The Right Way to Hackathon #261 of Tech Enthusiast Weekly

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Fruit farmers in Cixi City, Ningbo artificially pollinate dragon fruit at night. The flowers of dragon fruit open after sunset and close early the next morning. ( via )

The Right Way to Hackathon

Have you participated in a hackathon?

It’s a programming competition where programmers gather in one place (usually a conference room), complete their projects by a set time, and the winners are judged.


The “hackathon” I know is very stressful, and the work must be produced within 48 hours or even 24 hours, and there is often no time to sleep at night, and you have to stay up all night.

The following is a competition method I found on the Internet, which is very common.

Team size : The maximum number of participating teams is limited to 5 people.

Demo Prototype : Entrants must demonstrate prototypes, slides or videos may be considered.

Competition method : Teams or individuals in the on-site finals complete and submit the same test questions issued by the organizing committee within the specified time in the same venue.

However, I recently saw a notice of a hackathon held abroad, and realized that there is actually another way, and that is the correct way to compete.


This competition is called “NixOS Ocean Sprint 2023” (NixOS Ocean Sprint 2023), to see who can find out the vulnerabilities of the NixOS operating system.

The competition time is October this year, anyone can sign up, and the organizing committee selects 20 people to participate.

What makes it different is where it’s played: the Canary Islands!


It is a famous tourist resort in Spain, a tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean, with beautiful scenery, attracting millions of tourists from all over the world every year.

The organizing committee borrowed a large villa with a swimming pool. Everyone stayed in a hotel at night and went to the villa to compete during the day.


If you are tired from programming, go to the swimming pool to swim. When it’s time for dinner, everyone gathers to eat and chat.



In the morning and evening, you can also go to the beach for sports. Wait until the game is over and visit the Canary Islands.

I immediately felt that this is the correct way to hackathon. The previous training-style competition was too boring, focusing too much on competition and rankings, ignoring communication and fun .

The result of the hackathon is actually not important. What valuable results can be obtained from dozens of hours of essay writing? On the contrary, it is the strange young people who get together, communicate with each other, make friends, and exchange ideas. This is the most valuable. In addition, “programming + travel” on a beautiful tropical island will also leave a lifetime of unforgettable memories.

Such competitions are closer to the essence of hacking: programming is for fun and curiosity, an exploration, not a competition .

I sincerely suggest that domestic hackathons learn from this method and move to scenic tourist areas. At least create an occasion and time for everyone to get acquainted and talk, communication first, competition second.

Fingerprint Browser AdsPower

Many excellent domestic software, due to market and industry reasons, are not well-known domestically, but are well-known overseas. Today, I will introduce to you such a domestic software AdsPower ( Chinese station , English station ).


It’s a fingerprinting browser, or more precisely, an “anti-fingerprinting browser” that prevents websites from fingerprinting your browser .

The so-called “browser fingerprint” is a website that generates a unique logo for users to track users. It uses a lot of advanced technology.

  • Basic fingerprint indicators: UserAgent, screen resolution, number of CPU cores, memory, plugins, language, etc.
  • Advanced Fingerprinting: Canvas, WebGL, AudioContext, WebRT, Fonts, etc.
  • Geolocation, time zone, DNS, SSL certificate, etc.

The above indicators can be obtained by the websites you visit, so as to accurately identify a person.

The solution is to alter these indicators to make fingerprints dynamic. This requires installing certain plugins, or enabling the browser’s “sandbox mode”. This is very troublesome and cannot be extended to ordinary users.


AdsPower came up with a better method, which is to make an independent browser that integrates all anti-fingerprinting measures, and can be used directly after opening. The following is its main function.

(1) Alter browser fingerprints so that users cannot be tracked and protect privacy.

(2) Customize the browser environment , you can switch the environment at will. It has two kernels, Chrome and Firefox, and you can switch kernels.

(3) Browser automation , which automatically simulates user operations and facilitates the completion of repetitive tasks.

(4) Window synchronization , each window is a different browser environment, the user operates in the main window, and other windows can synchronize these operations across screens.

With the above functions, AdsPower has a wide range of uses, not only for anti-fingerprint, but also for data collection and automated testing. It is especially useful for e-commerce , such as multi-store management, social media multi-account management, and different account management. Cross-border collection…


In order to serve enterprise users, they also provide functions such as data encryption , member management , team collaboration , and global acceleration, and have deployed servers in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

The development momentum of AdsPower is very rapid. There are already 800,000 users around the world. It has a very good reputation overseas. It is a popular software in East Asia, West Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and other countries. There are 12 versions in various languages.

Its basic functions are free to use, and it supports the creation of 2 browser environments. If you need additional environments and enterprise-level functions, you need to pay.


You are welcome to scan the QR code above, or visit the AdsPower official website and document center to learn more about it and download it for trial use.

Technology dynamics

1. Swimming pool machine room

The computer room generates a lot of heat and needs to be dissipated. A British company came up with the idea of ​​building a “pool engine room”, which would be built in a natatorium to heat a heated swimming pool.


The computer room is mainly for machine learning and artificial intelligence customers. All servers are immersed in cooling liquid to dissipate heat. The cooling liquid then exchanges heat with the water in the swimming pool.

This, the company claims, can cut heated pool heating bills by 62%. They are convincing more swimming pools to allow them to retrofit their drainage systems and add servers.

2. The mobile phone with the highest repairability

According to the scores of the famous hardware website iFixit, the Fairphone 4 produced in the Netherlands is the most repairable mobile phone in the world, with a perfect score of 10.


The phone is completely modular, and every module except the motherboard can be replaced. Moreover, the operation is very simple, and novices can complete it with only a screwdriver.



The problem is that its configuration is not high, but the price is high, Qualcomm 750 chip, 8G memory, asking price 700 euros (equivalent to 5500 yuan).

Previously only available in Europe, it just went on sale in the US this month. It’s hard to imagine that an advanced user who can fiddle with hardware by himself would be willing to pay such a high price for this low-end mobile phone.

3. Close the ticket office

British Rail has announced that it will close all train ticket offices in the UK within three years.


Users who want to buy train tickets can only do so at self-service ticket vending machines or online. This greatly reduces the cost of the company, but also provides 24-hour services.

This is probably a trend. In a few years, all conductors (actually toll collectors) may disappear. For example, the Forbidden City canceled the on-site ticket window a few years ago.

4. Virtual reality can reduce anesthesia

Researchers at the University of Colorado in the United States found that allowing patients to wear VR helmets for surgery can reduce the amount of anesthesia.


While operating the patient, the patient watched a 360-degree panoramic video in VR, which contained peaceful grasslands, mountains, forests and starry sky. As a result, the amount of anesthesia was reduced compared with the control group.

Doctors believe that this means that VR headsets allow patients to relax more and pay less attention to pain. Because less anesthetic is used, the patient can wake up faster and have less impact on the body. In the future, patients may wear helmets for surgery.


1. The impact of China’s restrictions on the export of gallium and germanium (Chinese)


The Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs announced this week that they will impose export controls on gallium and germanium. This article describes the uses of these two metals, and the impact of this move.

2. How was SMIC established? (Chinese)


This article recalls Jiang Shangzhou, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Economic Commission, who contributed to the establishment of SMIC in Shanghai in 2001.

3. My private collection of English learning tools (Chinese)


The author describes the English learning software and services he uses.

4. Personal website integrates GitHub issue comment function (Chinese)


The author uses VitePress to build a blog. This article introduces how he introduced GitHub issue as the comment function of the website. (Contributed by @Richard-Zhang1019 )

5. Why is OAuth still hard? (English)


OAuth is the most commonly used authentication protocol. This article analyzes some of its difficulties and why it still makes people feel difficult.

In addition, here is an “OAuth2 Overview” (English), which clearly introduces OAuth in a very short space.

6. How to install Linux on an old MacBook (English)


A detailed guide on how to take advantage of an outdated Macbook and install Linux on it.

7. Differences between MySQL and MariaDB (English)


MySQL and MariaDB are two commonly used relational databases, the latter being forked from the former. Both are basically the same, but there are many differences. This article summarizes these differences.

8. AI “bigger is better” is no longer feasible (English)


A news analysis in the “Economist” magazine believes that due to the limitations of cost and training materials, the scale of the AI ​​​​model may have reached its end, and it will not become larger in the future, and analyze what the next development direction is.


1. jianmu (built wood)


An open source CI/CD tool that visually orchestrates DevOps processes. (Contributed by @lxitgto )

2. Milky Warp


A desktop program that produces a magnifying glass effect on any desktop area.

3. ICP Query


An open source Chrome browser plug-in that displays website ICP record, Whois, DNS, server location and operator information. (Contributed by @yuedanlabs )

4. Art Code


A web tool that converts a QR code into a scannable image based on a text description. (Contributed by @Cobb9527 )

5. Language Reactor


A browser plug-in that can simultaneously display subtitles in two languages ​​on Netflix and Youtube videos, making it easy to learn foreign languages.

6. Directus


This tool runs on top of various databases, automatically generates REST + GraphQL APIs for databases, makes them web-accessible, and comes with a web dashboard.

7. CheerpJ


An experimental tool that puts the JVM interpreter on the web, allowing Java code to run directly on the web.

8. Sailboat UI


A UI component library based on Tailwind CSS, currently has more than 150 components.

9. komorebi


A window manager for Windows systems that automatically arranges multiple application windows on the desktop.

10. WezTerm


A cross-platform terminal emulator, using GPU acceleration, has certain performance advantages in display.

In addition, I recommend Hyper , a terminal emulator, which is based on Electron and built with HTML/CSS/JS, making full use of web technology.




A comprehensive introduction to the new, password-less website login protocol, WebAuthn.

2. Mess with DNS


A DNS playground that provides each visitor with a free subdomain on which you can set various DNS records for practice.



This site turns Google News into a text version for quick browsing.

4. Pirate Weather


A free weather API that can be called 20,000 times per month.

5. API Vault


This website collects a large number of public APIs, which is equivalent to a search engine for APIs, and users can submit new APIs.


1. Supercomputer cooling

Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, USA, has the world’s fastest supercomputer called Frontier, with a calculation speed of quintillion.


It covers an area of ​​more than 600 square meters, has more than 9,000 computing nodes, and requires more than 20 tons of water for cooling. The picture below is its water cooling system.


To push the water, it is equipped with huge water pumps. The entire water cooling system weighs more than 400 tons.


Each computing node has independent water cooling, the blue water pipes represent the input cold water, and the red water pipes represent the output hot water.


The supercomputer itself has 74 cabinets, each with more than a mile of cables.


The energy consumption and heat dissipation behind the high computing power system are far beyond the imagination of ordinary people.

2. The world’s largest heart

The blue whale is the largest animal in the world.


Its heart is also the largest in the world, like a small house.


In order for blood to flow to all parts of its huge body, the blue whale’s heart must generate enormous blood pressure. The larger the animal, the higher the blood pressure, which is why the animal cannot be particularly large.


1. Software development speed is very important

If you want to reduce the cost of software, there are generally two ways.

(1) Speed ​​up software development, slow development can drain the company’s money.

(2) Improve software performance, better performance will reduce resource consumption.

These two methods, which one can reduce costs more effectively?


Let’s use Google’s data to illustrate.

In 2020, Google used 15.5TW of electricity, most of which was used in data centers. If calculated according to the expensive electricity tariff ($0.199/kWh) in California, the total electricity bill is 3.085 billion U.S. dollars.

In the same year, Google hired 27,169 software engineers. We use the average annual salary of junior programmers in California to be 178,751 US dollars to calculate, and the total labor cost is 4.856 billion US dollars.

It can be seen that the human cost of software development is much higher than the electricity cost.

Speeding up software development can save labor costs, and improving software performance can save electricity bills. Therefore, optimizing for development speed may have a more obvious effect on reducing costs.



In 320, 12 presidents, 10 emperors, 2 republics, and one newspaper.

The Wiener Zeitung , the oldest newspaper in the world, summarizes its own history. The newspaper was founded on August 8, 1703 and ceased publication on June 30 this year.


I have seen many business projects related to “artificial intelligence” recently. They’re all just sending various data to ChatGPT’s API, pretending they’re doing something new and impressive, when they’re really just trying to get venture capital as fast as possible.

Hacker News reader


A lot of people say that AI will bring massive unemployment, which is possible because AI lets you do the same thing with fewer people. But in turn, it also allows you to do more things with the same people, so AI may also make everyone busier, thereby increasing employment.

“Artificial Intelligence and Work Automation”


I’ve found that logic is useful when working with computers at work, but rarely with people.

In fact, for the vast majority of human interactions, logic, rigor, and debate are useless.

Logic, Rigor, and Debate

this week in history

Your map is wrong (2022 #214)

Training courses vs universities, job search success rate comparison (2021 #164)

USB Survival and the Uber-job (2020 #114)

How do newcomers enter the Internet industry? (2019 #64)

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  • Copyright Notice: Free Reprint – Non-Commercial – Non-Derivative – Attribution ( Creative Commons 3.0 License )
  • Date of publication: July 7, 2023

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