Tech Enthusiasts Weekly (Issue 217): Saudi’s New Future City

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Here is a record of weekly tech content worth sharing, published on Friday.

This magazine is open source (GitHub: ruanyf/weekly ), welcome to submit issues, contributions or recommend scientific and technological content.

Weekly discussion forum post “Who’s Hiring? “ , provides a lot of programmer employment information, welcome to visit or post job/internship positions.

cover picture

The Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened to the public last year, has a large roof with wide eaves, which is not only like a traditional western Sichuan residence, but also like the mountains around Chengdu, and can also be used for outdoor activities. ( via )

Topic of the week: Saudi’s new city of the future

In 2017, Saudi Arabia announced that it would build an unprecedented city called Neom in the desert on the Red Sea.

Its conception is shocking, the whole city has only one road, 170 kilometers long, and all the buildings are distributed on both sides of the road. This is a linear city.

My first feeling was incredible, there is only one way, how to build a city? However, when I think about it, I realize that this design is very reasonable.

At that time, the weekly also introduced this design. Because there is only one road, only rail transit is enough for transportation. There is no need for cars at all, and there are no highways, intersections, traffic lights, etc. It is very simple and convenient.

It is very suitable for a large number of people to live in, and water, electricity, logistics, and garbage can all be solved through pipes. It is only necessary to pull out the branches to both sides of the road along the main pipeline, with high efficiency and low cost.

However, since the announcement, this “new future city” has not been described. There is no news of any advance in sight, and the Saudi government does not mention it.

Just when everyone thought that this project was just an empty talk, oil suddenly skyrocketed this year, and Saudi Arabia has an endless supply of petrodollars.

On July 25 this year, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia held a grand press conference, announcing the design details of the new future city, claiming to invest 1 trillion US dollars to build the city.

This time the design is even more shocking.

The main body of the city will have only one building, called the “mirror line” , 500 meters high, 200 meters wide and 120 kilometers long. Its exterior is mirror-like, probably all solar panels.

To emphasize, the length of this building is 120 kilometers! This distance from Beijing to Tianjin is almost the same. Saudi Arabia wants to build a modern Great Wall in the desert.

The structure of the building is two parallel façades, with the desert on the outside. People live in these two façades, and between them are public facilities such as corridors, parks, and stadiums.

The underground of the building is the rail transit, as well as various buried pipelines.

The following is the official promotional video ( Tencent Video , Youtube ), you can watch it.

The Saudi government says the first buildings will be completed in 2030. When fully completed, it will have up to 9 million inhabitants.

In my opinion, this date is unlikely, after all, there are no construction drawings now. However, I’m really looking forward to this building, it’s modern, full of ideas, and feels feasible to be an energy-efficient green city that overcomes the ills of modern cities (traffic jams, parking difficult, long commute time, less green space, etc.).

China is also building a lot of new cities, and I wonder if we can do an experiment like this. Choose a location and build a linear city dominated by rail transit. The scale does not need to be so large. With my country’s infrastructure capacity, I am afraid it will be completed earlier than Saudi Arabia.

Technology trends

1. Solar Agreement

The power consumption of data centers is huge, and many countries are trying to use solar energy to power computer rooms, but there is a problem: the network usage is the highest at night, but there is no solar energy at this time.

A group of US researchers have come up with a “solar protocol”: websites are simultaneously deployed on servers around the world, which are powered by solar energy, and traffic is always automatically switched to the server in the daytime time zone, so that solar energy is guaranteed 24 hours a day. powered by.

Its technical implementation is very simple, that is, let DNS always return a solar-powered IP address.

2. The Earth’s rotation is changing rapidly

Since the use of atomic clocks in the 1960s, the time of Earth’s rotation has been precisely measured. In recent years, researchers have discovered that Earth’s rotation has been accelerating.

June 29, 2022, was the fastest day on record for Earth’s rotation, or the shortest day in history. This day is 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours (1 millisecond equals 0.001 seconds). The previous record was 1.47 milliseconds less than 24 hours on July 19, 2020.

Scientists can’t yet explain why the Earth’s rotation is getting faster. If this trend continues, negative leap seconds may have to be used, subtracting one second from standard time.

3. Laser Microphone

Carnegie Mellon University has invented a laser microphone, which is very magical. It does not receive sound waves and can only record with a camera.

It fires a laser that shines on the vibrating surface, producing precise reflection patterns, and the camera captures changes in these reflection patterns, then calculates the shape and frequency of the vibrations, reconstructs the sound waves, and completes the recording.

It has multiple cameras and can record multiple sound sources. This makes it possible to record separate high-fidelity tracks for each instrument while the band is playing.

4. Virtual studio

Sony has launched a “virtual studio”, which uses a 360-degree high-definition LED screen. The background, the top of the head, and the bottom of the feet are all screens. It can play various scenes, and the effect is real, as if it is in a real location. The entire space is about 15 meters wide and 5 meters high.

It can simulate any scene the user wants, and without the limitations of weather and light, it can simulate night and day, and shoot anytime.

In the future, there may be no need for travel photography at all, and you can shoot all over islands, deserts, forests, and cities in one day.


1. The Pseudomorphic Scandal (Chinese)

A UK crystal structure database has announced that it will delete nearly 1,000 crystal structures because they do not exist.

They come from more than 800 papers of Chinese doctors, because Chinese hospitals require doctors to only publish papers before they can evaluate their professional titles. As a result, these non-existent small molecular structures were generated.

2. Where does Beijing’s massive construction waste go ? (Chinese)

This article introduces Beijing to make construction waste into “recycled bricks” and try to reuse it.

3. How Ren Zhengfei founded Huawei (Chinese)

This article introduces Ren Zhengfei’s personal experience, how to turn Huawei from a small company of a few people into a telecom equipment giant.

“At that time, Huawei could only be regarded as a leather bag company. It did whatever it could to make money. It sold fire alarms and air flotation meters, as well as health care products and diet pills. Once, Ren Zhengfei heard about a company’s tombstone business in Shenzhen. Well done, even looking for someone to investigate.”

4. The Story Behind SQL (Chinese)

A Chinese compilation of the SQLite author’s podcast interview on how SQLite came to be and why it has become the most rigorously tested software on the planet: 1 billion tests per new release, which takes days to run. (Contributed by @CherryLover )

5. How to maintain an open source project (Chinese)

If you want to open source a project, what matters should be paid attention to, the author will talk about his ideas. (Contributed by @da1234cao )

6. WebContainer is supported by Firefox (English)

WebContainer is a new technology developed by StackBlitz. It builds a Node.js virtual machine in the browser through WebAssembly, and the server script can run directly in the browser.

7. Expose Web Services Using Cloudflare Tunnel (English)

This article is a tutorial on how to use the Cloudflare Tunnel service to put intranet web services on the public network. There is also a tutorial on connecting to an internal network machine via SSH from the external network.

8. Hide your server with Cloudflare Tunnel (English)

This article explains how to use the free service Cloudflare Tunnel to hide your website’s real IP. The biggest advantage is that you don’t have to open any ports on the server, so you can’t directly attack the origin site.


1. Arctype SQL

A desktop database query tool that can connect to various databases, execute SQL statements in them, and display data in a visual form.

2. CSS Flashlight

This web page demonstrates various flashlight effects using CSS.

3. snoopForms

An open source alternative to Typeform for building online questionnaires.


Online generator for favicon favicon. (Contributed by @liushuduo )


The animation effect scheme of YY live broadcast, involving iOS, Android and Web, including After Effects plug-ins and other tools, you can read the series of introduction articles in the warehouse first. (Contributed by @guoyabiniOS )

6. Lorien

A drawing + note-taking canvas software that can export to SVG format. The bottom layer uses the Godot game engine, the graphics performance is very good, and it supports Linux/Mac/Windows systems.

7. Vytal

A Chrome browser plug-in that can modify your time zone, language, geographic location and Useragent settings to fool the IP detection of page scripts.

8. Flarum

A simple and fast PHP forum program with more than 10,000 stars on GitHub.

9. Git Command Explorer

A web widget where you choose a Git command to use, and it gives the specific usage format for that command.

Emoji Kitchen

In 2020, Google’s designers did a project to combine Emoji symbols in pairs to form a new Emoji.

The project is called “Emoji Kitchen” , which means processing Emoji.

The designer drew a total of tens of thousands of pictures, which are provided in the Android Gboard application, which is a keyboard application and needs to be installed separately. However, all images are placed on Google’s servers and can be recalled at will.

Many external developers have written various UIs to facilitate you to find and obtain these pictures.

1. Emoji Kitchen

2. Emojimix

3. Emoji Supply

4. There is also an Emoji wallpaper tool , you can select Emoji symbols to generate wallpapers.


1. Awesome tunneling

This repository collects various tunneling software.

2. Textbooks approved by the American Mathematical Society

The American Mathematical Society has a web page listing textbooks approved by the society in every area of ​​mathematics, many of which are freely available.

3. Fediverse Wiki

Fediverse is an information exchange protocol for websites to read each other’s data. This wiki collects various related content of the Fediverse protocol, but it has just started construction, and the content is relatively small.


1. Snow map

A British engineer famous for making snow maps, he rendered large mathematical figures on the snow.

The most astonishing thing is not the graphics themselves, but they are all made by him wearing special shoes, one footprint, one footprint.


1. I’m going to quit Quora

You may have seen me on Quora, where I spent over 10 years writing more than 11,000 answers.

I will be leaving Quora soon.

I didn’t get kicked out, and I didn’t leave with great pain. Over the years, I’ve found Quora to be informative, inspiring, and a great site. Frankly, it worked fine for me.

I’m addicted to Quora and can’t help but use this site. There were some great questions and discussions there that inspired me and my ideas.

But as I re-read the answers I wrote, I appreciate my rhetoric and insight on the one hand, and also see how many ideas can grow into greater results. They could have grown further into software, articles, papers, startups, books, or social movements, but nothing happened.

Not only that, but there are many long essays that I have written that are no longer relevant and become waste. And there are plenty of comments that I’ve spent hours writing trying to convince readers who can never change their minds on these issues.

I’ve spent thousands (maybe tens of thousands) hours writing on Quora. I’ve written far more than 11,000 answers, and more than 5,000 draft answers, many of which have been written for a long time, only to be unpublished because it was too late for the final polish.

I have a lot of fans and readers, and a lot of likes. I’ve been an official Quora “Top Answerer” many times.

However, the amount of work I put into Quora didn’t pay off. I’m not talking about financial rewards, or social media attention, accolades, or influence, or even personal growth.

I just turned 40 when I started writing on Quora. I’m in my 50s now. In some ways, my contribution to Quora has been my biggest project and “achievement” of the past decade.

I don’t think that’s pointless, I’m proud of some of these answers. But there will be no accumulation, it will not grow into anything. I wrote the answer in an hour and might get some great ideas and some likes or interesting comments, but that’s about it.

And over the years, I found myself rewriting the same answers, and I did repeat myself despite the obvious improvements and updates that made my thinking better. Writing Quora answers is not like writing a chapter in a book, I can’t make hundreds of my computer science answers into a book. The overall value of all the answers is obviously less than the sum of the parts.

Over the past 10 years, my friends have written books, built academic careers, made films, and accomplished other things. I just accumulated a bunch of Quora answers. It is also an achievement. However, I look at them and feel that I should be able to do more with my time, talents and energy.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve made more money writing one magazine article than I’ve made writing 11,000 Quora answers. Obviously, money is not my main goal on Quora.

I’ve known all this for years. I’ve long decided to use Quora only as a creative stimulator, where I develop ideas and then absorb them and develop them elsewhere.

But the truth is… I sat down one morning, went to Quora’s notifications page, and wasted the best part of the day there. I’m addicted and can’t control myself on Quora.

So I have to leave.

I have to make the next decade of my life meaningful. I have to use the time, talent and energy I have to create something more meaningful instead of just wasting thousands of answers.

I can’t spend another decade on Quora.



The goal of software development is not type safety, 100% test coverage, smooth code logic, perfect development tools, efficient systems, using the best programming languages, elegant API design, fast feedback loops, writing great code etc…

The real goal of software development is only one: to release software that solves customer problems and provides value to customers.

“The 10th Anniversary of Becoming a Professional Programmer”


The best way to sell is to sincerely believe in what you are selling.

It feels great to sell something you really believe in, and it feels bad to try to sell something you don’t believe in.

Sam Altman, How to Succeed


People have an amazing ability to make things happen. But most people never dare to try this ability and just silently accept the world as it is.

Sam Altman, How to Succeed


Because I’m worried that the version is too big and might confuse me.

Linus Torvalds explained that the next version of the Linux kernel, version 5.20, could be a direct upgrade to Linux version 6.0


He ran out of fingers and toes.

Hacker News reader , comment on that Linus remark above

this week in history

2021 (Issue 169): Product Design of Wuling Motors

2020 (Issue 118): How to fill in the college entrance examination volunteers

2019 (Issue 67): Complex systems cannot be maintained, Jurassic Park must fail

2018 (Issue 16): Technology changes the pattern of death


The domestic software FlowUs provides a personal column service (see the weekly column ), which integrates “document + table + network disk”, which is suitable for knowledge base, data management, and file storage.


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  • Copyright statement: Free to reprint – non-commercial – non-derivative – keep attribution ( Creative Commons 3.0 license )
  • Date of publication: August 5, 2022

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