Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Drone racing

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It's even harder if you're an asshole who pronounces <> brackets.

Design Objective

How Bad UX Killed Jenny Bad UI is not just annoying, but UI can kill.

Your next project needs a white-hat jerk The purpose of the white-hat jerk is to find all the ways people can turn your product/community into another 4chan, so you can fix these issues before it's too late:

When we at Floate build things for people, I always ask “how could someone screw this up for shits and giggles?” People tend to think I’m joking but I’m deadly serious because if your site, network, or product becomes a playground for a bunch of jerks, it turns off the people whose time and attention you’re really trying to obtain. Almost nobody ever got a promotion doing that.

15 delicious UX micro-interactions or 'clunks' from iPhone apps

@rikschennink:

There’s more users with disabilities than people using IE8.

Still, we tend to drop accessibility in favour of IE8 support.

This Is The User Experience Of A Heartbreak All of the subtle ways our online lives and our romantic lives are hopelessly entangled, in animated GIFs.

UX Epic Fails Sad, funny, mostly sad.


Tools of the Trade

My Philosophy on Alerting Rob Ewaschuk, previously Site Reliability Engineer at Google, shares his recipes for smart alerting. If you work in a small team with no dedicated ops, definitely read this and save yourself the errors of trail. Here's one tidbit:

I call this "symptom-based monitoring," in contrast to "cause-based monitoring". Do your users care if your MySQL servers are down? No, they care if their queries are failing. (Perhaps you're cringing already, in love with your Nagios rules for MySQL servers? Your users don't even know your MySQL servers exist!)

fontfamily.io Like caniuse but for font stacks: shows you which font families are available by default on what OS/device.

FormatJS A collection of JavaScript libraries that focus on internationalization: formatting numbers, dates, and strings.

HastyScribe A self-contained Markdown compiler, you can use this to create a single-file HTML documents.

SSLMate Command line utility for buying SSL certificates, including automatic renewals with cron!

gopherjs You can now compile Go to JavaScript.

RAW "The missing link between spreadsheets and vector graphics." Simple tool that lets you copy & paste data from a spreadsheet into a web page, pick a visualization, customize it, and it generates D3 code for you.

CSS-Only Solution For UI Tracking Nifty.

RiftSketch An HTML5 live-coding environment for the Oculus Rift.

My hero! I wish all my clients did this A build script that refuses to deploy on Fridays!


Lines of Code

Move Fast, Don't Break the API Amber Feng on how Stripe built their API for backward compability, allowing it to evolve quickly without breaking older clients. Interesting approach that I hope more API providers will adopt.

From Novice to Master, and Back Again If you're ever in doubt your code could use more documentation, read this.

Spreadsheets for developers Spreadsheets got three things right: live programming, functional programming, and a lingua franca. Oh, and you'll learn how to write test cases for your formulas.

@icculus:

Here's the truth: the sooner you realize that "cleaning up the code" and "adding abstraction" are different things, the happier you'll be.

Seven deadly sins of talking about “types” Not specifically for types or against types, this post won't validate your entrenched position. Rather, it talks about common type system rhetorics, like "not distinguishing abstraction from checking" and "pretending that syntactic overhead is the issue".

gist:d07a39f32fcc697cb1a8 So this tweet "Transducer.js performance is crazy" shows a x4.2 improvement over native map/filter/reduce for really large arrays. That's a Good Thing(tm): Transducers can add an abstraction and performance!

But I asked myself, what would happen if instead of functional composition, we wrote a naive for loop, the type of code 100% of JavaScript developers can comprehend? Guess what: it's 107 times faster than map/filter/reduce, and 26 faster than Transducers. So there's that.

Array map -> filter -> reduce: 2037ms
Array using Transducers: 489ms (x4.2)
Immutable.js vector map -> filter -> reduce: 712ms (x2.8)
Immutable.js using Transducers: 759ms (x2.7)
Array reduce: 512ms (x4)
Naive for loop: 19ms (x107)

@ExpertBeginner1:

With how slow everyone around here is at delivering features, I think we could actually use some race conditions.


Locked Doors

Maybe Better If You Don’t Read This Story on Public WiFi "We took a hacker to a café and, in 20 minutes, he knew where everyone else was born, what schools they attended, and the last five things they googled."

';--have i been pwned? A service that watches for password leaks (posted on Pastebin), so you can search whether your account was compromised. Will also send you email alerts.

POODLE attacks on SSLv3 New HTTPS vulnerability. The good news: it's easy to fix, and it will completely break for IE6!

For Nginx, add:

ssl_protocols TLSv1.2 TLSv1.1 TLSv1;

For Apache, add:

SSLProtocol -SSLv3 -SSLv2

Password Security: Why the horse battery staple is not correct

think the first step is to stop propagating the idea that there is a way of choosing memorizable passwords that will keep attackers at bay. This means no more “How to choose your password” blogposts.


None of the Above

Anita Sarkeesian, Feminist Frequency - XOXO Festival No TL;DR, watch the whole thing.

Common Car vs Bike Crashes

When you complain that cyclists shouldn’t be riding in the middle of the lane, you are suggesting that they should be killed.

The story of Tilde.Club A cool experiment in bringing back ~ accounts.

Fostering a Better Work Environment for Women It's that simple.

How to freak your roommate with FB targeted ads

The Marymoor Crawl!!! ... Grand Prix 2014 Quite the insane bicycle race.

@foodgoesinmouth:

I got my Tinder and Mailbox swipe gestures confused and now I'm in a purely physical relationship with a Wells Fargo credit card offer.

The Loma Prieta Earthquake 1989 + 2014 Mashup Are we ready for an earthquake 10x more intense and 5x longer than 1989?

World Standards Day TIL that October 14 is World Standards Day, except in the US, where it happens on October 23 (14 mi = 23 km).

@willrad:

THE HUMAN BODY

★½

Wildly inconsistent design. Leaks fluids. Zero protection from drop damage. Can be killed by bees/peanuts.

NOT RECOMMENDED

John Gruber, Daring Fireball - XOXO Festival (2014) On being an indie blogger.

Drone racing star wars style