Browse the linkblog archives.

Sunday 28th February, 2021 #

  • VIM for advanced users - the final article in the series, great continuation of the previous two articles, covers advanced topics
  • VIM for intermediate users - The thing that makes this tutorial worth the read is that it clearly describes the main abstractions, it’s the best round up of windows, tabs, buffers and arg lists that I’ve read, plus lots of other useful tips
  • VIM for Beginners - I found this tutorial for the intermediate and advanced articles but the beginner article looks pretty good too
  • Steve Jobs Stories on Clubhouse - The Computer History Museum organised this virtual event to celebrate what would have been Steve’s 66th birthday, several thousand attendees including Steven Levy and Ester Dyson, some fun stories
  • NFT License 2.0 - Why a NFT can do what no other creative IP can do - All this NFT stuff sounds cool but if you create some digital things, mint an NFT from those assets and sell that NFT, what happens as far as copyright? I find it quite confusing personally, anyway there is a special NFT license you can use, but I’m still kind of unclear on how it works in practice
  • NFTs and a Thousand True Fans - “NFTs contain highly trustworthy documentation of their history and origin, and can have code attached to do almost anything programmers dream up (one popular feature is code that ensures that the original creator receives royalties from secondary sales)”

Saturday 27th February, 2021 #

  • How to create and sell NFTs the easy way!
  • Complete Guide to NFTs - How to Create & Collect the Next Wave of Digital Assets
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-02-27 is out! It’s the Javascript Core Special Edition 💯
  • Looks Good To Me - Making code reviews better for remote-first teams - Great writeup from one of the BBC News developers
  • Facebook Drops BARS, a Video-Sharing Platform for Rappers - Lots of new and interesting social media apps being released at the minute, that’s pretty cool, I still remember when Yo! MTV Raps launched back in the late 80s, niche video apps are hot
  • Twitter pulls a Patreon - Casey Newton does some analysis of the new Super Follow feature Twitter has announced, he raises a lot of angles I hadn’t considered, looking at how it is likely to affect various professions of people in the public eye such as journalisms and WWE wrestlers, the feature has the potential to change a lot of dynamics in the work place

Friday 26th February, 2021 #

  • Lex Fridman Podcast Ep #162 – Jim Keller: The Future of Computing, AI, Life, and Consciousness - The slight awkwardness present during their first podcast episode together is mostly gone, replaced by a great rapport which makes for excellent listening, lots of really interesting topics covered but the highlight for me was listening to a world expert in computer chip design talking about human consciousness
  • The Another Podcast Podcast - Shopify and digital transformation - Benedict and Toni get into talking about digital transformation, a topic which has become very en vogue recently, I’ve been enjoying their podcasts because it’s nice to hear some brits talking tech, they have interesting angles because of much experience in the industry and their dynamic works well together
  • Biden Orders Broad Supply-Chain Review Amid Chip Shortages
  • Twitter announces paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets - Also announced it’s planning a groups feature

Thursday 25th February, 2021 #

  • Grow the IndieWeb with Webmentions - I like the idea of aggregating mentions on my site but finding an implementation that has both live data, is secure and mostly works without javascript isn’t so obvious
  • Australia passes law forcing Google and Facebook to pay news publications - I’ve read a dozen of these types of articles and none of them describe what the amendments are clearly, when they do mention it, it’s tacked on right at the end like some sort of scribbled post-it note, accompanied by hand waving, it’s like they are all deliberately avoiding talking about it, the whole thing stinks IMO
  • Google Cloud vs AWS Onboarding Comparison - A personal (and self-admittedly probably quite biased) writeup of the onboarding process of both providers
  • Teaching Web Dev for Free is Good Business - I’m slightly envious of Chris Coyiers’ effortless sales and self promotion style, somehow he manages to combine useful and promotional material into blog posts that hardly ever feel more than some bloke on the internet giving a few tips
  • Understanding V8’s Bytecode - Rather technical but short article that starts with a description of the compiling pipeline, then goes on to cover register / stack machines with an accumulator register, the v8 javascript bytecode instruction set and how to list it using node - It’s pretty weird to read assembly when you are used to higher level languages, but it’s useful to have at least a vague idea how that level of the stack operates because it can help in understanding how and why some of the lower level optimisations are implemented

Wednesday 24th February, 2021 #

  • Facebook got everything it wanted out of Australia by being willing to do what the other guy wouldn’t - Article that uses a film analogy to repaint the Facebook-Google-Australia situation as a gruesome hostage situation, it’s quite a good read and certainly entertaining with a bit of worthwhile analysis, the reality though is that Facebook just made the move that made the most business sense - It’s still unclear to me what the amendments the government is going to make are, based on the description in the article it sounds like a law that doesn’t actually do anything apart from add beaurocracy - “Facebook can now decide to offer different publishers whatever amount it wants, including nothing at all, without risk of penalty” - Whatever happens I sure hope aussie journalism industry survives
  • BBC Micro at 40 - How it inspired a generation of coders
  • JavaScript engine fundamentals: optimizing prototypes - Javascript objects are structured around prototypes, and as such lookups that walk to prototype chain happen very often, so it’s an important area of optimisation - The article does a quick refresh of the various javascript engine implementations, discussing the trade-offs inherent in each, looks at some examples of bytecode vs machine code in the context of optimising execution, and then covers the core part of the article on optimising prototype property access, including a great overview of classes, prototype based programming and the prototype chain; how the prototype link is stored on the Shape class rather than the instance, how ValidityCells are used to invalidate the inline cache, and why modifying Object.prototype during runtime destroys performance
  • Re-post: Nevada bill would allow tech companies to create governments
  • Square announces purchase of $170m Bitcoin - It had previously purchased $50m Bitcoin - This is Jack Dorsey’s other public company, he also is CEO of Twitter, it occurred to me how strange it is that all these companies are buying up Bitcoin in huge amounts (Tesla did similar recently), it’s like if companies were buying large amounts of gold bars, with some US state bills being passed allowing companies to create governments, I’m wondering if there isn’t a higher level trend starting to appear
  • Firefox release includes Multiple Picture-in-Picture and Total Cookie Protection - Watch several videos at once and enable separate cookie jars for each site
  • Android is now even safer, and 5 other new features - A lot of these features sound very cool, being able to schedule texts, maps dark mode, and I’d love to try the linkblog in TalkBack the new screenreader

Tuesday 23rd February, 2021 #

  • Ethereum isn't fun anymore - Well shit, looks like I’ve missed another ‘internet thing’, from what I’ve seen recently this thing actually looked kind of fun
  • Spotify to expand into more than 80 new markets
  • Booting the IBM 1401: How a 1959 punch-card computer loads a program - Worth a read for the historical perspective, and to realise how far the industry has progressed, also for the origins of the computing term ‘bootstrapping’ - I imagine that back in those days there were people as excited about punch card programming as I am about writing javascript in 2021
  • NFT Marketplace ‘NBA Top Shot’ Volume Has Exploded Over the Past Month - Digital collectibles appears to be on fire at the minute, I still have little idea why people would pay money for such things, but I thought the same about Bitcoin and now that’s at a mind boggling 50 000
  • Huawei Mate X2 - First Official Images - The latest foldable device, looks pretty cool
  • Spotify debuts new tools for creators to make interactive podcasts - Including tools to turn written content directly into podcasts, adding videos to podcasts, performing polls and Q&As

Monday 22nd February, 2021 #

  • Mysterious macOS malware discovered with M1 optimization, threat remains unclear - “Uses the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute commands“ - It would be great to know more details about why how javascript is implicated
  • Mistakes I’ve Made as an Engineering Manager - Sarah Drasner shares some tips, well thought out and insightful, some are a bit counter-intuative, like the one about how people like to recieve feedback, I reckon it's a good article to read whether you are a manager or a worker bee

Sunday 21st February, 2021 #

  • 20 years of orange cones - The history of VLC - I still remember how amazed I was when I first installed it, not only was there no cost, it played literally all the video files I had without needing to install any codecs, and it was cross platform, later I would find out it was open source, the’s a comparison to be had with Mozilla, though their funding from custom services and consulting, great project and I like their ethos of doing things because they are fun rather than concentrating solely on financial gains
  • 🚀 New Recommendation from Tony Vasile - I worked with Tony while at Signiant where he was Cloud Solutions Architect, Software Development Manager
  • 🚀 Housekeeping Note: I’ve updated the recommendation page so that each recommendation has a title so it’s possible to link directly to a specific recommendation using the title in a url hash fragment
  • Nyan cat, NFTs, $600k, everyone is Banksy now
  • How can you not be romantic about programming? - Great essay, well written, just the right length, distills an aspect of programming computers that I’d say all programmers will be able to appreciate

Saturday 20th February, 2021 #

  • JavaScript engine fundamentals - Shapes and Inline Caches - Deep dive into javascript optimisation covering general javascript compiling concepts, overview and comparison of the compiling pipelines in the various javascript runtimes (Google/v8, Firefox/SpiderMonkey, Microsoft/Chakra, Apple/JavaScriptCore), then looks at the data structures used to optimise property access and storage, gets progressively more difficult and requires you to hold quite a bit in your head, but if you go through it at a steady pace it’s very understandable, there’s a lot going on right below the visible surface where most developers spend their time, loads of very excellent diagrams peppered throughout - It’s amazing to me that we don’t have to spend our days worrying about anything at this level anymore, but good to be aware of the dynamics to avoid optimisation issues - I recommend a cup of tea to help you get through this one, perhaps some biscuits
  • What Peter Jackson’s original two-movie Lord of the Rings almost looked like - Hard to believe it is already 20 years ago that the legendary film trilogy was released, this article looks at the business and creative process that led up to the production, it’s an interesting read, the sheer size of this production is mind boggling, the amount of people, effort, money, coordination all to create some bits and bytes, I know a lot about the VFX tools and workflows, but I’m wondering what futuristic tools will evolve to help directors and producers with the pre-production process, I think that would be an exciting place to be
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-02-20 is out!
  • How to redirect URLs on Jekyll site hosted on GitHub Pages - Handy if you publish a page using the incorrect date and later need to update that page, setup a redirect so the page continues to load for people who click the old link
  • Australia’s ABC News shot to the top of the App Store charts following Facebook’s news ban - It would be cool if there were publicly available signup stats from independent media sources, as much as this is bad, there’s a lot of opportunity for media startups to build something new and exciting
  • 🚀 New Post: My approach to software planning and estimation - A brief description of how I approach project planning and estimation, with some useful articles and resources

Friday 19th February, 2021 #

  • Bitcoin hits new record of $50,000
  • MonolithFirst - Advocates for an approach to web development where you first build a monolith, learn the patterns and boundary contexts of your application, then either peel off parts into microservices or replace the monolith entirely with a microservices implementation
  • Changelog Podcast - Community perspectives on Elastic vs AWS - Handful of interviews with business owners, lawyers and developers that are in the open source community, really worth a listen if you are at all affected or concerned about the recent movement of several high profile Open Source projects including MongoDB and Elastic changing their license - Some great discussion about the dynamics at play, it’s a complicated situation with a lot of angles to consider, even if it seems clear cut initially, it really isn’t that clear cut
  • Facebook calls Australia's bluff - Some more analysis of the Australia-Facebook-Google situation, this time from popular social media newsletter writer Casey Newton
  • Node v15.9.0 Released - Some updates in crypto, fs, streams, perf_hooks, timers and tls libraries as well as an upgrade to libuv v1.41.0
  • Interview with Ryan Dahl, Creator of Node.js - Lots of stuff about Deno of course but also reasons for his preference for VIm, Python vs Javascript as a introductory language for learning to program, why he loves Rust and doesn’t expect to ever start another C++ project, and more...
  • The Bizarre Reaction To Facebook's Decision To Get Out Of The News Business In Australia - Really high quality analysis of the Australia-Facebook-Google situation, it’s a must read

Thursday 18th February, 2021 #

  • YouTube Shorts beta will launch in the United States in March - They have been testing the feature out in India recently and have had good results, it looks to be a response to TikTok’s similar product
  • Epic Games files EU antitrust complaint against Apple
  • Changes to Sharing and Viewing News on Facebook in Australia - Announcement from Facebook about how, because of new government legislation they have chosen to add restrictions to their service in Australia, they make a pretty strong case for their actions in the article - “People and news organisations in Australia are now restricted from posting news links and sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on Facebook. Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted” - It will be interesting to see how this affects Australians, sort of a large scale social experiment
  • 🚀 New Post: Hash links for individual linkblog items - The linkblog main page has a new feature, enabling linking to individual linkblog items

Wednesday 17th February, 2021 #

  • Emoji Version 13.1 - The latest set of emojis that will arrive in iOS 14.5 - I’m digging the beard gender equivalence, and face-with-spiral-eyes which I’m going to be calling ‘frazzled face’
  • What I Worked On - Paul Graham essay that takes you on a journey through all the stuff he’s worked on in his career, a interesting mix of programming, art and business, all taking place between the original dot com boom up until the present day, and it’s a pleasant read too
  • Front of the Front / Back of the Front - Chris Coyier comments on Brad Frost’s re-framing of frontend development - I think there’s an interesting discussion to be had in this area, but I’m not super into the tongue twister brain freeze naming they are using, I’d say clientside-frontend and clientside-backend might be better, but that’s still confusing, better just to have totally different names in the way that plasterer and brick layer are totally different roles, we just need to figure out where the walls are
  • GitHub - Pull request auto-merge is now generally available
  • Trello is redesigning its project management platform for a remote work future - This looks like a pretty major overhaul of the UI look and feel together with the introduction of several new ways to visualise the data

Tuesday 16th February, 2021 #

  • Tesla founder Elon Musk asks Vladimir Putin to join him for ‘Clubhouse’ chat - Wow that’s some serious social media buzz
  • What is the Difference Between MVP and POC?
  • France pushes for big changes to proposed EU tech regulation
  • Debates continue at Facebook whether to allow Trump to return to the platform
  • Show HN - Jam, an Open Source Clubhouse (w/ WebRTC)
  • Here’s a first look at Microsoft’s xCloud for the web

Monday 15th February, 2021 #

  • Can anyone moderate podcasts? - It’s a bit unclear from the article what the general sentiment is regarding moderation in podcasting, one thing to remember is that if you have mechanisms to deplatform the ‘bad guys’, you can be pretty sure that the ‘good guys’ will get deplatformed too, ultimately deplatforming is just a very inadequate band aid, but my impression is that a lot of folks see it as a solution

Sunday 14th February, 2021 #

  • Interview with Brian Blessed, it’s brief yet somehow paints a very vivid picture of what it’s like being him, covers a lot of ground, reading Beano as a kid, his father the coal miner, listening to classics on the radio, when Hitler died, asian Dr Who, being an adventurer, being loud when he wants to be, being quiet, space training, being friends with Kenneth Branagh - “Life is very colourful”
  • 🚀 My javascript / tech / web development newsletter for 2021-02-13 is out!
  • Apache Kafka - How Does It Work? - High level overview of the main functionality, quite a pleasant read, not too long

Saturday 13th February, 2021 #

  • Lex Fridman Podcast Ep #160 – Brendan Eich: JavaScript, Firefox, Mozilla, and Brave - Each time I’ve listened to Brendan Eich (creator of javascript, co-founder of Mozilla and Brave) on a podcast I’ve been super impressed, not only was he present at pivotal moments in the evolution of technology and the web, so his historical knowledge and insight is second to none, he’s just so good at structuring his thoughts and at talking, he hardly ever misses a beat, every single answer is thorough and he goes into just the right amount of technical detail without getting caught in the weeds, after listening to any of his interviews I feel a profound sense of clarity about technology and the web - Lots of great topics covered all listed with timestamps in the shownotes
  • Microsoft, Google, and Qualcomm are reportedly nervous about Nvidia acquiring Arm
  • Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z to Launch Bitcoin Trust in India and Africa - The fund is worth 500 BTC ($23.6M)
  • Generate a presigned URL in modular AWS SDK for JavaScript - Tutorial demonstrating how to enable users to upload and download files directly to / from an S3 bucket, without needing their own AWS credentials

Friday 12th February, 2021 #

  • npm - Catching Up with Package Lockfile Changes in v7 - In a nutshell better performance as-well as deterministic and reproducible builds
  • Node.js Apache Kafka – Getting Started with KafkaJS - Modern cloud applications are based around event driven architectures, this neat tutorial posts in Slack each time an npm package is published -It uses Apache Kafka event streams and webhooks to create a scalable solution with decouple system parts
  • Apple iOS 14.5 will hide Safari users' IP addresses from Google's Safe Browsing
  • Generate thumbnails using Lambda from videos uploaded to S3 - Great tutorial that uses the AWS web UI rather than a framework, has detailed configurations, screenshots and explanations of the code used for each step - Very cool workflow

Thursday 11th February, 2021 #

  • Source Code Podcast - Inside Vimeo’s reinvention - I found this interview with CEO Anjali Sud really interesting because though I was aware that Vimeo was still around, I had no idea what the company has been doing the past 10 years, they were one of the first companies to have an online video product, and initially targeted film makers and videographers, but YouTube ended up dominating online video - Vimeo has pivoted sharply to being an enterprise tools company building SaaS products for businesses that need to create videos, and they are making tools for meetings, events, streaming, training and want to help bring video story telling to businesses all over the world - I liked Vimeo back in the day, they were always doing cool stuff, and I’m glad they are still around as a company
  • Laws being introduced in Australia aim to force big tech companies to pay for linking to local media outlets - “When an individual shares a link on their news feed, it’s “paid for” through all of their friends clicking on it”
  • Google News Showcase launches in the UK - More than 120 local, national and independent publishers have signed up so far
  • Tesla’s $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase clashes with its environmental aspirations
  • Facebook Is Said to Be Building a Product to Compete With Clubhouse

Wednesday 10th February, 2021 #

  • Indie Hackers Podcast Ep. #189 – Making $1.5M/Year Reimagining Local News with Chris and Bruce of WhereBy.Us - The guys describe their journey, from in depth local news research, to experimenting with events, press conferences, memberships and newsletters; balancing editorial, sales and events; having a diverse set of revenue tools, creating a repeatable process and turning it into a business that is the Shopify of newsletters - I really enjoyed this interview, it’s amazing to hear success stories like this in building and growing unique local communities
  • Foodtech startup Hoxton Farms raises £2.7 million to develop animal fat – without the animals
  • Horizontal scaling WebSockets on Kubernetes and Node.js - Pretty neat auto scaling solution that uses Prometheus to expose the total number of websocket connections on each node, then scales pods based on this value, thus guarantying the system will be able to handle increases in load gracefully
  • 7 Places to Host Your Jamstack Site
  • Disney Shutting Down Ice Age Animation Studio Blue Sky
  • Is Apple Banning Free Analytics SDKs? - Quite a lot of confusion about what the latest changes will affect, there is a possibility that lots of apps will need to update their analytics solution or risk facing a ban
  • Lex Friedman Podcast #159 – Richard Craib: WallStreetBets, Numerai, and the Future of Stock Trading - Looks at the recent WalkStreetBets and Gamestop Saga that caused such a stir in the trading markets, then moves on to talk about hedge funds, shorting, new ways crypto and AI could change the world of finance, aswell as more esoteric topics like running a startup and the meaning of life
  • The New Stack Makers Podcast: Ravi Lachhman and Frank Moley - How to Fight the Kubernetes Complexity-Fatigue Monster - Open table discussion covering the move away from Java in cloud native applications, core vs edge code, the shift in developer and infrastructure roles, emerging team dynamics, making mistakes, abstractions, helm for managing deploys and upgrades, managing software versions, and rolling your own vs vendor tooling
  • Twitter’s Jack Dorsey wants to build an app store for social media algorithms - There’s a reason Jack Dorsey runs 2 public companies, he’s got exceptional vision - I’ve been thinking for a while that social media companies would eventually host user algorithms, it just makes sense, but Jack’s vision of this future is so much more vivid and thought out than I had pictured, and he’s putting all the necessary pieces in place - A decentralised network with an algorithms marketplace, that sounds to me like an interesting future for social media tech
  • Follow the CAPEX - Cloud Table Stakes 2020 Retrospective - I had seen some of these figures last week and noticed the staggering amount of money Amazon has to spend to actually make all the money it makes, so it’s nice to read an article that confirms what I was thinking, and even does a comparison with regular non-tech companies, also the article uses the term hypercloud to describe the big cloud tech companies, that’s the first time I’ve heard that nomenclature - How long can hypercloud companies’ CAPEX keep increasing? What happens to pricing when it stops increasing?
  • Shopify Expands Its Checkout System to Facebook and Instagram

Tuesday 9th February, 2021 #

  • A beginner’s guide to NFTs - Non fungible tokens are used in the crypto blockchain world as an ownership proof for digital assets, and they can be traded in a Myriad of different ways including as part of automated transactions, they are the basis for a lot of the crazy discussions on the most recent Coin Talk Podcast that I included in last week’s newsletter - This article is a good intro and has some interesting examples that use NFTs to trade digital art pieces
  • ☹️ Reddit’s Valuation Doubles to $6 Billion After Funding Round - Reddit is a bot infested dumpster maskerading as a social media website, my account is still foobared, Reddit admins still won’t acknowledge that I even exist
  • Mark Cuban is co-founding a podcast app where hosts can talk to fans live and monetize their conversations - This story has it all, including podcasting, Cuban, Clubhouse, controversy, AI, stealth mode, billion, Twitter Spaces, Elon Musk, Spotify, Obama, Rogan and much more; in fact as far as I can tell, about the only thing that it appears not to have is crypto/bitcoin/blockchain
  • Blog with Markdown + Git, and degrade gracefully through time - Nice title, but also the topic covered is something people don’t often consider, but it’s very true, having your personal website accessible in a format that is robust for the long haul is super important
  • Twitter considering subscription fees to ensure 'revenue durability'

Monday 8th February, 2021 #

  • HN Thread - Making Sense of the Audio Stack on Unix
  • Making Sense of The Audio Stack On Unix
  • The After Open Source Era Has Started - The article makes the case that the progression has broadly been Proprietary (pre-1980) -> Free Software (1980) -> Open Source Software (2000) -> Shared Source Software (2020) - Article then lists the details of each era and makes some predictions about the future
  • The man who produced Steve Jobs’ keynotes for 20 years
  • A visual guide to SSH tunnels
  • DVD-Drive based Laser Scanning Microscope - Cool maker project, and perhaps could enable the ability to inspect chips to spot signs tampering

Sunday 7th February, 2021 #

  • Clubhouse Is the Anti-Twitter - I haven’t tried Clubhouse, it sounds like it could be interesting, it’s much more based around hierarchies and private rooms than Twitter, and Twitter has recently announced it’s Spaces feature which looks to be a response to Clubhouse, it will be interesting to see how things pan out, it’s cool to have some new movement in the social media environment
  • - The author recommends that all medium sized projects should include an architecture page to help devs quickly develop a mental model of the code base, which makes them better able to contribute
  • 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
  • From the election lie to GameStop - How to stop social media algorithms from hurting us - Looks at algorithmic amplification and suggests some ways we could create more balance by treating everything as transactions, and imposing existing financial instruments such as taxation and cap and trade
  • The year ahead - DevOps and Agile, bring on the automation, bring on the business involvement - Looks at the challenges facing most companies as they transition to digital, one of the biggest is implementing the CD part of CI/CD

Friday 5th February, 2021 #

  • The end of the Maher era at Wikipedia
  • Software Engineering Podcast - Cilium: Programmable Linux Networking with Dan Wendlant and Thomas Graf - Super nerdy conversation about the cloud native security solution, covering the historical context, decoupling your security configuration from your infrastructure, new tools emerging that are based on standard network protocols such as HTTP, REST APIs, JSON, gRPC and Kafka; the eBPF low level programming language that makes it possible to safely and efficiently reprogram the behaviour of the kernel, ways of extracting visibility and some forms of control from the kernel, adding extra functionality like encryption and authentication transparently between services, latency benefits as compared to existing ‘side-car’ proxy solutions, implementation details of the eBPF security solution, relevant use cases and a future where visibility, debugging and security can be implemented using application level concepts, across on-prem, vm, serverless, clusters, regions, service providers and legacy systems - the “universal connectivity plane”
  • Welcome, Facebook and Twitter - Seriously - Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie looks back at how he reacted to the announcement that Facebook and Twitter are getting into newsletters - I like that he’s writing publicly about it, still feels a bit awkward, especially finishing with the “we’re looking at you too” bit, but real life is awkward sometimes, I guess it’s genuine, as a Substack user my hope is that they announce some form of API soon, later today I’ll be preparing tomorrow’s newsletter, which will take several hours of copy paste, when with a bit of automation I could concentrate just on the writing part, anyhow I still like Substack
  • Docker donates Docker Distribution to the CNCF - “Distribution is the open source code that is the basis of the container registry that is part of Docker Hub, and also many other container registries. It is the reference implementation of a container registry and is extremely widely used, so it is a foundational part of the container ecosystem. This makes its new home in the CNCF highly appropriate”
  • What WebRTC means for you - Two weeks ago IETF and W3C finally published the standards for WebRTC, a protocol that’s most well known use case is video conferencing, this article reviews what it is, why it’s important, and looks at other possible areas it could be used
  • Cloud Native Series - The Cloud Native Landscape: The Application Definition and Development Layer
  • Cloud Native Series - The Cloud Native Landscape: The Orchestration and Management Layer
  • Google wants new rules for ‘critical’ open source packages - These would make supply chain attacks more difficult and generally improve security throughout the ecosystem, but the rules are onerous on the package maintainers - The article notes that open source should be more secure, but that assumes that people are actually looking at the code, something that occurs to me now is that it also assumes the people looking at the code are the ‘good’ guys, but isn’t it much more likely that the people looking at the code in a lot of detail are mostly going to be the so called ‘bad’ guys, where’s the incentive for the ‘good’ guys to be thoroughly examining the code?

Thursday 4th February, 2021 #

  • Sriram Krishnan is named as the latest general partner at renouned Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz - I’ve been getting into the a16z podcast recently, so this is relevant to me, it’s also interesting because Sriram has held product roles at Microsoft, Facebook, Snap, and Twitter - a16z recently announced they will start to publish a technology news section on their website
  • is a spiritual successor to Yahoo Pipes, a graphical interface to get data from the web and to manipulate it by connecting block - Looks like a very useful RSS feed processing tool, with a nice no-code UI editor, has a FOSS version so you can self-host, I’d really like to try this tool out, I can image lots of neat workflows that teams of journalists / writers could use to collaborate
  • Why I Still Use RSS - Though not as popular as years past, RSS is still used by lots of people, and lots of sites still publish feeds, it’s definitely a different experience to consuming information than social media, but it’s generic enough to be very versatile and is especially useful for remote / home working since many software tools also publish feeds, so you can consume news but also use it in collaboration workflows
  • Apple’s first VR headset reportedly includes a fabric design, a fan, and expensive price tag - This looks like an area that’s going to get a lot of attention in the near future, they have a 1000 person team working on the tech, it also could be a focus because Apple is looking to partner with companies such as Hyundai/Kia to work on the long rumoured Apple Car, at least these are the conversations happening at the tech rumour mill
  • Hyundai executives reportedly ‘divided’ over potential Apple car partnership
  • Kia will reportedly lead Apple Car project work under Hyundai Motor
  • The Relentless Jeff Bezos - Some great analysis and commentary on the Bezos transition, high level view of how Amazon impacted the world of retail and technology, it really is a very impressive company
  • The difference between the Node.textContent and Element.innerText properties in vanilla JS - Chris Ferdinandi’s bytesize vanilla JS emails are really great, super useful

Wednesday 3rd February, 2021 #

  • Product Manager vs Product Marketing Manager vs Product Owner
  • Prisma Cloud Reinvents the Firewall for Cloud Native Security - I’m seeing more cloud native security solutions on my radar recently, I read the marketing copy and it sort of makes sense but there’s clearly a disconnect between the features described and how the technology is implemented, these new security softwares are implemented at the application level instead of the more conventional IP and port based firewalls, so they operate on higher level constructs like Kubernetes pods and clusters, it’s interesting technology but it still feels a little bit wishy washy
  • Google Cloud vs Amazon AWS - Two vastly different profit pictures
  • Uber buying booze delivery company Drizly for $1.1 billion - Of all the Uber delivery style companies that never even occurred to me, alcohol delivery has got to be the most obvious, wish I’d thought of that
  • Recent root-giving Sudo bug also impacts macOS
  • Email from Jeff Bezos to employees - Jeff Bezos announces he will step down as CEO and transition to executive chair, it’s quite upbeat as far as memos go, he details many of the things the company has pioneered over the years, and it’s an impressive list, it will be interesting to see how the transition goes, he’ll still be involved but focussing on other moonshot type projects, my hope for Amazon is that they help incubate and grow other internet hosting providers so that we can build out a healthy and robust ecosystem, best wishes to Jeff in his new role
  • 🚀 Description of my freelance services - If you have some projects consider hiring me

Tuesday 2nd February, 2021 #

  • Definite guide to estimating software projects - This blog post has a basic outline of how to plan and estimate software projects that is pretty much how I approach projects, it goes into a lot of detail, and worth reading through if you are at that stage, also consider getting in touch with me, I could help move your project forward with my software development, consultancy and project management services, see the blog for details
  • A16z Podcast Ep. #620 - Developers as Creatives - Interview with Jeff Lawson the CEO of Twillio, who shares his perspective on what he is refering to as the 3rd era of software development called The API Economy, and how it is fundamentally changing many aspects of the industry and economy at large - Wide ranging conversation covering the observation that after 50 years a supply chain is finally emerging in the software industry, the huge progress that has been achieved in software development in general, the challenges of building at internet scale, the need for all companies to build software for differentiation, picking vendors and partners to help you build as quickly as possible, documentation as the ultimate marketing copy, how enterprise go-to-market strategy is radically changing, why developers are creatives to be treated as customers rather than just a strategy, the democratisation of developer tools, the shifting role of the product manager, and hackathons as a sort of dress rehearsal and process for discovering the best way for people to organise and behave
  • CAP Theorem - when designing computer architectures it’s a well known theorem - “It is impossible for a distributed computer system to simultaneously provide more than two out of three of the following guarantees: Consistency, Availability, Partition tolerance”
  • A memo to myself - Om Malik took a couple of weeks out to reflect on last year, and he describes in this post his writing plan for 2021, he’s such a great blogger, from what I think of vaguely as traditional blogging, reading and sharing links and writing thoughtful blog posts with analysis of current trends, each one of his posts from his most recent newsletter were just the right balance of information density and length, and the topics he plans to cover next year look super interesting, I’m really looking forward to reading his writings

Monday 1st February, 2021 #

  • Application Architecture - Best Practices for Future-Proofing Your Apps - Describes the Architecture Canvas which is a way to structure your code into foundation, core and end-user layers, then looks at some common anti-patterns and how to avoid them - Quite a lot of similarity with Domain Driven Design techniques, the scenarios are well explained using clear diagrams, enabling you to understand the high level approach without getting bogged down in the detail
  • UK’s Riverlane raises €16.4M; here’s how it transforms quantum computers from experimental tech to commercial products - Worth noting as it’s the first time I’ve seen an article about quantum operating systems, though there isn’t much written about the technology in the article