Labnotes

Published on

@Distinctboxes "Cambodian artist Visoth Kakvei Is Taking Doodling To Another Level."


Design Objective

Boost Your UX with These Successful Interaction Design Principles "There’s a fine line between an interaction that works and one that is unusable. Interaction design principles help bridge the divide."

Dos and don'ts on designing for accessibility You can download these posters here, in several languages. Be mindful when applying these guidelines:

Another aim of the posters is that they're meant to be general guidance as opposed to being overly prescriptive. Using bright contrast was advised for some (such as those with low vision) although some users on the autistic spectrum would prefer differently. Where advice seems contradictory, it’s always worth testing your designs with users to find the right balance, making compromises that best suit the users’ needs.

Inline validation is problematic Explores some of the issues with inline validation, and concludes:

In any case, designing the perfect inline validation experience is nigh on impossible. Any potential benefit is outweighed by the problems it introduces. Instead put the user in control by showing errors on submit.

Information Architecture: Effective Techniques For Designers This article includes some delightful concepts, that should be turned into real apps.


Tools of the Trade

muzzle A simple Mac app to silence embarrassing notifications, while screensharing. Also, best website or what?

Serving 39 Million Requests for $370/Month, or: How We Reduced Our Hosting Costs by Two Orders of Magnitude TL;DR go serverless, mind the memory usage, and cache all the things.

How does language, memory and package size affect cold starts of AWS Lambda? Dynamic languages (JavaScript/Python) out-perform static languages (C#/Java) hands down:

And also, How long does AWS Lambda keep your idle functions around before a cold start?

Raft Explains how the Raft protocol works with clear and simple animations.

sonar "A linting tool for the web", Sonar can monitor your web app for accessibility, interoperability, security, etc.

@megaserg 💳

I'm going to open my own bar and call it "Chrome". It will keep your tab open until you have no memory

@Daeinar :syntax on


Web-end

What's the Deal with Collapsible Margins? "What would be the amount of space between two sibling divs, where the 1st has a margin-bottom of 10px and 2nd a margin-top of 30px?"

Responsive CSS VW Buses CSS is the new SVG?


Lines of Code

@chrissanders88 "You’re confident about your bug fix, but are you "hot patch the Apollo 14 lander or the mission is scrapped” confident?"

My Space Shuttle story, for Catherine... Apropos, "I read the data specification in about 10 minutes and wrote a program to decode it in about 20 minutes."


Architectural

Four Laws of Software Economics ✔✔✔✔

  • The Law of Ruthless Prioritization
  • The Law of Build Once, Sell Many
  • The Law of Whole Product
  • The Law of Strategic Judgment

Engineering Mantras "Pushed or it didn't happen" and other common mantras to throw around in the Slack room.

@ctford 💵

The CAP theorem says that a paper on distributed systems cannot be simulteneously Applicable, Comprehensible and free from Paywall.


Devoops

@nixcraft 😂


Peopleware

For a More Creative Brain, Take Breaks on Purpose

Idleness is not a vice, it is indispensable for making those unexpected connections in the brain you crave and necessary to getting creative work done.

Fidget Bliss Fidget Cube vs fidget spinner. BTW I just learned these are called "stim toys", and also there are also stim blogs.


Locked Doors

Wildcard Certificates Coming January 2018 That would come in handy, and also take a minute to appreciate the progress so far:

Let’s Encrypt is currently securing 47 million domains via our fully automated DV certificate issuance and management API. This has contributed heavily to the Web going from 40% to 58% encrypted page loads since Let’s Encrypt’s service became available in December 2015.

The MeDoc Connection Cyberwar attacks cloaked as ransomware:

Given the circumstances of this attack, Talos assesses with high confidence that the intent of the actor behind Nyetya was destructive in nature and not economically motivated.

XSS Attacks: The Next Wave "XSS attacks grew 39% in Q1 of 2017, the biggest jump since Q4 of 2015"


None of the Above

@ellardent "Now *this* is how you sell Lego."

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain, Tokens, ICOs: Why should anyone care? Clear and simple explanation of blockchains, Bitcoin vs Ethereum, and what happens when tokens go on sale (aka Initial Coin Offering.)

@finalfashion

Lately I ask people to spell their names for me to help me remember. It doesn't make me seem any smarter tho. "So how do you spell.... Bob?"

How to Keep Your Rolling Suitcase From Tipping Over When It Goes All Wobbly Speed up to keep it from crash landing.

Red Panda trying to escape

According to Apple, the iPod reinvented portable music and the Apple HomePod aims to do the same with our music at home. Should we feel bad for Sonos? It's the little Big details, like:

The speaker uses six integrated beamforming microphones to probe the room dimensions, and alter its output so it sounds its best wherever it is placed ... The only other speakers that do this is the Beolab 90, and Lexicon SL-1. The Beolab 90 is $85,000/pair …

Silicon Valley Title Sequence Breakdown All the insider quips, jokes, and references.

@m1sp Shower thoughts:

Have you ever considered how adorable it is that humans build little waterfalls to put in their homes and stand under? 🚿

@Jimbobaroo "She can move in any direction you know..."

Published on

@ImACultHero "Just learned that Cheetahs are really nervous animals, and some zoos give them "support dogs" to relax"


Design Objective

@sortino Cynical, but sometimes we need a dose of that:

The Ten Principles of Good Design: 2017 Tech Industry Edition 😂

The 1,000 Floor Elevator: Why Most Designers Fail Google’s Infamous Interview Design Challenge "Yet virtually all solutions I’ve encountered fail almost immediately for the exact same reason…" can you guess what's the common reason?

Ash Huang: How Much Poison Is Acceptable in Our Technology? "For an industry that complains about the inconvenience of waiting for a cab, doing laundry, or picking up takeout, we sure build a lot of suffering into our apps."

@assafweinberg "Automotive #UX is always a great reminder that even huge companies still need help with basic human centered design."


Tools of the Trade

Using headless Chrome as an automated screenshot tool The five-minute intro to automating headless Chrome using Node.js and the debugging protocol API.

Updated Chrome Debugging Tools Worth Mentioning Block specific network requests, measure CSS and JavaScript coverage, take full page screenshots, and the "how did they do it?" async/await debugging.

@ThePracticalDev I've been in the software industry long enough to know this is absolutely true:

You are not "missing the boat" on that hot new language, framework, platform, etc. If the trend sticks, you can catch up at any time.

sindresorhus/refined-github A browser extension that fixes a bunch of Github annoyances.

7anshuai/masq A simple local dns server extracted from Pow. Allows you to use *.dev domains for development, instead of localhost.

kesselborn/spec.sh A mini test framework for Bash.

@KernCanCode The real semantics of semantic versioning:

major = a breaking change

minor = a minor breaking change

patch = a little-bitty breaking change


Web-end

Aspect Ratios in CSS are a Hack Confused by aspect ratios? I know I am. Here are four different techniques to wield CSS to your will.

UX Flow Sketch wireframe prototyping for Web and Mobile projects.


Lingua Scripta

@rauschma Why semicolons in JavaScript? Because this (hint):

Object.entries({a: 1, b: 2, c: 3})
[1, 2].forEach(x => console.log(x))

Lines of Code

@brkwtz ⁉️

I have refactored

the code

that was in

ur repo

& which

u were probably

going

to deploy

Forgive me

it doesn't work now

but it

looks great


Architectural

@mikesherov Thread:

Everything is too slow. In the last month, just by caring, we've made npm and Webpack about 50% faster. Just by profiling, caching, etc. /1

And we're talking about real "do less work" PRs, not just "oh, avoid try/catch because v8 doesn't like it yet". Like not hacks /3

And instantly all the old friends are there: runaway GC, accidental n^2, not caching all the things, arrays instead of Maps/Sets /5

@deech 🤔

My favorite riddle: what's weightless, massless, and without form but requires teams of people to move it? Legacy code.


Techtopia

Made With ARKit Hand-picked curation of the coolest stuff made with ARKit.

@kenshirriff The future of computing, 44 years ago:

Got our vintage Xerox Alto to display images. The 1973 Alto was one of the first computers with a high-resolution bitmapped display.

@iamdevloper

tech, the only industry where there's an entire suite of apps to remind you to take a 5 min break every half hour


Locked Doors

Petya Ransomware Attack – What’s Known Another week, another widespread attack. Security analysts still debating whether to call it #Petya or #NotPetya.


None of the Above

@Pixel_Chikki Amazing lifehack 😭

@TZhongg Busy people (myself included):

"I want to pick your brain" = 1% chance of replying

"I have a specific question about X vs Y that you can answer in 5 min"= 80% chance

Amazon’s New Customer The "eat your own dog food" has evolved into the "first-and-best customer" principle:

This is the key to understanding the purchase of Whole Foods: from the outside it may seem that Amazon is buying a retailer. The truth, though, is that Amazon is buying a customer — the first-and-best customer that will instantly bring its grocery efforts to scale.

@ computerfact

That Time the TSA Found a Scientist’s 3-D-Printed Mouse Penis Scientists going through airport security:

“She totally freaked out, but had to peek in the container,” says Cleaver. “We opened it just a slit, and there were 12-14 eyes staring at her. She screamed. She did this 3 times …"

The history of cold-brew coffee is fascinating From 17th century Kyoto to an 1840s Algerian fortress and ending in with neighborhood Starbucks.

Men Can Be So Hormonal Blame it on the T.

@felixwalkens "I'm an idiot"

Published on

Craig Pearson "I'd watch this low budget Firefly reboot"


Design Objective

Remove to Improve Fantastically illustrates how to improve every visualization by simply taking things out. Whether it's charts, tables, or maps.


Tools of the Trade

How we got 1,500 GitHub stars by mixing time-tested technology with a fresh UI Newer != better:

Unfortunately, we were affected by cognitive bias: old code is bad code. But the truth can be the opposite. The old code is battle-tested by thousands of users in hundreds of different projects. Most of the critical bugs have been fixed, the documentation is complete, there are tons of questions and answers on StackOverflow and Quora.

Fontjoy Uses machine learning to generate font pairings.

OptimalBits/redbird Reverse proxy that supports HTTP/2, Let's Encrypt, Node.js cluster, Docker and more.

veltman/flubber Using best-guess methods to smoothly interpolate between 2-D shapes.

r/ProgrammerDadJokes/ There's a Reddit for programmer dad jokes, and it's exactly what you would imagine.


Web-end

Zach Holman

not many people know this but stonehenge was mankind’s first attempt at css triangles with box shadows. we still have no idea how to do it.


Lines of Code

How is GNU yes so fast? Not everything that can be optimized should be optimized, but if you must insist, a 100x speedup is quite the win.

Gojko Adzic 📣

programming lesson for today: always always always make sure a test fails first, and fails for the right reason, before trusting it to pass


Architectural

What I learned from my biggest mistake as an F1 engineer Always be learning:

In both of those occasions, it was important for us to understand whether everything that had occurred because of those mistakes was negative. Good engineering prompts you to ask whether there was anything we could learn from it – you need to embrace the unexpected nature of those accidents rather than simply explain them away.

Sam Newman "This is awesome from @aahoogendoorn - system architecture as Ikea furniture..."


Peopleware

Working Hard is Not the Same as Working Smart When 21st century work gets measured by 20th century standards.


Locked Doors

Gathering weak npm credentials When you find out all your Node.js production apps are a quick hack away from being compromised:

In total, I found 15568 valid credentials for 15495 accounts since this May.

The total number of directly affected packages was 66876 — 13% of the ecosystem.

I got publish access to … cheerio, browserify, koa, mongoose, modernizr, react, tape, winston, … 1819 packages in total were accessible through more than one user, 38 of those with more than 1 millon downloads/month, 7 — with more than 10 million downloads/month.

Credentials resets As consequence of the above:

In this case, however, passwords for a number of users were available online, accessible via Google search. These passwords were made public through security breaches of other sites, and, unfortunately, the owners of some hacked accounts re-used the passwords for their npm accounts.


None of the Above

Assaf "Me. Cooking. Every time."

Little Alchemy "Explore what you can create by mixing simple elements." The simple premise behind this addictive game.

The tragedy of FireWire How Apple and Sony made FireWire and then drove the market towards USB.

Sven Henrich "SPOTTED: Your moment of Zen"

This is why infrastructure is so expensive And never completes on time:

Once a government commits to a project, they are committing to an open checkbook. That check will be written in a system where nearly everyone involved will be compensated more the longer the project takes and the more expensive it becomes.

Emergency Kittens "at first i tought it was catpuccino"

Published on

Redditors design worst volume sliders possible.


Design Objective

Writing for UX: some practical tips A few simple writing tips to keep in mind when writing for user experience.

Cultural Blind Spots in UX Designing for international markets is about understanding the nuances, starting with how cultures look at web pages in different ways.

@MegDraws 💺

Is there a support group somewhere for designers who worked on a redesign & then read the comments? I’ll save you a seat, @design


Tools of the Trade

8 habits to become a better software engineer Forget fancy frameworks and tools, and follow the basic principles, for example, repetition:

Each repetition will yield minor improvements, and it will be easier to find errors early on that could lead to larger problems later, he says.

Make Your Pull Requests Visual. How to make PRs for front-end changes easier to review.

Browserslist is a Good Idea Auto-prefixing your CSS, Babel presets for your JavaScript, all you have to maintain is the list of supported browsers.

Charts Charts as a service, meaning they're rendered as PNG/GIF, so you can easily embed them on any website, in emails, SMS, etc.

Our dirty little secret: Cross-platform email client with nothing but HTML "That’s just an example of what comes for free when using the same build for all platforms and going 100% web." We're doing the same thing, so maybe I'll write about it in a future post.

Mirr.io Sketch plugin for developing prototypes and sharing them.

Cross-browser extensions, available now in Firefox If you can't beat them, then … Firefox, Microsoft and Opera planning on supporting Chrome extensions in their browsers.

@brittanystoroz Easter egg:

TIL: If you turn on Chrome DevTools experiments and press the SHIFT key six times you will get even more experiments 😈

Feathers "Simply beautiful open source icons."

Jaiden Mispy

Static sites are great for performance but they're also important for longevity. Not having to maintain server-side code is a *huge* deal

Tim Berglund "Emacs...is there anything it *can't* do?"


Web-end

Leveraging the Performance Metrics that Most Affect User Experience Will teach you how to use the new Paint Timing API.

HTTP/2 push is tougher than I thought Some of the gotchas you might come across, on the road to HTTP/2.

Estelle Weyl 📆

CSS Reminder: media query "device-aspect-ratio" is deprecated. It was a -webkit- thing only.


Lines of Code

Developers Who Use Spaces Make More Money Than Those Who Use Tabs Presented here for entertainment value only.

Assaf "When you forget to remove debugging code and deploy to production"


Architectural

Eberhard Wolff 👍

Software architecture:

Finding the least disastrous option among many bad ones based on incomplete and constantly changing information.

rogue dmb 😭

Murphy's law 2017: all that can go wrong has already gone wrong, you just don't know it yet because your alerting system has also gone wrong


Machines are Learning

gwern When you know some startup is using this as their VC pitch:

'Cruelty-free non-batch-trained neural nets online methods ensure that our results are sustainably harvested from incoming data.'

This is What Happens When You Teach an AI to Name Guinea Pigs “Splanky,” “Gooper,” and “Spockers.”

Andrew Edman Ideal vs reality:

You: "Machine Learning & Big Data will make our cities smart, our lives easier"

Me: I just had to tell Google our office is not a restaurant


Locked Doors

MacSpy: OS X RAT as a Service Analysis of the MacSpy malware, which claims to be "most sophisticated Mac spyware ever."


None of the Above

Nutella 'Hired' an Algorithm to Design New Jars. And It Was a Sell-Out Success. These designs are fantastic. And if you don't fancy one, just get another jar.

The secret origin story of the iPhone Excerpt from the forthcoming book The One Device. Also, What Apple Thought the iPhone Might Look Like in 1995.

How I took my first step in tech Every person has their own journey; do what's right for you.

The Museum of Failure A collection of products and services that didn't quite make it, including such legends as the Apple Newton, Sony Betamax, Bic for Her, and Harley-Davidson Perfume.

Emergency Kittens "to understand the pillow, one must become the pillow"

Download your data PSA reminder that you can download and keep a backup of all your Google data.

Obvious Plant "I installed a ‘Relationship Saving Station’ at Ikea to help keep couples from fighting."

Published on

Alta. man mowing lawn during tornado was 'keeping an eye on it' 😮


Design Objective

In the future, design principles won’t be about design Leveling up:

But as the industry evolves and concepts such as simplicity, consistency and accessibility become unquestionably valuable, design principles will be more about users, and less about design.

Luke Wroblewski "designing for one-handed use"

Just Keep Scrolling! How To Design Lengthy, Lengthy Pages How different web sites deal with the challenge of long or even infinite scrolling experience.

Jon Cowie "we did a thing combining color & position here that’s worked really well for colorblind folks"

Designing Efficient Web Forms: On Structure, Inputs, Labels And Actions The checklist that keeps getting longer every year — now includes conversational interface forms (aka chatbots.)

@adampowers "Today's UX lesson: don't just design around variables. Stay mindful of how a value range might change the meaning and impact of your copy."


Tools of the Trade

Debugging Tips and Tricks Sarah Drasner's excellent introduction to debugging JavaScript, including latest tools, language features, and don't forget the fundamentals!

Isolation is possibly the strongest core tenets in all of debugging. Our codebases can be sprawling, with different libraries, frameworks, and they can include many contributors, even people who aren't working on the project anymore. Isolating the problem helps us slowly whittle away non-essential parts of the problem so that we can singularly focus on a solution.

The Future of MDN: A Focus on Web Docs MDN about to become much better: "Now we’re looking to double-down on that work, and solidify MDN as the single best resource for Web docs."

New in Chrome 59 Headless Chrome is here, finally using native notifications on macOS, and Image Capture API.

Kelly Shuster

Things you find yourself telling the new intern: "I promise Android Development is more than just waiting for gradle." 😬 😭 #AndroidDev

Yarn determinism On the difference between Yarn and npm 5:

npm 5 has stronger guarantees across versions and has a stronger deterministic lockfile, but Yarn only has those guarantees when you’re on the same version in favor of a lighter lockfile that is better for review.

Magnus Hult 📧

You're talking about inbox zero, but have you achieved npm outdated zero?

Ben Porter "Good life advice from the c++ specification."


Web-end

70% Repetition in Style Sheets: Data on How We Fail at CSS Optimization The lowest common denominator keeps being — not developers — but CSS.

Safari 11.0 No Progressive Web Apps, no ES2017, lots of web APIs are still missing. But we do get WebRTC, drag & drop on iOS, and WebAssembly.

Una Kravets Retweeting:

RT if you casually browse the web w/dev tools open (probably left open by accident) 70% of the time


Lingua Scripta

Delivering untranspiled source code via npm Using esnext to include untranspiled source code in npm packages.

JavaScript's new #private class fields Literally #.

WebAssembly cut Figma’s load time by 3x What is WebAssembly, and what are the performance gains compared to asm.js/JavaScript:

The biggest benefit we saw from using WebAssembly at Figma was faster load time. … As you can see, our load time improved by more than 3x after we switched to WebAssembly regardless of document size.

Axel Rauschmayer ⁉️

Don’t use parseInt to convert to int:

parseInt(0.0000008,10) => 8

Why? Coerces to str:

String(0.0000008) => '8e-7'


Lines of Code

James Iry 🎓

Every CS degree covers fancy data structures. But what trips up more programmers? Times. Dates. Floats. Non-English text. Currencies.

Eric Elliott 💯

Good code is simple. Code reviews are a great way to train teams to write simple code. Don't be afraid to say "this is hard to understand".

@partytimeHXLNT "If learning to cook was like learning to code:"


Peopleware

Other than algorithms, what are the most important concepts to know in computer programming? In a nutshell (but read the entire post, absolutely worth it):

Software engineering is about so much more than the technology you can harness. Its about harnessing people, also. At the end of the day, it’s about solving problems that people have.

The Single Most Important Driver Of Software Quality TL;DR "developers having skin in the game is the main driver of software quality."


Locked Doors

Intelligent Tracking Prevention Safari 11 uses machine learning to prevent machines from learning all the details of your browsing history:

A machine learning model is used to classify which top privately-controlled domains have the ability to track the user cross-site, based on the collected statistics.

HomePod, Echo, Google Home: How secure are your speakers? Whereby "speaker" means an "always-on listening device that uploads to the Internet". So if you want some measure of privacy:

With anonymized IDs, Apple's speakers have a much more compelling argument for not handing over data: They can't find it.

In the game of hide and seek with your voice data, the advantage -- for now -- goes to Apple.

You’ll never guess where Russian spies are hiding their control servers Crafty:

a recently discovered backdoor Trojan used comments posted to Britney Spears's official Instagram account to locate the control server that sends instructions and offloads stolen data to and from infected computers

How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store Scammers abusing App Store Search Ads, in-app subscriptions, and does anyone even review these apps?


None of the Above

Sal Partovi "can i get a version of this that deletes meetings instead?"

Fakespot Browser extension and mobile apps for spotting fake reviews on Amazon/Yelp.

iOS 11 Tidbits Customizable Control Center, one-handed keyboard, type to Siri, and more. Some of these new features may be familiar to Android users. Either way, eagerly waiting for the beta to drop.

Mike Taylor 🗓

life hack: the quickest way to make 3 months pass is to write “i’ll get to this later this week” in a public bug tracker.

@CGdrawing