Weekend Reading — 🍔 Drop that skincare routine
This week we reinvent email, weave some memories, resurrect Netscape Communicator 4.x, and create an army of craws.
Uncle Duke “dogs: we tried to fucking warn you”
🧰 Tools of the Trade
www.unloved.xyz A marketplace for unloved subscriptions — you paid for the subscription in full and don't use it anymore, or you don't mind buying a 2nd hand subscription. The domain name is just so perfect.
lovell/sharp High performance Node.js image processing for JPEG, PNG, WebP, AVIF and TIFF. Wrapper for libvips.
TabFS A browser extension that mounts your browser tabs as a filesystem on your computer, so you can manage tabs from the command line:
This gives you a ton of power, because now you can apply all the existing tools on your computer that already know how to deal with files -- terminal commands, scripting languages, etc -- and use them to control and communicate with your browser.
Notecalc3 A notepad calculator. Basically, a clone of Soulver (fantastic app, but only on macOS) which runs in your browser. Notepad calculators are my go-to for doing back of envelope calculations, math that requires writing down intermediary results, and simple models (for complex models, check out Causal).
Gary Bernhardt Ton of value for a mere $10K:
Consulting service: Your 25-person company is drowning in complexity with microservice architectures, serverless, and SSR. I say "your app will fit on two Heroku Standard 1x dynos and one Standard 0 database. $150/mo total. Eat the 100 ms of extra latency." You pay me $10,000.
arwes.dev When you get tired of your website looking like everything else (aka “flat humans in white negative space” aesthetics) try this UI framework for a more futuristic look and feel.
Joshua Bloch Pete Buttigieg on software design ;)
Pete Buttigieg: When infrastructure works well, most Americans hardly notice. But these days we are noticing infrastructure too often for the wrong reasons.
That can, and must, change.
David Booth I guess with few simple rules and some discipline you can use Slack as an email client …
"Async" Slack channels are one of our secret weapons at @beondeck
After using them for ~18 months, I can't imagine Slack without them. Particularly now— operating 100% remote with 62 teammates in 14 timezones.
Here's the "how it works" post I use to open each new 1:1 channel 👇
Shane Bettenhausen “Women weaving memory for early computers”
How Google Ranks Google Lens Results Reverse engineering Google visual search from search results. Oh, and by the way:
Key Takeaway: Google Lens results don’t load significantly faster than the average webpage. In fact, the average Google Lens result FPC load time is 3,186ms. This may be due to the fact that visual search results tend to contain several high-quality images.
📓 Lines of Code
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
Sam Tobin-Hochstadt It’s universal, practical, and equidistance from other languages you may end up using, including C++, Haskell or Ruby:
New year, more hot takes!
Adam Smith Second that:
The best piece of advice for early stage startup recruiting I can fit into a tweet: Don’t interview candidates who are also interviewing at FB, Google, etc. These folks always end up joining BigCo. The precision on this heuristic is unreal: 100% out of n ≈ 10 offers we’ve made.
tef 👇 What a story, and also this conclusion:
uptime was important only because it served as a means to punish the engineers, and guilt them into more overtime for feature dev
in other words, the reason you end up fighting fires at startups is that you work for arsonists
Katie Cunningham This is reverse application of the “show don’t tell” principle:
Instead of asking whether a department is collaborative (everyone says 'highly'), it might be more useful to ask what faculty know about their colleagues' work. Some measure of the visibility between labs may give more meaningful insight into academic culture.
📈 Business Side
Nearly half a billion users played Among Us in November “the company that makes Among Us — only has four employees.” — For real?
Why the Survival of the Airlines Depends on Frequent Flyer Programs TIL Airlines are basically frequent flyer loyalty programs that also happen to fly airplanes but only as a hobby:
The Financial Times pegs the value of Delta’s loyalty program at a whopping $26 billion, American Airlines at $24 billion, and United at $20 billion. All of these valuations are comfortably above the market capitalization of the airlines themselves — Delta is worth $19 billion, American $6 billion, and United $10 billion.
🔒 Locked Doors
Christopher Glyer Let's also share stories about mitigation and the disasters that did not happen because we came prepared:
In October @CISAgov warned of imminent ransomware attacks targeting US Healthcare
This was all-hands on deck moment @microsoft & across industry. Most people won’t know details but a number of orgs were saved. Super proud of my teammates & industry peers
Paul Maunders Don't let technological progress get in the way of a good Brexit:
I wonder how much of UK-EU trade deal has been copy & pasted from old 90s documents 🤔
p921 refers to Netscape Communicator 4.0 as a "modern e-mail software package" (it was last updated in 2002) and recommends SHA-1 as a hash algorithm (deprecated by NIST in 2011 as insecure)
😷 Mask Up
Reverse Engineering the source code of the BioNTech/Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Fascinating explanation of how mRNA vaccines work:
This is a sort of table of contents. We’ll start with the ‘cap’, actually depicted as a little hat.
Much like you can’t just plonk opcodes in a file on a computer and run it, the biological operating system requires headers, has linkers and things like calling conventions.
⭐ None of the Above
claypilled “Drop 👏 that 👏 skincare 👏 routine 👏”
Elamin Abdelmahmoud 🙏
I hope 2021 is utterly and completely forgettable. I hope it’s the most normal year. I hope time passes and you don’t even notice it, you know? I hope it’s as unmemorable as 2014. Remember 2014? Exactly.
"Is a virus alive?"
"Is Pluto a planet?"
"Is Louisiana Creole a language?"
I don't think you understand exactly how many conversations in Academia are just "Is a hotdog a sandwich" for people with crushing student debt.
Zachary D Long “I found them. The Frosted Mega Wheats.”
no greater or more precious bond in this life than the one between people who don't want their pickle and people who want an extra pickle
mark “I am beginning to understand why the UK is the way it is”
Caelum “A conductor on the Pskov-Moscow train feeds a cat named Felix sausage during a short stop in Staraya, Russa. Felix shows up every day at 22:40 & has for several years. All conductors are aware of Felix & prepare sausage in advance. 😻(Source: Reddit)”
100 Tips For A Better Life This will be the title of my Ted talk:
If you listen to successful people talk about their methods, remember that all the people who used the same methods and failed did not make videos about it.
Dan Nguyen “I know we shouldn’t feel bad about not writing King Lear during quarantine, but I now truly realize how much I squandered 2020”
The Things Our Bosses Said a Lot This Year 🤫
You’re on mute” was said on 1,000 percent more calls between executives and investors in 2020 compared with 2019.
Twitter users have had their most miserable year yet Using the Hedonometer to calculate a happiness score based on public tweets. 2020 looks pretty damn miserable for people who tweet primarily in English. Not every country had a gloom year:
South Korea has weathered the pandemic well, and Korean tweets in 2020 have featured many more happy words than French or indeed English ones have.
janet “me rereading my own tweet every time someone likes it”