Weekend Reading — Gaslighting? With these prices?!

This week we DNS the weather, upgrade our workstation, find out who's making up all these AI images, and play dead like Sugar.

Weekend Reading — Gaslighting? With these prices?!

Ben Schwarz “Played with dalle for a while, this is maybe my favourite so far: Cat with round sunglasses and beret as a stained glass window”

Tech Stuff

Plasmo You can build a lot of cool stuff with browser extensions. Not everything needs to be a website or mobile app, some things work better when they live in the browser's toolbar.

Plasmo wants to be the Next.js equivalent for browser extensions. It lets you code in React and TypeScript, PostCSS/Tailwind, auto-generated manifest, live-reload for development, etc.

The docs look good, a bunch of examples to get you started. There's also a test & deploy service, it's early access, no idea how well it works.

google/zx The new release of zx got much closer to replacing some of my bash scripts. Especially now that there's a REPL, so it's easier to trial & error, which is approximately 90% of how I write scripts.

This is not a glowing endorsement. I feel that some design decisions are conceptual rather than pragmatic: can't pipe a resolved process, the cd command doesn't change current working directory, TypeScript support only works in ESM projects (so can't use with Remix/Next.js), etc. But then again, bash and friends are not exactly setting a high bar.

The collapse of complex software Complexity is in the eye of the beholder:

One thing working in complexity’s favor, though, is that engineers like complexity. Admit it: as much as we complain about other people’s complexity, we love our own. We love sitting around and dreaming up new architectural diagrams that can comfortably sit inside our own heads – it’s only when these diagrams leave our heads, take shape in the real world, and outgrow the size of any one person’s head that the problems begin.

Cveinnt/LiveTerm Treat your website the terminal look with this template.

Chelsea Troy So true.

IMO the dirty secret here is that 99.5% of apps could go down at 3 AM and just, like, be down until 11 AM, and the consequences would be nowhere near dire enough to be waking somebody up over

Useful utilities and toys over DNS Check the weather, convert miles to KM, get the digits of Pi … pointless yet goes to show DNS is the most under-rated internet technology.

Thank you for this "security vulnerability found in some-crazy-dep-that-doesnt-exist" notification. You're a life saver.

(for the curious, not a real dependency)

Wesley Aptekar-Cassels ”i just want to know where we went wrong that every sre and ops person doesn't sit at a desk that looks like this”

Eye for Design

Ryan Singer: Products Are Functions This is a good framework for thinking about product design:

Products are easier to reason about when you think of them as functions. They transform an input situation into an output situation.
This lets you describe what the product does as a transformation of the user's circumstance instead of a bundle of features.

Scott Berkun

There's the classic adage in user research about "what people say vs. what they do."
What's your favorite example for how far apart the two can be? #ux #design

Let me try a few … does any of these sound familiar?

What would you add?

Jesper van Haaren That's a handy feature of Safari to make better use of the limited space for showing tabs:

Nice detail on Ikea. When you open another product from the same series in a new tab, the page titles change from the name to the measurements.

Machine Thinking

How does Google’s AI chatbot work – and could it be sentient? We don't have the technology yet. On the other hand …

“What these systems do, no more and no less, is to put together sequences of words, but without any coherent understanding of the world behind them, like foreign language Scrabble players who use English words as point-scoring tools, without any clue about what that mean.”

OK, but now you're just describing how to center an HTML element – put together snippets of code without having a coherent understanding of the CSS layout model. And that's a high-paying job with stock options and great benefits.


playing around with dall-e’s image editing feature and it’s equally impressive, I just uploaded the first one and gave the prompt “wearing blue shirt”

leon 😂

the ai art thing is fake. i’m the guy who has to draw all the requests like the chess player inside the mechanical turk. you’re torturing me. i spend every waking hour drawing shit like “joe biden asuka wedding” and “donkey kong nuremberg trials” please stop. i need to sleep

📈 Business Side

Why this Angel Investor Hates Liquidation Preferences This is a good explainer of why liquidation preferences exist and how they work:

The valuation at which I invested was based on risk vs reward. The liquidation preference reduced my risk and therefore raised the valuation. In other words, in return for this downside guarantee, I’m getting a smaller percentage of the business.
The liquidation preference is a negotiable term. Like any other deal term, it has no inherent fairness or unfairness outside the context of all the other terms including valuation.

Also, a reminder that many (most?) founders make their money not on the exit but the retention — the startup is just a long job interview:

So any acquisition includes a big retention package. If the founders and executives don’t make anything from their stock, they’re offered millions to stick around for 2–3 years. A $400M deal might get split as $375M acquisition (purchase of shares) with $25M in retention bonuses.

Ryan Petersen

It might be that many software business models don't work when engineers cost $400k/year.

Everything Else

Anna Sorokin plans to launch an NFT collection I just can't …

Anna Sorokin, known for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from friends and businesses while posing as a German heiress, said she's trying to move away from the "scammer persona" and plans to launch a collection of NFTs.


Gaslighting? With these prices?!


i understand why old people type like this...... it's so addicting...... like a bitch just be trailing off...... ominously.... who knows..

jim rose circus

Meet Sugar, she doesn't like to be ridden. If Sugar is approached with a saddle she lyes down and pretends to be asleep. Sugar refuses to open her eyes until the riders leave.


i'm not a network engineer, i'm a relationships counsellor for computers who don't wanna talk to each other anymore

Casey Johnston

When you say “Are you free for a call sometime?” The “I’m free right now” people are the absolute most chaotic

Freddy McKinney “A year ago today I took a photo of a cow”

Zak Kukoff

A Hallmark movie about a laid off web3 VC who moves back to his small hometown and falls in love with an ex-CEO girlboss, learning the true meaning of the web along the way Type a word or phrase and this site will find the movie scenes and play them for you.

KOLs: What They Are & Why They're Key to Your Marketing Strategy

TIL: influencers are past tense

All the cool kids are KOL - Key Opinion Leaders

Since KOLs are considered experts on certain topics, they're often regarded as trustworthy and authentic. Their authenticity enables them to have influence on the opinions and preferences of their audiences -- which is why partnering with a KOL is a particularly powerful strategy for your brand.

Museum of Endangered Sounds

Why Do We Sleep Under Blankets, Even on the Hottest Nights? Not just for emotional comfort. Short and interesting read. I didn't know all of that, explains my middle-of-night fights with the blanket.

insane in the birdbrain ”what could possibly go wrong?”

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