Browse the linkblog archives.

Monday 31st May, 2021 #

  • John Gruber on Doc Searls’ recent comments about Apple privacy - “I don’t think Searls’s critique here is fair” - It’s good to see a classic blogger public debate, I feel like this sort of thing used to happen more often
  • Apple Podcasts Subscriptions delayed with app enhancements inbound
  • Esports' popularity 'only scratching the surface'
  • Doc Searls - Apple vs (or plus) Adtech - “We need to start building a byway around the whole mess: one where demand can signal supply about exactly what it wants, rather than having demand constantly being spied on and guessed at by adtech’s creepy machinery”

Friday 28th May, 2021 #

  • Conversations with Tyler Podcast - Mark Carney on Central Banking and Shared Values - I usually find finance type stuff kind of boring, and in some sense this episode is a bit boring, but for one I really like Tyler’s questioning style, it really suits his personality, but also his questions are just so good, so well chosen and thought out, the more I listened the more I started to see similarities between what Mark Carney was talking about and software development, the system he had been building wasn’t something like a Facebook video encoding platform, instead it was the central bank monetary system, and many of the properties they try to optimise for like redundancy and resiliency make prominent appearances in software development, they also have similar design philosophies, like building in layers, and I found the discussion around modern finance very interesting as monetary systems integrate crypto and blockchain into their systems, there aren’t many industries where essentially there’s nothing ‘real’, it’s all just collections of abstractions, finely tuned imaginary instruments, it will be interesting to see if the introduction of crypto makes the sector a little less dull, my brain just can’t handle the dullness, anyway it’s a good interview, a Canadian that occasionally sounds english and even at times irish, presumably from his years as the Governor of the Bank of England
  • Eleventy serverless (eleventy cloud) thus far - Zach Leatherman gathers together his thoughts and notes about the serverless future of Eleventy, it’s cool to see a lot of motion here, there are exciting new architectures and patterns being built, I’m very much into Eleventy, though recently I’ve been finding that it’s starting to feels slightly more complicated than I’m comfortable with, hopefully that will get ironed out with this new direction
  • Vendure - A headless GraphQL ecommerce framework built on Node.js with Nest & TypeScript, with a focus on developer productivity and ease of customization - Looks pretty interesting, might be worth taking it fir a spin if you are building e-commerce / store web applications

Thursday 27th May, 2021 #

  • PayPal to Let Users Send Bitcoin Off PayPal - Certainly looks like crypto is going mainstream in quite a big way
  • Amazon to buy MGM Studios for $8.45 billion - I’m very interested in this deal, and especially how Amazon is structuring its media business, it feels like it really could result in some cool stuff being made, kind of mind blowing to watch the tech giants doing a take-over of old media right in broad daylight, but it’s less like a take-over and more like when an ageing actor who’s career has faded a bit, gets cast in a really cool new film and they then hit legend status, but here it’s at a company level that it’s happening

Wednesday 26th May, 2021 #

  • App Store Arguments - Ben Thomson does a roundup of all the arguments from the Apple s Epic trial, lots of interesting angles, the one thing I kept wondering about for some reason as I was reading this piece was whether it would be fun to run a small App Store, one where I selected and vetted all the apps, it would have a very distinctive atmosphere, ambiance, and the selection would be based around what I know about and find cool, why doesn’t Apple make it possible for me todo that, in a safe and secure way?
  • Microsoft support for Linux GUI apps on Windows 10 coming later this year

Monday 24th May, 2021 #

  • The race to understand the exhilarating, dangerous world of language - An international crack team of 500 AI experts is being assembled to build the future of open source trained language models, my concern here is that we’ve been training arguably the best intelligences in the known universe (ourselves! aka humans) for like a really really long time, and we still have so many issues across society, what makes us think that somehow we will be able to do a better job than evolution, with entities that can learn the game Go, which is more complicated than chess, which is itself very complicated, from first principles, in a matter of hours, and then beat all known existing entities, on the plus side maybe it will be fun and we will get to know each other better

Friday 21st May, 2021 #

  • Native speakers are hard to understand in a lingua franca situation - As a speaker of several languages, and someone who spends most of my time immersed in other languages and cultures, I found this article really interesting, I don’t agree with all the points made but there are definitely several that feel close to my experiences, HN thread link as the discussion is super interesting too, one thing I personally love about the English language is how versatile it is, so many regional accents across the globe yet we can mostly all talk to each other, there’s such amazing variety in meaning and sound, with parts of each locality somehow infused into the conversation, one thing that’s actually kind of nice when speaking is challenging because of language differences is to just not say anything and enjoy each other’s company

Thursday 20th May, 2021 #

  • An AMA from a developer making a good living selling NodeJS boilerplates
  • Twitter is letting anyone apply for verification for the first time since 2017 - Looks like they will be adding categories later down the line, like scientists and academics, hopefully web developers and engineers, aka the people that build the web, will make it in there eventually :)
  • Weapons of mass (value) destruction - Some analysis from Om Malik of the current situation in the US telecoms industry, which is going through a lot of change, you might have seen mention of AT&T, Direct TV, Time Warner and others this past week, well his article is all about that, it’s quite negative towards telecoms but it’s some good perspective as he’s been watching the industry for many years

Wednesday 19th May, 2021 #

  • Apple’s new iMac brings M1 goodness to the desktop - Really enjoyed this review, especially the end bit where the author describes why most regular people buy Apple products, they work well and eliminate fuss, for most people that are doing a ton of other non computer stuff, that has tremendous value

Tuesday 18th May, 2021 #

  • Amazon is in talks to buy MGM for $9 billion - Would certainly be an interesting acquisition, MGM is the studio with the roaring lion at the start of movies, their biggest title is Bond, and there are many others like Rocky and Stargate, I think it’s an interesting purchase because though the studio’s star has faded somewhat recently, it still has a sort of old school coolness to it, with Amazon backing who knows what could be in store for the 20s
  • Twitter reportedly launching its long-awaited new Verification program next week - The article is from last week, so should be in the next few days, based in the description it seems like bloggers, linkbloggers and podcasters might not meet the criteria :(
  • Software Engineering Daily Podcast - Botpress - Natural language processing with Sylvaner Perron - I’ve been mildly interested in the possibilities presented by bots, but most that I have interacted with to date have been mediocre - This interview covers a lot of topics but I started to get interested when he was describing some of the new use cases that are arising, specifically employee on-boarding, something I’ve done before, developing training programs, but I can totally see how some well designed bots could make setting up developer environments a much more pleasant, productive and perhaps even fun experience, I’m now also wondering how bots could integrate with developer tools, anyway it’s an interesting podcast that also discusses visual workflow editors, a conversation debugger, workflows, NLP algorithms, conversational AI, a shift to tools that learn to understand users, offering your services through a digital assistant, building your own Siri, voice interfaces, architecture and scaling with Redis and Postgres and transitioning to a container based architecture

Monday 17th May, 2021 #

  • 🚀 New Repo: Edge worker page hydrate - This is a minimal example of using Cloudflare edge workers to hydrate a static page with data fetched from an API, the website and API serverless function are hosted by Netlify
  • Ride Home Podcast (Bonus) Tipping as the currency for the creator economy - I initially thought this wouldn’t be all that interesting, but it turns out that the modern incarnations of tipping are having profound impacts on society, something which I hadn’t really considered at all - The discussion covers topics such as Twitter’s latest TipJar product, how creators and fans are creating much more direct relationships, Buy me a Coffee, Venmo, PayPal, OnlyFans, the historical context around tipping, the grossness in tipping, tipping in gaming, a shifting global consciousness around tipping, the impact on the advertising industry, the impact on the creator economy, platforms, the difficulty of growth for creators and of course crypto/blockchain

Saturday 15th May, 2021 #

  • TSMC looks to double down on U.S. chip factories as talks in Europe falter - I wonder how significant it is that there is all this worldwide expansion of chip making factories just as we get to 3nm architectures, I say that because there aren’t very many nm’s left, what happens when we get to zero?
  • Use Netlify Functions to Send Email Notifications - Generally useful tutorial, but also uses a 3rd party service called Ethereal which is an email catching service, which is a neat idea fir a service that I never knew existed - “it catches the mail requests and lets you read them, but it doesn't actually send them”
  • Distributed Persistent Rendering (DPR) - Chris Coyier writes a nice explainer piece, he points out an interesting scenario I hadn’t considered where this feature might make a lot of sense. Essentially you have a very big site and you make a change to something like a header that appears on every page, well with DPR you only re-render a page if it actually gets requested
  • Using 11ty JavaScript Data files to mix Markdown and CMS content into one collection - Cool tutorial that should give you some ideas about how you can combine multiple data sources when building your Jamstack site
  • The end of “your database” - Netlify CEO Matt Biilmann writes a piece about the modern web and how Jamstack website architectures are changing how we think about and build for the web
  • Why I Finally Chose React over Vue.js - I’ve been seeing so many articles that favour Vue recently, so it’s nice to see one rooting for React, in a nutshell it’s JSX and it’s ability to work well with both functional programming and Typescript that ultimately have led the author to his React preference
  • Deno 1.10 Release Notes - Lots of neat features including Web Storage API (localStorage and sessionStorage but on the server!), improvements to the built in test runner so it can run test suites in parallel
  • Roblox rebrands as 'experience' creation platform amid Epic Games v. Apple trial

Friday 14th May, 2021 #

  • The Three Things to Never Build In Your App - Authentication, Notifications, and Payments - Of the 3 mentioned I’ve always used 3rd party services for payments, but the author in this article makes quite a good case for why you might want to do the same for auth and notifications
  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX inks satellite connectivity deal with Google Cloud
  • Vitalik Buterin donates more than $60M to charity after selling meme tokens including Shiba Inu

Wednesday 12th May, 2021 #

  • Babel is used by millions, so why are we running out of money?
  • Latest Linux kernel introduces preliminary Apple M1 support
  • CryptoPunks NFTs sell at Christie’s for $16.9 million
  • EBay officially opens its platform to NFT sales
  • Apple robbed the mob’s bank - All about Apple’s recent privacy crusade, the article creates an interesting framing, essentially calling out their behaviour as daylight robbery, it’s an interesting angle and it feels like it lines up with reality, the one thing I’m wondering is whether Apple really is using all the AppStore apps first party data to improve their advertising business, my understanding was that each app handled their own tracking data

Tuesday 11th May, 2021 #

  • Web design VS Web development
  • Voyager 1 hears the hush of interstellar plasma - Really liked this space science article, I didn’t know our entire solar system has a sort of ozone layer called the heliopause, that’s pretty cool, and there’s also a neat diagram of the Voyager and Pioneer space ships that are currently travelling into deep space, they’re all heading in different directions, which I guess is on purpose so we get a better aggregated view, it occurs to me that we should send out large fleets of very small devices in all directions all travelling at the same speed, to get a sort of Google Street View of interstellar space - Also it reminds me I had this idea a couple of days ago while watching a large crane moving a massive pile of dirt from a barge onto the river bank, I was really impressed by how the crane operator was able to move large amounts of dirt by swinging the claws using angular momentum to perfectly position the them to pickup the dirt, well anyway it occurred to me that if we ever find a way to create artificial gravity, then we could use the same technique to create a solar roundabout, so space ships could get slingshot in the direction they need to go in, you would probably want to have several of these orbiting of different distance from the sun, space travel is awesome

Sunday 9th May, 2021 #

  • How to Send Tweets With a JavaScript GitHub Action
  • Using the Switch(true) Pattern in JavaScript
  • Jonah Edwards - Internet Archive Infrastructure - Looks super interesting, especially if you’ve ever had a chance to manage a large fleet of servers, careful though the file looks like it could be quite large, I’m hoping to watch this later
  • kuchin/awesome-cto - A curated and opinionated list of resources for Chief Technology Officers, with the emphasis on startups - Looks like a rather good resource
  • V8 release v9.1 - Includes FastTemplateCache improvements, top-level await, private brand checks a.k.a. #foo in obj and short builtin calls

Saturday 8th May, 2021 #

  • What Serverless Computing Is and Should Become - The Next Phase of Cloud Computing - I’m most of the way through this article and it’s a great read, although it’s quite long, it makes the distinction between the first phase (sysadmin) and second phase (programmers) of serverless computing and goes on to discuss the serverless computing landscape in a lot of detail and with much clarity
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-05-08 is out!

Friday 7th May, 2021 #

  • Build a SaaS Platform with Stripe - This tutorial series looks awesome, it’s amazing to me how much easier this is to do than even just a few years ago
  • Hello, Modules! - Package maintainer extraordinaire, Sindre Sorhus, is going all in on ESM and he has written some migration guides to get things moving in the community now that Node 10 is no more
  • Twitter Introducing Tip Jar - It’s a way to support people financially via several payment methods including Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal and Venmo

Thursday 6th May, 2021 #

  • Are the royals going to vlog?
  • Bootstrap 5 has officially landed
  • IndieWeb and Web Mentions - Chris Coyier post from a few years back but it goes through the pros and cons in quite a lot of detail, highlighting what I was thinking which is that they are very similar to pingbacks / trackbacks but more modern
  • I’ve been reading Donald Trump’s microblog, he’s got a very distinctive style, however the posts feel a bit detached from reality, something which could be improved by including a timestamp on each post, there’s currently no sense of when the posts were made, the other thing that would make it immensely better is an RSS feed, and wouldn’t it be cool if Mr Trump implemented Web Mentions and became a proponent of the IndieWeb?

Wednesday 5th May, 2021 #

  • Bittorrent Creator Bram Cohen has a new crypto blockchain project called Chia - It differs from Bitcoin and Etherium by using proof-of-space rather than proof-of-work
  • Chipmaker TSMC may be planning to build more chip factories in Arizona - The Taiwanese company, the world leader in chip foundry services, looks set to build up to 6 factories in the area
  • Donald Trump’s new social media / blog / microblog - It renders pretty well on mobile, he doesn’t seem to share many links but I’ve seen a least one so it looks like he can add anchor tags in his posts, I couldn't find an RSS feed though so the only way for automatic updates is via email and that's a bit much for me
  • Donald Trump’s ‘social media platform’ has launched, and it’s just a blog - Personally I think it looks more like a microblog
  • Epic CEO argues Fortnite trial is an existential fight for the future

Tuesday 4th May, 2021 #

  • Bill and Melinda Gates are ending their 27-year marriage
  • Will Linux Phones stay around this time? - Roundup of the past and current efforts to get Linux running on phones
  • Deno Thoughts - Nothing Earth shatteringly new here but it’s nice to have a summary of the main things that make Deno a nice programming runtime to work with written by a developer that has been testing it out recently
  • Ride Home Podcast (Bonus) Bull-Bear Case For Clubhouse - Pretty great debate episode that looks at the pros and cons of Clubhouse style applications, it’s very much an episode of two halves, I was totally convinced after the first segment, but then after the second segment I was totally convinced in the other direction, now I just don’t know, I still personally like the Clubhouse style audio recordings, but there are definitely some challenges to building a business around the format
  • Twitter Opens Audio Spaces to All Users with Over 600 Followers, Announces New Spaces Features

Monday 3rd May, 2021 #

  • Progress Delayed Is Progress Denied - Do App Store policies harm developers? Is the web a credible alternative? A look at the data
  • Re-Post: Coin Talk Podcast - Confessions of a Man Who Bought 20 Hashmasks.... w/ Ledger Status - I’ve never been super into crypto, but I like this podcast mostly because of the dynamic between the hosts and the guests they have on the show, they don’t take themselves too seriously, but they are clearly very into the crypto space, are very knowledgeable about it and their enthusiasm is entertaining - This episode sort of blew my mind a bit, if you are at all into building digital media production workflows and automation you might find this interesting too, there are a lot of very crypto and fintech nerdy concepts thrown about but they also interject every now and then to summarise at a high level what is going on, essentially you can do basically anything with etherium, which is kind of awesome, but on the other hand, you can do basically anything with etherium, which could be kind of risky, but maybe it’s just hilarious, or not, hard to tell, either way it’s the first time I’ve listened into a crypto deep dive discussion where my web developer spidey-sense got activated, no idea if it’s good or bad but there’s something interesting there for sure
  • Lex Fridman Podcast #181 – Sergey Nazarov: Chainlink, Smart Contracts, and Oracle Netwo - Experienced crypto systems architect, specialising in smart contracts and decentralized oracle networks which are the equivalent of APIs for smart contracts - It’s a great interview because he has hands-on experience building high performant crypto systems, so his knowledge isn’t just about theoretical concepts, it’s based on real world experience, and he’s able to communicate that very effectively - My favourite quote which should give you a sense for the potential in this space, and it lines up with what I saw when listening to that Cointalk Podcast a few months back - “DeFi and NFTs aren’t even the tip of the ice berg, they are the snow coming off of the tip of the ice berg”
  • Apple Podcasts has so much potential; here are some ways it could be taken to the next level
  • From the spookily timely department: President of Elon Musk’s Neuralink venture tweets that he’s left the company

Sunday 2nd May, 2021 #

  • Apple takes on the internet - the Big Tech battle over privacy - I’d like to hear from the big tech companies what a future with no/less privacy, user tracking and especially AI, AR/VR, crypto, smart contracts and brain implants looks like, because that’s what is on the horizon, I think it’s quite understandable that many are worried about possible bad scenarios, it’s not something we can just wonder into hoping that it will all be fine, but also we need to imagine a great future for all, we just can’t destroy humanity in the process
  • How a university got itself banned from the linux kernel - Good writeup of the situation from a couple of weeks ago
  • All four of the U.S. big tech companies now have antitrust charges against them
  • The EU is cracking down on Apple’s App Store. Is Congress next?
  • osmoscraft/osmosfeed - A web-based RSS reader running entirely from your GitHub repo.

Saturday 1st May, 2021 #

  • Intel’s CEO seeks $10 billion to develop chip manufacturing in continental Europe
  • Muse Group formed to support MuseScore, Ultimate Guitar; acquires Audacity - Another interesting development in the audio space, Audacity has been used for many years by podcasters and music producers because it’s open source, it looks like Muse Group has some experience developing open source audio products, so hopefully it’s a net positive for Audacity and its users
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-05-01 is out!