Back to the Blog - Dan Cohen
I'd love to see more of my friends go back to their blogs. Some nice perspective on doing that.
march 2018
42nd and Vanderbilt
Photographer Peter Funch took photos at the same intersection in New York from 2007 to 2016. The photos are interesting as is the observations of the people that are in them. The introduction is a good read. 📷
march 2018
Under Armour Says 150 Million MyFitnessPal Accounts Hacked - Bloomberg
Another massive breach. This should be yet another reminder that adopting strict password hygiene, and **never** using the same password on multiple sites is critical.
march 2018
Really Friendly Command Line Intro - Hello Web Books
If you see people doing magical things by typing commands on the command line of their machine but have no idea what they are doing this is a good article to learn more.
march 2018
Daring Fireball: Are There Any Tetris Games for Mac?
I’m with Gruber on this. Quinn was a fabulous, simple and very elegant Tetris game for the Mac. There is currently no Tetris for the Mac. How is that better for Tetris?
march 2018
Textile Facebook Parser
Nice utility to take your exported Facebook data and get the pictures back in a way that is usable.
march 2018
How I Erased 5000+ Facebook Comments and Likes
This is neat, although I don't know why people bother doing this. Does anyone really believe that Facebook deletes things when you send a delete command? I feel with near certainty that it simply sets the information into a hidden state, not deleted. Seems like a waste of effort.
march 2018
The 1Password 7 Beta for Mac Is Lit and You Can Be, Too | AgileBits Blog
I’m a big fan of 1Password and we have a family subscription to keep all of our personal and shared secrets manages. This new version looks really nice with some nice usability improvements and great integration with services like Have I Been Pwned.
march 2018
Heart Rate Variability (HRV): What is it, and why does the Apple Watch track it? | iMore
I find it very impressive what the Apple Watch can detect from heart rate information. This is all just getting started too.
march 2018
Using Ethics In Web Design — Smashing Magazine
I wasn't expecting a comprehensive and well reasoned perspective on ethics in web design from Smashing Magazine but here it is. I like the thought and detail that has been put into this, and applaud them considering ethics in the design. 👏
march 2018
Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.
This looks like an interesting all-in-one solution for small groups of people working together.
march 2018
Troy Hunt: The Legitimisation of Have I Been Pwned
Interesting background from the creator of Have I Been Pwned that specifically talks about the very grey area that this service runs in, but how it has started to provide very real, valuable capability for people.
march 2018
Delete Facebook. Permanent Account Deletion.
Step by step directions to help you walk through the complicated process of deleting your Facebook account. 🏅
march 2018
Run less software - Inside Intercom
Nice reminder when building systems that less is more.
march 2018
Making Slides
Great overview of giving engaging and effective presentations. Nearly everything in this is worth thinking about.
march 2018
The Missing Building Blocks of the Web – Anil Dash – Medium
Anil Dash with a look at the components of the web that we've forgotten about over time.

> At a time when millions are losing trust in the the web’s biggest sites, it’s worth revisiting the idea that the web was supposed to be made out of countless little sites. Here’s a look at the neglected technologies that were supposed to make it possible.

Simple core concepts that we should embrace.
march 2018
Steve Jobs on privacy, Steve Jobs at the D8 Conference (Video) - YouTube
I hadn't ever heard this Steve Jobs comment on privacy.

> Privacy means people know what their signing up for, in plain english, and repeatedly.

Plain, simple, easy. And I totally agree.
march 2018
Standard Notes | A Simple And Private Notes App
This looks like a good cross-platform notes management solution. I like that it stores its data in archive friendly open formats.
march 2018
A New Way to Work • furbo.org
I use [Linea Sketch](https://linea-app.com), and this is a great dive into using tech in a very analog, and creative, way.
march 2018
The Art of Dialogue – MIT Spectrum
Brief reminder of what true dialogue really is.

> Dialogue is essential to solve the large problems of a multicultural, global society, he adds. Finding a new way to talk, think, and act together makes it possible to talk across our differences and invent new directions for the future.

This topic reminded me of [The Most Human Human](https://www.amazon.com/Most-Human-Talking-Computers-Teaches/dp/0385533063/), a very fun and insightful read.
march 2018
12 Things Everyone Should Understand About Tech | LinkedIn
Impressive and well thought out list of 12 key drivers that push technology forward.

> Even those of us who have been deeply immersed in the tech world for a long time can miss the driving forces that shape its impact. So here, we’ll identify some key principles that can help us understand technology’s place in culture.

I wonder how many of these would be surprises to most people. 🤔
march 2018
The Only Privacy Policy That Matters – Dave Pell – Medium
Those that know the most about technology, and the people that build many of the privacy stealing social platforms, take great efforts to protect their privacy. What do we make of that?

> Here’s exactly what we should make of it… They are right.

Yes, they are.
march 2018
I don’t have the time. —Rhoneisms
Patrick Rhone with a good reminder on differentiating prioritization from capacity. This sentiment is true of any finite resource. You have a certain amount, and you have to prioritize what you use it for.
march 2018
The case against Facebook - Vox
I've been blocking all Facebook properties for years, so I don't need to be convinced, but this is a solid breakdown.

> And therein lies the problem for Facebook. Not only is the product bad, but the company is in a deep state of denial about it. Mark Zuckerberg and other top leaders believe they are making the world a better place. The labor market for the kind of talented engineers that Facebook needs to hire is robust enough that you can’t compete on the basis of money alone — they need to believe that Facebook is a decent, honorable place to work. But in fact, Facebook is bad. And it probably can’t be fixed.

Convinced yet?
march 2018
New languages are always fun to read about.

> Eve is a programming language and IDE based on years of research into building a human-first programming platform. From code embedded in documents to a language without order, it presents an alternative take on what programming could be - one that focuses on us instead of the machine.

The "code" here looks bonkers to me. 🤷‍♂️
march 2018
It's a crash. Not an accident.
Words matter. Using "crash" to highlight the need for a solution, versus an unsolvable accident, is interesting. As an aside, I correct tech people when they say a computer "crashed". Crashed is a non-technical word, that implies unknowns. Computers have specific failures, not generic crashes.
march 2018
URL Canary - Home
What an interesting idea!

> You'll create a special URL which you'll then embed in your secret place. If a thief steals your secret and accesses the URL, we'll immediately send you an alert so that you'll know the secret has been stolen, and you'll learn the IP address and User-Agent of the attacker.

march 2018
The Last Conversation You’ll Need to Have About Eating Right
[Mark Bittman](http://markbittman.com) and [David Katz](http://davidkatzmd.com) on food.

> Ask us anything at all about diet and nutrition and we will give you an answer that is grounded in real scientific consensus, with no “healthy-ish” chit-chat, nary a mention of “wellness,” and no goal other than to cut through all the noise and help everyone see how simple it is to eat well.

Incredibly wide-ranging Q&A.
march 2018
Outline - Making it safer to break the news
Google deserves some credit for the work they are doing to help news and journalism activities online.

> Journalists need safe access to information to research issues, communicate with sources, and report the news. Outline lets news organizations easily provide their network safer access to the open internet.

march 2018
Salesforce agrees to buy Mulesoft in $6.5 billion deal
Not surprising that Salesforce bought Mulesoft, they were the preferred integration platform for Salesforce. They are going to make this the initial framework for Integration Cloud, which will be a new offering from Salesforce. This space is worth keeping an eye on.
march 2018
Facebook Has Lost the Plot – 500ish Words
Overview of all of the missteps Facebook has had recently.

> Seemingly not an hour goes by these days that I don’t open Techmeme and see some ridiculous headline related to the latest Facebook faux pas. At best, the mistakes are eye-roll-inducing. At worst, they’re jaw-droppingly awful. And there are plenty in between which are just some combination of boneheaded, cringe-worthy, tactless, or tasteless.

I would suggest that their frequency of issues is because they have no grounding ethics or principles. They lurch from issue to issue with no "true north" regarding their customers, their users and their principles. Just stumbling around.
march 2018
GraphQL at Braintree
Interesting overview of how Braintree evaluated and ultimately chose to use GraphQL for their published API's.

> The previously mentioned benefits would be enough to make a reasonable case for adopting GraphQL on their own. Our biggest surprise, however, was how perfectly suited GraphQL is for powering an orchestration layer.
> GraphQL forces you to cleanly separate logic for retrieving data from logic that composes this data and presents it to the user. You write code for the former and your GraphQL framework handles the latter.

Also highlights challenges they had. Good read.
march 2018
#deletefacebook | TechCrunch
Already did that, a while ago. By the way, life without Facebook is totally fine. Go ahead, don't worry about it.
march 2018
Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach | News | The Guardian
This should surprise nobody, but I hope it does. When I was building apps on Facebook I got to see how easy it is to get this amount of data from people. It’s shockingly simple.
march 2018
D3 Graph Theory
Learn all about graph theory!

> D3 Graph Theory is project aimed at anyone who wants to learn graph theory. It provides quick and interactive introduction to the subject. The visuals used in the project makes it an effective learning tool.

Well done, step-by-step way to understand a complex topic.
march 2018
Functions | Netlify
It’s interesting to see how [JAMstack](https://jamstack.org) development is evolving and this feature from Netlify to build AWS Lambda functions right into your site deployment is really interesting.
march 2018
A Day in the Life of MARLON BUNDO
This is a brilliant response to the other Marlon Bundo book from Last Week Tonight. 👏
march 2018
How to Read the Internet
If you are curious about how I read and find information online, read this article from Robin Rendle. I get a tremendous amount of value from my feed reader. And I love that there is no profit generating algorithm in between me and my sources. 👍
march 2018
RedisGraph: A High Performance In-Memory Graph Database as a Redis Module
I have a lot of admiration for [Redis](https://redislabs.com) and the solutions around it. I did some light coding with Redis and it is very easy to understand and use. This new module system to make Redis more extensible sounds interesting. Here is a graph database built in Redis.

> RedisGraph is a graph database developed from scratch on top of Redis, using the new Redis Modules API to extend Redis with new commands and capabilities. Its main features include: - Simple, fast indexing and querying - Data stored in RAM, using memory-efficient custom data structures - On disk persistence - Tabular result sets - Simple and popular graph query language (Cypher) - Data Filtering, Aggregation and ordering
march 2018
How The World Forgot To Sleep
The book [Why We Sleep](https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501144316/), referenced here, is on my list to read (Tammy read it a while back). I’ve learned to respect sleep. I also routinely take [REM Caps](https://www.hammernutrition.com/products/recovery/rem-caps/), which are a mix of melatonin and 5HTP, both also referenced in this article. Being more mindful of our sleep patterns is a good idea. 😴
march 2018
Site Reliability Engineering: 4 Things to Know
Four key points to understanding the Site Reliability Engineer role and how it relates with DevOps and Cloud.
march 2018
Ichiro Suzuki's return to the Seattle Mariners won't resolve his internal battle
Endearing exploration of the routines of Ichiro. If you build your existence around one thing, this is what it looks like. ⚾️
march 2018
How Atlassian moved Jira and Confluence users to Amazon Web Services, and what it learned along the way – GeekWire
I was a customer of Atlassian and felt the problems they had in their single-tennant VPS environment. We couldn't wait for it to get fixed and ultimately moved it in-house, but it’s good to hear that they have made a full transition into the cloud. It also sounds like they evolved the solution to work better in the cloud. Hat tip to [Peter Zaballos](https://meaningfulfailure.com) for the link.
march 2018
DIY Wall Display | DAKboard
This would be such a fun project. Love how it looks and seems like it would be easy enough to build. 🤔
march 2018
John Carlis
John Carlis was the Dean of Undergraduate Studies when I was in the Computer Science at the University of Minnesota. I took Lisp from John, and on several occasions we got a chance to catch up. He was an amazing professor and human being. Sadly the last time I saw him was at [John Riedl's funeral](https://www.thingelstad.com/2013/goodbye-to-my-friend-john-riedl/). Also see [In Memoriam: John Carlis](https://www.cs.umn.edu/news/memoriam-john-carlis).
march 2018
The New Best Engineer | Honeycomb
This is an exceptionally true sentiment…

> As the size and sprawl and complexity of our systems skyrockets, many of us are finding that the most valuable skill sets sit at the intersection of two or more disciplines.

… and more …

> You don’t need to know how to do everything under the sun. You do need to have respect for all the other disciplines that enhance your own and make your job possible, and vice versa.

This is absolutely the write way to think of being on a technology **team**.
march 2018
Checklist for Checklists - Project Check
Fabulous Checklist for ensuring that your Checklist is a good Checklist! Check! ✔
march 2018
Toys R Us to close all 800 of its U.S. stores - The Washington Post
Large amounts of debt, and declining brand value.

> “The liquidation of Toys R Us is the unfortunate but inevitable conclusion of a retailer that lost its way,” Neil Saunders, managing director of the research firm GlobalData Retail, wrote in an email. “Even during recent store closeouts, Toys R Us failed to create any sense of excitement. The brand lost relevance, customers and ultimately sales.”

Probably the $7.9 billion in debt was impossible to get around.
march 2018
Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s great scientists, has died - Physics
The world lost a bright star with the passing of Stephen Hawking. This obituary ends poetically:

> No philosophy that puts humanity anywhere near the centre of things can cope with facts like these. All that remains is to huddle together in the face of the overwhelmingness of reality. Yet the sight of one huddled man in a wheelchair constantly probing, boldly and even cheekily demonstrating the infinite reach of the human mind, gave people some hope to grasp, as he always wished it would.

He definitely gave that hope to millions of people.
march 2018
SankeyMATIC (BETA): A Sankey diagram builder for everyone
This is pretty fun. Simple web front-end to put data into the D3 Sankey library and generate Sankey diagrams. Need to find a reason to use this. 👏
march 2018
ACME v2 and Wildcard Certificate Support is Live - Issuance Policy - Let's Encrypt Community Support
Let's Encrypt now support wildcard certificates! There are some use cases where that is needed so this is a big win for the secure web.
march 2018
Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2018
If your curious what the typical software developer looks like, this has about every dimension you could want for 100,000+ developers that took the Stack Overflow survey.
march 2018
AWS Documentation is Now Open Source and on GitHub —AWS News Blog
Great idea from AWS! As fast as they are releasing new services I’m sure that it is a huge challenge to keep the documentation current. This should help ensure that any issues or gaps can be remedied. Pull requests via GitHub are a lot safer than a pure wiki too.
march 2018
TwitRSS.me - rss of twitter user feeds by screenscraping with perl
If you have a need to use RSS to access Twitter.

> Way back in the mists of time twitter used to have RSS feeds. It was great and people used them. I even made a twitter RSS getter form for my website so you could locate your feed. But in June 2013 they killed the RSS feeds.

Handy. And in Perl!
march 2018
xkcd: Background Apps
Oh no. I’m afraid this applies to me and my desire to intervene when people are force quitting apps. 🤦‍♂️
march 2018
How to Balance Your Media Diet – ART + marketing
I encourage being mindful about the information you are consuming. We watch what we eat, I don't see a reason to not watch what we read and watch too. I'd take 90 minutes off of the scale here and give no time to what is called "consumption" and "interaction".
march 2018
Deckset for Mac: Presentations from Markdown in No Time
This looks interesting. It uses Markdown to make slides. It’s easy to generate markdown using automation. Put the two together and it would be easy to generate customized markdown and then turn it into presentation material. 🤔
march 2018
HyperCard Zine
For people who find madly remember HyperCard this will be a fun site to watch. I created my high school humanities project in HyperCard, as well as many other projects. Wish I still had those.
march 2018
International Women's Day 2018
Nice to see this event getting more attention.

> Now, more than ever, there's a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. There's a strong call to **Press for Progress** motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

march 2018
What I Talk About When I Talk About Platforms
This positions platform in a way as the technical manifestation of mature technology choices. One of my favorite interview questions is "what is the difference between a product and a platform?" This would be a good answer to that.
march 2018
Amazon won't sell Nest products from Google - Business Insider
This is just bonkers to me. To be clear, retailers have a right to sell whatever they want, but these kinds of decisions show why I think Net Neutrality is so important. If selling access to the Internet is a retail decision, technology companies are proving through actions like this that they cannot be trusted with those decisions.
march 2018
Teevity - Cloud costs analytics - Home
Seems like a cheaper and easier version of [CloudHealth](https://www.cloudhealthtech.com).
march 2018
Rundeck - Job Scheduler and Orchestration
> Turn your operations procedures into self-service jobs. Safely give others the control and visibility they need.
march 2018
I hand't heard of this app until a recent meeting where a team was highlighting how they use it.

> Workato is the fabric with which you can weave a very intelligent nervous system for your modern enterprise. Recipes are automated workflows that connect apps to complete tasks composed by you based on a combination of apps, triggers and actions.

The fluffy language aside, it seems like a useful tool.
march 2018
Why Are There Few Women in Tech? Watch a Recruiting Session | WIRED
I'd like to go back and read the original paper [Puncturing the pipeline: Do technology companies alienate women in recruiting sessions?](http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0306312718756766) but had to due with this Wired writeup for now.

> In an attempt to appear approachable, presenters often made comments that disparaged women or depicted them as sexualized objects rather than talented technical colleagues. For example, in one session, a man mentioned the “better gender ratio” at the company’s Los Angeles office compared with its Silicon Valley office. “I had no girlfriends at [University Name], but now I’m married,” he said, suggesting that the better odds had helped get him hitched.

🤦‍♂️ There is so much work to do on this issue.
march 2018
Deep Thinking In The Age of Distraction – The Startup – Medium
I'd rather this was just called "Thinking" instead of "Deep Thinking". We don't need to "Deep Think" and "Deep Work" all the time. I'd rather focus on creating time to **not** be distracted. One of the things I've done in this area is to find common situations where I habitually grab my phone, elevator rides are a common one, and force myself to stop doing that. If you take transit, do one day a week with no mobile.
march 2018
What it’s like to be a developer at … – Increment: Development
Cool article that gives a little glimpse 👀 of what it’s like to be a developer at a handful of different companies.
march 2018
Why am I unhappy? A new study explains Americas unhappiness epidemic — Quartz
Another study suggesting that the increase of time spent in the digital world correlates strongly with unhappiness.

> Every year, teens are asked about their general happiness, in addition to how they spend their time. We found that teens who spent more time seeing their friends in person, exercising, playing sports, attending religious services, reading or even doing homework were happier. However, teens who spent more time on the internet, playing computer games, on social media, texting, using video chat or watching TV were less happy.

Should it surprise us that humans, perhaps the most social of creatures, don't get satisfied socially through text messages and whatever app you are using today? Nope.
march 2018
The Indispensable Document for the Modern Manager | First Round Review
I have mixed feelings about managers publishing a "User Guide". In short, I think the job off a manager and leader is to adapt to the people who they work with. I worry a user guide says "this is what I want, you adapt to me". I tend to think that managers need to understand "this is what you need, and I will adapt to you". However, this example of a user guide is very well thought out, and the best one I've seen at communicating something that seems more focused on outcomes.
march 2018
The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized - Scientific American Blog Network
It’s human nature to want to associate your successes with skill and active choice (and often our misses with *bad luck*), but data suggests that luck, or random chance, may have more to do with success.

> The researchers argue that the following factors are all important in giving people more chances of success: a stimulating environment rich in opportunities, a good education, intensive training, and an efficient strategy for the distribution of funds and resources.

This made me thing of [Fooled by Randomness](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fooled_by_Randomness) as I read it. I highly recommend that book. It forever changed how I look at track records.
march 2018
Uber and Lyft drivers' median hourly wage is just $3.37, report finds | Technology | The Guardian
For all of the amazing work in the *new digital economy*, it’s a bit disheartening to see data like this. I worry that the *lever* of technology is so big that it’s going to cause fundamental breakdowns in our traditional economic systems.
march 2018
Bad iPhone notches are happening to good Android phones - The Verge
However one may try to justify the notch in the new iPhone X I don't think anyone should be considering it a feature. It’s surprising to see other phones copying something that I consider a significant compromise and something to engineer away.
march 2018
A 1.3Tbs DDoS Hit GitHub, the Largest Yet Recorded | WIRED
I’m continuously surprised why GitHub is so frequently the target of [DDoS](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial-of-service_attack) attacks, but this is an amazing timeline:

> GitHub briefly struggled with intermittent outages as a digital system assessed the situation. Within 10 minutes it had automatically called for help from its DDoS mitigation service, Akamai Prolexic. Prolexic took over as an intermediary, routing all the traffic coming into and out of GitHub, and sent the data through its scrubbing centers to weed out and block malicious packets. After eight minutes, attackers relented and the assault dropped off.

That is an impressive, automated response to such a significant event. 👏
march 2018
David Lynch Teaches Typing by RhinoStew
This is so weird, but I’m a [David Lynch](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lynch) fan so it’s pretty fun.
march 2018
Amazon Agrees to Buy Smart-Doorbell Startup Ring - Bloomberg
$1 billion dollars? Wow, that makes no sense to me. 💰
march 2018
Forde's Tenth Rule, or, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and ❤️ the State Machine"
Good introduction to state machines and how they are used in programming to deal with complexity. If you are around programmers and have heard state machines referenced this is a good introduction to the concepts and benefits.
march 2018
Erasing history - Columbia Journalism Review
The permanence of digital content is something I think about for personal websites, but I hadn't considered how damaging that intersection could be for newspaper sites. I've supported [Internet Archive](https://archive.org) for years and their mission is to capture and save content. It seems like a good path would be for news websites content management systems to directly archive content into a place like Internet Archive and not rely on the web crawler to capture it.
march 2018
Live Like a Hydra – Thinking Is Hard – Medium
I've read [Nassim Nicholas Taleb](http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com)'s [Antifragile](https://www.amazon.com/Antifragile-Things-That-Disorder-Incerto/dp/1400067820/) but this essay on applying anti fragile concepts to your life is interesting:

> An antifragile way of life is all about finding a way to gain from the inevitable disorder of life. To not only bounce back when things don’t go as planned, but to get stronger, smarter, and better at continuing as a result of running into this disorder.

Thought provoking. 🤔
march 2018
Differential Privacy for Dummies – Roberto Agostino Vitillo's Blog
The first I heard of differential privacy was when Apple started to use the term to describe how they use advanced data techniques to make smart recommendations without reducing privacy. This paper is filled with more math than I can follow, but it explains a bit more about what differential privacy really is.

> Differential privacy formalizes the idea that a query should not reveal whether any one person is present in a dataset, much less what their data are. Imagine two otherwise identical datasets, one with your information in it, and one without it. Differential Privacy ensures that the probability that a query will produce a given result is nearly the same whether it’s conducted on the first or second dataset.

If your working on systems that collect user data and also want to protect privacy this would be a good read.
march 2018
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