Browse the linkblog archives.

Saturday 16th January, 2021 #

  • MGM Is For Sale (Again) - If you are at all into films, this is a must read piece, some really good analysis, I didn’t know there was so much movement happening in the Studios business at the minute, MGM has a big library including the Bond franchise, a streaming property EPIX, production and distribution capabilities for both movies and television
  • Signal is down as rush of new users swamps secure messaging service
  • Apple considering premium podcast service to compete with Amazon, Spotify - Likely to be quite controversial, has the potential to change the podcasting landscape quite a bit
  • A Few More Thoughts On The Total Deplatforming Of Parler & Infrastructure Content Moderation - I’ve liked lots lots of the Techdirt pieces about the technology side of the Trump ban, and though this piece has quite a bit of factually correct tech details, I disagree with the conclusion, I think it misses the point, which isn’t imo even todo with content moderation, the reality is that there are only a hand full of hosting companies and they can be pressured easily to shut companies down, be it by government or general public sentiment, it’s way too easy to turn a company “toxic”, we are hearing about Parler because it’s high profile, but it could just as easily happen to a no name small company, and would we even know it had happened? It’s very difficult to complain when you’ve been deplatformed, it’s like cutting off someone’s water supply, or oxygen, it’s a very terminal move

Friday 15th January, 2021 #

  • 🚀 New Post: Cloud Native web application development: what's it all about? - Quite a long blog post, but if you are interested in cloud computing there’s lots of useful information, including how to think about building in a safe way, how to structure your code using Domain Driven Design techniques, and in this post I’m experimenting with a new way to include links from my linkblog, I’d love to hear what you think about it!
  • Monetizing open source - How Tailwind CSS has grown into a $2M+ business
  • Use Node.js with Docker and Docker Compose to improve DX - Relatively short and very readable tutorial showing how to run production and development NodeJS with Docker, and how to use Docker Compose to create several containers at once, so you can have other services, such as databases, configured and running next to your app
  • An introduction to the internet of materials (IoM) - Some interesting research happening at Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Lab, new materials that harvest energy via sound vibrations, and can perform simple computations, they list a load of futuristic use cases, including Post-it notes that you can talk to, very agileish
  • An intro to server sent events (SSE) - Similar to web sockets, but less complicated, but unidirectional, good for real-time updates to a UI for instance like counts, article includes some clear example code
  • 10 best practices to containerize Node.js web applications with Docker
  • Get Ready For ESM - Prolific NodeJS package writer Sindre Sorhus describes his planned approach to migrating from CommonJS the new ESM module system
  • The web components community group have been discussing the possibility of creating a new web components logo, sort of similar to how the HTML5 logo helped to promote that, it’s an interesting conversation, lots of things to consider

Thursday 14th January, 2021 #

  • The Gold Standard Checklist for Web Components - Working draft of a checklist to define a "gold standard" for web components that aspire to be as predictable, flexible, reliable, and useful as the standard HTML elements
  • Cloud software firm Veeva joins Ben & Jerry’s, Lemonade in becoming Public Benefit Corporation - I didn’t know about PBCs, according to this article they have a legal duty to balance interest of customers, employees, partners and shareholders, unlike of a C Corp which only has to maximise shareholder profit, it would be interesting to have more details about what that actually looks like in practice
  • UK Space Agency and Rolls-Royce Defence join to study nuclear power for space exploration
  • UK government assign 3 new digital bosses - There’s a 3 letter government tech organisation that sort of sounds cool, there’s a new 4 letter government tech organisation that is instantly forgettable, it doesn’t sound like they have a very cohesive plan
  • Asus announces Chromebook CX5 for play (q1 release), CX9 for work (q2 release)
  • Is Culture Stuck? - Some interesting thoughts about culture in our current period, explores films, music, and fashion, comparing today with decades gone by, as someone who has lived through the pre-internet to internet era, a lot of the authors observations feel relevant to me
  • Poland plans to make censoring social media accounts illegal
  • macOS Big Sur 11.2 beta 2 is out with full custom kernel support - The latest version of the OS includes the firmware needed to replace the kernel, which means we are a step closer to having Linux running on the M1
  • An Overview of the Most Exciting Proposals for the Web Platform Related to Web Components (2019) - Has a good description of the web platform and how the platform standards evolve via specifications written by the W3C and WHATWG, then covers some of the latest web components features - template instantiation, CSS shadow parts, constructable stylesheet objects, HTML & CSS modules, and scoped custom element definitions

Wednesday 13th January, 2021 #

  • Tech & the American Crisis - I’m struggling to find content about the Trump ban to post, not through lack of content, there is so much of it, but it’s all so horrible, I can’t even read more than a few paragraphs before I just don’t want to read anymore, I like a lot of what Om Malik writes, and this piece is quite thoughtful and I made it to the end of the article so it’s not too horrible, so I’m posting it
  • If it will matter after today, stop talking about it in a chat room - A short comparison between live chat and discussion based software tools
  • Intel unveils new 12th-generation Alder Lake chips as it plays catch up to Apple’s M1
  • Source Code At CES - All Tech Is Politics - Politics aside, if you’re into tech at all, there’s a lot of cool stuff in this CES roundup post
  • Extensions planned for NYC’s High Line - An l-shaped train is set to connect the elevated park to the just-opened Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station

Tuesday 12th January, 2021 #

  • Introduction to Python - I’ve been going through Flavio’s super streamlined Python course, the language is as I remember it, though after being in javascript for so many years, I’m surprised by how straight forward everything feels
  • Rocking 25+Web Design Trends In 2021😎 - Lots of trends, some very interesting, some feel a bit tired, but overall quite inspiring, my favourites were comfortable colors, 3d colors, gradient colour schemes, interactive 3d content, dark mode, hand drawn elements, chat bots, voice user interfaces, VR, micro interactions and animations, text only hero images, white space, full height homepage heros, using videos, blending photos with graphical elements, bold fonts and colors, and asymmetric layouts
  • The Slope Gets More Slippery As You Expect Content Moderation To Happen At The Infrastructure Layer - The last few days have been completely swamped with completely horrible content from pretty much every news outlet, so this piece is very refreshing as it’s a level headed calm analysis that focusses on the technology aspects (rather than the politics) and what all last few days events could mean for the internet
  • Lucasfilm and Disney revive Lucasfilm Games - I’m not hugely into gaming, my gaming years are long past now, I played video games in my teens, sometimes in arcades, and also consoles, they were fun times, I started tuning out when every game was a first person shooter, which I just find mind numbingly boring, for some reason this announcement seems really interesting to me, perhaps it’s a nice distraction from all the horrible social media the past few days, anything in a galaxy far far away would be miles better
  • Angela Merkel attacks Twitter over Trump ban - Several EU officials have raised concerns about free speech in the US, article also covers the ban of the Parler social media platform by every big tech company, interesting to note that in french ‘parler’ means ‘to speak’

Monday 11th January, 2021 #

  • Lenovo unveils ThinkReality A3 smartglasses with Snapdragon XR1 - This makes me wonder is VFX artists are going to be really into AR tech, especially all the 3D folks
  • Linus Torvalds rates his own words ‘incoherent ramblings of a crazy old man’ - Bit of a hyperbole title, he was being humorous, it looks like the next release is well on track
  • Michael Apted director and Seven Up documentarian dies at ages 79 - I really enjoyed watching the the Seven Up documentary series when I was younger, I learnt a lot about what it mean to be british from those pieces, I haven’t seen the last few of these, hopefully I will some day, I think it also turned me onto documentaries which I love watching, I didn’t know he also directed a Bond movie and the Chronicles of Narnia (how cool!), farewell and all the best Mr Apted
  • Super insightful Twitter thread from Steven Sinovsky about the launch of the iPhone in 2007 - Steve was President of the Windows Division at Microsoft back then, so he was really plugged into the state of the industry especially mobile, he describes the broad context of what was happening, all the disparate events that were to culminate in what was to be the iPhone, I remember a lot of it exactly as he describes, but I was only seeing it from an end-user perspective, so it’s wonderful to hear the full tech angle on that huge period of change, real life sure is interesting sometimes, I’m glad to have lived through that moment

Sunday 10th January, 2021 #

  • Should I introduce an API Gateway in my workplace? - I liked this article because, though it started out pretty much as I had expected, it ended up going down a path that I totally didn’t expect, but that was very insightful
  • Substack is adding new features in February - Theming to change the look of newsletters, sublists so writers can segment their members into groups, and a multipub tool so writers can have several publications under one account - I like new features but I personally desperately need some automation tools and markdown support; these additions although cool, are mostly just things that would make my life more difficult not easier
  • An Invisible Tax on the Web - Video Codecs - Looks at the AV1 codec which is being developed by a consortium of companies including Mozilla, Google, Cisco, Amazon, Netflix, AMD, ARM, Intel, NVIDIA, as an alternative to the ubiquitous H264 and it’s successor H265, it’s royalty free and has better compression
  • Just wanted to mention that although the individual articles on the BBC News site look great, and are a pleasure to read, the main page has a horrible popup that gets blasted in your face as soon as the site loads, thus accessibility fir the fantastic articles is quite low
  • ☹️ Reddit Profile Saga - When I visit the appeal suspension page there is a message saying: “You cannot submit an appeal - Your account is currently neither suspended nor restricted. If you are trying to submit an appeal for another account that is suspended or restricted, please log out and log in to that account. For other account issues, please visit our Help Center .” - So it seems my account is not in fact suspended, yet it looks exactly like it is suspended, and I can’t find a way to contact the people that run the website
  • Autonomous and Beautiful Home Devices - Matt Mullenweg describes the IoT devices that he would like to have; devices that look good, don’t have an app, can be easily replaced, that easily connect to the network and that you can be confident won’t stop working because of software incompatibility issues later down the line
  • 🚀 Housekeeping Note: I’ve added a link to the BBC News Science & Environment website to the list of example sites in my blog post - Web design that focusses on text content is the best
  • Nasa's Curiosity rover - 3,000 days on Mars - Great article and very impressed with the clean look of the BBC News site, no annoying popups, page loads fast and text is very readable on mobile devices, using up the entire screen, very pleasant reading experience

Saturday 9th January, 2021 #

  • GM unveils new logo - Short John Gruber post, he doesn’t like the new logo, ‘lower case letters aren’t serious’, my initial reaction when I loaded the page wasn’t negative, so I don’t dislike it, personally I don’t have an aversion to lower case letters, I don’t think lower case letters have much to do with seriousness, for me lower case letters have an air of creativity, there is something that’s a bit off though, I’m not quite sure, maybe it looks like a logo that you see on a HiFi system, somehow reminds me of audio equipment
  • The 2 Essential Ingredients of a Brilliant Title - Worth a read if you ever write technical blog posts
  • Painters Tape and Fault Tolerance - I read a lot of blog posts and a lot of those are about programming, this post from Chris Coyier is just so well balanced and encapsulates an idea so well, one of his best
  • Good News in History, January 9 - Trying to offset all the Reddit sad faces with some good news, the thing with real life is that it happens anyway, so best thing you can do is to note the bad stuff and move on to something a bit more cheery, try to find time to fix when you are more able and when there is possibility for change - Turns out of all things on this day in 2007 the iPhone was unveiled by Apple CEO Steve Jobs :)
  • ☹️ Reddit Profile Saga - The Twitter thread where I’ve tried to contact @reddit, no replies from them so far
  • ☹️ Reddit Profile Saga - I’m being disappeared on Reddit, can anyone help or know what’s going on?
  • ☹️ Reddit Profile Saga - Possible bug with my account
  • ☹️ Reddit Profile Saga - Hello shadowban bot, what say you?
  • When Amazon switched from Sun to Linux - Twitter thread from Dan Rose, who was Director of Business Development at Amazon around 2000, describing the impact of the migration, worth noting there is some dispute of how much of a big deal it was in a related HN thread, they were fighting several other fires including a migration away from Oracle as their database provider, but it’s interesting nonetheless
  • Processing is a flexible software sketchbook and a language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts
  • Snowpack 2.0 - A build system for the modern web - This was one of the most popular new tools in the javascript ecosystem for 2020, it modernises the developer workflow by only requiring file bundling (webpack/parcel) for production builds, during development you use snowpack which relies on native ES modules, this makes development much much faster, and you only bundle right at the end, before shipping to production
  • ECMAScript 2020 - the final feature set - A list of all the new features added in 2020 with relevant links to the TC39 process which describe the various maturity stages used for developing new features
  • Twitter permanently bans Trump - I totally checked out of reading Trump tweets including any main stream media reporting on Trump tweets over a year ago, as soon as I see them I just continue scrolling, so I don’t have any of the negative associations that I would have, had I continued to read these, because of that this story feels super weird to me, I tried for a while to find the tweets he wrote, can’t find them anywhere, only enormous tidal waves from main stream, and the small snippets I have read here and there, which were always out of context, don’t actually seem all that bad - I hope people are okay and haven’t been hurt in these riots, but this story is freaking weird
  • Yes, vanilla JS does scale - Looks at some of the misconceptions floating around on tech Twitter, interesting for the purposes of developing some perspective

Friday 8th January, 2021 #

  • Building better new cities in Southeast Asia - I am a bit hesitant to link to this article because at first glance it seems very critical of the region, and I’ve been here for a while now and I see that life is _damn difficult_ for so many, they are having to build all these new developments in an unimaginable realm of chaos, they have to make a lot of compromises and progress is hard and slow, but it’s happening, and a lot of it is amazing - I’ve met the author of the article James Clark and he’s a nice bloke who’s been in the region much longer than me, and any comments he’s making are from a place of tremendous affection he has for all the places mentioned and their people, and his articles are heavily researched, with a lot of thought and effort going into them, so I think that some of what he’s saying is worth considering - I also think it's fantadtic because it puts the word out that progress is happening, and it’s interesting and it’s real life
  • Gaming Software Pioneer RAD Game Tools Now Part of Epic Games
  • Cloud Manager - A New Multicloud PaaS Platform Built on Kubernetes - The ability to run your applications seamlessly across cloud providers is going to be a big trend in the next few years because although so far we have seen costs mostly getting cheaper, that might not always be the case, it’s still relatively early days for cloud technologies, costs will vary over time, companies will get bought and sold, and there will be shifts in power dynamics in the cloud space
  • Jack Dorsey and Running Two Companies - Matt Mullenweg (Automattic, Wordpress) interviews Jack Dorsey (Twitter, Square), hoping to have some time to listen to this later
  • 🚀 Re-post: The coming revolution in freelance web development
  • No Meetings, No Deadlines, No Full-Time Employees - I read this and was really liking their approach, it sounds like the future of work, but then they list the hiring process, step 2 - unpaid project, which means they are just mooching off of others, that’s when I stopped reading, oh but it’s just a few hours you say, everyone is doing just a few hours, if people are working for you, you should be paying them otherwise you are taking advantage of them, and it’s unsustainable because somebody somewhere has to pay for those hours, and it often ends up being freelancers

Thursday 7th January, 2021 #

  • Guide on Collecting Feedback for your Newsletter
  • slowly falling in love with notion - Brad Frost reviews Notion, it’s a really well though out and nice bit of writing, I’ve been hearing and reading about Notion all over the place recently, in podcasts and on blogs, sounds like a great productivity tool
  • UK watchdog to investigate Nvidia’s $40bn Arm deal
  • Facebook and Instagram ban Trump for 24 hours - Apparently he posted messages he shouldn’t have, I’d like to see what he posted, can’t find any sites that have copies of the tweets, it’s timely for me because the past few days I’ve been fighting a apparent ban (though no way for me to find out for sure) on Reddit, they banned my account before I ever posted a single post!
  • 🚀 Housekeeping note: I’ve added links to some of the NodeJS working group repos to my blog post - Reasons to use NodeJS for developing your backend systems
  • The nodejs/next-10 group are working collaboratively on the strategic direction of NodeJS, here’s an interesting retrospective board that displays the wants of the various constituencies, i.e. end-users, application operators, application developers, library/package authors, organisations with investments in NodeJS, and NodeJS code maintainers

Wednesday 6th January, 2021 #

  • How freelancing will change under President Biden - Would be great if they made some policies that dealt with the awful way the recruitment process in tech is structured, which is a very real problem for freelancers
  • Open Source developer David Recordon announced as the Director of Technology for President Biden at the Whitehouse - I wonder if they’ll be running Linux Desktops, wouldn’t that be cool?
  • Create a tag cloud with HTML and CSS - I love tag clouds, I have one on the blog and I use it all the time, and this article is a light read with some nice examples
  • Challenges Concerning IoT - Highlights a bunch of important challenges, the most interesting that I hadn’t considered is the issue of bandwidth allocation that will arise later down the line when billions of devices are all operating based on a client/server architecture, basic activities like authentication might start to cause network congestion problems
  • Apple Watch can double as a vlogging viewfinder
  • This avocado armchair could be the future of AI Trained on images+captions from the internet rather than curated data sets, two new GPT-3 based AI models, DALL-E which draws images from imputed text and another called CLIP which selects generated images that best match inputted text are used together to create interesting artwork, could lead to AI with better understanding of every day concepts
  • Some Recent Videos About Websites That Are Pretty Good - Chris Coyier’s roundup of some dev videos he’s been watching, including why the web is a mess, recreating the Didcord sidebar, progressive enhancement, a look at modern javascript and a cssbattle - I haven’t watched any of these yet but Chris has great taste when it comes to frontend development and I wanted to add some frontend links, plus based on his descriptions they look interesting
  • Asahi Linux aims to bring you a polished Linux experience on Apple Silicon Macs
  • Amazon buys 4 jets from WestJet and 7 from Delta to expand cargo fleet - It currently rents planes and uses UPS and FedEx for moving packages across long distances, looks like it’s a good time to buy planes at the minute

Tuesday 5th January, 2021 #

  • Dell’s automatic webcam shutter is genius and every other laptop should steal it - I definitely like the idea of a webcam shutter but I personally think I would prefer a manual shutter than an automatic one
  • Amazon wants to train 29 million people to work in the cloud - On the one hand I think this is great, it opens up lots of opportunities for people and small businesses, on the other hand I’ve spent a lot of time, money and considerable effort learning these technologies over the years, and now a huge load of noobs are going to start lapping me while making comments about about my appearance, circle of life?
  • Twitter buys Breaker social podcast app to boost new Spaces
  • An API Is a Promise - Interacting With Valuable Capabilities - I like this perspective, it’s simple to understand, feels like a good mental model
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the US, British judge rules
  • Jack Dorsey says proposed cryptocurrency regulation would create ‘perverse incentives’

Sunday 3rd January, 2021 #

  • 🚀 New Blog Post: Web development technologies bucketlist for 2021 - Getting this year’s blogging ball rolling, making a list is a good way to start
  • Moving BBC Online to the cloud - The engineering team writeup of their recent move from on-premises infrastructure to mostly cloud based where they are using serverless technologies extensively - Very clear articulation of the project high level goals, a description of the layered approach that enables code re-use but also keeps the flexibility to create custom specialised solutions, the re-organisation into teams focussed on page types and common concerns such as development methodology and hosting, interspersed with lots of development principles and guidelines - I have worked on several big projects at the BBC, it’s a staggeringly large organisation, so I am aware of how massive an undertaking this re-architecting of their infrastructure must have been, kudos to all the teams that made it happen
  • 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!
  • 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?
  • GitHub dark mode - I missed this earlier in the month, I’m testing it out, it’s pretty cool

Saturday 2nd January, 2021 #

  • ☹️ Reddit Profile Saga - I’ve been trying to get in contact with Reddit support for weeks now, my account is somehow corrupted, looks fine when logged in, but from the outside I don’t exist, I finally decided to post on Twitter, the post didn’t show up in my feed, so I had to ‘pin’ it to my Twitter account to get it to showup, so now until Reddit replies my Twitter account is basically f-ed as well, you see how fragile all this stuff is?
  • After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins - It’s been such a long time since I’ve had one of these

Friday 1st January, 2021 #

  • Cloudflare Introduces a Way to Build and Host Jamstack Sites with Cloudflare Pages - Short and to the point review of Cloudflare’s new Jamstack offering, 500 free builds per month, and integration with Cloudflare Workers with Key-Value Store, I’m wondering if there is a way to deploy from Github Actions, looks pretty cool
  • Top 7 Web Development Trends to Expect in 2021 - I haven’t seen very many 2021 prediction blog posts centred on web development so far, this one lists several of the trends that seem likely to make an impact, but the reasoning and analysis is a bit underwhelming
  • A Guide to Securing Node.js Applications - Great roundup of the most effective security best practices for backend NodeJS development, I’ve used most of these techniques and libraries at some stage
  • An Introvert's Personal Guide to Tech Twitter - I don’t currently do a lot of “interacting” on Twitter, though I do read it occasionally, I found it way too distracting, so I mostly just post links and give out hearts these days, I liked this blog post though