Signal or Telegram: who’s a better guardian of your privacy?

I am offering you the following without any conclusions on my own, so make your call.

A few days ago one of the founders of Signal messenger (Moxie Marlinspike) has started claiming that Telegram is worst or equal than infamous Whatsapp and FB’s Messenger in terms of security and encryption. His reasons show all but familiar tactics of turning facts inside-out to fit the narrative (i.e.

Claims likes this are actually addressed in Telegram’s FAQ where it explains how how they split encryption keys between the geos in order to make it nearly impossible for any single country to get access to the content of even not end-to-end encrypted chats). Also, you might want to check this for more in-depth explanations

But just today I came about this analysis of the history of Signal exposing Moxie’s possible connections to NSA and perhaps other agencies. Which won’t be very surprising for a guy who headed the encryption team at Twitter.

Anyway – judge for yourself and feel free to forward it around if you think this is helpful.


Freshening up my business web-site

As some of you might know, I was running this consulting gig for a while as a side business. Recently, I decided to invest more time and attention to it, perhaps even making it my full time vocation.

Going forward, I am going to post more content at the new site, but this one will remain active for archiving/historical purposes and things that aren’t suited to be posted on the business website.

Please come and visit me at

Cooler FOSS’ heads prevail once again

As you have seen in my last post or elsewhere, Facebook has recently added a dubious patent clause in the license of  multiple projects including ReactJS. And predictably, a number of organizations, companies, and open-source advocates made it clear that it’s way too dangerous to keep on using the code with such restrictions because of possible legal repercussions.

Well, I am pleased to tell to all my readers, that they have back-tracked on this after Apache Foundation, WordPress, and many others have express their clear intention of switching to safe alternatives to React.js and other frameworks from FB, or banning their use. As you all know, FOSS is a free market ecosystem; it is thriving from the forces of intellectual competition, always offering multiple choices to its users. And this approach won again: facing the danger of loosing their user base and, effectively, rendering themselves irrelevant, they made the decision to, once again, re-license some of their projects under MIT.

Namely, ReactJS will be released under the new license. So if you are using it – make sure to update your dependencies to v.16 once it is out next week. Remember, re-licensing isn’t usually retroactive, so don’t fall into that trap.

Disclaimer: I am not using, planning nor recommending to use any Facebook’s sponsored projects

And let the Dao be with you, as usual 😉

Mark Twain and data science

When I look at data science nowadays it reminds of

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Mississippi has
shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles.  Therefore … in the Old
Silurian Period the Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long … seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long.  … There is something fascinating about science.  One gets such wholesome returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
                 Mark Twain

I don’t know why…

Smart-ass recruiters out there….

An spam-email from a recruiter (target company name isn’t mentioned _anywhere_):

   I came across your resume on Dice and would like to talk to you about
   a Hadoop Engineer position with our client, which is a Fortune
   10 company based in Cupertino, CA. This is the largest and most
   valuable consumer electronics/technology company in the world today
   which makes cutting edge smart phones, personal computers & music

Now I wonder which one of us is an idiot?

A dear friend’s of mine college application,,,

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are:

I am a Slavic immigrant often mistaken for an Australian, even when I leave my kangaroo at home. I am a true philanthropist, as any of my sponsors will tell you. Rooms overflow with my kindness, and then I clean them because of how kind I am. Thanks to me, the fifth dentist now also recommends Crest. I once single-handedly won an arm wrestling match. I type 1000 words per minute, and the result makes sense.

My concern with the environment is so great that beavers think twice before felling trees when I am near. I am brave enough to admit that pollution is a problem, which is why you will see me wearing a mask when I take my Hummer out for a drive. My desire to promote diversity and help people feel included is so great that I give tourists directions even when I do not understand what they are asking. Incidentally, I believe that racial intolerance is absolutely unacceptable, and some nations’ inability to grasp this is outrageous.    

At night I dress up in clothes I have designed and fashioned and go to fight crime. If I witness crime during the day, I wait until nighttime to
confront the culprit at hand, for what would this world come to without
punctuality and order? My band’s chosen genre is percussive maintenance, and we regularly hold charity gigs at Apple stores. I refrain from slapping people who do not know how to properly use the word “whom,” and I do not sing on the bus.

I take inflation into consideration when giving to the beggars I pass on my way to work every day. I have convinced several skunk families and one hippie to use deodorant. I did not accept the reward Waldo’s family offered when I found him hiding in his closet and persuaded him to come out. When he did, I did not judge him. I can slow down time itself – especially in maths class. I have organized a volunteer group for teaching children fire safety. I have often paid people’s emergency room bills for them. When my friends come to me with their problems, I encourage them to do what I do not doubt is right. I am someone who can admit to being wrong, even when I was convinced otherwise. I learn from my mistakes every day, multiple times a day. Some say I am an ideal role model for the new generation.

But, most importantly, I am modest, and that is my defining quality.

Certainly, it deserves a scholarship …

LaTeX is cool and easy

Well, last week I was working on a document that needed to be neatly formatted and I didn’t want to go with the usual chores with WISIVIG environment. Yes, I am a big fan of OpenOffice, but these guys have some drawbacks when it gets to the accurate representation of your work once printed.

Anyway, I decided to give LaTeX a try. I’ve been avoiding this thing since my time in the grad school: I thought it is crazy. a mess and hard to learn. Well, either I got much smarter in the last 20 years or Mr. Knuth is an incredibly clever person, or likely the both 😉

It took me about twenty minutes to get everything installed and running (thank you Ubuntu for packaging up TexMaker!) and the draft version of my paper neatly formatted. Well, I have spent another two hours polishing it to where I finally liked it, but this is beyond the point – I have high standards 🙂

Did I fell in love with Tex? No, I don’t think so, but it turned out that programming your papers is fun and let you have a professional looking documents with ease.