Labnotes

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Design Objective

Complexion Reduction: A New Trend in Design IMO this new fashion trend makes apps easier to use:

The defining characteristics of this hot new trend sweeping across Silicon Valley are:

  1. Bigger, bolder headlines
  2. Simpler more universal icons
  3. Extraction of color

How much interface does your analytics product need? This is the approach we took with our product at Broadly, and customers are loving it:

By optimizing towards more lightweight use cases — e.g., monitoring and reporting, rather than exploration and data mining — we can remove the user from a lot of the work that needs to happen.

A designer’s guide to Parkinson’s Law of Triviality What to do when your team is focused on unimportant details.

Snapchat and the Art of Upstreaming What every consumer application can learn from Snapchat:

And that’s what Snapchat gets that nobody else does. You’re making a product for humans, not scientists. The average user doesn’t care about full resolution 6MB images saved on their camera roll backed up to Dropbox/Google Photos etc. Camera rolls are the new cutting room floor. The best photos already found their way to Instagram months ago, leaving behind a mess of duplicates, blurry outtakes, and screenshots.

Nine Nasty UX Truths "Utter lunacy"?

What this means for you, as a designer, is that you must keep close to your coders, try as much as possible to anticipate the anxieties that will besiege them, and keep them from derailing the experience with utter lunacy.

The UX Secret That Will Ruin Apps For You "Facebook servers crunch your data in milliseconds, but the user interface takes longer to load. That's by design."

Designing complex products How to keep product complexity down:

Complexity in product design tends to rear its head in two ways 1) the complexity of managing people and opinions. And 2) the complexity of designing the product itself.

The Future of Browser History Re-designing the browser history to reflect how we actually search for answers.

@jglovier "We changed from a declared font, to a native system stack. Twitter reactions in a nutshell lol:"


Tools of the Trade

HyperTerm Hackable terminal emulator, using HTML/CSS/JS.

Marp There are plenty of tools that let you author presentations in plain text/markdown, Merp comes with an editor that offers live preview and PDF export.

netdata Real time performance monitoring. This projects gets data presentation right on so many levels.

alindeman/zonebie Randomly assigns a timezone on every test run: a chaos monkey for all your time-handling code.

awslabs/chalice Amazon's own Python serverless microframework.

How to make your own bittorrent client in Node.

@csswizardry "For when crem on its own just doesn’t seem to work."


Webdev

A Comprehensive Guide to Font Loading Strategies Everything you wanted to know about font-display, pre-loading, data URI fonts, FOUT/FOFT and more.

Coding mobile-first emails CampaignMonitor explains all the hacks they use to deliver responsive emails that work in all the popular clients.

ChromeLens Chrome DevTools extension to develop for the visually impaired – as in 4% of your site visitors/app users.

@sgharms "CSS"


Lines of Code

@deadprogram

"nil leads to panic. Panic leads to fear. Fear leads to functional programming" -- @francesc #gophercon


Architectural

Race conditions on the web

The goal of this blog post is to raise awareness about race condition attacks in both developers and security people, because I feel like not many know about this kind of bug

@ewolff

If you think those complex conspiracies are for real: join an IT project and see even the simplest plans fail.


Peopleware

How A/B Testing at LinkedIn, Wealthfront and eBay Made Me a Better Manager

A/B testing does more than elevate products faster — it does the same for teams. Using universal A/B testing as a management tool sends a message to PMs of all stripes: intelligently tested ideas will rise to the top, regardless of who thinks of them.

This Is Your Brain on Silence Contrary to popular belief, peace and quiet is all about the noise in your head.

@SwiftOnSecurity

*sets a Pokelure in the meeting room*

"Okay everybody who wants to learn about the employee handbook on data security"


Techtopia

Pokemon Go and the Traveling Salesman Problem Pokemon maps are popping up all over the Web! It is hunting season for the traveling salesman problem.

@_woahaydrian "Idk if I should catch it or apologize"


Locked Doors

@SwiftOnSecurity

If you ever anticipate having to give your phone up for a legitimate but limited reason, enable Guided Access, which locks them to that app.


None of the Above

Two Types of Travelers There are two types of travelers in the world, which one are you?

Optimal Stopping How to find the perfect apartment, partner, and parking spot without searching forever.

Nintendo Classic Mini The NES revived, this time with HDMI, USB, preloaded with 30 games. Launching in November.

How Samantha Bee Crashed the Late-Night Boys' Club

Bee took the same approach to hiring writers, creating a blind application process that didn't favor people who'd already had success. (It spelled out, for example, how scripts should look when submitted, leveling the playing field for the uninitiated.) Lo and behold, she ended up with a writers' room that looked kind of like America: 50 percent female; 30 percent nonwhite

Everything we love to eat is a scam With little of no supervision, and misleading labeling laws, what you think you're eating is probably something else.

Emails From A CEO Who Just Has A Few Changes To The Website Truth.

How technology disrupted the truth What it means when institutions like journalism crumble.

The Origin of Florida Man: The World’s Worst Superhero What's behind the prolific public life of Florida man?

German Race Car Driver Uses Eye Tracking Goggles to Reveal How F1 Drivers See the Track That's super human response time.

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Design Objective

Design Better Forms Common mistakes designers make and how to fix them.

Always use a label

Accommodating labels into a visual design can be challenging but shying away from the challenge is not the answer. Embrace the challenge, don’t over simplify. And of course, always use a label.

Accessible SVGs What you need to know about SVGs and assistive technologies.


Tools of the Trade

The Languages Which Almost Became CSS Fascinating read about the history of CSS and its predecessors.

bigoposter/bigoposter.pdf The big-O complexity poster

Blisk - a browser for web developers Chromium-based browser built specifically for web development and testing.

Node.js V8 Inspector Chrome extension for launching V8 Inspector for Node.js debugging. Requires Node 6.3.0 or later.

sindresorhus/np A better npm publish.

delapuente/service-workers-101 An infographic to summarize the most important parts of the Service Workers’ API.

Everything you could ever want to know (and more) about controlling the Referer header What it says on the bottle.

Is it brunch time?

… if we collect enough tweets over a long enough period of time and analyze the time at which they were tweeted we could infer the specific time range in which brunch falls


Lines of Code

Let's write, not generate code. Thoughts about naming stuff. This:

I found out that it is easy to generate code but it is difficult to write code. Writing means creating something meaningful. Something that other human beings will read. The code is indeed sent to machines and they do understand ugly code. Not the same for humans though. An important part of our job is to make sure that our code is clear for other teammates.

Egypt canceled daylight saving time three days before it was due to start File under “time zones are hard, reason #57294”

chrislgarry/Apollo-11 The original Apollo 11 guidance computer (AGC) source code is now available on Github.

And there are already open issues and pull requests. Here’s to issue #3: Check continuity on O2 cryogenic tanks before allowing stir.

Apollo-11/LUNARLANDINGGUIDANCE_EQUATIONS.s

TC   BANKCALL # TEMPORARY, I HOPE HOPE HOPE  
CADR STOPRATE # TEMPORARY, I HOPE HOPE HOPE  
TC   DOWNFLAG # PERMIT X-AXIS OVERRIDE  

Architectural

Microservices - Please, don't The problems that people believe microservices could solve, and why you shouldn’t rush to use microservices.

Toby Jaffey: "Went fishing yesterday. Just me and the sea, nothing to remind me of the week's deployment problems."


Peopleware

Useful daily standup meetings for remote teams

Every member on the team takes a few minutes every morning to plan out their day, and troubleshoot anything that might have gone wrong the previous day.

Why Managers Are So Bad at Recognizing Good Ideas

Because when they came in to select ideas, they were looking for reasons to say no. Get them into a brainstorming mindset first, and now they’re not thinking evaluatively, they’re thinking creatively.

Things not to say on stage at a tech event Maybe the room is full of experts, but what about the people watching the recorded talk at home?

Common knowledge is a myth and relies on your environment, access to information, time to consume news and the way you learn. Presenting something as common knowledge may make people think ‘so how come I ever heard of it?’ and stop them in their tracks.

Noah Sussman :

“My org is dysfunctional so how would [methodology]? work for us?”

It won’t work. That’s what dysfunctional *\means.*

The seven stages of waterfall


Locked Doors

Hackers are coming for your healthcare records Data stolen from a bank quickly becomes useless once the breach is discovered and passcodes are changed. But data from the healthcare industry, which includes both personal identities and medical histories, can live a lifetime.

Sublist3r v1.0 released : Fast subdomains enumeration tool for penetration testers Fast subdomains enumeration tool for penetration testers.


Techtopia

Showerthoughts:

Tamagotchis have been replaced with FitBit. Now we are the thing that needs to be walked.


None of the Above

Canopy.co - A Curated Shop for Amazon Stuff you can buy on Amazon, curated by people with taste, and the disposable income to match.

Why Tech Support Is (Purposely) Unbearable

Don’t think companies haven’t studied how far they can take things in providing the minimal level of service

Bagel: The World's Smartest Tape Measure by Bagel Labs, Inc. Do I really need a tape measure that connects to a mobile app? Yes, when said tape measure has a measuring tape, a measuring wheel, and a laser.

The Brix System A modular series of handcrafted wooden electronic devices inspired by LEGO.

Published on

Design Objective

Hamburger Menus and Hidden Navigation Hurt UX Metrics

TL;DR Discoverability is cut almost in half by hiding a website’s main navigation. Also, task time is longer and perceived task difficulty increases.

ignore the code: Input Masks: Violating User Expectations

Don’t be too clever for your own good; if a simple, easy to understand interaction works, it’s often better to go with that than to go with a clever, possibly hard to predict interaction.

Bored Elon Musk:

App that recognizes you’re in bed and prevents your phone screen from reorienting.


Tools of the Trade

sindresorhus/emoj Find relevant emoji from text on the command-line.

HTML5 details in GitHub · GitHub TIL you can use the <details> element in Github issues/PR to hide noisy information like stack traces and log output.

guarinogabriel/mac-cli Huge set of command line commands that automatize the usage of your OS X system.

How to Write a Git Commit Message I linked to this article before, but this one tip is worth repeating:

A properly formed git commit subject line should always be able to complete the following sentence:

If applied, this commit will \

I Am Developer

“Your domain is set to automatically renew in 30 days”

> i really need to start that side project


Architectural

Kelsey Hightower

When your engineers have the same problems as the people they are building things for, watch how fast the problems get fixed.

Three pillars of microservice culture

Microservices is more than source code and containers. Companies that do well transitioning to a community of loosely-coupled, independent teams, all spend a good deal of their time designing and managing their organizational dynamics and fostering an innovation ethos throughout the organization.


Peopleware

The Myth of Long Hours

When it comes to productivity and quality, I’ll wager that my team who codes 0–6 hours on a typical day and knows exactly what they are working on — and why — will absolutely destroy a team who works 12 hours a day.

Absolutely.

What is the single insight that most changed your life?

If there were one single thing I could impart to anyone starting out, anyone at whatever point in their life it would be to always portray a positive attitude. It is the most powerful thing in the universe.


Locked Doors

Healthcare workers prioritize helping people over information security (disaster ensues)

IT departments often have abstinence-based security systems: “Don’t do that,” or, even worse, “You only think you need to do that.” The lesson of this paper is that abstinence-based security only drives the undesirable conduct underground, where it is even more dangerous and uncontrolled.

StartEncrypt considered harmful today

StartEncrypt tool did not receive proper attention from security-minded people in the design and implementation phases.

Project Zero: How to Compromise the Enterprise Endpoint Your periodic reminder that security products are sometimes worse than the problem they attempt to solve:

just emailing a file to a victim or sending them a link to an exploit is enough to trigger it - the victim does not need to open the file or interact with it in anyway.


Techtopia

[1606.08813] EU regulations on algorithmic decision-making and a "right to explanation"

The law will also create a "right to explanation,” whereby a user can ask for an explanation of an algorithmic decision that was made about them.

natural language processing blog: Language bias and black sheep

The “black sheep problem” is that if you were to try to guess what color most sheep were by looking and language data, it would be very difficult for you to conclude that they weren’t almost all black.

Ron Evans

Live your life in a way that confuses behavioural algorithms.

Werner Twertzog

Man is born free.

But, everywhere,

He is checking

Work-related email.


None of the above

Stop Using Google Trends

They note that searches about the EU tripled. But how many people is that? Are they voters? Are they eligible to vote? Were they Leave or Remain? Trends doesn’t tell us, all it does is give us a nice graph with a huge peak.

… giving plenty of people cover to insult the entire country, when it’s likely just a few people searching for something in a way that they always search for something.

In Newly Created Life-Form, A Major Mystery Scientists have created a synthetic organism that possesses only the genes it needs to survive. But they have no idea what roughly a third of those genes do.

New evidence that sperm whales form clans with diverse cultures, languages

Sperm whale society is very complicated, and every whale belongs to multiple social groups. Individuals spend most of their time in small family units, and multiple families converge to form larger groups.

How Sony, Microsoft, and Other Gadget Makers Violate Federal Warranty Law What most people don’t know is that “warranty voided if removed” stickers are illegal under a federal law passed in 1975 called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. You can open your electronics without voiding the warranty.

CLASSON: Tech & Design for a Seamless Cycling Experience by BROOKLYNESS INC A helmet that alerts you when cars are in your blind spot and activates turn signals & brake lights based on your body movements. (KickStarter)

Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing

Len Deighton and his IBM word processor, London, 1968.

Published on

Design Objective

Typography for User Interfaces Fantastic read about typography, and a look at the future:

In the future though, I imagine typefaces becoming more aware of their surroundings and starting to respond to a number of factors like viewport, resolution, type rendering engine used, ambient light, screen brightness and even the viewing distance.

Scott Jehl

Progressive Enhancement is less “but what if JavaScript is disabled?”, more “can our core services be more tolerant of everyday conditions”

Eric Lawrence

When looking to grow your userbase, running well on a $40 phone matters more than working great on a 4K display.

Improving UX For Color-Blind Users 13 tips to improve the experience for color-blind people – something which can often benefit people with normal vision too.

New for accessibility in iOS 10, macOS, Apple TV & Apple Watch Another place where Apple is unlike every other software company: they truly care about accessibility.

How to Manufacture Desire

Instead of relying on expensive marketing or worrying about differentiation, habit-forming companies get users to cue themselves to action by attaching their services to the users’ daily routines and emotions.

Blade Runner | Typeset In The Future Speaking of typography from the future, following on the heels of Alien, here’s a look at the typography and design of Ridley Scott’s other classic sci-fi movie, Blade Runner.


Tools of the Trade

tef.eu (follow this link to read the entire thread)

here is the thing: learning about programming may make your code run faster but learning about user experience will make your users faster

Get Up and Running With Docker for Mac Docker for Mac is out, I just gave it a quick spin, fantastic.

ManrajGrover/SingleDivProject Look at what you can do with just one <div> and CSS.

Why We Chose QueueFile for Reliable Request Batching on Android QueueFile is:

  • renaming a file is an atomic operation
  • fsync is durable
  • segment writes are atomic

SecuriTy

FYI for webmasters: There are Firefox extensions that randomize the useragent, which is why you see crap like Win95 and the Wii browser.

Justin Duke "me, when I started programming"


Lingua Scripta

Javascript developers, be warned about this crazy JIT bug in V8! That is such a bizarre bug, how do you even spot something like this when it happens in your application?

What I learned from analysing 1.65M versions of Node.js modules in NPM

Well for, one NPM is dark and full of terrors — it’s a wild mix of everything the JavaScript community has to offer. Some great, some bad, but fortunately mostly useful stuff in between the two.


Lines of Code

Write less code I will never get tired of reminding fellow software developers:

Our goal should be to keep our solutions as simple as possible and stay away from our natural tendencies to over-engineer, use clever tricks and design patterns until it can be proven that they are absolutely necessary to solve the problem.

Telling stories through your commits “Minimum Viable Commit”

Ara T. Howard

dear rubyists. "whitespace is #{ @FREE }"

so "#{please}#{do}#{not}#{make}#{shit}#{_hard}#{$to}#{@read}"


Product Owner

RICE: Simple prioritization for product managers Reach, Impact, Confidence and Effort.

Uncovering the jobs that customers hire products and services to do

To get hold of the jobs that arise in your customers’ lives: * Interview people who recently switched * Get their story and timeline right * Analyze the anxieties and struggles that made them switch.

David Shackelford

“The best time to manage expectations was 20 sprints ago. The second best time is now.” - ancient product proverb


Peopleware

Debugging the Tech Industry

Right now, most of the people who are already working on debugging this industry are members of underrepresented groups in tech. That’s a bit like telling the QA team in your company that they have to fix the bugs they find themselves, because you have better things to do.


Locked Doors

Understanding The DAO Hack for Journalists Everything you wanted to know about the DAO hack, and didn’t know who to ask.

Linkedin NXDOMAINs - Purchased Pwnage

XXXXXXXXX is an ISP that went out of business in 2011, their domain is available for register and would probably mean 7606 accounts up for grabs, if not more that’s why I redacted it, but I wanted to mention it just to demonstrate how powerful this type of analysis of a hacked site’s dump can be. $10 to purchase a domain is much cheaper and more wide spread than cracking time passwords just for LinkedIn (well, one can dream that everyone uses unique passwords).

Ransomware that’s 100% pure JavaScript, no download required The unintended consequences of small decisions, that otherwise look quite reasonable:

Windows uses ambiguous imagery to denote .JS files. Scripts appear with an icon looking like a scroll of parchment, making them look like documents instead of programs.

ryan huber "Numerius, Roman god of ATM PIN theft: "


None of the Above

DepressedDarth "The worst coloring book ever"

Remember When AOL Wrote a How-to Internet Book?

People were still buying hard-copy guidebooks to understand what essentially became a giant, all-encompassing guidebook.

Gigasquid

‘We do not yet know how to measure the suffering of algorithms.’

The suffering of algorithms is my new band name

Half Your Brain Is Alert The First Night In A New Place

Sasaki says that brain response is involuntary and there’s nothing people can do to prevent it, even if they’ve just flown in for a big presentation the next morning. So lots of coffee the next morning.

Karen Greaves

ADD anxiety driven development - it is what startups do @halacsy #agileaus

burgerkrang "ahh finally found a wireless dog charging pad"

Published on

@idiot "when your shower uses github more than you"


Design Objective

Technical and social challenges of conversational design I made my website conversational. Here is what I learned.

Messaging Design Kit A design kit for Sketch, containing everything you need to craft rich messaging experiences.

‏@SoftwareFailed "Maybe A/B testing what happens when your site doesn't work! What happens is people close the tab and go elsewhere!"


Tools of the Trade

Safari 10.0 Lots of improvement in JS, HTML, CSS, WebGL, all the good things.

What strikes me as most interesting: 3D touch events, inline videos, and Apple Pay. In JavaScript. In the browser. The gap between web and native apps is closing.

nayafia/lemonade-stand A handy guide to making $$ in open source

crontab.guru This is the interactive crontab editor you were looking for.

Dynamic content without JavaScript Interesting use of HTTP chunked transfer and CSS flexbox.

Standing on Distributed Shoulders of Giants

Here, we examine some of the most important physics breakthroughs and draw some whimsical parallels to phenomena in the world of computing… just for fun.

@addyosmani A new cheat-sheet for Resource Hints


Lingua Scripta

ECMAScript® 2016 Language Specification Is now official.

UnambiguousJavaScriptGrammar I hope this proposal makes it, rather than .jsm:

  • CJS and ES modules just work without new extensions, extra ceremony, or excessive scaffolding
  • Performance is generally on par or better than existing CJS module loading
  • Performance is significantly improved for ES modules over transpilation workflows
  • Change JS grammars for Script and Module to be unambiguous

Lines of Code

What we learned from Google: code reviews aren’t just for catching bugs

We believe that our adherence to code reviews helps us rehearse our cultural priorities: have high standards (especially with respect to security), be open to being wrong on any topic, and remember to contextualize our individual goals in terms of how it affects our teammates, company, and customers. Those tenets feel like the cultural ingredients of quality code, happier colleagues, and a better experience for our customers.

The Minimalist Programmer

I want my projects focused, and tidy. I want every line of code to be able to justify its existence, and work multiple jobs, too. I want the square footage to be as small as possible, without being cramped.

Long Names Are Long

We shouldn’t be Hemingway, but we don’t need to be Tennessee Williams either.

I've seen this code before …


Architectural

Kent Beck:

If you know how to design the software, design the software. Otherwise implement now, learn, and design later.

Serverless Architectures Unpacking ‘Function as a Service’

Designers will design, developers will develop, and why you must stop them TL;DR “Ship the freaking product.”


Peopleware

Sarah Drainer:

Pro tip: hire well, as in collaborative people. It has a huge impact on retention.

Communicating with Non-Engineers

If your job has no cross-team elements, these tips should come in handy when talking to family, first dates or that one person left in your life that still has their AOL email address.

Gerald Weinberg:

When managers don’t understand the work, they tend to reward the appearance of work. (long hours, piles of paper, …) #mgmt

David Brady:

Me to CW: “My help is based on my own mistakes, so if you want help fast, it needs to be something I’ve done wrong recently.”


Locked Doors

Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine (you can't audit it) So inside the x86 CPU there's another, 32-bit general purpose microprocessor, running its own firmware, performing various management tasks. What could possibly go wrong?


Techtopia

How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds

I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano.

Fraudulent claims made by IBM about Watson and AI The road to cognitive computing is paved with PR hype and false claims.

Tesla’s Betting You’ll Pay $9,000 for a Software Upgrade

Tesla is testing whether customers will be willing to pay thousands of dollars more for permission to take full advantage of the equipment that’s already on the car.


None of the Above

Thoughts & Prayers: The Game A game where you try to stop mass shootings with your thoughts and prayers. It’s a little challenging.

Willman:

If a binary tree falls down in the forest and there’s no one there to reverse it on a whiteboard would you be willing to relocate to SF?

Parker Thompson:

Public speaking advice:

1996: Imagine the audience naked.

2016: Imagine the audience looking at their phones & not really paying attention.