9418
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.
6 weeks 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!
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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. 🤔
6 weeks ago
turtle.audio
What happens when the turtle 🐢 from logo meets music? 🎶
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6 weeks 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.
6 weeks ago
Don't Be Evil
A deep dive into the culture and memes of Silicon Valley.
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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. ☁️💰
6 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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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7 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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?

🤨
7 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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!
7 weeks 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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7 weeks ago
Atlassian launches the new Jira Software Cloud | TechCrunch
These look like nice improvements to such a widely used application.
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7 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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.
7 weeks ago
Trek10 | The Business Case For Serverless
Arguments for why serverless architectures are desirable.
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7 weeks ago
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018
Amazing photography here (but a frustrating website to navigate).
7 weeks 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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7 weeks 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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7 weeks 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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7 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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.
8 weeks 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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8 weeks ago
Fold N Fly ✈
Awesome database of paper airplanes.
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8 weeks ago
Stop building websites with infinite scroll!
A thorough analysis of why infinite scroll is problematic.

> Infinite scroll can be disorienting, uncontrollable, and can cause your users stress.

It misses one of my points on infinite scroll that it represents an attempt to trick and addict users.
8 weeks ago
How we unplug: 7 ways to escape the roiling seas of modern life | City Pages
I don't think I've had some recommend an article from the City Pages since college, but this one has some great themes regarding ways to disconnect and recharge. Link from [Tor Flatebo](https://www.linkedin.com/in/torflatebo/).
8 weeks ago
The Observation Deck » Assessing software engineering candidates
Hiring engineers is a tricky thing, and it’s great to see people sharing their processes for evaluating candidates to help others get better as well.

> This document is an attempt to pull together accumulated best practices; while it shouldn’t be inferred to be overly prescriptive, where it is rigid, there is often a painful lesson behind it.

Worthwhile set of concepts.
8 weeks ago
Lightroom CC 2.0: What's new, and where is it headed?: Digital Photography Review
I jumped off of the Lightroom path when Adobe decided to make it a subscription product. The new Lightroom CC looks solid, and I like that they are doing server-side processing of images. At the same time, I still don't feel like I have a good solution for dealing with all of my photo workflows.
8 weeks ago
How Adobe is bringing “real Photoshop” to the iPad - The Verge
It’s great to see Adobe bringing such a critical power-user application to the iPad. I have a sneaking suspicion we'll see a new iPad Pro with a big screen demoing Adobe Photoshop at a future Apple announcement.
8 weeks ago
GitHub Actions
This new feature from GitHub looks really interesting, but it’s light on details.
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8 weeks ago
It turns out that Facebook could in fact use data collected from its Portal in-home video device to target you with ads - Recode
I absolutely love that Facebook themselves had to correct publications on this clarification.

> But Facebook has since reached out to change its answer: Portal doesn’t have ads, but data about who you call and data about which apps you use on Portal can be used to target you with ads on other Facebook-owned properties.

So when you give your photos to Google and Facebook they mine brands and objects from them to advertise to you. WIth this Portal surveillance device they can watch the activity in your house to then shove things in between cat pictures on Instagram. **Don't buy one of these.** And also, ditch Facebook Messenger too.
8 weeks ago
The Hidden Tribes of America - Hidden Tribes
I found this via David Brooks [Rich White Civil War](https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/opinion/politics-race-white-tribalism.html) column.

> But this can change. A majority of Americans, whom we’ve called the "Exhausted Majority," are fed up by America’s polarization. They know we have more in common than that which divides us: our belief in freedom, equality, and the pursuit of the American dream. They share a deep sense of gratitude that they are citizens of the United States. They want to move past our differences.

This data on segments of Americans is interesting and well presented. It does make me wonder if this exists independent of the marketing and propaganda of politicians, or if this is the desired outcome of those programs to slice up America into groups that can be marketed to.
8 weeks ago
Vue's Ecosystem Growth is Taking Off… Just Like React's Did
I don't think there is anything so trendy as Javascript frameworks. Remember when Angular was cool? Oi! 😬
8 weeks ago
Why We Always Switch Productivity Methods Before They Stick, According To Science
I've talked to a lot of friends that have tried several or even dozens of *productivity systems*.

> First things first: Take some comfort in the fact that you definitely aren’t alone. Many of us hop around and test the waters of various systems for getting our work done.

One of the best things I ever did was decide to commit to [GTD](https://www.gettingthingsdone.com) as a long-term investment as well as [OmniFocus](https://www.omnigroup.com/omnifocus) and not look around at other options. I felt that expertise and depth in one was more important than trying dozens of options fiddling with what might be best.
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8 weeks ago
How to feel happier
Eight things to improve happiness.
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8 weeks ago
Top 5 Contemporary Software Engineering Books – KI labs Engineering – Medium
I hadn’t heard of the first four books on this list. I’m intrigued by Developer Hegemony. 📚
8 weeks ago
What I loved about Paul Allen | Bill Gates
A touching remembrance of Paul Allen by Bill Gates.
8 weeks ago
StartMail - Private & encrypted email made easy
Nice to see another web-based, easy-to-use encrypted email service. This one has some additional privacy features that look great. I maintain an encrypted address at [Protonmail](https://protonmail.com) which has some similar features. As an aside, it’s notable that all encrypted email services I know of tout that their servers are **not** located in the United States as a feature. It’s sad that our government is known to treat digital right-to-privacy with so low regard.
8 weeks ago
birdseye: Quick, convenient, expression-centric, graphical Python debugger using the AST
Very cool and powerful Python debugger. I think this could also be a powerful learning tool!
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8 weeks ago
Fake Followers Audit from SparkToro | SparkToro
Tool to identify how many of your Twitter followers are fake. 23.4% for me.
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8 weeks ago
Do journalists pay too much attention to Twitter? - Columbia Journalism Review
This is an important and interesting question. When I read the headline the immediate thought in my head was **"Yes!"**. The study goes into more detail and gets deeper into the impact it would have on reporting.

> “Our results indicate that the routinization of Twitter into news production affects news judgment,” the researchers write. “For journalists who incorporate Twitter into their reporting routines, and those with fewer years of experience, Twitter has become so normalized that tweets were deemed equally newsworthy as headlines appearing to be from the AP wire. This may have negative implications.” Among those implications, they argue, is that journalists can get caught up in a kind of pack mentality in which a story is seen as important because other journalists on Twitter are talking about it, rather than because it is newsworthy.

The "firehose" feed of Twitter is something that some people find uninteresting, but there are some people and professions that I think find it highly addictive and compelling. Watching an AP news feed, or a financial ticker, feels and looks a lot like watching the Twitter timeline. I count myself in the group of people that find that addictive. I tend to think journalists as a group would too.
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8 weeks ago
Muze
High-end data visualization library.
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8 weeks ago
About static site generators
An assessment of static site generators and the somewhat miserable landscape of authoring tools. I agree with the central push of this piece. I keep finding that static site generators introduce far too much friction into my writing process. One may note that [my microblog](https://micro.thingelstad.com) and [linkblog](https://links.thingelstad.com) are both very active while [my blog](https://www.thingelstad.com) is pretty quiet. That is almost entirely because writing for Jekyll, the static site generator I use, is too hard. Tools like [Forestry](https://forestry.io) offer some hope to make this better, but the configuration is still orders of magnitude too hard.
8 weeks ago
ongoing by Tim Bray · On Cash
I like Bray's perspective on cash here. I tend to still pay for most of my routine, small purchases with cash. I'd add to his list of reasons the fact that as we move from real cash we devalue the expense. Keeping transactions in cash will make you more conscious of your spending, and hopefully spend less. 💸
8 weeks ago
The Decline of OpenID
It bums me out that OpenID failed. I was a big fan of OpenID when it came out and wanted to see it grow and succeed.
9 weeks ago
Rosie Pattern Language: Improving on 50-year Old Regular Expression Technology - Strange Loop
I didn’t even know there was an alternative to regular expressions like this.
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9 weeks ago
The Pixel 3: Everything You Need To Know About Google’s New Phone
Google’s newest incarnation of their flagship phone. Some cool innovations.
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9 weeks ago
Latest Revision to ARM Instruction Set Includes Optimizations Just for JavaScript — Daring Fireball
This explains why Javascript is so fast for certain benchmarks on the iPhone XS!
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9 weeks ago
Teens Are Being Bullied 'Constantly' on Instagram - The Atlantic
There are a lot of kids on Instagram and this article highlights some of the dark sides of cyber bullying.
9 weeks ago
Apple Frames: A Shortcut for Framing Screenshots from Every Apple Device — MacStories
This is a very specialized shortcut, and great for bloggers. It’s also a brilliant example of the cool capabilities that you can achieve with a Shortcut.
9 weeks ago
How Tesla Made the Model 3 So Safe
This article highlights some of the amazing safety aspects of the Tesla Model 3.

> So basically, when Tesla says its Model 3 has the “lowest probability of injury” ever tested by NHTSA, it means that the overall VSS score (which represents the “relative risk of injury with respect to a baseline of 15 percent”) of 0.38 is lower than that of any car ever tested.
>
> That’s impressive, any way you slice it.

**Lowest ever** is very impressive!
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9 weeks ago
RECaf Review: Effortless Caffeine Tracking — MacStories
This app is a great tool for those that want to track their caffeine intake. It’s also a great example of using the newest capabilities in iOS 12 to connect to things like Siri Shortcuts and put actionable items directly in notifications.
9 weeks ago
Facebook announces Portal, an Echo Show rival focused on video chat - The Verge
I’m skeptical of these "Smart Screens". I’m downright cynical of one made by Facebook.
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9 weeks ago
Tech Workers Now Want to Know: What Are We Building This For? - The New York Times
It’s about time that technology workers factor the outcome of their work into their decision to work on it.

> Across the technology industry, rank-and-file employees are demanding greater insight into how their companies are deploying the technology that they built. At Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce, as well as at tech start-ups, engineers and technologists are increasingly asking whether the products they are working on are being used for surveillance in places like China or for military projects in the United States or elsewhere.
>
> That’s a change from the past, when Silicon Valley workers typically developed products with little questioning about the social costs.

This is a good thing.
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9 weeks ago
Statement from DHS Press Secretary on Recent Media Reports of Potential Supply Chain Compromise | Homeland Security
This story of Chinese security backdoor on the silicon level just keeps getting more confusing.
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9 weeks ago
The Game of Kubb on Vimeo
My friend [Garrick](https://garrickvanburen.com) sent me this humorous and fun introduction to the awesome game of Kubb. 👍
9 weeks ago
Help us Build Ping.MN – ping.mn – Medium
I’m curious to see how this new publication takes off. They just had their [first meeting](https://medium.com/ping-mn/noted-the-first-meeting-on-ping-mn-b4ae9e61d53d) and I like the general direction they are taking with this. Subscribed!
9 weeks ago
Halide 1.10: The Smartest RAW – Halide
The Halide team is doing some amazing work with the new camera technology in the iPhone XS!
9 weeks ago
DeleteMe - Privacy Protection Services
Services like this are needed, but I constantly wonder how many of them are just backdoor ways to mine your private data even more.
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9 weeks ago
Scaling Engineering Teams via Writing Things Down and Sharing - aka RFCs
Perhaps the key to scaling isn’t as complicated as we make it — just write things down!
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9 weeks ago
What's a senior engineer's job? - Julia Evans
It’s a little surprising that 20-30 years into the discipline of software engineering we are still debating what different levels mean, but there is a lot of ambiguity and difference between organizations on this.
9 weeks ago
The Feeling That You’re Always Behind on Work : zen habits
I know that feeling!

> Many of us have a constant neverending feeling that we’re always behind on what we need to get done.

Okay, now you got my attention.

> And all of a sudden, you’re not behind on anything. Because what you’re doing right now is enough. And it’s all you have. Which is perfect, as it is.

A very Zen view on contentment. There is a lot of truth here, particularly the part about us creating our own anxiety rushing to the next thing. 🤔
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10 weeks ago
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