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Mike Hearn
Works at Vinumeris
Attended Durham University
Lives in Zurich, Switzerland
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Mike Hearn

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2017 will be a critical year for the UK, so I wanted to research what might happen during it that could affect the exit negotiations. That research has left me kind of stunned. I’d read one or two polls from the rest of Europe before, but if the datasets cited below are correct 2017 could be an absolutely brutal year for the EU.

Let’s examine four political events we know will happen and examine the possible outcomes. 
The UK will soon start two years of negotiations with the EU on how to exit the union. They will probably stretch from October 2016 to…
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Stu Ungerstu's profile photoLuuk van Dijk's profile photoMarius Schilder's profile photoNiek Bergboer's profile photo
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+Luuk van Dijk​ exactly what options do we have, then? If you want to vote EU-sceptical (not: Europe sceptical), the only two options you have are SP (socialists), and PVV (socialists + hatred of Islam). Neither is appealing. There is no "normal" centrist party that is EU sceptical.
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Mike Hearn

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This is a useful summary of bugs found in the Tor project. Some of these bug patterns are specific to using unsafe languages like C, but others are general and the advice can apply to any project.
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Good stuff. Seems like all big C security projects keep rediscovering what the langsec and weird machine people have been saying all along: parsing and state machines should be formalized and made explicit, and they are especially dangerous in unsafe languages.
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Mike Hearn

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The future is here! I now have native IPv6 to the home! Not sure when it happened but today Google gave me an anti-DoS CAPTCHA and I noticed it identified me as being on IPv6.

Unfortunately the future is here in another way - UPC put me behind carrier NAT for IPv4. Booooo.
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Do you still need ipv4 if you have ipv6?
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Mike Hearn

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Very insightful analysis by +Thomas Baekdal​ - it seems he runs a company that literally just sells this guy's opinions and analysis. Oddly, I feel a little bit tempted to subscribe, just based on the strength of what I just read. But I didn't. This is where small per article payments would be useful.
When discussing the future of newspapers, we have a tendency to focus only on the publishing side. We talk about the changes in formats, the new reader behaviors, the platforms, the devices, and the strange new world of distributed digital distribution, which are not just forcing us to do things in new ways, but also atomizes the very core of the newspaper.
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what if we had some public cryptographically sane ledger of where public statements (by the press but also politicians and other public actors) come from, so that when they are fact checked they could be tied back to the originating 'account' 's credibility.
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Mike Hearn

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"Computer usability sucks, part eleventy-million."

It's Christmas. That means it's time to help fix my parents technology problems. My parents are not technophobic nor stupid. My father was actually head of engineering for a national TV channel (he's now retired), and he taught me programming when I was 8 years old. Despite this, 3 days in they already faced 3 basic problems with mainstream products that they had no realistic way to solve without my help. All these problems could have been easily avoided with some basic care and attention paid by product developers.

Software industry, let's make avoiding these kinds of things a new years resolution!

Problem 1. Father finds his Nexus 5 confusing because when he receives an email, he taps the notification and ends up in one view of his inbox, but then if he goes to the home screen and presses the icon labelled "Inbox" he doesn't get back where he started.

Solution 1. Google built a new email app (which is very nice) but, not so brilliantly, named it "Inbox". My father very reasonably assumed that pressing an icon with such a name will open the same inbox as his email notifications do. Removing the app from the home screen and replacing it with the Gmail app fixes things.

Problem 2. My mother suddenly can't log on to her ISP's webmail anymore. She gets an error about cookies. Checking the browser settings shows she hasn't disabled cookies or fiddled with anything, and the problem started out of the blue, so what's going on?

Solution 2. Her browser history and therefore autocomplete has a URL containing the name of her webmail product which was generated as part of some login redirects. It contains an expired authentication token. So when she types the name of her webmail she ends up trying to restart an expired login process and this results in a bogus error message. Removing the broken URL from the browser history fixes it.

Problem 3. My mother wants to put music from Spotify through the living room speakers. She has an airport and an iPhone/iPad. She also has written down instructions to herself for how to route the audio from Spotify to the airport, but it seems iOS was changed since the instructions were written and they don't make sense anymore.

Solution 3. I don't use iOS but remember from reading tech reviews that there's a hidden tray at the bottom of the screen that you can swipe upwards to reveal. We take a look and discover the control hiding in there. There is no visible indication that this panel existed and I'm not sure how my mother would have figured this out except by asking someone who already knew.

Three simple problems, none of which could be resolved without 'secret' knowledge I obtained by simply being a part of the tech industry.

Programmers of the world, we CAN do better and we MUST do better!
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Hello! please help to run a full bitcoin node on Windows 7? my mail 2015baner@mail.ru.
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Mike Hearn

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As somebody who worked for years on Windows Emulation (Wine), to allow Linux users to run Windows apps, seeing Microsoft be put in the same position is quite fascinating. Sounds like their team are re-learning the lessons the Wine team learned in the early 1990s.

Not sure how I feel about it really. What goes around comes around, I guess. 
Microsoft has delayed its Astoria plan, which took a complex route to opening Windows Phone to Android's app ecosystem.
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Mike Hearn

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Today I'm doing an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the bitcoin.com forums. If you have a Bitcoin related question you always wanted to ask me, head over there and post!
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A little late unfortunately, but would love to hear your thoughts on integrating this into XT http://hackingdistributed.com/2015/11/09/bitcoin-ng-followup/
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Mike Hearn

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The case to remain in the EU rests heavily on the opinions of experts. Yet voting intentions have shifted towards leave over the course of the referendum. Polls are now 50/50.

People aren't moved by what "experts" think, and here I try and figure out why.
On Thursday the UK will hold a referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union. When the process started last year the Leave…
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Hugo van der Merwe's profile photoDavid de Kloet's profile photoOndřej Čertík's profile photoMike Hearn's profile photo
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There are two kinds of economist: the type that will tell their boss what he wants to hear for money, and the type that refuses to make predictions because they know they can't.

Evolution and the climate are natural things that can be observed and accurately modelled assuming only a small set of variables (well, semi-accurately in the case of the climate). Economies cannot be successfully modelled by any known method not only due to complexity but because they're so easily affected by unpredictable events, like natural disasters or indeed referendums.

Economists do their best work when studying existing data sets and trying to explain them retroactively. Even then the data sets they work with are so tiny that the natural sciences wouldn't even try to use them. When they issue predictions for GDP 15 years into the future with NO confidence bounds attached, they deserve to be criticised - they are misleading people and deep down they know it.
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Mike Hearn

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In about six weeks the UK will hold a referendum on whether to leave the EU. A huge chunk of the population is still undecided, and I'm still working my way through the arguments too. So for the next month I'll be blogging about Brexit.

In this first blog I cover where the EU is going, whether it's a good idea and why we can't influence the EU onto a different path. Debate in the comments is more than welcome!
On 23rd June the UK will hold a referendum on whether to stay in the EU or leave. Last year I was automatically assuming…
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Paul Hosking's profile photoSimon B's profile photoOndřej Čertík's profile photo
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+Paul Hosking​, yes, I use English too in Germany. But I do feel like a foreigner. Native language is needed for any chance of blending in.
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Mike Hearn

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Today I learned that this is a Javascript module, and it has a dependency:

https://github.com/sindresorhus/float-equal/blob/master/index.js

The more I learn about what HTML development has become in the years I've been away, the more I wish people would just write good old fashioned desktop apps instead.
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Mike Hearn

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Why do a few modern languages opt out of exceptions? Some people argue that the concept is bad, but in this article I argue that exceptions are great and the lack of good support in some newer languages is more likely to be because implementing good exception support is hard. 
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Tyler Larson's profile photoMike Hearn's profile photoLuuk van Dijk's profile photoDidier Frick's profile photo
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+Luuk van Dijk s/invites/forces/ . Hello again, ugly nested "if" ladders strewn all over your code to deal with errors you don't care about at this level.
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Mike Hearn

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Someone made this image, that sums up incredibly serious problem Bitcoin is facing due to the appalling lack of action by a small number of Bitcoin Core developers.

By the way, the restart of traffic growth at the end of the summer was something I predicted back in March:

https://medium.com/@octskyward/bitcoin-s-seasonal-affective-disorder-35733bab760d
Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet.
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Grzegorz Wierzowiecki's profile photoMike Hearn's profile photoMaarten Vaandrager's profile photo
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+Mike Hearn. Did not realize the issue with fees until now. interesting read indeed, thanks! 
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Work
Occupation
Software Engineer
Employment
  • Vinumeris
    Boss, 2014 - present
  • Google
    Engineer, 2006 - 2014
  • CodeWeavers
  • QinetiQ
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Zurich, Switzerland
Previously
Manchester, England
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Introduction
I fix things when they break, and break things when they're fixed.
Education
  • Durham University
    Computer Science
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Birthday
April 17
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Single
A fantastic location right opposite a beautiful park. The guide books are free and the receptionist was very helpful.
Quality: ExcellentFacilities: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
We had to wait a long time for our food, and the waitress forgot to bring various things we ordered and had to be reminded several times. However, when the food came, it was pretty good - the portions were exactly the right size, and it tasted great. The tables have wooden benches that make it easy to squeeze more people on, so it's a good place to go if you aren't sure how big your group will be.
Public - 7 years ago
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Simple and straightforward, Sams is one of the few places that serves deep dish pizza. If you like American style pizza, give it a try. Most pizzas are around 25 chf, though they serve other food too.
Public - 6 years ago
reviewed 6 years ago
Food-wise, the pizzas and subs they sell aren't the greatest ever - but the staff are cheerful, the decor is nice, and most importantly they are open practically all the time. No closing at 7pm for these guys! They provide newspapers for people to read, TV to watch, and also sell subs and fajitas. Be warned though, they only take cash - visit the cash machine just down the road (towards Bahnhof Weidikon) if you are short first.
Public - 8 years ago
reviewed 8 years ago