9324
Diversity and inclusion update: The journey continues - The Official Microsoft Blog
This data highlights how much work there is yet to do in this area in tech, and it’s also humbling how slow the progress is even for a company with as many resources as Microsoft has to work on this.
2 hours ago
Steve Blank How to Keep Your Job As Your Company Grows
I think people have heard this advice before but it’s worth repeating, as it still catches everyone off guard.

> What I wish I knew was that if you’re an early company employee, it’s not likely that the skills you have on day one are the skills needed as the company scales to the next level. This sentence is worth reading multiple times as no one – not the person who hired you, the VC’s or your peers -is going to tell you when you’re hired that the company will likely outgrow you.

If you want to read a whole book on this topic pick up The Leadership Pipeline where it highlights that you need to be very thoughtful when you move into a new role, specifically on what you are going to **stop doing**, so you can be successful. By the way, sometimes the stuff you may need to stop doing is stuff you really like.

I’ve personally done an annual inventory every year for the last twenty years or so where I try to objectively ask myself what I need to start or do more of than I’m doing now, and what I need to do less of or completely stop doing. Companies, successful ones at least, grow much faster than the talent in them often can. By willfully giving up things and reassessing your own skills to the organizations needs, you stand a much better chance of continuing to stay relevant in the organization.
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12 hours ago
The Haunting of 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey
This headline got me. When I was a kid my family moved into an honest-to-goodness haunted house. That however is a story for another time. The headline is a bit of a tease here, there isn’t any direct evidence of the supernatural. But it’s a super creepy story.
12 hours ago
Reclaiming RSS – Aral Balkan
Another call-to-action to support some of the original plumbing of the web around syndication. I found the term **surveillance capitalism** novel here. I do think that using the term surveillance as opposed to privacy is a good idea. People seem to not value their privacy, but they don’t want to be surveilled. I’m a big fan of RSS and highly recommend Feedbin for anyone looking to get their content direct, with no algorithms and surveillance in the middle.
12 hours ago
Open-Sourcing Our Incident Response Training | PagerDuty
I like this continued trend of opening up incident management information from PagerDuty. It has obvious commercial benefit to them, but importantly will help a lot of team not have to learn from the same exact mistakes that others have already made.
12 hours ago
Fast Poll - Create instant, real-time polls for free!
This looks like a simple, fast, and easy solution for doing polls, so you can [ask people all sorts of questions](https://fast-poll.com/poll/94d6b1c0). The [privacy policy](https://fast-poll.com/privacy/) looks reasonably friendly.
12 hours ago
Puzzle Montage by Tim Klein - Puzzle Montage Art by Tim Klein
These images are really cool!

> Jigsaw puzzle companies tend to use the same cut patterns for multiple puzzles. This makes the pieces interchangeable, and I sometimes find that I can combine portions from two or more puzzles to make a surreal picture that the publisher never imagined.

Impressive!
12 hours ago
FE webdev on iPad Pro (2018) – Craig Morey – Medium
This is a robust breakdown of the limits of using iOS for development like work. Most things in here would apply to other intense workloads.
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12 hours ago
How I Use and Manage Apple Photos – The Sweet Setup
It’s surprising to me that we are still struggling with digital photos. Our solutions for managing and finding them have gotten so much better, but the ease by which we can capture photos has gotten easier as well. So, the solution is better than ever, but the problem is bigger than ever.

I’m also very close to going all in with Apple Photos. I still maintain a large library of images in Lightroom catalogs, but I’m frustrated with Lightroom. Unfortunately Apple Photos cannot load a raw DNG file, so I either have to change the file formats, or find a different solution. Ugh.
12 hours ago
Radio Garden
This is a cool mashup of map data and streaming radio. You could spend a lot of time listening to radio streamed around the world here. 🌎
12 hours ago
Skill Stacking: A Practical Strategy To Achieve Career Success - Darius Foroux
I regularly talk with people about developing their careers and this stacking concept is aligned with the direction I give. People mistakenly look at their careers as a single arrow going in one direction. That usually isn’t how things work out. Looking at your capabilities as a set of complementary skills is much more agile, and more effective in real application.
12 hours ago
The History of Unix, Rob Pike
Fabulous presentation from Rob Pike. Such a rich history here.
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12 hours ago
Building Your Color Palette
More realistic view on assembling a comprehensive color scheme.
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3 days ago
I asked an online tracking company for all of my data and here's what I found | Privacy International
There have been a number of articles where people have gotten their personal data from Facebook or Twitter and shown the shocking level of detail in the data. This article is even more interesting because it is looking at Quantcast and the data it collects.

> My Quantcast data, for instance, gives an eerily specific insight into my work life at Privacy International. From my browsing history alone, companies like Quantcast don’t just know that I work on technology, security, and privacy – my news interests reveal what exactly it is that I am working on at any point in time. My Quantcast data even reveals that I have a personal blog on Tumblr.

There are hundreds of firms like this that sit behind every website you visit and track incredible amounts of data on everything you do. I would highlight that every URL can then be mined to generate even more insight into you.

I block Quantcast and tens of thousands of other trackers on every browser I use with 1Blocker. I can’t recommend strongly enough that you should use a tool like 1Blocker. Surfing the web without privacy protection exposes you to incredible levels of surveillance.
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3 days ago
The Graphic Art of Incredibles 2 — Josh Holtsclaw
This is a fun behind-the-scenes look at the research that went into the graphics in Incredibles 2. I liked seeing the real places that served as the inspiration for the completely made up, animated world of The Incredibles.
3 days ago
Calendars of public holidays and bank holidays | Office Holidays
This looks like a solid reference for holidays around the world. Having team members in the United States, Ukraine, India, Canada and Australia this is a handy tool. It’s always embarrassing to not be aware of major holidays in other countries, and this service has a number of ways to keep you up-to-date.
6 days ago
Buttercup
Free, open source password manager. I’ll stick with 1Password for Families.
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7 days ago
The New iPad Pro for Photographers — Austin Mann
I love this real world experience with the new iPad Pro. It’s amazing that he’s editing 100 megapixel images on an iPad!
7 days ago
Apple walks Ars through the iPad Pro’s A12X system on a chip | Ars Technica
Some further details and specifications on the A12X chip in the new iPad Pro.

> The iPad Pro outperforms every MacBook Pro we tested except for the most recent, most powerful 15-inch MacBook Pro with an 8th generation Intel Core i9 CPU. Generally, these laptops cost three times as much as the iPad Pro.

Apple’s position with custom silicon is super interesting. There has been rumor of them ditching Intel at some point. I think that might actually happen.
7 days ago
Theresa Glomb
Dr. Theresa Gloms presented at our company Growth Summit this year and gave a great talk on improving work. She shared her [Let's Make Work Better](https://www.theresaglomb.com/slide-deck-lets-make-work-better) presentation. It was interesting to hear the research behind it, the overlap with many Getting Things Done concepts as well as Agile concepts.
7 days ago
Sharecuts
This site looks like it’s still in development but it promises to be a place to share iOS Shortcuts with other users.
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7 days ago
The red flags and magic numbers that investors look for in your startup's metrics - 80 slide deck included! at andrewchen
This is very long and detailed, but it’s very insightful for anyone building a new product or company — particularly B2C. You would do yourself a favor to print this out, get the entire background deck, and spend a day with it. Product Managers and Marketing teams would also benefit from digging in.
8 days ago
Developers On Call
This is a good assessment of many of the angles of an on-call rotation in a technology team. I agree with the conclusions, and also agree with the premise that all team members for a service or set of services should be in the on-call rotation.

> Teams where the people creating the software help support the software achieve better quality through aligned incentives and increased awareness.

I like that this article calls out the elephant in the room, that there is a general culture in many organizations that developers are "above" being on-call. That is crap and needs to be dispelled whenever it is brought up. If anything, I would highlight that there are a lot of developers are just aren't all that great at being on-call. The skill argument should go the other way. Great operations engineers know how their software behaves, and they know how to push it and make it do what they want. Often the developers that wrote it have no clue. Also, the general stress and pressure of incidents is something that you need to have the stomach for.
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8 days ago
Event Store
The open-source, functional database with Complex Event Processing in JavaScript.
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8 days ago
Google employees and contractors participate in “global walkout for real change”
it’s nice to see employees at one of the biggest technology companies in the world organizing and getting a voice on matters like this.

> More than 20,000 Google employees and contractors in Google offices located in 50 cities worldwide walked out for real change at 11:10am local time protesting sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that doesn’t work for everyone.

It’s a good trend.
9 days ago
OpenText to Acquire Liaison Technologies, Inc.
OpenText acquires another company in the communications space for EDI. Liaison was trying to become something different with their Alloy platform, but that was a reinvention that they didn’t have the fuel for it seems.
9 days ago
Daring Fireball: The 2018 iPad Pros
These 2018 iPad Pros look utterly amazing. I can’t wait to get mine.
9 days ago
A Look at the Design of Lua | November 2018 | Communications of the ACM
This is a good overview of the design goals of Lua and some insight into how Lua approaches a variety of programming concepts.

> Lua has a unique set of design goals that prioritize simplicity, portability, and embedding. The Lua core is based on three well-known, proven concepts—associative arrays, first-class functions, and coroutines—all implemented with no artificial restrictions. On top of these components, Lua follows the motto "mechanisms instead of policies," meaning Lua's design aims to offer basic mechanisms to allow programmers to implement more complex features.

I find Lua interesting. I wish there was a good iOS implementation to play with.
10 days ago
Frank Chimero · Everything Easy is Hard Again
Frank Chimero is typically an enjoyable read and this doesn't let you down.

> I wonder if I have twenty years of experience making websites, or if it is really five years of experience, repeated four times. If you’ve been working in the technology industry a while, please tell me this sounds familiar to you.

People will say that technology has a fashion thing. This is what they are referring to.

> It seems there are fewer and fewer notable websites built with this approach each year. So, I thought it would be useful remind everyone that the easiest and cheapest strategy for dealing with complexity is not to invent something to manage it, but to avoid the complexity altogether with a more clever plan.

This is what experience brings. Early in their career technologists pile on complexity to solve any problem. After years of supporting those Towers of Babel, simpler solutions tend to look more appealing.

> Last month, I had to install a package manager to install a package manager. That’s when I closed my laptop and slowly backed away from it.

🤦‍♂️
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10 days ago
Opinion | I Thought the Web Would Stop Hate, Not Spread It - The New York Times
This article merges the web with social media too much. I’d argue that Swisher’s letter writing example is similar to someone tapping away at a blog. The broad social platforms and their ethics-absent algorithms are the things that have given extreme positions so much visibility.

Swisher misses a key component. Most advertisers have no interest in being associated with such extreme speech. If the people that advertisers want leave these platforms, the dumpster fire that remains is not a business.
10 days ago
Google Chrome’s Users Take a Back Seat to Its Bottom Line | Electronic Frontier Foundation
This article is the biggest part of why I won’t use Chrome.

> Google is the biggest browser company in the world. It’s also the biggest search engine, mobile operating system, video host, and email service. But most importantly, it’s the biggest server of digital ads. Google controls 42% of the digital advertising market, significantly more than Facebook, its largest rival, and vastly more than anyone else. Its tracking codes appear on three quarters of the top million sites on the web. 86% of Alphabet’s revenue (Google’s parent company) comes from advertising. That means all of Alphabet has a vested interest in helping track people and serve them ads, even when that puts the company at odds with its users.

Remember, Google was the last browser to support Do Not Track years ago. Nothing has changed regarding Googles incentives. If you value privacy, I don’t see how you can use Chrome.

The article gives Chrome credit for pushing HTTPS adoption on the web. I’m skeptical of that as well. Let’s Encrypt is the service that enabled that, and Google got a huge benefit from HTTPS allowing there bots to get a very strong signal about content quality from the usage of HTTPS.
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10 days ago
Why we’re changing Flickr free accounts | Flickr Blog
The team leading Flickr has big challenges to restore what was the most vibrant community for photography on the web. I don’t have an issue with these changes. I might even try Flickr out again.
10 days ago
Statamic - Make better, easier to manage websites. Enjoy simplicity like the days of summer.
Interesting website CMS. Seems to be a good mix of easy-to-use and static.
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10 days ago
Elon Musk: The Recode interview - Recode
Kara Swisher sits down with Elon Musk. Very good interview.
12 days ago
Three Sales Mistakes Software Engineers Make
I would call these go-to-market mistakes more than sales mistakes, but it’s good advice to people building new products — not just software engineers.
12 days ago
A Few Thoughts on Apple Watch Series 4 – 500ish Words
I had the original Apple Watch and upgraded to the Series 3 with LTE a year ago. The Series 4 looks amazing with it’s larger screen, but the speed is the real winner.

> Did I mention the Series 4 is fast? Series 3 was pretty fast. Series 4 is fast in a way that you never think about it; things just work, fast.

if you haven't had a smart watch before it might seem odd that you need so much speed for one, but any delay at all is a big usability challenge for a smart watch. I’m trying to hold off and skip the Series 4, but it’s tempting given how good this new Apple Watch seems to do.
12 days ago
Apple’s New Map
Incredibly detailed post again from Justin O’Beirne detailing incredible detail on Apple's new map initiative. It is an interesting post to go through and see the incredible effort going into mapping, and what a strategic advantage it is for Google in a number of areas.
12 days ago
What is Tailwind? - Tailwind CSS
This looks like a CSS framework I could actually use.
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12 days ago
Clipboard Shortcuts with Siri
Cool ideas for manipulating your clipboard with Shortcuts.
13 days ago
October 21 post-incident analysis | The GitHub Blog
Detailed and thorough writeup of GitHub's recent production issue.
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13 days ago
The five types of mentors you need in your life
I like this approach to thinking strategically about the kind of advice and feedback you need in different aspects of your life.
13 days ago
How We Built OmniFocus for the Web
Most of this is not all that interesting except for people that are into Omni and their software. However, the part where they talk about building a "headless" version of OmniFocus that runs on the server and handles the API connections from OmniFocus for the Web made me do a double take. I can’t tell if it’s novel and interesting, or downright crazy!
13 days ago
Mac mini: The MacStories Overview – MacStories
The Mac Mini hasn't gotten an update in a very, very long time. This new one looks pretty great. It has a significant number of configuration options. I could easily see this being a great option for many people.
13 days ago
The New 12.9- and 11-inch iPad Pros: The MacStories Overview – MacStories
The new iPad Pro's look amazing. I do the majority of my computing on an 11" iPad Pro at home, and a 12.9" iPad Pro at work. I've already pre-ordered the new more compact iPad Pro for the office, and I’m ready to upgrade at home and am considering going for the larger one as well. The previous 12.9" with it’s large bezel and weight was just too big, but this new one looks very compelling. I’m wondering if I couldn't do with one of these instead of a laptop at home. The fact you can plug a monitor into the USB-C port is pretty compelling as well for photo editing. 🤔
13 days ago
turtle.audio
What happens when the turtle 🐢 from logo meets music? 🎶
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13 days ago
IBM’s Old Playbook – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Some great analysis of IBM's position with Red Hat.

> This is the bet: while in the 1990s the complexity of the Internet made it difficult for businesses to go online, providing an opening for IBM to sell solutions, today IBM argues the reduction of cloud computing to three centralized providers makes businesses reluctant to commit to any one of them. IBM is betting it can again provide the solution, combining with Red Hat to build products that will seamlessly bridge private data centers and all of the public clouds.

Thompson has a great take on this.
13 days ago
Don't Be Evil
A deep dive into the culture and memes of Silicon Valley.
13 days ago
I Bought Used Voting Machines on eBay for $100 Apiece. What I Found Was Alarming | WIRED
This whole article is concerning. It shouldn't be this easy to get these devices and dissect them for flaws.

> If getting voting machines delivered to my door was shockingly easy, getting inside them proved to be simpler still. The tamper-proof screws didn’t work, all the computing equipment was still intact, and the hard drives had not been wiped. The information I found on the drives, including candidates, precincts, and the number of votes cast on the machine, were not encrypted. Worse, the “Property Of” government labels were still attached, meaning someone had sold government property filled with voter information and location data online, at a low cost, with no consequences. It would be the equivalent of buying a surplus police car with the logos still on it.

Eek.
13 days ago
Driven to Distraction – the future of car safety
Being a very happy owner of the new Tesla Model 3 I read this article with much interest. The comparison of airplane cockpits as they became more autonomous is interesting.
16 days ago
Parsing logs 230x faster with Rust
This is a fun read walking through a high performance solution and the best way to solve it. The way this references cost is a good example of considerations engineers need to keep in mind in the cloud. ☁️💰
17 days ago
What Engineers Found When They Tore Apart Tesla's Model 3
This is an interesting take on the Model 3. They seem to have good points on the body and challenges with assembling that. They were very impressed with the motor.
18 days ago
A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley - The New York Times
This is such a hard issue. I feel very conflicted about it. I used to spend a lot of time on my Apple //c back in the day, but what you could do was so different. Now I find my son sitting on his iPad and in reality all he's doing is watching TV. No brain stimulation.

> “I try to tell him somebody wrote code to make you feel this way — I’m trying to help him understand how things are made, the values that are going into things and what people are doing to create that feeling,” Mr. Lilly said. “And he’s like, ‘I just want to spend my 20 bucks to get my Fortnite skins.’”

It is perhaps too nuanced, but I think you have to move beyond just "screen time" and really look at the activity. What is your child doing on the device? Are they programming? Diving into the tarpits of social media disgust? Watching TV mindlessly? Reading a book? Reading the largest encyclopedia in the world? Learning how to build a robot?
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18 days ago
Google’s Night Sight for Pixel phones will amaze you - The Verge
These very dark shots are amazing. The fact that this is all done handheld is hard to even understand. Computational photography may have more tricks up it’s sleeve than we really know.
20 days ago
The next career step for Senior Software Engineers (that isn’t management)
Cool article and introduces an idea of going from Implementor, to Solver, to Finder as an engineer. I haven't heard this terminology used but I really like it!

> As an Implementer, you’re an inexperienced programmer, and your tasks are defined by someone else: you just implement small, well-specified chunks of code…
>
> As you become more experienced, you become a Solver: are able to come up with solutions to less well-defined problems…
>
> Eventually you become a Finder: you begin identifying problems on your own and figuring out their underlying causes…

That seems very compelling and valuable to frame the career advancement of engineers.
20 days ago
The Google Pixel 3 Is A Very Good Phone. But Maybe Phones Have Gone Too Far.
Review of the Pixel 3, but also a reflection on the obsessive compulsion we have with our phones.

> My neck hurts. I am never not looking down. When I am not looking at my phone, I become slightly anxious. And then, when I do actually look at it, I become even more so. It reminds me of how I once felt about cigarettes. I experience the world with a meticulously crafted, tiny computer slab between me and it. I am an asshole. But so, maybe, are you?

🤨
20 days ago
How to Write a Technical Paper: Structure and Style of the Epitome of your Research
This is a great example document.

> A major problem that young researchers face is their inability to write good research papers. This document serves as a guideline on how to write a good technical paper.

Technical papers and [white papers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_paper) have been confused with marketing organizations taking over white papers as a form of advertising. It’s good to see a robust discussion of a straight technical paper.
20 days ago
How Minnesota Became the Land of 10,000 Startups - ReadWrite
Nice overview of the startup activity happening here in the Twin Cities.

> The number of tech businesses in Minnesota has grown exponentially since 2010, adding more than 500 startups since 2015 alone. Following the charge, venture capitalists now invest more than $200 million in the region annually.

I was very glad to see [Minnestar](https://minnestar.org) mentioned along with a quote from our executive director!
20 days ago
Meow Hash
This is an interesting hashing algorithm. I've worked with solutions that use cryptographic hashes and they can be challenging to scale. This hash is specifically **not** cryptographically sound, but is highly performant.
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20 days ago
Atlassian launches the new Jira Software Cloud | TechCrunch
These look like nice improvements to such a widely used application.
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20 days ago
The Org Chart Test – Rands in Repose
Interesting idea of insuring that the org chart is clearly articulated and known, as a way to insure that communications are happening right.

> An org chart should also effectively describe, at a high level, how the product is organized and also who is responsible for what. An org chart should be legible.

Interesting idea to bring this into a 1:1 discussion.
20 days ago
Do We Worship Complexity?
In my experience the answer to this is often yes. Technologists can be drawn to complexity like a moth to a flame. It is nearly always for good reasons, often abstraction. I've seen projects where you end up abstracting away so many layers, the complexity piles up beneath you, and you have no idea what you are even trying to solve anymore.
20 days ago
Trek10 | The Business Case For Serverless
Arguments for why serverless architectures are desirable.
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20 days ago
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018
Amazing photography here (but a frustrating website to navigate).
21 days ago
Tim Cook data privacy speech: Apple CEO calls for comprehensive data laws in America - The Verge
Apple CEO [Tim Cook](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Cook) presenting on the complete disregard of privacy in the technology industry. His term of "data industrial complex" is very accurate, and I completely agree with his extension that "this is surveillance".

He coins four essential rights: right to have personal data minimized, right to knowledge, right to access, and right to security. I like the simplicity.

You can see the video [directly on YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVhOLkIs20A) or if you prefer read the [ArsTechnica transcript](https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/10/tim-cook-calls-for-strong-us-privacy-law-rips-data-industrial-complex/).

Cook references [Steve Jobs' talking about privacy](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39iKLwlUqBo). I appreciate that Apple is leading the tech industry on this important topic. It’s also clear that Cook is personally passionate on this topic. He even pulls [Henry David Thoreau](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau) in at the end.
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21 days ago
GM’s data mining is just the beginning of the in-car advertising blitz - The Verge
Wait a second, our cars are now invading our privacy and selling the data? 😡
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21 days ago
Apple Shortcuts: The Bicycle for the Mind is Back, but it’s Electric — Prolost
This is more than just an intro to Shortcuts on iOS 12. There is a complete history of user space programming tools from Apple over the years, going back to HyperCard. Skip the history part if you just want to read about Shortcuts.

> Shortcuts, the app, is my favorite thing to happen to the iPhone since the camera got decent. I truly feel that my relationship to my iPhone has fundamentally changed, because I can now build things on it that make it do things that only I would ever want. Useful things, but also fun things. Complex things and simple things.

I’ve built incredible stuff with Shortcuts and am continuing to do more. My Weekly Thing newsletter is entirely built with Shortcuts and various API’s and a little Python thrown in for fun. It is worth the effort to learn Shortcuts. They are very approachable.
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21 days ago
Little Free Library creator Todd Bol dies | MPR News
I didn’t realize that Little Free Library was started right around the Twin Cities. Sad to hear that the founder has died, but it’s a great legacy to leave behind.
25 days ago
Free Meeting Stats For Google Calendar and Office 365 calendar
Good stats from this service. I think there is a lot more to do with calendar data to give people insights into their time and how to manage it better.
25 days ago
Helm
This article from [The Verge](https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/10/17/17983018/helm-private-email-server-calendar-contacts-data) has a good introduction to Helm. It looks like an interesting solution for keeping your data in your control and even in your own residence where it is protected by the constitution. I don’t see this displacing my current providers, and I wonder how it compares to something like a Synology NAS.
26 days ago
Introduction to Redis Streams – Redis
Redis is a well written and very reliable service, and scales down well for small solutions. Adding a streaming capability to it will open up some new use cases.
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26 days ago
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