Friday, September 04, 2020

Double Friday Links

Emma Everesting by CyclingTips

I was off cycling in the Pre-Pyrenees last week, so you are getting two Friday's worth of links today. I caught up a bit with my podcast backlog and some of the longer articles. Especially the Random section is a bit long this time.

 

Engineering

Anti-IF framework - if/else based on type - I do get annoyed by lots of nested if/else or case statements, this is one way to approach it. The question always is if the refactoring is easier to understand.

Three Basecamp outages. One week. What happened? - TIL: Basecamp seem to be hosting themselves 

Supporting Linux kernel development in Rust - I am really looking forward to this. I see a lot of potential in Rust and it could make some of the kernel code safer. The most interesting thing to watch will be the adoption rate and how it influences Rust.

Ruby Creator Yukihiro Matsumoto on the Challenges of Updating a Programming Language - We use Ruby On Rails at work. I am not a fan of Rails, but I do think Ruby is a nice language. Like a lot of dynamic languages it does allow to shoot yourself in the foot by making code unreadable and unmanageable over time. It also is pretty slow. Looks like some of these issues are being addressed.  

Systems Thinking Primer - Nice short introduction

How We Improved Developer Productivity for Our DevOps Teams  - spoiler alert: they automated and standardized things at Spotify 

US Postal Service Files Blockchain Voting Patent - Schneier:

As is pretty much always the case, blockchain adds nothing

Tracing at Slack: Thinking in Causal Graphs - good overview over tracing frameworks and why Slack (of course) invented their own   

Commit 1 million: The history of the Linux kernel - congratulations! I can't remember exactly when I started with Linux, sometimes in the 90s, but I never expected where it would go.

Upgrading GitHub to Ruby 2.7 - we are halfway there, good to see how others approach this. 

Management

On Making Hard Decisions  - Rands how he approached the decision to not leave his house during the recent California fires. Useful for decisions in general. 

24 Key Capabilities to Drive Improvement in Software Delivery - nice check-list, that I mostly agree with

One on One Meeting Guide: James Stanier (SVP of Engineering, Brandwatch [Podcast] - lots of insights on how to handle different 1:1 situations


Hiring Engineers: Junior or Senior? Johnny Ray Austin Shares His Take
[Podcast] - kind of what you expect, but still worthwhile for the perspective

Building a Connected Network of Brains with Jean-Michel Lemieux, CTO at Shopify [Podcast] - I liked this one, gave me some ideas about what to look for in people


GitHub's Feedback Culture: Ryan Nystrom (Director of Engineering, GitHub)
[Podcast] - I think the main problem is creating the "Culture". you can create all the review cycles and conversations, but if people don't live it it won't be valuable.

Urbanism

Road closed or open? The signs revamping low-traffic neighbourhoods - A good way of showing the positive side (streets open for people) instead of the negative (streets closed for cars - which isn't even true).

Rule compliance and desire lines in Barcelona’s cycling network - research article about how people are using the cycling network and somewhat weird junctions in Barcelona

El aire sucio de Barcelona exige un nuevo urbanismo [Spanish] -  how a new urbanism could improve air quality in Barcelona

Sieben Schritte zur autofreien Innenstadt [German] - "Seven steps to a car free city center", how do to it in slow steps, engaging the citizens and communicate well to reduce opposition

So funktioniert das neue McDrive für Fahrradfahrer  [German] - In Germany you were not allowed to use McDrive (McDonald drive in) with bicycles. There is now a solution where you can order on-line and then pick it up at special tables.

Berlin reports rise in fatalities as new bike lanes fail to keep cyclists safe - Berlin is an interesting city for cyclists. There are a lot of bike lanes, but they are pretty bad, articulated lorries are all over the city and drivers are awful. It is no wonder it is dangerous.
 

The Virus 

How the eradication of wild poliovirus from Africa can guide the COVID-19 response - once there is a COVID-19 vaccine it will be a struggle to convince people to get vaccinated, probably even harder in the US and Europe than in the rest of the world 

Google and Apple to roll out phase two of contact-tracing system - This could fix some of the issues with the current apps, mainly the lack of usage. But you will still need an app and local health system support to flag infected people. It will also feed the conspiracy theories.   
 
Early Findings from Fitbit COVID-19 Study Suggest Fitbit Devices Can Identify Signs of Disease at Its Earliest Stages  - interesting, would be even more interesting if Garmin could implement something like this. I don't expect it to be especially reliable though. 

Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Change the Future of Medical Research? [Podcast] - maybe? hopefully? probably not. 
 

Random Pointlessness

An exercise in pointlessness: Emma Pooley on her world-record Everesting - great article about the effort and allure of everesting. This at the same makes me want to do it and definitely not do it. 

From Zelda to Grand Theft Auto: 10 of the best game worlds to get lost in -  these are the type of games I like, where you can just roam and experience a different world. I don't really have enough time for this any more though. I only experienced No Man's Sky a little bit and an older version of GTA. 

Fosdem 2021 will be on-line - I certainly wouldn't have travelled to Belgium for this, maybe in 2022 again. This also makes it a lot easier to attend sessions and rooms.

Amazon Drivers Are Hanging Smartphones in Trees to Get More Work  - nice hack

The Introduction of Skateboarding to Mongu, Zambia [YouTube] - I love this kind of stories. People get so excited by skateboards. I wish I learned it when I was young, now I am only a fanboy.

Get Lost in 70 Years of Old IKEA Catalogs - I love IKEA, it suits my taste and my wallet. And I don't care that my place probably looks like a copy from someone's else place. And I love the paper or PDF catalogues. I am looking forward to them every year.

Five Essential Dub Techno Records Everyone Should Hear
- nice, dub, techno

Rave on: the rise of middle-aged clubbing culture during lockdown  - sit-down raves? during the day? count me in! 

Blanked-Out Spots On China's Maps Helped Us Uncover Xinjiang's Camps - cool research, also China: WTF

Banksy funds refugee rescue boat operating in Mediterranean  - Banksy is just amazing in so many ways. The boat already run into trouble because it was to successful picking up people.   
 
, the fact that...  - Tim Bray reviews "Ducks, Newburyport" by Lucy Ellmann. Sound intriguing, but I probably don't have the patience.

Diageo invests in German non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ - as far as I know the Wonderleaf "Gin" came out of a April Fools joke, but the response was so positive that they implemented it. I am teetotal and the moment and I can highly recommend it. There are a lot of new things happening in the non-alcoholic area at the moment. 

Episode 6: Restoring a healthy ocean in the Maldives [Podcast] - not quite the paradise any more, sounds questionable if this can still be stopped  

Other Links

Long Links by Tim Bray - another good collection. Utility Dive seems to be a good source too.

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.
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