An oral history of Bank Python

The tale of a single register value

Misspecification: The Blind Spot of Formal Verification

Issue #119

11/4/2021

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Hope you have a fantastic weekend, here's the last issue of the week!

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An oral history of Bank Python

Published: 3 November 2021
Tags: python


The finance sector, not much unlike the tech sector, has to deal with its own set of unique challenges. In this illuminating article, Cal Paterson presents "proprietary forks of the entire Python ecosystem which are in use at many (but not all) of the biggest investment banks", the collection of which he refers to as "Minerva".


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The tale of a single register value

Published: 3 November 2021
Tags: networking


Software debugging makes me feel a lot like a detective piecing together clues to reproduce the set of events that led to a specific error. Well Jakub Sitnicki's article is a tribute to such sleuthing. In it, Jakub uncovers the secrets of a bug so heinous, network admins have been known to wake up at night in cold sweats at a mere hint of its occurence; "a software bug where the network stack crashes in reaction to a single received network packet, taking down the whole operating system with it".


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Misspecification: The Blind Spot of Formal Verification

Published: 6 October 2021
Tags: philosophy


As humans, we're subject to believing in what people we admire or respect say, often times without taking a second to double check if said statement is true or "correct". This assumption of truth doesn't only extend to people. In this appeal-to-reason article, Alex Weisberger discusses and presents examples of how "this progam was formally verified, so please stop asking me if there are any bugs" doesn't really mean much when the initial specifications were wrong.


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