Friday, April 09, 2021

Friday Links 21-13


Now that we might be nearing the end of the pandemic everybody is panicking about the future of offices, remote work and working from home.

I personally am looking forward to some time in the office, definitely the city and even the commute.


TBM 14/52: Discussing Complex Problems with Leaders - I am not sure if my problems are really that complex

Welcoming Dissent: How to Build a Coaching Culture and Lead by Example with Russ Laraway (Employee Experience Evangelist at Qualtrics) [Podcast] - nice insights from an experienced manager

Tips for Retrospectives | A Chat with Aino Corry [YouTube]

Down on Scrum - Ron is not happy with the Scrum Industrial Complex 

Awesome CTO - another collection of CTO resources 

Leadership Development and Balancing Creativity and Control with Admiral John Richardson (Part I) [Podcast] - it is annoying how much of a military fan-boy Gene Kim is, but this one is a good episode


Core Web Vitals: Page Speed Is Now More Important for SEO - about time that people start caring about speed (including us)

How we improved deployment velocity at Cronofy - they made it continuous 

Scanning for secrets [LWN] - that is the nice thing about centralised services of GitHab and GitLab, they can do cool analysis of a lot repositories 

Bitemporal History - a problem that I never came across so far

[Part 1] The problems with MVPs in legacy replacement - tricky


Bitwarden vs. KeePass: Which Is the Best Open-Source Password Manager? - I am using KeePassXC and something else on Android. I am getting confused by all the KeePass versions

Signal hops on the Dunning-Krugerrand bandwagon - that's goodbye to Signal for me. I haven't been there for long. 

Signal Adds Cryptocurrency Support - Schneier is also not happy

Rust in the Android platform - cool to see Rust in more places where it makes sense from a security perspective 

XScreenSaver 6.00 out now - I am still excited about new releases of something I don't even ever see. Mostly work on the security this time. 

Wi-Fi Devices as Physical Object Sensors - could be useful for home made alarm systems?

Update on campaign targeting security researchers - more google security research transparency

Remote Work

Virtual First Toolkit - collection of articles from Dropbox about going hybrid

The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready? - Microsoft doesn't think so

The evidence is in: working from home is a failed experiment (Opinion) - usually I don't post opinions, but this is where I picked up the Microsoft study 

Remote working: Is Big Tech going off work from home? - maybe they know something we don't? 

How I’ve improved my remote presentation setup  - this time from Lara Hogan

1 in 3 employees will quit "if WFH ends," according to a new survey - probably depends on the the companies though

We can't overlook the economic fallout of working from home - bad WFH for the economy

Opinion: The commute is extinct - remote working can revive rural Ireland - good WFH for the economy


Carbon emissions from England's roads plan '100 times greater than government claims' - surprise!

What if Working at Home Makes Us Drive More, Not Less? - possibly mostly US focused, but WFH is probably not the solution for our climate crisis 

The impact of telecommuting on personal vehicle usage and environmental sustainability - related (old) study

Unveiling daily activity pattern differences between telecommuters and commuters using human mobility motifs and sequence analysis - another newer study


Counterparty in crashes - someone is trying to collect crash data, no data for Spain yet

Framing systemic traffic violence: Media coverage of Dutch traffic crashes - "The reviewed articles support the previous findings that media coverage largely dehumanizes traffic crashes, presenting them more as glitches in the machine"

How Much Does a Cycle Track Cost? - it depends

Llegan a Barcelona las bicicletas con suscripción [Spanish] - Swapfiets finally arrives in Barcelona. It will be interesting to see how they deal with the high bicycle theft rate here.

How Bankrupt American Cities Stay Alive - Debt [ST04] [YouTube] - how? why? what?

A Round and a Roundy: Special Sci-Fi Metaphor Edition - "You are free to go."

Provisional COVID-19 infrastructure induces large, rapid increases in cycling - study which surprises no one

Random Moves

BREAKING BORDERS: Somar // How Dance Saved A Refugee // stance [YouTube] - I can't remember who shared this break-dance channel, but it is brilliant

86. Beyond Meat's Ethan Brown: How to teach your customer [Podcast] - Out supermarket now has a whole shelf full of fake meat. The lock-downs have shifted myself quite a bit toward vegetarianism

Kew Gardens director hits back at claims it is 'growing woke'  - I can imagine what type of person makes these claims

Covid forces two of Barcelona's oldest restaurants out of business - maybe it is time for something new, but ideally not Taco Bell

So haben Sie die Welt noch nicht gesehen [German] - nicely done maps of the earth adjusted to population, pollution, ...

Making Demille [Podcast] - following a young cycle courier in London over five years

REVIEW - Ember App-controlled Mug [YouTube] - while I have the problem of tea that is always the wrong temperature, this seems to be overkill

A golden age of cassette tapes? - "As millennials revived the vinyl, so too shall Gen Z embrace their dads’ old tape collections." - thanks Gen Z, but please don't call me dad

webshit weekly - I completely forgot this, but it makes me smile with every post

Other Links

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Bank Holiday Links 21-12

Collection of Cassette Tapes
The Big Digitization Of Cassette Tapes
A big post today, as last week I was distracted by too many puppies. 

I caught up with my podcasts and there is some good stuff like the Dunbar one. 

Also a small section about my cassette tape problem.  


Robin Dunbar makes the case for human connection [Podcast] - sometimes one forgets that there are people behind things like the Dunbar Number.

Start Finishing, Stop Starting: Why I prefer Walk the Board Stand-Ups  - well argued. I think we are doing something in the middle.

A Checklist For First-Time Engineering Managers - I might use this for inspiration

Mailbag: Should we just call them architects? - I really don't like the term "architect", even staff engineer is better than that

Those pesky pull request reviews - they are just a tool, no replacement for communication and collaboration 

Mitchell on Meetings: The Thing [Podcast] - one of my favourite comedians on meetings

Psychologically Safe Teams: How to Individualize Your Approach and Lead Through Strengths with Alice Ko (Director of Marketing Communications at Procurify) [Podcast]

2021 Pay Analysis: How We’ve Lowered Our Gender Pay Gap From 15% to 5.5% - transparency first, then fix it

Things your manager might not know

Remote Work

Our research shows working from home works, in moderation - hybrid is probably the most common in the future

Google is accelerating partial reopening of offices and putting limits on future of remote work - this is a bit surprising, but not completely unexpected. Maybe Google has better data on remote work?

Why remote work has eroded trust among colleagues  - I am not sure I buy into this one

Short Toes Welcome: Embracing Transparency, Iteration, and Asynchronous Workflows in a Remote World with Darren Murph (Head of Remote at Gitlab) [Podcast]

Disconnecting From Work is a Skill We Need to Rebuild - I had a problem with this in the past, but I worked hard on fixing it. I also try to encourage my team to do the same.


Privacy, sustainability and the importance of “and”  - Google is getting a bit desperate about the disappearing cookies and are using their browser monopoly to get around it. Use Firefox.

How to Build a Web App with and without Rails Libraries - Spotify on yak shaving

Spotify: Ruby Style Guide

xmlwf -k - Tim Bray starting from scratch outside the Amazon eco system

Google’s top security teams unilaterally shut down a counterterrorism operation - I am on Google's side 

The uninvited Internet of things [LWN] - fighting this is a lost battle 

How We Built A Context-Specific Bidding System for Etsy Ads - one would hope that this could be bought somewhere 

Rust support hits linux-next - I am really curious how much this will spread

Remove Circular Dependencies by Using the Repository Pattern in Ruby - Patterns in Ruby!


Net Zero + Nature: Our Commitment to the Environment - when I read the title I was a bit worried about Netflix doing green-washing, but this looks like a good effort

The Beef with Beef [Podcast] - the main thing I don't like about the podcast is how they discourage individual action in favour of convincing others to act. This is especially bad coming from a podcast that has the chance to change many people's minds. 

Human penises are shrinking because of pollution, warns scientist - this is the one (tiny) bit that might save us

Canadian Conservative party votes not to recognize climate crisis as real - well, I don't recognise Canada as real!

Major climate polluters accused of greenwashing with sports sponsorship


Backers of London LTNs outnumber opponents by three to one - but the opponents are louder

London Fire Brigade says low traffic neighbourhoods have had no impact on response times - surprise!

Want to make the streets safer for women? Start with cycling - children and women first!

Works begin to make two of Barcelona’s busiest streets more pedestrianised - there is some criticism on the work on Pelai from cycling advocacy group. It is mostly paint.

Design For Human Beings Not Cars, New U.S. Transport Secretary Says - what a change a president makes

Jamelle Bouie Has Seen the Future of Transportation - spoiler: it is a cargo e-bike


All Bodies on Bikes | SHIMANO [YouTube] - cycling is for everybody!

Inside a 6-Million-Square-Foot Bike Factory in China [YouTube] - everything is a bit bigger scale in China

2023 Tour de France to start in Spain’s Basque Country (+ video) - holiday plans for 2023?

Playground of the pros: why Andorra is now the must-go destination for mountain challenges - more holiday plans

Cycling boom rolls on amid struggle to meet UK demand during Covid

Random Tapes

Cassette Tapes 

It is great when the rest of the world catches up to one of your fetishes. I confess I have some kind of addiction to the tapes and especially high end cassette decks. So far I have controlled my buying urge, but I can't promise this will last.
And then there is also the related addiction to high end Sony hifi components from the 90s...

More Random

Guess which neighbourhood voted for whom with streetview - this is pretty fun, even if you don't care for US politics. My heuristic: if there is a field, pick-up truck or trailer park it is Trump. Station-wagons, cycle lanes or side walks: Biden.

A new "board process" at the FSF - oh no

OSI Response to RMS’s reappointment to the Board of the Free Software Foundation - oh, oh

Spread the love! 10 scrumptious Marmite recipes, from roast potatoes to spaghetti - one of the first things I stocked up on when the lock-down hit

Are You Ready for a Fresh Start? - I had some success with New Year's resolutions, but also a lot of failures. I do have a long to-do list for after the pandemic.

Other Links

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Friday Links 21-11

Country Centered Map Projections
Country Centered Map Projections
I have been looking into remote compensation structures a bit ... it is complicated. 

Also some good long posts and podcasts about managing and teams. 

I was quite distracted by animal life this week, so I am quite proud of the amount of blogs and podcasts I got through. 

Current podcast backlog: 30h 28m


Owning the Manager Role: How to Set Expectations and be “Super F*cking Clear” with Melissa and Johnathan Nightingale (founders of Raw Signal Group) [Podcast] - I often fall into the trying to be a peer trap, but then I hope this makes me also more approachable. 

Why Senior Engineers Hate Coding Interviews - see other recent links: they also hate take home challenges

EMPOWERED Review: I Needed This Book 4 Years Ago - great, another book for my too long to-read list!

Compaas has good resources on salaries. I have been looking in compensation for remote employees a bit. 

Team Charters - I like that ... will I be able to convince all teams to have one? Probably not.

You are Going on a Quest - Rands on career choices

The Tech Debt Playbook - everybody loves some good tech debt! This includes some approaches to dealing with it. 

How should our company structure our data team? - did I post this already? never mind, here it is again, because it is good.

Engineering interviews: refining our process - at Medium

Introspection and Adjustments: Achieving the Impossible by Maximizing Learning with Simon Stanlake, SVP Engineering at Procurify [Podcast] - difference between a good and a charismatic leader ... thankfully I am not charismatic, so I must be good!

Stable teams or non stable teams? What brings more agility and value to a product? - can I just say: stable please! If you like to mix it up, just employ only freelancers and see how far you get with that.


How we found and fixed a rare race condition in our session handling - this reminds me about the time the same thing happened to me in the 90s with mod_perl. 

Exploiting Spectre Over the Internet - so cool, so scary

What to look for in Fedora Workstation 34 - is it just me, or is every release of Fedora like Christmas? Oh, and I hate Flatpak, there I said it!

CUPID – the back story - or "Why SOLID is wrong" ... what a set up for the next post

Uber’s Journey Toward Better Data Culture From First Principles - it is amazing what kind of data set up these companies have and they still are able to revamp it

Happy Birthday, Backstage: Spotify’s Biggest Open Source Project Grows Up Fast - on my list of "things we are too small for"

Rethinking site capacity projections with Capacity Analyzer - LinkedIn also has some very specialised teams

Improving large monorepo performance on GitHub - more problems that nobody else has

Highlights from Git 2.31 - some cool stuff also solving problems I don't have

Premature optimization is the root of all evil - I ordered one of their bird feeders, cool to see their transparency on the project

Exploring my doorbell - so ... doorbells also run Linux, and lighttpd, netcat, ...

Fedora Council Update: The New Logo is Here! [YouTube] - a bit of an insight into the Logo process at Fedora

Capturing Every Change From Shopify’s Sharded Monolith - going Kafka 

#92 – Brian Christian on the alignment problem [Podcast] - great introduction and overview into the state of AI & machine learning 

Semantic Versioning Will Not Save You - related to the Python/Rust thing, but generally good points


Should Traffic Lights Be Abolished? [Podcast] - yes!

Via lliure a la connexió del tramvia per la Diagonal [Catalan] - the connection of the tram line through Barcelona is still work in progress. Have a look at the map in the article, this is just a silly current state. It is like they forgot a bit in the middle.  The transformation will also improve walking and cycling, while removing car lanes (hence the opposition)

Europe doubles down on cycling in post-Covid recovery plans - can't wait until I see these changes in Barcelona in person

Spanien probt den Verkehrsaufstand [German] - parents, children and teachers are protesting for better cities and against noise and pollution cause by cars. This is a country wide protest in many cities.


Three Million Meters on e-Wheels - nothing to see here, just a guy and his bicycle

International Women's Day Special - CyclingTips special on women in cycling, so frustrating to hear what kind of shit they have to deal with.  

Have cyclists resorted to stealing cassettes and rear mechs due to component shortages? - side effects of Brexit & pandemic 

Random Maps

Country Centered Map Projections - this is great, all maps are lies

Right Up Our Alley [YouTube] - flight of a drone through a bowling alley, so good it looks fake

Warum Chile schneller impft als jedes andere Land [German] - buy enough vaccines, have vaccination strategy without bureaucracy ...  win! 

Recent Movies and TV - I enjoy these by jwz, there are often good shows that I haven't heard of.

Mapping My Mind - Kent Beck doing mind mapping. I use it once in a while, but only recently really got into iterations, before it was more a brain dump and hoping for the best

Illegal Content and the Blockchain - every single thing about bitcoin & co is bad

Spain to launch trial of four-day working week - me too please?

I am the Mayor of this receipt for a 64 digit hash! - NFTs still being rubbish 

Bitcoin mine cargo container literally incinerating planet - did I mention that Bitcoin is bad? 

Mark Strong, actor [Podcast] - I do listen to Desert Island Discs every week, but rarely post them. Mark has a good taste in music though and an interesting story

Nerdy Dog Names – Awesome Names for Your Pup - we are expecting some puppies. I thought I had the brilliant idea to use nerdy names. You know like "Sudo" or "Emacs" ... I am not the first. Reddit is also full of threads like that.

Long Covid: How Bungle Reporting on a Thorny Topic - I think we can all agree that news reporting is a big part of the mess we are in with Covid-19.

Other Links

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Friday Links 21-10

Tape Deck
I am addicted to tape decks
This week I suggest you look into the article about the passive listening at technology companies and how wrong it went and the coaching podcast about feedback.


Priority guideline - sometimes I dream of a company with only one team, one product and one backlog ... I am not sure this does even exist any more

Onboarding to Flexport as a remote engineer - onboarding remotely is certainly different for everybody

Geek Incentives Manifesto Expanded - more from Kent Beck on incentives

Reboot Extra: The Value of Feedback - with Andy Crissinger & Jen Cody [Podcast] - great episode, good feedback is one of the hardest things

Inside Our Engineering Mentorship Program and How It Helps Our Engineers Grow - sounds great to formalise this once you have a reasonable sized team

My door is open if you want to talk about power - pretty awful what has been uncovered in those organisations, but this post has some ideas on how to avoid this in the future

Of course, listening alone can’t fix an unhealthy culture, and there’s no harm in making office hours part of a wider listening strategy. But as long as tech companies keep relying on passive listening, leaders will continue to get most of their feedback from a vocal minority, and all they’ll see is the tip of the iceberg.
The Remote Work Playbook: Global Hiring, Documentation, and Culture with Job Van der Voort, CEO at [Podcast] - a bit of an advertisement podcast, but some interesting points on how companies are handling remote


Police raids across Europe after encrypted phone network shut down - never trust a criminal?

On Not Fixing Old Vulnerabilities - we are all doomed


The Houses that Can't be Built in America - The Missing Middle [YouTube] - I am sure this awful zoning also exists in parts of Europe, but over the pond they manage to do it especially bad

Streets that put people first, not cars - Superblocks vs Boston

Random Tapes

Lou Ottens, inventor of the audio cassette tape, has died - did I mention that I am a tape nerd?

2018/0332(COD) Seasonal changes of time - Europe wants to stop doing winter/summer time, but the process has been stuck for a year

Worl Adventure - old school virtual world

Renegades: Born in the USA [Podcast] - usually I skip any podcast that is specific to US politics, because I kind have given up on them. But these chats between Obama and Springsteen are pretty good (also on other podcast sources)

Covid-19: why are we feeling burnt out? [Podcast] - I managed to survive this very long March 2020 pretty well, but in the few weeks it has been getting to me. I need something to change. 

Beats - kind of a randomized pomodoro technique for creativity 

#105 Seth Godin: Failing On Our Way To Mastery [Podcast] - random bag of (good) points

Here Is The Article You Can Send To People When They Say “But The Environmental Issues With Cryptoart Will Be Solved Soon, Right?” - NFTs haven't died yet

Other Links

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Friday Links 21-09

The Nothing Line by Rob Manuel
The all fun pandemic section is back. This week I got flooded by good links. Lots of good stuff going on in cities all over the world and people in my bubble seem to be more aware of what we do to the environment.

Engineering Management 

4 Steps to Remote Success: Hiring, Decision Making, Collaborating and Managing with Katie Wilde, VP of Engineering at Buffer [Podcast]  - lots of of good stuff about remote teams ... which most of us still are 

Collaboration Incentives - more from Kent Beck about geek incentives 

4 Tips for Shipping Data Products Fast - these also apply to all kind of products

Hack-Week: Embedding Our Values and Causes in Our Product - cool theme for a hackweek and great projects too

Someone noticed that my manager README vanished from GitHub. I already added a note to the old post. I am still considering what to do about it.

The Seven Domains of Transformation - I just scratched the surface of this, but it seems to be an interesting framework for transformations 

Steal this micro-feedback strategy from one of the world’s top cycling teams - marginal gains example from cycling applied to management 

You're not just a manager, you're also a boss - annoyingly yes

Measures of engineering impact - some ideas and examples from companies trying to measure this


Four Microsoft Exchange Zero-Days Exploited by China - a bit worrying the amount of zero-days recently 

Mysterious Macintosh Malware - I wonder if they forgot the payload

Running Emacs with systemd - this is so simple. I probably should done this earlier. 

New Feature: Searching Through Samples in AppSignal - another nice feature for people using AppSignal for application monitoring 

Software evolution: the lifetime of fine-grained elements - paper on the life-cycle of lines of code. "Statistical analysis shows that code lines are durable, with a median lifespan of about 2.4 years"

Design Better Avatars - more inclusive!

UX inspiration from history: Sony Walkman - I am a bit cassette nostalgic, this looks into the UX of them


How Garmin Users Prioritize Movement in a Global Pandemic - Garmin looked at the data of what people have been up to in 2020

Yuval Noah Harari: Lessons from a year of Covid | Free to read  - long read

If Covid-19 nevertheless continues to spread in 2021 and kill millions, or if an even more deadly pandemic hits humankind in 2030, this will be neither an uncontrollable natural calamity nor a punishment from God. It will be a human failure and — more precisely — a political failure

Will Spain be able to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by the end of summer? - probably not

Double March - stuck here forever

Almost over! It will never be over. Almost over! It will never be over. - at least stuck here for this year


Fitbit Sense review: a good smartwatch that fails on sustainability - I don't care about the watch, but The Guardian now includes sustainability in reviews, which is great.

The problem of CryptoArt - it is the energy wasted 

Crypto Fart - jwz also doesn't like it

Electricity needed to mine bitcoin is more than used by 'entire countries' - nobody seems to care


La superilla de l’Eixample: carrers per a vianants, sense asfalt i amb més vegetació [Catalan] - this looks promising, now I wished I bought a flat in those streets 

Berlin’s Rent Controls Are Proving to Be a Disaster - it is still early, but I expect it to be

Cycling across Europe in the pandemic - BBC World Service [YouTube]

Low-traffic schemes benefit most-deprived Londoners, study finds - it turns out that it isn't for the rich, so the rich protesting can stop pretending to care for the rest of the city

Neuer Verkehrsplan: Berliner sollen häufiger Rad als Auto fahren [German] - Berlin has a lot of cyclists, not because of the support of the city, but in spite of

Los carriles bici de Via Augusta y paseo de Maragall, operativos en 2023 [Spanish] - in 2023! I could have used these five years ago

The City Where Cars Are Not Welcome - Heidelberg apparently. 

“We all know we have to go in this direction,” he said. “It’s just a question of how fast.”

Where the Bicycle was Invented (and Forgotten): Coventry [Guest Video] [YouTube] - nice report from Coventry, British cities are so pretty


Adidas launches Velosamba SPD cycling shoes for city cyclists - oh, nice

Are Electric Bikes Dangerous? - probably not

Immoral and irrational cyclists? Exploring the practice of cycling on the pavement - research paper about pavement cycling ... mostly because infrastructure is a bit rubbish

Random Noise

The Nothing Line - I recorded the sound of an empty Underground train and it made me feel a bit weird and spooky [Audio] - this is brilliant, great for background noise

Roxy Music - In Every Dream Home a Heartache [Audio, YouTube] - I discovered this today. TODAY!

Galician noir: how a rainy corner of Spain spawned a new TV genre - I am mostly into Nordic Noire, but maybe I should give these a try

Building the future of work with Google Workspace - some stuff to look forward to. I am using workarounds for most of these at the moment (also on The Verge: Google Workspace picks up new features designed for remote work)

La ausencia de viajeros acelera el abandono de la terminal 2 de El Prat [Spanish] - the older Barcelona airport terminal is basically abandoned 

The Nothing Line - I recorded the sound of an empty Underground train and it made me feel a bit weird and spooky - this is brilliant, great for background noise

Benefits of microdosing LSD might be placebo effect, study finds - it is basically the homoeopathy of drugs

Why you should be playing Valheim - I got spammed about Valheim from all directions. I am going to give it a try, but my computer is probably not powerful enough. 

Vintage technology: 'It sounds so much cleaner' - when did Psion 5 and mini disk became vintage? I am too old. 

Radio Hour with Björk [Audio] - a mix set by the Islandic weirdo 

Other Links

Friday Links Disclaimer
Inclusion of links does not imply that I agree with the content of linked articles or podcasts. I am just interested in all kind of perspectives. If you follow the link posts over time you might notice common themes though.
More about the links in a separate post: About Friday Links.