Mark Smith's Linkblog

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 I am going to incrementally
  • 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

Thursday 15th April, 2021 #

  • BitClout - Everything you need to know as an indie hacker - Another crypto related site that’s been making some waves recently, but it feels a bit scammy
  • Should You Use GitOps? - I’ve been very bullish on Github cantered workflows, for example CI/CD but also for content workflows, so I find the evolution of DevOps to include the GitOps specialisation very interesting, the article is sort of an overview but also includes some links to other relevant resources
  • The engineering task force has been looking at renaming ‘offensive’ terms in software - Ordinarily I would say it’s important to fully understand the problem for the long term, but with this there’s the danger that the solution gets turned into a stick to hit people on the head with, and then where will we be? Proceed with caution, but proceed none the less
  • Framasoft - These are that folks the develop PeerTube, they have a very interesting portfolio of apps and services, it’s got a very “french” vibe to the way it’s organised, focussed on open source but also on the wider area of “culture”, the other thing that stands out to me is that they have distribution of software via internet but also via DVD and USB key, which might seem old fashioned, but that’s quite a robust setup, using the network but not dependent on the network
  • Our plans for PeerTube v4 - Glad to see this project is still going strong, it’s an open source decentralised video platform, so similar to YouTube but federated, would be such an awesome addition to the ecosystem if it gets popular, it's based in France, a place that has other great video projects like VLC
  • Coinbase closes at $328.28 per share in Nasdaq debut, valuing crypto exchange at $85.8 billion - great business, absolutely appalling support, and that in my opinion is a massive red flag, would you trust your money to a company that only sends you automated emails messages? (That’s been my experience with Coinbase so far)

Wednesday 14th April, 2021 #

  • Introducing Surface Laptop 4 and new accessories for enhanced meeting experiences - These new windows laptops look pretty nice, the touch screen is interesting and the fact that they come in 4 different colours
  • Big Corporations Now Deploying Woke Ideology the Way Intelligence Agencies Do: As a Disguise - Glen Greenwald piece about the strangeness of government secret agencies supporting social justice causes, his article has a very Greenwaldesque slant, so bear that in mind, but whether you like his political views or not, I think he does highlight some very complex areas that societies will need to deal with at some stage

Tuesday 13th April, 2021 #

  • Why Brave (the browser) Disables FLoC
  • Microsoft buys speech recognition company Nuance for nearly $20 billion - It’s almost triple what they payed for Github, Though undoubtedly useful, I didn’t realise that speech recognition was such an important area
  • FSF doubles down on restoring Richard Stallman to the board after non-apology apology - It’s quite the spectacle, I think the board are probably right about the value in having Stallman on the board, from what I’ve seen in person and via videos and writing, he is unrivalled when it comes to his domain knowledge, the thing that seems weird to me is how this announcement was made, the whole thing feels rushed and improvised, and also there's something else that feels off IMO, perhaps it's that the apology is very un-Stallman-like, I mean for instance why aren't Stallmans actions part of so called 'social queues', it doesn't sound like something he would say, the apology is the sort of thing you'd say followed by '...and they are treating me really well'

Monday 12th April, 2021 #

  • Anxiety Is in Your Body, Not Your Mind
  • The Ponzi Career -Looks at some of the latest crypto funding methods people are experimenting with, I think there is still some way to go before we figure out a way to do this that people will be comfortable with, buying ownership of people is going to be a tough sell given human history, and probably not a wise way to go IMO, but I still think there’s a lot of possibility in the crypto space
  • Got an email from Coinbase support earlier, they closed my ticket saying it was solved (automated email), when it clearly isn’t solved, I emailed them and their automated email reply said I couldn’t re-open the ticket and would have to open a new support ticket, so I did that, and received the same automated response as last time, with the same instructions, immediately followed by the ‘how did we do email’, same exact email funnel as last time, I tried the instructions again in case they had fixed their website, but it’s the same issue - Coinbase support is terrible, how can this company be worth $100 billion dollars when they can’t even help their customers to setup their accounts? My account is unusable - it appears to me this service is not fit for purpose, the only thing that does work is the captcha challenge I have to fill out on practically every request, honestly Coinbase currently feels very scammy to me at the minute
  • 🚀 Re-Post: Moving BBC Online to the cloud - I’ve re-posted several write-ups from the BBC recently, there are for sure others doing great work too, I’d like to read their write-ups, anyway this article is a great piece that describes their audit / cloud strategy, a good read if you are involved in any digital transformation projects
  • 4 Change Management Strategies for Digital Transformation - There’s a lot of movement in this space as companies move to the cloud, the truth is that digital transformation has been happening since we invented computers, but the scale is on a different level these days, and there’s a big effect both in the enterprise and across society at large, it’s great that companies are sharing their experiences
  • Everything You Need To Know About The Coinbase Direct Listing

Sunday 11th April, 2021 #

  • Obituary: HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh - It’s a strong obituary, and although he was somewhat in the background, when you look at his achievements, 70 years married, 4 children, grand children, great grand children, WWII, British Navy, Duke of Edinburgh Award, World Wildlife Fund, Industrial Society, International Equestrian Federation, over 22000 solo engagements, helping to navigate the Royal Family through very complex times, there’s a lot there that had considerable impact to people, that’s quite a life, RIP
  • Make your own online radio server in pure Node.js - Tutorial that takes you through creating a CLI based interface to a server that presents a simple webpage which can stream audio files to connected clients
  • suryamodulus/pm2-webui - PM2 WebUI, Opensource Alternative to PM2 Plus, Minimalistic App Manager and Logs Viewer - worth checking out this project even just for the ability to view the logs via a web UI
  • Don’t pick up! The rise and fall of a massive industry based on missed calls - It’s so interesting to read about markets and software companies developing in places where the dynamics are totally different, by the sounds of it that would have been a very fun place to work during that time
  • Serverless Playbook For Enterprises - Some high level tips about serverless deployments
  • Ink 1.0 – Open-source scripting language for interactive narrative - Interesting category of software that I wasn’t aware of, as games get more complex it totally makes sense to have software tools to build the narrative
  • Evaluating Modest SaaS Business Ideas (HN Thread) - Good list of questions to answer when evaluating projects, has some overlap with questions VCs ask in funding rounds

Saturday 10th April, 2021 #

  • Initial M1 support merged into Linux SoC tree
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-04-10 is out!
  • A lingua franca  'Frankish tongue'; also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when it is a third language that is distinct from both of the speakers' native languages

Friday 9th April, 2021 #

  • Hackers are trying to sell stolen data from 500 million LinkedIn users - Another massive user data mess-up to go with the very similar Facebook user data mess-up - Aside from the fact that these are serious breaches, I’m struck by how these numbers are almost too big to even conceptualise, imagine being in 1950 telling someone that your company had 1/2 a billion customers, it just would not compute in that reality
  • 🚀 New Post: Experiments with the newsletter structure and content - A look at the most recent things I’ve been experimenting with in my javascript, technology and web development newsletter
  • 🚀 New Post: The evolution of my javascript, technology and web development newsletter - I look back at the past 21 editions and tracing the evolution to the present day
  • The Architecture Behind A One-Person Tech Startup - Great writeup of a Tony Stark level solo developer setup, very impressive, lots of similarity with my NodeJS architecture but since it uses Kubernetes it’s next level, includes diagrams and snippets of the various configs so you get a really good idea how everything is connected, and some good commentary describing architectural decisions, pro & cons, ultimately it’s a mostly self-hosted setup that supports multiple apps, load balancing, caching, logging, deploys, provisioning and a whole lot more
  • Wix and Their Dirty Tricks - Matt Mullenweg of Wordpress and Automattic takes aim at Wix for their tasteless ad campaign and shady business model

Thursday 8th April, 2021 #

  • First Public Working Draft of WebCodecs today - “The specification defines interfaces to codecs for encoding and decoding of audio and video. It does not specify or require any particular codec or method of encoding or decoding but provides JavaScript interfaces to implementations of existing codec technology developed elsewhere”
  • 7-Figure Small Podcast - The Rise of the Personal Enterprise - A look at one of the latest trends for self employed individuals, often something that freelancers move towards as they grow, includes some useful insight based on real world experience
  • Make is crap - Imagine a world where all software feedback was this good
  • HN Thread - Screw it, I’ll host it myself - I’m adding the HN thread because there are some useful comments there, it’s definitely not super easy to self host infrastructure yet, but I think in a few years these setups will be made a lot easier, especially when Kubernetes becomes for streamlined
  • Screw it, I’ll host it myself - Great developer writeup of his personal self hosted setup, including network diagrams and a fantastic list of apps that enable him to be fully self hosted and fully backed up
  • TikTok adds automatic captions to videos in accessibility push - Cool new feature, this potentially opens up the possibility of some interesting translation workflows

Wednesday 7th April, 2021 #

  • Apple to unveil new AR/VR headset later this year - There are a variety of approaches that companies are using in their AR/VR, the Apple approach: “Pass video of the real world through the visor and display it to the user, offering a ‘mixed-reality effect.’”
  • Why there really aren’t 2 million podcast series - The whole way through this article I was wondering about a specific statistic, then right at the end it mentions said statistic, then pulls a “you’ll have to wait for our next article”, needless to say that was a bit annoying, but there’s also some good info in there if you are into podcasts
  • 🚀 Re-post: Mozilla MDN Docs are going full Jamstack
  • 🚀 Re-post: GitHub Actions for custom content workflows
  • 🚀 Re-post: bbc/simorgh - Github repository for the BBC's open source ReactJS single page application - Used across the BBC World Service News websites, with tens of millions of users, these are some of their biggest websites - It's written in javascript and runs in NodeJS!
  • 🚀 Re-post: How the BBC World Service migrated 31 million weekly readers to an isomorphic react app - Pretty great writeup from the engineering team about their migration from a PHP monolith, it’s cool that they are running server rendered React now, they do a lot of great work when it comes to accessibility since their sites are published in so many different languages and are optimised to run in a huge variety of network connectivity conditions, I’d like to know more about the backend the new system is using, something the article doesn’t cover, did they change backend language? They mention it’s running on cloud infra, but where? And are they using serverless?
  • Why does so much news about the European Union still come out of London, even post-Brexit? - It’s a difficult situation for sure, and as the article points out it’s awkward, but from a technical point of view it’s a tremendous opportunity to build some really ground breaking media production workflows, there is already lots happening in this space notably from the BBC, and much of it is written up publically and open source
  • It’s been 10 days since I opened a ticket with Coinbase support, I only so far received an automated email with my ticket number, I sent them an email today asking if they had read my support ticket, about an hour later I received a “How did we do email”, not so good, also I read in a recent article about their direct listing that they had a public conference call before the listing (unusual apparently) because things were quiet, yet on their support site there is a popup that says they are experiencing “an increase in inquiries” and “there may be a delay in responses from Coinbase Support”, that’s quite a lot of mixed messages, looked on the website but there is no way to find out the status of the ticket, emailed them again but no reply so far
  • Make your own Smarthome Server with NodeJS - Now I’m thinking what awesome homemade NodeJS clients could be built :)
  • Google vs. Oracle: The ruling at the US Supreme Court - Quite a good summary of the case and what it means for software development and the software industry in general
  • fselect - Find files with SQL-like queries
  • Short discussion thread I had with author from yesterday’s link to the Web Browser Engineering book, centred around the possibility of a version of the book with the browser written in NodeJS, how awesome would that be? Hint: Very awesome :)
  • Clubhouse Discusses Funding at About $4 Billion Value
  • Coinbase Posts Blowout Q1 Profit of $730-$800 Million, Days Before Public Listing - I still haven’t heard back from their support team, it’s been 10 days now

Tuesday 6th April, 2021 #

  • 🚀 New recommendation from Ian Hamilton - I worked with Ian while at Signiant where he is Chief Technical Officer
  • NASA Startup Studio - “The NASA Startup Studio offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to launch the next big NASA spinoff. It is a unique program that pairs entrepreneurs (and those who want to be) with NASA technologies that are prime for commercialization.”
  • Web Browser Engineering - Web browsers are ubiquitous, but how do they work? This book explains, building a basic but complete web browser, from networking to JavaScript, in a thousand lines of Python.
  • Introducing Clubhouse Payments - The have implemented a very generic Stripe integration so users can pay creators directly, it will be interesting to see how people use the feature
  • Software Innovation Prevails in Landmark Supreme Court Ruling in Google v. Oracle - “An important victory for software developers”
  • Blogrolls - Making Writer Discovery Seamless - Medium is going retro and re-introducing a feature that was popular in the early blogosphere, I think it’s a cool idea, especially since they have re-imagined it somewhat, adding some automation so it’s easier to manage, I don’t really remember whether it was a feature I used very much back in the day, I had a blogroll on my blog but that’s something you generally just setup once and rarely make changes, and I suppose I clicked around a bit on other people’s blogrolls though I don’t remember it being ‘second-nature’, it will be interesting to see how it changes the flow of things
  • HN Thread on the Google vs Oracle Java APIs case, lots of interesting points raised in the comments
  • Yahoo Answers will be shut down forever on May 4th - The end of a long and storied internet era (of bad questions and even worse answers)
  • Supreme Court rules that Android Java usage is fair use in win for Google over Oracle

Monday 5th April, 2021 #

  • The NFT Canon is a go-to resource for artists and creators, developers, corporations and institutions, communities and other organizations seeking to understand or do more with non-fungible tokens
  • What really is the difference between AR / MR / VR / XR ?
  • Microsoft is supplying 120,000 HoloLens-based headsets to the US Army - The AR/VR space has been making steady progress in recent years but such a big government contract, ~$20 billion over 10 years, is probably an indication that the pace is about to increase, there are many companies making consumer products too, lots of applications such as training, heads up displays, and many sectors especially industrial and manufacturing, I’m interested to see what software tools and workflows will get built in these environments
  • 42 - the wildly improbable ideas of Douglas Adams - This looks amazing, a crowd funding campaign for a book that pulls together all the best bits and pieces from Adams’ notes, scrap books, hard drives etc, reading HHGTTG for the first time was a bit like if the philharmonic orchestra was smashed together with everyone of your all time favourite dinners you have ever eaten, I just devoured each book back to back in a reading mega binge, it was still to this day my best ever book reading experience
  • NASA Confirmation: Earth is Safe From Asteroid for 100 Years - Well that’s nice to know
  • LG confirms it’s getting out of the smartphone business - I don’t know that much about mobile development aside from as a user, but I guess the disappearance of a manufacturer is somewhat similar to the disappearance of a browser, but probably worse because you also loose all the hardware possibilities, and I always thought that LG had some interesting phone designs, especially the dual screen devices, a bit experimental, but it seemed though at some stage one of them would lead to something really novel
  • @antirez (Author of Redis) - “I look at the web today. Not as a programmer, but as a user of broken sites that are unable to obey the most basic rules of navigation and usability, terribly slow despite the hardware progresses. And I can only think that modern frontend development has failed.”
  • Facebook, Inc / Giphy, Inc merger inquiry, by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) - “The CMA has referred the completed acquisition by Facebook, Inc. of GIPHY, Inc. for an in-depth investigation, on the basis that, on the information currently available to it, it is or may be the case that this merger has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom. Facebook was given the opportunity to offer undertakings to the CMA to address these concerns. Facebook informed the CMA on 25 March 2021 that it would not be offering any such undertakings.”
  • Ingenuity helicopter is officially sitting on the surface of Mars - First non-Earth helicopter flight scheduled for 11th April, we will have the data back on Earth on the 12th, I didn’t know that the Perseverance rover had a nuclear power system
  • Trump wishes happy Easter to radical left crazies - Say what you like, it’s remarkably “on brand”

Sunday 4th April, 2021 #

  • 533 Million Facebook Users' Phone Numbers and Personal Data Leaked Online - That’s a lot of user data
  • Ride Home Podcast - (Bonus) Friday 04.02 Twitter Space - Special experimental live talk radio style episode, a bit rough around the edges but generally a very interesting discussion about the AR/VR space, with an unexpected appearance from AR/VR connoisseur Robert Scoble, I like this format quite a bit, it’s a nice complement to the main show, reminds me of some of the earlier days of podcasting when things were more informal and unprepared, it’s also fun to listen in to the show as it evolves
  • GitHub investigating crypto-mining campaign abusing its server infrastructure - Looks like it’s possible to get a repo to run a new action just by creating a PR, it’s not even necessary to have the PR merged, they don’t mention any way to stop it happening, and it sounds like it’s been happening for many months, surprising that’s it’s only surfacing now, looks like crypto based attacks are on the rise

Saturday 3rd April, 2021 #

  • Coinbase To Go Public on April 14, Announce Q1 Earnings Beforehand - They are opting for a direct listing rather than an IPO, by the sounds of this article there are several other factors that make this transition non-typical, anecdotally I have been waiting for a reply from their support team for over a week now, hasn’t been the best on-boarding experience
  • Chris Coyier writes his thoughts about The Deno Company - Looks like people are mostly interested in the native Typescript support, but for me that’s the least interesting part, the security part is much more interesting, but also there seems to be a very strong tooling set, and being able to import via urls is cool
  • Using media queries with JavaScript - Could be useful for example to only load a specific library on larger devices
  • Class static initializer blocks - For all the OO lovers out there, this feature gives you the ability to have some code in a class definition execute exactly once
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-04-03 is out!

Friday 2nd April, 2021 #

  • Apple rejecting apps that collect data for 'device fingerprinting' - The purge begins
  • From Express to Fastify in Node.js
  • Lex Fridman Podcast Ep #173 - Nic Carter - Bitcoin Core Values, Layered Scaling, and Blocksize Debates - I decided to not take notes on this one so I could really concentrate on the content, so I don’t have a summary, I can say though that it’s a great episode, very different pace and style to other recent crypto / blockchain podcasts I’ve been posting recently, it’s got a nice balance of the history, economics, politics and software development topics at play, and concentrates on the hear and now of Bitcoin, very pragmatic and practical with good explanations, you’ll be left with a clear view of the landscape and a good sense for what shape the near term Bitcoin future will have
  • TSMC Unveils $100 Billion 3-Year Plan To Fuel R&D, Chip Fab Expansion - Looks like it might be a response to Intel’s plans announced recently, their investment will be 5x that of Intel’s, that’s a lot of investment
  • Casio G-Shock GSW-H1000 smartwatch rocks Wear OS - It’s priced at $700, I’m curious about what the display looks like and what type of apps it has

Thursday 1st April, 2021 #

  • How We Enable Airbnb Team Members to Code Like a Mobile Engineer - The two things that struck me from this great writeup, is how important mobile is becoming in modern development, but also, based on how amazingly well thought out the training program appears, how different working at a startup and a medium sized company is compared to working for a large established tech giant, it’s literally two different worlds
  • Source Code Podcast - Fixing the internet one browser at a time - Interview with Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker that I found really interesting because she has a wealth of experience in open source communities, has seen things develop from the early utopian web to today, and leads an organisation that is unique in its approach, and is adapting to the modern realities of the world wide web
  • The Deck We Used to Raise Our Seed - Great to see a real world example preparation needed for raising funding
  • Here's How I'm Fighting Cryptojacking and Doing Good Things with Content Security Policies - Great writeup from a security researcher that looks at an old domain that was previously used for cryptojacking, the author buys the domain, does some analysis of the traffic still hitting the site and shows why it’s a really good idea to set a CSP policy on your website, including adding a report-uri
  • Redefining what a map can be with new information and AI - The indoor navigation called LiveView looks pretty cool
  • Enjin raises nearly $19 million to build Polkadot-based blockchain for NFTs
  • Node.js Certifications and Training Sale + New Preview of Testing Environment
  • How to Develop Your Talent Stack - I like the mental model the author describes in this article, it’s simple, makes a lot of sense, and is achievable
  • Almost a fifth of Facebook employees are now working on VR and AR
  • Incremental Static Regeneration - Its Benefits and Its Flaws - Good to know what this is since you hear people talking about optimising static sites a lot, article does a good job describing it, tldr some rather big disadvantages - “A pretty big footgun that ultimately is confusing for users, and frustrating for developers”
  • Facebook is making it easier to turn off algorithmic ranking in your News Feed - You’re in control again, wow such features!

Wednesday 31st March, 2021 #

  • Suez Canal - How did they move the Ever Given?
  • Unsplash is being acquired by Getty Images
  • Very off topic - London’s Top Hairstylists Predict The Biggest Trends For Spring
  • YouTube is experimenting with hiding dislikes to protect creators’ well-being - “It’s experimenting with hiding dislikes to discourage ‘dislike mobs’ from deliberately downvoting videos from creators and channels”
  • Google collects 20 times more telemetry from Android devices than Apple from iOS
  • Dapper Labs announced a $305 million funding round Tuesday from another batch of National Basketball Association stars and a venture capital firm backing its runaway hit, NBA Top Shot - The NFT run picks up more steam
  • Arm Announces Armv9 Architecture With Major Performance, ML And Security Enhancements - Securitywise they are introducing the concept of realms, which need to be supported in software, but offer the possibility of hardware level separation between trusted and untrusted data for running applications
  • Apple supplier Foxconn says chip shortage will curb shipments

Tuesday 30th March, 2021 #

  • Tim Ferris Podcast Ep #506 - “The Episode of Everything” - Interview with Balaji Srinivasan former CTO of Coinbase and General Partner at Andersen Horowitz - Seriously good in depth discussion on the future of crypto, super long range local and global implications, likely new applications, societal impact, there is so much in this episode, starts off with journalism and it’s perverse incentives, a better way with citizen journalists, and then goes off on a wonderfully colourful, insightful and mind expanding journey into crypto, just a pleasure to listen to Balaji talk at length about crypto because, presumably because of his time at Coinbase and Stanford, he has so fully internalised the crypto abstractions and dynamics and is able to paint such a vivid picture, past, present and especially future, that it all seems so obvious, inevitable and exciting - It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to discover that he is actually a time travelling alien from outer space
  • Substack is raising $65 million amid newsletter boom
  • Compare cities on quality of life, cost of living, salaries and more - Explore where to move based on your personal preferences - Looks like an interesting site to do research, here’s an example city page for London

Monday 29th March, 2021 #

  • Announcing the Deno Company - “We have raised 4.9 million dollars of seed capital”, “Deno will remain MIT licensed [...] We don’t believe the open core business model is right for a programming platform like Deno”, “Our business will build on the open source project, not attempt to monetize it directly”
  • PHP repository moved to GitHub after malicious code inserted under creator Rasmus Lerdorf's name - The http backdoor was inserted twice at a seven hour interval between both attacks
  • The Boat in the Suez Canal Is Still Stuck, But You Can Now Stick It Anywhere You Want With This App
  • Amazon's private labels - Everyone is totally up in arms about Amazon private labels, what’s going on?
  • Intel 2. 0’s customer dilemma - Some analysis and predictions about the Intel Foundry Service strategy, there are lots of internal communication issues to overcome
  • This Microsoft Flight Simulator mod features the cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal
  • Nigel Farage joins advisory board of green firm to act as a lobbyist and spokesman
  • Linus Torvalds worries kernel 5.12 might be ‘one of those releases’ that lands a tad late - “io_uring continues to have noise in it, this time mainly due to some signal handling fixes, that removed a fair amount of problematic special casing, but the timing certainly isn't great.”
  • Jack Dorsey is just trolling Congress with Twitter polls now - The inner web developer in me is trying to imagine the wow-that-poll-feature-sure-was-a-good-idea feeling that no doubt ensued
  • A16z Podcast Ep #630 - All about NFTs - Lots of good NFT related info, including a general discussion of crypto and NFTs, what is an NFT and what is not an NFT, NFTs for digital and physical goods, social tokens, converting a non-fungible token to a fungible tokens by fractualinizing it, owning parts of tv shows, social value correlated with the amount of times digital item is shared / replicated, the ability to prove that you were an early adopter / supporter

Saturday 27th March, 2021 #

  • Hic et nunc - public smart contract infrastructure on Tezos Blockchain, considerably more environmentally friendly than Bitcoin and Etherium, can be used to mint NFTs, still in alpha stage
  • What does it mean to buy a gif? - Quite a solid explanation of why NFTs make sense in the art world, tldr it’s really very similar to how the art world already handles limited edition numbered and signed prints
  • MDN localization in March - Tier 1 locales unfrozen, and future plans - They are retiring a bunch of incomplete locales, which will still be available for download, but separate from the main site
  • John Gruber - “Jack Rusher explains NFT’s in a way that actually makes sense”
  • Glen Greenwald reviews the congressional hearings, the government wants more censorship, it all sounds very bad, I like that Dorsey took the call from his kitchen, and that he pushed back against the interrogation, the description of Zuckerberg’s testimony is kind of classic and amusing, but weirdly I don’t think it makes him look bad, maybe robot Zuck is his way of pushing back, strange to see the generational gap so evident and in public, I’m interested to read some other angles on these hearings
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-03-27 is out!

Friday 26th March, 2021 #

  • Vercel Serverless Functions vs Cloudflare Workers
  • How to Create a Hybrid NPM Module for ESM and CommonJS
  • Signiant Acquires Lesspain Software to Enhance SDCX SaaS Platform - It’s cool to see my old employer doing some acquisitions, and also interesting to see it is building out a media focussed platform strategy - “Signiant is executing a true platform strategy by targeting software companies with complementary functionality that can be transformed into cloud-native SaaS”
  • Lex Fridman Podcast Ep #174 Anthony Pompliano - Bitcoin - I’m not very into war or the military so I didn’t expect to get into this episode as it started out with a discussion about the military and being at war, kind of heavy stuff, but the discussion turned to an informative and general in depth conversation about Bitcoin, some light hearted and fun banter about Elon Musk, NFTs and the possibility of the digital art market becoming bigger than the physical art market; and actually it was good to know a bit about his background after all
  • Téléchat - Saison 1 - Episode complet (4:41) - I wasn’t able to watch this all the way through
  • Cryptocurrencies - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - Though I do quite like John Oliver, I had to stop watching his show because deep down somewhere in my psyche I don’t believe his head is actually attached to his body, and honestly it freaks me out, in any case it’s a pretty good roundup of crypto, how about NFTs John?
  • How we approach moderation decisions - More and more companies are having to create moderation policies and teams, I guess it’s necessary these days, I’d like to know how these teams are going to avoid all the pitfalls the police forces of the world have fallen against, again and again, corruption, entrapment and even harassment have been common place, and there is no reason these new teams will not fall on the very same sword, but this time with algorithms
  • Indie Hackers Podcast Ep #197 Inside Zapier’s first acquisition with Ben Tossell of Makerpad - I enjoyed this episode because both Courtland and Ben have had very similar entrepreneurial journeys, having both had their community based businesses acquired by a large technology company, there are lots of great insights into what the process of building and selling a company is actually like, it’s also interesting because Makerpad is in the No-code space

Thursday 25th March, 2021 #

  • Zuckerberg suggests how to tweak tech's liability shield - He’s proposing that platforms should be required to demonstrate they can remove content at scale, great if you have already built your fortress, not so great for the rest of us
  • Intel Unleashed, Gelsinger on Intel, IDM 2.0 - Reviewing the recent Intel announcements, it’s a strong roadmap and re-organisation, it reminds me a bit of when Amazon created Amazon Web Services, but what’s interesting is that it’s for hardware rather than software, it might very well be setting them up for a very large growth trajectory in the coming years

Wednesday 24th March, 2021 #

  • Techdirt Podcast - The State of Trust and Safety - Interview with Alex Feerst, former Head of Trust & Safety at Medium - Platforms have evolved a lot in recent years and have exposed the human side of our interactions online, teams have formed to moderate, it’s a difficult and tiring job where many very difficult decisions have to be taken per day, and someone will be unhappy 100% of the time, other topics covered include consistency, unit economics of justice, the marching band beating up the football team, the mindset of being able to think about all the ways things could go wrong, problems turning inside out, the snake eating it’s tail, human subjectivity, the surprising frequency of things being described as ‘self evident’, social platform design, trolls being like fans but reverse polarity, blockchain and distributed technologies, the horsemen of the content moderation apocalypse, most content moderation issues eventually boiling down to a storage or payment issue, and a lot more - It’s a surprisingly casual conversation given the often difficult subject matter
  • Intel announces that it is opening some new factories and a ‘Foundry Service’ where it will manufacture chips for 3rd parties, supporting both x86 and arm architectures, they might even manufacture some of the new M1 chips for Apple - Interesting pivot given the state of the industry, if you can’t beat ‘em...
  • Understanding JSON Schema - eBook that “aims to be the friendly driving instructor for JSON Schema”
  • Medium is moving to a Substack style model, citing the fact that total readership has increased, but readership for it’s publications has not, so it is offering current editorial team voluntary exists via buyouts and plans to hire individual writers going forward
  • Venus Could Have Been Habitable for Billions of Years
  • Sovereign Writers and Substack - Ben Thompson analysis piece on the changing publishing industry, lots of great insight, the part that stands out to me is how the new system will be sustainable, especially because writers that do analysis, very often rely on regular journalists to report the news, but if they all become independent writers, then that is going to be problematic, which is probably why advertising is so prevalent - In the past many independent writers would have started their own media businesses, but it’s not clear that will happen if all the technology is outsourced to cloud software companies
  • Douglas Adams found writing torture - I can relate, also I am reminded that he died at 49, I can practically see that number when I stare into the distance, maybe by 49 I will be happily working on exciting web development jobs
  • Linus Torvalds on where Rust will fit into Linux
  • Quite a lot of people are not happy about RMS returning to the FSF’s board, based on this article it’s hard to tell who is hated more Trump or Stallman

Tuesday 23rd March, 2021 #

  • Please don't upgrade Docker without asking first (HN Thread) - There is a bit of a discussion going on around the latest Docker releases which do forced automatic upgrades, that in some cases break the installation, and there is some concern about how the Docker team has handled the situation, very relevant since many modern developer environments rely on Docker
  • Messaging platform provider Discord reportedly exploring sale at $10B
  • LXD is a next generation system container manager - Someone in an HN thread I was in earlier recommended this as an alternative to Docker
  • Building my own yahoo! pipes - Awesome writeup of using Node-RED to build some cool RSS feed scrapers and processors, includes some excellent screenshots of the workflow canvas so you get a really good idea of what is possible - I really would like to do some work with Node-RED, it looks like it could be a really useful tool to use in creating modern news workflows
  • OVH writes off another data centre – SBG1 – and reveals new smoking battery incident - More details about the big OVH fire, interesting if you are a sysadmin or live in the EU
  • Daily Overview - Dutch Tulips - It’s the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, flowers will be in bloom soon
  • Richard M. Stallman returns to the Free Software Foundation Board of Directors - I once attended a lecture given by RMS in the UK at a university just outside London around 2004-ish, it was very good, very inspiring, he didn’t interact much with anyone before or after the lecture, he was very busy typing away on his laptop
  • Jack Dorsey’s first tweet sold as an NFT for an oddly specific $2,915,835.47
  • YouTube experiment will auto-detect products in videos and provide related content links - Good to see some actual innovation in Ad Tech rather than all the surveillance tracking, hyper linking video is pretty cool
  • Samsung bets big on foldable smartphones amid chip crunch - I’m interested to learn about web development efforts aimed at these new foldables, also they have mentioned that they are working on a double foldable phone, what is that going to look like?

Monday 22nd March, 2021 #

  • The Blob Opera - I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing when I recorded this but I think it turned out quite well all things considered
  • The infinite drum machine - Create beats using sounds from the everyday world - Pretty fun audio project
  • Comparing Tailwinds CSS and Bootstrap implementations of the same website - Article goes into some of the reasons for using Tailwinds CSS (I haven’t tried it) over Bootstrap (I’ve used it a lot), the most persuasive being, in my opinion, getting used to not relying on the framework’s components, and better handling of responsive design and dark mode
  • Richard Stallman is Coming Back to the Board of the Free Software Foundation, Founded by Himself 35 Years Ago
  • John Cleese (Verified) - “Hello! It is time you meet my alter ego "Unnamed Artist" I'm delighted to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime. I'm selling my 1st NFT. Though bidding starts at 100.00, you can “BUY IT NOW” for 69,346,250.50!”
  • 🚀 Some really useful comments about the latest edition of the newsletter on Indie Hackers, next week I’m going to try adding some subheadings in the intro section, hopefully it will make it easier to parse and navigate - Thanks @alexanderg :)
  • Google and the Age of Privacy Theater - Great article that looks at the Ad Tech privacy and tracking story, the new technologies being developed look likely to be discriminatory, enable scammers and liars, maximise engagement at all costs, lead to the creation of dubious recommendation algorithms, and might actually make tracking worse by linking activity to your email address - In addition there is this fact worth considering: “Even if you, personally, avoid being tracked, you still live with the consequences of an economy built on monitoring people’s behavior”
  • Time is running out to bid on an NFT version of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet - Current highest bid is $2.5 million by @sinaEstavi, all proceeds will be donated to. Give Directly, a charity that gives money directly to people living in poverty
  • Trump returning to social media with 'his own platform' in 2-3 months - However you feel about Trump it’s certainly interesting to see that the only way to be stable online is to have your own platform, fine if you are a millionaire, but what about regular people? Trump does SaaS will be super interesting to watch

Sunday 21st March, 2021 #

  • Recode Media Podcast - How Christina “Tinx” Najjar became a TikTok star overnight - I’m quite interested in finding out more about the so called “creator economy” because it seems that tech companies are making moves to grow this segment, so I found this an interesting episode, it’s not super technical but you get a very good picture of the major trends and forces at work, the interview with Tinx is followed by a general discussion about how creators are making money, the question I’m asking myself is if there is a place for freelance web developers in this new world or are the big platforms hoovering everything up for themselves?
  • Ride Home Podcast - Are NFTs bad for artists? - Brian and art circle connoisseur Ti Zhang discuss the many ways NFTs are actually disenfranchising artists rather than helping them, I had foreseen some of these issues and mentioned them last week, but there are a load more that I was unaware of, there are a few high profile artists where it's working great, but for average artists, there are scams, it takes away their ability to choose to participate, and there are even problems with the robustness of the NFTs, lots of problems that need fixing in this space, if you are into NFTs then this episode is a must listen
  • How the Irish became white - The mythologies of our societies are the software of the past, for all their inconsistencies, they have much much better longevity than any of the bits and bytes we write as software developers, that’s worth remembering; I once watched the queen of England be shown the book of Kells, she was visiting Ireland, I was watching the television in the reception waiting to go and do a software demo for some media execs, I wondered what it must be like to do a demo for a monarch

Saturday 20th March, 2021 #

  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-03-20 is out!
  • The #1 tip to familiarize with new JavaScript Codebases - If you are a programmer and are going to read one article today, read this one - It’s full of super practical advice and techniques to quickly analyse an unfamiliar codebase so you can get a rough idea of where all the hot parts are, and which places might need refactoring - Many of the techniques work in other languages or have equivalent tools

Friday 19th March, 2021 #

  • Apple warns Chinese apps not to dodge its new privacy rules
  • Justin Colaninno from the Github Policy team weighs in on the recent trend of open source projects changing their license because of new realities of cloud infrastructure - “the Open source-licensed projects with a non-profit home, neutral trademark ownership, and multiple significant contributors are less likely to face pressures to relicense” - It’s a good observation, but how many non-profit style open source projects actually exist and how do we create more of those?
  • John Gruber on the latest Intel ad campaign - “Intel is in trouble. For Intel to be Intel they need to be leading the industry. The best fabs, the fastest chips. Right now they can’t credibly argue that they’re the best at anything” - I’ve been enjoying reading his exploration and trips down various memory lanes on his blog, great content, though a bit difficult to follow, feels very much like a blog version of a Twitter thread, only there isn’t an actual ‘thread’ to link to
  • WP Engine Goes ‘Headless,’ Jumps into the Jamstack - Interesting to see managed Wordpress providers building jamstack friendly products, there is clearly value in combining static and database backed sites, I think the tricky part is that both solutions want to store the content in different ways, which makes collaborating on content a challenge
  • Are you using promises and async / await safely in Node.js? - Though async/await is now the preferred way to execute asynchronous code, there are still some gotchas in a few situations that are worth knowing about
  • YouTube Shorts arrives in the US to take on TikTok - Big news considering YouTube’s position in the video space, the article gives a good rundown of the major forces at play, good news for creators even if the initial version is lacking some features