03 July 2020

The Hacker’s Tribute Vol. 48: Dark Ages of the Web


Coders, my dear coders.

Who could’ve thought that a digital ID card – a supposedly impenetrable document – could be compromised? Well, the Estonian pioneers of e-ID have managed to make mistakes. Take a jump into the world of Python, with a level of drama and action reminiscent of George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg. Not Star Wars – sit down, please, Indiana Jones.

What could possibly be even more exciting? Try the power of Synthetic Data, powering tomorrow’s neural networks, or perhaps open-source compilers are more your thing? Maybe a trip back into the web’s glory days of GIFs, Stickers, and Buttons is more your fancy?

The good news is, we’ve something for everyone. Prepare to read the greatest issue you’ve ever laid eyes on. Welcome back!


Dan 'The Man' Kowalski

Dan ‘the Man’ Kowalski

Editor-in-Chief, The Hacker’s Tribute

LFortran: Easy Package – Difficult Name

Meet LFortran; it’s an open-source interactive Fortran compiler that’s LLVM-based. A catchier title could not be found, but with the credentials that this unit is packing – you’ll be sure to remember it soon. Execute users’ code to allow exploratory work, and compile to binaries to run code on multi-core CPUs and GPUs. It’s fast, uses basic mathematics, and is simple to use. See the feature highlights working and get rolling now.

Read more: LFortan

Synthetically Natural

What could we possibly understand about synthetic data? Well – synthetic means ‘fake’. And that’s what this is. But when training your oh-so-special neural network to interpret a pattern, a set of synthetic data will be a vitamin injection of potent information. Learn the effectiveness of low-level, and high-level data and its instrumental role in autonomous cars, navigation programmes, optical flow estimation, and more. Discover the potential of this digital weapon and get a sneak-peak into future applications.

Meh-Estonian ID Cards

When it comes to digitising government services, there’s no better player than Estonia. They were by far, the first to implement an e-ID system allowing citizens to cast votes online, sign documents remotely, and access normally-time consuming services. Electronic identification cards have been vital to this. But what if this essential infrastructure were compromised? Uncover how the flaws in the manufacturing process and corrupted RSA public key moduli could lead to mass-scale identity theft. Learn the mistakes – study the remedies – and decide whether to sleep.

Dark Ages of the Web

This one’s for the glory days of the net! Well, the 2000s. Step in and take an in-depth journey to the turning points of web page design. We look at buttons, site maps, home buttons, and an almost unworldly obsession with GIFs, lots and lots of GIFs. Think of this as a time capsule, and a refresher on how our pages relied on such layers of protocol and an unhealthy reliance on Flash.

The Python’s Core

No, it’s not an Indiana Jones movie. But it’s a pressing issue, and defining question. We explore the biggest one of all: What is the core of the Python programming language? We’ve relied on it for as long as we can remember. As one brave writer puts it “I have no answers.” But don’t let that deter you, because the thought process is what matters here. Think RustPython, Pyodide, and a host of other misadventures. Maybe it is an Indian Jones story, after all?

Knowledge is free and shared. We’re always on the lookout for new insights into the world of Web and Mobile App Development.

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

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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.