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The Best Apps & Hardware of 2019 โ€“ The Sweet Setup ๐Ÿ”’ thesweetsetup.com

I like these roundup of apps articles. They are a good way to discover new tools. I grabbed Pixelmator Photo and it is impressive. I already had CalZones and agree itโ€™s a great way for dealing with global time zone management. Drafts, Shortcuts, Day One, Darkroom, GoodNotes are all already in my toolbox.

โŽ December 10, 2019

AI Dungeon ๐Ÿ”’ www.aidungeon.io

Uh oh, Dungeon Masters might be getting replaced by the big learning algorithm!

โŽ December 10, 2019

Uncovered: reality of how smartphones turned election news into chaos | Politics | The Guardian ๐Ÿ”’ www.theguardian.com

What a messโ€ฆ

โŽ December 6, 2019

How GitHubโ€™s CTO Architects Engineering Teams That Scale ๐Ÿ”’ medium.com

This is a fabulous set of 12 recommendations for any technology leaders. This is worth thinking through and developing some thoughts on each one for your own team. Great stuff. ๐Ÿ‘

โŽ December 6, 2019

Fenwick High School 2017 Commencement Speaker Mick Betancourt '92 - YouTube ๐Ÿ”’ www.youtube.com

My colleague Dan Juckniess shared this Fenwick High School commencement speech with me after telling me the quote that he found so powerful in it.

Whatever your doing, is what youโ€™ll get better at.
Go to the bar every night and drink, guess what youโ€™ll get better at.

Very powerful message.

โŽ December 5, 2019

Wait, How Do You Pronounce Kiev? - The New York Times ๐Ÿ”’ www.nytimes.com

I travel to our office in Kyiv twice a year and learned early on about the Ukrainian pronunciation. Itโ€™s super hard for me to get right, but I try. And I am much more aware when people say โ€œthe Ukraineโ€ instead of just calling it Ukraine now. When I work with others and discuss our Ukraine operation, I tend to use Kiev in a more global context, and use Kyiv when speaking to team members or others in Ukraine itself.

โŽ December 5, 2019

Liam Bot ๐Ÿ”’ liam-bot.glitch.me

Funny parody of Facebookโ€™s Liam Bot for difficult questions over the holidays. ๐Ÿ™‚

โŽ December 5, 2019

FastAPI ๐Ÿ”’ fastapi.tiangolo.com

This looks like a crazy simple Python library to make API endpoints!

โŽ December 5, 2019

Create beautiful Gantt charts! ๐Ÿ”’ www.gantt.io

Not sure I want to make a habit of creating Gantt charts but this tool looks very powerful.

โŽ December 5, 2019

How Ring Went From โ€˜Shark Tankโ€™ Reject to Americaโ€™s Scariest Surveillance Company - VICE ๐Ÿ”’ www.vice.com

I do not like anything about Ring. This first in a series of articles talks about the origin of Ring. I didnโ€™t realize it was on Shark Tank!

At its core, Ring is a marketing company that realized it could make money by selling fear.

Violating other peoples privacy, and enabling surveillance, is despicable.

โŽ December 5, 2019

Roleplaying Difficult Conversations | Lara Hogan ๐Ÿ”’ larahogan.me

Roleplaying is a very useful way for managers to work through tough messages. I like this perspective on why you should take the time to do it.

Practicing difficult conversations and feedback helps you be a better manager, but the real reason you should do it is to fully support the person on the receiving end. Itโ€™s your job to help them be successful!

Some very good suggestions here.

โŽ December 5, 2019

Amazon API Gateway Offers Faster, Cheaper, Simpler APIs Using HTTP APIs (Preview) ๐Ÿ”’ aws.amazon.com

This seems to simplify much of the complexity of building APIโ€™s and get you going right away.

HTTP APIs simplify the API building experience for the most common features needed to build serverless applications or to proxy requests to HTTP endpoints. They come with standard API Gateway functionality such as throttling, metrics, and logging capabilities. In addition, you can secure your APIs using OIDC and OAuth 2 out of box, quickly build web applications using a simple CORS experience, and get started immediately with automatic deployment and simple create workflows.


โŽ December 5, 2019

Two malicious Python libraries caught stealing SSH and GPG keys | ZDNet ๐Ÿ”’ www.zdnet.com

This is a smart attack vector, and I suspect dangerously unprotected.

โŽ December 5, 2019

Warren Rustand on Working in the White House and Building a Purpose-Driven Life | Elevate Podcast ๐Ÿ”’ www.robertglazer.com

I recently discovered this podcast and this episode resonated strongly with me. I enjoyed thoroughly the discussion of focus areas, time management, and dedication. Recommended and worth a listen. ๐ŸŽง

โŽ December 4, 2019

CBS shows Mark Zuckerberg is a human. Does that matter? - without bullshit ๐Ÿ”’ withoutbullshit.com

Total PR puff piece.

Heโ€™s not evil.

But Facebook is. And we need to hold him responsible for that.


โŽ December 4, 2019

Django 3.0 release notes | Django documentation | Django ๐Ÿ”’ docs.djangoproject.com

Major new release of one of the biggest Python frameworks.

โŽ December 4, 2019

A letter from Larry and Sergey ๐Ÿ”’ www.blog.google

Definitely a momentous milestone for Google.

โŽ December 4, 2019

Why You Should Ditch Your Laptop For iPad Pro โ€“ The Brooks Review ๐Ÿ”’ brooksreview.net

I like this argument for using an iPad more.

Something really fascinating happens when people open a laptop: they get to work. They check email, they have a million tabs, tons of apps showing progress on many tasks/projects, they have tabs for social networks, half in progress projects abound. People do stuff. They are sucked in โ€” unlikely to step away anytime soon. However, when I see people use an iPad they use it for one thing โ€” the thing they grabbed it to do โ€” and then they go back to life.

I think there is some truth to that. This goes to the โ€œcontextโ€ of a computing device. For me I find the iPad a more focused device. Perhaps it is the lack of multiple windows? I am consistently increasing the volume of things that I do on my iPad.

โŽ December 4, 2019

Riot Settles Lawsuit, Will Pay Every Female Employee Since 2014 With $10 Million Fund ๐Ÿ”’ kotaku.com

Riot was frequently in the news a couple of years ago regarding the negative culture they had. Itโ€™s good to see some restitution being made here, and hopefully real change follows.

โŽ December 4, 2019

Abilitech Medical raises $7.4 million, with investment from Sofia Fund - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal ๐Ÿ”’ www.bizjournals.com

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

โŽ December 3, 2019

Newsletters spam test by mail-tester.com ๐Ÿ”’ www.mail-tester.com

Really handy tool to test if your mail is likely to be flagged as spam. ๐Ÿ’Œ

โŽ December 3, 2019

The Mind at Work: Guido van Rossum on how Python makes thinking in code easier | Dropbox Blog ๐Ÿ”’ blog.dropbox.com

Nice background on the design philosophy of Python.

Pythonโ€™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, โ€œPython makes that structure mandatory.โ€

I like that take on indentation and the โ€œWhy?โ€ behind it. This little snippet from the article made me chuckle.

As Thompson writes, โ€œWhen you meet a coder, youโ€™re meeting someone whose core daily experience is of unending failure and grinding frustration.โ€


โŽ December 2, 2019

ChessRoots - Chess opening graph from over 800 million Chess games ๐Ÿ”’ www.chessroots.com

Cool graph-based visualization tool to explore chess games. โ™Ÿ

โŽ December 2, 2019

A frame of mind โ€“ On my Om ๐Ÿ”’ om.co

I like Omโ€™s take on photography as, sort of, a kind of therapy.

โŽ December 2, 2019

The First Non-Bullshit Book About Culture Iโ€™ve Read โ€“ zwischenzugs ๐Ÿ”’ zwischenzugs.com

This book has been on my reading list for a very long time, I think I need to move it up. Iโ€™ve heard nothing but great recommendations, and this is another one! ๐Ÿ“š

โŽ December 1, 2019

Almond - The Open, Privacy-Preserving Virtual Assistant ๐Ÿ”’ almond.stanford.edu

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

โŽ December 1, 2019

Free, Open-source Anonymous Email Forwarding - AnonAddy ๐Ÿ”’ anonaddy.com

This looks like a very well done anonymous email forwarding service. Iโ€™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 AnonAddyโ€™s ability to support a custom domain name is a huge deal. Iโ€™m going to test this out and perhaps switch to it.

โŽ December 1, 2019

No App for That ๐Ÿ”’ 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.

โŽ November 28, 2019

How to create a good onboarding experience for new hires โ€” Quartz at Work ๐Ÿ”’ 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.

โŽ November 27, 2019

Relentlessly simplify โ€“ Den Delimarsky ๐Ÿ”’ den.dev

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

โŽ November 27, 2019

A guide to distributed teams โ€“ Increment: Teams ๐Ÿ”’ increment.com

Key points to making distributed teams effective.

โŽ November 27, 2019

Contract for the Web ๐Ÿ”’ contractfortheweb.org

Itโ€™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. Iโ€™d like to, but Iโ€™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, โ€œTim Berners-Lee unveils global plan to save the webโ€. At least heโ€™s trying, and hopefully others will get on board.

โŽ November 27, 2019

Braid: Synchronization for HTTP ๐Ÿ”’ 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.

โŽ November 27, 2019

Apple Releases Annual Holiday Video 'The Surprise' - MacStories ๐Ÿ”’ www.macstories.net

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

โŽ November 27, 2019

Read Sacha Baron Cohen's scathing attack on Facebook in full: 'greatest propaganda machine in history' | Technology | The Guardian ๐Ÿ”’ 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 โ€œFreedom of Speech is not Freedom of Reachโ€. Social media platforms love to hide behind Freedom of Speech and itโ€™s a completely false argument. Read their Terms of Service and youโ€™ll realize there is no freedom of anything. Itโ€™s a business! This writeup from the Daily Beast โ€œSacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebookโ€ is a good overview too. โœŠ

โŽ November 27, 2019

The care and feeding of software engineers (or, why engineers are grumpy) - Human Who Codes ๐Ÿ”’ humanwhocodes.com

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

And hereโ€™s the real crux of the problem: software engineers arenโ€™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, youโ€™ll get that comically small table you wanted. Creating is a different process, itโ€™s birthing something without direction or instruction. Itโ€™s starting with a blank canvas and painting a masterpiece. Software engineers donโ€™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. ๐Ÿ‘

โŽ November 27, 2019

Developing New Engineers - Karl L. Hughes ๐Ÿ”’ www.karllhughes.com

Amazingly detailed and specific skill development framework for engineers.

โŽ November 27, 2019

Yes! andโ€ฆ How to be effective in the theatre of work ๐Ÿ”’ 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? ๐Ÿคช

โŽ November 27, 2019

Data General's Tom West dies โ€ข The Register ๐Ÿ”’ 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.

โŽ November 27, 2019

inessential: You Choose ๐Ÿ”’ inessential.com

Completely agree with Brent Simmons here. My internet doesnโ€™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.

โŽ November 27, 2019

1.2 billion people exposed in data leak includes personal info, LinkedIN, Facebook ๐Ÿ”’ www.dataviper.io

The scale of these data leaks is hard to even fathom these days. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

โŽ November 27, 2019

Using OmniFocus 3.4 with Shortcuts - The Omni Group ๐Ÿ”’ www.omnigroup.com

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

โŽ November 27, 2019

How our home delivery habit reshaped the world | Technology | The Guardian ๐Ÿ”’ 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 wouldnโ€™t like what you saw if you knew what was happening.

โŽ November 27, 2019

Facebook and Googleโ€™s pervasive surveillance poses an unprecedented danger to human rights | Amnesty International ๐Ÿ”’ www.amnesty.org

More piling on to Facebook and Google.

Surveillance Giantsย 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 โ€œpublic squareโ€.

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 donโ€™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 isnโ€™t a church or a park. You have no right to do anything there that they donโ€™t want you to, and you have as much right to privacy as you do when you are walking around any other business.

โŽ November 27, 2019

110 Nursing Homes Cut Off from Health Records in Ransomware Attack โ€” Krebs on Security ๐Ÿ”’ krebsonsecurity.com

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

โŽ November 24, 2019

โ€œYou Donโ€™t Bring Bad News to the Cult Leaderโ€: Inside the Fall of WeWork | Vanity Fair ๐Ÿ”’ www.vanityfair.com

Youโ€™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 heโ€™s actually just delusional?

โŽ November 24, 2019

โŽ November 22, 2019

7 steps to building an engineering competency matrix - CircleCI ๐Ÿ”’ 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.

โŽ November 21, 2019

It's time to ban all political ad targeting . . . everywhere - without bullshit ๐Ÿ”’ withoutbullshit.com

I can completely get behind this idea.

But if we donโ€™t ban ads outright, why ban targeting? Because everyone should see what political advertisers are doing. I donโ€™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 shouldnโ€™t be able to send some dark message to only your followers.

โŽ November 21, 2019

What America Lost When It Lost the Bison - The Atlantic ๐Ÿ”’ 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.

โŽ November 21, 2019

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