Weekend Reading — 🎂 Happy anniversary! 🎉
This week is this blog's 15th anniversary!!! We're going to short lipsticks but go long on bicycle shorts, liberate some bitcoin, and rename some genes.
🥳 Fifteen years ago (and two days, but who's counting?) I registered the domain labnotes.org and started blogging here.
Back them, I worked with open-source enterprise Java. We made expensive technologies (app servers, object brokers, pub/sub, etc) available to everyday developers.
Java, though, so you still needed a team to write and deploy a "Hello world" app. I started looking at other stacks we can use alongside Java back-ends: LAMP, Python, Rails.
I wanted to share these experiments and what I learned — my lab notes — and that's how this blog came to be.
In time, I started sharing interesting links from around the internet. I called these curated posts “Rounded Corners”. It was punchier when everyone was using IE 7/8 so no support for
Sever years ago (plus 2 weeks), Rounded Corners morphed into the regularly scheduled Weekend Reading, which you're enjoying right now.
Let's see what the next year brings! 🎉
Sumukh Sridhara “I'm really excited about Google's new design system: ‘Meeterial Design’”
‘Hey, You Free on Friday for a Meeting and a Bank Heist?’ “Eager for an alternative to Zoom, executives are getting together in video games, to bond, brainstorm or rampage.”
I'm completely content to work in silence until the moment husband needs to be on a Zoom call.
🧰 Tools of the Trade
Safia Abdalla 😭
The most unrealistic thing about Star Trek is how good the engineering team is at estimates.
miketalbot/js-coroutines Use this to write CPU crunching algorithms that run off the main thread without blocking the UI (sorting arrays, parsing JSON, etc.)
Artëm Chistyakov 🤔
The guy who works the paints isle at the Home Depot told me yesterday: “I spray paint my living room every month whether it needs it or not”, to which I stared at him with disbelief, until the striking realization that this is exactly what programming as a hobby is like.
Multi-Cloud is the Worst Practice - Last Week in AWS It’s funny because it’s true:
- Declining vendors that realize that if you don’t go multi-cloud, they’ll have nothing left to sell you. AWS isn’t going to build a multi-cloud dashboard, so VMware (motto: “The Payday Lenders of Technical Debt”) will absolutely build and sell you one.
- “Niche players” (that’s Gartner-speak for “crappy”) in the public cloud space who realize that if you go all-in on just one cloud provider, it will absolutely not be them.
Kate “Oh hey, turns out you can name files what you want, too”
David Hoang 👇 Is this something you see yourself/team doing?
I had a manager who had our design team update our personal portfolios every quarter. It startled a lot of people who wondered why she would have us do that. The more you let go, the more you enable retention.
A few examples of what resonated throughout the process...
Velloseraptor Make it easy for people to say yes:
This email is a masterclass in how to make a request of a busy person. This email was also written by 13 year olds.
Pro-tip: Make it easy for people to say yes.
Thoughtful prep made this one of the most efficient and pleasant interviews I’ve ever done. The kids are alright. 👏🏾
📈 Business Side
Can lipstick and underwear predict economic activity? Since the lipstick index is busted (masks), economists are hunting for alternative KPIs to predict the future (what about bicycle shorts?)
We used Jungle Scout to check men’s underwear sales on Amazon — they were up as much as 193% within the past 90 days. Hanes’ parent brand, meanwhile, saw “innerwear” sales dip 27% in Q2.
Andrew Wilkinson Counter point, I don’t miss Slack, but the days starts after coffee cup no. 2:
Another example of pricing insanity:
Every day you will buy a coffee that you pee out 3 hrs later for $5.
Then a few hours later, you’ll complain about how $5/mo for Slack—the way you do your work, which makes you thousands a month—is too expensive.
To Head Off Regulators, Google Makes Certain Words Taboo Corporate speak is 50% trying to sound like the smartest person in the room, and 50% avoid giving the plot away:
Instead of “market,” employees may say “industry,” “space,” “area,” or simply cite the region, according to the presentation.
Instead of “network effects,” the presentation suggests “valuable to users.”
And instead of “barriers to entry,” substitute “challenges.”
🔒 Locked Doors
The Quest to Liberate $300,000 of Bitcoin From an Old Zip File “After an initial analysis, Stay estimated that he would need to charge $100,000 to break into the file. The Guy took the deal”
Jack Stubbs 👇 $4.5m ransomware attack, but they did get a price break, the most professional customer service, and free security/staffing advice:
⭐ None of the Above
Oliver Trenchard “This is too good. YouTuber walks around Shibuya like it’s a video game.”
~$ 2020 restart
~$ restart 2020
~$ 2020 restart -f
~$ sudo 2020 restart
~$ sudo kill -9 2020
~$ rm-rf ~/year/2020
I got nothin’...
Anyone have any ideas?
thomasthetaxi “Is this what we really want to see on the morning school run ????” — YES!
Dogs understand praise the same way we do. Here's why that matters. Not surprising to dog owners, but still the research is fascinating:
We may infer that from our interactions with dogs, but it is somewhat surprising as dogs do not speak, and their [own] communication system [barking] does not have a clear separation between meaning and intonation.
Private Jet Secrets, From Sex to Pets to Celebrity Bad Behavior People who have more money than sense:
That didn’t stop a certain Silicon Valley founder from routinely laying plates of sushi across the floor, then standing on his seat, cabernet in hand, and maniacally pouring soy sauce from up high. Worse, he would always insist on eating the entire meal while lying down, for reasons nobody understood.
Life on Earth “How to surreptitiously stretch within reach of kisses”
Scientists rename human genes to stop Microsoft Excel from misreading them as dates Is this not the most on-brand Excel thing?
Scientists have renamed 27 human genes to stop Microsoft Excel misreading them as dates. The changes have been underway for the past year but have been formally announced as new guidelines published by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee. Scientist are overjoyed but annoyed Microsoft didn’t make th…
Facebook Fired An Employee Who Collected Evidence Of Right-Wing Pages Getting Preferential Treatment OTOH solid paycheck, great benefits, and generous RSUs for helping dismantle democracy:
Individuals that spoke out about the apparent special treatment of right-wing pages have also faced consequences. In one case, a senior Facebook engineer collected multiple instances of conservative figures receiving unique help from Facebook employees, including those on the policy team, to remove fact-checks on their content. His July post was removed because it violated the company’s “respectful communication policy.”
Emily Herring “Us whenever a social media platform is down”
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