Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Gentle bump

Published on

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Scott Jon Siegel 🤯


Design Objective

Jared Spool Point that's often lost in the org chart:

Adrienne Porter Felt Who counts as a family? According to @cvspharmacy, all parents must share the same last name as their child. Some developer added an if-check, probably without thinking about it too much, and ended up codifying their own cultural norms into the medical system.

Everyone is a UX designer.

Including developers writing validation checks to match business rules. And the policy/product people who made those rules.

The UX Uncanny Valley We often talk about reducing options, to avoid the paradox of choice. But the reverse is also true. Introducing — or not hiding — unnecessary options, so as to give the user an illusion of control.

Google Maps, for instance, will show you several route options even though users will likely go with the suggested option. There is a sense of security in knowing that you’ve chosen a lesser of evils.

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Solve for X Analytical approach to experience design:

Product + Design without Technology is Vaporware. We have a great idea and people seem to want it. But we can’t build it.
Design + Technology without Product is a Hackathon Project. It looks great and it’s even fully functional, but there’s no market for it.
Product + Technology without Design is an Office Printer. The necessary evils of the world that are completely at risk of being disrupted by a customer-centric innovation. Think Netflix, Airbnb, Uber again (man it would be great if someone created the “Uber of Printers”).

Ivo Mägi "This is your 1500ms latency in real life situations -"

Thinking in Triplicate Design is constrained by the business model:

Virgin America, Rdio, Google Reader, and Comcast.
Which of these offered a good experience? Which of these still exists?

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Chris Messina And when the business model is based on advertising:

That red dot is an infuriating example of Facebook's technomanipulation (I have unreads in every other category — they just want me to TRY to clear that dot (spoiler alert: you can't)).

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The Mystery Font That Took Over New York The story of Choc.

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It's Centred That Can you tell when something is centered? Test your designer eye.

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Tools of the Trade

VisBug 101 Turns any webpage into a playground.

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Schedule emails without polling a database using Step Functions If your use case fits within these limits, you can delegate a lot of state management to AWS Step Functions.

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Ben Halpern He's right about GUI shaming:

No matter how much you love the CLI, don't GUI-shame. Lots of perfectly amazing programmers like working with GUIs, and it's perfectly fine.

There's some weird gatekeeping tendencies centered around the command line. #DevDiscuss

Vicki Boykis "The reInvent announcement of my dreams:"

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Lingua Scripta

The International Obfuscated JavaScript Code Contest Open for submissions.

ncc: Node.js Compiler Collection ncc outputs a self-contained script that bundles all its dependencies. Benefit: faster bootup.

Experimenting with brain-computer interfaces in JavaScript. When do we get brain install <newskill>?

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Edward Torvalds "npm install"


Lines of Code

Thomas Parslow "Told another programmer about the Monte Hall Problem. He was not convinced. Then later that night.... #nerdsniping"

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grapefrukt The other day I saw a transaction record that stored the credit card number as floating point …

i'm not without sin as far as data type mistakes go, but storing phone numbers as floats is maybe not the best idea.

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Architectural

Jared Short People time isn't free, but also you don't need expense approval to spend it:

"We run three nodes... At $.42/hr for the managed kafka, compared to $.192/hr self hosted... we'll keep it self hosted for now..." I love HN math.

Real world math: Over 1 year that is ~$2k difference, ~20 hours of engineering time. Maintenance isn't free, it obscures true cost.

Brenan Keller True story:

A QA engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 99999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a ueicbksjdhd.

First real customer walks in and asks where the bathroom is. The bar bursts into flames, killing everyone.

Philip Guo "My computing setup is supported by strong theoretical foundations"

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Peopleware

Notes on Hyperfocus On managing your attention, focusings on tasks, avoiding distractions, and also setting time for scattered thoughts.

Beyond that, the advice is to do it as often as possible, especially when need to work on a complex task. One interesting thought is that if you find you are resisting focusing on a task to reduce the time until the point where that resistance disappears. Complex tasks will require multiple slots.

deep work update #2 Related, how about scheduling every minute of your day? Would that work for you?

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Team Work

Dirty Kurty Thread:

I recently left a position as a tech lead and I thought I would share some of valuable lessons I learned during that time. A proverbial thread, if you will.


Locked Doors

I don't know what to say. #116 So this happened. An NPM package with 2 million weekly downloads was injected with malicious code. Seems to be stealing Bitcoin wallets. Good chance one of your projects is using this package directly or indirectly.

Gary Bernhardt And yes, this was something many people saw coming. But it was also convenient to bursh aside, to evangelize Node and the "many small modules" philosophy:

There was an option 3: don't decompose your application's dependency graph into thousands of packages. People who argued that position were dismissed as (to paraphrase heavily) old and slow. That ship has sailed, and now we're here.

Em "Still my fave"

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Techtopia

How I changed the law with a GitHub pull request "A few days later, the Council’s codification lawyer merged my pull request"

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Ad-diction

Dan Rather 💯

When someone starts an argument with "I'm not a scientist, but..." maybe we should stop listening to them weighing in on science. And maybe news shows should stop asking these pundits to talk about something they’re not qualified to talk about.

The Miseducation of Sheryl Sandberg This article throws more blame at COO Sandberg than at CEO Zuckerberg. This is a hit piece, not something I'd expect from Vanity Fair.

Michelle Ghoussoub "My favorite scene in All The President’s Men is probably the one where they gather around the chartbeat monitor and a/b test their headlines"

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None of the Above

Eric Amazing!

Recreating GTA style footage with a @SkydioHQ experiment 2. Now with more traffic and a soundtrack. This took only 1 tap on my iPhone: LAUNCH

aunt dad Relationship goals:

don't waste your time on anyone who wouldn't absolutely lose their shit on speakerphone if you won star baker

Patrick Collison 😭

From: Titus Labienus
To: Caesar
Subject: Gentle bump

Just wanted to get this back to the top of your inbox. Hoping to get working group approval on the plans for Gaul. Can resend the link to the deck if you like.

Farbod Saraf "This is why things in commercials don't look like they do in real life #HowThingsWork"

Peter Life advice:

PSA: Don't EVER let your printer know that you've waited until the last minute to print something out and you're in hurry because they can sense fear.

Tommi Forsström TIL

The biggest contribution I’ve been able to bring to the table in the US from my Finnish heritage is the idiom

”Climbing a tree ass-first”

to illustrate doing a not-wrong thing in a needlessly complicated or difficult way.

You’re welcome, 🇺🇸.
Love, 🇫🇮.

This glass appears to break when people walk over it, leading to some funny frights Whoever designed this …

David Milner 😭

Kristen Ruin a first date in four words or less.

"Four words or FEWER"

Payless fools influencers with a fake store Someone deserves a promotion for this brilliant stunt:

Payless, a brand known for budget-friendly shoes, opened a fake pop-up store called "Palessi" in a Los Angeles mall and invited influencers to the grand opening. The store was stocked with Payless shoes in disguise.

"I would pay $400 or $500," a woman says in a TV ad, holding a pair of $19.99 sneakers. Another shopper calls the Payless shoes "elegant and sophisticated."

Mike Rosenberg An explanation of how democratic elections work in the US:

North Carolina: Democrats won 48% of votes and 23% of seats
Ohio: Democrats won nearly 50% of votes and 25% of seats

Pennsylvania, new court-ordered nonpartisan map: Dems won 55% of votes and 50% of seats, up from 28% of seats under old map

GTQ677ed

Chuck Wendig 😳

So, I watched that POKEY MANS movie today, my first actual viewing of anything Pokémon, and uhhh

welp

I have questions

Scott Linnen 💯

Scientists have again landed a spacecraft on a proverbial dime on a planet 40 million miles away that rotates at 241 metres per second. Think I'm gonna trust them on this climate change stuff.

Fluff Society "Once you run into a window, you're going to have big trust issues"