Labnotes

Weekend Reading — What's the delta here?

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How to Use Math Words to Sound Smart


Design Objective

Bots won't replace apps. Better apps will replace apps. Remember when on-demand/sharing economy was the Next Big Thing, and everyone went there, and then it turned out that it only works well in a few specific markets? Well …

Not only is “conversational UI” a red herring, but as we look more closely, we’ll can even see places where conversational UI has breached its limits and broken down.

The Future of Technology Is In Your Ear When you are away from keyboard — even if it’s just a few feet, or a pocket away — that opens the door for new interactions: conversation UI but with sound instead of text.

Designing complex products The two-fold challenge with complex products:

Complexity in product design tends to rear its head in two ways 1) the complexity of managing people and opinions. And 2) the complexity of designing the product itself.

How designers can use unit testing to build resilient and happy design systems

Because one of the most challenging parts of creating a sustainable design system across a large organization is getting other teammates to use it, establishing a collaborative process up to the moment of integration can make it easier. When people collaborate on something, their buy-in is increased.

Design for Humanity

The first time you meet someone, your first thought isn’t “How do they function?” it’s “How do they make me feel?” And when you’re asked about that person later, you describe their personality: “She’s relaxed, smart, witty. She makes me laugh.”

Designing with Science A small team is given a big problem to solve: presenting a trove of analytics data in easily digestible form.


Tools of the Trade

GitHub - dustinspecker/awesome-eslint A list of awesome ESLint plugins, configs, etc.

We don’t know how to build conversational software yet

For now, at least, startups can build a defensible business by getting their hands dirty and building better conversational software the inelegant way. In a few years, that could become a lot easier, and that will change the landscape all over again.

LazyDOM — an experiment to bring virtual DOM to the browser natively TL;DR React-style virtual elements are fast but cannot be consumed like real Elements, LazyDOM elements are fast like React elements, but can be consumed like real DOM Elements because they lazily proxy to one.

How to implement SRI in your build process Subresource Integrity is a very simple way to secure static assets hosted on servers you have no control over. Here are some tips for adding SRI to your build process.

Alephbet/gimel Run your own A/B testing backend using AWS Lambda and Redis HyperLogLog.

The Annotated Programmer Off-beat code annotations that need to exist:

@Undocumented
This annotation is an expression of the API developer’s frustration that they inherited this code without having any idea of what it is for, what is is doing, and how it is (or is not) doing its job.


Lines of Code

Studying the Language and Structure in Non-Programmers’ Solutions to Programming Problems Fascinating study about the way in which non-programmers describe solutions to common programming problems (PDF):

The majority of the statements written by the participants were in a production-rule or event-based style, beginning with words like if or when.

Most popular languages require iterative operation on the objects, one at a time, while the participants strongly preferred to use set and subset expressions, or plurals, to specify the operations in aggregate.

Cheng Lou

Lisp: everything’s data

Smalltalk: everything’s an object

Haskell: everything’s computation

JavaScript: everything’s a library


Architectural

Hacker News Onion

How LinkedIn Scaled To Billions Of Unread Messages


Peopleware

Born for it On the lack of diversity in tech, and how we fooled ourselves into this situation:

It’s startling to realise that the pressure of the software crisis, the resulting hiring practices and these two psychologists from the 60s might have shaped this whole image, while so many people are still assuming that it’s ‘just natural’.

The Novelty Effect Hack yourself with this one neat trick:

Once you know about the novelty effect, you can use it as as form of existential judo. When I start a new writing project I’ll download a new word processor specifically to trigger the effect, knowing in advance that it’ll only last a few weeks or months, but what the heck—it’ll be fun while it lasts. The novelty effect is a blast for tool users!

Mistakes at Work Are Not Sins 100%

Software development is a difficult activity and software developers will make mistakes. They shouldn’t be crucified for making honest mistakes. It’s part of the learning. Great managers don’t cheat their employees of personal growth and development opportunities.

Avoiding the Trap Learning to recognize burnout before it hits you.

Unintuitive Things I’ve Learned about Management (Part 2)

Ultimately, you need to have faith in yourself and do what resonates with you. And when you reflect back on those outcomes, you need to recognize and learn from your mistakes.


Startup Life

My startup failed, and this is what it feels like… Although a rollercoaster that ended with the company shutting down, this is a story of true grit, a founder that won’t give up, and found a way to route around one obstacle after the other. This is what it takes to be successful.

What US Software Companies Should Understand About The Rest Of The World A rant from outside the Silicon Valley echo chamber:

Rather than dealing with really difficult issues (getting product on time, fixing bugs, etc), you’d rather fantasize about viral ad campaign that will triple your business, so that you don’t have to deal with problems that you weren’t able to fix so far.


Locked Doors

#126109 CSV Injection in business.uber.com CSV injection?

Reversing the petya ransomware with constraint solvers

The malware is different & unique from typical ransomware as it does not encrypts file. Instead it encrypts the MFT (Master File Table) on NTFS volumes.


None of the Above

Yes, the jet-powered hoverboard is real, and yes, the creator has crashed it

The Victorians who flew as high as jumbo jets

It was one of the most foolhardy flights in history, and only a stroke of luck at 37,000ft prevented them drifting up to their deaths at the edge of the atmosphere.

The Twitter That I Used to Know Tara Hunt on where Twitter lost its way, how it turned from the world’s largest water-cooler into yet another popularity contest, and what we can do to reclaim the old Twitter.

Emotional Responses to Corporate Text Messages, Vol. 3 Conversing with bots.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?