Jury Duty

This is a fascinating, anonymous account of jury duty for a homicide trial:

There are twelve of us left. The first thing the prosecutor did during voir dire was ask all the men of color whether we trusted cops. Every black man had a story: police harassment, spurious arrests, intimidation. They were all eliminated. I was asked if I had any experiences of this kind, and I said no. It was the truth. Perhaps this was the time to mention that having witnessed the murders of Eric Garner and Walter Scott on video made personal experience unnecessary. I didn’t mention it.

In the end, only two men of color make it to the jury, and I am one of them. The other is Latino. There are two Latina women, one African-American woman, and one Asian woman. The remaining six jurors are white.

Apple Charger Teardowns

Have you ever wondered why official, brand name device chargers cost so much more than the no-name ones, despite looking almost identical on the outside? Or just how they work?

Ken Shirriff has taken the time to methodically teardown a Macbook, iPad and iPhone charger with detailed pictures and descriptions of how everything works. He also compares them to a no-name charger from Ebay. It’s fascinating, and I know I won’t be buying a no name charger in the future to ensure the safety of myself and my devices.

Bonus: Ken also tore down the Magsafe connector itself, which is more complex than initially meets the eye.

Now that’s what I call a Hacker

Originally written on a Russian website, Alex from JitBit Software has translated a hilarious post describing allegedly real scripts that do all varieties of things:

OK, so, our build engineer has left for another company. The dude was literally living inside the terminal. You know, that type of a guy who loves Vim, creates diagrams in Dot and writes wiki-posts in Markdown… If something – anything – requires more than 90 seconds of his time, he writes a script to automate that.

Here’s one gem:

hangover.sh – another cron-job that is set to specific dates. Sends automated emails like “not feeling well/gonna work from home” etc. Adds a random “reason” from another predefined array of strings. Fires if there are no interactive sessions on the server at 8:45am.

A GitHub project was started to recreate the scripts in a variety of languages.