Mark Smith's Linkblog

Saturday 26th February, 2022 #

  • 🚀 Update to my poem: “This poem will be the last that I ever write so as to try to avoid even more abuse than is currentky beibg inflicted upon me. Cruelty should not be encouraged. Cruelty in the world is very real, I am absokutely certain if that now.”
  • 🚀 Latest Newsletter: Saturday 26th February, 2022 - Branding, marketing, the future of tech and cyberwar

Tuesday 10th August, 2021 #

  • Apple’s Mistake - Ben Thompson on the Apple CSAM fiasco - “Apple is compromising the phone that you and I own and operate, without any of us having a say in the matter”
  • Shop Talk Show Ep #475 - Ben Hong’s Views on Vue, VuePress, Nuxt, Petite Vue, Shopify + Netlify, and Static Hosting - Linking to this because listening to a webdev podcast cheered me up a bit
  • I got my device charged again, but I had to position the power cable in the weirdest and most contorted way, every moment could be my last, I hate this situation

Monday 9th August, 2021 #

  • Apple’s New ‘Child Safety’ Initiatives, and the Slippery Slope - I’m down to 2% power now, haven’t had time to read this article, I always said the internet would be shutdown by people trying to ‘protect’ children, looks like my final link is all about that, Goodbye World

Sunday 8th August, 2021 #

  • It’s that weekly thing again where my power cable stops working right after I publish the newsletter, still no place open to buy power cables, just spent over an hour trying to get my device charging, down to 8% power now, looks like this is how it all ends, goodbye cruel cruel world, maybe other worlds are available, I just want to build websites, surely that’s not too much to ask

Saturday 7th August, 2021 #

  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-08-07 is out!
  • Jamstack Radio Podcast Ep #84 - The New Web with Harrison Hines of Fleek - Most crypto stuff is focussed on finance, but this episode is concentrated on using blockchain based technologies and open protocols to build websites and apps on a stack that essentially replaces the Web 2.0 stack we have been using for the past decade - Includes quite a bit of practical advice on how to get started in this space
  • Tropical MBA Podcast Ep #609 - Is DeFi the Future of Finance? - Learnt some new stuff listening to this including CeFi vs DeFi and what stablecoins are and why they are useful

Friday 6th August, 2021 #

  • Power cable on the blink again, down to 10% battery, still nowhere open to buy a new cable
  • Can GitHub Copilot Crack a Facebook Coding Interview? - Has sone animated gifs showing Copilot in action, it certainly looks impressive, my first thought is that if everyone is using such tools, will they really know the codebase they are working on, won’t it just result in people having a very superficial understanding?
  • FSF-funded call for white papers on philosophical and legal questions around Copilot - I think this might be interesting to watch, especially if you are a developer, because it’s a serious effort to investigate the implications of using AI in software development tools, and they outline sone really interesting questions around freedom that arise with these new tools, all selected/published papers will receive $500
  • London Hard Fork on Ethereum Now Live - The changes are expected to make the crypto currency more stable

Thursday 5th August, 2021 #

  • Conversations with Tyler Podcast - David Deutsch on Multiple Worlds and Our Place in Them - I enjoyed this podcast a lot, and was struck by several things (1) the many worlds theory is quite weird to think about, it has some very unexpected and strange sounding aspects (2) I found the exploration of where philosophy meets physics enlightening, both from a historical perspective, but also how practically important it is that both these disciplines are functioning well, and (3) it’s amazing and also scary to me that it’s possible to have a mastery of subjects such as reality, evolution & freedom that is comparable to how I feel about web development, with the ability to know clearly and precisely which parts you know about, which parts you don’t, which parts require further experimentation and debugging, something which David certainly appears to have, hopefully he has some incredible refactoring tools to help with his institution and government systems building

Wednesday 4th August, 2021 #

  • Ninja Tune Podcast - Mind w/ ELKKA, Percolate, Yaya Bey & Peach - Interesting conversation about mental health in the electronic music industry, I feel like the conversation was a lot more real than some of the similar efforts I’ve heard from software / web development
  • The situation in HCMC Vietnam where I am is rather dire, everything everywhere I go is shut, the only cooked food I can buy is literally fried eggs and hot dogs, it’s been like this for around 2 weeks, just wanted to make a public note of that here
  • Deviate with Rolf Potts Podcast Ep #169 - The Olympics started out as a travel fest - All about the ancient Greek Games - Very topical since the Tokyo Olympics games are currently happening, this is a great exploration of the ancient games that ran for 1200 years without break, looking at specific details to get a sense of the culture of the time, how it was intertwined with philosophy and life in general, and how it affected politics across the world - I was very surprised how interesting this part of history is and how much it has shaped the modern world

Tuesday 3rd August, 2021 #

  • The most unbelievable things about life before smartphones - Of course so much has changed over the past 20 years or so, but it has happened bit by bit, so you almost don’t realise the enormity of it all, this article does a phenomenal job of describing just how drastic that change has been, by highlighting specific details of every day life - It’s scarily accurate

Sunday 1st August, 2021 #

  • Beachball - The Sunniest Semantic Version Bumper - It’s by the folks at Microsoft, looks very robust and useful
  • Using Google Drive as a CMS - Kind of a neat idea, especially for use cases where non technical folks are managing the content using Drive - The article has some good suggestions but is a bit light on code samples
  • oozcitak/xmlbuilder2 - An XML builder for node.js - I haven’t used this myself but the interface looks very nice especially the ability to create an XML file from a javascript object, certainly looks like it makes working with XML files much easier
  • Running CPU-Bound Tasks in Node.js - Introduction to Worker Threads - Well written article with just the right amount of explanation and detail and some clear code examples

Friday 30th July, 2021 #

  • Conversations with Tyler Podcast - Niall Ferguson on Why We Study History - I won’t try to describe in detail the topics covered since the episode description does a far better job than I could do, but I really enjoyed this, it’s a very high-brow look at some interesting aspects of UK history, from the perspective of a Scott who has studied the relevant history in great depth and formed some controversial views - One aspect I liked and share with him is a dislike for the common practice of reviewing the past using the current world view, anyway I was really wanting to hear some stuff about the UK recently, because so much of what I listen to has a US focus, and this episode was exactly that, I’d love to hear similar stuff from english/welsh/northern-irish folks to get a more complete picture of the UK - I don’t know if the interview is live or if the questions are shared in advance, either way, it’s a real pleasure to listen to

Thursday 29th July, 2021 #

  • The New Stack Podcast Ep #1266 - Cloud native deployments bring new complexities to the developer - Interesting discussion around how the move to cloud native infrastructure is affecting developers, how they are now having to get involved in devops activities and how a defacto architecture is emerging based around Kubernetes
  • Tech Dirt Podcast - Free speech, elections, vaccines, and social media - Level headed discussion about the most pressing free speech issues currently arising in the tech industry
  • Shop Talk Show Ep #473 - Brad and Ian Frost - From meteorologist to web developer - There’s a nice story of career change into web development, but the thing I found interesting is their discussion about web components, which they have been using as a way to reuse frontend functionality across apps, dropping them into different frameworks such as React and View that handle the orchestration - They have found that this way of building fits in well with larger companies that have many different frameworks across their organisation, but still want a consistent look and feel to their apps
  • Freakonomics Podcast Ep #470 - The pro’s and cons of America’s (extreme) individualism - I really enjoyed this episode, it was very focussed on the USA, and it would have been nice to hear about the UK a bit more, but it nonetheless paints quite a good high level picture of the cultural tides that shape the world around us - I don’t think any country got painted in particularly negative light, things are just different in different places, it’s nice to have a cultural map like this, I’d be interested to hear about similar maps created by other nations
  • Deviate Podcast Ep #168 - Japan’s Shikoku Pilgrimage - I felt a sort of kinship with the interviewee since, like on his pilgrimage, I am currently experiencing the challenges associated with walking around in small shoes
  • This Week in Travel Podcast Ep #286 - John Argento - RVing in Europe - Nice detour from Tech into Travel, very interesting account of a recent RV trip - Also an unexpected mention at the end of a new movement called Podcast 2.0 being led by Proto-Podcaster (and RV enthusiast) Adam Curry - I think it can be summarised as Podcasting + Bitcoin + Tipping while you listen, and sounds like it could be an interesting direction
  • Resident Advisor Podcast Ep #790 Cici - 2021.07.25 - I wasn’t too keen on the description but this mix has some rather good bits, the first half is a bit patchy, but the overall progression is kind of cool, some fun bouncy acid and electronic/house/tech, then into break beat, drum & bass and jungle tracks, interesting selection of uptempo and occasionally bassey EDM - Momentarily transported me back to the late 90s - It’s nice to hear old sounds and rhythms sometimes
  • 20 000 Hz Podcast Ep #72 - 808 - I browsed back through some of the old episodes and noticed I hadn’t listened to this one, it features some of the most iconic samples, loops and sounds that are now part of the international cultural soundscape, explores their origins, and the stories around how electronic sounds gradually got integrated into music - It’s a great listen
  • The Changelog Podcast - Why we 💚 Vim - I’ve been using VIM for many years now, so I really liked this episode, the care and attention to detail in how it was put together, and I even learnt a few things - VIM is awesome :)
  • I’m still having power cable issues, but it started working again, so I’m back online, not sure for how long though

Saturday 24th July, 2021 #

  • I’ve been surviving the past week with a really dodgy power cable, sometimes worked but had to place it carefully, all the shops are still closed, as soon as I sent out the newsletter today the power cable now totally doesn’t work at all, I’m at 10% power, once again I hope to be back online soon!
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-07-24 is out!
  • 20000 Hz Podcast - The Buzzer - Really well produced episode, very much in the audio documentary style that makes the 20 000 Hz podcasts really great, this episode has mystery, intrigue and old school tech in the form of short wave radio, I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would

Friday 23rd July, 2021 #

  • Virgin Galactic: Sir Richard Branson rockets to the edge of space - This happened a few weeks ago, I’m just seeing it now, I’ve listened to some great space podcasts this week, so it’s incredible to hear that he made it up there, pretty big moment for travel :)
  • Tech.eu Podcast - Going after the world from Europe - Interview with Jean-Pierre Saad from investment firm KKR - I enjoyed this interview, some good perspective, lots of stuff happening in the european tech sector
  • vervet/ncc - Compile a Node.js project into a single file - Supports TypeScript, binary addons, dynamic requires
  • Node-Red - Version 2.0 released - There aren’t a huge amount of new features, however they are releasing the first version of a flow debugger and linter which look super interesting, it’s part of their push to improve the developer experience

Wednesday 21st July, 2021 #

  • Lex Fridman Podcast Ep #201 – Konstantin Batygin - Planet 9 and the Edge of Our Solar System
  • Lex Fridman Podcast Ep #198 – Sara Walker - The Origin of Life on Earth and Alien Worlds
  • Source Code Podcast - Netflix gaming, privacy fights and the rise of Tiger Global - Great selection of interesting and current tech topics with coverage of Netflix’s somewhat surprising move into the gaming space, the recent twists and turns in the privacy debate which has gravitated over to the W3C, and Tiger Global shaking up the VC industry, all with just the right amount of depth and analysis