Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Pothole Vigilantes

Published on

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Greg Young "I had never seen this expressed in art before but brilliant!"


Design Objective

I Can Has Petz? The new Petbarn branding is brilliant.

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Pavel A. Samsonov 🧼 Someone bought the wrong soap, still good advice on UX:

Your product must provide feedback to the user when a function is activated, otherwise they can't know that it's done anything.

This is true of analog products too - for example, liquid soap doesn't need to foam, but that's how we know it's working.

Brian Lovin ⭐️

This is what FB developers will see in their local sandbox when building features for the upcoming redesign. Regardless of your stance on FB the company, this is a really powerful example of how a considered developer experience can directly impact the end user experience.

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Tools of the Trade

Microsoft to Ship a True Linux Kernel With Windows 10 WSL So maybe 2019 is The Year Of Linux On The Desktop! There's also a new command line terminal.

Unlike WSL1, which used a Linux-compatible kernel, WSL2 will use a genuine open-source kernel compiled from the stable 4.19 version release of Linux at Kernel.org.

While Microsoft will be providing the Linux kernel, they will not provide any Linux binaries to go with it. Instead, users will still need to download their favorite Linux distribution from the Microsoft Store or by creating a custom distribution package.

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Introducing GitHub Package Registry 🚀

GitHub Package Registry is fully integrated with GitHub, so you can use the same search, browsing, and management tools to find and publish packages as you do for your repositories. … And it supports familiar package management tools: JavaScript (npm), Java (Maven), Ruby (RubyGems), .NET (NuGet), and Docker images, with more to come.

Seb Lee-Delisle "Look at this gorgeous thing. I learned to program on this in 1983. The Sharp PC-1211"

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Command Line Magic 🤔

If you cat /dev/urandom forever it eventually outputs a secure version of wordpress.

AnnaR "tfw your coworker is a time traveller"

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Web-end

Revisiting prefers-reduced-motion, the reduced motion media query Quick and easy hack to disable animations for users who prefer reduced motion.

kkuchta/css-only-chat Of the bonkers things you can do with CSS: async web chat using no JS whatsoever on the frontend.

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Lines of Code

Kelly Vaughn 👇 This thread has all the best responses:

Oh you're a developer? Name 3 of your favorite commit messages

  1. Elegant fix for tricky bug.
  2. Remove fix for bug. Does not fix bug.
  3. Bug fixed. TODO: find a less hacky solution!

Peopleware

Dani Donovan 👇 An illustrated thread about living with ADHD:

All or nothing.

For me, #ADHD results in a lot of black-or-white thinking. Anything less than perfect feels like a total failure. Breaking even ONE DAY of a streak immediately results in falling off the wagon.

I am 100% or 0%, and have a hard time accepting anything in between.

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Robert Sweeney This post went viral because we all know it's true:

I turned down Daniel Buchmueller for a job at Netflix. After a 60 minute interview I was on the fence, so I concluded that he "wasn't senior enough." He went to Amazon instead where he co-founded Amazon Prime Air (their drone delivery service) and was #2 on Fast Company's "Most Creative People" list.

At some point, we programmers are going to have to admit that we really can't judge another programmers technical abilities in a 60 min interview. We end up hiring programmers that are good at interviewing, but not necessarily good at doing the job. And we miss out on engineers like Daniel.


Locked Doors

The inception bar: a new phishing method Makes a web page that looks like the browser, greenlock certificate and all.

proof

Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time Devices that only records when triggered by a "wake word", except they're too easily triggered to wake up and record:

I listened to four years of my Alexa archive and found thousands of fragments of my life: spaghetti-timer requests, joking houseguests and random snippets of “Downton Abbey.” There were even sensitive conversations that somehow triggered Alexa’s “wake word” to start recording, including my family discussing medication and a friend conducting a business deal.

Matthew Green 🔥

I used to feel that tech companies competing to market “privacy” could only result in a win for consumers. Now I’m starting to wonder if it serves the same purpose as carmakers adding an “eco” mode to your SUV.


Techtopia

People Are Clamoring to Buy Old Insulin Pumps How an obsolete medical device with a security flaw became a must-have for some patients with type 1 diabetes.

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These Ads Think They Know You The good news is, the data that's collected about you isn't all that accurate. The bad news is, inaccurate data is used to make decisions about you:

The accuracy of predictions made by data providers is difficult to verify. The companies release little evidence that those included in these groups actually belong there. A study from 2018 found that the gender assigned by data brokers was accurate, on average, only 42 percent of the time — that’s worse than just flipping a coin. So in the ads we bought, we expected many men would see ads aimed at women and vice versa.

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Electric Sheep

Chris Harris This is such a cool effect: "First attempt at removing cars off the roads with neural nets. Will have to dream harder."


None of the Above

Kelly "I saw this on reddit and I’ve watched it a minimum of 27 times and every single time it has only gotten better and exceeded my expectations"

Charlie O'Donnell 😭

I learned from an early @Casper engineer that at least two people returned their mattresses PACKED BACK INTO ITS ORIGINAL BOX.

Legend has it that both also folded their receipts in half ten times.

Fox Benwell "Internet! May I present to you, ENTHUSIASTIC POST-CAT, who often waits by the door for our postie or those charity-bag drop offs, and stashes all her spoils upstairs."

josé morales "at no point did I know what was coming next in this sentence" 😭

VANITY FAIR: Airbnb will pivot to video with the release of its first-ever feature film, Gay Chorus Deep South, set to debut at Tribeca Film Festival

Lukas Stefanko "Teenagers trying to make phone call on ancient apparatus"

Daniel Silvermint 👇 No spoilers in this thread, other than you might care less about the last season, after reading this (I do). Also applies to many other TV shows (and some movies) that struggle to switch between plotter and pantser modes:

It has to do with the behind-the-scenes process of plotters vs. pantsers. If you’re not familiar with the distinction, plotters create a fairly detailed outline before they commit a single word to the page. /2

KRON4 News When your city has a chronic infrastructure problem, but also strong DIY ethos:

'Pothole Vigilantes' are hitting the streets of Oakland at night to fill potholes

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Genetically Tweaked Viruses Just Saved a Very Sick Teen The search for new antibiotics is taking a wild turn, as we learn how to use viruses to fight bacterial infections:

It hijacks a bacteria’s machinery to make millions of copies of itself, eventually bursting the cell apart and killing it.

Alejandro Ramirez Of course!

I was curious to see if a nonsense LinkedIn account would also receive job offers. It does! :D

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Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same I love driving through the US and watching the different architectural styles, sometimes distinct to a single county or city. So that's going away. OTOH we get more housing, and more livable urban centers.

Beluga whale returns iPhone to thankful owner in wild video Just a few weeks ago, this helpful whale was a suspected Russian spy.