Sunday, December 17, 2017

Tips for in-house teams in a free market software culture

Development teams that build software for other development teams often have a unique set of challenges. You know this is happening anytime the services and products you are building are referred to as “tools” or “tooling”. The light should go off that you are still building a high quality, well designed product but your user is going to do something very different with it. I’ve seen this many times and I like some of the suggestions here, and have seen them used effectively. Open Meetings, Workshops and Pairing (across teams!) are great ways to engage with developers-as-users. I’ve wanted to do bootcamps but haven’t put that to use yet. The communications highlights in this article are great callouts the many teams miss when deploying internally. 👍

A shell command to create JSON: jo

Oh, I just 💙 this! A small shell command that will create a JSON object? What a perfect embodiment of the Unix philosophy of chaining small things together to make powerful things. This is a super handy utility to place at the end of your shell scripts or to create a solid interface between systems or services. Nifty! 👏

If You Aspire to Be a Great Leader, Be Present

This article hits on an important topic and one that I don’t think leaders spend enough time considering. I think people can start to think they are just a logic machine going from one conversation to the other, and that the meta around them isn’t relevant. Both are completely wrong. I’ve known for years for example that if I’m doing an important presentation I will not sit at my computer for at least 10 minutes before. I need to get my brain in a different place. I’ve actively changed how I mentally approach my 1:1 meetings with team members. Actively managing your own energy and knowing where you are at any given point in time is really important.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Why Lightroom CC Is a Big Step Up from Apple’s Photos - TidBITS

I haven’t used Lightroom much in the last couple of years but it’s still my go to for power user functionality with photos. Interesting to see Adobe taking a run at a complete rethink of Lightroom. The naming is really confusing, but I might check this out.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Some thoughts on social networks | mathew's web site

Insightful observation that the negative aspects of platforms like Facebook don’t come from their specific implementation of social networking but is instead fundamental to the characteristics of the platform and business model.

How Duterte Turned Facebook Into a Weapon—With Help From Facebook - Bloomberg

When I read The Master Switch I was particularly struck by the claim that large monopolies are really helpful for governments to manage and control things. It makes sense, if the government wants to monitor communications it’s easier if there is one communication service. This was the cozy pairing that AT&T had with the government before it was broken up. This article shows how a malevolent government could leverage the monopoly of Facebook in their company to achieve there ends. Worrisome examples of pretty terrible practices to manipulate a society.

Learning with Privacy at Scale - Apple

Some details on what differential privacy is and how it works in order to build more intelligent applications that use real data from real users without the negative privacy implications. Are there other companies applying rigor like this for privacy? I continue to see Apple making a long bet on privacy as a feature and I like that.

Maker vs. Manager: How Your Schedule Can Make or Break You

This has a good writeup on the Maker v. Manager subject that Paul Graham originally wrote up. I like this article because it goes into more examples of how people use these and very importantly how people use both. I find that I need to effectively use both schedule types to achieve my objectives and being clear about which you are using at different points is critical.

Time Well Spent

We are building a new organization dedicated to reversing the digital attention crisis and realigning technology with humanity’s best interests.

Sounds like a good idea!

Even more sieve extensions | FastMail Blog

I’ve paid Fastmail a very reasonable fee to host my email for years. They have a great service and I love the power features they have like full support of the sieve mail filtering language. If you feel like signing up use my affiliate link.

Lua for Programmers Part 1: Language Essentials

I continue to have a strange fascination with Lua. I really should find a project to learn it. This is a nice multipart writeup to easily learn basic Lua structure and syntax. If you ever need an embedded language Lua is a great choice.

Millennials Are Screwed - The Huffington Post

A treatise on the economic and financial challenges facing millennials. An interesting read. Related, I’m on the fence with this new way of packaging special news stories as mini-applications. I find it fun in ways, but it’s also frustrating when they involve new user paradigms that you have to discover through trial and error.

You Give Up a Lot of Privacy Just Opening Emails. Here's How to Stop It | WIRED

This article is worth a read to realize how much tracking can and often does occur in your email client. I think a lot about tracking in the browser but this is a very difficult place to deal with. I don’t think any email programs really offer good protection from this type of tracking. And, by the way, if you are using a tracker for personal emails? Yuck. (In full disclosure, the Weekly Thing is sent with MailChimp and it has trackers all over the place. I can’t remove them unless I pay MailChimp to take them out. 😕)

The FCC just killed net neutrality - The Verge

As expected the Net Neutrality rules were voted down in a 3-2 vote at the FCC. Expect to hear from opponents of net neutrality that after the vote the internet is still working. Erosion of neutrality will take a while. Companies aren’t dumb, they will slowly start charging more. For the foreseeable future it’s important to start thinking about how to manage around this and put pressure on the corporations.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Popular Destinations rerouted to Russia | BGPmon

Wow – this is pretty interesting and a bit scary. A bad actor injecting routes into the BGP system of the internet and routing large amounts of data onto foreign territory. This seems like it’s intentional and hard to imagine it’s not a state sponsored activity.

Lua Records — PowerDNS Recursor 4.1.1-pre documentation

This is really nifty – putting Lua functions into your DNS server! I didn’t realize there were DNS servers that could do this type of function but it opens up some pretty interesting solutions. Word of caution though, perhaps they are a little too interesting. I could see this confusing people when troubleshooting.

Book: Why We Sleep - Feld Thoughts

Tammy read this book and really liked it. She found a lot of compelling information on sleep 💤 and the benefits associated. I put this on my book clubs list to read too. Was interesting to see Brad Feld write it up as well.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Wikipedia

This is fabulous story about this song. Thanks to Steve Yaeger for the introduction to this. 👍

However, the drive is actually possible, driving at an average of about 65 mph. If he leaves Los Angeles around midnight, he can drive the 373 miles to Phoenix in about six hours to arrive when she “rises” at 6:00 am. If she “stops at lunch” to “give him a call” at 12:30 p.m. when he is in Albuquerque, it gives him six-and-a-half hours to make the 420-mile drive. The drive from Albuquerque to the Oklahoma border is about 390 miles, giving her plenty of time to get home and go to sleep.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Looking Forward to 2018 - Let's Encrypt - Free SSL/TLS Certificates

I’m a big fan of Let’s Encrypt and I think they are fundamentally making the web safer and better with their work. They served 61 million unique domains SSL certificates in 2017! That is amazing. Consider that SSL certificates easily cost $20/year (on the cheap side) that is over $1.2 billion in value!

Introducing ProtonMail Bridge, email encryption for Outlook, Thunderbird, and Apple Mail - ProtonMail Blog

This is pretty cool! 👏 Email by default has no security features. And adding encryption to email is shockingly difficult. I’ve tried doing PGP plugins before and it is a nightmare. ProtonMail makes a very robust and entirely encrypted webmail product, but their limitation to a regular mail client is a big gap. This ProtonMail Bridge is a really ingenious way of delivering secure, encrypted email to Mail clients that have no idea how to deal with security!

Disqus and Zeta – AVC

I’ve considered using Disqus many times. The reality though is that Disqus is a commenting toy that you can deploy on your website while exposing your users to tracking and reducing their privacy. The fact that Disqus was bought by “largest independent marketing cloud” should give you confirmation of what I just said. If you use Disqus on your personal website, you should pull it off. Personally I block the Disqus widgets from loading using 1Blocker.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

iPhone X: A New Frontier – MacStories

Long and super detailed review of the iPhone X. If you are thinking about buying one this has every little nit and nat you could ever care about.

How to use Apple Pay Cash - Six Colors

With the launch this week of Apple Pay Cash this is a nice overview of how to set it up and use it. I’ve sent $1 around to a bunch of friends. Works amazingly well! I think Apple Pay Cash over iMessage could be a big deal. I could easily see this at Art Fairs and other ad hoc venues to make payment.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Daring Fireball: Facebook 'Messenger Kids'

Gruber’s take on this is so spot on:

This is like Philip Morris introducing officially licensed candy cigarettes. You’re nuts if you sign your kids up for this.

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