Friday, July 16, 2021

Friday Links 21-25

Lots of technology links and longer reads today.


The Planning Fallacy - what to do about underestimating

Limits to one Product Backlog - 3 - continuation, but I am slowly loosing interest

Windmills: Can Scrum be fixed? - Ron is still on a mission

Sharing our Engineering Career Framework with the world  - another one. It has a lot of different roles, which is nice

Why 'bring solutions not problems' doesn’t work - I recently started wondering about this and some other common advice too


Shopify-Made Patterns in Our Rails Apps - overview of some of the bigger things Shopify implemented

Adding support for cross-cluster associations to Rails 7 - GitHub actively shaping Rails future


Deploying Server-Side Google Tag Manager on Cloud Run - never heard of this, seems like another thing to put on the to-do list

Planning the CentOS 8 endgame [LWN] - it is amazing how much I lost interest in CentOS since they messed it up

GitHub Copilot 

CVE-2021-22555: Turning \x00\x00 into 10000$ - long article about discovering and exploiting a security issue in Linux Netfilter

Transliterating Old-School BASIC - not super interesting, but I enjoyed seeing BASIC again

Analysis of the FBI’s Anom Phone - that must have been such a fun project 

Chia Analysis: To Farm, or Not to Farm? - turns out it is probably not a good idea, even if you have disks around. And some of your employees might oppose it generally. 

Announcing Arti, a pure-Rust Tor implementation (Tor blog) [LWN] - after the rewriting everything in Go phase, we are no in the rewriting everything in Rust phase

Syncing all the things [LWN] - I love Syncthing. After being annoyed by having to switch from btsync I am not happy I had to. 

Details of the REvil Ransomware Attack - Schneier about the recent attack

Twitter verifies bot accounts - meanwhile real people have problems getting verified


Carbon removal hype is becoming a dangerous distraction - like hydrogen and carbon offsets 

Animals farmed: EU cage-ban moves closer, magic of horse power and ‘egg-mageddon’ - Nice, can we tackle pets living conditions next? 

EU’s green deal plans launched with ‘make-or-break decade’ warning - Germany is already planning to tone it down


Asphalt, Gridlock and Common Sense - "It’s clear that adding lanes to urban expressways or building new ones doesn’t reduce congestion. Sometimes it makes things worse. So why do we keep doing it?"

The Road Home - "The Texas department of transportation intends to spend $25 billion widening highways to fix traffic in Texas cities. What if we tore them down instead?"

How to design streets for everyone (Universal Design) [YouTube]  - improving pavements and roads is good for everybody  

City Ratings Goes Global - how the heck did Barcelona make it to #8 

Paris to extend 30 kph speed limit to most streets - how long until Paris makes it to the top of most city lists?

Random Defenders

Tesla-powered Defenders review - blasted off-road and timed 0-60mph! [YouTube] - did I mention I want mine converted? I don't need this much power though

Pro-onion faction triumphs in Spain’s great omelette debate - the good side won!

The Truth Behind the Amazon Mystery Seeds - Amazon Amnesia ... I am also affected sometimes 

Texas cyclist shoots driver who deliberately crashed into his riding partner - Texas of course

Making a social impact through sports: the 2021 MC Gran Fondo Cycling Fundraiser - great event. I am on some photos.

Murderbot Diaries - I made it through the first few books, but now I am stuck. I think it was more fun when Murderbot was still learning. 

The digital nomad dream is over - my main critique of digital nomads was the environmental impact, but there are other issues

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, July 09, 2021

Friday Links 21-24

Photo of Supperclub DJ desk
Supperclub DJ Area
This weeks ransomware attack shines another light on the dumpster fire of cryptocurrencies. Some banks are waking up, but it is probably too late for a lot of people. 

On the other hand some positive posts on management, engineering and urbanism.


Leadership Stories from Slack by Michael Lopp [Podcast] - Rands telling stories about his experiences in various companies

do archeology on ONE product initiative ... even something small. visualize the journey. - nice timeline of a product initiative by John Cutler

Infographic: The rise of the 4-day workweek - why not 3-days ... asking for a friend

Limits to one Product Backlog - 2 - continuing from last week, looking at Nokia as an example


prefers-reduced-motion and browser defaults  - I am so glad I don't have to know everything about the browser any more - Scott Burns talking about parallels between cycling and software, not much to see yet, but I am curious where this is going

Pockets of rest enable careers. - a career usually is not a straight line

Ron is unhappy about the scrum alliance

The foundations of Continuous Delivery [Podcast] - Dace Farley interview


News: Tether printer on hold, China’s crypto crackdown, the world hates Binance, El Salvador’s Chivo wallet - the whole cryptocurrency thing is going well

The Ransomware Problem Is a Bitcoin Problem - ban it already

The Non-Innovation of Cryptocurrency - "nothing would be lost by a blanket cryptocurrency ban"

Kaspersky Password Manager: All your passwords are belong to us - security is hard, even for "security" companies

Cybereason: 80% of orgs that paid the ransom were hit again - surprise!

The Untold Story of SQLite [Podcast] - great story and SQLite is a great product. Richard is suffering from a strong case of NIH syndrome though

Massive Ransomware Attack May Impact Thousands of Victims - guess how they get paid? 

What Happened in the Kaseya VSA Incident? - more on the ransomware attack

"Monero is a cryptocurrency that provides money laundering as a first-class primitive, unlike Bitcoin where additional steps are required to obscure the origin of funds. Yet basically nobody uses Monero for legitimate payments; and as “altcoins” (alternative cryptocurrencies) go, it is significantly smaller, ranking only 26th in market capitalization among all altcoins."

Remote work

How remote work changed the way companies think about where to keep offices - maybe having an office in Barcelona is not so bad

Revealed: rise in stress among those working from home - summary of a paper

Opinion: Working from home is great — except for productivity - I think this really depends on your work 

Covid-19 briefing: working from home and worker productivity - more on this


The Streetsblog review of Fastererer and Furiouserer is great - I really enjoy jwz getting into Urbanism :-)

The Downtown Office District Was Vulnerable. Even Before Covid. - we need places with mixed use to avoid long trips and make cities nice to live in

City-Maut und autofreie Innenstädte – erst gehasst, dann geliebt [German] about the hate of making cities nicer before it happens and the love thereafter 

Barcelona’s superblock will have a ‘more sustainable’ pavement - more information of the new superblocks (pretty video)

Mehrere Städte fordern flächendeckend Tempo 30 [German] - in Germany cities can't decide to introduce speed limits, it is pretty silly

It’s True: The Typical Car Is Parked 95 Percent of the Time - everybody knew this already

War on cars? Woo the public, or this will be a battle zone - it is really a War For People

How Milan is reinventing itself as a cycle city - cool things happening in Italy and France at the moment 

Hannover verwandelt Straßen in Spielplätze [German] - a tiny bit is changing in Germany too

Random Music

The Woman-Machine [Podcast] - women as one driver of electronic music

Sixty years of climate change warnings: the signs that were missed (and ignored) - depressing, while politicians are currently talking about "lets not make hasty decisions"

“Wearing a mask” [Comic] 

The Flemish Scrollers, 2021 - people are doing the best things with image recognition

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, July 02, 2021

Friday Links 21-23

Old map from OpenStreetMap of Worcester
Old OSM of Worcester ~2008
Sorry for the long post, but this is again for two weeks.

A few podcasts and lots of blog posts about the usual topics. The random selection also got a bit out of hand.


Limits to one Product Backlog - 1 - PO on team or feature

There’s no ‘I’ in burnout "How do you give someone new work even as they’re drowning under the existing work?"

Will Larson (Calm) [Podcast] - Will talking about Staff Engineering and personal experience in his leadership roles

An Honest Look into our Engineering Team Engagement Survey - Buffer also uses Lattice. Good to see this kind of transparency. 

Ist das noch Scrum oder kann das weg? [Podcast, German] "Scrum by the book" or do we care?

Is Scrum Dying...? with David Pereira [Podcast] - no

Double Down: Scrum v Devs - Ron still unappy with the Scrum Alliance

Ask vs. Guess Culture: Encouraging Disagreement and Praising Courage with Danielle Leong, Director of Engineering at GitHub [Podcast] - great podcast about fostering honest discussions, suggestions and feedback

The Post-Incident Review - nice summary on why and how to do these

Does Trust Contribute to Biased Hiring? - amazing post and analysis on choosing a job, referrals rule in looking for a job 

" 4-9 of the interview process" - even worse experience in the comments

How many interviews does it take to hire a Googler? - Google optimized the number of interviews with data

Using engineering principles to create autonomous teams at scale - 10 principles!

How Do You Nurture Product Discovery as a Leader? Interview with Teresa Torres [Podcast]


Testing Objects and Relationships - good overview of cases

Adding Kubernetes Metadata to Your AppSignal Errors - another nice new feature

16 New ML Gems for Ruby - nice, even more linked


The Smart Home Isn't Worth It - I can kind of relate 

LinkedIn breach reportedly exposes data of 92% of users, including inferred salaries [U] - they seemed to have just scraped the API, but I still would like to have my data

Why aren’t more girls in the UK choosing to study computing and technology? - probably a worldwide problem, but you have to try to get them young

The Next Backblaze Storage Pod - aka when to build and when to buy

Binance: Watchdog clamps down on cryptocurrency exchange - can we just stop with this madness? 

Cheat Sheet: Google extends cookie execution deadline until late 2023, will pause FLoC testing in July - FLoC is dead

Amazon is blocking Google’s FLoC — and that could seriously weaken the fledgling tracking system - definitely dead

Google Launches a New Medical App—Outside the US - looking forward to this

Galaxy Tab S7+ - I bought one of these in the hope that it will last a while, but if it is like my previous tablets it will slow down soon

Bumper Crop: Scaling a Chia SaaS Project on B2 Cloud Storage - I hope this is a joke

Rocky Linux 8.4 GA Available Now - that was quick

Remote Work

Remote working v the office: four company bosses have their say - anecdotes

Announcing location-agnostic pay - not picking SF salaries, interesting 

Facebook Lets More Employees Choose Full-Time Remote Work or Return to the Office 

Your work from home salary won't be same as your office pay. How Google is paying - they are using a calculator, more here


It’s a hot one: How heat waves have trended over time - Google looking at scorcher searches

Wet Bulb Temperature - read the comments too

El nou mapa de contaminació en temps real de betevé permet comparar NO2 i PM10 [Catalan] - new NO2 and PM10 map for Barcelona

Is the Future of Farming in the Ocean? [Podcast] - TIL: you get the omega 3 stuff from kelp, you don't need fish 

Welsh government suspends all future road-building plans - (read fine print), still nice

Chia Power - Estimate of total energy consumption in the Chia network - lets stop with this madness

Head of Independent Sage to launch international climate change group - good luck :-)

Belgium’s climate failures violate human rights, court rules - if the government does do anything you have to go through the courts, even if it won't change anything


Cycling associations claim victory: E-bikes will be excluded from compulsory insurance - thank god for that, this was a pretty ridiculous proposal from the European Commission 

Biking with your dog - I hope our new dogs are going cycling with me 

Portugal Is Riding a Boom in Bicycles - local production helps with the current bicycle shortage, but you still have to deal with the lack of parts


Bicycling facility inequalities and the causality dilemma with socioeconomic/sociodemographic change - bike lanes follow after gentrification, not the other way around 

Cities Aren't Loud: Cars Are Loud [YouTube] - I wish people would care more about this. The loudest sound here in the countryside are the people racing cars and motorbikes on a road 5km away. 

Distracted Driving [Podcast] - this is pretty scary, even using a hands-free kit you are way to distracted to drive

Spain is planning low emission zones for all towns with over 50,000 residents - older news, but this is being discussed more now. 

Government tells councils it won’t fund painted cycle lanes - because they are not cycle lanes

What happens after a city removes a freeway? [YouTube] - roads along the water in cities are basically a waste of resources


OpenStreetMap looks to relocate to EU due to Brexit limitations - welcome!

#114 Noreena Hertz: The Crisis of Loneliness [Podcast] - more about loneliness, not only during the pandemic and why it might be increasing

Data from 45 countries show containing COVID vs saving the economy is a false dichotomy - good to know for the next pandemic!

Spain backs bill allowing teenagers to change official gender without medical checks - nice step and really not difficult at all

Stepping Back from Speaking - public speaking seems to be difficult for everybody 

Shorting Bitcoin - really shortening Bitcoin companies, but still. Also see: Investing Intro

Mapped: Global Happiness Levels in 2021 - Spain more grumpy than Germany? 

Neuer Nachtzug verbindet Deutschland und Skandinavien [German] - new night train between Germany and Scandinavia. Sweden is helping, Germany can't be bothered buying sleeper trains.

John McAfee obituary - are all rich people evil overlords? 

Blue: Pain and Pleasure [Podcast] - Joni Mitchell is one of the artist where I like the songs, but prefer cover versions

Farming Robot Kills 100,000 Weeds per Hour With Lasers - I need this for my garden in Roomba size and price

Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World by Barbara Ehrenreich - slowly we realise this is just another cult

Tim Berners-Lee defends auction of NFT representing web’s source code - I lost all respect for him

*EPIC* 450hp Tesla Powered 'Spectre' Defender - Driven up a Mountain ! [YouTube] - I am looking forward to a conversion kit for my 90. I would be happy with 150hp with reasonable range and no other improvements

Taken for Granted: John Green Wants You to Pay Attention to Your Attention [Podcast] - Maybe I should do some stats on my Friday post topices :-)

‘I put my life savings in crypto’: how a generation of amateurs got hooked on high-risk trading - this will be the next financial crisis 

Douglas Coupland on Generation X at 30: ‘Generational trashing is eternal’ - but today's kids really only listen to noise!

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, June 18, 2021

Friday Links 21-22

Screenshot of 12 Minutes Game
I am so looking forward to this
I was off last Friday, so this is a double dose. 

Remote work is probably a topic which will stay with us for a while, but it seems people want to start a war about it. Maybe it is OK  to like different things here? 


Building an Incident Management Response Team  - do something like that or similar

Can senior leaders make friends at work? - probably not

Taken for Granted: Merve Emre on Emotional Intelligence as Corporate Control [Podcast] - I have recently gotten more suspicious about emotional intelligence and mindfulness training at work.  

AgileByExample 2018: Melissa Lang - The mechanics of team building [YouTube] - nice practical approach 

I Think in Flowcharts - Rands went on a bike ride again

Building Self-Managed Teams: A Case Study from Riot Games [Podcast] 

"In a self-managed team, even the most junior employee is empowered to make a meaningful decision that affects the team’s performance. They’re not dependent on management to make all the decisions. No winning team requires the coach to explain how to kick the ball; the coaching happens before and after the game."

Medium sees more employee exits after CEO publishes ‘culture memo’ - this whole working from leadership mansion for a year seems getting to people

4-Day Workweeks Can’t Work Without Deep Work - work harder shorter

Remote Work

The Upcoming Remote Work Company Culture War - I guess that is one way to start a war
Will Work-from-Home Work Forever? [Podcast] - probably not

If you think “water cooler moments” unlock creativity, you’re focusing on the wrong thing - I never said "creativity"! But I still miss them. Still good tips in the article, remote or not.

Winners and Losers of the Work-From-Home Revolution"Winner: the how-to-WFH economy"


Summary of June 8 outage - very brief summary of the fastly outage

Performance, Stress, and Load Tests in Rails - summary and examples of different testing in Ruby

I helped pioneer UX design. What I see today disturbs me - UX: place ads between other ads

The Wolf Pack Tactic for Monitoring Slow APIs - find the slowest part of a request and make it faster

Improving the Deployment Experience of a Ten-Year Old Application - Etsy was one of the first companies blogging about continuous deployment, now they are improving it as they moved to the cloud

Handling Flaky Unit Tests in Java - I am weirdly attracted to flaky test stories

Musings on Life as Dev - why we code

Code humor and inclusiveness [LWN] - Unix dad jokes are not inclusive!

Building an Inclusive Codebase - Airbnb has a tiny denylist 

How Much Testing is Enough? - if you are not scared of deploys any more, than it is enough

Revise Tests While Refactoring? It Depends - I like "it depends" answers, maybe I have a future life as consultant or coach.


Keynote: Beyond Ruby 3.0 (Yukihiro Matsumoto) [YouTube] - not surprising, lots of parallels to other languages

Doom now runs on an Ikea smart light bulb - sadly the original has been taken down already 

Hundreds arrested in global crime sting after underworld app is hacked - security is hard, especially for bad people

FBI/AFP-Run Encrypted Phone - Schneier about the same thing. It is all very The Wire Season 3

A walk through the Magit interface - coming back to Emacs is like meeting an old friend with new stories

Microsoft’s Kate Crawford: ‘AI is neither artificial nor intelligent’ - also biased

Improve your content with Search Console Insights - more graphs for analysing your traffic. I didn't find that they add more at the moment 

VPNs and Trust - good luck?

A Cloud Storage Experiment to Level Up Chia Farming - #burntheplanet hosted! It would be quite funny if people jump on this. 

How the Web became unreadable - my life on the web, except of using and ad-blocker, also found this in the comments: The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free

Privacy analysis of FLoC - Mozilla might be biased, but I also can't see FloC surviving for long 

The Wondrous World of Discoverable GPT Disk Images - I am still not sure having everything in systemd is a good thing, but discoverable partitions definitely are.

Rails 7 is coming to town and it brings encryption for our table columns. - who can even keep up with Rails any more. There are no "rails upgrade consultants".


Wildbit’s 2020 environmental footprint - great to see this transparency, but nobody seems to account of the costs to the individuals working from home
#showyourstripes climate crisis visualised


Vision Zero and the race to reduce road deaths - not only urban "Across the EU as much as 42% of cyclist fatalities occur outside urban areas which suggests that cycling infrastructure is not only needed in cities." also depressing "Each day 500 children are killed in preventable traffic crashes around the world."

Publicat el primer informe d’avaluació de la ZBE rondes Barcelona [Catalan, PDF] - first results about the clean air zone of Barcelona: too little too late

What will it take for cities to go carbon neutral? [Podcast] - tricky, but start with traffic

Where are the Bike Lanes In Lego City? [Podcast] - fun episode, because clearly there are no parallels to the real world ... or are there?

European city air quality viewer - extremely slow viewer, Barcelona is somewhere at the bottom

Random 12 Minutes

12 Minutes is coming

Subwoofers at the ready! The jungle and drum’n’bass revival is upon us - I recently started missing breakbeats, jungle and drum'n'bass. It might be 25 years nostalgia.
Kant's Copernican Revolution [Podcast] - I never read Kant ... there, I said it ... this is probably as close as I will get. Though do find the ideas and thought processes great.

China’s herd of wandering elephants takes a rest after 500km trek - elephants are the best!

Share-housing in your 60s: ‘Six of us wanted to do retirement in an extraordinary way’ - I personally like the idea of retirement house shares in the country side, but who would want to share with me?

Scientists link intense exercise with MND risk in some people - oh no

Barcelona street sellers take on Nike with own-brand trainers - great initiative, though trainers don't seem to be available 

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, June 04, 2021

Friday Links 21-21

mountain bike in front of bench and mountains
Some new articles about remote work. This is becoming interesting for a lot of companies now, as office are reopening and employees are wondering what it will mean.  

Also some good thinking about testing and how to embrace your personality as a leader.


TBM 23b/52: Cognitive Load "“My head hurts” is valid. It is a signal."

Do you know your communication style at work? Take our quiz to find out - silly quiz, but apparently I am dominant

Your Insecurities Aren’t What You Think They Are [Podcast] - embrace your insecurity, they might give you a kick in the bum 

#112 Adam Grant: Rethinking Your Position [Podcast] - try changing your mind, often

Conway’s Law - good summary on this

TBM 21/52: Building Stuff to Close Deals - OK sometimes, but not as a rule

Product Ownership Evolution Model (mit Tim Klein) [Podcast, German] - about the roles of product owners

What How Why - Ron musing about why he is doing what he is doing and about Scrum

Remote Work

Remote-first vs. remote-friendly: what's the difference? - and not just remote-only

Employees Are Quitting Instead of Giving Up Working From Home - some do

Don’t Let Employees Pick Their WFH Days - good point. You have to focus on what you want to gain from WFH & days in the office and make the best of both. 

"32% of employees say they never want to return to working in the office. [...] . At the other extreme, 21% tell us they never want to spend another day working from home.

The empty office: what we lose when we work from home - a bit long winded and weird


On the Diverse And Fantastical Shapes of Testing - Martin Fowler on testing

Testing in the Twenties - Tim Bray on testing

Early learnings from an engineering manager on a fully remote team - long post and a good summary on how to approach it

GitOps is a placebo - I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly isn't anything new

Uptime Monitoring: A One-week Project, a Decade In the Making - nice write-up of this new feature and how it builds on previous work


Have I been Pwned goes open source, gets FBI data feed - curious to see what comes next

Police find bitcoin mine using stolen electricity in West Midlands - not illegal yet

US Soldiers Expose Nuclear Weapons Secrets Via Flashcard Apps - oops

Producing a trustworthy x86-based Linux appliance - tricky, but possible

Ruby For Good - I plan to donate some of my skills, but probably not my lacking Ruby ones


World Bicycle Day 3 June - the bicycle day that is not on drugs

‘It’s the journey, not the destination’: cycling writer rolls out on 4,900km odyssey - what a dream trip

Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities - and it makes cities nicer for people

‘Barcelona wants to become a 100% cycling city’ - and a nice city, there is still a bit room to improve

Wheelie interesting Maps trends for World Bicycle Day - insights from Google Maps


G7 nations committing billions more to fossil fuel than green energy - no surprise at all. I blame Germany.


How Parking Destroys Cities - I confess a while back I never though of this, but now I am just annoyed by the rows of cars everywhere when space in cities is so rare. 

Congestion in highways when tolls and railroads matter: Evidence from European cities [PDF] - paper on highways expansion in cities, congestion pricing and transit policies

Our findings confirm that the induced demand is considerable smaller in cities with road pricing schemes and congestion decreases with public transportation expansions..

We can’t beat the climate crisis without rethinking land use - we need liveable cities

The evidence is in: low-traffic neighbourhoods are popular - the opponents are louder though


Forbes Announces Its First-Ever “50 Over 50” List, A Definitive Lineup Highlighting Women Shattering Age And Gender Norms - this is great on many levels and not only because I am old

Anti-vaccine lies get more bizarre by the day - at least they are entertaining for the rest of us

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 leak - could this be my next laptop?

Any amount of alcohol consumption harmful to the brain, finds study - poison is poison, even in moderation

American Airlines joins Southwest in delaying return of alcohol sales - poison on a plane

Classic Cassette Tapes Are Making a Comeback - top tip: don't follow his blog, it is abyss of nostalgia 

German voters’ view of personal wealth causes problems for the left - I already believed that most people think they are richer than they are, but apparently the rich also think they are middle class. In the US everybody is obviously a potential Millionaire 

Amazon Prime Is an Economy-Distorting Lie - but also: so convenient. 

Pay Transparency: Commission proposes measures to ensure equal pay for equal work - this could make the job market of the future in Europe quite interesting. 

Donating My Time to Grow a VC-Funded Company: Why I Quit Mentoring at Plato - I kind of expected them to be paid. I never joined though. 

‘Who are we performing for?’: Will McPhail on the strange art of small talk - smalltalk is indeed a performance and I am rubbish at it

The NGO working a 28-hour week - I want this!

English councils start banning smoking outside pubs and restaurants - I wonder if I should start a health / teetotal sectuon

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, May 28, 2021

Friday Links 21-20

Sonar 2003
Spotify and Shopify are publishing some good articles on technology and management recently. Also some good news for the environment.


Achieving Team Purpose and Pride with Scrum - how one team at Spotify improved their team with Scrum

Who's the Boss? [Podcast] - about giving employees the freedom to express themselves at work

Key Remote Work Statistics to Keep in Mind in 2021 - nothing surprising, the rest of 2021 will be interesting to watch

How to Bust Bias at Work [Podcast] - good ideas on this


Create your own journaling app without writing code - pretty amazing what can be done without coding nowadays 

Deconstructing the Monolith: Designing Software that Maximizes Developer Productivity - Shopify doing a modular monolith

Other Driven Developments - more of a fun post. I am sometimes using Jenga Driven Development

Role Management at Slack - first rule of role management: there is always a special case


Chia has grown almost 1 exabyte (974PiB) in the last 24 hours. The scale of this is hard to comprehend - still burning the planet

New cryptocurrency Chia blamed for hard drive shortages - burn the planet and steal our disks!

The reality behind NFTs [Podcast] - it is a stupid idea

objective or biased - "On the questionable use of Artificial Intelligence for job applications"

Colemak - do we need another keyboard layout? ... nope. A bit surprising that the number are always layout in the same way

Google revives RSS - not really, also: it was not dead


Can Removing Highways Fix America’s Cities? - yes

People Walking And Cycling Spend More In London’s Shops Than Motorists - I think everybody knew that, right? 

Cities that better serve women cyclists have more bicycling overall, a study suggests - Apparently if you don't ignore 50% of the population your overall group is bigger? Que surprise! 

Trouble in cyclists’ paradise: Amsterdam accused of favouring pedestrians - as much as I like bicycles, you should favour pedestrians 

On your bike! Ed Miliband on Britain’s much-needed cycling revolution - the old story: boy meets bike, boy falls in love, boy becomes obsessed by urbanism 

Ignore the naysayers – low emission zones do work - naysayers are just loader


I always thought that people will start suing for clean air at some point, this was a good week

Smoking ban on four Barcelona beaches comes into effect this weekend - oh yes please

Petition calls for smoking ban on all Spanish beaches - even better!

Asthma in toddlers linked to in-utero exposure to air pollution, study finds - more court cases in the future 

Richest nations agree to end support for coal production overseas - nice, but the time-line is depressing

Random Techno

Daft Punk Is Staying at My House, My House [Podcast] - Techno in the 90s. This gave me goosebumps. Make sure to check out the Slam Radio Podcast too. 

‘I’m way older, but I’m still doing it’: Tony Hawk on his skateboarding legacy - still amazing

Turmoil at the freenode IRC network [LWN] - good summary about the freenode mess by LWN

ORBISThe Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World - plan your Roman holiday!

On Kangen water, snakeoil and the New Age far right - magic water!

Football-mad Barcelona votes to build cricket oval - one day I will understand cricket, until then it is just nice to watch

Herman Miller Has Quietly Cornered the Luxury Gaming Chair Market - I need a new chair, but this might be too much

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, May 21, 2021

Friday Links 21-19

Photo of Lego blocks
Lego Blocks (Wikimedia Commons)
I love the weird stuff people hack in their free time. Be it bringing retro computers back to life, weird use of MOV instructions or lock picking. Not everything has to be productive in the conventional sense.

Podcast backlog 29h 47m (!)


The Surprising Power of Simply Asking Coworkers How They’re Doing - not that surprising

Spotify Guilds - I was looking for a refresher on the Spotify guilds, chapters and how they are managed. This is a good summary. 

Maker to Manager — How We Support New Leaders - very structured transition to manager path. It is nice to see what you can do at a certain size.

Finding the steps on the individual contributor ladder - also from Skyscanner, because I was also looking into career paths ... again

Employees are feeling burned over broken work-from-home promises and corporate culture ‘BS’ as employers try to bring them back to the office - maybe promises were not a good idea in a time where nobody knew what they were facing

The Manager's Handbook: Consciousness - apparently the final chapter of this great resource. I am looking forward to the Kindle edition. The podcast was good too by the way.


Zero-touch SaaS Bookkeeping with Stripe and Moneybird - I guess this should always be the goal. The Stripe and Moneybird APIs look nice.

More-in-one: Uptime Monitoring Is Now Available In AppSignal - another nice feature from the AppSignal gang


movfuscator - MOV is apparently Turing complete, so clearly you need doom to verify it

"The mov-only DOOM renders approximately one frame every 7 hours, so playing this version requires somewhat increased patience."

AmigaOS 3.2 for all Classic Amigas released and available - old school is the new school 

Amiga PiStorm - Retro Power on a Budget - Tech Nibble [YouTube] - this is such a great toy. Maybe I dust off my A1000 and A3000 for this. With networking and a proper monitor they could be fun.

Plotting the source code "TODO" history of the most popular open source projects - but what does it mean? postgreSQL looks the most healthy to me

Ransomware Is Getting Ugly - I am a bit surprised that the police is allowed to pay a ransom


We now do more computing where there’s cleaner energy - I wonder what hat means for the capacities of data centres. 

Bitcoin’s growing energy problem: ‘It’s a dirty currency’ - Yes!

New Big 5 - "Shooting with a camera, not a gun."

#99 – Leah Garcés on turning adversaries into allies to change the chicken industry [Podcast] - cool story about the fight to create better farming of animals and convince people to eat less meat


It’s Crash Not Accident: Road Collision Reporting Guidelines Issued - I still haven't quite figured out how this translates to German or Spanish. Amazingly I think there is only one word in German.

Taking Art to the Streets, Just Look Down - tactical urbanism through paint, with nice shots from above

How traffic signals favour cars and discourage walking - there are some bicycle traffic lights in Barcelona that have so short phases that I can't cross the road by bike without them turning red in the middle. With traffic lights for pedestrians this happens all the time.

Critics of UK low-traffic schemes told that 25,000 filters already existed - I remember lots of these in London around 2000. I even lived in a street were one side was blocked off. It was nice, except of the motorcycles taking short cuts.

Random Blocks

LEGO Lost at Sea for 24 years - this is such a great story and I love the legolostatsea project 

Everyone Is Awesome: Lego to launch first LGBTQ+ set - brilliant!

Check Out What These Cyclists Packed for a Long-Distance Bike Trip - I love these top down equipment photos, especially for cyclists

Should Marmite get back in its jar? - I am just glad I stocked up on Marmite at the beginning of the pandemic. But I also want the Dynamite Chilli Marmite now.

[631] Master Lock 875/975 Decoded WITHOUT ANY TOOLS ! [YouTube] - security is hard! I got a bit lost in his channel recently. What a great hobby. 

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, May 14, 2021

Friday Links 21-18

Screenshot from the game Little Computer People
Little Computer People
Interesting podcast episodes about management and urbanism this week. 

Lots of things happening in urbanism, especially with Paris planning to remove through traffic.


Rapid Response: Inside Google’s Pandemic Safety Squad, w/Chief Health Officer Dr. Karen DeSalvo [Podcast] - interesting insights from the inside of Google, with someone who's role has unexpectedly changed focus because of the pandemic

Get Started with Team Topologies in 8 Steps - very short summary of the book

Instacart tells entry-level team to return to office, senior managers can stay home - in today's "how not to communicate changes" news ...

SAFe is Not Agile - I would assume everybody has realised this by now

Why it Pays to Raise Pay [Podcast] - interesting perspective. For many companies raising pay also means less employees, so this has to be balanced somehow. 

Amortizing Software Rewrites: An Evolutionary Approach - I don't really agree with the first point "The need to rewrite whole or parts of software arises quite often", but otherwise an interesting and probably expensive approach to a rewrite

Can virtual meeting spaces save us all from Zoom fatigue? - no

Matthew Bilotti (Twitter) [Podcast] - another staff engineer interview, this one is quite fun 

Calm’s Will Larson on how to build a technical leadership career [Podcast] - I really like Will's down to earth approach. It seems much more pragmatic than what I would have expected from his books.


Global shortage of computer chips could last two years, says IBM boss - maybe that explains the lack of choice of ThinkPad laptops in Spain at the moment

Babel is used by millions, so why are we running out of money? - same story from a lot of open source projects


Elon Musk says Tesla will no longer accept bitcoin due to fossil fuel use - I guess he is just sitting on $1.5bn of bitcoins now for a while?

Hydrofoiling - Tim Bray looking at alternatives to diesel boats. Leasure boats are probably the worst for the environment, because they use a lot of fuel and are not necessary at all

Ouigo launches its high-speed railway service ending state monopoly - if this works out it could reduce the number of flights between Barcelona and Madrid, which would be nice. Sadly they still are pretty strict on bicycle transport. 

How has our thinking on the climate crisis changed? [Podcast] - The Guardian looking back over 70 years of reporting on the crisis


Where Covid’s Car-Free Streets Boosted Business - all over the place

Paris Will Ban Through Traffic in City Center - that's it! I am moving to Paris. 

Paris Cracks Down On Cars In City Center - fewer cars and baguettes, what is not to love?

The quick way to make new pedestrian plazas [YouTube] - is it just me or do all of these look a bit depressing? Good as a first step, but they need to grow and made permanent with plants and street furniture. I do like the wooden decking though.

Asphalt, Gridlock and Common Sense"Urban transportation needs many things, but it doesn’t need more asphalt. We should all understand that by now. It’s common sense."

Pobles i ciutats 30: menys velocitat, més seguretat [Catalan] - Spain is changing the default speed for many city roads to 30km/h, some even to 20km/h. I hope other countries copy something like this.  

Episode #273 – Ralph Buehler and John Pucher On Cycling For Sustainable Cities [Podcast] - mostly a book review, but still good

Random Games

12 Minutes is a star-laden thriller in a bite-size package - could we have it released no please? 

12 Minutes: 6-Minute Director Gameplay Commentary [YouTube] - pretty please?

Longitude [Podcast] - history of measuring Longitude, which required different disciplines working together.

Tour de France organisers reveal women’s race will be revived in 2022 - about time! No details about the format though. 

WR1231 Arbeiten im Impfzentrum [Podcast, German] - a report from someone working in a vaccination centre in Berlin.  

COVID-19 Projections - lets hope that these are overestimated

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, May 07, 2021

Friday Links 21-17

Photo of lighthouse at beach
Lighthouse in Italy
Mixed bag this week. I wasn't really able to focus much and could not dive deeper into some of the topics.

Podcast backlog: 19h 44m.


Why we may be measuring burnout all wrong - interesting view in diagnosing burnout. I agree that a scientific approach makes sense if possible. I also think that over-diagnosing is probably less harmful than under-diagnosing. 

A hybrid approach to work - Google is going hybrid, as I expect most companies will. The all-remote crowd is complaining about it, but I would argue that Google probably has some numbers to back this up. 

The Sustainable Workload Loop - another approach to organising your work

Efficiency is the Enemy - about how slack can help making work better

CTO from startup to scaleup - nice overview what CTO means in different company sizes/stages

Amazon: creating the 'invention machine' culture [Podcast] - reducing communication, single threaded leaders, ... interesting titbits

A bit more on the Basecamp train-wreck. I reached a point were I am thinking about the lessons I can learn from this. I would hope that I am better at listening and receiving input though.


Semantic blind spot in Ruby case statement - I haven't heard about "mutant" yet, but with this kind of license I an not too keen to try

How we use Web Components at GitHub - another thing I never looked at 

Turbolift — a tool for refactoring at scale - Skyscanner certainly are doing some cool stuff. I guess this solves one of the problems with microservices 

How does Airbnb track and measure growth marketing? - they kind of reinvented utm tracking? But they obviously use their own storage. They also explain why they don't use utm.


Backblaze Drive Stats for Q1 2021 - I don't even use many hard drives any more, but I am still strangely attracted to these posts

Signal Founder May Have Been More Than a Tech Adviser to MobileCoin - shocking! 

Exclusive: Hackers Break Into Glovo, Europe’s $2 Billion Amazon Rival - I am mostly suprised by the valuation 

The Amiga 2000 You Always Wanted - someone build an A2000 from scratch! 

Announcing Hanami v2.0.0.alpha2 - I wish we had some use for this at work

More doorbell adventures - "Searching for the port number led me to the Doorbird LAN API and a complete description of the format and encryption mechanism in use" - this might have been a good first step :-)

Hosting SQLite databases on Github Pages - weird, but cool

Identifying the Person Behind Bitcoin Fog - Bitcoin ... maybe also not perfect for crime?


Which form of transport has the smallest carbon footprint? - includes an interactive graph ... if you are in the UK, don't use black cabs. 

Multimodality - Tim Bray looking at how he uses vehicles and what it means for the environment

Carbon offsets used by major airlines based on flawed system, warn experts - this comes as a surprise to no one #murderoffsets 

The Danish climate minister closing down the oil industry for good - 2050, they are already a net importer of oil anyway


Spain plans to turn highways into toll roads in 2024 - "maintaining such a network is increasing and can no longer be assumed by the public budget" - which is true for all countries, but most don't dare to ask drivers for money. Roads are basically technical debt. 

The Driver [Podcast] - a driver explains on The War On Cars podcast how she killed a cyclist without consequences. Everybody's nightmare, but always present.

Is San Francisco more conservative than Moscow? Top San Francisco official says yes

"Though he mostly stuck to discussing transit, the idea holds true on a host of major issues including housing, climate change, small business reform and addressing our drug crisis. The traditional hallmark of conservatism is embracing the status quo, and San Francisco seems nearly incapable of major change."

Random Lighthouses

A Blinking Map of the World’s Lighthouses - Norway is basically just lighthouses

Amazon Q1 2021 - the pandemic is certainly helping out. One day I will check how much I spend in the longest March 2020 on Amazon

Philips crazy Ski Slope Cassette Deck [YouTube] - I did mention my weird obsession with cassette decks. I like them working though, not having to fix them.

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.