QR Code contains TinyURL of this article.The Trawler: № 12

Derelict Trawler, Loch Ness, Scotland
Derelict Trawler, Loch Ness, ScotlandCredit: . License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Welcome one and all to another issue of The Trawler, the Internet’s premier collection of “stuff.”

(Hell’s bells, has it really been more than a year since I last posted here? Better crack on then…)

Save the Planet

Low←Tech Magazine has a solar-powered version of their website at https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/. This kind of set-up intrigues me: a web-server that is entirely carbon-neutral and self-powered. I could easily imagine such a set-up serving digital information and services to a small, post-apocalyptic community of off-grid nomads.

Web Design

We have a clever hack from Scott Jehl, who shows us how to inline a SVG file in HTML, declaratively and asynchronously. This is cool. Jehl’s method allows us to embed an external SVG while retaining stylistic control of it via CSS.

In my quest to provide a high-performance website I came across Alexandre Dieulot’s instant.page, a just-in-time pre-loader written in JavaScript. I was quick to add instant.page to the Perpetual βeta.

Nicolas Gallagher gives us a fantastic base-line for our web-design with normalize.css, a small CSS file that provides better cross-browser consistency in the default styling of HTML elements. It’s a modern, HTML5-ready, alternative to the traditional CSS reset.

Andy Bell presents a CSS snippet that provides for “full-bleed” content, i.e. components that break out of the constraints of their parent container. I tried to implement this before within this website but never got there. Now, thanks to Bell’s ingenuity, I am able to. I have revisited a selection of my older pages and applied full-bleed to a handful of inline images. This is a nice one to have in the toolkit (see below).

lighthouse on a rocky cliff on overcast, slightly foggy day
Douglas Head LighthouseCredit: . License: CC BY-NC 4.0


Orbital Reflector is a sculpture constructed of a lightweight material similar to Mylar. The housing is a small box-like infrastructure known as a CubeSat and launched into space aboard a rocket. Once in low Earth orbit at a distance of about 350 miles (575 kilometers) from Earth, the CubeSat opens and releases the sculpture, which self-inflates like a balloon. Sunlight reflects onto the sculpture making it visible from Earth with the naked eye — like a slowly moving artificial star as bright as a star in the Big Dipper. The sculpture will orbit the earth for some weeks before disintegrating upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.


The Shadow Brokers breach and subsequent release of TAO technical documents shook the NSA to its core. Current and former agency officials say the disclosures, which began in August 2016, have been catastrophic for the NSA, calling into question its ability to protect potent cyber-weapons and its value to national security. The agency regarded as the world’s leader in breaking into adversaries’ computer networks failed to protect its own.

See also:


What follows is something of a link-dump. As I haven’t written a post here in over a year, I have rather a lot of tabs and bookmarks to clear out. 😃