18 October 2019

The Hacker’s Tribute Vol. 27: DuckDuckGo, Elixir, and Bitcoins


Bon Appetit, Coders!

The first, second, and third meals of the day are important. And if there are any others, they’re just as essential! New dark modes, of untraceable browsers, an interview with a mastermind, and some of the smartest-stupidest Unix tricks you’ll ever see. This issue certainly has it all.

We’re also celebrating a local hero, a person who understands the importance of orderly lines in buffet breakfasts and lunches. But these heroes are everywhere. In fact, if you look in the mirror, you might be one yourself!

So pull up a chair, and dig in – for this is one of – if not, the – most significant, informative, intellectual, and nutritious powerhouse of an issue.

Remember, as part of a balanced diet, all you need is a single portion of the Hacker’s Tribute each week!

Yours, deliciously,


Dan ‘the Man’ Kowalski,

Editor-in-Chief, the Hacker’s Tribute & Chef de Computing Cuisine

DuckDuckGo-Goes Dark

The alternative search engine famed for its lacking of tracking is an ambitious one. Staying true to its form; its business model shies away from profiling users, by providing advertising restricted only towards keywords. Rebelling as it is, some mainstream tech features are just too tempting to ignore. The 0.43% market share (September: 45 million/day) taking part can now whisper in dark mode!

Food Lines – No More!

Few things are more exciting than a breakfast buffet. But the lack of order at some smorgasbords is the reason for societal collapse at many hotels, conventions, or office cafeterias. However, for every crisis, there’s a hero! Erik Bernhardsson has a way to kill those notorious buffet lines. Using a Python script to simulate the queues, Eric determined the optimal method of lining up for food. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner have been saved.

Stupid is the new Smart

Jeffrey Paul brings us a rare gold nugget. It’s one of the most modest, and self-deprecating introductions to ‘Stupid Unix Tricks’ – a very useful set. Suitable for Mac OS X and others. Discover how to; Wrap startup commands, use HSM for SSH Keys, publish authorised_keys, use a remote docker, back up local workstation with a Time Machine – and more!

From A to Z!

Naming conventions are important as ever – they make the world go ‘round! Keeping things compatible, flexible, and portable sometimes requires some meticulous work. That’s why Z Shell Configurations keep the lights on, and the coffee hot. Read the post to unlock ZSH startup files, locations, directories, loading, and a whole lot more!

The Elixir of Life!

Learn from a legend – watch the interview of the individual behind the creation of Elixir. Discover how a programming language came to be, in order to leverage the new multicore world. Learn to deal with the overlap in creating a new language and take a moment to uncover some successful habits to keep you focused. A very eye-opening interview enjoyable even with your eyes closed!

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

Once upon a time, Bitcoin made people a lot of money. It also lost people a lot of money. But what about the cost of making it? Just like coins and banknotes, Bitcoin production consumes, consumes, and consumes, in people’s quest to generate more of it. Uncover this simply incredible, and very sobering chart, describing the impact Bitcoin has on our natural world. Bitcoin’s a bit naughty.

Knowledge is free and shared. We’re always on the lookout for new insights into the world of App Development. Get in touch with us, and we’ll give you a heads up on your next big idea.

We’ll be in touch with more news, as it happens!


Hackers of the world dream to be him. And that’s an understatement. With methods decades ahead of cyberspace, he’s proceeded only by his own reputation. ‘The Man’ infamous for single-handedly causing the ’08 global financial meltdown, he dropped off-grid searching for purpose. He twice-dominated each of the Himalayan peaks, negotiated the rift valleys of Africa, and swam the Amazonian Basin end-to-end. It was in Siberia where we caught up to him – convincing him to work for the ‘good guys’. The veteran’s veteran of coding, now confidently within our ranks, is finally a force for good. Just don’t test him.