Newsletter #76: The Queen of Bad Robots

Hello Recompilers,

All of Issue 9 is online! This issue focuses on Hard Problems. Articles cover mesh networks, floating point algorithms, leveling up as a developer, and more.


The queen of shitty robots has a new project that actually works. Simone Giertz made her name by building robots that intentionally and dramatically fail, but after a brush with cancer, she’s decided to build machines that improve people’s lives instead.
(Ali Jaffe for Motherboard)

Here’s an open source checklist of better security practices. It’s a simple overview of best practices, from VPNs to secure email to how to prevent SIM swapping.

Homophobia in modern Africa is a colonial import. As the article puts it, “European colonisers in fact used the prominence of queerness in indigenous African society to justify the Christian proselyte mission, making compulsory heterosexuality a rigid dimension of the project of assimilation tacit to colonialism.”
(Black Youth Project)


Cyber: The PewDiePie Hacks
Samantha Cole talks about the recent PewDiePie hacking controversy, in which one of YouTube star PewDiePie’s fans hacked printers and smart TVs to support him.

Conference Talk of the Week:

This talk is part of our “Favorite Talks” YouTube Playlist. Check it out and subscribe! 

How to Stay Grounded When You Have Zero Potential

Erika Earl at Hackaday Supercon 2018 dives into grounding, including the difference between zero volt reference ground and safety ground.

Upcoming Events:

All conferences have been screened and abide by clear and strict Codes of Conduct.

CopyleftConf 2019
February 4, Brussels, Belgium

February 7-9, 2019, Miami, Florida

RubyConf Australia 2019
February 7-9, 2019, Melbourne, Australia

PyTenneesee 2019
February 9-10, 2019, Nashville, Tennessee

February 16-17, 2019, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Ruby on Ice 2019
February 22-24, 2019, Tegernsee, Germany

February 23-24, 2019, Seattle, WA

ConFoo Montreal
March 13-15, 2019, Montreal, Canada

DevOpsDays Seattle
April 23-24, 2019, Seattle, WA

April 26, 2019, Omaha, Nebraska

Pycon 2019
May 1-9, 2019, Cleveland, OH

Do you know an upcoming conference or CFP that should be included? Email leads to

This newsletter compiled by Margaret Killjoy (@magpiekilljoy). Margaret is an author, activist, and musician based in Appalachia. Her most recent book series is the Danielle Cain novella series, which starts with The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.

Image credit: Saundra Castaneda (CC BY 2.0)