Thursday, August 16, 2018

See No Evil

Modern supply chains are amazing in their effectiveness, but transparency inside them is not a design objective.

We call them “supply chains,” but that image is misleading. They really look more like a network of waterways, with thousands of tiny tributaries made up of sub-suppliers trickling into larger rivers of assembly, production, and distribution.

The parallels between supply-chain design and service oriented architecture are surprising. Modularity, interchangeability, limited dependencies. Supply-chains are in many ways a physical manifestation of that type of architecture.

Kobayashi Maru Management – Rands in Repose

I’ve ended up in these moments myself, multiple times in my career. I like the analogy here as well as the framework for considering how to detect and impending situation like this. I don’t think you can always detect these situations, but experience gives you the sense when they are approaching.

Post-mortems to the rescue – Increment: Documentation

I don’t like the term “post-mortem” and would rather use “retrospective” or even “review”. Aside from that, the framework suggested in this post is a good one. Incident management should not stop at incident resolution, it needs to include a component for how an organization learns from that incident.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Health Checks and Graceful Degradation in Distributed Systems

I have been running health checks for decades. BigCharts server is happy is the first. MarketWatch is also happy.

The “health” of a process is a spectrum. What we’re really interested in is the quality-of-service — such as how long it takes for a process to return the result of a given unit of work and the accuracy of the result.

Getting more precise with checks, not simple up and down, is definitely a good improvement.

How do tools affect culture? |

Everything, truly everything, affects your culture. Given that, it’s not a surprise that tool choices affect it. Aligning your values to the tools you use is a good idea.

What We Learned from Writing 7,000 Artist Bios

This is specifically talking about artist bios, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t apply the same approach to any bio. Personally I really struggle with writing bios, so much so that I hired a writer to help write my bio.

How I Read

I like this process for picking books to read. When you consider a book can take a few to dozens of hours to read, it makes sense to invest in a process to insure that that time is well spent. I like the various stages in this process. The tooling to pull in rating data seems a bit over the top.

Six Months at Riot Games | Things I Like.

Eye opening article on the sexist and deplorable environment at Riot Games. We need these stories told so we can surface the issues and address this unacceptable behavior.

RSS: The Persistent Protocol - Feld Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of feed readers, my personal favorite is Feedbin! 💚 I’m happy to see attention coming back to this open, extensible part of the Internet that has been repeatedly declared dead. And, as the last paragraph in this post suggests, the innovation has already started!

Working with timezones | David Turner says…

I like the use of graphs to show timezone effects! It’s simple, and very effective. Also, for people that have never had to write software dealing with complex timezone issues this is a good primer on the incredible complexity of timezones.

My own reasons for leaving Twitter – A Whole Lotta Nothing

I could have written this post. The constant stream of data from Twitter was, for me, highly addictive. I’ve never had a service that was so hard for me to leave, and I still have not left it entirely. I also experienced the negative impact to blogging from using Twitter.

The shell scripting trap

I disagree that all shell scripts are a problem. There is a point where there is too much complexity for bash, but I don’t think the answer is to always write little programs. They have problems too, just different ones.

Change These Settings on Your New TV for a Better-Looking Picture

Great advice for your TV. I particularly dislike the smoothing, motion effects in new TV’s. It would be even better if TV manufacturers had one setting for “Display Only” to turn off all this garbage and simply show what comes in the HDMI connection.

How far can I go ? -

This is surprisingly fun and interesting. You put in a location and it finds all the area you can reach in a certain period of time. Critically, you can do this with multiple points and times and identify overlaps. It’s fun to see how highways extend your reach.


All companies have various tools that are used to run their systems. This is the first I’ve ever seen of a framework for making those tools being made public. Interesting.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Julia 1.0

Ambitious set of features for a new language.

Beyond Digital Ethics - Study Hacks - Cal Newport

Agree completely with this, but would also suggest they are different things. Digital ethics in my opinion is about education and college. This should be in the curriculum at Universities. It’s a long term thing, not meant to solve today’s issue. The shorter term matters are dealt with using the other methods described here.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


The demos of this library are mesmerizing.

Not just a fad: the surprising, gut-wrenching truth about gluten | Food | The Guardian

I have a hard time understanding food ingredients that have been around for millennia that are all of a sudden bad. But this article does a good job highlighting how gluten in food has changed in recent years, which could be the cause for so many people having negative reactions to it.

Some experts argue that without this traditional fermentation – the process by which parts of the grain begin to be broken down in the presence of lactic acid bacteria – many people simply can’t digest grains properly to absorb the desirable micronutrients they contain.

Food is more complex than we ever give it credit for. 🍞

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

“Lean In” Messages and the Illusion of Control

An initial study perceived cause and solution around gender issues in the workplace based on context.

People who read or listened to the DIY messages were more likely to believe women have the power to solve the problem. That, on its own, may very well be good news. However, they were also more likely to believe that women are responsible for the problem — both for causing it, and for fixing it.

Seems like one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” issues.

Why You Need a Network-Wide Ad-Blocker

Compelling argument that network level ad blocking is an important security measure for any network. This is written recommending an open source blocker, but I use Eero Plus to do this for our home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How to Fall Asleep in 120 Seconds – Member Feature Stories – Medium

Training program used by Navy pilots to get sleep.

After six weeks of practice, 96 percent of pilots could fall asleep in two minutes or less. Even after drinking coffee, with machine gunfire being played in the background.

I think the target audience for this training isn’t the average person. If you are a Navy pilot, you’ll do great. But there might be some good stuff to cherry pick for other people too.

OmniFocus 3

Critical and deep review of OmniFocus 3. I agree with much of this review and my use case for OmniFocus is complicated, similar to Gabe’s. I have not seen the stability issues he references. I do agree that we are still waiting for the other half of the change with OmniFocus for the Mac. I’m hoping Omni starts moving faster after getting all this infrastructure coding done.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Speeding Up Your Engineering Org, Part I: Beyond the Cost Center Mentality

This is a very good reminder of the importance of speed in tech teams. I’ve seen and continue to see “ROI thinking” as the only validation of projects. Considering latency and speed is often not considered. The “How to” and “How not to” section at the end of this is really good too.

30 Self-Care Tips: How to Avoid Sickness, Burnout, and Exhaustion

I like the broad framing of this as opposed to one thing - like diet or fitness alone.

True self-care strengthens and deepens our connection with ourselves so we can understand how to meet our needs met from a mental, emotional, and physical standpoint.

There is only one of each of us. 👍🏻

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