Nerdy extroverted software developer
4308 stories

iOS 12 will automatically share your location during 911 calls

1 Share
Apple is joining Google, Uber and others in providing accurate location data that could save your life in an emergency. The company has revealed that iOS 12 will automatically (and importantly, securely) share your location with first responders dur...
Read the whole story
Share this story

Nerdist, others disavow Chris Hardwick in the wake of ex Chloe Dykstra’s post detailing abuse

1 Share

Warning: This piece contains language and content regarding domestic abuse that some people may find sensitive or triggering.

Last night the actress and TV personality Chloe Dykstra wrote an unlisted blog post on Medium detailing allegations of emotional and sexual abuse that occurred in a relationship over a period of three years. Since the post went live, many have speculated that the ex-boyfriend in question was TV host and podcaster Chris Hardwick; some, including his former employees, have publicly distanced themselves from the Nerdist co-founder. In a follow-up tweet, Dykstra, who is also the daughter of Academy Award-winning special effects guru John Dykstra, thanked people for their support and did not contest the connection.

“In my early twenties, I was a vibrant, goofy kid who loved video games, Doctor Who, dressing up in cosplay with my friends, and karaoke nights. One day, I met someone at a convention and ended up falling for a man almost 20 years my senior,” Dykstra wrote. “Our relationship started out poorly. Within 2 weeks, rules were quickly established.”

Those rules — which fall under what the National Domestic Violence hotline describes as abusive — applied to who Dykstra could see (no male friends) and what she could do (no alcohol, no going out at night without him). She goes on to describe a charming partner who turned into “a nightmare” when the cameras were gone, and one who demanded sex whether she was willing or not. The post details the effect his abuse had on her, including dramatic, stress-induced weight loss, pulling out her hair to the point of needing regular extensions, staying quiet in his presence in public, and “drifting through life like a ghost.”

“What I wanted was a partner, someone to confide in, someone to share things with, someone who wouldn’t judge me, someone I knew would be there for me,” she wrote. “What I felt that this man wanted was a woman who would feed him, sleep with him, and go to events with him.”

Dykstra also alleged that once she left, the ex had her blacklisted at companies she worked for regularly, effectively “steamrolling [her] career.” The blacklisting, she said, drove her to consider suicide more than once.

The reaction to the Medium post was immediate throughout the entertainment industry. Multiple writers for Nerdist Industries, the company Hardwick co-founded and then subsequently sold to Legendary Entertainment in 2012, have denounced him or stated they would no longer write for

After Dykstra’s Medium post went live, the actress tweeted her thanks to those who had articulated their affirmation and support.

Before she took her online hiatus, Dykstra tweeted about Nerdist Industries.

Hardwick hasn’t made any public statements since Dykstra’s account was published. Nerdist Industries, however, made a statement on Twitter this afternoon. “Like you, we were shocked to read the news this morning,” read the note. It included an additional statement from parent company Legendary Entertainment: “Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017. He no longer has any affiliation with Legendary Digital Networks. The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation.”

In a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter late last night, Hardwick denied the allegations, saying that “at no time did I sexually assault her,” and that he was “blindsided by the post.”

We’ve reached out to Dykstra for confirmation that the post is indeed about Hardwick, and to Hardwick’s representatives for comment, and will update this post if we hear back.

Update June 15th, 6:10PM ET: Updated to include a new comment from Dykstra.

Update June 16th, 9:10AM ET: Updated to include statement from Hardwick.

Read the whole story
Share this story

Plex's grid guide gives cord cutters a traditional TV look

1 Share
Plex has offered DVR features and live TV viewing in its app for a few years, but now it's making it easier to surf through channels with a traditional-style grid guide. Over the years I've noticed that every "new TV" platform makes a show of using b...
Read the whole story
Share this story

Police departments are training dogs to sniff out thumb drives

1 Share

Police departments in the US are using canines to sniff out thumb drives, phones, and other electronics. They train search dogs to associate food with locating the faint chemical smell of electronic devices, as detailed in this report by CNET.

It’s a lesser-known use for the K-9 programs across the country. It was kept secret for years so that authorities could catch unsuspecting criminals without running into complications and so they could be sure the dogs weren’t making mistakes. One case in 2015 did bring attention to dogs finding hardware through their olfactory senses. A Labrador retriever named Bear uncovered a man’s flash drive that contained child pornography, which helped make the case for the man’s conviction.

A K-9 instructor for the Connecticut State Police told CNET that out of every 50 dogs tested, only one usually has a strong enough nose to identify the weak scent in electronics; specifically, they’re looking for the chemical compound triphenylphosphine oxide, which can be found in all gadgets that contain memory. The instructor said that electronics are harder to sniff out than bombs, drugs, humans, or flammable liquids. In particular, Labrador retrievers tend to have the excellent snouts that are required for the job. Dogs that are able to detect the scent are known as electronic storage detection (ESD) dogs.

The Labrador retriever Harley, who CNET observed, gets fed a few pieces of kibble for each device she sniffs out. On days when there’s nothing to search for, her carriers will train her by hiding devices throughout the house. Once a week, she gets a treat day where she’s fed without having to earn it. But otherwise, they keep her on a tight regimen so that she’s motivated to search for thumb drives.

The dogs can find SIM cards that have a log of phone calls, find friends’ iPhones to replace the Apple feature, or even identify surveillance cameras in odd places like a coat hook. There are at least 17 of these ESD programs in the US that are used by local police and the FBI, and reports about the programs have increased in the last three years following the case with Bear.

Read the whole story
Share this story

Tesla will start rolling out its ‘full self-driving’ package in August, Elon Musk says

1 Share

Over the weekend, avid Twitter user Elon Musk said that Tesla’s “long awaited” Version 9 of Autopilot would begin rolling out this August. “To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety,” Musk tweeted. “With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features.”

This would appear to put Musk on track to achieve the promise he made two years ago to offer “full self-driving” capabilities to Tesla owners by 2019. At the time, Musk said that all of his company’s vehicles would be shipped with the hardware necessary for “full self-driving.” That meant customers interested in the feature could shell out $3,000 for an add-on to its $5,000 “Enhanced Autopilot” option.

But what does “full self-driving” mean? A Tesla spokesperson said Musk’s tweet was the extent of the company’s comments. Tesla has been a leader in semi-autonomous driving, racing ahead of legacy automakers by releasing beta systems to customers. The idea is that these betas increase safety (such as with forward collision and lane departure warnings) and maintain Tesla’s edge in the market. But it’s also increased risks for Tesla.

There have been a number of car crashes recently involving Tesla vehicles using Autopilot, three of which resulted in fatalities. Federal investigators recently issued a preliminary report on one fatal crash in Mountain View, Calif, in which Autopilot was reported to have made a navigational mistake contributing to the incident.

Tesla has also been slow to roll out updates to Autopilot. The latest over-the-air software update came in March 2017, which included improved Autosteer for speeds up 90 mph and auto lane changing. Tesla settled a class action lawsuit this week with owners of its vehicles who alleged Autopilot was “essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous.”

Consumer Watchdog recently blasted Tesla for what it calls “deceptive and unfair practices in advertising and marketing” of Autopilot. That suggests that Tesla’s problem is really with marketing, that drivers hear “Autopilot” and assume they can let their attention wander while using it, and that if Tesla just changed the name, a lot of the problems associated with Autopilot could be cleared up.

Indeed, every time there is a crash involving Autopilot, the company issues a statement reminding drivers “to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times.” (Musk has been featured in news segments using Autopilot without his hands touching the steering wheel.)

Tesla’s system uses an array of eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and a forward-facing radar to detect objects and obstructions on the road. This hardware is paired with Tesla’s vision and neural net system, which enable vehicles in the company’s fleet to continuously learn and improve, based on software trained from the billions of miles of road data that are collected by its vehicles.

But Tesla does not use LIDAR, the laser-based sensors that many self-driving operators consider a crucial piece of their hardware stack. Musk has called LIDAR “a crutch” for the self-driving industry and has defended Tesla’s strategy of achieving “full autonomy” using only cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors.

Musk’s self-driving tweet has already sent Tesla watchers (including both long and short sellers of the company’s stock) into a feverish bout of speculation. Short sellers, of course, are convinced that this is another dose of Musk-inspired fantasy, while Tesla’s fans are counting the days until they can take naps behind the wheel of their cars.

Let’s assume for now that Musk isn’t saying that Tesla will enable its cars to become fully driverless, like Waymo’s driverless minivans, which rely on LIDAR. Autopilot Version 9 might enable improved image recognition, “seeing” objects such as traffic lights, stop signs, pedestrians, and other road features — after all, Tesla recently hired deep learning and computer vision expert Andrej Karpathy to help Autopilot with its detection abilities.

Some critics have called on Tesla to ramp down its risky use of Autopilot until the bugs can be fixed. Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst at Navigant Research, said recently that Tesla should “stop using their customers as guinea pigs and disable Autopilot until they have it working properly.” Instead, based on Musk’s tweet, it sounds like Tesla is preparing to take its Autopilot experiment to the next level.

Read the whole story
Share this story

The year of Linux on the (Windows) Desktop - WSL Tips and Tricks


I've been doing a ton of work in bash/zsh/fish lately - Linuxing. In case you didn't know, Windows 10 can run Linux now. Sure, you can run Linux in a VM, but it's heavy and you need a decent machine. You can run a shell under Docker, but you'll need Hyper-V and Windows 10 Pro. You can even go to and get a terminal anywhere - I do this on my Chromebook.

But mostly I run Linux natively on Windows 10. You can go. Just open PowerShell once, as Administrator and run this command and reboot:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Then head over to the Windows Store and download Ubuntu, or Debian, or Kali, or whatever.

What's happening is you're running user-mode Linux without the Linux Kernel. The syscalls (system calls) that these un-modified Linuxes use are brokered over to Windows. Fork a Linux process? It a pico-process in Windows and shows up in the task manager.

Want to edit Windows files and edit them both in Windows and in Linux? Keep your files/code in /mnt/c/ and you can edit them with other OS. Don't use Windows to "reach into the Linux file system." There be dragons.


Once you've got a Linux installed (or many, as I do) you can manage then and use them in a number of ways.

Think this is stupid or foolish? Stop reading and keep running Linux and I wish you all the best. More power to you.

Want to know more? Want to look new and creative ways you can get the BEST of the Windows UI and Linux command line tools? Read on, friends.


WSL means "Windows Subsystem for Linux." Starting with the Windows 10 (version 1709 - that's 2017-09, the Fall Creators Update. Run "Winver" to see what you're running), you've got a command called "wslconfig." Try it out. It lists distros you have and controls which one starts when you type "bash."

Check out below that my default for "bash"  is Ubuntu 16.04, but I can run 18.04 manually if I like. See how I move from cmd into bash and exit out, then go back in, seamlessly. Again, no VM.

C:\>wslconfig /l /all

Windows Subsystem for Linux Distributions:
Ubuntu (Default)

C:\>wslconfig /l
Windows Subsystem for Linux Distributions:
Ubuntu (Default)

128 → $ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS
Release: 16.04
Codename: xenial
128 → $ exit

scott@SONOFHEXPOWER:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Release: 18.04
Codename: bionic

You can also pipe things into Linux commands by piping to wsl or bash like this:

C:\Users\scott\Desktop>dir | wsl grep "poop"

05/18/2018 04:23 PM <DIR> poop

If you're in Windows, running cmd.exe or powershell.exe, it's best to move into Linux by running wsl or bash as it keeps the current directory.


129 → $ pwd
129 → $ exit

Cool! Wondering what that number is before my Prompt? That's my blood sugar. But that's another blog post.


There's a file in /etc/wsl.conf that lets you control things like if your Linux of choice automounts your Windows drives. You can also control more advanced things like if Windows autogenerates a hosts file or processes /etc/fstab. It's up to you!


There's a half dozen distros available and more coming I'm told, but YOU can also make/package your own Linux distribution for WSL with packager/distro-launcher that's open sourced at GitHub.

Docker and WSL

Everyone wants to know if you can run Docker "natively" on WSL. No, that's a little too "Inception," and as mentioned, the Linux Kernel is not present. The unmodified elf binaries work fine but Windows does the work. BUT!

You can run Docker for Windows and click "Expose daemon on localhost:2375" and since Windows and WSL/Linux share the same port space, you CAN run the Docker client very happily on WSL.

After you've got Docker for Windows running in the background, install it in Ubuntu following the regular instructions. Then update your .bashrc to force your local docker client to talk to Docker for Windows:

echo "export DOCKER_HOST=tcp://" >> ~/.bashrc && source ~/.bashrc

There's lots of much longer and more details "Docker on WSL" tutorials, so if you'd like more technical detail, I'd encourage you to check them out! If you use a lot of Volume Mounts, I found Nick's write-up very useful.

Now when I run "docker images" or whatever from WSL I'm talking to Docker for Windows. Works great, exactly as you'd expect and you're sharing images and containers in both worlds.

128 → $ docker images

podcast test 1bd29d0223da 9 days ago 2.07GB
podcast latest e9dd366f0375 9 days ago 271MB
microsoft/dotnet-samples aspnetapp 80a65a6b6f95 11 days ago 258MB
microsoft/dotnet-samples dotnetapp b3d7f438bad3 2 weeks ago 180MB
microsoft/dotnet 2.1-sdk 1f63052e44c2 2 weeks ago 1.72GB
microsoft/dotnet 2.1-aspnetcore-runtime 083ca6a642ea 2 weeks ago 255MB
microsoft/dotnet 2.1-runtime 6d25f57ea9d6 2 weeks ago 180MB
microsoft/powershell latest 708fb186511e 2 weeks ago 318MB
microsoft/azure-cli latest 92bbcaff2f87 3 weeks ago 423MB
debian jessie 4eb8376dc2a3 4 weeks ago 127MB
microsoft/dotnet-samples latest 4070d1d1e7bb 5 weeks ago 219MB
docker4w/nsenter-dockerd latest cae870735e91 7 months ago 187kB
glennc/fancypants latest e1c29c74e891 20 months ago 291MB


Coding and Editing Files

I need to hit this point again. Do not change Linux files using Windows apps and tools. However, you CAN share files and edit them with both Windows and Linux by keeping code on the Windows filesystem.

For example, my work is at c:\github so it's also at /mnt/c/github. I use Visual Studio code and edit my code there (or vim, from within WSL) and I run the code from Linux. I can even run bash/wsl from within Visual Studio Code using its integrated terminal. Just hit "Ctrl+P" in Visual Studio Code and type "Select Default Shell."

Select Default Shell in Visual Studio Code

On Windows 10 Insiders edition, Windows now has a UI called "Sets" that will give you Tabbed Command Prompts. Here I am installing Ruby on Rails in Ubuntu next to two other prompts - Cmd and PowerShell. This is all default Windows - no add-ons or extra programs for this experience.

Tabbed Command Prompts

I'm using Rails as an example here because Ruby/Rails support on Windows with native extensions has historically been a challenge. There's been a group of people heroically (and thanklessly) trying to get Ruby on Rails working well on Windows, but today there is no need. It runs great on Linux under Windows.

I can also run Windows apps or tools from Linux as long as I use their full name with extension (like code.exe) or set an alias.

Here I've made an alias "code" that runs code in the current directory, then I've got VS Code running editing my new Rails app.

Editing a Rails app on Linux on Windows 10 with VS Code

I can even mix and match Windows and Linux when piping. This will likely make Windows people happy and deeply offend Linux people. Or, if you're non-denominational like me, you'll dig it!

$ ipconfig.exe | grep IPv4 | cut -d: -f2

Again a reminder: Modifying files located not under /mnt/<x> with a Windows application in WSL is not supported. But edit stuff on /mnt/x with whatever and you're cool.

Sharing Sharing Sharing

If you have Windows 10 Build 17064 or newer (run ver from windows or "cmd.exe /c /ver" from Linux) and you can even share an environment variable!

131 → $ cmd.exe /c ver

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17672.1000]

There's a special environment variable called "WSLENV" that is a colon-delimited list of environment variables that should be included when launching WSL processes from Win32 or Win32 processes from WSL. Basically you give it a list of variables you want to roam/share. This will make it easy for things like cross-platform dual builds. You can even add a /p flag and it'll automatically translate paths between c:\windows style and /mnt/c/windows style.

Check out the example at the WSL Blog about how to share a GOPATH and use VSCode in Windows and run Go in both places.

You can also use a special built-in command line called "wslpath" to translate path names between Windows and WSL. This is useful if you're sharing bash scripts, doing cross-platform scripts (I have PowerShell Core scripts that run in both places) or just need to programmatically switch path types.

131 → $ wslpath "d:\github\hanselminutes-core"

131 → $ wslpath "c:\Users\scott\Desktop"

There is no man page for wslpath yet, but copied from this GitHub issue, here's the gist:

wslpath usage:

-a force result to absolute path format
-u translate from a Windows path to a WSL path (default)
-w translate from a WSL path to a Windows path
-m translate from a WSL path to a Windows path, with ‘/’ instead of ‘\\’

One final note, once you've installed a Linux distro from the Windows Store, it's on you to keep it up to date. The Windows Store won't run "apt upgrade" or ever touch your Linuxes once they have been installed. Additionally, you can have Ubuntu 1604 and 1804 installed side-by-side and it won't hurt anything.

Related Links

Are you using WSL?

Sponsor: Check out JetBrains Rider: a cross-platform .NET IDE. Edit, refactor, test and debug ASP.NET, .NET Framework, .NET Core, Xamarin or Unity applications. Learn more and download a 30-day trial!

© 2018 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
Read the whole story
Share this story
Next Page of Stories