// The Comment #10: I should be doing more

The Comment is a weekly digest of the stuff that grabbed my attention or occupied some part my mind during the past week. Normally, it’ll be one thing that’s really been on my mind, followed by a handful of things that I found interesting. The Comment will be published each Monday at 10:30AM EST. 

Thanks for reading.

## I should be doing more

This a short entry this week and a little personal. It’s a weird feeling to know you can do more, but you’re not, and you know that. I should be doing more and having more of a positive impact on society and culture. On the basis of using my talents and abilities to lift up the next person who may not have the same.  I’m talking about my abilities to write code, put things on the Internet, general handy-ness, time, attention, and effort.

I came to his conclusion recently, but I have been heading down this mental road for a while.  This is something I’m going to resolve in 2018.

// More North Carolina Districting Shenanigans

From The Washington Post:

A federal court on Tuesday ruled that Republicans in North Carolina unconstitutionally gerrymandered congressional districts in 2016 to ensure Republican “domination of the state’s congressional delegation.”

The three-judge panel struck down the map and ordered the state’s General Assembly to come up with a substitute by Jan. 24.

The decision was the first striking down of a congressional map, as opposed to a state legislative map, on the grounds that it was rigged in favor of a particular political party. Redistricting has historically been political and partisan to one degree or another.

Oh look, a federal court struck down another set of maps drawn up by the North Carolina Republican Party. This time, it was the congressional maps…the ones that determine the districts of our Congressional representatives.  As a resident of North Carolina, its getting a bit ridiculous that Republicans continue to draw gerrymandered legislative (and soon to be judicial) maps.  It seems like the kind of thing you do when you know your time in power is coming to an end.

// A Spectre and a Meltdown Walk Into a Bank

Paul Miller writing for The Verge:

You walk up to the door and you don’t go into the bank. In the parallel reality where you do go into the bank, you enter the vault and look at the piece of paper. You read the password and whisper it quietly before you get shot dead.

In the reality where you don’t go into the bank, you own a highly elaborate listening device which can hear your parallel self’s whispers. Now you know Ashley’s Netflix password, and can enjoy all manner of original content at her expense.

This banking analogy is one of the more accessible explanations on what the Spectre and Meltdown bugs are. Spectre and Meltdown are a set of bugs that affect a ton of computers and other devices running Intel, AMD, and ARM processors. As someone who’s actually studied processor design in my college days, many many years ago, I cannot explain why Spectre and Meltdown are such a big deal, but they are.

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