the bloodletting has begun (again) at twitter

An old Twitter error message from the mid-2010s

The Interwebs are filled with the top story that Twitter’s former head of engineering, Foad Dabiri, resigned a day after the DeSantis DeSaster on Twitter Spaces. Dabiri said a lot of nice things on the way out, but the timing of his leaving is no coincidence. Musk will fire people at the drop of a hat. I’m pretty sure that if Dabiri didn’t come to the conclusion to resign on his own that Musk probably offered him the choice of resigning or being fired. What makes Dabiri’s departure even worse is his relative longevity at Twitter; he’s been employed at Twitter for four years, which is almost forever in San Francisco’s tech field.

I keep reading numerous stories that touch on the fact that Musk has now fired over 80% of the staff he inherited with the purchase of Twitter. With a deeply gutted staff and high-level personnel with institutional knowledge leaving, there’s no way in my not-so-humble-opinion that Twitter will fully recover from Musk’s takeover. That, and the fact that Musk want’s to create ‘X’ on top of Twitter’s ashes means that the world will be treated to a long slow slide into irrelevance, to be sold at a loss to someone else.

The question many have asked is why Twitter Spaces were used at all? Many who once worked for Twitter have charitably described Spaces as “janky” and “beta quality” code. Unfortunately Musk doesn’t care about code and service quality as he’s demonstrated with Tesla’s Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta, which has been in some form of alpha or beta release since FSD’s first iteration, Autopilot, was announced for pre-purchase in October 2014. Since that time releases have been pushed out irregularly to all Tesla cars that can support it. At least Twitter Spaces crashing won’t put pedestrians in mortal danger the way FSD in a Tesla would if it malfunctions.


scanning for wifi networks

CircuitPython 8.1 final was released this past Tuesday on 23 May. I’ve been experimenting with it since downloading images for my Adafruit ESP32-S3 Feather and Raspberry Pi Pico W. What I’ve been looking at is how WiFi is handled on both chips.

The first thing I always do when I get either a new device, or a new version of CircuitPython, or both, is to put a few lines of code onto the file and then have the device execute it and print out the results via the REPL. I use Thonny as the serial interface, because I can also use the tool for developing MicroPython. The critical difference between MicroPython and CircuitPython is that MicroPython does not expose the device’s flash memory as a read/write drive on a hosting computer. CircuitPython does, which makes editing code a lot easier. Anyway…

This is the code.

import binascii as ba
import wifi
networks = {}
for network in
    if len(network.ssid) > 0 and network.ssid[0] != '\x00':
        networks[network.ssid] = network

for ssid in sorted(networks):
    print("ssid:",ssid, "rssi:",networks[ssid].rssi)

And here is a typical output via Thonny and the REPL.

ssid: ESP32S3-4EF0 rssi: -49
ssid: GuestNetwork rssi: -52
ssid: Hershey rssi: -98
ssid: Miller guest rssi: -94
ssid: NETGEAR04 rssi: -92
ssid: NETGEAR80 rssi: -90
ssid: SmartLife-EEFB rssi: -77

You may find older versions of this code that use an array instead of a dictionary as I did on line 3 of the source. And you many wonder about the conditional test on line 5. Using the older code available all over the web, I was getting duplicate access points as well as what appeared to be junk access points without a valid ssid. The dictionary eliminates duplicates. The conditional test looks to see if the ssid is filled full of binary zeroes instead ascii characters. Since a null-filled ssid is completely filled with binary zeroes, all I have to do is test the first character for a binary zero. If the ssid string is greater than zero and if the first character isn’t binary zero, then add it to the dictionary. When I then sort and print out the dictionary, I get a nice clean alphabetized listing.

I don’t know if the zeroed ssid string is a feature or a bug, but I don’t remember running into this with earlier releases.