Weekend Reading — 👋 Any desk is a standing desk if you’re short enough

This week we help a machine generate art, so we can out-source our thought leadership, wash in WFG, and set up our OpenTable profile.

Weekend Reading — 👋 Any desk is a standing desk if you’re short enough

Tired: solving CAPTCHA and teaching machines how to drive

Wired: solving CAPTCHA and teaching machines how to generate art

Tech Stuff When you already have a website/app and want to use Figma to introduce design changes. This plugin will reverse-engineer HTML into a Figma design.

I tested it on a couple of pages and it worked pretty well. Also, look at this image …


Scientists Say Endorphins From Closing Your Own PR Also Pretty Incredible

Screen and Webcam Mixing and Recording with Web APIs This article will show you how to use the MediaDevices and MediaRecorder APIs, render composed video to Canvas, Web Audio's AnalyserNode, and turning Blobs to URLs.

You can check the final project here.

vaguely burnt waffle Truth:

programming languages have at least one of these two problems:

Keynote: Why web tech is like this - Steve Sanderson Ever wondered why browsers look like they do? Why we use port 80, or why it’s img src=? How did JS and CSS take over, and what could there have been instead?

Why We’re Breaking Up with CSS-in-JS Speaking of JS-in-CSS …

Pros: locally scoped styles, styles co-located with components, and you can use JS variables. (CSS modules do the first two)

Cons: bloated runtime, DevTools mess, not SSR-friendly.
(Messy HTML is why I never gave CSS-in-JS a chance)

Like them, I ended up using TailwindCSS on all new projects – I get to co-locate styles with code (style-in-JS?) with better tradeoffs.

Interaction to Next Paint (INP) Please make it stop!

CLS, FCP, LCP, FID, TBT, INP, TTFB — at some point we need to get off the metrics treadmill. Think big picture: how do these help make the web any better?

What do we lose when we worry about too many micro-metrics?

PageSpeed was great early on — getting developers to pay more attention to performance.

Because performance matters, but as part of the larger user experience, alongside usability, accessibility, copy, onboarding, consistency, etc.

Nowadays the Chrome User Experience looks like a dumping ground for micro-metrics. I bet no one measured the overall effect of adding Yet Another Metric. I bet this is all driven by some internal promotion track.

I bet we can do better by deciding on the two/three key metrics that matter the most and forgetting the rest.


David Brady 🤔

25+ years ago I found a database manual that said "We implemented an extended subset of the SQL-92 standard." Extended. Subset. I still boggle at how elegantly this company straight-up said "no" to standards compliance, while making it sound like "yes, only better"

swyx “I finally finished my Developer Marketing Bingo Card”

Eye for Design

When life gives you lemons, write better error messages

Say what happened and why: Make it super clear what did or didn’t happen. This can be done with a combination of visuals and text. Explain why the user got this error, even if the only explanation is that there was a technical issue. At Wix, we made the decision to say “an issue on our end” if we have the space, to really reiterate that it’s not the user’s fault.

Frisco Uplink, Dynamic Islander

I spend a lot of time explaining the same thing over and over again

"It's not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. You're completely capable of making sense of this machine. It's just that some asshole got a bonus for trying to confuse you so a little graph would go up."

A Five-Minute Guide to Better Typography Also this is a delightful simple website, good example of how to teach something new.

Business Side

Read Jackson Rising “Okay this debate is officially settled”

rahaeli DM to inquire:

I'm gonna start a new business called Cassandra Consulting. You hire me to come listen to all your employees, identify the one who's been frantically trying to get you to understand how badly your current plan is going to backfire, and tell you to listen to them.

Smells like work to me

Machine Thinking

NEW NAVY DEVICE LEARNS BY DOING According to this NYT article, the US Navy solved AI back in 1958. For a mere $100K they could build a machine that would "soon walk, talk, see, write, reproduce itself." Remarkable.

All this to say, I'm really excited about the recent developments in AI — GPT-3, Codex, generative art, protein folding, etc. And I expect the state of the art to get better, consistently, and surprise us with new capabilities and applications.

But also I expect the state of the art to get incrementally better. To reach true AGI would require a few more leaps, and I think that's as far of from today as 1958.

State of AI Report 2022 Speaking of state of the art in AI, this from people who know what they're talking about (at least more than I do). Dense but interesting slide deck.

Japanese professor wins Ig Nobel prize for study on knob turning *cough* billable hours *cough*

LaymanAI: Turn legal jargon into plain English Apropos billable hours, I like the idea of using AI to turn legal jargon into plain English.

(* I have no idea if this actually works, there's a waiting list, and I suspect GPT-3 with its 2K token limit will struggle with legal documents)

Ali Abdaal Out-source thought leadership to an AI and you never have to work a day in your life:

24 hours ago, I tried an experiment - I tweeted a thread with 15 productivity hacks. It’s become one of my highest performing tweets of all time, with over 1 million impressions and 23,648 engagements.

The truth is - the entire thread was written by an AI.

Let me explain… 1/


⭐ None of the Above

Most effective vacuum I’ve seen This blows away my Roomba:


When you list NYC/NJ as your location we know which one you mean.

Yes, But is my new favorite account to follow

Tig Notaro

shoutout to mirages, the original thirst traps

levil “This is easily one of the most chaotic videos of the decade”

Mikko Rautalahti 👇 If you love Coen Brothers movies, this thread is for you:

There's a trial here in Finland right now involving a rich dude and a bunch of scammers, and the whole thing is just the right kind of bizarre. A friend of mine described it as a Coen Brothers type of scenario, and I gotta agree. Just some incredibly bad judgment on display here.

Standplaats Krakow

Chet Dorn, Global CISO #LifeHack

When a cybersecurity vendor asks for some time with me, I don't send them my Calendly.

Instead, I send them an OpenTable link to make a reservation at my favorite steakhouse.

Really narrows down who's serious.


Ploi de Vivre⁷ This ramen shop has really good ramen and kick-ass staff:

The craziest thing just happened at dinner. I’m at a ramen shop owned by Thai people in Oakland dressed as power rangers, when a woman comes rushing in saying she wasn’t safe—and a man came running in after her and puts her in a chokehold.

Clay A personal CRM — what we used to call Rolodex back in the days — syncs with email + iMessage + LinkedIn + Twitter, slick native apps for macOS and iOS.

Arvind Narayanan Interesting idea:

15 years ago my PhD advisor taught me One Weird Trick for editing your own writing. Edit back to front, paragraph by paragraph. I still use it and it still surprises me how well it works. When I get my students to do it, it often blows their minds. Try it!

The best way to edit your writing is to have someone else do it. The second best way is to put it away for a few weeks before editing it, so the text isn't fresh in your mind.
Back-to-front editing is always worthwhile, but especially when the first two options aren't available.

Fold 'N Fly » Paper Airplane Folding Instructions “A database of paper airplanes with easy to follow folding instructions, video tutorials and printable folding plans. Find the best paper airplanes that fly the furthest and stay aloft the longest.”

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