Labnotes

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Design Objective

Michael Bolton Hits nail on the head:

  1. In most user stories, nobody is ever interrupted, distracted, naive, confused, under pressure, impatient, disabled, outside of wireless access. Nobody makes human mistakes. Nobody closes the damned laptop lid. The characters in user stories might as well be drones, robots.

Web-end

Kent C. Dodds These are not alternative fonts, they're mathematical symbols abused to make the text look different. Play the video Kent prepared, to hear what this text really sounds like.

You 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 it's 𝒸𝓊𝓉ℯ to 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 your tweets and usernames 𝖙𝖍𝖎𝖘 𝖜𝖆𝖞. But have you 𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙙 to what it 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 with assistive technologies like 𝓥𝓸𝓲𝓬𝓮𝓞𝓿𝓮𝓻?

The Flexbox Holy Albatross Make Flexbox switch between multiple and single column layouts, without media queries or JavaScript. CSS tricks I could never have imagined.

flex3

Nicole Sullivan For real. We don't even need to convince, FOMO will do the convincing.

Unpopular opinion: CSS and HTML need to increment their version numbers again so we can convince business to invest in these technologies. 😂


Lines of Code

This week we apply the KonMari method to our messy codebase, learn to let go, and tidy up. (Yes, I binge watched all the episodes, as one does)

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Joe Groff

As you go through every line of code, you should be asking, does this bring me joy?

Edward Danilyuk

If not, tell that line of code 'Thank you for being in my life' - then toss it in the garbage along with its thousands of friends.

Alexis Gallagher

Before you start refactoring, copy all the code into one big file and just look at it in one place.

nickteissler

Leave the most sentimental lines of code for last.


Architectural

JBD This:

Storage is the single hardest problem in our domain. Storage related tradeoffs are sometimes the hardest tradeoffs to tackle. Storage decisions often impact every other design decision. I don't know why we are acting like it ain't so.

Tom Eastman From a thread about the latest Ethereum incident, and relevant in so many contexts:

Douglas Adams, in 1992, describing the blockchain:

"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."


Devoops

Ryn Daniels 💡

Konmari, but for PagerDuty. "I thank this alert for teaching me that we don't need to alert on things like this. Also this alert did not spark joy."


Locked Doors

Alan Feuer Jealousy is the ultimate vulnerability:

A jaw-dropping twist this morning to the story of the Colombian IT guy who helped the FBI crack El Chapo's encrypted comms network.
He also helped the feds tap the kingpin's texts w/his wiife, Emma Coronel, taking us deep into the intimacies (and crimes) of their marriage.

@notdan Yes. Also, I'm Californian and we're soft like that.

Being able to turn the heater on from bed is totally worth getting hacked.


None of the Above

Kevin Liao "2019 is still young but nominating this for press conference prop of the year"

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dream ghoul Life hack:

in college we named our intramural softball team “NO GAME SCHEDULED” because if the other team didn’t show up they lost their league deposit and
forfeited. it worked several times. everyone hated us and nothing as cool as that has happened to me since.

third looks 😭

A Blade Runner sequel where Deckard just walks around the city trying different ramen joints

Harvey Newman "A 3D printed light projected animation. Proof that there's always new ways to animate everything."

@EmeraldJhannae 🕶

“I came, I saw, I left early.” A lifestyle.

Shit Academics Say

If you can't say anything nice¹


¹Say it in a footnote.

Rotarywing "Unbelievable flying and landing at that slope to rescue an injured skier
By French mountain police 👏"

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41 Strange "Joseph Ducreux (1735 –1802) was a French painter who is known primarily for his unorthodox self-portraits"


Design Objective

How the Great Recession influenced a decade of design The relationship between the economy and how things look:

Consumers’ growing interest in used fashion — which means more people are wearing clothing from different seasons and eras, all at the same time — supports the idea of the Big Flat Now. Similarly, Instagram is filled with fan accounts dedicated to the pop culture and style of basically every decade, including the ’00s; follow a bunch of them and suddenly time is a flat circle.

PostRecession_Design.0.png


Tools of the Trade

Dr. Roy Schestowitz 😭

Welcome to 2019, traveler from 2009. The brief:

  • sysadmins are now "ops"
  • servers are all just "cloud" something
  • algorithms are "AI"
  • DBs are "blockchains"
  • Everything that spies on people is "smart"
    Good luck. And update your CV with the above words.

Carlos Pizano Uribe "I was bitching about time in operating systems when I came across this 1857 time table.."

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kim 😮

It's 2019.

We're now exactly halfway between y2k and the 32-bit Unix time overflow.


Lines of Code

pv_controller.go This comment is everything!

// ==================================================================
// PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SIMPLIFY THIS CODE.
// KEEP THE SPACE SHUTTLE FLYING.
// ==================================================================
//
// This controller is intentionally written in a very verbose style.  You will
// notice:
//
// 1.  Every 'if' statement has a matching 'else' (exception: simple error
//     checks for a client API call)
// 2.  Things that may seem obvious are commented explicitly
//
// We call this style 'space shuttle style'.  Space shuttle style is meant to
// ensure that every branch and condition is considered and accounted for -
// the same way code is written at NASA for applications like the space
// shuttle.
//
// . . .

Pulp Librarian A look at the first high level programming language:

By 1958 FORTRAN II had been released and other computer manufacturers were offering FORTRAN compatibility. It was the start of the separation of software from hardware, as programming became a platform-independent skill. But the big leap took place eight years later.

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Devoops

lucien fregosi "True story... 💸💸💸"

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Peopleware

New Office Hours Aim for Well Rested, More Productive Workers What if business hours adapted to our sleep/wake cycles?

For many office workers, the answer may be as simple as delaying work start times an hour or two — say until 9:30 or 10 a.m. Since many people are in the middle of the chronotype continuum and wake naturally around 8 or 9 a.m., such a modest shift could provide widespread relief. “We’re talking about one hour,” Ms. Kring said, “not a revolution.”

Engineering Management: The Pendulum Or The Ladder This:

Hopefully you have already gathered that management is a career change, not a promotion, and you’re aware that nobody is very good at it when they first start.

That’s okay! It takes a solid year or two to find new rhythms and reward mechanisms before you can even begin to find your own voice or trust your judgment. Management problems look easy, deceptively so. It’s really hard to generalize here, but reasons this is hard include:


Locked Doors

uncaptcha2 Using Google tech to defeat Google tech, this project defeats Google's ReCaptcha by asking for the audio challenge, and then using Google's Speech2Text API to submit the answer. 🤦‍♂️

Dan Kaminsky Meme thread:

I’m a hacker in a movie

My code works the first time even when somebody’s watching

Somebody is watching

There’s a progress meter and it isn’t even a lie

Mike Tsao 🗝

zero-factor authentication: something you forgot and something you lost. #0fa


None of the Above

Samantha Melamed "This is the most aspirational parking garage I have ever seen"

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dan seifert 🔥

instagram is now QVC for millennials

Read This Article!!! Language is ever evolving:

At journalism school, I was told that you get one exclamation point to use in your entire career, so you should use it wisely. You could, perhaps, spend your one exclamation point on a headline like “WAR OVER!” but nothing less would merit one.
...
After we spoke, McCulloch ran a Twitter poll asking: “If I wanted to convey genuine enthusiasm to you, how many exclamation marks would I need?” After nearly 800 votes, the winner was three.

@algo_anthill Language is ever evolving, part II:

When you start looking at a post about some foreign language's oddly specific word for something that you never thought there would be a specific word for, remember that English has a specific word for tricking people into listening to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up".

English also has a single word for "manipulation of electoral boundaries to reduce the influence of opposing political groups in future elections".

Dana Schwartz 💀

If you pay me $50 I'll show up to your funeral but stand really far away, holding a black umbrella regardless of the weather, so that people think you died with a dark and interesting secret.

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation Eventually something will have to give:

We’ve “killed” diamonds because we’re getting married later (or not at all), and if or when we do, it’s rare for one partner to have the financial stability to set aside the traditional two months’ salary for a diamond engagement ring. We’re killing antiques, opting instead for “fast furniture” — not because we hate our grandparents’ old items, but because we’re chasing stable employment across the country, and lugging old furniture and fragile china costs money that we don’t have.
...
But individual action isn’t enough. Personal choices alone won’t keep the planet from dying, or get Facebook to quit violating our privacy. To do that, you need paradigm-shifting change. Which helps explain why so many millennials increasingly identify with democratic socialism and are embracing unions: We are beginning to understand what ails us, and it’s not something an oxygen facial or a treadmill desk can fix.

How a Phone Glitch Sparked a Teenage Riot Interesting story about teenagers and pre-internet hotlines.

83 Things That Blew Our Minds in 2018 “Himalayan” pink salt comes from Pakistan, Hippos poop kills fish, your eardrums move when you look around, and other useless but entertaining trivia.

23andMe's Pharma Deals Have Been the Plan All Along Turns out, even when you pay for the product, you may still be the product.

Scott Davidoff "Medieval browser tabs — how scholars jumped between multiple texts #desktopmetaphor #notametaphor at Mexico’s first public library"

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Karl Sharro "The first instance of humans sharing pictures of their food with friends on their wall."


Design Objective

Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach Consistency can be a design trap:

When you think about consistency, you’re thinking about the product. When you’re thinking about current knowledge, you’re thinking about the user.

David Denham Outcome vs output:

Product Roadmaps should be outcome-focused (OKRs, problems to solve, etc.). Release Plans should be more output-focused (features, timelines, etc.). This is where I'm seeing the rubber hitting the road with teams becoming Feature Factories. They're given output-focused roadmaps

Eric Jorgenson I use Linkedin, but I don't ever enjoy it, so this strikes a chord:

Linkedin is the kind of product you get if you always take the winner of the A/B test, even if users will obviously hate you for it.


Tools of the Trade

How Firecracker Is Going to Set Modern Infrastructure on Fire AWS open sources core technology behind Lambda: a VM designed for running transient and short-lived processes, with the isolation of VM and performance of containers.

f2ac8747-firecracker

Isopropanol #4 🤔

SQLite is a mineral that consists of SQL molecules.

BlesstheInfoSec This thread:

New Switch for Christmas!!! Gonna see how long the kids will go hooking it up while I explain networking!!!

Thankfully they have never seen either type of Switch. Also thankfully they don't know what EOL is

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Lingua Scripta

Stefan Baumgartner "0 vs null vs undefined"

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Lines of Code

Sarah Drasner "Claiming 100% test coverage"

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Architectural

jasongorman The "Evil FizzBuzz", interesting exercise for developer teams:

Once you have a working (green) build on a skeleton solution (i.e., one that compiles and runs at least one dummy test), the build must not go red. This is an exercise on delivering as a team WITHOUT BREAKING THE BUILD. OK? If the build goes red again, the exercise is over. (11/)

The team has 1 hour to deliver a working solution they can demonstrate to the "customer" (12/12)

Cory House Thread:

I've wasted countless hours through the years on slow feedback loops. Over time, I learned: If the feedback loop is slow, job #1 is to ask: Is there a way to make the feedback loop fast?

Fast feedback loops lower stress, aid focus, foster creativity, and reduce risk.

Joe Armstrong Now I'm hungry:

Blessed are they that stop programming and go and eat lunch for their tummies shall be full and their programs better when they return from lunch.


Peopleware

Johnny 🤔

Thinking is by far the most underrated activity.
People consider it "unproductive" to sit on a bench and think.
So they spend their lives doing things they never thought through.
An hour of clear thinking,
can yield a conclusion that changes your life.

Morgan Housel 💯

The career lessons from 2018 are:

Work hard.
Focus on the customer.
Don't sexually harass anyone.
Avoid espionage.


Teamwork

Erik Bernhardsson Yes!

It’s always worth spending 15 min extra on a chart. Otherwise you bring some really cool insight to a meeting and people are like “uh, the y axis has a confusing label” or “why are the lines colors so similar”.

How to Exhibit Leadership as an Individual Contributor How to be a leader without getting into management:

This mindset separates good employees from excellent ones. Leadership-minded people proactively improve and develop their environment — their product, their codebase, their colleagues, their teams. Over time, these little improvements multiply and make a huge difference.

Dev to manager Interviews with experienced software developers on moving to management.

Danielle Leong TL;DR what eng managers do all day:

Engineering management is 50% figuring out times to meet, 10% restarting zoom, 30% this should’ve been an email, 40% therapy, and 30% making lists of things you’re supposed to do

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Locked Doors

Cory Foy Air travel attack vector:

Please, please - if you’re a security professional with the ear of executives who travel, highly encourage them to buy privacy screens. Watching an exec with a big financial firm working on all his numbers in a spreadsheet just in front of me.


None of the Above

Siqi Chen Kid paradise!

I'm at an absurdly over the top 80,000 sqft indoor kids playground called Neobio right now and you guys I'm LOSING it.

Let me show you around. Thread👇

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Christopher Ingraham Not sure if funny or horror story:

So, a shipment of crickets for the lizard arrived via FedEx today. It was my first time ordering bulk crickets off the internet, and I naively assumed that they would be in like, a bag or some other contraption to facilitate easy transfer to another container. They were not.

Judy Brown A prank in three parts:

Some of you out there may recall that in 2016 I played an excellent Christmas prank on my long-suffering Dad. It worked a treat.

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Jenn Ellis Not to be out-done:

Every year our aunt in Maine sends us little handmade chocolate lobsters. This year they are soap. Guess how I found out? 🦞 🧼 👄

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Laura SilverBells-tian 💯

Forcing kids and teens to read centuries-old “classic literature” about a very slim subset of the population, living experiences they can’t relate to, is the most surefire way to kill the future of books.

HxOvAx 🔥

the ancient greeks divided content into four elements - hot take, controversial opinion, hill i will die on, and subtweet - as well as a fifth, which surrounds and suffuses the others - discourse

Andrew Armstrong Bottom/left:

One of the weirder things about being an adult is having a favorite stovetop burner, yet nobody talks about it.

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Researchers Show Parachutes Don't Work, But There's A Catch This may help people understand why some research doesn't hold in the real world:

Research published in a major medical journal concludes that a parachute is no more effective than an empty backpack at protecting you from harm if you have to jump from an aircraft.

gina loves calum "IM AT THE PET STORE AND YOU GUYS NEED TO ZOOM IN ON THE NAMES PLEASE"

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Published on

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Tom Eastman I die.


Design Objective

The State of UX in 2019 Where to begin? I thought this would be another "hot UI trends for 2019 that will make you look cool to your Dribble friends", but this article is much better than that.

It talks about the evolving roles and expectations from UX designers. The industry's moral and ethical responsiblity, and doing right by the users. Ponders the Vim vs Emacs question of UX: should designers code? And many other serious topics.

If you read one thing this week, I recommend this link *.

As an industry we have become obsessed with our design methods. Some designers are so addicted to following the specific set of steps outlined in a playbook, or filling out a persona template that they found online, that they forget to reflect on why they are using that method in the first place. That extreme focus on output rather than outcome can be extremely dangerous to Design as a profession , creating a whole generation of designers who always have to be told what to do next.

Illustration_of_woman_designing_the_year_2019

* Ironically, the overly fancy UI makes reading this article painful, and it crashes Safari. Use reader mode or Instapaper or something like that.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb This thread is about books, but captures user research all too well:

1- Ignore surveys.

Pple think they prefer restaurants 1) quiet so they can tawk, 2) roomy, 3) no line.

Yet they flock to 1) loud, 2) cramped restaurants 3) w/50 min wait.

Never ask pple what they want, watch what they do. Revelation of preferences.

#SkinInTheGame

Reimagining the Morning Briefing New York Times iterating on their Morning Briefing email, has lessons that apply to other products that need to communicate to people.

Also, bold lead-ins is a great idea for office memos and such:

We use bold lead-ins as labels, to help the reader know what kind information they are being offered. “How we know” allows us to give a behind-the-scenes look into The Times and reveal a little bit about the reporting process — like how many months our journalists spent reading through secret documents for a particular story. Other lead-ins: “Why it matters,” “Background” and “Another angle.”

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Norgard 👍

You can’t predict if people are going to like your product nor should you, there is no more mentally exhausting exercise

All you can do is have a crystal clear point of view, obsessively reduce and deliver

The market will sort the rest out

Why Truly Great Product Managers Love Code Review PMs should be aware when the team is over-engineering, or being held back by technical debt:

For a developer who takes pride in her work, eight weeks of trudging through a swamp of technical debt is crushing. As a PM, you know the concrete costs that come with each day your fixes aren't yet live, and there are also the intangible costs to your development team—a loss of trust and faith in you as a leader, in the project, and in the team to get things done.


Tools of the Trade

$10,000 Fellowships for women working on open source programming projects, research, and art Apply, or share with people who may be interested:

Is there a project you’ve always wanted to start or contribute to, but you haven’t had the time or resources to do so? Now’s your chance: apply to RC this winter for a one, six, or 12-week retreat. We’ll provide up to $10,000 in funding (depending on batch length), 24/7 access to our space, and a supportive community of fellow programmers.

JavaScript Teacher True. Invest in learning the principles, not the tools.

When you are hired... no one will ask you what "best" framework is. You will be coding in what is already set up and available by the lead engineer. Don't try to learn every single thing out there. Learn to adapt.

The Rise of Microsoft Visual Studio Code Also, check the end of this article, for how Triplebyte correlates interview performance with choice of text editor:

Yikes! VS Code is eating everyone else's lunch! The story here is pretty clear. Over the past year, VS Code usage has gone from 5% to 22%. Over the same time, Sublime Text usage has fallen from 17% to 11%, and Atom usage has fallen from 11% to 6%. Even Eclipse is falling. And VS Code is accelerating every month.

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remotedebug-ios-webkit-adapter You can use VS Code or Chrome DevTools to debug Safari and hybrid apps running on iOS.

overview

tobyhede TIL butterflies are not made of butter!

If your rebuttal to "serverless" is "contains servers" I have this thread for you of things that are not literally the words

Kent C. Dodds Cool hack!

Netflix: This episode is 58 minutes long.
Me: But I'm to tired to stay up that late.
Netflix: Then watch it later.
Me: But I want to watch it now.
Netflix: Tough.
Me: document.querySelectorAll('video').forEach(v => v.playbackRate = 1.5)
Netflix: Snds gd.

“Alex” Not wrong:

golang's compiler is quite strict and opinionated, for example, the compiler actually forces you to brag that your code is written in go


Web-end

Mike Riethmuller Raises hand. Me too.

The one thing in web development I will never remember how to do without looking it up, is linking a stylesheet: <link href="styles.css" rel="stylesheet" />, Why is this so hard to remember?

bterlson.d.ts Edge was "yet another browser to QA", a tax on developers, but once it's gone, which browser are we going to vilify and blame for missing the deadline?

Today's Edge announcements tl;dr

  • Edge moving to Chromium (Blink+v8) for compat reasons. Still called Edge.
  • Will be OSS. Will contribute code upstream.
  • ChakraCore development continues for various non-Edge uses.
  • No change to standards work - still pushing the web forward!

Laurie Voss I agree, but skeptical that Mozilla can make a difference:

A world with a single browser made by Google would be just as dangerous as the world with one browser made by Microsoft was. Mozilla's role in the world just became even more crucial.

karen Which probably explains how we got here:

2012: low powered netbooks for internet browsing
2018: browsing the internet is one of the most resource intensive tasks you can do on a computer


Lines of Code

Jared Hanson Once you learn to treat code as disposable, you'll become a much better developer. For this, and other reasons:

When solving the problem, explore the possible solution space. Code is often a great tool to aid in that process. Don’t think of it as a final product.


Architectural

AWS Lambda Now Supports Custom Runtimes and Enables Sharing Common Code Between Functions With Lambda layers and the runtime API, you can now deploy many different types of serverless workloads.

Not just choice of language, but tool, and precise control over execution. For example, the Node|Solid runtime bundles Node 10 and code instrumentation:

In essence, N|Solid for AWS Lambda is an augmented Node.js runtime that enables extraction of metrics with as little overhead possible. This is achievable thanks to the approach we’ve taken with the N|Solid Agent – it sits outside of the Node.js event loop in the native C++ layer, meaning that your application’s performance isn’t affected while being monitored.

Kelsey Hightower I think containers are about to peak:

Given the combination of the Lambda Runtime API and Lambda Layers I no longer believe adding support for containers would add any additional benefit to Lambda.

The Lambda Runtime API provides a major benefit over containers for Serverless workloads: a well defined and opinionated runtime API for getting work done.

Real-time applications with API Gateway WebSockets and AWS Lambda And with Web Sockets support coming soon, I'm running out of reasons to maintain server instances.

websockets-chat-app


Peopleware

Morgan McGuire You can be right most of the time, or innovate, but not both:

It's easy to be right about the future 99% of the time as a pessimist. Most new ideas really don't work!

A scientist's job is to be unreasonably optimistic and fail a lot. Because that's the only way to find a 1% idea like penicillin, transistors, or the fast Fourier theorem.

betsythemuffin And don't let anyone block you from learning:

Sometimes, reinventing the wheel helps us understand how the wheel works.

When we shit on learning as a purpose in itself, we force people to rationalize it by pretending they’re not “just” learning, they’re “innovating.”


Teamwork

John Cutler How can you use roadmaps to keep everyone in sync:

4/8 Feature-based roadmaps are often used because "everyone in the organization needs to know what's coming!" Fair point. But what if I told you that this need causes premature convergence which impacts outcomes?

The trick is to converge at the last responsible moment.

Jason Lemkin 💯

Raise your hand and own something no one is owning

Instant career accelerator in a startup

Staffan Nöteberg Applies to individuals, and to teams at every scale:

Overloading the brain disables Kahneman slow thinking. The same goes for organizations. Starting too many initiatives inevitably leads to firefighting rather than continuous improvement. #monotasking #multitasking


Locked Doors

SwiftOnSecurity In response to outage caused by expired certificate:

I cannot emphasize enough to skeptical security people about LetsEncrypt autoenrollment:
Manual certificate cycling is a massive operational risk that makes IT hesitant to enforce encrypted communications. The old way is not the best way. It’s time to move

Camilo Martinez "If someone asks you: what's your password?"

Mark Burnett Cat In The Middle attack:

I caught my cat running out of my office with my yubikey in his mouth--a threat model I hadn't considered.


Ad-diction

It’s the End of News As We Know It (and Facebook Is Feeling Fine) "Right-wing propaganda is still doing great. Journalism, not so much." What makes Mother Jones' reporting different from mainstream media, is that they do not try to shield newsroom reality behind a contributor op-ed. They let it all bare:

Still, the decline in Facebook audience over the past 18 months translates into a loss of at least $600,000 just from advertising (not counting donations or subscriptions that won’t happen when people don’t see our stories). That’s a big part of the reason why we need to raise $400,000 this month. It’s a big goal, more than what we did in December ’16 and ’17—because it has to be. We can’t pull back from investigating right now, with the stakes so high.


None of the Above

Allison Parrish "why can't you use"

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NatashaVianna 💥

My new requirement is that if my kid wants to download a new app, she has to write a one page report on the founders, company story, and business model so that she understands how the app benefits from her use.

This is what happens when your mom works in tech.

alexis "wait what" this thread 😭

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Peter Lyons

I want a kitchen timer with a beep sound appropriate for "the tea is done steeping" instead of the standard noise which is appropriate for "the patient's respirator stopped working".

Spooky Automated Jobs "Are you calling me fat?"

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Unlimited power: ASUS ROG Phone charges when plugged into itself, solves world's battery problems TIL There are gaming phones. Gaming phones have several USB ports. So gaming phones can self-charge, and also mount themselves as external USB drives. Infinite battery life! Infinite external storage!

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Aditya Mukerjee Thread on the latest in internet censorship:

Now that Tumblr is shutting down all "adult content", will people finally start paying attention to #SESTA/#FOSTA (and hold the people who created it accountable)?

Cohort and Age Effects Me too.

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Stephanie Hurlburt AKA the bystander effect:

A social media phenomena to be aware of: After a certain number of likes/shares on a post, sometimes people think person is overwhelmed and doesn’t need help anymore. When in reality everyone’s thinking that & the person ends up with very little help. Always reach out to check!

Starlight, Esq. Thread:

I'm having a bit of fun playing with the scale of things on https://thetruesize.com

let's start gentle: this map is actually a really good explanation of 1) how fucking big the lower 48 are and 2) why so few people in the US become fluent in a second language

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Scott Jon Siegel 🤯


Design Objective

Jared Spool Point that's often lost in the org chart:

Adrienne Porter Felt Who counts as a family? According to @cvspharmacy, all parents must share the same last name as their child. Some developer added an if-check, probably without thinking about it too much, and ended up codifying their own cultural norms into the medical system.

Everyone is a UX designer.

Including developers writing validation checks to match business rules. And the policy/product people who made those rules.

The UX Uncanny Valley We often talk about reducing options, to avoid the paradox of choice. But the reverse is also true. Introducing — or not hiding — unnecessary options, so as to give the user an illusion of control.

Google Maps, for instance, will show you several route options even though users will likely go with the suggested option. There is a sense of security in knowing that you’ve chosen a lesser of evils.

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Solve for X Analytical approach to experience design:

Product + Design without Technology is Vaporware. We have a great idea and people seem to want it. But we can’t build it.
Design + Technology without Product is a Hackathon Project. It looks great and it’s even fully functional, but there’s no market for it.
Product + Technology without Design is an Office Printer. The necessary evils of the world that are completely at risk of being disrupted by a customer-centric innovation. Think Netflix, Airbnb, Uber again (man it would be great if someone created the “Uber of Printers”).

Ivo Mägi "This is your 1500ms latency in real life situations -"

Thinking in Triplicate Design is constrained by the business model:

Virgin America, Rdio, Google Reader, and Comcast.
Which of these offered a good experience? Which of these still exists?

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Chris Messina And when the business model is based on advertising:

That red dot is an infuriating example of Facebook's technomanipulation (I have unreads in every other category — they just want me to TRY to clear that dot (spoiler alert: you can't)).

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The Mystery Font That Took Over New York The story of Choc.

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It's Centred That Can you tell when something is centered? Test your designer eye.

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Tools of the Trade

VisBug 101 Turns any webpage into a playground.

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Schedule emails without polling a database using Step Functions If your use case fits within these limits, you can delegate a lot of state management to AWS Step Functions.

send-email-step-function

Ben Halpern He's right about GUI shaming:

No matter how much you love the CLI, don't GUI-shame. Lots of perfectly amazing programmers like working with GUIs, and it's perfectly fine.

There's some weird gatekeeping tendencies centered around the command line. #DevDiscuss

Vicki Boykis "The reInvent announcement of my dreams:"

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Lingua Scripta

The International Obfuscated JavaScript Code Contest Open for submissions.

ncc: Node.js Compiler Collection ncc outputs a self-contained script that bundles all its dependencies. Benefit: faster bootup.

Experimenting with brain-computer interfaces in JavaScript. When do we get brain install <newskill>?

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Edward Torvalds "npm install"


Lines of Code

Thomas Parslow "Told another programmer about the Monte Hall Problem. He was not convinced. Then later that night.... #nerdsniping"

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grapefrukt The other day I saw a transaction record that stored the credit card number as floating point …

i'm not without sin as far as data type mistakes go, but storing phone numbers as floats is maybe not the best idea.

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Architectural

Jared Short People time isn't free, but also you don't need expense approval to spend it:

"We run three nodes... At $.42/hr for the managed kafka, compared to $.192/hr self hosted... we'll keep it self hosted for now..." I love HN math.

Real world math: Over 1 year that is ~$2k difference, ~20 hours of engineering time. Maintenance isn't free, it obscures true cost.

Brenan Keller True story:

A QA engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 99999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a ueicbksjdhd.

First real customer walks in and asks where the bathroom is. The bar bursts into flames, killing everyone.

Philip Guo "My computing setup is supported by strong theoretical foundations"

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Peopleware

Notes on Hyperfocus On managing your attention, focusings on tasks, avoiding distractions, and also setting time for scattered thoughts.

Beyond that, the advice is to do it as often as possible, especially when need to work on a complex task. One interesting thought is that if you find you are resisting focusing on a task to reduce the time until the point where that resistance disappears. Complex tasks will require multiple slots.

deep work update #2 Related, how about scheduling every minute of your day? Would that work for you?

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Team Work

Dirty Kurty Thread:

I recently left a position as a tech lead and I thought I would share some of valuable lessons I learned during that time. A proverbial thread, if you will.


Locked Doors

I don't know what to say. #116 So this happened. An NPM package with 2 million weekly downloads was injected with malicious code. Seems to be stealing Bitcoin wallets. Good chance one of your projects is using this package directly or indirectly.

Gary Bernhardt And yes, this was something many people saw coming. But it was also convenient to bursh aside, to evangelize Node and the "many small modules" philosophy:

There was an option 3: don't decompose your application's dependency graph into thousands of packages. People who argued that position were dismissed as (to paraphrase heavily) old and slow. That ship has sailed, and now we're here.

Em "Still my fave"

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Techtopia

How I changed the law with a GitHub pull request "A few days later, the Council’s codification lawyer merged my pull request"

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Ad-diction

Dan Rather 💯

When someone starts an argument with "I'm not a scientist, but..." maybe we should stop listening to them weighing in on science. And maybe news shows should stop asking these pundits to talk about something they’re not qualified to talk about.

The Miseducation of Sheryl Sandberg This article throws more blame at COO Sandberg than at CEO Zuckerberg. This is a hit piece, not something I'd expect from Vanity Fair.

Michelle Ghoussoub "My favorite scene in All The President’s Men is probably the one where they gather around the chartbeat monitor and a/b test their headlines"

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None of the Above

Eric Amazing!

Recreating GTA style footage with a @SkydioHQ experiment 2. Now with more traffic and a soundtrack. This took only 1 tap on my iPhone: LAUNCH

aunt dad Relationship goals:

don't waste your time on anyone who wouldn't absolutely lose their shit on speakerphone if you won star baker

Patrick Collison 😭

From: Titus Labienus
To: Caesar
Subject: Gentle bump

Just wanted to get this back to the top of your inbox. Hoping to get working group approval on the plans for Gaul. Can resend the link to the deck if you like.

Farbod Saraf "This is why things in commercials don't look like they do in real life #HowThingsWork"

Peter Life advice:

PSA: Don't EVER let your printer know that you've waited until the last minute to print something out and you're in hurry because they can sense fear.

Tommi Forsström TIL

The biggest contribution I’ve been able to bring to the table in the US from my Finnish heritage is the idiom

”Climbing a tree ass-first”

to illustrate doing a not-wrong thing in a needlessly complicated or difficult way.

You’re welcome, 🇺🇸.
Love, 🇫🇮.

This glass appears to break when people walk over it, leading to some funny frights Whoever designed this …

David Milner 😭

Kristen Ruin a first date in four words or less.

"Four words or FEWER"

Payless fools influencers with a fake store Someone deserves a promotion for this brilliant stunt:

Payless, a brand known for budget-friendly shoes, opened a fake pop-up store called "Palessi" in a Los Angeles mall and invited influencers to the grand opening. The store was stocked with Payless shoes in disguise.

"I would pay $400 or $500," a woman says in a TV ad, holding a pair of $19.99 sneakers. Another shopper calls the Payless shoes "elegant and sophisticated."

Mike Rosenberg An explanation of how democratic elections work in the US:

North Carolina: Democrats won 48% of votes and 23% of seats
Ohio: Democrats won nearly 50% of votes and 25% of seats

Pennsylvania, new court-ordered nonpartisan map: Dems won 55% of votes and 50% of seats, up from 28% of seats under old map

GTQ677ed

Chuck Wendig 😳

So, I watched that POKEY MANS movie today, my first actual viewing of anything Pokémon, and uhhh

welp

I have questions

Scott Linnen 💯

Scientists have again landed a spacecraft on a proverbial dime on a planet 40 million miles away that rotates at 241 metres per second. Think I'm gonna trust them on this climate change stuff.

Fluff Society "Once you run into a window, you're going to have big trust issues"