08 October 2021

The Hacker’s Tribute Vol. 76: Fast-Forward to Dystopia


Greetings, travellers!


What better way to see the world, than through a time machine?

Our friends in the Internet Archive aren’t so excited, but we’ll let you see for yourself. Revel in the new updates to Swift, and the adoring support for Python, which is rising in the ranks. Roll up your sleeves and build your own e-Calendar with Raspberry Pi or harness the power of the Emu to build virtual machines with unprecedented speed. Lastly, never feel confused again – with updated USB logos.

Dan 'The Man' Kowalski

Dan ‘the Man’ Kowalski

Editor-in-Chief, The Hacker’s Tribute

Step into a Darker Future

If you had a time machine – what kind of future world would you like to see? Some of us wake up with an optimism for the future. But internet activists aren’t having any of that. The way they see it – we’re flying head-first into a dystopian hurricane of corporate paywalls, restricted intra-nets, and vanilla news coverage. Check out this provocative simulation from the makers of the internet archive – it’s the future, and it’s chilling.

Read more: Way Forward Machine

Swiftly Stunning

There’s a new release in town, and Apple is thrilled to launch the 5.5 release of their acclaimed Swift language. Say adios to its nefarious ‘Pyramid of Doom’ of incomprehensible nested calls for lovers of occasional asynchronous operations. They’ve even introduced ‘Actors’ with isolated datasets and structured concurrency, and don’t even get me started on package collections! Available in XCode 13, and Ubuntu, CentOS, Amazon Linux 2, and of course – Windows.

Read more: ‘Massive’ Swift 5.5 release fixes ‘pyramid of doom’ and more


The lengths programmers go to build imitations of analogue objects is astounding. Today, we’re going to recreate a Google Calendar, and reformat into a paper-like E-Ink screen. Tremble at the fortitude of the battery-powered Raspberry PiSugar2, and how a touch of code, and the right attitude will help you build a stylish digital calendar. You could of course buy a regular wall calendar and hang that up – but where’s the fun in that, my pioneer friends?

Read more: It’s-a-like-a-magic

USB-C What I Mean?

The USB cartels have confused and bamboozled us for the last time – it’s time for change. Humanity has united and has spoken in a single voice. We demand consistency and clarity in our USB logos and labels. Lo and behold, it worked! The USB Implementers Forum group - which aside from sounding like a defunct Soviet government committee – has released logos that indicate whether cables and chargers abide by the 240-watt rating. That’s good news for consumers, and good news for the committee. They’ve averted a revolution and will live to see another day.

Read more: New USB-C logos make picking USB cables, chargers less confusing

Fly Like an Emu

Virtual machines are the Robert DeNiro’s of the desktop technology world. Give them a role, and they’ll morph into anything you choose. And like the mischievous giant bird, Quickemu will ‘quickly’ run optimised desktop virtual machines for your OS. Its dominant position in the food chain is thanks to its ability for rapid testing of Linux distribution and incredible potential for compatibility. It’s a work of art – the bird, and the platform. Each deserve Darwin’s seal of approval.

Read more: Quickemu

It's Python's Time

Who doesn’t love Python? It’s a platform jam-packed with features and goodies from crash fixes to security updates in the Windows Installer. We’re overwhelmed with the exact list, so be sure to check it out here. But what’s most meaningful – is its giant leap for mankind. For the first time in two decades, it has overtaken heavyweights Java and C in a key popularity indicator. Now that’s news!

Read more: Programming languages: Python just took a big jump forward

Read Tech Stories from Experienced Devs!


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.