Friday, September 30, 2022

Friday Links 22-31

AI art: the backs of people in front of a city
Podcast edition!

I love the Björk: Sonic Symbolism podcast. It brings back so many memories from my time in London. 

The Happiness Lab (in random) and leadership podcasts are also great.

Leadership

Ep - 12 - How do I grow a culture of empowerment? feat. Meri Williams (ex-CTO Monzo, MOO, Healx) [Podcast] - first part of the interview which I really liked.

The Habits of Purposeful Leaders: How to Build Systems of Productivity & Improvement (with Mike Murchison, CEO of Ada) [Podcast] - balance between sync and async, what kind of leadership meetings make sense, what a leadership team is and what not  

The myth of tech excellence in tech leadership - it depends 

The Coach and the Fixer - another good one from Rands 

The people who hire me ask me to help their teams make changes. Most of the time, my first step is to see how I can slash those teams' load. [Twitter Thread] - if you want to move, you need space 

Technology

monomorph - pack shell code into a file with always the same MD5 checksum 

Bash 5.2 released - new command substitution code with better errors 

Getty bans AI-generated art due to copyright concerns - I am worried about this too.

Work 

GOOGLE Safari Themed Environment - I know we don't do offices any more, but I would like a Land Rover in my office please or any of the offices designed by Muse & Co 

'Wednesday plus one' & the 4-day week [Podcast] - two experiences with hybrid and four-day weeks.

Environment

Catalan health department plans law to ban smoking outside schools and on terraces - thank you!

Urbanism

Hawaii’s Suburban Experiment [Podcast] - how Hawaii got infected by suburban sprawl

Can the Best US Bike Cities Compete with Europe? [YouTube] - no

parkulator - display area taken up by parking in cities (Barcelona is pretty good, Andorra la Vella not so much)

Menos coches. Menos edificios modernistas. Más ciudades para la gente [Spanish] - interview with Jan Gehl architect / urbanist.

Random Friends

The Secret to Making Friends as an Adult [Podcast] - you have to invest a lot of time and be lucky

The future of hip-hop: New York [Podcast] - this is a great series exploring the influence of women and queer artists in hip-hop

Move to Your Happy Place [Podcast] - that's what I did

Björk: Sonic Symbolism [Podcast] - series of podcasts with Björk looking into her back catalogue. I enjoy this travel into the past. 

A message about Stadia and our long term streaming strategy - Stadia is going away and Google is refunding all money 

Spain plans ‘digital nomad’ visa scheme to attract remote workers - I hate these schemes and digital nomads 

Stichflamme Dormagen – Tape only  [German] - cassette revival, the German perspective 

The best cassette players for home listening - for some reason, they never include Sonys.

Ill-fated Spanish village poised to be destroyed a third time - my initial reaction was: just leave them be, but they are building in protect areas, which is illegal.  There are enough empty villages around where this is not the case.

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, September 23, 2022

Friday Links 22-30

Abstract cityscape
Many topics this week. I love the hack of a stolen laptop, the post of cascading goals made me think, good climate news cheered me up and check out random for some fun and funny stuff.

Leadership

Setting your engineers up for success: how Skyscanner created greater clarity in our competencies and pathways to progression - interesting approach, kind of similar to my favourite one from Etsy

TBM 41/51: Why Goal Cascades are Harmful (and What to Do Instead) - interesting. I always thought top down, cascading goals were a good thing. I have to think about this more. 

Dealing with Top-Down Projects - tricky, but good suggestions 

What do you need to know to be a manager? - "Can a lack of subject-matter expertise even be an asset for a leader?"

Seven things you need to know about retaining engineering talent - good summary of the usual reasons why people leave or stay

Engineering

How we merged our main repositories into a single monorepo - I love monorepos! 

From Stolen Laptop to Inside the Company Network - that is quite a hack

Technology

An X11 Apologist Tries Wayland - nice, someone, please convince the Cinnamon people

The SSD Edition: 2022 Drive Stats Mid-year Review - "At this point we can reasonably claim that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs"

Work

Hacker Stations - more workspace porn 

I Tried A ‘Body Doubling’ App To Help With Focus – It’s Weird But It Works - it's like pair programming for random tasks

Environment 

Rain in Catalonia will be more frequent, violent and unpredictable in future - lovely 

Barcelona bat el rècord històric de nits tropicals: 114 nits sense baixar de 20 ºC [Catalan] - new record of number of nights above 20C in Barcelona: 114 this year

Been Angry [Comic] - me too  

Earth is now our only shareholder. - Patagonia changing its business ownership to a trust, with the money made being invested in fighting the climate crisis 

Reasons for (cautious) optimism: the good news on the climate crisis [Opinion] - that cheered me up a bit 

Cancer breakthrough is a ‘wake-up’ call on danger of air pollution - "Smoking remains the biggest cause of lung cancer, but outdoor air pollution causes about one in 10 cases in the UK"

Urbanism

Crossing the Street Shouldn't Be Deadly (but it is) [YouTube] - I get so annoyed by short pedestrian light phases

Renovation works to 'detouristify' Barcelona's La Rambla to begin on October 3 - I am curious about how successful this will be 

Uphill battle: How Spain’s Pamplona helped cyclists overcome steep slopes - elevators for bikes 

How Japan Won its ‘Traffic War’ - public transport, less parking and smaller cars 

Why Empty Offices Are Becoming Apartments in Texas’s Big Cities - this is great, we need housing, people want to live in cities and cities need people 

France’s answer to Banksy: the anonymous street artist filling potholes with colourful mosaics - this is brilliant

Small prefab backyard home feels more livable than McMansions [YouTube] - more housing, even if it is for the rich

Random Trombones 

There is no song that cannot be improved by Trombone Champ - I am not convinced, I even want to play it, but the videos are great.

Gratitude [Comic] - me looking at some mindful tips

Bikes4Ukraine - The Story So Far [YouTube] - still lacking donations 

Longest single-volume book in the world goes on sale – and is impossible to read - it's a (stolen) comic

‘Gifs are cringe’: how Giphy’s multimillion-dollar business fell out of fashion - I always hated GIFs, it isn't just the kids 

Cats on Synthesizers in Space - exactly what it says on the tin

Air Force Releases List Of What’s In Its Famous ‘Petting Zoo’ Threat Training Facility - I never thought about this, but it clearly makes sense to have this. 

Dismantling Schengen – half a year at a time - oh, bugger

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, September 09, 2022

Friday Links 22-29

AI art: lady in front of cityscape

Two week of links again. Will's post about hiring quality was fascinating. 

And I learned about Sturgeon's Bias, which I have to remember for the future. 

Leadership

One-on-ones with executives. - cool advice from Will Larson about ad-hoc 1:1s with executives 

Is Engineering Management Bullshit? - no

Sturgeon's Biases - TIL: "Ninety percent of everything is crud."

Eight Traps to Avoid When You Take Over a Team - a bit late, but thanks

The Scoop: Netflix’s historic introduction of levels for software engineers - it is so wild that Netflix didn't have levels 

Onboarding Practices: The First Month - Angela about her personal onboarding plan

Dear Ex-Bigco New to Smallco - I think this can be general advice when changing companies 

OPP (Other People’s Problems) - how to pick your battles 

The fallacy of “thriving in ambiguity” - "Ambiguity is bad. You should thrive in it, sure, but you should also strive to eliminate it whenever possible."

Why are you so busy? - being busy shouldn't be the goal for you or your team

Bar raisers, hiring committees, and other complex ways to improve hiring quality. - I liked the idea of Amazon's bar raisers for a while, but Will makes a good point that you probably don't need them

Engineering

Facebook Has No Idea What Data It Has - if you ever felt bad about how much of a mess your data is: you are not alone

JIT Compilers for Ruby and Rails: An Overview - more speed and more choice for Ruby

After self-hosting my email for twenty-three years I have thrown in the towel. The oligopoly has won.  - I gave up too. I pay someone to do it now. 

How to Sign Commits For GitHub With SSH - this is nice, but seems a bit of a hassle for most cases

Work 

Telegraph miscalculates the cost of working from home - yes, but there is still a cost 

California Passes Law Requiring Companies to Post Salary Ranges on Job Listings - one more state, we are getting there 

How to create the perfect home office setup for remote working - good summary of best practices

Environment 

Australian parliament passes first climate change legislation in a decade - they have some catching up to do. 

World on brink of five ‘disastrous’ climate tipping points, study finds - we all have some catching up to do. 

Clearing the Air [Podcast] - the case of Ella Kiss-Debrah, her death was the first ruled as partly caused by air pollution 

More ways to drive sustainably and save money with Google Maps - finally also in Europe

The truth about hydrogen [YouTube] - it is very inefficient and probably dirty  

Germany’s €9 train tickets scheme ‘saved 1.8m tons of CO2 emissions’ - sounds like a success to me!

Urbanism

How might (should) cities regulate Bicibus? - ideally, the Bicibus should be the norm and not need protection. Until then, the protection is a good thing.

513. Should Public Transit Be Free? [Podcast] - I don't think so, but I think the best way is a very cheap yearly subscription. I think it will lead to higher usage.  

‘I will never ride a bike again’: why people are giving up on cycling - :-( 

How car culture colonised our thinking – and our language - our life is framed by car, we have to rewire our brains

Freie Fahrt für freie Fussgänger:innen [German] - how to rethink cities and traffic in Switzerland  

Spat at, abused and run off the road: why do some people hate cyclists so much? - the UK sounds like a nice place ... not!

Would you believe me if I told you the true cost of owning a car is over $11 million? How can that be? Come join me for a thread. 🧵👇 [Tweet] - for the US, but owning a car is expensive

Random Queen

Queen Elizabeth II don die - BBC News Pidgin. RIP.

Flicker-free Elite on the Commodore 64 and Plus/4 - that is pretty cool. And it is just a backport of later Elite versions. 

The super-rich ‘preppers’ planning to save themselves from the apocalypse - this is kind of funny. “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?”

Shaving Compact Discs to improve the sound (?!) [YouTube] - audiophile magic! 

ON THE WHEEL | Finally, Tour de France Femmes: Episode 1 - A New Beginning  [YouTube] - the women's Tour de France, a step in the right direction!  

The utterly delightful site dedicated to classifying plastic bread tags - this is just magic, someone had too much time on their hands 

AI Creating 'Art' Is An Ethical And Copyright Nightmare - this doesn't look good

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, August 26, 2022

Friday Links 22-28

AI generated art of modern, but run down office building

Quiet week. The team assessment repository has a lot in it and I just started looking through it.

Interesting papers about urbanism, but maybe I just say that because it confirms my bias.

Leadership

Multi-team Software Delivery Assessment - nice collection of useful team assessments, everything from team health, to delivery and security 

Imposter Syndrome [Comic] – it's me

Benefits of Pulse Surveys for Remote and Distributed Teams - a bit spammy. I used to be highly sceptical, but now I am a convert. If done right and with the right communication, these can be super helpful for all teams.

Engineering

Building a Feature Education Coordination Platform at Strava - moving this from client to centralised 

Technology

Lucid Emacs was released 30 years ago - happy birthday

https://www.jwz.org/blog/2022/08/xscreensaver-was-released-30-years-ago/  - jwz was apparently really bored back then

Unix legend, who owes us nothing, keeps fixing foundational AWK code - I never got into awk!

Work

Remote Workers Are Wasting More Than an Hour a Day on Productivity Theater, New Report Finds  - mostly the fault of managers apparently

Urbanism

Adults’ self-reported barriers and enablers to riding a bike for transport: a systematic review [Paper] – turns out everyone is mostly scared of cars 

Barcelona by bike - a perfect city for cycling? - yes (all cities are)

How Does Urban Sprawl Affect Public Health? Evidence from Panel Survey Data in Urbanizing China [Paper] - and it isn't great.

Photo stream of urban design that's deliberately hostile to unhoused people - people are shite.

New variable speed limits to improve cyclist safety following fatal hit and run - a bit late, isn't it?

Random Art

Michael Heizer’s City, a vast art project in the Nevada desert 50 years in the making, will finally open to the public - I am conflicted about this. I guess this makes it art.

EuroVelo Routes Finally Available as GPX Files - this is lovely, make me want to go on a longer ride. Or just use parts of these.

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, August 19, 2022

Friday Links 22-27

three bottles of non-alcoholic cava
non-alcoholic cava

This week I enjoyed the podcasts about Culture AMP's data and the one with Daniel Pink about regret.

I am still browsing the Gallup State of Workplace survey, it is a lot of data.

Leadership

Build Week at Buffer: What It Is and How We’re Approaching It - we used to call that just hack week. Build week is definitely more inclusive. 

Diving into Culture Amp's data lake - How we uncover insights from 34 million employee experience data points. [Podcast] - interesting data points that all companies should use ... but probably don't 

True Time Management is About Deciding What Not To Do - management in general is deciding what to do 

Learning From Regret - with Daniel Pink & Jerry Colonna [Podcast]  - regret as a data point

Technology

Tornado Cash and collateral damage [LWN] - I am on the fence. Since the developers profited they should go to jail, but maybe we keep the code around?

News for the tz database - oh yes! with nuggets like "Rename Europe/Kiev to Europe/Kyiv." or "Iran no longer observes DST after 2022.

 wisp: Whitespace to Lisp - in case Lisp isn't weird enough 

Making accessible DocuSign forms - not great

Work

‘I had a very welcome lie-in on Friday’: the joys and challenges of switching to a four-day week - I'll accept a salary cut!

Why quiet quitting is more than leaving a job - this is more interesting than the title suggests

State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report - "Stress among the world's workers reached an all-time high -- again." (full report)

Environment 

Slow Travel - Tim on the idea of avoiding planes as much as possible

Cigarette butts: how the no 1 most littered objects are choking our coasts - if you want to know how egoistic smoking is, look no further

Spain wildfires: up to 20 injured after passengers break out of train engulfed by flames  - this is fine 

Is it time to end cats’ right to roam?  - I hope not, but they are a pest

Urbanism

Can Public Transit Beat Uber? [YouTube] - probably not. I think we have something like this on trial in Barcelona.

When Cars Kill, It’s Not an “Accident”: A Conversation With Jessie Singer - and cars don't kill, people do

Random Drinks

The Rise of the Non-Alcoholic Pairing Menu - I want to experience one of these 

The 100% Solar Powered Sun Ship That NEVER Needs Charging! [YouTube] - now I want a boat. Not for that price though. 

Gmail gets approval to move forward with plan to ruin its spam filter - definitely going evil

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.