices at great price points”. When people ask me for smartphone recommendation, if they’re not tech-savvy, I usually recommend an iPhone. If they say they don’t want one (due to price, or other reasons), I used to recommend the latest Nexus as the best value-for-money alternative. With Nexus 6, I can’t do it anymore. In addition, Nexus devices used to be reference devices for developers, which isn’t reasonable anymore at that price point.

I guess that’s the downside of Nexus devices gaining popularity. Do you have a different opinion? Let me know in the comments!

OS X Yosemite became publicly available this week, after a couple of months of beta. I upgraded my MacBook Pro (mid 2012 model) yesterday, and looks like it passed smoothly. Didn’t run into any problems so far. Did you? What’s the best new feature for you? (didn’t find mine yet)

The Weekly Review is (hopefully) a recurring summary, reviewing highlights from the last week.

Blog posts from the last week

  1. Continuing the website project, I reviewed the website design process, after sharing reminder of the old blog design.
  2. I wrote a primer on Python closures and lexical scoping. Good stuff.
  3. Continuing the SCons series, with SCons shortcuts that extremely simplify module-SConscripts.
  4. The previous weekly review

In the coming weeks, I plan to continue writing on the website side project, and the SCons series. Hopefully, I will be able to squeeze in some Mac training as well. The best way to keep up with new posts is to follow the feed.

Web selections

SSL 3.0 is an old insecure version of SSL. It was replaced long time ago by TLS (1.0, 1.1, 1.2). Unfortunately, “backward compatibility” at Internet scale is a can of worms, so most implementations today still support protocol-downgrade dances. If done right, protocol version negotiation should agree on the latest common protocol version, avoiding the insecure SSL 3.0 in most cases. If not done right, an attacker might interfere with the version dance, and force a protocol downgrade, allowing the attacker to deal with the less secure version. Google released details on the POODLE attack (“Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption”), describing how an attacker can do exactly that. Upside – it comes with mitigation recommendations. Downside – who’s going to implement the recommendations..? Either way – an interesting read.

Over on the Digital Inspiration blog, Amit Agarwal demonstrated a cool use of Google Sheets & Google Translate, as a real-time multi-lingual chat tool!

Side project updates

As you can imagine, I’m still elbow deep in the website project. As expected, a new site comes with new technical issues. Please, do report issues that cross your path.

This week was mostly bug-fixing week with my Evernote-WordPress integration…

  • My Evernote API key surprisingly expired. Took me a couple of minutes to realize this was the problem. Some more minutes to find how to issue a new one.
  • My Evernote XML parser was adding spurious blank lines in some cases. I pinned it down and fixed it.

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