Links for 2015-04-03

  • Twitter’s new anti-harassment filter

    Twitter is calling it a “quality filter,” and it’s been rolling out to verified users running Twitter’s iOS app since last week. It appears to work much like a spam filter, except instead of hiding bots and copy-paste marketers, it screens “threats, offensive language, [and] duplicate content” out of your notifications feed.
    via Nelson

    (tags: via:nelson harassment spam twitter gamergame abuse ml)

  • 5% of Google visitors have ad-injecting malware installed

    Ad injectors were detected on all operating systems (Mac and Windows), and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE) that were included in our test. More than 5% of people visiting Google sites have at least one ad injector installed. Within that group, half have at least two injectors installed and nearly one-third have at least four installed.
    via Nelson.

    (tags: via:nelson ads google chrome ad-injectors malware scummy)

  • On Ruby

    The horrors of monkey-patching:

    I call out the Honeybadger gem specifically because was the most recent time I’d been bit by a seemingly good thing promoted in the community: monkey patching third party code. Now I don’t fault Honeybadger for making their product this way. It provides their customers with direct business value: “just require ‘honeybadger’ and you’re done!” I don’t agree with this sort of practice. [….] I distrust everything [in Ruby] but a small set of libraries I’ve personally vetted or are authored by people I respect. Why is this important? Without a certain level of scrutiny you will introduce odd and hard to reproduce bugs. This is especially important because Ruby offers you absolutely zero guarantee whatever the state your program is when a given method is dispatched. Constants are not constants. Methods can be redefined at run time. Someone could have written a time sensitive monkey patch to randomly undefined methods from anything in ObjectSpace because they can. This example is so horribly bad that no one should every do, but the programming language allows this. Much worse, this code be arbitrarily inject by some transitive dependency (do you even know what yours are?).

    (tags: ruby monkey-patching coding reliability bugs dependencies libraries honeybadger sinatra)

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