Weekend Reading — ⏲️ Five more minutes …

This week we get in the flow, redesign computers, invert a binary tree, and build an obstacle for squirrels.

Weekend Reading — ⏲️ Five more minutes …


Opinion | Camp Is Canceled. Three More Months of Family Time. Help. Are you getting enough sleep, Vitamin D, and flow?

It turns out that flow is critical to our well-being during this strange time of self-exile. A few weeks ago I spoke to Kate Sweeny, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, who recently collaborated on a survey of 5,115 people under quarantine in China. To her surprise, the people who best tolerated their confinement were not the most mindful or optimistic; they were the ones who’d found the most flow. She suspected it was why Americans have spent the last two months baking bread and doing puzzles. “They’re intuitively seeking out flow activities,” she said.

Sid Sijbrandij One day I might get to finish that blog post with my thoughts on the topic. I do agree with most of what Sid says. Many companies will find their way back to the office. I'm expecting the Medium think pieces titled “These 5 companies are re-inventing office culture” and “How ScootZ grew 400% by hiring local!”

Below is a thread about the future of remote work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. I predict that remote will go through a trough of sorrow due to hybrid not working out, and most companies will return to being office based. But many all remote companies will see success.

🪑 Design Objective

David Holz You need to make it feel normal:

The first Leap Motion controllers were jet-black with a glowing blue tron-stripe. Why? Because it was fucking cool! We even sent photos to our investors. They agreed. It was fucking cool. Then @mbuckwald came to me & said "We have to scrap this". I was CRUSHED! (pt. 1)

Designing Emotional UI - UX Planet “Technology is best when it makes people happy”. Love these UIs.

retro gerry “Ok computers, what's stopping you looking like this?”

🧰 Tools of the Trade

tailblocks — Ready-to-use Tailwind CSS blocks I recently wrote about my experience using Tailwind (5 star, will use again). A week after I published, I discovered Tailblocks, a beautiful collection of Tailwind components for common UI patterns. And so naturally I restyled the blog to this new style. Hope you like it.

Valerie Aurora 👇 When your resume only needs to be ”that one time I …”:

This is the story of how I fixed a long-standing bug in one of the U.S.'s systems for detecting nuclear explosions, the ARDU (Advanced Radiation detection capability Data Unit) 1/28

Florin Pop 🤣

They say that CSS is not a programming language. Well I have to disagree! 😒

You can easily invert a binary tree with CSS using:

.tree {
transform: rotate(180deg);

And there we go!

Yechiel K These even predate the floppy disk (save icon):

I was today years old when I realized why the HTML menu where you can only select one option is called "radio buttons".

Paul Campbell I feel called out:

We have a squeaky bathroom door, so I thought we need to oil it.

Then I realised there are a few other doors in the house that need oiled.

Then I thought "wouldn't it be cool if I could pour oil down one pipe and oil all the doors at once"

That's how software engineers think.

jessica harvey I’m old enough to remember when we had “executive PCs”, with their fancy business features and crazy price tags:

The extremely brief moment that arrived in 1993 of having printers built into (gorgeous) laptops is not fetishized enough.

(ThinkPad 555BJ/Canon Notejet)

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Teamwork

Luke Millar So true. This is how obvious features end up never shipping. You can talk all you want about “user-centric design”, but does your organization’s culture allow you to solve user’s needs?

📈 Business Side

The Rise of TikTok and Understanding Its Parent Company, ByteDance This is a long and detailed but captivating overview of TikTok, its past, present, and some guesses about the future. There's something here for everyone: amazing technology, pivoting a successful business, innovative organic and in-organic growth, straddling US and Chinese markets, etc.

Two things in this article caught my eye. Technology has cycles: a new technology comes along, with what business people call ”unfair advantage”, looks like magic, make everything else seem obsolete, and spread faster than anything we've seen before. Think mainframes (IBM) -> PCs (Microsoft) -> phones (Apple).

Google did that through the power of search, Facebook using the social graph. TikTok's magic comes from the algorithm, leap frogging search and social graph:

Zhang, ByteDance’s founder and CEO, has stated his primary strategy is to eliminate the need for search - how Google and Amazon serve their very profitable advertising products - and immediately serve users exactly what they want.


TikTok’s key feature is a video-first interface, the “For You Page”, that takes up the entire screen and starts playing immediately, sucking users into the app. There’s a one-screen onboarding at the very first open, with no login required as it creates shadow profiles based on device ID. Many users don’t actually have accounts.

Ask HN: How do you brand yourself as a freelancer? This is basically sales + marketing distilled to a few bullet points. Also, product development — but only if you want people buying/using your product. And, if you want to be in a senior role (some people confuse these for politics). Here's a couple to start with:

  1. Sales is about people and it's about problem solving. It is not about solutions or technology or chemicals or lines of code or artichokes. It's about people and it's about solving problems.

  2. People buy 4 things and 4 things only. Ever. Those 4 things are time, money, sex, and approval/peace of mind. If you try selling something other than those 4 things you will fail.

🔒 Locked Doors

Why is This Website Port Scanning me I wasn’t aware this is possible:

Recently, I was tipped off about certain sites performing localhost port scan against visitors, presumably as part of a user fingerprinting and tracking or bot detection. This didn’t sit well with me, so I went about investigating the practice, and it seems many sites are port scanning visitors for…

⭐ None of the Above

Ignoble Savage “There's always that one guy at the party...”

Josh Gondelman Every time I tell the wife “five more minutes …“

The problem with 10:30pm is that it comes exactly one minute before 2:30am if you’re not careful.

Maureen Johnson 👇 I’m not sure what’s going on in the UK right now, but looks like they won't allow the US to have a monopoly on stupid–malicious. Thread is hilarious:

I guess I'll do a summary of the UK news thing, not because anyone asked, but because I was dumb enough to watch it. I'm taking broad strokes here...

Five Lessons from History Thinking of the future by learning from the past:

Lesson #2: Reversion to the mean occurs because people persuasive enough to make something grow don’t have the kind of personalities that allow them to stop before pushing too far.**

The Olognion The O(log)nion wants to be The Onion for the software industry. I’d say it succeeded so far, these are all so close to the real world it hurts:

Will the coronavirus pandemic open the door to a four-day workweek? Work smarter, not longer. There's also the economic incentive that allows more people to enjoy (and spend money) at lower density places like restuarants and other activities. But I can't see a society that relies much on the service industry adopting that practice wholesale. What do you think? Would you prefer a job that offers a 4 day week?

Mark Rober “Some squirrels stole my bird seed, so I’ve basically been spending the whole quarantine engineering my revenge :)”

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