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I came across a rather peculiar implementation of a string repeat function for JavaScript.

There's a built-in for this since ES2015, and prior to that, the following was a common idom:

> str = "x"
> count = 3
> out = (new Array(count + 1).join(str)

But, an MDN contributor thought - we can optimize this! Can you figure out how and why it works?

👉 codepen.io/Krinkle/pen/abmrLdz

Wikipedia.org and sister projects, by operating system after December 2020:

* 30.4%: Android
* 27.0%: Windows
* 25.6%: iOS
* (8.7%: Other)
* 7.0%: macOS
* 0.8%: Linux (incl. Ubuntu)
* 0.5%: Chrome OS

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Wikipedia.org and sister projects, stats for December 2020:

* 49%: Chrome, Chrome Mobile
* 26%: Safari, Mobile Safari
* 4.9%: Firefox, Firefox Mobile
* 2.7%: Samsung Internet
* 2.3%: Edge
* 2.0%: Chrome Mobile iOS
* 1.9%: Google app
* 0.91%: Internet Explorer
* 0.76%: Opera

100% = 16.4 billion page views (desktop+mobile web, no apps, no bots)

"Wikipedia is twenty, it’s time to start covering it better"
from CJR.

In a nut shell: We need good solid journalism, a lot of it!

Journalists and Wikipedia editors can and do strengthen each other. But, for day-to-day topics and news, I feel we're nowdays seeing too much journalism rely solely on Wikipedia and other tertiary sources, and too little little paid journalism to then serve as sources for Wikipedia itself.

cjr.org/opinion/wikipedia-is-t

How I hijacked the top-level domain of a sovereign state

labs.detectify.com/2021/01/15/

He registered an expired domain used by the .cd ccTLD. Great report.

"Stealing Private YouTube Videos, One Frame at a Time"
by David Schütz

Neatly found bug, and great showcase of how a pen tester goes to work on a complex system.

bugs.xdavidhu.me/google/2021/0

"The land before modern APIs" by Darius Kazemi
(@darius)

Nice history of HTTP status codes.

"""
The numeric codes are assigned by groups [to] hopefully cover other protocols besides RJE (like FTP).
"""

This is from RFC 360, about a Remote Job Entry protocol (RJE), submitted in 1972. You know you're in deep, when reading a three-digit IETF RFC!

increment.com/apis/land-before

"Why we are not adding AVIF support (yet)" by Dejan Pelzel.

The founder of BunnyCDN shares their technical analysis and what needs improving first.

Nutshell:
- Terrible server encoding perf, unsuitable for on-demand, even with disproportionate resources. (Better algos?)
- Slow to decode/render. (Better algo, hardware support?)
- No progressive render, not even basic linear. (All or nothing.)

Bandwidth isn't everything :)

bunnycdn.com/blog/lets-talk-av

"Electron alternatives?" by Dimitri Witkowski

The author of KeeWeb offers a fresh and nuanced perspective. Personally, I find download/update size reason enough to switch to Ultralight-UX, , or Tauri, etc.

But, popular opinion against Electron is driven by RAM use and slowness, which evidently aren't caused by but by poor engineering atop of it...

KeeWeb is fast and uses 150-200M, with or without Electron.

github.com/keeweb/keeweb/wiki/

Has anyone read World Wide Waste? (Gerry McGovern's book) I haven't yet, and curious what others think about it.

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"Easy to design, hard to use"

A conversation with Chris Coyier and Gerry McGovern:

> If web developers made cars, you'd put the pedal to the metal on them and go at 40 miles an hour, maximum speed. We think we're designing Ferraris, but we're designing tractors.

thisishcd.com/episode/chris-co

Emitting WiFi signals from a RAM chip

Catalin Cimpanu, reporting for ZDNet:

"""
Academics from an Israeli university have published new research today detailing a technique to convert a RAM card into an impromptu wireless emitter and transmit sensitive data from non-networked air-gapped computers that [have] no WiFi card.
"""

It's fairly low-bandwidth (upto 100 bytes/second), but amazing nonetheless and actually spans several meters.

zdnet.com/article/academics-tu

"Color: From Hexcodes to Eyeballs" by Jamie Wong

I found this article via the Ben, Ben and Blue podcast (episode 14: Color), in which they discuss human perception of color at the biological and neurological level, how color combinations are processed by eye cones, and how what some people can see is rather limited and twisted by the particulars of our brains.

overcast.fm/+N3co7b_l8/21:08

benbenandblue.libsyn.com/bbb-1

"Emergency" by Chris Taylor.

A geeky fan fiction on web performance. Featuring, among others: Dr Lea Verou, Jen Simmons, and Dr Lawson - the HTML love-doctor.

"""
Listen up people, we have a patient in a serious condition here. 12 year old e-commerce website, recently undergone a redesign – and [...]
"""

calendar.perfplanet.com/2020/e

"The Website Obesity Crisis" by Maciej Cegłowski

Approachable and funny talk on the state of performance, UX design, and overpriced clouds.

I was humbled by the fresh and optimistic approach to it all. I've fought this crisis for a long time, but never seen it laid out so well and so clearly. Great refresher if nothing else!

> "Complexity is a bug lamp for smart people."

H/T @pbanks

youtube.com/watch?v=iYpl0QVCr6

"Profiling live Wikipedia traffic with near-zero overhead"

> Each day of Wikipedia backend traffic yields about 3 million stack trace samples, as collected by Excimer, a new a low-overhead sampling profiler for PHP.

I wrote all about it in this year's Performance Calendar:

👉 calendar.perfplanet.com/2020/p

"Industry response to in 1995" by Chris Brandrick.

DEC (Compaq) captured it well, hinting at the Electron-apocalypse:

> “JavaScript will unleash a new wave of creativity and transform the Internet in ways no one can predict. It will demand increased system performance.”

Others are little more than ads:

> CORP looks forward to putting RANDOM TECH into THING and enable people BUY AMAZING THING. At CORP we care about HEY WHY HAVEN'T YOU BOUGHT OUR THING.

superhighway.dev/javascript-25

By operating system for November 2020:

* 29.8%: Android
* 27.7%: Windows
* 25.0%: iOS
* (9.8%: Other)
* 6.8%: macOS
* 0.5%: Linux (incl. Ubuntu)
* 0.4%: Chrome OS

References:

* Explore the data:
** analytics.wikimedia.org/dashbo
** Query on stats.wikimedia.org: w.wiki/ozJ

* Raw data:
** analytics.wikimedia.org/publis
** wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/An

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