Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Corner Computing

Published on

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Chris Fralic "Once upon a time Packard Bell made a thing called a Corner Computer. To go in the corner."


Design Objective

Hawaii missile alert: How one employee ‘pushed the wrong button’ and caused a wave of panic Maybe not the best design choice:

From a drop-down menu on a computer program, he saw two options: “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.” He was supposed to choose the former; as much of the world now knows, he chose the latter, an initiation of a real-life missile alert.

iu

The Secret of Successful UX Writers TL;DR make the reader’s time valuable.

Drag and Drop for Design Systems UX patterns for drag and drop across components. Lots of great little details, eg:

Use a distinct color choice that isn’t used often in your design system to identify drag and drop interactions. Avoid colors that already have significance in your interface (ex: red for destructive actions).

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Ha Phan 👍

Skills for UX / Product strategy:

  • Framing the problem
  • Scaling problems & solutions
  • Building a narrative around mental models & organizational principles
  • Experiment design

Chris Maddern "The. Middle. Seat. Arm. Rests."

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Tools of the Trade

Rebecca If I had to pick one goal for code reviews, this is it:

In my opinion what code reviews really should do is:

Ensure that other team members understand the code and the change and will be nearly as confident working with it in the future as the author.

Damian Janowski Old style Geocities counter would be the killer status page:

Status pages should detect traffic spikes. "We believe everything's fine, but too many people checking this page, so maybe something's up."

Ricardo Bánffy A new meme to start 2018:

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Web-end

Demystifying CSS alignment Why is it justify-content:center but align-items:center?

"display: contents" is coming I finally get what display: contents is good for.

Front-End Performance Checklist 2018 New year, time for a refresh performance checklist.

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Lingua Scripta

ESM modules in node: npm edition Looks like Node 10 will have native ESM support. C J Silverio explains the not-so-obvious part:

Oh, right, meant to note: I see some talk about how our proposal means “consumer determines file format”.

NO. Wrong frame.

AUTHOR DETERMINES API.
Consumer must know API.

As always, because of course you need to read the docs before you use a new API.

Alexey Orlenko "no more imperative javascript in 2018, javascript is a fancy lisp flavor from now on" 🎉

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Line of Code

Writing Code That Reads Like a Story Reposting, because this is one of my favorite techniques, under-rated, but you can't go wrong with this one.

Gojko Adzic This:

to anyone who complains that TDD can still lead to crap code: TDD does not lead to good design, it can lead away from bad design. It just makes it painfully obvious that a design choice is bad because tests hurt. You still need brains & design skills to act on that signal.

Alec Muffett It is said that the easiest thing to optimize away is security:

Oh, this is glorious: pysaml2 library uses an assert statement to check & reject users who use the wrong password; however when running with the optimiser enabled, all assert statements are stripped…

so: anyone can log into anything with any password.

Walf Escape room concept: 😢

  • you are a software engineeer
  • there is a production issue related to a legacy codebase
  • no one knows how it works
  • various credentials are scattered around the office on post-it notes
  • there's some printouts of git diffs
  • you have an hour to fix this

Architectural

Amy T One of the many benefits:

~idempotence is great because I can just keep running this thing until I shake all the bugs out and nobody gets hurt but me

Joe Armstrong How to optimize for performance — do nothing, wait, done:

I reckon that 10 years gives a factor 1000 - so wait 20 years and your code will be 1,000,000 times faster. This was true for Erlang. At a guess a factor of <10 speedup comes from smarter code the rest a factor 10^5-10^6 comes from faster clock frequency. Leave to the HW folks!

Jenny Bryan 💯

One of the most useful things I’ve learned from hanging out with (much) better programmers: don’t wring hands and speculate. Work a small example that reveals, confirms, or eliminates something.


Devoops

John Arundel 🚨

Controversial hot take: If one of your monitoring checks has been red for a week or more, get rid of the check. If the service was that important, it would have been fixed by now, and monitoring unimportant services is a waste of time.


Peopleware

How to Dramatically Improve your Public Speaking Skills You don't need to present at TED. This tips will make all the difference, even if all you're doing is presenting at a team meeting.

Sindre Sorhus "How I do open source"

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Techtopia

Your smartphone📱is making you👈 stupid, antisocial 🙅 and unhealthy 😷 Smartphones are this generation's Rock & Roll, i.e. much ado about nothing. Reason I'm linking to this article, it got widespread attention, especially this — misleading — quote:

it's common knowledge in the industry that Instagram exploits this craving by strategically withholding "likes" from certain users. If the photo-sharing app decides you need to use the service more often, it'll show only a fraction of the likes you've received on a given post at first, hoping you'll be disappointed with your haul and check back again in a minute or two.

Mike Krieger CTO of Instagram has a more plausible explanation, "replication lag/etc may mean things aren't instantaneous but not intentionally so." Sarah Mei explains how it all works:

I find it really hard to believe that instagram chose eventual consistency for likes specifically so they could drive re-engagement. Let me walk you through how this sort of thing scales up.

Marko Kloos 💔🚚

I just realized that with the advent of self-driving vehicles, we may soon get country songs where your truck leaves you too.


Locked Doors

Passwords that make you feel good Why not?

The Global Heatmap, Now 6x Hotter Amazing tool from Strava: a global heatmap of human activity, collected from fitness trackers (Fitbits, iPhones, bicycle computers, etc). Had so much fun exploring my neighborhood.

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Adam Rawnsley Infosec Twitter is also having a fun day, exploring military bases and CIA installations around the globe, by hunting for those Strava heat signatures:

Interesting pattern of activity in this little patch of ground seemingly in the middle of nowhere, north of Raqqa and south of Ain Issa 🤔

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Joseph Cox Apropos fitness trackers:

Interesting: investigators access rape/murder suspect's phone, search forensically. But rather than just looking at geolocation data, also look at the Health app on his iPhone; saw he 'moved upstairs' at one point; that's when he dumped the body and left


None of the Above

Khalil Sehnaoui "A simple, yet brilliant, do it yourself Roomba."

Nicole Cliffe This thread of parenting pro tricks made me laugh so hard:

We had so many great months of the kids thinking that Scooby Snacks were plain whole wheat crackers, and then a babysitter bought a box of Scooby fruit snacks and the whole system collapsed in under three minutes.

Ms. Mouthpiece 🔥

Apple Maps: Our artisanal cartographers hope you enjoy this pleasant journey. 28 min

Google Maps: Our algorithm has determined an optimal path for the most efficient route given current traffic conditions. 25 min

Waze: Drive through this dude's living room. 17 min

Colossal "Brightly Colored Flower-Shaped Pencils That Shed Their Petals When Sharpened"

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Miami Bitcoin Conference Stops Accepting Bitcoin Due to Fees and Congestion Not The Onion.

Inside the group chats where people pump and dump cryptocurrency How self-proclaimed “pump and dump groups” scam thousands of wannabe altcoin investors.

Naomi Kyle "This pony working up the courage to jump this tiny step is everything."

Why dolphins are deep thinkers The more we study dolphins, the brighter they turn out to be:

Dolphins can also use tools to solve problems. Scientists have observed a dolphin coaxing a reluctant moray eel out of its crevice by killing a scorpion fish and using its spiny body to poke at the eel. Off the western coast of Australia, bottlenose dolphins place sponges over their snouts, which protects them from the spines of stonefish and stingrays as they forage over shallow seabeds.

Zoe Hong 😭

I need a keyboard with shortcut buttons for “Let me google that for you” and “Literally no one asked you”—someone make it for me?

Updated: Collision Course: Why This Type Of Road Junction Will Keep Killing Cyclists "Ipley crossroads has a very simple layout: two straight sections of road cross at an angle of 69 degrees." Can you think why this leads to car/bicycle incidents?

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Gina 🤣

creation of the kangaroo

God: Okay so the deer was a big hit let’s work off that
Angel 1: What if it could carry it’s offspring with it for protection
God: Okay that’s kind of weak Sharon but we’ll add it
Angel 2: What if it could kick the shit out of you
God: There it is

Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter TL;DR The flu virus is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry. Also, flu is short for "influenza di freddo", or "influence of the cold"” Also, can this flu be over already? I'm tired of sneezing and coughing.

TechnicallyRon I'm not proud, but this is my life:

The only two ways to reply to emails:

  1. straight away within seconds I have no chill
  2. "I am sorry it took me six months to reply, I opened it, thought 'i'll do this later' and then had several large crises"

Mexie "relatable"

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