Mark Smith's Linkblog

Wednesday 9th June, 2021 #

  • Websites begin to work again after major breakage - Lots of websites go offline including BBC, NYTimes, the UK government website gov.uk, Financial Times, the Guardian, PayPal, Shopify, HBO Max, Vimeo - Fastly had issues with it’s content delivery network (CDN) which all the sites use to deliver their service

Tuesday 8th June, 2021 #

  • Apple announces iPadOS 15 with homescreen and multitasking improvements - Looking forward to seeing these iPad multi-tasking improvements, I’m wondering how feasible it might eventually use one of these devices as an ultra-portable development device
  • Apple unveils iOS 15 with new FaceTime features and more - The photos, wallet, weather and maps features look to be the most interesting to me

Saturday 5th June, 2021 #

  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-06-05 is out!
  • In Response to Oversight Board, Trump Suspended for Two Years; Will Only Be Reinstated if Conditions Permit - Linking to this because it’s relevant to some of last week’s links, but haven’t had time to read more than the title and first few paragraphs as I’m fully focussed on project work - I note that it’s written by ex-UK politician Nick Clegg, now VP of Global Affairs at Facebook

Friday 4th June, 2021 #

  • Stack Overflow sold to tech investor Prosus for $1.8 billion - Big news for developers, nope I hadn’t heard of “Tech Giant” Prosus either
  • Trump shuts down his personal website - Big news I suppose, it would seem that having gotten used to millions of daily reactions on Twitter, that the 150000 that he was getting from his personal website wasn’t enough, I guess if you are someone like Trump you just have to be mainstream, and personal websites are never going to be like that, it’s a different sort of readership, I still wish he ran a personal website though, maybe he could have an alter-ego website, wildly different from DJT
  • Introducing Twitter Blue - Twitter’s first-ever subscription offering - It’s aimed at Twitter power users, and adds several special features to enhance their experience

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!

Friday 30th April, 2021 #

  • Node Todo will guide you through your first contribution to Node.js core
  • What's Next, The Future of Node.js - Joe Sepi, Michael Dawson and Bethany Griggs - A short video presentation of the general structure of the NodeJS community, the current and future state of NodeJS and the best and easiest places to get involved
  • How to Use ECMAScript Modules in Node.js - It’s definitely worth familiarising yourself with how ES Modules work in NodeJS because they are likely going to start getting popular soon, most of the articles I’ve read have left me a bit confused but this article actually does a very good job of summarising the usage and pitfalls, it’s still a bit complicated but it’s not that bad
  • What Should Static Site Generators Be Called? - The author isn’t too into the term Jamstack and so does a little exploration of other possible ways to name the architectural style, I think some of what he is saying is worth considering, the current name doesn’t really highlight the best features
  • Netlify has a new solution to slow build times and it’s called Distributed Persistent Rendering or as I like to call it “Fancy Caching”

Thursday 29th April, 2021 #

  • Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s Fourth Flight planned for April 29th
  • Mighty wants to ‘make Chrome faster’ by streaming a browser from the cloud, starting on macOS
  • Epic Games lawsuit - Academics from Harvard, Stanford, UCL, and more testify against Apple - It’s nice to see UCL part of a list of prestigious universities (rightly so, it’s a fantastic university), some good quotes and opinions, though the piece includes an economics department giving advice about computer security, which seems a bit dubious
  • FSF board frequently asked questions (FAQ) - The FSF sent this out earlier today to their mailing list, they are trying to strengthen their governance, and I suppose because of the recent events around the re-appointment of Richard Stallman to the board of directors, it’s an attempt to increase transparency, it’s a good move, I enjoyed reading their FAQ and also the page about the board member responsibilities, they are very well thought out and well written documents, I’m not very familiar with how governance type mandates are defined, and theirs looks like a good example for anyone in similar territory, but it’s also good timing IMO, one thing to note is that Richard’s role has changed considerably, he no longer has the board breathing down his neck, and no longer has to manage staff, it will be interesting to see how things will be in a year
  • Reading Waves - Issue #1 - Newsletter that focusses on publicly traded tech companies, with weekly roundups of the best performers - “Your weekly guide to find stocks that have hit 52-week high”

Wednesday 28th April, 2021 #

  • Changelog Podcast Ep #438 - Let's mint some NFTs - The guys interview Mikeal Rogers of Protocol Labs, I decided not to take notes while listening, so I don’t have a summary, but the bottom line is that if you’re a developer and are into crypto even a bit, then this is a must listen episode, it’s the first proper developer centric NFT discussion I’ve listened to and they cover all the relevant tech at a good depth and throw around some fun development experience and ideas, by the end of it you’ll be wanting to get right into some crypto and blockchain projects
  • Zuckerberg launches new Instagram features for creators to generate revenue -They include creator shops for selling merchandise and a marketplace for matching up brands with influencers
  • Spotify unveils subscription platform for podcasts - Looks like it will be cheaper for creators than Apple’s recently announced paid podcast subscriptions, but the features offered are somewhat different

Monday 26th April, 2021 #

  • Marscopter - Successful 3rd flight - “On Sunday, the little chopper rose to a height of 5m before speeding off laterally for 50m - half the length of a football field.”
  • How Facebook encodes your videos - Very detailed engineering write-up of the video encoding pipeline from the Video Infra Team, it’s an impressive system operating at tremendous scale that automatically decides how to encode videos based on benefit-cost analysis, then uses an AI ML model which uses multiple decision points to prioritise encoding based on predicted watch time
  • As Linux 5.12 released, Linus Torvalds warns next version will probably be rather large
  • Facebook v Apple: The ad tracking row heats up - Well written piece that summarises what’s happening in AdTech, good read if you are looking to catchup on the main issues and the move towards privacy online

Sunday 25th April, 2021 #

  • CSS Container Queries - Soon to be implemented in browsers, useful for sites that use components in the frontend
  • FFmpeg cheat sheet - A list of useful commands for the ffmpeg command line tool, so you can script lots of cool things with video
  • Disadvantages of Pull Requests - Probably quite controversial, though the author does make a few good points that I hadn’t considered until reading this post
  • Open letter from researchers involved in the “hypocrite commit” debacle (HN Thread)
  • Indie Hackers Podcast Ep #203 – What You Need to Know About Bitclout with Mubashar Iqbal - Quite a thorough discussion about the pros and cons of this new crypto people trading website, I admit the idea sounds interesting but it still feels scammy to me, like some sort of strange protection racket, and the best excuse for it seems to be “well this is probably happening anyway”, which might be the case but doesn’t justify it, maybe there’s a different way to do something similar that doesn’t feel so fundamentally wrong
  • TC39 Podcast interview with Guy Bedford - I enjoyed hearing about Guy’s journey as an independent open source developer, being a digital nomad, creating the jspm & SystemJS projects (among others), and how he became a TC39 delegate, also glad to hear the podcast now has a sponsor :)
  • tc39/proposal-js-module-blocks - Interesting proposal which would introduce the ability to create modules inline, which could then be passed directly into workers and worklets
  • Ubuntu 21.04 Shrinks Kubernetes Footprint for Raspberry Pis, GPUs - Great for dev environments
  • John Gruber - “Apple’s M1 positioning mocks the entire x86 business model”
  • Web Performance Recipes With Puppeteer - Programatically load your site using puppeteer and extract various performance statistics

Friday 23rd April, 2021 #

  • sindresorhus/terminal-link - Create clickable links in the terminal - Useful for when building Bash/Shell CLI tools
  • Mongoose Internals - Schemas, Schema Options, and Models - First part in a tutorial series that looks at Mongoose intervals aimed at getting contributors up to speed in the codebase, I’ve used Mongoose in many projects, it’s good to read docs like this, I think there are many large open source codebases that would benefit from such articles, it’s not always obvious where to find such material
  • A Complete Guide To Incremental Static Regeneration (ISR) With Next.js - Uses caching cleverly to only build changed pages rather than rebuild an entire site, I like the functionality but it still seems overly complex to me, personally I’d like a solution that doesn’t use caching, that has a way to run a build via cli but specify which pages to build
  • GCHQ Chief - West faces ‘moment of reckoning’ over cybersecurity

Thursday 22nd April, 2021 #

  • Mozilla reacts to publication of EU’s draft regulation on AI - It isn’t much of a reaction, but it’s good to see that it’s on their radar
  • Tiny Container Challenge - Building a 6kB Containerized HTTP Server!
  • How to navigate directories faster with bash - Some useful tips including dot aliases for quickly going up, pushd/popd, and CDPATH
  • Google’s main page logo today is pretty cool - Earth Day 2021 Doodle
  • Conversations with Tyler Podcast - Shadi Bartsch on the Classics and China - I found this super interesting, though it’s not directly tech related it looks at the relationship between the west and China in the context of classic literature, and I think it could be valuable context as we navigate through rapid tech evolution on the planet
  • Duncan Trussell Family Hour Podcast - Interview with Nick Hinton - Word of warning this podcast is way way out there, but I think they have an interesting discussion about AR/VR, and the reality is that we live in a world with religion and conspiracy theories, the things we build get consumed and remixed at this level too, so perhaps it’s worth being aware of that? I don’t have the resources and increasingly autonomy at the minute to spend weaving this into a narrative, it’s unlikely to make it into the newsletter, maybe someone else can have a go? Mostly linking just so I can get it out if my thought process, just to note that it exists and worthy of consideration
  • Podcast Subscriptions vs. the App Store - Some excellent analysis of Apple’s paid Podcast subscriptions announcement yesterday, looking back at how difficult it was to listen to podcasts in the early days (I remember it well!), the introduction of the iPod, iPhone and Podcast support in iTunes, the current podcast landscape, how paid subscriptions fit in for users and creators, it’s a really great piece worth reading if you are at all interested in audio on the web
  • This has just become a big week for AI regulation - Laws being considered by the EU Commission and the FTC
  • Apple antitrust hearing - Tile likens Find My network to a ‘hostage’ program, App Store scam apps, more

Wednesday 21st April, 2021 #

  • Linux bans University of Minnesota for sending buggy patches in name of research (HN Thread) - I’d quite like to hear what Linus Torvalds thinks about this matter
  • kentcdodds/mdx-bundler - 🦤 Give me MDX/TSX strings and I'll give you back a component you can render - Supports imports!
  • How I Built My Blog - Awesome write-up from Josh Commeau about how he’s built his blog, I’ve always been impressed by the clarity and readability of his blog, in this post he covers the stack, which is Next.js hosted on Vercel, uses both static and dynamic page rendering, with API integrations and interestingly makes use of mdx to embed React components directly in posts, which then can be unique and have cool functionality
  • Node.js 16 Available Now - The biggest new features is probably the Promises based timer API, which works nicely with top level async/await, I’m linking to the HN which includes a discussion of the possibility of the Node team releasing a set of optional core standard libraries which I found interesting to think about, also lots of commenters working for big tech companies reporting that they use NodeJS in production mission critical applications and are very happy with the performance and developer experience
  • Apple introduces Podcasts Subscriptions to pay creators for content in redesigned app
  • Apple announces new Apple TV 4K
  • Apple Launches New Colorful iMac With Powerful M1 Chip And 24-Inch 4.5K Display
  • Apple announces new iPad Pro with M1 chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR display

Tuesday 20th April, 2021 #

  • Watch the first footage of a helicopter on Mars
  • The Endless Acid Banger - Algorithmic self-composing acid techno music
  • minimaxir/hacker-news-undocumented - Some of the hidden norms about Hacker News not otherwise covered in the Guidelines and the FAQ
  • PiDP-11 is a modern replica of Digital Equipment Corporation’s influential PDP-11 minicomputer - I remember reading much about these ancient and very large pieces of kit in Steven Levy’s classic book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, which goes into details about the culture and ethics of the hacker community from the 1970s onwards, it’s awesome that you can now have your own PDP-11 on a Raspberry Pi, what a great accompaniment to the book
  • Reddit Talk is the latest to jump on the Clubhouse train - Hopefully it will be better than their support department

Monday 19th April, 2021 #

  • Why a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be a catastrophe for China and the world - Pretty good writeup of a worse case scenario for tech, seems like it would be a good idea to have a software development plan for a scenario where there will be no new chips for say 10 years, we’d have to go on a very serious software diet, minimalist apps would become very fashionable
  • Sonantic - Audio editing software for creating scripted dialogue using AI, impressive demo video, and has an API and CLI tool so you can create edits programmatically, very fine grained control of generated voice emotion and tone, I wonder where in the production pipeline production teams are using this software, lots of cool audio tools being developed at the minute
  • A look back at the era when netbooks were introduced in the late 2000s which led to the iPad and Chromebooks - The article makes the claim that all laptops these days are netbooks, that might be the case, I hadn’t realised, I still thought netbooks and laptops were distinct, but I don’t follow that scene so closely, I remember that time though, they were really popular, I never did get one at the time, I’d really like to have one now though, portability is a massive plus
  • Linus Torvalds reluctantly issues one more release candidate for Linux kernel 5.12 - “The new version of the kernel will add the ability to run Linux as root partition under Hyper-V, support for the Snapdragon 888, mainlining support for RISC-V boards from SiFive, plus more of Intel’s IOT-centric ACRN hypervisor.”
  • Edward Snowden NFT Sells for $5.4 Million in Ethereum - I’m slowly cooling to the crypto space given that Coinbase is excluding me from their service, I’ve noticed that I’ve started to skip over crypto stories, anyway this one looks newsworthy though I didn’t manage to read through the whole thing
  • Show HN: hackernews.roundtable.audio turns HN posts into live audio discussions - Not sure how practical this is for discussions but it’s an Interesting experiment, I’m liking all the developments in the audio space at the minute
  • Facebook plans to go after Clubhouse and podcasts with a suite of new audio products - Several products are apparently in the pipeline including an audio only version of Rooms, a Clubhouse-style product where users can interact on a virtual stage, a short audio message product for posting to your timeline, and a podcast discovery product that integrates with Spotify
  • Treat FLoC as a security concern

Saturday 17th April, 2021 #

  • Introducing OpenSearch - a community-driven, open source fork of Elasticsearch and Kibana
  • Thoughtworks Technology Radar 24 (Latest issue) - I haven’t had a chance to fully read through this yet but skimming through it, I really like how it’s structured, listing trends, technologies, techniques, languages and more in software development
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-04-17 is out!
  • The Media Treadmill - Great write-up from Jeff Mayerson the host of Software Engineering Daily, where he reflects on the past few years building projects while also running a media business, lessons learnt, and a description of the grind of producing quality media on a daily basis

Friday 16th April, 2021 #

  • 🚀 New Post: The Reddit Account Saga - A write-up of some of the difficulties I’ve faced on the Reddit platform over the past few months
  • Recode Media Podcast - Substack’s next target: Local news - Peter Kafka interviews Chris and Hamish from Substack, they discuss their latest effort in local news, how they compare to traditional media organisations, what in their view platforms should be like, and how the ability to leave is core to their model where they provide great tools for writers, and better value
  • 🚀 Added frontend technology to web development technologies bucketlist for 2021: Electron - In the context of web development it’s a frontend technology because it would be communicating with a NodeJS backend, but it doesn’t necessarily need to connect to a backend, it would be awesome to be able to create Desktop apps
  • electron-boilerplate - Minimalistic, very easy to understand boilerplate for Electron runtime - Electron is a framework for building cross-platform desktop apps with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS
  • GitHub CLI 1.9 enables you to work with GitHub Actions from your terminal
  • Docker Desktop now available for Apple Silicon
  • Google Earth’s historical 3D time lapses show the ravages of climate change
  • Europe seeks to limit use of AI in society - The new rules will affect AI systems that manipulate human behaviour, perform indiscriminate surveillance, are used in social scoring and for targeting the vulnerable