QR Code contains TinyURL of this article.The Trawler: № 7

★ Achievement Unlocked: 100th Post ★

Welcome one and all to another issue of The Trawler, the Internet’s premier collection of “stuff”. This issue is all the more special since it’s my 100th post here on the Perpetual βeta, yay me. 😃

Web Development

In “A Year Without jQuery”, Patrick Kunka describes his work, at We Are Colony, to eliminate their dependency on the jQuery JavaScript library. I can totally relate to Kunka’s experience. I still (reluctantly) use jQuery in some of my professional work but removed it from this website two years ago, with no ill effect.

If you are involved in web-design in any way you will, no doubt, be familiar with the Masonry layout paradigm. If you’re anything like me, you’ll love the flexibility of the layout engine and the visually compelling results it produces. However, much as I love it, I tend to avoid Masonry due to its JavaScript dependency, for which I have something of an aversion. Imagine my delight to discover how to create Masonry-like layouts with pure CSS. Oh yeah, now we’re talking.

Despite the optimism oozing from the previous two paragraphs, all is not necessarily well for those of us who work with the bits and bytes of the Web, as Drew Hamlett opines in “The Sad State of Web Development(page deleted by its author):

“The web (specifically the Javascript/Node community) has created some of the most complicated, convoluted, over engineered tools ever conceived.”



Zell Liew has, once again, written a compelling article on web-based typography. This time round the topic is “Viewport Unit Based Typography” and it’s a heck of a read. When I find some time I’m going to experiment with Viewport Units as a type measure on the Perpetual βeta.


XSS Reflection attacks are still a thing and it will surprise you (or maybe not) that Fortune 500 companies, banks, the NSA, GCHQ and others all have websites that are vulnerable.1  Troy Hunt explores the topic and offers up a fun little testing script you can use to prove to yourself just how widespread these vulnerabilities are.

Did you ever wonder what a hacker might do when she gains access to your computer? If so, follow the discussion of “Did I Just Get Hacked?” and see for yourself.

Software Piracy

I find it just about impossible to put together a Trawler feature and not link to something that Jimmy Maher has published and this issue is no exception. I have thoroughly enjoyed and simply have to share Maher’s trilogy of articles exploring the dark corners of software piracy:

  1. A Pirate’s Life for Me, Part 1: Don’t Copy That Floppy;
  2. A Pirate’s Life for Me, Part 2: The Scene;
  3. A Pirate’s Life for Me, Part 3: Case Studies in Copy Protection.

The Fruit Company

Mashable takes a first look at Apple’s new campus and presents some breathtaking photography. I defy anyone to not think of a spaceship when they see the first image.

New Apple Campus rendering

Technology of the Future

360‍TB; heat resistance to 1000°C; billion year lifespan… the so called “5D” data storage system promises archival capabilities the likes of which we have never had available before. Okay, 13 kilobits per second write time is painfully slow, particularly when you have 360‍TB to write, but this technology has potential.

Fancy a 10‍GB, cryptographically secure file mount, with folders you can share — publicly or privately — between yourself and one or more third-parties? Of course you do. So you’ll love the Keybase File System for sure. KBFS is currently in alpha and obtainable by request only. I can hardly wait for this to become more widely available.

Does the desktop metaphor need a rethink? Lennart Ziburski thinks it does and he’s done a heck of a good job designing a convincing alternative with his Desktop Neo project. I like the look of this.


In 1935, between the first and second World Wars, Major General Smedley Butler wrote “War is a Racket.” It’s a fascinating, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, disturbing read and as true today as it was in the thirties, if not more so. Take some time out to digest it.

While considering a Trump presidency, the Washington Post ponders if this is the end of the West as we know it? Personally, there’s nothing scaring me more at the moment than the possibility of Trump in the White House.

  1. But not the Perpetual βeta. 😃 ↩︎