Labnotes

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hardmaru “Pongdrian”


Design Objective

The Value of Inconvenient Design Take a cue from nature, and design your app with a healthy dose of friction:

But nature is the ultimate optimizer, having run an endless slate of A/B tests over billions of years at scale. And in nature, friction and inconvenience have stood the test of time. Not only do they remain in abundance, but they’ve proven themselves critical. Nature understands the power of friction while we have become blind to it.

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Brigid Johnson ✓ Note to self:

Pro-tip: When naming a product always run it by urban dictionary. You learn so much.

Liam O "Just another day being Irish on the Internet"

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Kyle Russell 👇 A thread for founders that don't come from an enterprise background:

Something technical founders often don't appreciate when building an enterprise tool for the first time is the extent to which companies outside of Silicon Valley/big cities generally buy technology as if they haven't only hired brilliant people

Pavel A. Samsonov Related:

All enterprise software competes with Excel.

All productivity software competes with emailing things to yourself.

John Cutler "I found it! I found it! I found the CUSTOMER! #agile ?"

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Tools of the Trade

Generate a Chart Image from URL Replacement for Google Charts API (RIP). Useful for adding charts to email, SMS, etc where you can't use client-side charting libraries.

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Howard M. Lewis Ship 🛠 These are great for scripting APIs from the command line:

The triumvirate of httpie, jq, and gron are so useful in combination with each other if you ever touch JSON. And you do.

https://httpie.org/
https://stedolan.github.io/jq/
https://github.com/tomnomnom/gron

I know I've tweeted this before, but it's worth a reminder!

John Burn-Murdoch This is captivating. Also, you can use Observable to create your own bar chart race:

A “Bar Chart Race” animation showing the changing ranks of the 10 biggest cities in the world since 1500.

Fascinating to watch giant cities vanish after falling in conquests, and amazing that three UK cities were in the top 8 in the late 1800s.

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ffsend Command line tool for using Firefox Send. Firefox Send is the easiest way to send files security, with end-to-end encryption and links that expire after a few days or downloads.

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Why you shouldn't use Moment.js... A thoughtful analysis of moment.js and how it compares with date-fns, Joda, and friends. I agree with the main points: moment.js is hard to debug, the mutable API is a recipe for subtle bugs, and it's not particularly fast. It is a good choice, though, is you need some of its unique features or plugins.

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Bringing black and white photos to life using Colourise.sg — a deep learning colouriser trained with old Singaporean photos Interesting:

To colourise black and white images, we employed a technique in deep learning known as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). This comprises:

  • A first neural network — a ‘generator’ — with many mathematical parameters (> 20 million) that tries to predict the colour values at different pixels in a black and white image, based on features in the image, and
  • A second neural network — the ‘discriminator’ — that tries to identify if the generated colours are photo-realistic compared to the original coloured image.

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Microsoft Teams gets inventive new conference call features to make Slack users jealous Absolutel jealous!

Microsoft has developed a way to mask out someone drawing on a physical whiteboard, allowing remote meeting members to still see the physical whiteboard when it’s in use. This works by using any regular webcam, and it will even capture the physical whiteboard and import it digitally into Microsoft Teams so remote workers can participate in meetings or the contents of the whiteboard can be archived for future use.

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Brian Roemmele Moore's law is alive and well:

Apple AirPods H1 chip (SOCs) has the processing power of an iPhone 4—in each ear!

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Lines of Code

Elegance Explores what it means for code to be "elegant", by looking at a few game algorithms:

The workaround is certainly not elegant. “Look for an actor in this direction, twice” is not what I wanted to express. And yet it’s not a hack, either. The code above demonstrably does the correct thing in all cases, and is suitable as a permanent solution. It occupies that nebulous third category of “complete, but not pretty”.

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tef of the author 🔥

programmers tend to read essays until they getting to the first line they disagree with and then tweet about it, like a compiler


Architectural

Erik Wilde The "for hipsters" jab … probably true. The "enterprise-grade GraphQL management" is a thing that already exists, and one reason I'm currently looking at GraphQL. To me, GraphQL doesn't feel like ESB, more like early Rails "RESTful APIs": easy to get started, powerful if you need it to be.

GraphQL is ESB for hipsters. for now... it also is a new opportunity for companies to sell you heavyweight centralized GraphQL management. just wait for the "enterprise-grade GraphQL management" products to appear... there, i said it first!

Mark Dalgleish Funny because it's true.

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Peopleware

Chris Young Beware of long meetings in small rooms:

This is crazy. Study shoes three people in a conference room over 2 hours can result in a Co2 level that can impair cognitive functioning. Ie. If you’re making decisions at the end of the meeting, you’re mentally less qualified to do so.

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Why are you not designing your day-to-day experience? I wouldn't design every moment, see benefits of friction, but I do see the appeal in applying design principles to various life tasks:

Look at the world around you with the eyes of a designer. Aren’t there too many pictures on your living room wall? Too many objects sitting on your desk? Too many apps on your phone home screen? Take a pass at every environment you interact with throughout your day and ask yourself the question: what can I eliminate from here to open up more breathing room for my eyes and brain?

Changelog "Work smart, not hard 💪

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Locked Doors

The unescape() room A game to test your XSS skills.

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Firefox to add Tor Browser anti-fingerprinting technique called letterboxing It's amazing how sophisticated adtech has grown, in the race to extract the most money from advertisers:

Advertising networks often sniff certain browser features, such as the window size to create user profiles and track users as they resize their browser and move across new URLs and browser tabs.

Called "letterboxing," this new technique adds "gray spaces" to the sides of a web page when the user resizes the browser window.

Sebastian Bicchi "We don't take your security seriously. We really don't care that much." Hey Facebook

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None of the Above

Santero "Best film I've seen in ages" #ParentOps

Elle Gato 😱

Me: I would like to go to sleep now
Brain: you can't
Me: why?
Brain: you haven't Done Enough
Me: done enough...what?
Brain: Enough
Me: enough what??
Brain: Enough. Just Enough. You have not Done Enough
Me: I'll do enough if you tell me enough what
Brain: You have not Done Enough

Geistlicherin 😭 "This hurt my feelings real bad"

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kaye toal 😀

Every single episode of Queer Eye is like four of the fab five having a fun week doing makeovers and Bobby working 19 hours a day putting up drywall

Nathan W. Pyle I have a "no foreign transaction fees" credit card, and this is what happens when I try to use it while travelling outside the US.

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Steven Cassidy 💌

The Patron Saint of copying people into emails is St Francis of a CC

Chris Owens "Is a router that "Works with Alexa" kind of like when all the headphones put "MP3 Compatible" on their packaging in the 2000's?"

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Drive-Thru Workers Can Hear You Even When You Can't Hear Them Just a friendly reminder that the drive-thru is a hot mic. It's like Alexa, always listening. 🎙

RyansAverageLife Next time you feel like yelling at a computer, try this instead! (Watch this video with the sound on)

okay this is the funniest game I have ever played in my life

Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages Masters of bureaucracy:

Sussman’s main strategy for convincing editors to make the changes his clients want is to cite as many tangentially related rules as possible (he is, after all, a lawyer). When that doesn’t work, though, his refusal to ever back down usually will.

He often replies to nearly every single bit of pushback with walls of text arguing his case. Trying to get through even a fraction of it is exhausting, and because Wikipedia editors are unpaid, there’s little motivation to continue dealing with Sussman’s arguments. So he usually gets his way.

Rob Hunt "I have exactly one iOS feature request." 👍

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France’s EU minister names her cat ‘Brexit’ because ‘he meows loudly to be let out but won’t go through the door’ Troll level: 11.

رنا محمد TIL there’s an “oh snap” kitten

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nathanwpylestrangeplanet Love this Instagram account and merch!


Design Objective

Jared Spool 👇 Design is more than shapes and colors:

“The product’s design was excellent, but the product was buggy, so I couldn’t recommend it.”

This is used as an excuse for why design-led orgs don’t work.

Yet, that’s the heart of issue. A truly design-led org would focus on the user’s experience. Bugs are part of that.

Paul Ford 😭 "This just happened on my home screen and quarters started spraying out of my USB jack."

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Tools of the Trade

THANOS JS "Reduce the file size of your project down to 50%, by randomly deleting half of the files."

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Using the iPad Pro as my development machine Using Mosh, Tmux, Docker, and other cool tricks that work around the limits of iOS, and can turn an iPad into an almost MacBook replacement. But the inevitable conclusion (also my experience):

I have decided that the iPad is the perfect mobile device for most of my work, but it can’t replace my main work devices (MacBook or iMac). I know it sounds cool to use the iPad as the main development machine, however, the constant limitations you’re hitting is just frustrating. I agree with most of the people out there that iOS is still limiting in several ways.

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Axel Rauschmayer "Awesome! Chrome 73 lets you install Progressive Web Apps natively on macOS."

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Jen Gentleman "Cannot unsee"

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Justin Searls 😭

PSA: a lot of Ruby web apps have been hacked by the Russians. To find out if your site is infected, look for a config.ru file in the root directory of your app.

Can't believe they named the file that. Dead giveaway.

Kenn White "I meant merkle tree not merkel tree but thanks the chuckle, google"

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Web-end

Chet 🎂

30 years later... This morning a dusty but frisky Steve Jobs NeXTstation just started again and WorldWideWeb 1.0 Alpha build succeeded!!! Happy #Web30 Birthday @timberners_lee @CERN @webfoundation @jmhullot @bserlet

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Brad Frost Reminder that things like account numbers and social security numbers aren't really numbers — use HTML appropriately:

Story time! Just got a call from my bank about a wire transfer. Everything seemed right except the last 3 digits of the account number.

Turns out they're using <input type="number"> for their account field, which means one up/down mouse swipe or keyboard changes the account # !

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CVS Receipt Finally, a legitimate use for infinite scroll!

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Lines of Code

Emma Wedekind "Just a simple fix!"

💿 Sh*t Devs Say: Greatest Hits 💿

“We can get it done this sprint”
“Just pushed please approve: No need to review my newest changes”
“It’s not that hard”
“Sure, it’s accessible”
“I forgot to push”
“Who broke the tests?”

Joop Lammerts "I love this one! I'm going to print it and put on the wall as a reminder #DDDEU @maaretp"

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Hakan Yuksel "developer test vs tester test"


Architectural

Denise Yu 👇 Thread:

Just learned a real-world example of the cost of “meh, we can refactor this later”:

Japan is the only modernized country in the world to run on two independent electricity grids, by historical accident. When the 2011 tsunami happened, half the country was knocked off-grid...

Ben Burton 🍻 Beer scale!

A devops engineer walks into a bar, puts the bartender in a docker container, put kubernetes behind the bar, spins up 1000 bartenders, orders 1 beer.


Peopleware

Eugenia Zuroski 💡 Brilliant!

I’ve decided, from now on, to field hostile questions at conferences by first asking, as a point of clarification: “What is it you hope to get from my answer to this question?

At the very least, it may make these interactions more interesting.

Sarah Federman The goal of the interview process is to hire future employees, so do whatever to help the candidate succeed:

Unpopular tech opinion. There is always going to be a better interview experience depending on who the candidate is and the only real solution is to just ask them which they prefer (and yes, I do believe this can scale).

Rika 💡 Plus you don't have to tidy up before an important meeting:

Work From Home is overrated.

Instead, I propose Work From IKEA. Go to IKEA when it’s absolutely dead during the week and join a video conference from a different mock room every hour until your team notices.

Robyn Frost "The creative process"

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Techtopia

Li Jin 👇 Future marketplaces are more than aggregators of demand and supply (but likely still contributing to the erosion of income):

In the future, marketplaces may not even feel like marketplaces to the end user. Because they connect all the dots behind the scenes--and provide such a high level of standardization and quality--people feel like they’re interacting with a high-quality, concierge-level service.


Startup Life

Suhail 👍 x 1000

◾️Dark mode for founders: disappearing & getting shit done.

Joseph Ruscio 🔥

OH: "startup mantra: may we survive long enough to be forced to implement Jira"


Locked Doors

Beto O’Rourke’s secret membership in America’s oldest hacking group Remember Cult of the Dead Cow? There's a book about it coming soon, and it features a presidential candidate:

The hugely influential Cult of the Dead Cow, jokingly named after an abandoned Texas slaughterhouse, is notorious for releasing tools that allowed ordinary people to hack computers running Microsoft’s Windows. It’s also known for inventing the word “hacktivism” to describe human-rights-driven security work.

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Laurie Voss 😭

A major international bank accidentally published a private package of their own to the public npm Registry, took 3 years to notice, and then sent DMCA takedown notices to Amazon and Cloudflare for hosting "stolen code". Now I have to pay a lawyer to explain this to them.
...
Our lawyer is also going to need to explain to a bank why a React package does not constitute "Stolen Financial Credentials" oh lord

Save the date: GPS Week Number Rollover Event – April 6th 2019 GPS experiences the Y2K problem every 19.7 years:

The week number is encoded into the data stream by a 10-bit field. A binary 10-bit word can represent a maximum of 1,024 weeks, which is approximately 19.7 years. Each 19.7 year period is known in GPS terms as an “epoch”.

At the end of each epoch the receiver resets the week number to zero and starts counting again – a new epoch begins.


None of the Above

Jason Spraitz "Hands down the best wedding invitation that I’ve ever received. Hopefully, #reviewer2 doesn’t get invited."

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Ashley Mayer Where is the lie?

I've run the numbers twice and can confirm that a 60 degree day during a New York winter is 15 degrees warmer than a 60 degree day during a San Francisco summer.

Jane Manchun Wong "Null Island is definitely on my bucket list now! 😍"

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LRB Bookshop 🐝 What the …???

if you were or are the friendly gent (blue coat) who was in the shop half an hour ago and left a big jar of bees on the table in the poetry section, please come back and reclaim your jar of bees. if you aren't, please rt until we find him #FindTheBeeGent

charlie says they're too large to be bees but i've started the hashtag now so it's too late to change it

WILD NATURE "This baby horse is so damn happy, imma have to rt for good luck"

Death of the calorie Explores the junk science behind counting calories:

Officials at the WHO also acknowledge the problems of the current system, but say it is so entrenched in consumer behaviour, public policy and industry standards that it would be too expensive and disruptive to make big changes. The experiments that Atwater conducted a century ago, without calculators or computers, have never been repeated even though our understanding of how our bodies work is vastly improved. There is little funding or enthusiasm for such work. As Susan Roberts at Tufts University says, collecting and analysing faeces “is the worst research job in the world”.

Why Machines That Bend Are Better Mighty interesting: "compliant mechanisms"!

Seattle traffic deaths and injuries down slightly last year; most of the fatalities were pedestrians Your city can do this too!

In addition, SDOT is implementing signals that give pedestrians at crosswalks a three- to seven-second head start before drivers get a green light to make turns. The system, called leading pedestrian intervals, makes pedestrians in the crosswalk more visible to drivers making turns.
...
In New York City, the transportation department has installed the technology at more than 2,000 intersections since 2014. A 2016 study found that deaths and serious injuries among pedestrians and bicyclists dropped nearly 40 percent at crossings with the systems.

Reconsidering Cinema "Mad Max Fury Road without CGI is straight insane"

Steadman USA …

This quote is actually illuminating. "Why didnt the rich people just exert their influence the socially acceptable way?"

Yashar Ali US Attorney re the Huffman/Loughlin (among others) college scam: "We're not talking about donating a building...we're talking about fraud."

Agosto o lo otro "Es viernes y tu cuerpo lo sabe"

Why Does the U.S. Tolerate So Much Risk? Rhetorical question. US values corporate profits over human lives:

Britain, which acted separately, and slightly before the Pan-European regulator, offered an even more explicit account of its reasoning, explaining that it was grounding the Boeing planes because authorities did not know the cause of the most recent crash, of an Ethiopian Airlines plane on Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration, by contrast, said until Wednesday that the absence of information was the reason it was letting domestic airlines keep the planes in the air.

After a Lion Air 737 Max Crashed in October, Questions About the Plane Arose This article from February has more details about the financial calculus that lead to the death of 346 people in two avoidable plance crashes. And don't blame the software for this tragedy.

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Good doggos "What a professional!"

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Marques Brownlee "Ok well played @elonmusk @Tesla"


Design Objective

Scott Bateman 👇 Thread on the design choices in airplane UI:

Almost every switch, lever, or handle that a pilot may have to move whilst inflight is shaped differently. Whether it be the external lights, radar controls, or the temperature control for the air conditioning, they are all subtly different. #AvGeek #Aviation

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Jeff Morris Jr. And building that POV into a cohesive product offering:

The hardest part about product has nothing to do with designing UX/UI or motivating engineers.

Those skills can be learned through hard work.

The hardest part is having a unique point of view about the world & being able to articulate those ideas to customers in a simple way.

The changes! 😎

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Antti Oulasvirta 👇 VR/AR will never work in practice, no way to solve usability issues, a thread:

Rant: Nine reasons why I don't believe in current VR/AR technology.

HoloLens, Magic Leap, and Oculus: Mind-blowing videos, and the market is estimated to explode to $200 billion by 2025 (Statista). So what's wrong?

HCI research tells why we haven't seen a killer app yet: 1/22

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Luke Wroblewski 👇 VR/AR with new input modes and better screens, just a matter of time, a counter-thread:

  1. many of these issues stem from trying to put graphical user interfaces into the real World. Porting windows, icons, menus, keyboards, etc. to 3D space & asking you to point at them will cause many HCI issues. wrong interaction model.

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Tools of the Trade

tef of the author These are damn good heuristics:

the three true estimates:

it's quicker to do than to explain
it will be done by the next meeting
it won't

the three true priorities:

yesterday
right now
never

the three true results:

i made one change
i changed several things and missed one
changed everything & still broken

AnnaR 💡

TIL: Google Slides has an option to live-machine-caption your slideshows 🤯 Seems like a valid option if the venue you're presenting at doesn't provide CC!

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Nader Dabit I know a lot of developers who do that, unironically:

I love how we as developers expect so much free shit, free applications, free platforms. When they try to monetize we flip out.

We then complain if we're not yet making absurd amounts of money building things for our companies, who we expect to make money to pay us (but how?) 🤔

Scott Hanselman 😭

Rather than “git blame” I would like to see “git I did the best I could with the tools and organizational structure available to me so just give me a little space and time and it will get fixed eventually”

Thomas Fuchs Both funny and sad (also):

Legendary Apollo project programmer Margaret Hamilton, next to a printout of the node_modules directory listing for her first Hello World react app

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Web-end

Vincent Riemer 👇 Thread on running smooth animations:

[1] Transforms, transforms, transforms, transforms (and opacity)

I almost never animate any property other than transform/opacity. When paired with tasteful usage of will-change, you let the browser skip some of the more expensive rendering steps (paint/layout). (5/9)

@rem OMG he's right!

You've met the only unclosable HTML tag, right? <plaintext></plaintext> works today (try it in jsbin, jsfiddle, codepen, etc), and refuses to close and it'll baff all the subsequent markup onto the page (including it's own closing tag). Fun times, eh? Straight from the 1990s.


Lines of Code

Andreas Klinger Just this week, I had to figure out which of three similar repositories hold the actual code we use in production:

Job interview: "Solve this recursive graph problem"

Daily work: "Figure out why in this legacy app there are five things named almost the same. And which one to use."

James Newton-King The hardest problem in computer science is not giving up:

This is it. The end of my career. I've fought this bug for 3 hours and I can't defeat it. The bug defies logic and reason. The rest of my days will be spent in eternal struggle against an amorphous foe, destined to-

Oh, there was a typo in an environment variable. Never mind.

Hakim El Hattab "tfw your hotel shower is a more prolific OSS contributor than you"

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Architectural

Bryan Caplan Defines the software industry to a tee:

The classic mistake of the old: Thinking there are no new ideas.
The classic mistake of the young: Thinking your ideas are new.

Eloi Valley 🔥

kuberbetes is just websphere for millennials. I shan't be reading any replies,


Peopleware

There’s an optimal way to structure your day—and it’s not the 8-hour workday Pomodoro fans, here's another data point for you:

In the process of measuring people’s activity, they stumbled upon a fascinating finding: the length of the workday didn’t matter much; what mattered was how people structured their day. In particular, people who were religious about taking short breaks were far more productive than those who worked longer hours.

The ideal work-to-break ratio was 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest.

Alistair Croll 💯

Less “women in tech” panels.
More women, in tech panels.

A New Luxury Retreat Caters to Elderly Workers in Tech (Ages 30 and Up) Not. The. Onion.

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Teamwork

Steven 👇 On managing inputs vs outputs:

2/ Will riff from my POV on this.

At scale the inputs (themselves a product of alignment/collab) are
• Resources
• Schedule
• x-team technology bets
• Scenarios or “themes”

Output is created/owned by the team (recursively) within those constraints.

6 phrases managers need to stop using in team meetings Or why “Don’t bring me problems. Bring me solutions” is well intended but ineffective.

Amir Salihefendić Key takeaway: "Blocks becomes a non-issue as you are blocked by default"

0/ Remote work isn't exceptional as companies that are spread around multiple offices have done it for the last many years. The special sauce is communicating asynchronously as the default 💡 Here's a thread about why.

Corey Quinn Bingo!

I object to the reality that you can be trusted with root in production, but not the judgement to make a $50 purchase.

Priya Ghose 🔥

“Never attribute to stupidity or malice that which can be adequately explained by structural alignment of incentives.”

-Hanlon's Razor as revised via @kevinakwok


Techtopia

Forget privacy: you're terrible at targeting anyway Serving relevant ads doesn't require surveillance, a rant:

That's a lot about profiling for ad targeting, which obviously doesn't work, if anyone would just stop and look at it. But there are way too many people incentivized to believe otherwise. Meanwhile, if you care about your privacy, all that matters is they're still collecting your personal information whether it works or not.

matt blaze More states should enact bans on cashless retail:

Philly just banned credit- and debit-card only retailers, citing, among other things, economic inequity (not everyone has a card) as well as the privacy implications of requiring all customers to use trackable payments. Interesting policy tradeoff space here.


Startup Life

Eric Paley 👇 How to tell a story during an investor pitch:

When getting ready to pitch VCs, founders often jump right into assembling a slide deck.
I think this is a mistake.
I’d suggest that you start by writing twenty headlines that sum up your startup, and only then build the slides.
Here’s why:
1/11

Amazon Almost Killed Best Buy. Then, Best Buy Did Something Completely Brilliant "This is how Best Buy used a combination of corporate strategy and emotional intelligence to save itself from ruin." Best Buy didn't save itself from Amazon, it saved itself from itself. They turned into a retailer you'd want to visit.


None of the Above

Julia Macfarlane "Siri give me a metaphor for life"

CNN A breakaway female cyclist was forced to stop during a prestigious race in Belgium after she started to catch up with the men's competition, which had started 10 minutes earlier.

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christine røde Me:

every time i pack for a trip, i somehow convince myself that i will require 3 outfit changes a day like some sort of fashion blogger, only to get there and happily wear the same jeans and tshirt for days in a row???

Jessie Char "that wfh life"

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your friend myk 👇 This thread, smh:

unpopular fantasy opinion: dragons shit gold. that's why the lairs are filled with it etc, they don't collect it they create it. Think about it - do you ever see dragons bringing sacks of gold home?

No, it's whole cows. Then time passes, then there's gold.

Not rocket science.

Andy Ryan "I'm close to breaking this whole thing wide open"

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AT&T’s new HBO chief criticizes Netflix, says it ‘doesn’t have a brand’ I guess he's talking about "HBO and chill" …

Swedish Couple Builds Greenhouse Around Home to Stay Warm and Grow Food All Year Long Never too cold, and they can grow grapes, tomatoes, and cucumbers. What more do you need?

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Woman reads fine print on insurance policy, wins $10,000 in hidden contest That one time reading the EULA paid off:

Hidden deep within the text of her Squaremouth insurance policy was a contest to win $10,000. The company buried instructions for claiming the grand prize in the fine print of every Tin Leg Travel Insurance contract.

"If you've read this far, then you are one of the very few Tin Leg customers to review all of their policy documentation," the fine print read. It included an email address and said the first person who replied would win the prize.

Subaru Buggy Drift Highlights Crazy fun, and you can build one yourself:

The Real Flat-Earth Conspiracy Is Selling Overpriced T-Shirts At least flat earth is harmless, and doesn't spread measles:

Apart from the charge to engage seriously with this movement — something I haven’t managed to do — the best part of the film is how many times the Flat Earthers disprove their own ideas with elaborate experiments.

Well, that and the amazing T-shirts they all wear.

The Dad "Now THIS is how you spend a snow day with your kid. [Scott Theisen]"

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Ash Crossan "Me not being dramatic"


Design Objective

Austin "If you want to be noticed during a portfolio presentation, tell a good story."

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Norgard 👍

A useful tool is to end every product meeting with the following question, "Is this the simplest solution we can come up with."

Marc Hemeon When there's a will, there's a workaround:

I just spent .99 to get a 10 minute silent song because autoplaying music in cars is still a thing we can’t turn off in iOS...

Title of song is sonit always plays first...

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Dare Obasanjo "No intuitive UI survives its first encounter with an end user"


Tools of the Trade

75 years since Colossus arrived at Bletchley The world's first programmable, electronic, digital computer, celebrates its 75th birthday.

Colossus

vim.dev is not what you think it is …

Introducing Package Diff See the difference between two published releases of an npm package.

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AWS API Performance Comparison: Serverless vs. Containers vs. API Gateway integration TL;DR AWS Lambda is fast enough for most use cases.

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emacs.dev is probably what you think it is …

Jake Williams "Does Python scale? You bet it does..."


Web-end

Cleave.js Format your <input/> content when you are typing.

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Animation in React @nearform/react-animation for all your component transition animation needs.

ezgif.com-video-to-gif

Epilepsy Blocker A chrome extension that blocks dangerous, flashing GIFs. For people with photosensitive epilepsy that triggers from exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities or from certain visual patterns.


Lingua Scripta

Johannes Ewald "TIL exporting a function named then can be problematic 😱"

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every_jorendorff Easy to fix, just add setTimeout, a thread 👇:

ECMA has changed the behavior of await p; to NOT create an extra promise (and enqueue an extra job) if p is already a promise. This makes await faster. No downside. Good idea!

So, I've got a patch for this. Guess what happens when I run all our browser regression tests.

Jane Manchun Wong 230K+ lines of code!

Google Domains, despite its recent redesign, is actually built with Google Web Toolkit

It loads megabytes of JS bundle, which is loaded by eval, which is compiled from Java!! Omg my eyes

If you wondered why the first page load of Google Domains is so sluggish, this is why

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Lines of Code

Avdi Grimm In response to this monstrosity of a configuration file:

It is generally true that if you can fool developers into thinking they are "mastering" something hard (as opposed to learning tolerance for something badly designed), you can build a fiercely loyal priesthood.

Enrique "It's always a timezone-related issue"

More than once I've run into tests that start failing at 6pm. I live in Mexico City (GMT-6). By now, whenever that happens I immediately suspect a timezone-related issue.

It's always a timezone-related issue.


Architectural

The coastline paradox This basicly explains why software project estimations are always wrong:

The closer you look, the more wiggles and squiggliness you come across and instead of converging on a more accurate length, the coastline just keeps getting longer. The smaller your ruler, the longer it gets.

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your friend myk "lol what a great definition of 'eventual consistency'" (original comic)

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Peopleware

Daniel Gross True, but easier said than done:

Hardest part about hiring as a founder isn’t finding people. It’s orienting your schedule to spend enough time on recruiting.

You’re likely under-investing in it. Inertial draw is always towards the urgent, not the important. Audit your time. Eyes on the prize!

Sophie Alpert 🤔

if A players hire A players but B players hire C players… who hires B players?

Kathryn Brightbill This thread has some great stories: "What is your most on brand story from your childhood?" 👇


Locked Doors

David Byttow Shares his on brand story from his childhood:

My mom controlled our AOL account when I was about 13 and would come into my room to sign me in. So, I created an entirely fake AOL login flow in Visual Basic and had her sign me in once to capture the password. Old school phishing.

Top ten most popular docker images each contain at least 30 vulnerabilities Good to know:

The official Node.js image ships 580 vulnerable system libraries, followed by the others each of which ship at least 30 publicly known vulnerabilities.
...
The current Long Term Support (LTS) version of the Node.js runtime is version 10. The image tagged with 10 (i.e: node:10) is essentially an alias to node:10.14.2- jessie (at the time that we tested it) where jessie specifies an obsolete version of Debian that is no longer actively maintained.

If you had chosen that image as a base image in your Dockerfile, you’d be exposing yourself to 582 vulnerable system libraries bundled with the image

Number_of_OS_vulnerabilities_by_docker_image


Electric Dreams

Microsoft Excel will now let you snap a picture of a spreadsheet and import it Finally, a use for AI.

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Saleem Rashid 🤖

asimov's fourth law: a robot must not click the "i am not a robot" checkbox

hardmaru 🏎

A fun way to learn about neural networks and AI is to implement a simulation game giving your agents little neural net brains, and training them using a simple method like evolution.

This demo trains a small neural network to drive around the track after only a few generations:

Graham Cluley "Turing test."

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None of the Above

Story Of My Fucking Life New favorite Instagram account, these fake real life book covers are everything!

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AlwaysAshley Every printer owner can relate:

Me: And print.
Printer: No
Me: But why?
Printer: No yellow ink
Me: It’s a black and white document.
Printer: I NEED yellow
Me: You don’t.
Printer:
Me: But —
Printer: I’m not running a fucking charity, get me yellow
Me: Ok but this is the last time.
Printer: lol no

hoskas This also happens to me every time I open Instagram:

I bet there's a word in German for when you get a very brief glimpse of a fascinating tweet just as the page reloads and no matter how far you scroll, you never ever see that tweet again.

Tim Dunn "The world record for pulling a train... with model trains."

Manisha Agarwal 😭 I go to physical therapy twice a week, so I can relate:

My friend who's a physiotherapist thinks that half the guys on Tinder are using ten-year-old photos, the other half are married, and the other half are single for a reason.
I'd like to tell her that's three halves, but you don't debate math with someone who's rotating your spine

The Hoarse Whisperer I'd join:

Okay, hear me out.
New business idea: a sleep gym.
No athletic equipment. Only private nap cubbies.
Your friends when they see you hustling off in sweats: “Where ya going?”
You: “The gym. Back in an hour.”
I would seriously join a sleep gym.

RNIB 🐫 CamelCase FTW:

Make sure you capitalize the first letter of each word in hashtags so that screen reader software reads out each word separately. It also makes them #EasierToRead!

Jedi Cinememer "Danny Ocean describes Facebook's ambitious new messaging strategy. See Facebook plans to let Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp users message each other."

Quantitative easing was the father of millennial socialism Actions have consequences, part I:

Mr Bernanke’s unorthodox “cash for trash” scheme, otherwise known as quantitative easing, drove up asset prices and bailed out baby boomers at the profound political cost of pricing out millennials from that most divisive of asset markets, property. This has left the former comfortable, but the latter with a fragile stake in the society they are supposed to build.

Lyft's financials show a $911 million loss ahead of its IPO Actions have consequences, part II:

The company has been clawing market share from industry leader Uber, according to the filing. Lyft claimed 39 percent of the U.S. market at the end 2018, up 17 percentage points over two years.

Two years ago: With just her words, Susan Fowler brought Uber to its knees.

Axel Rauschmayer Actions have consequences, part III:

If we see this popup on a Medium post, we can’t use it for @ESnextNews. 😢

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Matt Jameson "Democracy Dies Behind Paywalls."

It's infuriating how often I google a story to verify it, and the results are:

  1. NYT (no free articles left)
  2. Fox News (always free)
  3. WaPo (no free articles left)
  4. Breitbart (always free)
  5. Daily Caller (always free)

Guess what people end up reading when this happens?

In Mod We Trust There's no escaping the click-bait industrial complex:

The Verge brings this up as an example of the totalitarian and dehumanizing environment that Facebook moderators experience. But I imagine that if an employee had written down (or used their phone to take a picture of) some personal details of a Facebook user, The Verge (or some identical publication) would have run a report on how Facebook hired contractors who didn’t even take basic precautions to protect user privacy.

I’m not saying nobody should ever be allowed to do investigative reporting or complain about problems. But I would support some kind of anti-irony rule, where you’re not allowed to make extra money writing another outrage-bait article about the outrages your first outrage-bait article caused.

De novo origins of multicellularity in response to predation TL;DR Scientists picked a single-cell alga, introduced selective pressure in the form of a predator, and watched as it evolved into a multicellular organism over ~750 generations.

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Andrew Cunningham 🤦‍♂️

The people who make USB are at it again!!

  • USB 3.1 gen 1, which used to be USB 3.0, is now USB 3.2 gen 1
  • USB 3.1 gen 2 is now USB 3.2 gen 2
  • USB 3.2 is now USB 3.2 gen 2 2x2 because it’s twice as fast as USB 3.2 gen 2 (aka USB 3.1 gen 2)

'Moment of reckoning': US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports In many places in the US, recycling is over, and instead we get incinerate pollution. But you can still reduce and reuse! ♻️

Jennifer Wright "This woman is both my hero and history's greatest villain."

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Published on

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Everyone should know about @bunnyarchive: tweet @bunnyarchive bunny for a cute bunny pic!


Design Objective

@edwinwee Next level presentation:

Today I gave a lightning talk on emdashes and endashes and passed out these custom M&Ms. I was so pleased with myself.

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Helen Tran So much this!

I mean no disrespect to the Lyft Design team... in my perfect world the app simply asks, "Would you get into this car again?" Or assumes, "Yes" until otherwise noted.

The rating system is exhausting and leaves room for random punishment based on people's arbitrary moods.

Giora Morein Factor this into your design process:

You will only know all the requirements of a story when it is completed (not before you start it) #agile #scrum

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Tools of the Trade

OptimalBits/bull Bull looks like a solid choice: Redis-based job queues for Node applications.

logo@2x

Mozilla to use machine learning to find code bugs before they ship That's a substantial reduction in bugs:

That system found some 60-70 percent of buggy commits, though it also had a false positive rate of 30 percent. Even though this false positive rate is quite high, users of this system nonetheless felt that it was worthwhile, thanks to the time saved when it did correctly identify a bug.

Magnus Edenhill "I too ❤ Logs. left: streaming, right: batching"

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Mesh: Compacting Memory Management for C/C++ Applications Interesting technique (looking at you, Electron):

This paper introduces Mesh, a plug-in replacement for malloc that, for the first time, eliminates fragmentation in unmodified C/C++ applications. Mesh combines novel randomized algorithms with widely-supported virtual memory operations to provably reduce fragmentation, breaking the classical Robson bounds with high probability. Mesh generally matches the runtime performance of state-of-the-art memory allocators while reducing memory consumption; in particular, it reduces the memory of consumption of Firefox by 16% and Redis by 39%.

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Teletype Model 33 "git push so slow"


Web-end

Details on <details> Using the HTML native details element and Web components to build drop-down menus and dialogs.

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Pure CSS Still Life - Water and Lemons Mind blowing! Still life with CSS.

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Lines of Code

Manisha Agarwal 😅

In software development, there's probably no worse situation than "it works, but nobody knows why."


Architectural

Roman Kofman My experience also confirms that adding slack to your roadmap speeds development in the long run. 👇 Thread:

When people complain about tech debt, and business disregard for it, they don't usually actually mean a limited set of specific issues.

What they're complaining about is a lack of "slack" to take on un-prioritized, but important work.

Slack is important for any healthy team.

Sakhavat Mammadov "When you keep postponing simple but important solutions .."


Team Work

Bret Taylor The story of how Google Maps “Satellite” mode was almost named “Bird Mode” has all the right elements of corporate decision making process, but with a happy ending.

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Locked Doors

You Give Apps Sensitive Personal Information. Then They Tell Facebook. That we accept this as normal …

In the Journal’s testing, Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, the most popular heart-rate app on Apple’s iOS, made by California-based Azumio Inc., sent a user’s heart rate to Facebook immediately after it was recorded.

Flo Health Inc.’s Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, which claims 25 million active users, told Facebook when a user was having her period or informed the app of an intention to get pregnant, the tests showed.

Real-estate app Realtor.com, owned by Move Inc., a subsidiary of Wall Street Journal parent News Corp , sent the social network the location and price of listings that a user viewed, noting which ones were marked as favorites, the tests showed.

Using DNA Databases To Find Your Distant Relatives? So Is The FBI. Fingerprint matching are so last century:

A majority of Americans could be genetically traced by the FBI using consumer genealogy databases and pinpointing a distant family member’s DNA, researchers say, greatly expanding investigators’ ability to identify members of the public suspected of crimes.

Eric Lawrence "Wife wrote a shopping list and entrusted my 5yo to deliver it to me. #infosecmetaphors"

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Techtopia

Nike’s smart sneakers are breaking when used with an Android phone The day your shoes stop working and you have to wait for a software patch … say what???

Affected owners say either their left or right shoe no longer pairs with Nike’s app, meaning it can’t be used to tighten their fresh pair of $350 self-lacing shoes.

OTOH while not as stylish, they do have more processing power than a PDP-11.

Austen Allred 🤔

If you think about it the technology industry is just a giant mechanism for moving money from Saudi Arabia to San Francisco landlords

basibanget "Thank Excel!"

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Electric Dreams

Do Neural Nets Dream Of Electric Hobbits? Explores the relationship between the GTP-2 algorithm (remember, from last week), and recent concepts of how/why the human brain dreams.


None of the Above

Gabby Tropea "My sister accidentally locked me out of the house so I went to check if the back door was unlocked and this happened"

Ryan Gantz 😭

boarding order:
1st class
flyvantage 9000 unobtanium elite cardholders
veterans (thanks for your service!)
skynet chryogen billionaire club members
travelers with kids
Verizon GO90 customers
flyvantage 7500 goldlife partners
YouTube Red subscribers
folks wearing UNIQLO™
group A

Benji "When you try to help but have no idea what you're doing"

Kevin Roose I can't complain about tech giants harming the social fabric, without pointing out examples of good stewardship. 👇 Thread:

Pinterest has half the staff of Twitter and 1/20th the staff of FB. No war rooms or byzantine enforcement frameworks or faux-democratic governance councils. It just saw people using its platform in a harmful way, and...blacklisted them. Wild!

Flightradar24 — how it works? TIL this real time map of commercial plane traffic is made by hobbiests, and for about $50 you can build your own tracker and contribute to the effort.

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The deadly truth about a world built for men – from stab vests to car crashes "Crash-test dummies based on the ‘average’ male are just one example of design that forgets about women – and puts lives at risk."

Dragons and Beasties These sculptures are the most adorable!

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