I’m happy to announce that a new version of
size, the PrettySize.NET port for rust, has been released and includes a number of highly requested features and improvements.
The last major release of the
size crate was 0.1.2, released in December of 2018. It was feature complete with regards to its original purpose: the (automatic) textual formatting of file sizes for human-readable printing/display purposes. It would automatically take a file size, pick the appropriate unit (KB, MB, GB, etc) to display the final result in, and choose a suitable precision for the floating numeric component. It had support for both base-10 (KB, MB, GB, etc) and base-2 (KiB, MiB, GiB, etc) types, and the user could choose between them as well as override how the unit was formatted. In short, it did one thing and did it right.
Easy Window Switcher, our Windows “power toy” that brings macOS-like switching between open windows of the same application with Alt+` to Microsoft Windows, has just been updated to version 1.3.0. This new release brings some much requested fixes for keyboard layouts used by our friends in Denmark and Sweden and some more compatibility fixes for everyone else.
In the world of network security, it pays to always remember that many (if not most!) security bugs start off their lives as seemingly innocuous “regular” bugs, and it’s only by diligently considering how aberrant behavior – say, incorrect results returned for particular inputs or a mere “stability issue” that turns out to actually be a use-after-free causing the observed crashes – could be abused by determined malicious actors that the underlying security implications become obvious. This has great benefits: for instance, it can be argued that it wasn’t until Microsoft started taking BSoDs that could be triggered by unprivileged users seriously, recognizing them for the open backdoors most of them were, that Windows actually became usably stable.
Of course, then there are the bugs that have such blatantly obvious security implications that it would be hard to qualify them as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Someone encountering such a bug, even if not particularly security-minded, would be forced to immediately recognize the risk they pose even if only because they have to deal with its consequences. This post is about such a security bug that I encountered in the same vein as many others in the past: simply trying to do something completely unrelated and running into a vulnerability that made the task at hand that much harder.
NeoSmart Technologies is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the latest additions to its Easy Recovery Essentials™ for Windows line of bootable repair and recovery tools for Microsoft Windows: EasyRE for Windows 11 and EasyRE Pro for Windows 11. Continuing a tradition that started with Windows 10, our Windows 11 boot recovery USB is currently available as a completely free download for anyone that needs to fix their Windows 11 installation after a virus infection or a Windows Update gone wrong.
EasyRE for Windows 11 is probably the easiest and most reliable way to fix BCD boot errors, blue screens during Windows boot, startup errors, EFI bootloader problems, MBR issues and more. You can download EasyRE for Windows 11 for free today, and use it to create a bootable Windows repair USB with the free Easy USB Creator or create a free Windows recovery CD if you prefer that route instead. You just download EasyRE on any working PC, convert the ISO image download to a USB or CD with one of our free tools, then place it in the computer that needs repair and restart it, choosing to boot from the EasyRE CD or USB, and wait for it to load the main menu:
Windows 11 is here and it comes with a new version of Segoe UI Emoji, the font that’s used across the OS to render various emoji from Unicode codepoint sequences to the emoji you see on screen (developers: use Unicode.NET for your emoji needs!). With it, a number of emoji icons have been upgraded to a new look: some to mirror the connotations and semantics of other emoji fonts, others to be less disparaging. But there’s a less welcome surprise too, for those four… maybe five? of us that still remember the ill-fated Windows Phone fondly.
NeoSmart Technologies’ open source (MIT-licensed), cross-platform
tac (written in rust) has been updated to version 2.0 (GitHub link). This is a major release with enormous performance improvements under-the-hood, primarily featuring handwritten SIMD acceleration of the core logic that allows it to process input up to three times faster than its GNU Coreutils counterpart. (For those that aren’t familiar with it,
tac is a command-line utility to reverse the contents of a file.)
This release has been a long time in the making. I had the initial idea of utilizing vectorized instructions to speed up the core line ending search logic during the initial development of
tac in 2017, but was put off by the complete lack of stabilized SIMD support in rust at the time. In 2019, after attempting to process a few log files – each of which were over 100 GiB – I decided to revisit the subject and implemented a proof-of-concept shortly thereafter… and that’s when things stalled for a number of reasons.
One nice thing that’s come about from the increased scrutiny that online security has been receiving is that it’s gone from being considered paranoid to becoming completely expected to be notified regarding incidents such as new logins, password changes, failed 2FA attempts, and other security-related activity. But any time a metric gets noticed, it also gets gamified and either decreases in value or ceases to be relevant altogether – a principal first documented by British economist Charles Goodhart and now known as Goodhart’s Law and demonstrated in this wonderful Sketch Plantations depiction:
An updated version of
AsyncLock has just been released on GitHub and Nuget with improved support for reentrancy detection.
AsyncLock is a async/await-native anonymous lock for .NET and .NET Core that allows safely using async/await while holding a lock, for example:
Perhaps one of the biggest difficulties in setting up a Linux system for desktop/home use is the fragmentation of the ecosystem, with many different options claiming to get you from point a to somewhere in the vicinity of point b, each with their subtle differences (and at least a few “gotchas” along the way). An easy example: in 2020, you’d think there would be an easy answer to getting a trackpad/touchpad up and running with support for multi-touch gestures at least on par with the experience on Windows and macOS – after all, it’s been 12 years since Apple made multi-touch popular with 2008 MacBook Air.
I have a soft spot in my heart for rust and a passionate distrust (that has slowly turned into hatred) for interpreted, loosely typed languages, but it’s hard to deny the convenience of being able to bang out a bash script you can literally just write and run without having to deal with the edit-compile-run loop, let alone create a new project, worry about whether or not you’re going to check it into version control, and everything else that somehow tends to go hand-in-hand with modern strongly typed languages.
A nifty but scarcely known rust feature is that the language parser will ignore a shebang at the start of the source code file, meaning you can install an interpreter that will compile and run your rust code when you execute the
.rs file – without losing the ability to compile it normally. cargo-script is one such interpreter, meaning you can
cargo install cargo-script then execute your source code (after making it executable,
:! chmod +x %) with something like this: