2871
tptacek and patio11 on marketing and CMS
<< * I am, for the fleeting time being, sold on the idea that everyone should just write their own CMS (just start with Rails or Django hello-world with a static site and go from there). There are a bunch of things that we were/are able to execute quickly on our custom CMS that we'd have a much harder time doing in a pre-built CMS:
--* Editorial workflow on parameterized user-generated content
--* Fire-and-forget captioned screencast pages
--* Screenshots! I mean, W-T-F: our static site has product screenshots with captions done in Photoshop, meaning we had to actually fire up Photoshop to make new screenshots. The current site we just upload a PNG and click spots on the image and type in a caption, and a tiny amount of JS and CSS makes it look identical. >>

More in the thread.

Really? They really are advising people to hand-roll a CMS? I don't necessarily disagree but I am curious: at what level of resourcing does this become rational?
marketing  content-management-systems  engineering 
7 days ago
Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse Book 1), by James S. A. Corey (@Kindle)
Finished 2017-08-06. Diverting from a plot point of view but something about this reminds me of something a turn-of-the-millennium writer (David Foster Wallace?) once said about how a lot of contemporary fiction feels like a transcript of a movie or a television show. Corey's fiction seems written for the screen, not the page. Maybe this is a completely unfair assessment, biased by my knowledge that this has in fact been adapted into a television series, but Corey's influences seem much more deeply rooted in the tradition of television shows like Firefly and Battlestar Galactica than in literary SF. The characterization, the pacing, the prose style, the dialogue beats, everything just seems sanded down to appeal to a TV SF fan.

Which is not to say that this approach is entirely cynical --- the authors (Corey is a pseudonym for a 2-person writing team; note that team writing is an arrangement that is also more common in television!) are likely sincere in their admiration of this style of story.

Nevertheless this is primarily very much an adventure story with space dressing, not a science fiction of ideas, and not just because the physics and biology are occasionally improbable (actually, the extrapolation on display is relatively reasonable). The core characters are dispatched from set piece to set piece wearing bulletproof plot armor, and ideas are thin on the ground. (There are a couple of stabs at big ideas: the cultural differences between planet-raised people and station-raised "Belters"; the question of whether society benefits from the free flow of information; neither are explored very thoroughly.)

Anyway, this is the first of an interminably long series --- one of the authors is an assistant to George R. R. Martin, and may have picked up his habit for prolixity over tautness --- and I am not really sure that I'm going to bother with the rest.

p.s. Miller's relationship to Mao is pretty problematic from a sexual politics POV.
booklog  fiction  science-fiction  finished:2017 
11 days ago
Jonathan Blow on unit testing and TDD - YouTube
there is one situation he is leaving out, which is the use of unit tests to defend a module of code against regressions in a codebase that may be touched in the future by large numbers of people. still, this lines up pretty reasonably with my own experience.
testing  software-development  videos 
11 days ago
Tackling Age Discrimination in Silicon Valley | WIRED
The rare article that is mostly about useful measures that one can take, rather than just thinly sourced muckraking. (To be clear, age discrimination is a real issue in the Valley, and as someone who's now over 40 I have a pressing personal stake in its pernicious effects, but I still find most of the journalism on the subject rather mediocre.)
ageism  silicon-valley  culture  google  hiring 
14 days ago
Why Men Pretend to Be Women to Sell Crime Fiction - The Atlantic
<< contemporary female crime writers—particularly Karin Slaughter, best-known for her Will Trent series—don’t necessarily stint on the physical violence either. And paradoxically, that may be another thing that makes them so compelling. Women readers, Weinman notes, have always been drawn to darker stories. “There’s a running trope,” she says, “that the gorier the serial-killer narrative, the more likely that little old ladies are reading it.” One of the biggest surprises for Waites when he adopted the persona of Tania Carver was learning how much women readers enjoyed, even craved, brutality in stories. At one event, a woman asked him if his books were particularly violent, adding, before he could respond, “Because I’ll read them if they are.” Slaughter, who’s sold more than 35 million copies of her crime novels, is so regularly asked why her books include such graphic depictions of violence that there’s a section about it on her website. >>
fiction  publishing  business  sexual-politics 
14 days ago
Træfik
<< Træfik (pronounced like traffic) is a modern HTTP reverse proxy and load balancer made to deploy microservices with ease. It supports several backends (Docker, Swarm, Kubernetes, Marathon, Mesos, Consul, Etcd, Zookeeper, BoltDB, Eureka, Amazon DynamoDB, Rest API, file…) to manage its configuration automatically and dynamically. >>
docker  kubernetes  web-servers 
16 days ago
The 30 Highest Velocity Open Source Projects - Cloud Native Computing Foundation
a few of these surprised me (cloud foundry? the odin project? home assistant?)
open-source-software 
17 days ago
Dinosaur Comics - July 12th, 2017 - awesome fun times!
t. rex learns of the ontological argument

I have long had a similar refutation in which the role of "batman" is replaced by "the most purple invisible dragon on the far side of the moon" --- surely a purple invisible dragon on the far side of the moon (PIDOTFSOTM) that exists is more purple than a PIDOTFSOTM that does not exist, therefore this dragon must exist.
philosophy 
17 days ago
Middlemarch - George Eliot - Google Books
Finished 2017-07-28.

I won't lie, there are stretches of this book that were a slog to get through --- your tolerance for finely filigreed detail on the social prejudices of 19th-century English gentry will modulate this --- but it is definitely an achievement, basically Jane Austen with more psychological realism, to sum it up in a rather glib and inadequate way.

This has been called the greatest English novel ever and I'm mildly embarrassed that it's taken me this long to read it. I have to admit though that, among the Brits, I think both Woolf and Hardy and even Rushdie are more congenial to my personal tastes than Eliot; as for books in the English language, I can think of several American novels that I like better.

Still, worth reading, obviously. Be aware that it is a long book though.

(It is rather irritating that it is hard to find a well-formatted version of this novel on Kindle, mostly a bunch of quick and dirty cash-grab minimally massaged rips of Project Gutenberg. A strong candidate for standardebooks.org.)
booklog  fiction  finished:2017 
20 days ago
Homesick for Another World: Stories, by Ottessa Moshfegh (@Kindle)
Finished 2017-07-21. Something like a more mannerist, subtler George Saunders? The voice will stay with you for a while after you finish reading, but this is very much early-21st-century American literary fiction, for better or worse. Tentatively recommended.
booklog  fiction  finished:2017 
26 days ago
Mitch O'Connell: Only Mexico City Has the Balls for the Trump/They Live Billboard!
<< Yes, I don’t think much of Donald Trump, but I soft-selled this as much as humanly possible when making the pitch to anyone I could find, but it was a no-go TO EVERY SINGLE BILLBOARD COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES! I thought that was the end of it. But then, cue music, the brave folks across the border, the upstanding heroic citizens of Mexico that Trump based his campaign on objectifying as rapists and criminals, had the cojones to give Trump the FU.
God Bless Mexico, the only country left that has the freedom to display the The Trump/They Live Billboard! >>
culture-jamming  trump  censorship  united-states  mexico 
28 days ago
ChemmeFromTheBlock on Twitter: "Rebecca Solnit's dad wrote a master plan for Marin in the 70s. Shrug. https://t.co/yd0gjMQAMi"
sins of the father and so forth, but I fucking hate that smug shithead Solnit so let's save this one for future reference
bay-area  housing  hypocrisy  land-use 
29 days ago
Digitopoly | The young entrepreneur myth?
<< In Silicon Valley, the ones with a successful exit have an average founding age of 47! >>
silicon-valley  startups  ageism 
4 weeks ago
Sandstorm is returning to its community roots - Sandstorm Blog
a frank post mortem. one wishes more dead startups were this transparent about their missteps.
redecentralize  hosting  platforms  business  internet  startups 
4 weeks ago
What is YunoHost? • YunoHost
<< YunoHost is a server operating system aiming to make self-hosting accessible to everyone. It is based on Debian GNU/Linux and is fully compatible with it. >>
redecentralize  hosting  platforms 
4 weeks ago
The Hard Thing About Software Development | Jesse Watson | Pulse | LinkedIn
despite the clickbaity title (and the fact that it's published on linkedin, ugh) this actually does contain a decent amount of wisdom that is confirmed by my own experience
software-development  business  career-advice 
4 weeks ago
Conflict-free replicated data type - Wikipedia
<< In distributed computing, a conflict-free replicated data type (CRDT) is a data structure which can be replicated across multiple computers in a network, where the replicas can be updated independently and concurrently without coordination between the replicas, and where it is always mathematically possible to resolve inconsistencies which might result. >>
data-structures  distributed-systems  collaboration-software  to-study 
5 weeks ago
Introductory bullshit detection for non-technical managers
decent, I suppose. this is a genre that could use a lot more entries.
management  software 
5 weeks ago
In cryptography, we have a concept of "misuse resistance". Misuse-resistant cryp... | Hacker News
tptacek's rant against JWT, bookmarking for future reference. Bottom line:

<< For almost every use I've seen in the real world, JWT is drastic overkill; often it's just an gussied-up means of expressing a trivial bearer token, the kind that could be expressed securely with virtually no risk of implementation flaws simply by hexifying 20 bytes of urandom. For the rare instances that actually benefit from public key cryptography, JWT makes a hard task even harder. I don't believe anyone is ever better off using JWT. Avoid it. >>
security  cryptography  web-development 
5 weeks ago
i am become tef on Twitter: "“why do you hate brokers tef” queues either run full or run empty, for the former you want a load balancer, the latter a database"
It is sad that you so rarely see concise distributed systems wisdom like this, and sad that this is just a twitter thread rather than a chapter in a book.

(Update: he wrote a blog post: https://pinboard.in/u:absfac/b:110a1ee2631f )
twitter  software-architecture  databases  distributed-systems  devops 
6 weeks ago
Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, by Studs Terkel (@Kindle)
Been reading this on and off for years; finally finished it a few weeks ago.

To be honest, after a while it gets to be a bit of slog. It's long, frequently repetitive book. But overall I am glad that I read it.
booklog  finished:2017  labor  nonfiction  history 
6 weeks ago
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