Labnotes

Weekend Reading — The smaller your ruler …

Published on

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Ash Crossan "Me not being dramatic"


Design Objective

Austin "If you want to be noticed during a portfolio presentation, tell a good story."

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Norgard 👍

A useful tool is to end every product meeting with the following question, "Is this the simplest solution we can come up with."

Marc Hemeon When there's a will, there's a workaround:

I just spent .99 to get a 10 minute silent song because autoplaying music in cars is still a thing we can’t turn off in iOS...

Title of song is sonit always plays first...

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Dare Obasanjo "No intuitive UI survives its first encounter with an end user"


Tools of the Trade

75 years since Colossus arrived at Bletchley The world's first programmable, electronic, digital computer, celebrates its 75th birthday.

Colossus

vim.dev is not what you think it is …

Introducing Package Diff See the difference between two published releases of an npm package.

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AWS API Performance Comparison: Serverless vs. Containers vs. API Gateway integration TL;DR AWS Lambda is fast enough for most use cases.

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emacs.dev is probably what you think it is …

Jake Williams "Does Python scale? You bet it does..."


Web-end

Cleave.js Format your <input/> content when you are typing.

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Animation in React @nearform/react-animation for all your component transition animation needs.

ezgif.com-video-to-gif

Epilepsy Blocker A chrome extension that blocks dangerous, flashing GIFs. For people with photosensitive epilepsy that triggers from exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities or from certain visual patterns.


Lingua Scripta

Johannes Ewald "TIL exporting a function named then can be problematic 😱"

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every_jorendorff Easy to fix, just add setTimeout, a thread 👇:

ECMA has changed the behavior of await p; to NOT create an extra promise (and enqueue an extra job) if p is already a promise. This makes await faster. No downside. Good idea!

So, I've got a patch for this. Guess what happens when I run all our browser regression tests.

Jane Manchun Wong 230K+ lines of code!

Google Domains, despite its recent redesign, is actually built with Google Web Toolkit

It loads megabytes of JS bundle, which is loaded by eval, which is compiled from Java!! Omg my eyes

If you wondered why the first page load of Google Domains is so sluggish, this is why

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Lines of Code

Avdi Grimm In response to this monstrosity of a configuration file:

It is generally true that if you can fool developers into thinking they are "mastering" something hard (as opposed to learning tolerance for something badly designed), you can build a fiercely loyal priesthood.

Enrique "It's always a timezone-related issue"

More than once I've run into tests that start failing at 6pm. I live in Mexico City (GMT-6). By now, whenever that happens I immediately suspect a timezone-related issue.

It's always a timezone-related issue.


Architectural

The coastline paradox This basicly explains why software project estimations are always wrong:

The closer you look, the more wiggles and squiggliness you come across and instead of converging on a more accurate length, the coastline just keeps getting longer. The smaller your ruler, the longer it gets.

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your friend myk "lol what a great definition of 'eventual consistency'" (original comic)

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Peopleware

Daniel Gross True, but easier said than done:

Hardest part about hiring as a founder isn’t finding people. It’s orienting your schedule to spend enough time on recruiting.

You’re likely under-investing in it. Inertial draw is always towards the urgent, not the important. Audit your time. Eyes on the prize!

Sophie Alpert 🤔

if A players hire A players but B players hire C players… who hires B players?

Kathryn Brightbill This thread has some great stories: "What is your most on brand story from your childhood?" 👇


Locked Doors

David Byttow Shares his on brand story from his childhood:

My mom controlled our AOL account when I was about 13 and would come into my room to sign me in. So, I created an entirely fake AOL login flow in Visual Basic and had her sign me in once to capture the password. Old school phishing.

Top ten most popular docker images each contain at least 30 vulnerabilities Good to know:

The official Node.js image ships 580 vulnerable system libraries, followed by the others each of which ship at least 30 publicly known vulnerabilities.
...
The current Long Term Support (LTS) version of the Node.js runtime is version 10. The image tagged with 10 (i.e: node:10) is essentially an alias to node:10.14.2- jessie (at the time that we tested it) where jessie specifies an obsolete version of Debian that is no longer actively maintained.

If you had chosen that image as a base image in your Dockerfile, you’d be exposing yourself to 582 vulnerable system libraries bundled with the image

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Electric Dreams

Microsoft Excel will now let you snap a picture of a spreadsheet and import it Finally, a use for AI.

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Saleem Rashid 🤖

asimov's fourth law: a robot must not click the "i am not a robot" checkbox

hardmaru 🏎

A fun way to learn about neural networks and AI is to implement a simulation game giving your agents little neural net brains, and training them using a simple method like evolution.

This demo trains a small neural network to drive around the track after only a few generations:

Graham Cluley "Turing test."

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None of the Above

Story Of My Fucking Life New favorite Instagram account, these fake real life book covers are everything!

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AlwaysAshley Every printer owner can relate:

Me: And print.
Printer: No
Me: But why?
Printer: No yellow ink
Me: It’s a black and white document.
Printer: I NEED yellow
Me: You don’t.
Printer:
Me: But —
Printer: I’m not running a fucking charity, get me yellow
Me: Ok but this is the last time.
Printer: lol no

hoskas This also happens to me every time I open Instagram:

I bet there's a word in German for when you get a very brief glimpse of a fascinating tweet just as the page reloads and no matter how far you scroll, you never ever see that tweet again.

Tim Dunn "The world record for pulling a train... with model trains."

Manisha Agarwal 😭 I go to physical therapy twice a week, so I can relate:

My friend who's a physiotherapist thinks that half the guys on Tinder are using ten-year-old photos, the other half are married, and the other half are single for a reason.
I'd like to tell her that's three halves, but you don't debate math with someone who's rotating your spine

The Hoarse Whisperer I'd join:

Okay, hear me out.
New business idea: a sleep gym.
No athletic equipment. Only private nap cubbies.
Your friends when they see you hustling off in sweats: “Where ya going?”
You: “The gym. Back in an hour.”
I would seriously join a sleep gym.

RNIB 🐫 CamelCase FTW:

Make sure you capitalize the first letter of each word in hashtags so that screen reader software reads out each word separately. It also makes them #EasierToRead!

Jedi Cinememer "Danny Ocean describes Facebook's ambitious new messaging strategy. See Facebook plans to let Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp users message each other."

Quantitative easing was the father of millennial socialism Actions have consequences, part I:

Mr Bernanke’s unorthodox “cash for trash” scheme, otherwise known as quantitative easing, drove up asset prices and bailed out baby boomers at the profound political cost of pricing out millennials from that most divisive of asset markets, property. This has left the former comfortable, but the latter with a fragile stake in the society they are supposed to build.

Lyft's financials show a $911 million loss ahead of its IPO Actions have consequences, part II:

The company has been clawing market share from industry leader Uber, according to the filing. Lyft claimed 39 percent of the U.S. market at the end 2018, up 17 percentage points over two years.

Two years ago: With just her words, Susan Fowler brought Uber to its knees.

Axel Rauschmayer Actions have consequences, part III:

If we see this popup on a Medium post, we can’t use it for @ESnextNews. 😢

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Matt Jameson "Democracy Dies Behind Paywalls."

It's infuriating how often I google a story to verify it, and the results are:

  1. NYT (no free articles left)
  2. Fox News (always free)
  3. WaPo (no free articles left)
  4. Breitbart (always free)
  5. Daily Caller (always free)

Guess what people end up reading when this happens?

In Mod We Trust There's no escaping the click-bait industrial complex:

The Verge brings this up as an example of the totalitarian and dehumanizing environment that Facebook moderators experience. But I imagine that if an employee had written down (or used their phone to take a picture of) some personal details of a Facebook user, The Verge (or some identical publication) would have run a report on how Facebook hired contractors who didn’t even take basic precautions to protect user privacy.

I’m not saying nobody should ever be allowed to do investigative reporting or complain about problems. But I would support some kind of anti-irony rule, where you’re not allowed to make extra money writing another outrage-bait article about the outrages your first outrage-bait article caused.

De novo origins of multicellularity in response to predation TL;DR Scientists picked a single-cell alga, introduced selective pressure in the form of a predator, and watched as it evolved into a multicellular organism over ~750 generations.

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Andrew Cunningham 🤦‍♂️

The people who make USB are at it again!!

  • USB 3.1 gen 1, which used to be USB 3.0, is now USB 3.2 gen 1
  • USB 3.1 gen 2 is now USB 3.2 gen 2
  • USB 3.2 is now USB 3.2 gen 2 2x2 because it’s twice as fast as USB 3.2 gen 2 (aka USB 3.1 gen 2)

'Moment of reckoning': US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports In many places in the US, recycling is over, and instead we get incinerate pollution. But you can still reduce and reuse! ♻️

Jennifer Wright "This woman is both my hero and history's greatest villain."

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