Good to know -- issue 2019.01

by Ciprian Dorin Craciun (⁠ciprian.craciun@gmail.com⁠) on 

Articles and tools I've found interesting in the last few days; and about the start of a new "column".

// permanent-link // index // RSS

About “Good to know”

Each morning during my “coffee hour” I read a couple of IT (and photography) related articles from various sources – yes RSS is still alive – and up to a few years ago I’ve even kept a journal, although I’ve switched to Pocket, and while I still keep a record, it’s private and not accessible…

Therefore I’ve decided that each couple of days, I’ll create a note of the most worthwhile articles or tools that I’ve encountered. (Though I do pass through quite a few more items, I would say that only about 10% are somewhat noteworthy…)

(For some articles that I find really insightful – which cover mainly “philosophical” rather than “technical” subjects – I have dedicated posts on this site.)

So let’s begin…

(for the sysadmin) Cloudflare’s time.cloudflare.com

Cloudflare has released a public NTP server at time.cloudflare.com (as part of their Crypto Week 2019).

This is a very welcome addition to time.google.com (released a few years back by Google).

(for the cryptographer) Cloudflare’s “decentralized randomness beacon”

Also as part of Crypto Week 2019, Cloudflare has released a decentralized, publicly verifiable, random number generator.

curl -s https://drand.cloudflare.com/api/public | jq .

(for the security conscious) Be critical of “password managers”…

… and understand what they do or don't offer.

(for the web developer) How to make your development environment “internet” accessible

Cloudflare has released (for free) their Argo tunnel (not to be confused with their other four products named “Argo something”), which allows one to expose (including HTTPS with a valid certificate) his local development HTTP server to the internet as easily as:

cloudflared tunnel --url http://127.0.0.1:8080/

(for the web developer) Native image lazy-loading

Apparently Chrome (and therefor 80% of the “internet”) will soon support native image lazy-loading

<img src="celebration.jpg" loading="lazy" />
<iframe src="video-player.html" loading="lazy"></iframe>

(for the future archaeologist) About long-term archiving (of compressed data)

XZ format inadequate for long-term archiving – a worthwhile read about complexity and how it hides many issues…