Mutters about programming et cetera

Open Letter on Artificial Intelligence and the Prohibition of Autonomous Weapons Systems External Link

As a member of the Hellenic Informatics Union (HIU), the scientific and professional organization representing the informatics industry in Greece, I helped in editing the English version of this open letter. The letter itself was based on the resolution that was unanimously voted in favor by the General Assembly of the HIU and it describes a proposal-intervention regarding the basic principles of artificial intelligence, its implementation framework and the international ban on autonomous weapons systems.

How the Ship of Theseus Relates to Major Code Changes

On the news: A couple of weeks ago at Mozilla, the final commit removing “XBL” has been pushed. That means that after years of effort they’ve completed the process of migrating the Firefox UI to Web Components. That story reminded me of the Ship of Theseus thought experiment. What? How is that even related?

Dockerfile for Ruby on Rails Deployments

We recently climbed the train of Docker images for production deployment at work, so I found myself in need of a good tutorial on Dockerfiles. Although there is a lot of information on Dockerfile best practices, the Ruby on Rails guides I looked up were a little bit outdated for modern applications. On top of that, the Rails official images are deprecated for some time now, so the task of creating a Dockerfile became challenging. I’ll go step-by-step on what I ended up with, explaining my thought process and any issues I stumbled upon along the way.

Hey! So, I haven’t written much, and I certainly haven’t written anything for quite a while, but lately I feel the urge to get back in the game. Therefore, here I am with a brand new blog ready to publish my new, yet to be created, content. Remarkably, upon finishing the new site it felt pretty empty. So I linked a bunch of old posts to fill the empty space! 😜

There is no comments system yet 🤔, but you can send me an e-mail or write your comments to any of your favorite silos to start a discussion. Also, now is the time to subscribe to RSS, if that’s your thing. Stay tuned!

My 2¢ to Those Interacting with FANN

Summertime at last! As always, I needed an interesting topic to explore as a side-project (in parallel to my efforts to rest), and I thought of neural networks. After all, AI is catchy these days 😜 I tried to keep the side-project scope small: just take some social networks shares, encode a bunch of their attributes in a neural network and, after training, try to predict the social impact of these shares. So cool, right?

Ready to Release Your Website? Think Again! External Link

So, your application/blog/service is ready for release! But, are you sure you haven’t forgotten any important features? The joy of creativity and the need to share and show off our creation often overlaps our viability senses and makes us lose sight of the obvious. For this reason, we have compiled a checklist to go through before a new project release.

When sharing a link on Facebook, its service tries to parse the linked page and extract as much information as possible from it. Facebook tries to extract the title, a short description and an image from the linked page. While this information may be extracted by the standard meta-information means of the page, like page title and meta-description, the author may recommend the default values to the users sharing the link. For the Facebook service to extract the relevant meta-information recommended by the author, it uses another meta-information protocol, named Open Graph Protocol (OG).

After discovering social media and how web sharing works, I understood that images are very important for the promotion of blog posts. Having used WordPress for quite some time, I’ve seen that Featured Images are a great way to make an image appear differently on the main page and inside the post page. Using thumbnails, you can have both worlds; beautiful and small thumbnails on the main page and a full image inside the post.

Solve the FeedBurner API Zero Subscriber Problem with Caching External Link

Feedburner returns zero subscribers? This can’t be true! Well, you’re right, this isn’t true. Probably due to high load, the FeedBurner web service returning the current RSS circulation (subscribers) response is zero. This seems to happen every day for 4-5 hours. I decided to deal with this while solving the caching problem at the same time. The idea behind this is simple: cache the FeedBurner circulation response if it is not 0, and always show the cached result.

TimThumb Vulnerability in a Nutshell External Link

The TimThumb image resizing utility has been found vulnerable as it allows the remote execution of arbitrary code. TimThumb is widely used by many WordPress themes, both commercial and free, and this vulnerability is expected to have a great impact, since the script name returns 84 million results on Google searches alone.