Labnotes

Published on

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Bruce Lawson "Every software project I've worked on since 1988."


Design Objective

Dave Herman So much this:

Part of the design process is letting a thing get more complicated before it gets simpler again. Unnecessary complexity is often the result of lack of follow-through. You can't take shortcuts to good design.

Bill Buxton Convergent innovation:

3/3 Without knowing about Mallebrein's 1968 mouse (almost nobody did), Ronald Rider reinvented the ball mouse which Xerox patented in January 1973. This is the mouse that really got the ball rolling ... Such is the nature of innovation and its long nose.

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Tools of the Trade

ColorBox Easy tool for creating ranges of color/shades/etc.

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From Farm to Blockchain: Walmart Tracks Its Lettuce I can't even … (h/t Tracy Alloway)

Blockchains are supposed to make it possible to keep updated databases without any central authority in charge. But currently, all of the records for the Walmart blockchain are being stored on IBM’s cloud computers, for Walmart’s use. That has led to questions about why a distributed database like a blockchain is even necessary.


Web-end

Josh Loewen "You guys, Nike's robots.txt says "just crawl it." #seo #webdev"

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Una "Writing CSS 15 years ago"

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Locked Doors

Samantha Ming Naming variables gets easier by following simple rules:

Coming up with good variable names can be a challenge. For boolean values, you can follow this convention. Prefix it with is, has, or can. Just by reading the name, you'll know it's a boolean 👍


Devoops

Vicki Boykis 👍

Producer: Pitch me.
Me: It's an ensemble sitcom about a lovable, goofball DevOps team that works for a startup in New York and investigates outages. It's called Brooklyn Five-Nines.
Producer: Get out.

nik Well …

image


Techtopia

Giana Reading this, I realized that's how I navigate the internet:

Does anyone else just... stick to the same <50 sites because exploring the modern web is a hellpool of autoplaying videos and janky scrolling and declining notification requests and closing newsletter signups and cookie notices.

flysanityfly "Rereading Lord of the Rings 10 years later, only to realize that the Ring is my smartphone."

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Locked Doors

Chrome is a Google Service that happens to include a Browser Engine Chrome is a fantastic web browser, and has the best developer tools, and also combines the worse of Internet Explorer and Facebook.

Yehuda Katz More about the culture that leads to such products (Chrome, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc):

The thing to understand about the Chrome team is that they always believe that their technical goals are the real reasons for the choices that they make that people find abhorrent.

Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information Related. It makes perfect sense if you only consider the feature as is, and don't look at the wider implications:

“People own their address books,” a Facebook spokesperson said by email. “We understand that in some cases this may mean that another person may not be able to control the contact information someone else uploads about them.”

Wim Remes "this is going into all my security presentations"

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None of the Above

Christie Dietz Thank you whoever did this:

My son has parked his bike by this lamppost just about every day for the last year. This morning, this sticker had appeared. Absolutely made our day. People can be so brilliant. Thank you, whoever did it 😊

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tobypinder Such bravery:

trying some next level shit called "going to bed when you feel tired", will report back

Fluff Society "High Speed Charger"

John Wiswell 😭

Spider-Man is an aspirational fantasy about being able to quickly and conveniently get around New York City.

Ben Hall "Those four people who always like your posts no matter what."

Mike Perham I like "holding entropy at bay" 😭

No one ever told me that I’ll spend 15-30 minutes per day holding entropy at bay in my kitchen for the rest of my life.

CoolPics "I love our pediatrician’s shirt today"

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maura quint Tearing down the "boys will be boys" myth:

I want to tell a story: Once in high school, I felt insecure, I put on a tight top too low cut and dark lipstick I didn't usually wear. I went to a party drank terrible wine coolers, too many of them. A man asked me if I wanted to leave, I slurred, said maybe. He said "maybe"?

Pulp Librarian I had one of these growing up:

Bűvös Kocka was patented in Hungary in 1975: a plastic cube, made up of nine coloured squares on each side, that could be rearranged in 43 quintillion different ways. Eight years later over 200 million had been sold worldwide.

This is the story of the Rubik's Cube...

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Matt Colville "A seal slaps a man in the face with an octopus. The best headline you'll see today."

Published on

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美しき物理学bot "微分" (differential)


Design Objective

How Desktop Dashboards Really Work Using eye tracking to design a better dashboard:

Tests demonstrate the effectiveness of negative space. A minimalist layout with space between functional components improves user flow.

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Julie Presentation matters:

Designers, you should present your work with the confidence of speakers at Apple Keynotes.

"Amazing. Absolutely beautiful and highly functional. Rich, vibrant colors."

Software disenchantment Great rant about the state of software: we got immensely powerful computers, yet software isn't faster or more reliable than it was a decade ago. But misses the key point that what we got today exactly "meets business goals":

Ever seen this dialogue “which version to keep?” I mean, bar today is so low that your users would be happy to at least have a window like that.

icloud_conflict

And no, in my world app that says “I’m gonna destroy some of your work, but you get to choose which one” is not okay.


Tools of the Trade

Todd Motto™ "🔥 Love this new Chrome feature, on the fly evaluation in the console!"

ezgif.com-video-to-gif

XML, blockchains, and the strange shapes of progress 😱 Comparing blockchain to XML is mean, but probably justified:

  1. Bitcoin is like the XHTML of blockchains.
  2. No, I don't think cryptocurrency investing is a good idea.
  3. Blockchain math is actually rather useful, to the extent that it is a (digitally signed) "chain of blocks," which was revolutionary long ago, when it was first conceived. As one example, git is a chain of blocks and many of its magical properties come directly from that. Chains of blocks are great.

Andrew Chen "iPhone XS Max versus MacBook Pro 13. About the same price, about the same specs!"

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Rebecca Turner 👻 Get your paranormal terminology right:

Zombie processes should have been called ghost processes.

They have unfinished business and can't move on until their death is acknowledged by their parents. That's totally ghost territory not zombie territory.

Thomas Fuchs "Got a divMMC Future (SD card cartridge for Sinclair ZX Spectrum) from https://www.thefuturewas8bit.com and it’s the most beautiful #retrocomputing thing I’ve ever seen"

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tulpa_security The most logical explanation I can think of:

Restarting a computer fixes problems because its soul dies and is replaced by a new one which might have different opinions about your work

Andrew Thaler 🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌

I got this banana phone as a joke but it turns out it's the best Bluetooth headset I've ever used.

Help, I'm managing an international consulting firm via banana.

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Lingua Scripta

Finally in Promises & Try/Catch TIL finally has two different semantics, depending on syntax. And also, you can finally.then.finally.then if you need to log intermediate values in a chain of promises.

Array state will be cached in iOS 12 Safari. Is it a bug or feature? Cool bug in the latest Safari that's going to break some websites.

The JavaScript Equality Table Game How well do you know JavaScript equality?

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Architectural

Leon Bambrick 😭

Immutability is different now

Emily G "Excuse me, I have been a government software contractor and I assure you this is not the largest man-made waterfall"

Evan Kirstel: The Largest man-made waterfall outside a building in #China #architects #architecturelovers


Peopleware

John Cutler Not all company cultures allow people to gracefully reduce scope:

“The team consistently hits its deadlines...”

Translation...the team:
1 underpromises, overdelivers or...
2 works overtime or...
3 works on highly repeatable/similar efforts or...
4 gracefully reduces scope

Only #4 is a “skill”.

Chad Fowler Me right now:

Procrastination is a powerful tool for working on the 2nd- and 3rd-most important things you need to get done. #productivity #thoughtleader

Affect Conf "Like our Color Communication buttons and want to bring them to your own events and things? The template is now available for download! https://affectconf.com/resources"

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Locked Doors

Extended Validation Certificates are Dead Mobile devices combined with the visual simplification of address bars have made EV certificates redundant. Democratizing HTTPS in action.

Cabel PSA: Don't. Trust. Caller. ID. Read this to learn why:

I almost just got scammed hard: a cautionary tale. So, I got a call from the 1-800 number on the back of my ATM Card: Wells Fargo. I answered, and a Fraud Department agent said my ATM card had just been used at a Target in Minnesota, was I on vacation? Ugh.

1Password 1Password auto-fill is my favorite new feature in iOS 12 🚀

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Electric Dreams

Stephanie Hurlburt A cautionary allegory about machine learning (h/t Kyle Byers):

Oh no my dog accidentally knocked down the trash and discovered old cheesy pasta in it, and is now convinced trash cans provide an endless supply of cheesy pasta, knocking it over every chance she gets


None of the Above

Jerry Bell "Just look at what we can do with this technology!"

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Crypti-Calli 🔥

*to the tune of Destiny's Child's "Say My Name"*

SPELL MY NAME, SPELL MY NAME
IT'S RIGHT THERE IN THE EMAIL
IT'S NOT A HIDDEN DETAIL
THE SPELLING DOESN'T CHANGE

SamCalkins_ "Actually me"

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David Bowles Fascinating thread about the way languages evolve:

I often read this question: "Why is Mexico spelled 'México' in Spanish, especially if in Nahuatl Mēxihco was pronounced [me: SHIʔ ko]? What's up with that 'x'?"

The answers given are usually partially right or totally wrong.

Guess what? I'm going to explain it to you. 1/???

Curve-Fitting Science!

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Media Manipulation, Strategic Amplification, and Responsible Journalism Danah Boyd on journalism in the age of digital martyrs, responsibility to democracy and society, and dealing with professional media manipulators:

You are not algorithms. But you are also not neutral. And because you have the power to amplify messages, people also want to manipulate you. That’s just par for the course. … Focus on networks — help connect people to information. Build networks across information and across people. Be an embedded part of the social fabric of this country.

National Geographic "Turn your sound on for some fantastic commentary"

Published on

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Fluff Society "This family is cuteness overload!"


Design Objective

Data visualisation, from 1987 to today How computers have transformed data journalism. Remember carbon copy, Tipp-ex, Letraset?

Details were copied onto semi-transparent tracing paper from the projected image and later transferred onto the drawing board by means of carbon paper. Again, all the labels would be added in pencil for approval before the time-consuming (and virtually irreversible) inking took place. No pressure!

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How to stay scrappy On keeping that scrappy mentality, even as your team grows big enough to fill a movie theater:

We’ve also been experimenting with different ways of working. We’re now trying something called “hack-a-sprint,” where a small group focuses on one project for 6 whole weeks. They can skip all meetings and other responsibilities, so that they can focus on just one thing. It’s like having a scrappy startup within a bigger team.


Tools of the Trade

Josh Weinberg 💡

Did you know you can put console.log statements inside the breakpoint condition in chrome? Kind of crazy but it gets you nice logging in the console that you can easily enable/disable without actually editing your code.

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Peeking Behind the Curtains of Serverless Platforms Some highlights from this study:

  • AWS Lambda achieved the best scalability and the lowest coldstart latency, followed by GCF. But the lack of performance isolation is noted.
  • GCF, only about half of the expected number of instances could be launched at the same time.
  • AWS launched new instances of the outdated function (2% of all the cases). We found zero cases with a 6-second waiting time.
  • Azure vulnerability: a tenant can arrange for function to run on same VM as another tenant, stepping stone to side-channel attacks.

Jen Simmons Standard bodies I participated in, all had this same issue:

I find the difference between how front-end developers understand CSS and how browser engineers understand CSS utterly fascinating. There's a huge gulf — almost like these two worlds are working with totally different technologies. I had no idea until I joined the @CSSWG.

The Expert Beginner The hardest problem in computer science is parsing irony.

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Architectural

Bruce Hauman Why README-driven develoment and throwaway code matter:

It happens far too often that the process of documenting a feature after its been implemented reveals serious flaws the design of that feature. I’m just not learning the obvious lesson.

M. J. Fromberger Optimizing for performance is hard, but it's a technical challenge. Doing less, or saying "no", requires political capital and emotional intelligence:

There are only three optimizations: Do less. Do it less often. Do it faster.

The largest gains come from 1, but we spend all our time on 3.

Cindy Sridharan Build in increments of abstraction:

Almost nearly finished reading the book “A Philosophy of Software Design

  • increments of development is abstractions, not features
  • there’s definitely a kernel of truth to some of these highlighted statements, especially agile and TDD.

James Iry 🤔

Today I learned the best phrase ever. "Load bearing optimization" - an optimization that has an unintended semantic effect that people come to rely on.


Devoops

Encourage.exe When the server is down …


Peopleware

Here’s why so many data scientists are leaving their jobs Budding data scientist: "I want to change the world" Paying employer: "I need you to clean up this leads database". Also, being a one-person team not easy.

Related: LinkedIn reports dramatically increasing shortage of data scientists across U.S.

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Naval I call it "Restless Founder Syndrome". But like smoking or gambling, someone's making money off it, so sure, let's find a better name and glorify it.

People with “founder mentality” can’t rest once a problem or opportunity is identified.

They take on personal responsibility without complaint, learn and recruit skills as needed, and deliver results despite politics.

There is unlimited global demand for founder mentality.

Dark Motives and Elective Use of Brainteaser Interview Questions That would not surprise me:

Brainteaser interview questions such as “Estimate how many windows are in New York” are just one example of aggressive interviewer behaviour that lacks evidence for validity and is unsettling to job applicants. … Results of a multiple regression, controlling for interviewing experience and sex, showed that narcissism and sadism explained the likelihood of using brainteasers in an interview.

Robin 👏👏👏

A couple of weeks ago I was at a café and someone dropped a plate on the floor. Half a second after it exploded they shouted “I AM GROWING AND LEARNING” and I still think about it everyday


Locked Doors

Private by Default While many moan the death of Google Reader, the void allowed other feed readers to thrive. And when there are paying customers, there can be privacy:

I want Feedbin to be the opposite of Big Social. I think people should have the right not to be tracked on the Internet and Feedbin can help facilitate that.

Since Feedbin is 100% funded by paying customers, I can focus solely on making the best product possible without compromises. Therefore, Feedbin can be private by default.

Almost half of US cellphone calls will be scams by next year, says report I'm looking at my call log for this week, and I've got zero legitimate calls in there. The last call that was not spam, was in August.


Techtopia

Brandon Friedman This was always the case, but back in the days we excused it as "engineers don't get along with marketing/sales/support/users", it was introvert vs extrovert, soft vs hard science, and we sighed and moved on. Well, now we're all paying the price for tech's inability to grok the world, and poor decision making:

Tech folks often sneer at college, believing degrees are unnecessary. They wear a high school education as a badge of honor.

The irony is that, while the U.S. system certainly has flaws, what Zuckerberg struggles with the most are things you learn with a well-rounded degree.


None of the Above

@selfsame@tiny.tilde.website "The recursive centaur: half horse, half recursive centaur"

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Vivian Take this easy quiz:

ARE YOU A HUMAN CAT?

  • naps all the time
  • needs to be loved
  • done with everyone’s shit
  • always wants snacks
  • might want to kill everyone
  • cute but will fight

Jernone I feel you:

My greatest accomplishment ever was today when I put my quarters in the gas station air machine and I filled all four tires and I checked that the pressure was right all before the air stopped running.

How The Weather Channel Made That Insane Storm Surge Animation A look at the tech behind this video. And to anyone in the affected areas, stay safe!

Storm-Surge_CROP

Dr Rachael Livermore Physics is amazing!

To me the most amazing thing about the universe is that if you take a bunch of hydrogen and leave it alone, 13.7 billion years later a small lump of that same matter will have the idea to sell hot fresh Nutella donuts right on my doorstep. Physics, y’all.

cypnk@mastodon.social Even landmarks have a photogenic and not-so-photogenic sides:

If you were wondering why most photos of the Pyramids in Giza always seem to be from the same angle, this is why

Because of the extensive tourism, they built a highway right up to site. And with tourism and traffic come shops. Businesses get money and they build houses and yet more shops, and so on...

The end result is a city which kinda ruins the mood if you want your pyramid photo to have the “lost in the desert” vibe

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Nicole Cliffe How the boss key was invented:

I remember when I was a kid and wasn’t allowed to watch TV, the minute I heard my dad’s car in the driveway I clicked to a sports channel first and then the news channel and then off so if he hit “previous” I wouldn’t get caught.

I found a 90's phone that has a hashtag button on it, I thought Twitter invented hashtags? This is all the proof I need that people have travelled back in time to the 90's, and planted some clues behind for us to find:

My mom was going through a box of her old stuff and she found one of those bulky phones that are from the 90's and it has a hashtag button!!! Like for real it has ( # ) on it!!! Like Twitter wasn't even invented yet so why did they need hashtag buttons???

Third Thumb Changes The Prosthetics Game Ever wanted to have a third thumb?

jake That's so sweet:

i recently noticed that whenever life was getting me down, i'd usually find a dollar in my pocket the next day. i told my parents how weird it was and they told me my little sister puts a dollar in one of my pockets when she knows i'm sad to help cheer me up and now i'm cryin

Playing With Numbers How come Harvard, Yale and Princeton always come top in US News' America’s Best Colleges? Funny story …

Elfin subsequently removed the first statistician who had created the algorithm and brought in Morse, a statistician with very limited educational reporting experience. Morse rewrote the algorithm and ran it through the computers. Yale came out on top, and Elfin accepted this more persuasive formula.

How the West Was Lost The story of John Wesley Powell, who tried (and failed) to prevent an overdevelopment that led to an environmental disaster.

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Andy Ryan 😭

Daughter: What does gays mean?
Me: Well you know mum and dad love each other - two men can love each other the same way
Her: So what's 'penetrating gays'?
Me: Er... read me the whole sentence
Her: "She stared at him with a penetrating gaze"
Me: Oh

Ian Laking "If the world’s getting too much today here’s a cat cleaning an owl to get you feeling better again.👌🏼🦉"

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Brand New Roman "Brand New Roman is the most corporate Corporate Font ever created! Now all your content can be sponsored content, and sponsored by everybody!"


Design Objective

The ultimate guide to proper use of animation in UX This article makes good use of animation, to illustrate how to make good use of animation in application/web design.

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Dan Duett Absolutely:

Scott Belsky:
“The Product Life Cycle”: (1) Customers flock to a simple product, (2) Product adds new features to serve customers + grow biz, (3) Product gets complicated, (4) Customers flock to simple product. 😩

Dan Duett:
A product leader's job is to yield to complexity as slowly as possible.

Paul Boag Which law talks about the meetings, stakeholder feedback, and endless design revisions, that result in these websites:

Hick's law states that there is a predictable increase in the time it takes somebody to decide, as the number of options goes up. Yet we regularly bombard users with options on our websites.

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Ha Phan Where do meatballs fit in this analogy?

Somebody told me that the 2nd floor of IKEA with the faux rooms is Browse and the 1st floor with the warehouse is Search. That is spot on. Browse is aspirational. Search is about having direct control.


Tools of the Trade

Serverless Docker Beta While there are tools that make serverless platforms easier to use (*cough*AWS Lambda*cough*), Zeit made their serverless platform so easy to use, you don't need additional tooling. It's super easy to configure, effortless to deploy, got all the right features, natively supports Node/Go/Rust, and Docker. And their Node micro framework is a blast to use.

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nicbravo "This is Skype White. It’s the white noise that Skype inserts into every side of every call, just loud enough that the listener knows that the line is still connected. It’s a repeating pattern. (Visualized in iZotope RX)"

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Nick Craver It's been many years since I SQL-ed, so I had to think about this for a second, but sounds right:

Related fun fact: “I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more…” was the first song to really popularize SQL. Their message about a massive commit failure and equally long rollback resonated with many people.

Innovation Bot 💡

SMTP over GDPR


Web-End

A Crisis of Permissions On the current state of browser permissions:

The web needs to be naturally resistant to these kinds of abuse, harassment and privacy violation. Anti-abuse measures must be built into a permissions standard to stop bad actors.

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Architectural

Notes to myself on software engineering Fantastic stuff. Go read, bookmark for later, share with your team:

  1. The most powerful mental models are modular and hierarchical: simple at a high level, yet precise as you need to go into details. In the same way, a good API is modular and hierarchical: easy to approach, yet expressive. There is a balance to strike between having complex signatures on fewer objects, and having more objects with simpler signatures. A good API has a reasonable number of objects, with reasonably simple signatures.

jordwalke "Immutability: A story in three acts."

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Lines of Code

Cindy Sridharan Hardest problem in computer science is getting good at naming things:

The chapter on naming from the book “The Philosophy of Software Design” has so many quotable lines:

  • names are a form of abstraction: they provide a simplified way of thinking about a more complex underlying entity
  • names of Boolean variables should always be predicates

Ethan Lee "Someone sent this to me last night and now you have to look at it too"

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Peopleware

Top 5 lessons learned working at startups Some things to consider, if you're working at, or looking to work at a startup.

The Peter Principle is a joke taken seriously. Is it true? I'm not seriously suggesting this is a good strategy, but maybe it will lead the path to a creative idea:

If performance at one level of a hierarchy is uncorrelated with performance at the next level up, the best strategy is simply to promote the very worst people. Nobody knows whether they will make good managers, but at least they will no longer be dreadful staff — or as Dogbert in the cartoon strip Dilbert put it back in 1995: “Leadership is nature’s way of removing morons from the productive flow.”

Emil Stenström 🤔

Just saw the CAP theorem used on people: “I guess you must be available and fault tolerant - because you certainly are not consistent”


Techtopia

josef 💤

is "dream about your smartphone screen breaking" the new "dream about your teeth falling out"

Internet of Shit (hint: this company uses yellow for its logo)

Oh it's just the terms of service of all the apps printed on the ground

I like that the long one is from the company that uh 'deletes' your photos

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Locked Doors

Vess I'm posting this because not too long ago, someone asked me about one of those John McAfee scam apps, based on an ad that took too much credit for McAfee's history at McAfee. So here's what you need to know:

OK, folks, I hear that John McAfee claims to have invented cyber security. (I don't know; he has blocked me.)

Gather 'round the fire, kids, for a short story, because I was around at the time.

A Deceitful 'Doctor' in the Mac App Store Reminder that downloading apps from the Mac Store is generally safer than a random website. But it is not absolutely safe. This article tears into one of these, Adware Doctor, which ranks 1st in the Mac App Store paid utilities category, yet will steal your browser history.

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So We Got Tracked Anyway Now that many browsers block third-party cookies, the next surveillance trick is using TLS sessions:

As Facebook isn't as pervasively present in all of the web, it went even further. It is enough for you to visit any website bearing a Like button every second day to allow Facebook to profile you, even if you never dreamt of logging into that service.


None of the Above

Ian Laking "I 100% subscribe to this philosophy"

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Cheish Hell yeah:

Mother: can you please fix my computer

Me: *leans back in chair* well... well ... well ... if it isn’t Miss ‘Get Off That Computer’ Years 1994 to 2006

ziphi renata Some languages you can learn quickly:

I’ve been trying to learn how to speak Dog. So far it seems like everything translates to, “Are you gonna eat that?”

Sofía Martínez-Villalpando "Dogs herding sheep 🐑🐑🐑 via Tysonism."

don hertzfeldt Someone invent a device for listening to cat dreams!

my cat probably dreams about me. and in his dreams, i’m probably talking to him, like i always do. so when he dreams, his subconscious must simulate a gibberish cat version of the english language for him to hear and i really want to know what that sounds like.

Trammell Hudson Also known as "2 hours".

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Michael 🤔

You know those silly critiques of anti-capitalism, like "You can't critique capitalism, you have a smartphone!"

I wonder why they don't ever use the critique that would actually work on me: "You can't critique capitalism, you're really looking forward to your free birthday month gift as a member of the Sephora rewards program!"

I mean if I'm going to tear down capitalism I want to look good for the public beheadings.

Zack Kanter I'll take Fortnite, thank you very much:

Fortnite is impressive, but it’s absolutely dwarfed by the world’s largest video game, LinkedIn, played exclusively by 40-50 year old white guys who compete by sending random connection requests in a quest to build the furthest-reaching “professional network.”

Birdnesting... The little one …

My nephew works in the North Sea on a wind farm project he sent me this today -

‘Had this hawk chasing this bird around a boat yesterday. The hawk flew into the window and knocked it’s self out, the bird it was chasing then landed on the hawk. #lad ‘

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Burrill Strong When people are asking for the simplest sorting algorithm:

What do we want?

NOW

A SOCIAL MEDIA FEED PRESENTED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

When do we want it?

Existential Comics How come there's no emoji for garlic?

Tips for people new to cooking:

  1. Use more garlic.
  2. Every online recipe lies to you about how much garlic to use.
  3. One clove? Are you fucking kidding me? I can't even taste it.
  4. I want my whole mouth to taste like garlic for a week.

Jevholution This is all about representation. And they captured it on YouTube.

i noticed there was a blank wall at mcdonald’s so i decided to make this fake poster of me and my friend. It’s now been 51 days since i hung it up.

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Nieman Lab Here's your periodic reminder that issues trending on social media are not a reflection of public opinion:

"A full 93 percent of tweets about vaccines are generated by accounts whose provenance can be verified as neither bots nor human users yet who exhibit malicious behaviors."

Mystery of the cargo ships that sink when their cargo suddenly liquefies On average, ten “solid bulk cargo” carriers are lost at sea each year, because liquefaction.

Oddly Satisfying Vol. 4 These CGI short loops are oddly and inexplicably satisfying to watch.

Published on

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Simon Kuestenmacher "Timezones of Antarctica. It must be a mess when all the staff of all arctic research stations want to organize a BBQ or at least a phone conference..."


Design Objective

Patrick Thornton This should be common knowledge:

Designers are usually given symptoms, not actual problems to solve.

First step is to figure out the real problem that needs to be solved.

This means that product managers, journalists, business people, etc. need to understand this first step. They usually get problem wrong.

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Ryan Singer Because if you don't understand the problem, the solution will eat your product alive:

A major cause of product bloat is building things you know how to build but don't understand. If a customer wants it, but it doesn't fit into your mental model of use cases, building it creates an area in the system that you can't reason about.

Aneesh Karve At the very least, do this:

I find that focusing on "jobs to be done" helps to cut through feature creep. More so than use cases, which are not always situational and thus easier to contrive.

Introducing Project Paper Cuts I wish more software vendors would follow:

Project Paper Cuts is dedicated to working directly with the community to fix small to medium-sized workflow problems, iterate on UI/UX, and find other ways to make the quick improvements that matter most. … One big source of inspiration for us has been the Refined GitHub browser extension.

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Scott Belsky To do things that don't scale:

Here’s what i’ve observed and been perplexed by after 10+ years trying to organize the creative world: Creative minds don’t want productivity at the expense of creativity. While the science of business is scaling, the art of business is the stuff that doesn’t.


Tools of the Trade

Real world SSD wearout Don't RBD in production, and watch for slow SQL queries:

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  • Redis+RDB generates a ton of disk writes and it depends not on the amount of changes in Redis db, but on DB size and dump frequency.
  • Actively used SWAP on SSD is probably a bad idea.
  • In DBMSes like Postgresql … bad database design or access patterns might produce a lot of temp files writes.

matt blaze How dare you!

I'm told that I'm being very disrespectful by referring to the Blockchain as a mere data structure, and that it is more like a way of life. I apologize to any computers I've offended.

First million integers, laid out with UMAP A beautiful visualization of the first million integers and their prime factors. Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection is an interesting way to "see" order in the data, and it took me two readings and I still have no clue how UMAP works.

primes_umap_1e6_contrast_enhanced

Astra! Friendly reminder:

microprocessors are domesticated sand

wideNES - Peeking Past the Edge of NES Games Reverse engineering the Nintendo Picture Processing Unit, and detecting scenes without using computer vision.

smb3_v3


Lines of Code

Ted M. Young 👍

Your regular reminder that coding includes writing tests, writing docs, talking to folks, moving code around, deleting code, renaming things, and thinking.

George Porter This (read story to find out) is a relic from the days of PDP-11, why do modern programming language still carry this baggage?

A quick story about the hardest bug I ever debugged. My first job in high school was working at a Houston-based ISP called NeoSoft. I was writing a multi-platform web server in Tcl/Tk (w/ OTcl) called NeoWebScript 1/

David Winterbottom 😈

On your first day at the new job, squash every commit from the repo into a single commit with message "Legacy code" and force-push to master.

Sam Halliday No idea why I find this so funny:

How many programmers does it take to screw up a light bulb?

5 story points


Architectural

My Favorite Sayings 💯

The greatest performance improvement of all is when a system goes from not-working to working … The real challenges are getting programs completed quickly, ensuring their quality, and managing the complexity of large applications. Thus the primary design criterion for software should be simplicity, not speed.

John Feminella What's easy to measure is not necessarily what you need to optimize:

Whenever I see a company hyper-focused on optimizing their infrastructure pennies, I wonder how many dollars are being missed elsewhere in the pipeline.

📜 Here's a thread of one example of what I mean by this.

The subtleties of API contracts, or how enabling HTTP/2 broke Go clients API contracts are not just function name and argument types (h/t drewish):

Go had previously not defined whether it was safe to reuse a request, but it was. Go 1.6 still didn’t define whether it was safe to reuse a request, but it wasn’t, and in the meantime users started to implicitly depend on the behavior. The slight shift in contract is about as subtle as things get, but it was a change in contract nonetheless, and demonstrates how it’s possible to introduce a breaking change even if every function signature stays the same.

Bruce Hauman Or as they say, "pro tip":

It happens far too often that the process of documenting a feature after its been implemented reveals serious flaws the design of that feature. I’m just not learning the obvious lesson.


Peopleware

bechillcomedian ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Apparently kids are taught this acronym in school now:

T.H.I.N.K. before you speak.

T - is it True?
H - is it Helpful?
I - is it Inspiring?
N - is it Necessary?
K - is it Kind?

I feel like I need this to pop up every time I go to post online.

Autism from the inside Too many depictions of autistic people rely on tired clichés. Listening and learning.

Danielle Paquette That's the right move:

Interesting: Microsoft announces it will only ink contracts with companies that provide workers 12 weeks of paid maternity/paternity leave.

That includes firms that staff landscapers, janitors and cafeteria workers:


Techtopia

Franken-algorithms: the deadly consequences of unpredictable code I guess we humans will learn the lessons the hard way:

In an algorithmic environment, many unexpected outcomes may not have been foreseeable to humans – a feature with the potential to become a scoundrel’s charter, in which deliberate obfuscation becomes at once easier and more rewarding. Pharmaceutical companies have benefited from the cover of complexity for years (see the case of Thalidomide), but here the consequences could be both greater and harder to reverse.

phooky 👻

My mom, staying in my guest room, texted me to ask why it sounds like there's a fax machine stuck behind the wall. I told her it was the 3d printer running in the basement. We selected a weird future.


Locked Doors

The Untold Story of NotPetya, the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History In which Russia uses code leaked from the NSA to craft a vicious malware, attack Ukrain and in the process cause $10 billion damages to various businesses around the world, including Russia's own Rosneft:

Then, in June 2017, the saboteurs used that back door to release a piece of malware called NotPetya, their most vicious cyberweapon yet.

The code that the hackers pushed out was honed to spread automatically, rapidly, and indiscriminately. “To date, it was simply the fastest-propagating piece of malware we’ve ever seen,” says Craig Williams, director of outreach at Cisco’s Talos division, one of the first security companies to reverse engineer and analyze NotPetya. “By the second you saw it, your data center was already gone.”

Data vandal changes name of New York City to “Jewtropolis” across multiple apps Quality control meets user generated content business model.


None of the Above

LEGO "We’ve built the impossible: a full-sized LEGO Technic @Bugatti Chiron …and it drives! #BuildforReal"

James Mishra 😭

Why did they call it "Airbnb" when they could have called it "localhost"?

Anarkingu Gidora Use case:

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fervour with measure Emoji, fancy unicode, and accessibility:

  • always add descriptions to images, so screen-reading users know what they're about. include what the key info is (e.g. what food it is, description of yr face and mood if it's a selfie)
  • use normal/custom emoji if you want, but sparingly
  • avoid spelling whole words with the letter emojis.

To Heal Some Wounds, Adult Cells Turn More Fetal Not just stem cells:

In a newly discovered type of wound healing, which some researchers call “paligenosis,” adult cells revert to a more fetal state.

Mr. Roger Live and let toast:

Could we, without relentlessly criticizing, let people have their pumpkin spice, and avacado toast, and their fandoms, and their D&D, and their too-early-Halloween-decorations, and whatever little harmless things in which they’ve manage to find a tiny shriveled flower of joy?

LEGO Axle Sorter AS-L40A Impressive.

Pattern TIL

This is how Utah stocks fish in its mountain lakes. Utah's Department of Natural Resources says air drops are less stressful for the fish than a long journey by ground. More than 95% survive the fall. Utah DNR compares the fish to high divers diving into a deep pool of water. 🐟

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Parker Molloy 🚨

I really feel like people aren’t taking the Republican PR campaign against perceived bias in tech companies anywhere near serious enough.

What they’re not going to do:
actually regulate tech companies

What they’re actually trying to do:
convince tech companies to favor them

Fluff Society This sheep has all the bounces.