Some interesting and cool tech. Many (most?) people wear rings all the time. This seems like the simplest, least intrusive option there could be to passively collect biometric data on a person. It’s interesting that they are first focusing on sleep.
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Interesting article theorizing on a possible connection between economic growth and the rise of mobile and social technology. The suggestion is that one of two things is happening: time on social is taking away from productive time or time on social is yielding a distracted population that is less productive. I would suggest both are likely true. Cal Newport gave a thoughtful summary of this article as well.
Friday, December 1, 2017
Long but good post describing the various aspects of microservices architecture.
Good index of starters into the various aspects of the Kubernetes ecosystem.
Practical advice in a number of areas to protect yourself against surveillance. There is almost certainly one or two things nearly anyone could apply from this. 👍
I love this writeup by Tim Bray on what software development is actually like.
It’s like this: You sit down to improve a piece of software, make a couple of changes, and suddenly a lot of unit tests are failing, leaving ugly red trails on your screen. (In fact, if you made changes and didn’t break unit tests, you worry that something’s wrong.) But then you dig into them one by one, and after not too long, it’s all back to green; which is really a good feeling.
Fun read, and very accurate.
I’m a big fan of The Decemberists and a friend said this game was really awesome. On the Christmas list! 😁
Very cool website that allows you to see what information your browser is giving away on you and how well it fights against advertising and tracking technology. I had no idea this existed and it’s great that it does. Found it via this announcement about the new version.
Cal Newport has made it a mission of his to get folks off of social media. This is a worthwhile 14 minutes to consider all aspects of this medium.
AWS re:Invent 📣 → I’m sure this has some great use cases around sentiment analysis but the surveillance capabilities creep me out.
AWS re:Invent 📣 → Picking models for machine learning training is an often overlooked complexity with doing this right. This bundles that into one tool and should make it easier. We’ll see.
AWS re:Invent 📣 → What is a Serverless database? I’m not sure I know, but the idea of a database that has no cost other than storage when it’s idle is pretty amazing for certain workloads. Sadly this is only available for MySQL at the moment, but they promise PostgreSQL coming soon.
AWS re:Invent 📣 → It just got significantly easier to add speech-to-text capabilities to various applications.
AWS re:Invent 📣 → Wow, this is pretty cool. Take a bunch of data and dump it into an S3 bucket and then execute SQL-like
select commands against that data. This enables some very interesting capabilities.
AWS re:Invent 📣 → New offering from AWS that promises to deal with the backend of container orchestration.
AWS re:Invent 📣 → Happy to see AWS supporting Kubernetes natively! This is a first step that should result in a better solution for customers that are trying to navigate through platform decisions.
AWS re:Invent 📣 → Graph databases are a bear to pick, use and run. AWS offering a cloud hosted graph database will hopefully address all of these issues. There are a large number of use cases where graph databases make a lot of sense but so many people have been burned by them that they tend to solve a graph problem using a document or relational database.
AWS re:Invent 📣 → AWS offering an internal NTP service makes total sense. I would imagine that NTP traffic alone for AWS could be significant to other time servers.
Announcing Alexa for Business: Using Amazon Alexa’s Voice Enabled Devices for Workplaces | AWS News Blog
AWS re:Invent 📣 → I actually bought an Echo for us to try and use in our operations area. Idea was to make some read-only data available via voice. It didn’t go anywhere in large part because the security side was too complicated. Theoretically this would solve that, but I’m pretty bearish that this offering is something that many folks would care about.
This documentary looks pretty interesting. I like the focus of the intersection of how people use digital tools. Not just the human or digital side, but the power of both used positively together.
A FOSS option for managing notes and to do’s.
Joplin is a free, open source note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organised into notebooks. The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified either from the applications directly or from your own text editor. The notes are in Markdown format.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
This is a massively embarrassing security hole for Apple. 😳
Another option for storing secrets for your systems and infrastructure. 🔐
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Nice to see more general tooling coming to the chaos engineering space.
The Chaos Toolkit aims at simplifying your journey through the Principles of Chaos Engineering and more generally considers that you should embrace continuously observing and poking your system to empower your team in face of adversity.
Sugar industry accused of hiding evidence of sucrose's negative health effects 50 years ago | The Independent
This behavior sounds really familiar — 🚬! Food research and health effects are notoriously fuzzy and change over time so it’s easy to discount this stuff. However, an industry acting to cover-up data is alarming no matter what the outcome is.
I find it fun to read through takes on various computer languages. There are so many languages and the vast majority never got any traction. A thorough blog post reviewing a language is sort of like a vacation to another country to explore it’s traditions and taste the flavors and importantly come back home shortly after. I had never heard of Carp but this is a thorough review of it. A Lisp language that compiles down to C to then be compiled natively.
Friday, November 24, 2017
Interesting and thought provoking article on the role of a CEO.
The primary CEO function, and the trait the good ones are selected for, is to provide the gyroscopic stability required to keep a company vectored in the chosen direction.
There is a lot that makes sense in this article, and a lot I’ve seen up close many times. 🤔
John Allspaw with a very thoughtful look at the key aspects of being a mature engineer. I would apply this to the senior level of nearly all positions in tech.
I know a lot of managers in the technology field who would repeat the conclusion in this article.
Early on in my career, I supported brilliant jerks of any type and thought they were worth it. I was wrong.
I did that too. Always have to think about the team impact.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Interesting and approachable article reviewing how Alpha Go Zero taught itself how to play Go, and how these techniques can be used for a number of discrete games.
The last paragraph put an interesting spin on the advances in AI. 😳
It is interesting to see how quickly the field of AI is progressing. Those who claim we will be able to see the robot overlords coming in time should take heed - these AI’s will only be human-level for a brief instant before blasting past us into superhuman territories, never to look back.
This is going to sound a little weird but this article totally made me think of GTD and the concept of “mind like water”.
In many ways foolishness isn’t the opposite of wisdom, but its absence. Productivity is the opposite of wisdom. Humanity is a creature of time and imagination. From these things our fruits are born more than manufactured. Productivity is a quality of perfect robots. Stories, adventures and all new things still have to come from messy humans.
It probably sounds confusing that an article condemning the focus on productivity reminds me of a productivity framework. However, the true goal of GTD is to give your mind space and time. Not to get more done, but to get more off your mind. To have a mind like water. This is a part of GTD that people tend to not focus on enough.
A vision piece describing the next 20 years of the automotive industry. Notable as it’s written by the former Vice Chairman and Head of Product Development for General Motors.
The era of the human-driven automobile, its repair facilities, its dealerships, the media surrounding it — all will be gone in 20 years.
20 years seems too aggressive to me. But the end state is hard to argue.
Running technology platforms 24x7 means you have incidents, and stress, and decisions that must be made. Being aware and knowing how that impacts decisions is important knowledge to have.
The research is clear: the best way to protect yourself from making poor decisions under stress is to train and prepare for it. Training enhances both skills and self-efficacy, enabling you to make better decisions and giving you the confidence to carry them out with minimal hesitation.
Add to that sleep deprivation as another potential risk.
Great topic that more thought should be going to. API design is largely an afterthought for many services. You can tell API’s that are just a dump of internal objects. They are hard to use and equally hard to understand. This article shows a good start to doing this right.
This is completely bizarre – a file system that stores the data in an ICMP packet stream ephemerally bouncing around via
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Fred Wilson highlighting the Net Neutrality changes being proposed by the FCC and also providing a worthwhile four steps that we as consumers can look for to take action beyond protesting the FCC action.
Fun interview 🎧 with my former colleague, and now CFO at Calabrio, Jenny Kray. 👏
Very fancy terminal based tool for monitoring system performance. 👍
This is exhibit #1 for why you need to use a content blocker on the web. This article goes into great detail on the capabilities that companies have, but take a moment to watch the video that demonstrates a user and what the site owner can see. Now consider that level of collection on every site you ever visit. Defensive techniques are needed for such invasive technologies.
Ajit Pai is doing exactly what everyone would expect him to be doing as Chairman of the FCC. Vertically integrated media and broadband companies (Verizon, Comcast, AT&T) will enjoy his FCC much more than anyone else. ☹️ The misleading politics on Net Neutrality are infuriating to those closer to the issue.
Wow. This incident doesn’t take along to start thinking of words like “criminal intent”. Add this to the long stack of reasons why I don’t use Uber. Without Bullshit has a good writeup on the communication from Uber.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Managing cloud infrastructure expense is a real challenge. I’ve experienced and seen everything in this article and more. This dynamic is entirely new to pre-cloud technology organizations that bought hardware and then just used that sunk cost. In the cloud, cost has to be an architectural consideration in ways it has never been before.
New capability that makes total sense for GitHub to add. I’m guessing this was pretty easy for them too given all the infrastructure they have for GitHub Issues.
Nice open source project to run your own DNS server at home that will blacklist ad networks. Nice to see people working on efforts like this. I’d rather pay a few bucks and use something like Eero Plus but this is great for people that want more control.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Wow! This is a tour de force on the evolution and use of slides and presentation software evolution. It’s a long read but pretty interesting and importantly balanced. It is not a takedown of PowerPoint but instead a robust exploration of the act of presenting and persuading.
This essay critically contextualizes PowerPoint. We argue that many of the stylistic conventions associated with slideware have long been part of business communications. Personal computing, however, scaled up the production of presentations. Doing so linked knowledge work with personal expression. The result has been the rise of presentation culture. In an information society, nearly everyone presents. Analyzing presentation software makes visible the largely under-appreciated reliance on performative authority in knowledge production.
The conclusion brings it home. I’ve never thought of PowerPoint as a part of visual culture!
PowerPoint is not a slide projector without a slide tray. It is not a neutral automation of existing processes. It is a part of visual culture, an increasingly everyday experience at every kind of occasion for speech.
Worth reading. Even if you skim sections like I did. 😊