Labnotes

Weekend Reading — The Britney Spears effect

Published on

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Artëm Chistyakov "Rembrandt, “A New Message in Slack”, 1633 #devart"


Design Objective

The Graphic Art of Incredibles 2 Behind the scenes look at the architecture, graphic design, and the two world fairs that inspired the Incredibles 2. The amazing attention to detail make it such a fun movie to watch. Take for example:

One of the hardest things to do was this cereal box where a character illustration appears next to one of our real characters. I turned to Teddy Newton for help on this illustration, and the stylization feels perfect next to Dash. We also play up the humor of it being an over the top sugary cereal so that when it gets swapped out for Fiber O’s, we understand where Dash is coming from.

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Learn about Dyslexia for the Web with me! Simple steps to design content that is more accessible to those who have dyslexia:

  • Left alignment
  • Avoid justified text
  • Write in sans serif
  • Use headings and images to break up large blocks of text
  • Avoid passive voice and double negatives

Tools of the Trade

Cloud Computing without Containers This is really interesting. CloudFlare is building the fastest and cheapest serverless. They decided to bypass containers (Docker, K8, all that), and instead use V8 Isolates. Tested in the harsh environment that is the Web, V8 Isolates provide strong multi-tenant isolation, probably better than any container architecture. And minimum overhead:

Because Workers don’t have to start a process, Isolates start in 5 milliseconds, a duration which is imperceptible. Isolates similarly scale and deploy just as quickly, entirely eliminating this issue with existing Serverless technologies.

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Simon Hearne 😳

Five years using a mac and I've just noticed this little dot in the close button, indicating unsaved changes

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Marques Brownlee The new iPad Pro can double as a $800 fridge magnet(*):

(*) I only had mine for two days, so all I have is a first impression. It's expensive but noticable upgrade over last year's model. The new form factor feels like a true tablet, if that makes sense. You get more screen space, noticable speed up, a better keyboard, Face ID that just works, etc.

Steve Troughton-Smith If you're using the physical keyboard, you can also select using the Shift and cursor keys:

I can tell from a bunch of iPad reviews that a lot of people don’t know this, so here’s a pro tip: use two fingers to select text and move the insertion cursor around when editing text. It’s almost as good as a physical trackpad

I Am Devloper $ whois new-year.resolution.gym:

Buying a domain name is buying the wonderful feeling that you’ll actually finish the side project you have planned for it.

How Things Work "This is how Charlie Chaplin did things before CGI"


Lingua Scripta

Faster async functions and promises The short version is: trust the language implementation to get better with time, and use idiomatic async/await instead of hand-written promises. The long version is a peek into the internals of V8, ECMAScript, promises, and transpiling.


Lines of Code

The Developer Coefficient TL;DR "‘Bad code’ costs companies $85 billion annually"

While it’s a priority for senior executives to increase the productivity of their developers, the average developer spends more than 17 hours a week dealing with maintenance issues, such as debugging and refactoring. In addition, they spend approximately four hours a week on “bad code,” which equates to nearly $85 billion worldwide in opportunity cost lost annually, according to Stripe’s calculations on average developer salary by country. Nearly two-thirds of developers agree that this is “excessive” and believe that clear prioritization, responsibilities, and long-term product goals would improve their own productivity.

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André Staltz 🤔

In programming, natural selection is "survival of the ugliest". Small and simple code gets extended and repurposed. Ugly and complex code stays untouched and becomes legacy.

It's very interesting that efforts to write good code are in direct opposition to the nature of code.

Ask HN: What's the largest amount of bad code you have ever seen work? Behind every piece of software that sells for billions of dollars, there's a mountain of technical debt. Such as (guess the vendor):

Very complex pieces of logic, memory management, context switching, etc. are all held together with thousands of flags. The whole code is ridden with mysterious macros that one cannot decipher without picking a notebook and expanding relevant pats of the macros by hand. It can take a day to two days to really understand what a macro does.

Sometimes one needs to understand the values and the effects of 20 different flag to predict how the code would behave in different situations. Sometimes 100s too! I am not exaggerating.

The only reason why this product is still surviving and still works is due to literally millions of tests!


Architectural

Let’s take a crack at understanding distributed “consensus” This article takes a look at the various distributed system consensus protocols, to explain the why and how of the Nakamoto consensus protocol — the core protocol behind Bitcoin.

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Moritz Heiber "Microservices™️"

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Peopleware

Nathan Allen Pirtle 💯

To protect your energy ...

It’s okay to cancel a commitment.
It’s okay to not answer that call.
It’s okay to change your mind.
It’s okay to want to be alone.
It’s okay to take a day off.
It’s okay to do nothing.
It’s okay to speak up.
It’s okay to let go.


Team Work

Alan Cooper Litmus test:

To me, a “Product Owner” is someone who not only has the power to modify its features, but they have sufficient power to kill the product they own. If they don’t have that level of power, then they are not really the product owner, and someone else really owns it.

Ryan Singer To be a successful product manager, you do need all four:

Four literacies for product managers:

  1. Design. Will this work for customers?
  2. Tech. What’s possible, what’s easy and hard?
  3. Demand-side value. What matters to customers?
  4. Supply-side value. What matters to my bosses?

laney "When you work alone a lot."


Locked Doors

Japan's cyber security minister admits never having used computer Here's one security person who's never getting hacked:

"Since the age of 25, I have instructed my employees and secretaries, so I don't use computers myself," he said in a response to an opposition question in a lower house session, local media reported. He also appeared confused by the question when asked about whether USB drives were in use at Japanese nuclear facilities.


None of the Above

Fluff Society "Making its breed world debut in New Zealand, dubbed 'The Worlds Cutest Sheep' <- these are blacknose sheep"

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Alexandra Petri That's me:

ten writing rules

  1. find exactly the right place to sit
  2. better get coffee also
  3. turn off the internet we're WRITING
  4. but i have a question only the internet can answer
  5. more coffee!
  6. maybe i got an important email
  7. how is the coffee shop closing
  8. oh no

Max "Sweaty Eddy" Eddy "This is the single greatest triumph of technology over itself, boost if you agree."

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Writer in Pyjamas 😭

My Mum lost her password for 23andme. Instead of getting a new one, she ordered another spit kit, gave another sample, and had another DNA test!

Today, she rings me: baffled, but excited and happy, that they’ve found a twin she didn’t know about!

Steve Trendall This is next-level pranking:

VM (Vicky) Brasseur Thank you:

English is hard, so here's today's technical grammar reminder…

The noun form is one word. Examples:

  • login [page, form, credentials, etc]
  • logout
  • setup

The verb form is two words. Examples:

  • log in(to) [a site, an app, a server, etc]
  • log out (of)
  • set up

Nick Kapur "Mercator projection vs. the true size of countries"

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Igor Schatz "The Britney Spears effect on the labor market"

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@1961___ "هذا لا قلنا ابداع 😻"

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis Oh wow:

While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation. Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tapped its business relationships, lobbying a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.

You Had One Job "Gate with WiFi."

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James Corden "Holy shit. This commercial." You want to play this video with the sound on: