Scanners

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider scanners. Ancient devices used to convert paper documents and photos into files on computers, often using something called TWAIN. For many consumers, they have been replaced by "smart phones." In the news, NVIDIA releases open source GPU drivers, hell has frozen over, Russia appears to have lost custody of a relatively intact Krasukha-4.

Tech Debt

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider tech debt. Where it comes from, what it means, and what you can do about it. Rym's made a career of owning and addressing the tech debt of legacy systems, and there aren't really "correct" answers here. In the news, Microsoft is offering an Edge VPN, Ukrainian drones are shockingly effective against the Russian Navy, and you should check your home to see if it has any of these strange old holes.

Also don't forget that the GeekNights Book Club is a thing!

Technological Lock-In

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider the concept of lock-in in technology. From platforms to software, app stores to physical connectors, it's actually a fairly complex topic. In the news, reason 499 not to buy a Tesla, Facebook collapses in the manner we have always expected, and Facebook is in trouble in Europe.

Documentation

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider documentation. Client documentation, user guides, service runbooks, developer notes, and the like. We've previously covered Documentation Systems, as well as in a game design lecture on game rules.

In the news, Rym finally dressed up as Zed from Zardoz, Facebook's name change to "Meta" isn't fooling anyone, a theoretical unicode-based attack on compilers is being patched, Roblox had a massive outage, and the LIRR is now able to run trains into Grand Central Terminal, a feat of engineering in the making since 1963.

This is also the 16th anniversary episode of GeekNights! We started on October 31 2005, and we made "beta" episodes well before that!

Social Media

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider the Leopard that is social media. It is difficult to summarize the myriad ways that social media has materially harmed society despite its great promise. From Orkut to Facebook to Twitter, it's been a destabilizing force. In the (possibly too on-the-nose) news, Facebook had a major global outage today (see our episode on outages), Facebook has a whistleblower revealing terrible revelations about the harm Facebook causes, a new tool can reveal who actually owns companies, and Europe is looking to (rightly) standardize on USB-C for charging electronic devices (much to Apple's discomfort).

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