Roy Tang

roytang.net

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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2020 April

  • Privacy and 'Nothing to Hide'

    I was reading this post about how to respond to the "Nothing to Hide" argument against the concept of privacy. The quoted DuckDuckGo blog post lists some pretty good reasons, but I thought I'd expound on some thoughts as well. The core of the "Nothing to Hide" argument is that if you, personally, have nothing incriminating or illegal to hide, then you don't need to worry about privacy intrusions. The argument is used mainly to justify things like state-sponsored surveillance, but might also be applicable to data collection activities by large corporations such as Facebook or Google. Wikipedia article for

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  • Technical Interview Notes

    I've had the good fortune to be on the interviewer side of technical interviews much more often than I've been the interviewee. I've been doing a few more of these over the past couple of years and made some notes, so I thought I'd talk about technical interviews for a bit. Caveat: these are largely based on my own experiences, in the local environment here in the PH. Technical Exam / Screening Many companies will ask applicants to undertake a technical exam before letting them advance to further stages of the recruitment process. This kind of screening is most useful

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  • Weeknotes 2020-04-26

    It's the last week of April, but thanks to an extension, we are still in for three more weeks of quarantine. The COVID19 Diary is still being updated sporadically. Only went out once this week, for groceries. We tried to buy a bit more than usual, hoping to reduce the number of times we need to go out. We also celebrated a couple of birthdays in the family, through a zoom call, complete with the grandkids blowing on a candle from across the internet. The week wasn't very productive. Lots of sitting or lying around, scrolling through feeds, instead of

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  • Unless you’re working at a small shop that only serves local clients, software development these days is often an international endeavor. That means the aspiring software developer needs to be able to work with and get along with people of different cultures. In the company I worked with, most projects back in the day we would have a person from the foreign office in charge. Their roles were either as project manager (PM) or system analyst (SA). They were the ones who would be interacting directly with the clients so they get to decide which things need to be done

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  • Weeknotes 2020-04-19

    This week went by quickly, for some reason. And despite the fact that it's summer, the rains have started coming in early, although only sporadically. inb4 "the world is healing" The COVID19 Diary is still being updated every few days. Actually went out 3 times this week, once for groceries, and twice for meds for the parental units (one would assume they would coordinate so I can just buy everything in one go, but nooooo.) Maybe that contributed to why the week went by so fast for me. Going out these days saps your energy a lot more than it

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  • Pure HTML Toggles

    Just last month, I wrote a method of implementing element toggles using a pure CSS approach. While that post was educational for me, it turns out there was an even simpler way of doing things. I found out about it when I read this post by Jamie Tanna. Apparently the details and summary tags already support HTML toggles, so we can do this with neither CSS or JS! I've updated the spoiler tags on this site to use this new method. I also used this method for the Table of Contents on certain posts (currently only the Covid19 diary). Sample

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  • Web Application Security

    A while back one of the biggest leaks of personal information in history was made by hackers accessing the Commission on Elections database here in the Philippines. More than 50 million voter registration records, including information such as full names, date of birth, address, among others. A small percentage of the data leaked also included email addresses and even passport numbers. The hack exposed more than half of the country’s population to the possibility of social engineering and other exploits. It was certainly a national embarrassment, especially for those of us working in software development. But the truth of the

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  • Bespoke vs Product Development

    For most of my time working on software projects, it has always been for bespoke projects. Bespoke basically means a software program or package tailor-made for a specific client. The client provides all the requirements, the team fleshes out more details and specifications, some prototyping may or may not ensure, and implementation proceeds thusly. It’s relatively straightforward compared to product development. I only started getting involved with “product”-like projects over the in the latter half of my career as a software developer. A "product" is a more general use software program or package, perhaps sold to the mass market or

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  • I stopped updating the COVID19 Diary for a few days (last update was on Maunday Thursday), and I feel like that was a healthier choice overall. It helped that nothing significantly newsworthy happened over the long weekend. (Well, there's still thousands of deaths worldwide, but somehow our bar for "significant" has shifted quite a bit.) Our lockdown has of course been extended to the end of April. I expect it will go beyond that though, likely the earliest chance for things to start going back to normal might be by June. Got some consulting work done in the first half

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  • Naked CSS Day

  • Weeknotes 2020-04-05

    My COVID19 Diary is still ongoing, and I have yet to find a solution for the TOC. Today is Palm Sunday. I'm writing this early in the morning, so IDK yet how the church will adapt the usual fanfare to this whole pandemic thing. The summer heat has begun to settle in during the last few weeks of quarantine. I can't sit without a shirt or rest or my arms anywhere without sweat threatening to accumulate on the contact surface. Coincidentally around the first week of the lockdown, our aircon in the only airconditioned room in the house started making

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