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Abilitech Medical raises $7.4 million, with investment from Sofia Fund - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal 🔒 www.bizjournals.com

Congratulations to a great local startup and a former neighbor of mine Angie Conley!

⏎ December 3, 2019

Newsletters spam test by mail-tester.com 🔒 www.mail-tester.com

Really handy tool to test if your mail is likely to be flagged as spam. 💌

⏎ December 3, 2019

The Mind at Work: Guido van Rossum on how Python makes thinking in code easier | Dropbox Blog 🔒 blog.dropbox.com

Nice background on the design philosophy of Python.

Python’s readability is not just typographic, but conceptual. Van Rossum thinks Python may be closer to our visual understanding of the structures that we are representing in code than other languages because, Python makes that structure mandatory.”

I like that take on indentation and the Why?” behind it. This little snippet from the article made me chuckle.

As Thompson writes, When you meet a coder, you’re meeting someone whose core daily experience is of unending failure and grinding frustration.”


⏎ December 2, 2019

ChessRoots - Chess opening graph from over 800 million Chess games 🔒 www.chessroots.com

Cool graph-based visualization tool to explore chess games. ♟

⏎ December 2, 2019

A frame of mind – On my Om 🔒 om.co

I like Om’s take on photography as, sort of, a kind of therapy.

⏎ December 2, 2019

The First Non-Bullshit Book About Culture I’ve Read – zwischenzugs 🔒 zwischenzugs.com

This book has been on my reading list for a very long time, I think I need to move it up. I’ve heard nothing but great recommendations, and this is another one! 📚

⏎ December 1, 2019

Almond - The Open, Privacy-Preserving Virtual Assistant 🔒 almond.stanford.edu

Not sure how well something like this will work, but glad folks are working on it.

⏎ December 1, 2019

Free, Open-source Anonymous Email Forwarding - AnonAddy 🔒 anonaddy.com

This looks like a very well done anonymous email forwarding service. I’ve been using Maskmail for a couple of years now, and have 84 distinct email addresses setup with it for various services. This is a super effective tool for your privacy, with benefits for security as well. By using a unique email address per service organizations loose the ability to track you with a shared email ID. The biggest issue is that many services block these, so AnonAddy’s ability to support a custom domain name is a huge deal. I’m going to test this out and perhaps switch to it.

⏎ December 1, 2019

No App for That 🔒 www.blogchangemasters.com

When you get good capture devices, like a solid to do list on your phone, you can build an impossibly long list. For me, this is where the Weekly Review in GTD, as well as the Someday/Maybe lists can give you a release valve.

⏎ November 28, 2019

How to create a good onboarding experience for new hires — Quartz at Work 🔒 qz.com

I really like the areas of focus that this article highlights. A good onboarding experience has many dimensions. I also agree that many companies do this poorly. One of the things I do is meet with all new hires each quarter, and the first question I ask is to describe their onboarding experience. That results in fabulous feedback to take forward.

⏎ November 27, 2019

Relentlessly simplify – Den Delimarsky 🔒 den.dev

Great guide to keeping the technology part of your life a bit simpler, and in the long haul, easier.

⏎ November 27, 2019

A guide to distributed teams – Increment: Teams 🔒 increment.com

Key points to making distributed teams effective.

⏎ November 27, 2019

Contract for the Web 🔒 contractfortheweb.org

It’s hard for me to believe that an effort like this is going to have a real impact on the web and how companies act on it. I’d like to, but I’m very skeptical of it. Perhaps with the pedigree of Tim Berners-Lee it has a better chance. For more background on this, his opinion article in the New York Times is a good overview. The Guardian also has a good overview, Tim Berners-Lee unveils global plan to save the web. At least he’s trying, and hopefully others will get on board.

⏎ November 27, 2019

Braid: Synchronization for HTTP 🔒 braid.news

This looks really interesting. Synchronization is a huge pain to write, and rewrite, all the time.

The Braid Protocol is a set of extensions to HTTP, which transform it from a state transfer protocol into a state synchronization protocol. When a resource is changed by one client or server, all other clients and servers update. Braid supports Operational Transform and CRDTs at web URLs, enabling peer-to-peer, offline-capable web applications.

It would be pretty amazing if Braid became as well-supported as REST.

⏎ November 27, 2019

Apple Releases Annual Holiday Video 'The Surprise' - MacStories 🔒 www.macstories.net

Great 3-minute video that will bring tears to your eyes by the end.

⏎ November 27, 2019

Read Sacha Baron Cohen's scathing attack on Facebook in full: 'greatest propaganda machine in history' | Technology | The Guardian 🔒 www.theguardian.com

Sacha Baron Cohen, of Borat and Ali G fame, gave the keynote at the Anti-Defamation League Never is Now event. Honestly, you should take 25 minutes and watch the full video. This is an incredibly insightful, purposeful take at the negative impacts of social media platforms. I love his statement that Freedom of Speech is not Freedom of Reach”. Social media platforms love to hide behind Freedom of Speech and it’s a completely false argument. Read their Terms of Service and you’ll realize there is no freedom of anything. It’s a business! This writeup from the Daily Beast Sacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook is a good overview too. ✊

⏎ November 27, 2019

The care and feeding of software engineers (or, why engineers are grumpy) - Human Who Codes 🔒 humanwhocodes.com

Stellar article that gives some great insight into what drives, motivates, and frustrates software engineers.

And here’s the real crux of the problem: software engineers aren’t builders. Software engineers are creators. Building is what you do when you buy a piece of furniture from Ikea and get it home. The instructions are laid out and if you go step by step, you’ll get that comically small table you wanted. Creating is a different process, it’s birthing something without direction or instruction. It’s starting with a blank canvas and painting a masterpiece. Software engineers don’t get into coding because they want someone to tell them what to do, they get into it because they discovered they could create something useful. Every single software engineer fell in love with coding because she made a small, useful program early on and was hooked.

If you have ever wondered what makes software engineers tick, this will fill you in. 👍

⏎ November 27, 2019

Developing New Engineers - Karl L. Hughes 🔒 www.karllhughes.com

Amazingly detailed and specific skill development framework for engineers.

⏎ November 27, 2019

Yes! and… How to be effective in the theatre of work 🔒 tomcritchlow.com

Article is mostly about the book Impro - Improvisation and the Theatre, which thanks to this article is now on my wish list, and how it applies to improving your capabilities at work. This article is particularly serendipitous for me. We just had our all-company meeting at John Sweeney gave the keynote. Sweeney is with Brave New Workshop, an improve theatre, and they have an entire side of their business consulting with companies! Might learning improve be a good next step in my own development? 🤪

⏎ November 27, 2019

Data General's Tom West dies • The Register 🔒 www.theregister.co.uk

I loved reading The Soul of a New Machine and the history of Data General and Tom West. It is too bad that he never experienced that same level of success again.

⏎ November 27, 2019

inessential: You Choose 🔒 inessential.com

Completely agree with Brent Simmons here. My internet doesn’t have the vast majority of social media giants, thanks to 1Blocker. I, and you, can choose the internet we want. You are not obligated to any of these platforms.

⏎ November 27, 2019

1.2 billion people exposed in data leak includes personal info, LinkedIN, Facebook 🔒 www.dataviper.io

The scale of these data leaks is hard to even fathom these days. 😟

⏎ November 27, 2019

Using OmniFocus 3.4 with Shortcuts - The Omni Group 🔒 www.omnigroup.com

I’m digging these new, very powerful, Shortcut features coming to OmniFocus and I’m looking for even more. The future is bright for automation on iOS with the new Shortcuts and apps adding support for it.

⏎ November 27, 2019

How our home delivery habit reshaped the world | Technology | The Guardian 🔒 www.theguardian.com

All the stuff that makes that package arrive at your door. Moving activities outside of normal view, where nobody typically sees them, allows companies to automate and drive efficiencies. However, sometimes you wouldn’t like what you saw if you knew what was happening.

⏎ November 27, 2019

Facebook and Google’s pervasive surveillance poses an unprecedented danger to human rights | Amnesty International 🔒 www.amnesty.org

More piling on to Facebook and Google.

Surveillance Giants lays out how the surveillance-based business model of Facebook and Google is inherently incompatible with the right to privacy and poses a systemic threat to a range of other rights including freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of thought, and the right to equality and non-discrimination.

This article brings in the idea of a public square”.

While other Big Tech companies — including Apple, Amazon and Microsoft — have accrued significant power in other areas, it is the platforms owned by Facebook and Google that have become fundamental to how people engage and interact with each other — effectively a new global public square.

This is foundational to my issue with these platforms. They present themselves as the public square, but they are anything but. With that said though, I don’t think the right answer is to force them to be a public square. They are private companies and can do as they wish for their shareholders. However, they should have strict rules and regulations, and even more importantly, their users should know they are more like a shopping mall, and nothing at all like a public square. Facebook isn’t a church or a park. You have no right to do anything there that they don’t want you to, and you have as much right to privacy as you do when you are walking around any other business.

⏎ November 27, 2019

110 Nursing Homes Cut Off from Health Records in Ransomware Attack — Krebs on Security 🔒 krebsonsecurity.com

This is a horrible example of the very real-world terrible things that can come without a focus on security.

⏎ November 24, 2019

“You Don’t Bring Bad News to the Cult Leader”: Inside the Fall of WeWork | Vanity Fair 🔒 www.vanityfair.com

You’d be forgiven for thinking enough of WeWork already, but this is a solid article about the whole thing. Neumann is referenced in every article about him as some hyper-charismatic, super-confident leader. Maybe he’s actually just delusional?

⏎ November 24, 2019

⏎ November 22, 2019

7 steps to building an engineering competency matrix - CircleCI 🔒 circleci.com

I was just talking about competency and skills inventories with the leader of our Kyiv office and ran across this article. It was over a decade ago that I last tackled this type of effort. This was a good refresher.

⏎ November 21, 2019

It's time to ban all political ad targeting . . . everywhere - without bullshit 🔒 withoutbullshit.com

I can completely get behind this idea.

But if we don’t ban ads outright, why ban targeting? Because everyone should see what political advertisers are doing. I don’t want political advertisers showing one message to Democrats and another to Republicans, or one to men and another to women, or one to people who clicked on a website about abortion and another to those who visited a site about guns.

I agree with the thesis. You can go ahead and advertise whatever you want, but it needs to be in the open where a lot of people can see it. I like the idea of only targeting by geography. That makes sense for political messages. But you shouldn’t be able to send some dark message to only your followers.

⏎ November 21, 2019

What America Lost When It Lost the Bison - The Atlantic 🔒 www.theatlantic.com

I feel a connection with bison. You can see farmed bison pretty easily where I grew up in North Dakota. Their ruggedness and strength have always appealed to me. I often refer to them as my Spirit animal.

Their actions change the landscape. In areas where bison graze, plants contain 50 to 90 percent more nutrients by the end of the summer. This not only provides extra nourishment for other grazers, but prolongs the growing season of the plants themselves.

Amazing to hear how they impacted the land so positively as well.

⏎ November 21, 2019

Timery for Toggl Updated with Shortcut Parameter Support and a Refreshed Design - MacStories 🔒 www.macstories.net

I’ve been using Toggl via custom Shortcuts for two years now to do calendar analytics. Timery’s shortcut additions are nice, and may open up some new data insights for me.

⏎ November 21, 2019

★ L’Affaire Vaperware —Daring Fireball 🔒 daringfireball.net

App Store bans are super complicated and cause frustration all over the place. The easy answer here is to suggest nothing should be blocked, allowing anything to be published. That results in a huge mess too.

⏎ November 21, 2019

An update on our political ads policy — Google 🔒 www.blog.google

This is a good step for Google to take, and I like that it puts some pressure on Facebook to revisit their pathetic and destructive approach to political advertising.

⏎ November 20, 2019

In the last decade board games took off, these were the most important - Polygon 🔒 www.polygon.com

Interesting reflection on the evolution of board games.

⏎ November 20, 2019

How Turkish coffee destroyed an empire | 1843 🔒 www.1843magazine.com

The history of coffee, and its spread around the world, is fascinating.

In the coffee houses they were introduced to ideas that spelled trouble for the Ottoman state: rebellion, self-determination and the fallibility of the powerful.

I watched Black Coffee several years ago and it asserts a similar path for the French Revolution as well. ☕️

⏎ November 20, 2019

How containers work: overlayfs - Julia Evans 🔒 jvns.ca

Simplified and easy-to-understand overview.

⏎ November 20, 2019

Apple’s New Map, Expansion #6: Midwest + Western U.S. 🔒 www.justinobeirne.com

Still waiting for the updated maps for Minnesota, but it’s very interesting to see how Apple and Google are approaching this massive dataset.

⏎ November 20, 2019

Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control Over Their Personal Information | Pew Research Center 🔒 www.pewresearch.org

I’d agree with the leader here.

Majorities think their personal data is less secure now, that data collection poses more risks than benefits, and believe it is not possible to go through daily life without being tracked.

So basically I take from this article that American’s went from first not caring about our privacy, to not understanding, to giving up.

⏎ November 19, 2019

The Service Mesh: What Every Software Engineer Needs to Know about the World's Most Over-Hyped Technology 🔒 servicemesh.io

Good overview from the author of Linkerd.

If you’re encountering the idea of service mesh for the first time, you can be forgiven if your first reaction is mild horror. The design of the service mesh means that not only does it add latency to your application, it also consumes resources and also introduces a whole bunch of machinery. One minute you’re installing a service mesh, the next you’re suddenly on the hook for operating hundreds or thousands of proxies. Why would anyone want to do this?

There are two parts to the answer. The first is that the operational cost of deploying these proxies can be greatly reduced, thanks to some other changes that are happening in the ecosystem. Lots more on that later.

The more important answer is because this design is actually a great way to introduce additional logic into the system. That’s not only because there are a ton of features you can add right there, but also because you can add them without changing the ecosystem. In fact, the entire service mesh model is predicated on this very insight: that, in a multi-service system, regardless of what individual services actually do, the traffic between them is an ideal insertion point for functionality.

Service mesh is on a maximum in the hype cycle.

⏎ November 18, 2019

The Value in Go's Simplicity | Ben Congdon 🔒 benjamincongdon.me

Elegance. 🤓

⏎ November 18, 2019

Matthew Walker's "Why We Sleep" Is Riddled with Scientific and Factual Errors - Alexey Guzey 🔒 guzey.com

Oh c’mon, Why We Sleep” is one of my most recommended books! The is only an analysis of the first chapter, and there is a lot that the author of this post argues Walker got wrong. 🤷‍♂️

⏎ November 18, 2019

RoutineHub • A community for Siri Shortcuts 🔒 routinehub.co

An active community site to share Shortcuts. There are some great ready-to-use things here, as well as examples to learn from.

⏎ November 18, 2019

I'm the Google whistleblower. The medical data of millions of Americans is at risk | Anonymous | Opinion | The Guardian 🔒 www.theguardian.com

How is it that even with HIPPA and other regulatory requirements in place this still happened?

What AI algorithms were at work in real time as the data was being transferred across from hospital groups to the search giant? What was Google planning to do with the data they were being given access to? No-one seemed to know.

Above all: why was the information being handed over in a form that had not been de-identified” — the term the industry uses for removing all personal details so that a patient’s medical record could not be directly linked back to them? And why had no patients and doctors been told what was happening?

Medical data isn’t something I want Google to ever have their hands on.

⏎ November 18, 2019

If You're Busy, You're Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers - Study Hacks - Cal Newport 🔒 www.calnewport.com

Newport is taking a number of different threads here and putting them together well. The idea of deliberate practice was something I read about in Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise and appreciated a lot.

In fact, the more elite the player, the more pronounced the peaks. For the best of the best — the subset of the elites who the professors thought would go on to play in one of Germany’s two best professional orchestras — there was essentially no deviation from a rigid two-sessions a day schedule.

It’s not the total duration that matters as much as the duration times the focus. Lots of time spent messing around will not move you forward.

To me, this is one of the most sinister aspects of social media and mobile devices. The ever present attention economy flitters your time in a way that leaves you never relaxing, and never being deliberate. I’ve found myself in this space at times, having finished a busy day at the office and feeling like I need recovery time, and then sitting down to messing around on my phone and realizing that my brain and body isn’t getting any recovery at all, and the value of what I’m doing is precisely zero.

⏎ November 18, 2019

A reflection on scaling Agile | LinkedIn 🔒 www.linkedin.com

This article resonates with me as our team is right in that next phase as well, needing to drive even more transformation and innovation, with a broader impact, and through more of the organization than we ever have before. This means changing our approach. Many of the things mentioned in here are on my to do list as well.

⏎ November 18, 2019

Andrew Levitt Recreates Catalina Wallpaper – 512 Pixels 🔒 512pixels.net

Something about this makes me smile and grin. 😀

⏎ November 18, 2019

Salesforce announces it’s moving Marketing Cloud to Microsoft Azure | TechCrunch 🔒 techcrunch.com

This is a big win for Azure. I don’t know how meaningful these megadeal announcements with cloud providers that are obviously negotiated at the CEO level really mean, but they do give credibility to providers.

⏎ November 14, 2019

Breaking: Private Equity company acquires .Org registry - Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News 🔒 domainnamewire.com

The physical world works better because we have zoning — residential, commercial, industrial, etc. You don’t expect to be sold things when in a park. You shouldn’t expect privacy and freedom of speech in a commercial zone. I wish the domain name systems served a similar purpose, but it seems we are getting even further away from that.

⏎ November 14, 2019

Calendar Strength Training - Next Action Associates 🔒 www.next-action.eu

I use a bit of this calendar blocking technique myself. Depending on your role and the organization you are in defending your calendar, your time, can be critically important to your success.

People seem to treat their diaries as though they have no say in them anymore, and they simply have to obey what is in there — even if someone else has put it there.

To take this up a level, I recommend using Shortcuts (on iOS) to automate the creation of these blocks, rather than creating repeating events that become routinized and forgotten.

⏎ November 14, 2019

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