Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Immutability is different now

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.

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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!"

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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"