Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Ye Olde Web

Published on

oldweb.today Surf the old web in a vintage Netscape Navigator or IE 4 browser.

This week we learn to Lerp; so, people still use SourceForge? the Simplified JavaScript Jargon file; human error is a thing we need to design for; are you receptive to pseudo-profound bullshit? there is no divorcing technology from politics; what to do when Barbie is spying on your kids? the Space Shuttle patent expired, let's go build one, royalty free!


Design Objective

User experience is not a department

Please, make your culture user-centered and don’t separate User Experience into another isolated department. Bake the importance of creating stellar experiences into everything your company does. The results will be deliciously rewarding.

Animation tip: Lerp Linear Interpolation between two points explained.


Tools of the Trade

documentation.js A modernized JSDoc with support for ES6, Flow type annotations, type inference, Markdown, and more.

Let’s Encrypt Let’s Encrypt is a new Certificate Authority with the goal of helping everyone encrypt. In addition to free certificates, they provide tools that will automatically setup and update your server certificates. Right now for Apache/Debian, Nginx coming soon.

@sgalineau

The web platform has always had two solutions to every problem: the deprecated one you shouldn't use and the one that's not yet ready.

Introducing d3-shape A small (28KB) JavaScript library for drawing the geometric shapes commonly used for data visualizations: lines, areas, splines, pies, etc. Works with SVG and Canvas.

@sebmarkbage

The way React does componentization is the successful invention. Not the virtual-dom. The virtual-dom is just hacky immediate mode graphics.

@sstephenson

Sometimes a piece of open-source software is finished, and that’s OK. Not everything needs to grow in perpetuity.

@kellabyte

I find it hilarious when a debate on IRC about how partitions in distributed systems are rare gets interrupted by a netsplit.

Re: virus found in filezilla download Two problems with SourceForge: 1) they're evil, 2) the developers who still use SourceForge.

There's nothing compiled into the executables. SourceForge just hijacks the Installer download if one uses the default download link.

As far as the password storage goes, you are not up-to-date. They are stored base64-encoded now.


Lingua Scripta

Simplified JavaScript Jargon "Simplified JavaScript Jargon (short SJSJ) is a community-driven attempt at explaining the loads of buzzwords making the current JavaScript ecosystem in a few simple words."

rauschma/babel-packages.md From which I finally learned what the various Babel.js packages do. Also, Configuring Babel 6.


Architectural

Human Error This. So much this:

We are good at making mistakes, and extremely bad at being precise. If we give up trying to understand, we are setting up the perfect trap for ourselves.

@bitfield

For every part of your infrastructure, ask:

  1. What could go wrong?
  2. What happens if it does?
  3. What can we do about it?

Lines of Code

1.0 The SQLite Amalgamation Selective reading quote of the day:

Developers sometimes experience trouble debugging the 185,000-line-long amalgamation source file … The amalgamation source code runs fine …

@c089

well-crafted code is expensive.

good developers spending hours on fixing bad code is very, very, very, very expensive.

@fioroco "5-line code review vs 5000-line code review "


Peopleware

Student Has Amazing Breakthrough By Doing What Teacher Says Haha:

Finally, out of sheer desperation, Man started doing what his teacher had been telling him to do in every lesson for the past five years. “The results have been incredible!” said Man. “It’s as if following the advice of an older, more experienced musician allows me to somehow cultivate effective working habits better than my own.”

On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit (PDF) This research may not be very profound, but it is meaningful:

These results support the idea that some people are more receptive to this type of bullshit and that detecting it is not merely a matter of indiscriminate skepticism but rather a discernment of deceptive vagueness in otherwise impressive sounding claims. Our re- sults also suggest that a bias toward accepting statements as true may be an important component of pseudo-profound bullshit receptivity.

@jbushnell

TFW you think the experiment might already have begun


Techtopia

The Politics of Empathy and the Politics of Technology We're deluding ourselves if we think technology can be divorced from politics:

The people who run the Internet platforms are making calls about who they think is deserving of empathy. That makes their decisions thoroughly political. … none of these are decisions are automatic outputs emanating from the technology itself, nor are they independent of technology and its characteristics. … Encryption cannot be deactivated for some people (the bad guys) without making all of internet insecure, for example. The politics of technology is politics, but it’s never just politics.

Can the MacBook Pro Replace Your iPad? What if journalists reviewed Macs like they review iPads:

If you have certain very specifically-defined workflows, and a work environment where you can guarantee yourself a chair and desk, you can probably get your work done on a MacBook Pro. For the rest of the world, there's iPad.


Locked Doors

Internet-connected Hello Barbie doll gets bitten by nasty POODLE crypto bug

The Bluebox report comes on the heels of the server breach of VTech, the toy manufacturer whose weak server security and lax privacy practices leaked personal information for tens of millions of parents and children, including gigabytes worth of kids' headshots.

@old_sound

I’ve built my own crypto, Take 2


None of the Above

@Grathio

Good news! the patent on the Space Shuttle has expired. Go and build, royalty free!
https://patents.google.com/patent/US3866863A/en

Jury Duty So this is how the sausage is made …

Leaked Documents Reveal Dothan Police Department Planted Drugs on Young Black Men For Years, District Attorney Doug Valeska Complicit 'Murica.

ShiftWear: Customize your kicks I want this to be real.

@JohnCleese

Why do people say "I'll just double-check that" when they really mean "I've never single-checked that,but I'm embarrassed that I forgot to"

How Humans Ended Up With Freakishly Huge Brains

No matter how large the human brain grew, or how much energy we lavished upon it, it would have been useless without the right body.

BrikBook MacBook case you can decorate with Lego bricks.