Friday, December 17, 2021

Friday Links 21-39


AI generated hippos
cocaine hippos
I enjoyed the in depth look into Pablo Escobar's hippos. Amazing what kind of wide ranging effect this has on the country. 

The whole Log4j incident was also fun to follow.

Management

How To Start A Book Club At Work - beginners guide 

Hiring (and Retaining) a Diverse Engineering Team - lots of insights from different leaders and companies

Why it’s difficult to build teams in high growth organisations - because of changes

Technology

Log4j / Log4Shell

Rails 7.0: Fulfilling a vision - as much as I question the use of SPAs, I am not sure about this approach either

Web3 is Bullshit - indeed

Load Fonts Fast - even the simplest things are complicated nowadays

Someone Is Running Lots of Tor Relays - that can't be good 

How We Run Engineering All-Hands at Storyblocks - nice structure and ideas for content

Urbanism

EPBD: Mandatory bicycle parking in all new and renovated buildings will make cycling easier for millions of Europeans - brilliant, this is a big hurdle for a lot of cyclists in cities

La Rambla’s reformation to start in 2022 at a cost of €44.5m - the plans look pretty. Will it reduce the number of tourists and tourist traps? probably not 

Faster trains and cheaper tickets to boost European rail travel in new strategy - just a proposal, it is still in the hand of the useless local governments 

Mit Lastenrädern mehr als 16 Mal um die Erde [German] - very successful and free cargo bike rental in Berlin

How to ride a bike with no hands - if your city is build for this and it is legal

Every neighborhood should have a corner store—but can't [YouTube] - my dream is to open a little shop in our (commuter) village, because there is nothing at the moment

Österreich sagt Autobahnbau bei Wien ab [German] - Austria is not going to build some motorways, because of the environmental impact

Random Hippos

How Pablo Escobar’s ‘cocaine hippos’ became a biodiversity nightmare [Podcast] - I heard of them on and off before, but this is a summary of everything related to narco hippos 

Will loneliness kill remote work cultures? With Noreena Hertz [Podcast] - very insightful 

The Most Popular Every Intention Articles in 2021 - nice collection of self help articles including the very good The Introverts Guide to Increasing Energy

New EV Spartan 4x4 full review - on and off-road [YouTube] - I really want my Defender electrified, but this also looks fun and more reasonably priced 

Man spends 27:41 messing with two old compact Compact Cassette decks [YouTube] - I still have two decks to fix too

Mixtape | Exclusive Clip Featuring Gemma Brooke Allen & Nick Thune | Netflix [YouTube] - it has Tape in the title, so I have to watch it

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, December 03, 2021

Friday Links 21-38

Screenshot of a house from the game Townscape
Townscape
Short one this week. I did catch up with my podcasts, but not many made it to the list.

I found the article series on architecture and devops interesting reads.

Management

Operator's Manual #2: What Does It Mean To Let Others Lead? - with Ali Schultz & Jerry Colonna [Podcast] - “The simplest way to trust is to let go of perfection. If you can allow the team to make mistakes then it’s a lot easier to trust.”

TBM 49/52: Your Calendar = Your Priorities - analysing your calendar a few times a year is a good idea, though I am not sure I like what I would see

The Secrets of Productive Virtual Offsites - Tips from GitHub [Podcast] - now I want to work at GitHub

Scaling the Practice of Architecture, Conversationally - on-going article series about decentralised architecture decisions for autonomous teams

How to Integrate Operations Into the Daily Work of Development  - different approaches to DevOps in teams

Engineering

Upgrading MySQL at Shopify - quite an effort for only a minor update

You Can't Buy Integration - another article series focusing on integration and how they should be a core focus of your business 

Random Towns

Townscaper Demo - I am sorry for wasting your time already

Jethro Tull - Locomotive Breath | The Story Behind The Song | Top 2000 a gogo [YouTube] - "everybody has do to something for the environment" says man living in a castle with his dog

Johnny lo da todo | Tibidabo Hill Climb | Juan Flecha [YouTube] - I didn't make it this year. This looked like a lot of fun again. 

I can't ride a bike. How fast can Mike Boyd teach me? [YouTube] - It is like watching someone getting into drugs 

A 'Fully Charged' City Built Around Bicycles? | Fully Charged LIVE is coming to Europe! [YouTube] - I got bike lane envy again! 

How Cassette Tapes Changed the World [Podcast] - one forgets that this was probably the first easy portable medium people could record on, this was a catalyst for change

Smart Contract Bug Results in $31 Million Loss - oops

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, November 26, 2021

Friday Links 21-37

Model of Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso
Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso

I am a bit disillusioned with our response to the climate crisis and the pandemic.
So I am focusing on other things like management, nostalgia and urbanism!

Management

Agility ≠ Speed - common misunderstanding well explained

My experience with Re-organising a team - some good tips to keep in mind for the next time

Please dogfood your software interview homework - this are some awful examples. Who would work on a test for a whole day? 

Flickr Engineering Team Vision & Guiding Principles - So many good ideas came and are still coming out of Flickr. I think this is a vision most engineering departments could adapt. 

What’s the Best Meeting Cadence for Different Types of 1:1 Meetings - pretty much common sense 

Don't soften feedback. - work in progress for me

Managing Humans: Michael Lopp in conversation [YouTube] - he is just so reasonable! 

Engineering

CRISP: Critical Path Analysis for Microservice Architectures - if this doesn't turn you off microservices, I don't know what will 

Why I Hate Password Rules - because they are stupid

Environment

The forgotten oil ads that told us climate change was nothing - people are still believing this now

Blah, Blah, Blah, Boom - I am very close to muting "COP26" on twitter

Urbanism

Parking Has Eaten American Cities - especially bad in the US, but also a problem in Europe

Paris to make motorcyclists pay for parking from 2022 - Barcelona should take note, motorcycles on the pavement are a pain and they are not policed at all

Why the Netherlands is the Best Country for Drivers [YouTube] - because driving is not like in the ads 

LA tests Dutch/Japanese pocket communities. Skeptics like it [YouTube] - these are brilliant!  

Half of journeys in Barcelona by car, up 23 points since before pandemic, study says - depressing "6,000 cars per square kilometer in the Catalan capital, twice as many as in Madrid or Paris."

The political economy of car dependence: A systems of provision approach 

Perfecting the New York Street An achievable, replicable plan for a city that’s embracing public space as never before - nice before/after mock-ups. Who could be against this? But clearly people are

Random Models

scalemates: Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso - discovered one of my favourite models on this site, which is quite a treasure for model nostalgics

Sales of eco-friendly pet food soar as owners become aware of impact - "Globally, pets consume about 20% of the world’s meat and fish" with two flexitarians and six animals in the house I am very aware of this problem. Maybe they all should get used to more fish.

Conspiracy Chart - so funny and though so sad

TV tonight: David O’Doherty talks nonsense in new series – and it is bliss - Richard Ayoade on a bike? In the Kent countryside? Sold!

Barcelona Welcome Desk - in case you plan to move here

An instant Amiga or Atari ST in your browser - this is brilliant, no need to unpack my old Amiga

Mask-wearing linked to 53% cut in Covid incidence, global study finds - more surprises! 

Do online social media cut through the constraints that limit the size of offline social networks? - not really

Line length revisited: following the research - this is not about code, but texts

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, November 12, 2021

Friday Links 21-36

Cassette tapes cases with saw cuts
Dakou Tapes

The Great Resignation has definitely arrived in mainstream media. 

Lots of good podcasts this time, about career paths, engineering organisations, learning and weird Chinese cassette tape culture. 

Management

Managing Platform Teams: How to Build and Structure Platform Engineering? [Podcast] - interview with Camille Fournier going into details of platform teams

Why all new managers want to quit - I feel you

Why you need an emotional-support network at work - it isn't easy, but identifying peers as support and creating community of practice groups is a start 

Tech Sector Job Interviews Assess Anxiety, Not Software Skills - I think we are doing better at this, but interviews in general are assessing anxiety and you always have to take this into account

Measuring software development productivity - going away from individual productivity to higher level measurements. Very good overview of different areas to measure. 

No-compensation Ratings - ratings are tricky, so is compensation 

The Importance of Writing in Software Engineering [Podcast] - I would argue writing is important in most jobs

Intercom’s Jane Honey on perfecting career paths for product management [Podcast] - I usually just see engineering career paths, so this is a different perspective for other roles

Engineering

How a couple of characters brought down our site - I would argue a couple of characters can bring down any site 

Etsy’s Journey to TypeScript - this is probably in our future and I am already worried

Deleting Data in a Microservices Architecture - microservices, creating jobs of the future 

How Two Interns Are Helping Secure Millions of Lines of Code - the disadvantage of choosing new languages: all the tools have to be created again 

Test Desiderata - properties for good tests according to Kent Beck

Backroom/Frontroom to Smooth Releases - decouple code deployments from feature deployments, through feature flags for example

Work

Why remote working in Spain is once again a thing of the future - good intentions going wrong 

Mindful employees are more likely to experience self-control depletion as a result of “surface acting” at work - mindfulness at work is on my list of things that I am highly sceptical about. Good to see studies about this. 

Kim Scott (Author of Radical Candor) on How to Get Sh*t Done Fast and Fair in the Workplace [Podcast] - feedback and inclusion

This insane tech hiring market [Podcast] - I am still suspicious about this being true for all companies, but still a good episode 

The Great Resignation

Technology

Putting on my hacker hoodie to View Source - Google & Apple are currently fighting about who will inherit the evil empire crown from Microsoft 

Make your monorepo feel small with Git’s sparse index - nice, this was a problem in a previous job

From the Top: Building Zwift [Podcast] - cool insight in building and growing Zwift

Urbanism

Few willing to change lifestyle to save the planet, climate survey finds - surprise!

So wird das nichts mit der Verkehrswende [German] - Germany still being a bit rubbish at everything that isn't a car

45 Min Vorfahrt fürs Fahrrad? | Themenwoche 2021 [Video, German] - this is quite scary at times

The hidden climate costs of America’s free parking spaces - less parking = more space for people and fewer cars

It started with 5 families. Now hundreds are biking to school together in Barcelona - this Spanish initiative is spreading through the media at the moment. Seeing kids cycling always make me happy and hopeful for cities.

The Top Ten Bikes in Amsterdam in 2021 - what you expect, but with pretty pictures

Mobility protests in the Netherlands of the 1970s: Activism, innovation, and transitions - study about the effects of the protests

The bikelash paradox: how cycle lanes enrage some but win votes - people love the change once it happens, but never before

Random Tapes

Mixtape: Dakou [Podcast] - one of my favourite podcasts is making a series about cassette tapes, this one is especially good. I never heard about Dakou.

#123 William Irvine: How To Live a Stoic Life [Podcast] - This is the first podcast about stoicism that I liked. 

Paella, ‘icon of the Mediterranean diet’, given protected status - probably the best one-pan dishes 

Beating the To Do List [Podcast] - I am a "productivity enthusiast", but definitely with low expectations of change

How to stop languishing and start finding flow | TED Talks Daily [Podcast]

Slow, Life-sized Travel - a conversation with Carl Honoré Ep 19 [Podcast] - life-sized travel: we are flying halfway around the globe to spend a couple of days in a coffee shop or bar

Have a chill time moving house in Unpacking, out now - tidying without getting up ... brilliant 

Google News to return to Spain - finally! Until then just use news.google.co.uk 

#122 Robert Cialdini - The Principles of Persuasion [Podcast] - influence not manipulation

Backblaze Drive Stats for Q3 2021 - so I keep posting them because I am fascinated by drive failures, not because I care

Ti TMS0119 - single-chip calculator (1971) : weekend die-shot - another weird blog I follow, but now I discovered http://www.datamath.org/ through this, which is lovely

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, October 29, 2021

Friday Links 21-35

Scrabble tiles
Scrabble tiles
Some long reads this week. The one about longtermism and "Great Attrition" are very interesting. 

Management

Ratings as Incentives - I once worked at a place doing the 1-5 ratings, with additional rules that acted as weird incentives. I liked the idea, but it failed in reality.

Experimenting with Focus Weeks and Mob Programming - I still haven't tried mob programming, but then I never got into pair programming either

You can be directive without being a jerk - lots of good tips from Lara Hogan as usual

Squad Health Check model – visualizing what to improve - I came across this and the next one for some reason, interesting approaches to assess teams

How to Create a Team-Health Assessment for Engineering Organizations  - another assessment strategy

The Art of Growing Up: Using the Challenges of Leadership to Attain Radical Self-Inquiry [Podcast] - interview with the coach guy from reboot

Why nobody hires junior developers and what happens next - it is a vicious cycle

Work

‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The choice is yours - tricky time for employers and even worse if you don't understand what employees want

Has England gone back to the office? [Podcast] - yes and no

Our work went fully remote - Ask Me Anything! [Podcast] - could we stop asking people who have a vested interested in this? 

Environment

Analysis: Fuel-duty freeze has increased UK CO2 emissions by up to 5% - UK freezing tax on driving and flying just around COP26

The $3.50 go-anywhere ticket to fight climate change - this is great, and better than free for all transit in my opinion

Urbanism

Data on Bike Parking in Barcelona - pretty amazing how many dare or have to leave their bike outside in Barcelona. 

A bordo del "bicibús": cientos de alumnos desafían a los coches para ir a clase pedaleando [Spanish] - article about the "bicibus" an bike to school initiative for kids in Barcelona

Busy yet Friendly? Explaining Barcelona’s Av. Diagonal [YouTube] - our office is on this road, the worst thing is that the type of bike-lane changes every few hundred meters

Inside the New Plan to Make Paris ‘100% Cyclable’ - Paris is the rising star of urbanism

Random Words

Word of the Day: procrastinate - one of my favourites 

Drive Failure Over Time: The Bathtub Curve Is Leaking - drives are improving, especially at the beginning of their lifetime 

Cycling notes: the pros and cons of braking with the heel – archive, 1896 - before the disc vs rim brake wars

Learning the ropes: why Germany is building risk into its playgrounds - I never thought about Germany as trying to encourage risc taking

Against longtermism - I hear a lot of positive stuff on longtermism, this puts it into perspective 

Anthony Fauci Could Use a Day Off [Podcast] - cool interview with Fauci

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, October 22, 2021

Friday Links 21-34


Lego Cassette
Lego Compact Cassette
Catching up and dreaming of a four day work week. 

Management

The Sabotage List - nice idea to collect the stuff you are probably not going to do for reasons

Always do Extra - if you have slack, do extra, not more of the same

How to Understand the Power Structure [Comic] - funny :-) 

How Amazon Raised the Hiring Bar and Leveraged Narratives for Decision-Making (with Colin Bryar, Former Amazon VP) [Podcast] - interesting, but most things probably don't apply to my or your job 

Want a More Productive Morning Routine? “Pay” Yourself First - I have to work on this, though I already improved a bit. "No mobile before work" for example. 

That Burning Feeling When You’re Right - being right alone is not enough

Engineering 

Lessons from 10k hours of programming [Podcast] - this is a fun discussion about learnings from too many years of programming 

Incident Review and Postmortem Best Practices - some good practices and ideas for incident reviews

Dungeon 251 - talking about the "Second System Syndrome"

A complete guide to code reviews - very good overview ... you have to figure out what you want to optimise for 

Worst Case - planning for worst case AWS outages 

The Original Remote Developer [Podcast] - fun story about Paul Lutus the developer of Apple Writer

Technology

You Can Now Directly Read Data Logs From Tesla Vehicles (Jalopnik) - this would be even nicer if it would really be open

Adventures in Amiga land part 1 - so great people are still writing code for the (virtual) Amiga

Security Risks of Client-Side Scanning - Schneier provides some more context

Try Out YJIT for Faster Rubying - Ruby gets a bit less slow 

Using Machine Learning to Predict Hard Drive Failures - not very useful at this time

The European Parliament Voted to Ban Remote Biometric Surveillance - go Europe!

Work

Make the most of hybrid work with Google Workspace - some new and old features from Google to improve hybrid work

Set aside time for focus in Google Calendar - did we really need a pandemic for this feature?

Remote teams will always need in-person interaction to succeed - interesting to see this from a company that is quite vocal about remote 

Could a shorter workweek be in your future? - I can't imagine it working for myself, but this will come 

Desigual workers vote in favor of 6.5% pay cut in exchange for four-day workweek - I take up to a 20% cut, no problem

Does the 4 Day Work Week Really Work? Gallup and real companies have the true answer.  - interesting stats, but then it derails a bit

Environment 

UK public now eating significantly less meat - still too much though

What made us doubt climate change? [Podcast] - lies

Updating our ads and monetization policies on climate change - Google is doing something about the lies. See also Google and YouTube will cut off ad money for climate change deniers

Urbanism

Vision Zero Reporting - I hope this catches on in the international media

The +1/-2, biking to a suburban hardware store challenge, in Barcelona! [YouTube] - Barcelona didn't do so well 

Barcelona’s ambitious plan to transform the city for pedestrians and green space - slow moving plan

Europe’s best walking cities: Six wonders of the wandering world - I thought Barcelona be on there, but while it is walkable it isn't nice with all the cars

Random Lego

Lego to remove gender bias from its toys after findings of child survey - nice ... this should be normal

Teen Spirit: Nevermind at 30 [Podcast] - maybe I am just a bit too old, but I never really got into it. Rereading Generation X is on my list though.

In Place of War: Around the World in 80 Raves - Techno for a good cause

Puppy perks: should workers get three weeks of paid leave to bond with a new pet? - yes please, but also at least two months per puppy and consecutive if you have more at once

Intro to Cassette Recorder Operation, Maintenance, and Repair - this will be useful in the future. I still have two decks to fix

On an Endless Loop: Tracking the Cassette Renaissance in 2021 - fun to see the new kids joining

This makes a change - a Boombox with a unique feature [YouTube] - I seem to have developed an addiction to tape changers

When Facebook went down this week, traffic to news sites went up - interesting

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, October 08, 2021

Friday Links 21-33

stairway towards blue sky
stairway to nowhere

Too many articles about management today!
I got pulled into a rabbit hole about Thomasson Hyperart this week, which was fun.

Management

The Skill of Org Design - great long read about organisation design

How to safely think in systems - "When your model and reality conflict, reality is always right"

TBM 41a/52: Slow Down on Your Own Terms - I like the idea of working in different speeds. When introducing changes for example it is important to slow down (or take a long breath I like to call it) before introducing more

TBM 41b/52: Suitably Detailed Roadmap Items - this is just an expanded tweet, but a log model of planning long roadmaps 

Responsible Tech Playbook [mostly PDF] - collection of guides from Thoughtworks about making better technology decisions 

Learning-focused engineering [Podcast] - about learning and teaching in the context of companies

What Is a User Story? - nice opinionated overview

Asymmetric Workloads: One Way Leaders Can Poison Their Culture - easy thing to step into

Engineering Teams Are Just Networks - it is about the team and not just the individual 

How Big Tech Runs Tech Projects and the Curious Absence of Scrum - absence is probably incorrect, but he always goes for the click-bait titles

Why do we recommend working small, especially in a constantly changing environment? - nice diagram to show the effects

Review Notes: Shape Up - I didn't see this back then. I am much mire sceptical and he also lists all the caveats 

Burnout in Software Development - Survey Results 2021 - that paints a pretty bleak picture

Minimize Team Cognitive Load to Increase Flow - this is probably one of the most important thing to think about when creating teams 

Mission on Repeat: To Lead in High Pressure Environments, Get Laser-Focused on the Standards with David Robinson (Former Commanding Officer at the US Marine Corps) [Podcast] - I am still not a fan of taking the military as an example, but this is a great episode 

Engineering

Infrastructure Observability for Changing the Spend Curve - on reducing CI costs

Welcome to the Verica Open Incident Database - pretty cool and timely 

A web developer's 'happiest' announcement: Google Search is saying goodbye to Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 - best news since Flash's EOL 

Dungeon 235--So I Got to Thinking ... - I love this series. After the plot twist he no gets into the weeds.

How Red Hat uses GitLab for kernel development [LWN] - weird that Fedora didn't choose GitLab

Work

Facebook denies end to 'WFH forever' rule in wake of mega outage - in today's "forever news", ...

Here’s why flexibility, not hybrid, is what employees say they want - clearly

Technology

Submarine Cable Map - pretty, but are these all of them?

Facebook Outage

Investors Spent Millions on ‘Evolved Apes’ NFTs. Then They Got Scammed. - "investors" got scammed with NFTs and then were surprised to be scammed

Environment

‘Eco-anxiety’: fear of environmental doom weighs on young people - I guess that makes me young. Nobody cares about these fears though, while they were very concerned about young people during the pandemic (when it suited them)

Peter Lustig und das Elektroauto (1983) [YouTube, German] - electric car on German TV in 1983

3 new ways to navigate more sustainably with Maps - some nice new features for Google Maps. I wish they would also change navigation to avoid populated areas if possible (also on The Guardian)

Microsoft climate head says planting trees won’t be enough to remove CO2 from the air - surprise!

Urbanism

Berlin’s car ban campaign: ‘It’s about how we want to live, breathe and play’ - in Germany? Hah!

​​What’s the Point of 15-Minute Grocery Delivery? - no point

Birmingham to become a super-sized low-traffic neighbourhood - another town, millions to go, ...

Promenades & Medians of Passeig Sant Joan [YouTube] - my office and former living hood. I hate central bike paths with a passion. I still remember this road before the transformation. It was much worse.

Random Hyperart

Hyperart Thomasson - I came across the term via this tweet. I was always facinated by this, but never new it had a name.  

I’m a life coach, you’re a life coach: the rise of an unregulated industry - MLM?

How Tracking and Streaks Help You Establish Habits and Reach Your Goals - good personal summary about tracking streaks

Animal rights groups call for sterilization methods to control wild boars - the boars are back in town!

‘Email is a zombie that keeps rising from the dead’: the endless pursuit of Inbox Zero - once you get into GTD Inbox Zero just makes sense

 

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, October 01, 2021

Friday Links 21-32

image generated by AI about "Revenge Bedtime Procrastination"
Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
Catching up with everything again. Some good long reads in the Work section, especially the report about women in the workplace.

Management

Agile vs Kanban [YouTube] - forget about the "vs", he just gives an introduction to both and some personal opinions

Don't worry, you’re not wasting your mentor’s time. - good to know, now I need some mentors...

1.0 Is the Loneliest Number - "By shipping early and often you have the unique competitive advantage"

Say Goodbye to Your Manager - it is really about "bad managers"

Engineering

Partitioning GitHub’s relational databases to handle scale - the main learning here is that you can get away without doing it for a very long time

Dungeon 230--I'm goin' in. - good post about how we can change everything later and avoid upfront design 

How Backstage Made Our Developers More Effective — And How It Can Help Yours, Too  - we are definitely still too small for this

Improve Your Life with Long Error Messages - "Guru Meditation" 

How to Reduce Memory Bloat in Ruby

Technology

webshit weekly July, 2021 -

"Google, the world's largest repository of algorithmic search expertise, gets trick-fucked by blogspammers and doesn't notice because nobody at Google both speaks Norwegian and gives a shit about search results"

"Bicycling enthusiasts try to figure out why someone without even a Serfas sponsorship has managed to win. Hackernews knows it was because the professional collusion tools failed the old guard, creating an opening for someone to win based on actual physical exertion. One Hackernews is mad that women are allowed to ride bicycles, but it's not clear if the anger is about the competitive aspect or that a woman has a bicycle at all."

A fork for the time-zone database? [LWN] - heartbreaking! My favourite Changelog is getting messy

Set Safari free! - I still can't believe that this is happening, how is not everybody complaining about this?

Now — AWS Step Functions Supports 200 AWS Services To Enable Easier Workflow Automation - this is another nice step to less code

Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus Is Now Generally Available with Alert Manager and Ruler - this is also a good thing for people using AWS

PostgreSQL 14 released - also relase notes and the little things

I Am Not Satoshi Nakamoto - well, that is one person of the list! or is it?

Courtès: What's in a package - as a former Fedora packager I can relate

The Framework Laptop is now shipping! - nice, but not for me. The port things look weird and oversized too. 

Bespoke - very cool modular synth, also for Linux

Clive Sinclair and the offbeat brilliance of the ZX Spectrum - we had ZX81, ZX Spectrum, C64, Atari 800 and my TI99/4A in our early home computer "gang"

Remote Work

If You Never Met Your Co-Workers in Person, Did You Even Work There? - maybe

Working From Orbit - this would free up some space in offices. I can't see myself moving to this any time soon though. Linux support is still in the making. 

Women in the Workplace 2021 - very long report, with some positive news but also a lot of work to be done

The data doesn’t lie: what we learned when we tried a 4-day workweek - another successful experiment 

New Microsoft Study of 60,000 Employees: Remote Work Threatens Long-Term Innovation - "Short-term productivity goes up, long-term creativity goes down."

Environment

Can YOU Fix Climate Change? [YouTube] - no

Pollutionwatch: the fight to protect children from dirty air - it is a bit annoying that this even is a fight 

When will countries stop exploring for oil? [Podcast] - sometime between 2050 and never

Waste from one bitcoin transaction ‘like binning two iPhones’ - well done everybody, well done!

Cycling

‘I haven’t looked back’: the women who discovered cycling in lockdown - this is great. I also think I see a lot more women on my rides. Often alone or small groups. 

Lockdown sees cycling gender gap narrow, government statistics reveal - more data on this

Why aren’t more big bike firms tracking their environmental impact? - because it takes time and effort. Good to see Trek giving it a go.

Urbanism

The Unstoppable Appeal of Highway Expansion - people will never learn

Superblocks and tactical urbanism – who owns Barcelona‘s streets? [Podcast] - people do

Tactical Urbanism & Barcelona’s Future [YouTube] - local critique of these

The Liberation of Paris From Cars Is Working - interview with one of the people making this happen

Germany: parking row brews as Green mayor plans to increase fees by 600% - still a bargain

Telosa - billionaire is going to build city from scratch ... two words: "Flying" "Taxis"

A conversation with Bianca Hermansen about Democratic Design in Cities - Ep 16 [Podcast] - interesting perspective, our cities are not often democratic designed, even if we try

Cycling by Design - Scottish cycling infrastructure guidelines (pdf)

ZDF Magazin Royale vom 17. September 2021 [German, Video] - comedy show about German's addition to cars

Random Sleep

Why Sleep Deprivation Kills - that was unexpected

What Is “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination”? - TIL ... I had to look that up recently

The Evolution of Crocodiles [Podcast] - back from the summer break and a great episodes. Crocs!

YouTube to remove misinformation videos about all vaccines - I have some other conspiracy theories I would like to have removed please

9/21/21 - It's Today!

Whistle, Gotham City’s latest superhero, is Jewish. It’s a full-circle moment for the comics industry. - ordered!

Ikea's New Gaming Collection Looks Pretty Good - I was looking for a reasonably cheap new chair!

Dutch are world’s tallest people – but they’re shrinking, study shows - see nutrition

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 17, 2021

Friday Links 21-31

ZX81 and Michael K Williams generated by Neurlblender AI
ZX81 and Michael K Williams
Sad news about Michael K. Williams and Sir Clive Sinclair passing away. People who influenced me in quite different but profound ways. 

Of course you also get the my usual link dump, again from the last two weeks. 

Environment news are frustrating as always and I don't think COP26 is going to cheer me up.

Management 

Engineering Progression Framework v2 - another engineering career path, this time from Monzo

Enough With Must-Have Features - "must haves" or "table stakes" are the opposite of lean

Bias For Action - do instead of planning, then learn and do more

Ok. So, You Can’t Decide. - sometimes you just have to make any decision

Decision Making at Netflix - spoiler: it is A/B testing 

The Five Meetings Every CEO Should Lead - good advice for every manager. I am pretty bad at the "celebrating wins" bit

Stay Curious For a Bit Longer: How to Get to the Root of Issues and Set Goals That Inspire Bold Action with Dave Bailey (Coach & Mentor to Scale-up CEOs) [Podcast] - lots of good advice in there.

Wohin mit den Ideen, wenn nicht ins Product Backlog? [Podcast, German] - where should ideas go, if not into the backlog. I really would like to have a separate too, but just having a Kanban project is also a good idea.

How to build silos and decrease collaboration (on purpose) - the most expensive thing employees can do is communicate, you have to make it count.

Engineering

Accessible Palette: Stop using HSL for color systems - I am colour-blind, but this is pretty cool anyway 

CPU Steal Time: A Crucial Metric for Cloud Servers and VMs - shared servers and CPUs are tricky

Ship / Show / Ask - I don't know. Maybe to hard to make the decision on which part to take?

Increasing developer happiness with GitHub code scanning  - using custom CodeQL to find common code problems

Technology 

What’s the Diff: SSD vs. NVMe vs. M.2 Drives - well, that cleared that up

The most inspiring Apple Event announcement - I didn't realise browser were so bad on iPhones

Google Supports Open Source Technology Improvement Fund - $100 million! (in total)

ProtonMail Now Keeps IP Logs - stuff is secure until it isn't 

Amazon Elasticsearch Service Is Now Amazon OpenSearch Service and Supports OpenSearch 1.0 - my hope is that this creates a real alternative to ElasticSearch with is bumpy upgrade paths. But it is more likely that the Amazon fork will stagnate. 

Launching Public Status Pages for Uptime Monitoring on AppSignal - did I mention I like AppSignal? This is another nice feature. 

Best email forwarding service for 2021 (free and premium) - I am trying to get rid of my own EC2 server, this is part of the solution. Currently testing Pobox

Remote Work

Microsoft indefinitely postpones return to U.S. offices as Covid cases surge - "postponed", but it will happen with 30 days notice, so don't move too far away

Just say hybrid because nobody knows - yes, but we still go hybrid 

‘My Boss Doesn’t Want Me to Go Back to the Office’ - this sounds made up, but there are the weirdest bosses around

Environment

Outcry over killing of almost 1,500 dolphins on Faroe Islands - in 2021! Traditions are a killer.

Most plans for new coal plants scrapped since Paris agreement - emphasis on "most" and "new"

Netherlands proposes radical plans to cut livestock numbers by almost a third - now the question is why this is happening only in the Netherlands

World’s biggest machine capturing carbon from air turned on in Iceland - the equivalent of scrapping 870 cars a year, which might be cheaper.

Piaggio, KTM, Honda and Yamaha set up swappable batteries consortium - this could be interesting, unless they expect me to swap them at petrol stations

air / aria /aire - pretty visualisation of pollution in Barcelona 

Long term exposure to low level air pollution and mortality in eight European cohorts within the ELAPSE project: pooled analysis [Paper] - "Our study contributes to the evidence that outdoor air pollution is associated with mortality even at low pollution levels below the current European and North American standards and WHO guideline values. These findings are therefore an important contribution to the debate about revision of air quality limits, guidelines, and standards, and future assessments by the Global Burden of Disease."

Urbanism

Murderbots - autonomous cars ... not the solution

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo to run for French presidency - good news for France, bad news for Paris?

London's Oyster card: Are its days numbered? - £553 million left on cards! I think Barcelona is skipping the cards and going mobile directly? 

Transport noise linked to increased risk of dementia, study finds - transport is killing people (annoyingly this includes rail)

Forget Low Traffic Neighborhoods, Planet Needs No Traffic Neighborhoods - hear hear

The Wrong Way to Set Speed Limits [ST06] [YouTube] - the US way is as weird as the German way "allow speed limits when too many people get injured"

A Conversation with Anni Sinnemäki - Deputy Mayor of Helsinki - Ep15 [Podcast] - there seems to be something about female city mayors. I put Helsinki on my list of urbanism envy 

Random Home Computers

Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81 - I never had a Sinclair, but a few people in my home computer gang had them. And the story of the C5 is also great. 

Commodore 64 ads from the 1980s still make me want a C64 in 2021 - I have still some old Byte magazines. Computer ads used to be fun.

5 things I learned from Google’s productivity expert - annoyingly you have to give your details to get the report, but this is a summary

NEW: lots of news recently on waning immunity against infection, but a study has now landed from Public Health England on how vaccines are faring against *severe disease & death* - I link to the thread, because the FT source is pay-walled. Great data and good to know that Biontech shots are probably going to be good for a bit longer.

Police catch close-pass drivers by joining group ride, and upload to Strava - nice initiative. I wish they would do stuff like this in Spain and Germany. 

biorower - the indoor rower I want, but can't afford

The disastrous voyage of Satoshi, the world’s first cryptocurrency cruise ship - this cheered me up more than it should have

Michael K Williams, star of The Wire, dies aged 54 - RIP

‘I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase’ – how The Wire’s Omar changed TV - the best character in the best TV show

Top street artists paint decks in aid of rural skatepark - if it wasn't in the UK I might bid, some pretty stuff there. "Happy Feelings" is lovely (currently at £450)

Fit in my 40s: phew, a group bike ride that stops often enough for me to catch up - "They’ll stop if they see an unseasonably large toad" ... that's me

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 03, 2021

Friday Links 21-30

Catalan Cricket
Back from my holiday and catching up with the news. 

New section on Agile this time as something at work required a bit of research into this.

Management

What’s going on with the ‘Great Resignation’?  - I have heard this term in different contexts a few times now. I guess this will continue for a bit more.

Building a data team at a mid-stage startup: a short story - example story about how this could happen and what to expect

4-day workweek: which day should you take off? - it depends

These statistics prove the value of the 4-day workweek - I am all for it, but I am pretty sure my productivity would go down by roughly 20% 

Performance Review: Build Your Process and Master Feedback Delivery [Podcast] - Lara Hogan on reviews

#118 Doug Conant: Leadership With Integrity [Podcast] - very down to earth discussion from a very high level CEO

Agile

The Four Agile Values and Slack - it is really difficult to complain about the agile manifesto

How to Deal With Tech Debt Effectively - we are using a mix of 20%, fix as you go and large clean-ups.

Software Development Waste - results of a study of projects

An epic treatise on scheduling, bug tracking, and triage - cool presentation, it includes a link to the talk

How I Failed As A Scrum Master For My Most Prestigious Team - not really a fail, more of a small correction

Autonomous Scrum Teams are like powerful responsibility magnets - but tricky to get right

Remote Work 

How remote work is bringing life back to Spain’s rural villages - fast internet is definitely a game changer and Spain seems to be doing a good job.

Spanish companies divided over employees’ return to the workplace - the same as everywhere

How to Understand How Things Ever Got This Bad [Comic] - "Technology was supposed to set us free, but it really just made it harder to escape"

Extending our voluntary return to office - for a tiny bit

Introducing Horizon Workrooms: Remote Collaboration Reimagined - this is worrying

Environment 

Der Bulli wird zum Pkw [German] - small buses are really not better than SUVs

Leaded petrol era ‘officially over’ as Algeria ends pump sales - it only took 50 years, this doesn't make me hopeful about tackling the climate crisis or fine particles

Air pollution linked to more severe mental illness – study - a bit like lead?

Urbanism

Tolls scrapped on more than 550 kilometers of Spain’s freeways - this is so frustrating. Apparently they are doing it for "sustainability" and "safety". But see next link...

Spain plans to introduce tolls on all state and regional highways - right

Should jaywalking be legal? [YouTube] - should it ever have been illegal? 

Vehicle/cycle conflict halves in Glasgow trial of bike-activated traffic signs - never heard of systems like this before and it is a bit sad that we need them

How to move things on a bike - pretty pictures from Amsterdam

Walking Places Is Part of the Culture Wars Now - I for one am glad that isn't just about cyclists now

Ten social benefits of walkable places - I bet there are more

Warum ein Lastenrad-Bonus nicht nur hippen Großstädtern nützt [German] - today's argument from the right: cargo bikes are for hipsters and upper middle class

Todesfalle Landstraße [German] - lowering speed limits is good for motorways and country roads ... only the German's think they drive better than everyone else

Random Sports

Imported sports: Catalonia goes cricket crazy - nice, now I can watch it locally without understanding it

#109 – Holden Karnofsky on the most important century [Podcast] - a bit weird, but a good conversation

#110 – Holden Karnofsky on building aptitudes and kicking ass [Podcast] - more weird

What personality are you? How the Myers-Briggs test took over the world - horoscopes for business

Catalonia: Squatters, eviction and extortion [Podcast] - I didn't realise how much of a business this is

As demand for bikes surged, Amazon got in the way - a bad fit for this bicycle part company

Genetics and the longer arm of the law [Podcast] - it seems this fight has been lost, at least in the US. Your gene fingerprint is some database and the police will access it

Dear Diary: how keeping a journal can bring you daily peace - pretty much my experience. I am still sticking to it.

SUMMER MUSINGS: No... Not all amplifiers sound the same (but many do! ;-). - I am a fan of 90s Sony amplifiers, but I don't think I would notice a difference nowadays

Next Steps for Chia, in Their Own Words - burn the planet with hard disks

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.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Summer Cycling Trip 2021

Trip wheel from Veloviewer


As every year at Devex the company takes a week long Summer break in August. August isn't really the best month to take holiday in Spain, because on the one hand everybody does and on the other hand tends to be really hot. That's why I tend to do a trip on my own, without my girlfriend. In the recent years this have been cycling holidays.

I had the idea for this years trip for a while: rent a camper-van and travel to the nice hills that are not so easy to reach from Barcelona. 

I rented a van from Indiecampers, which have reasonable prices unless you book in the last minute like I did. The car was a pretty posh Mercedes Marco Polo. It drives pretty much like an oversized car and comes with automatic gears (why would you have anything else in 2021?). 

There is no bike rack, but my bike fitted inside. This is a bit of a hassle, because it tends to be in the way when cooking or eating. I also had to sleep in the raised roof, because my bike had the nice downstairs spot. 

I didn't really plan a fixed route or places to stay. I had Montsec, Val d'Aran and Seu d'Urgell on my wish-list.  

Most rides were pretty short. Cooking, planning, camping, looking for place to camp, shopping, sleeping, ... leave less time for riding. A fully organised trip is more effective. Even staying at one or two hotels/AirBnbs and then doing loops like I did last year gives more riding time.

Day 1. Montsec  

I took off from Barcelona toward Montsec. I used Park4Night to find a nice parking lot near a lake not far from the area I wanted to ride in. It was pretty quiet at night, but I didn't sleep well ... as all night on the trip. 

The route I picked was not ideal and in the end I decided to just ride back instead of doing the whole thing. It was very hot and a lot of the route was on fast roads. The first part was nice though. 
Turns out planning rides on the go without a laptop is pretty tricky. I used a mix of Garmin Connect, Strava Mobile and Wikiloc for the rest of the trip.

Strava: Day 1: figuring out the car and a hot ride

Day 2. Montsec Climb 

I drove close to the climb and the route turned out pretty nice except of some bad road surfaces. I knew the area, because I looked at a house to buy here once.
 
Very nice area, maybe a bit warm in August. I had to fill up my bottles a couple of times.

Strava:  Day 2: Col d'Ares and Tremp

 

Day 3. Rest Day  

I had no good idea what to do, so I decided to stay in a hotel for two days. It was a lucky pick. Hosteria Toloriu 1948 is a real nice mountain hotel ... highly recommended.  I thought I check out the area, but after having two punctured inner tubes before even get going and then a puncture on the first descend I decided to call it a day.
I did the laundry instead and tried to patch the inner tubes. Note for next time: bring more spare tubes and possibly some tires.

Strava:  Day 3: the day of the thousand punctures

Day 4. Val d'Aran 

Next I headed to Val d'Aran to a very quiet parking lot in the park next to a stream. I arrived late and only had time for a short ride. There was also no reception in the park, which made planning tricky.  

Good ride though with nice climbs and very quiet roads. The villages are very picturesque and probably full of tourists during the day.

Strava:  Day 4: short, punchy and pretty

Day 5. French quicky 

I knew this climb towards France from an early organised trip, but only as descent. There was a sign on the bottom about the border being closed, but the police let cyclist through at the top. Arriving in France I remembered how bad French drivers are at overtaking cyclists, so I aborted and quickly drove back and did a loop around Val d'Aran instead. It turned out to be a good choice, with nice climbs and scenery. 
In the evening I moved to a small camping site.

Strava:  Day 5: French quicky and some hills

Day 6. Bonaigua 

Bonaigua is the highest cycling pass in Catalonia. I parked on the not so nice side to avoid some of the climbing and then cycled up, down and up again. It is a long climb and temperatures went from 35C on the bottom to 20C on the top. Fun, with the exception of the bee who stung my temple on the first descent.  
 
I run out of water again ... I think this is becoming a theme.

Strava:  Day 6: Just Bonaigua

Day 7. Aigüestortes 

Last minute addition to my plans. This is a national park with lots of streams and waterfalls. I definitely plan to come pack. I found another nice parking lot in a village, which was also a good starting point for cycling.  
Due to bad planning, weak legs and running out of time I missed the largest climb and did only three of the four panned climbs. So pretty though! And cold in the morning at 10C. 
After finishing the ride I drove back home.

Strava:  Day 7: Aigüestortes

Day 8. Return 

The great thing about Indiecampers is that it isn't far from home and I rode back from their depot with my bicycle. Very convenient. 
By now my legs were pretty smashed. 

Strava:  Camper drop off

Conclusion


This has been a brilliant trip and something I want to repeat. Now that I have some practice it will also be easier.

It would be nice to also take the mountain bike. There is some nice infrastructure for mountain biking in Val d'Aran and in Andorra.

 

 

Some more impressions on Flickr below ...


Cycling Trip 2021