Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday Links 21-16

Photo of Marvin the Paranoid Android
Marvin the Paranoid Android
I got distracted by the basecamp dumpster fire a bit.

Besides that some good long reads and podcasts on technology and random topics. 


Managing Hybrid Teams: How to Keep Your Team Engaged and Productive [Podcast] - hybrid is probably the future for most teams. Ellen gives some insight how they are handling it.

Leadership at basecamp had a public meltdown and it played out on Twitter. I always have been critical of their books and egos, but they also had a lot of good ideas.

Let's Talk About Bullying In Remote Workplaces [Podcast] - how timely! 

I can’t sell Agile to you (And nobody else can either) - try out stuff, include people, learn


How we ship code faster and safer with feature flags - at GitHub 

Print Debugging Should Go Away - the future of debuggers (for some languages) looks bright, maybe I will have another look 

How to actually test UIs - great overview on different types of UI testing


Atlassian / Jira has some interesting new products

An Interview With Linus Torvalds: Linux and Git - 30 Years Of Linux. I couldn't get it to run on my Amiga back then, but I jumped on it in 95 or so.

Crypto miners are killing free CI - burn the planet!

Today in Mark of the Beast news - about Apple AirTags, which seem to be annoyingly well designed 

When AIs Start Hacking - oh no


German climate law is partly unconstitutional, top court rules - Friday for Future is really making changes

‘Historic’ German ruling says climate goals not tough enough - more on this from The Guardian

Logitech Now Shows Your Mouse's Carbon Footprint on its Packaging - cool idea, makes me think twice the next time I just replace a mouse for a more fancy version


The Ugly, Dangerous, and Inefficient Stroads found all over the US & Canada [ST05] [YouTube] - I would argue that we have some of these in Europe too

Random Moody Robots

Killer farm robot dispatches weeds with electric bolts - I need this! 

Ranked: The Most Popular Paid Subscription News Websites - subscriptions are hard

The Martian Kindle Notes from Andy Weir - fun insights

There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing - people are still trying to put names on these weird times with even weirder moods 

Brain fog: how trauma, uncertainty and isolation have affected our minds and memory - brain fog sounds about right

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, April 23, 2021

Friday Links 21-15

1995 party flyer
1995 party flyer

A lot of pledges for improving the environment are happening at the moment, while at the same time Bitcoin and NFTs seem to be out to burn the planet.


Developer Velocity: How software excellence fuels business performance - every CTO / developer should probably bookmark this:

Companies that excel in providing the right tools, culture, product management, and talent management not only develop software faster but also deliver significantly stronger business outcomes.

The State of Remote Work with WeWork, Qualtrics, and Miro"overwhelmingly employees want some remote work (97.6% - Buffer) and some office (93% - Qualtrics)."

Top 9 Books for Managers and Leaders | Aydin Mirzaee, CEO at [Podcast] - just a short episode, but with good book suggestions

Hiring like a human: what we learned from taking a people-first approach - very long read about trying out new things in hiring

When Taking Fridays Off Can Help Our Team Get More Done: An AMA on the 4-Day Work Week - I am pretty sure this will be normal in the future

How to Run Effective 1:1s - just a refresher and good summary


Green Vs. Brown Programming Languages - about popularity of languages over time or the shiny new toy syndrome

How to fight back against Google FLoC - I don't think that FLoC will survive for long

Backdoor Found in Codecov Bash Uploader - this seems to have exposed a lot of credentials 

More time, tools, and details on the page experience update - Google delaying using page speed in the page rank metric, because the web is still slow

Intentionally buggy commits for fame—and papers [LWN] this an ongoing story, but it looks like a university tried to insert bugs into the Linux kernel as a research project

Grafana, Loki, and Tempo will be relicensed to AGPLv3 - not well received from what I have seen on Twitter

Why does Amazon hate its most enthusiastic smart home fans? - I just got into home automation with Home Assistant and I already run into this. Looks like I need different cameras in the future.

Hands-On with the PiStorm, the Ultimate Raspberry Pi-Powered Accelerator for Your Commodore Amiga - this is brilliant, maybe I can dust off my A1000 and A3000 at some point. 

Raspberry Pi Turbo Boosts Amiga 500 Retro Computer - more on the Amiga upgrade


Coal mining. Bitcoin mining. Same thing. - #burntheplanet

Deutschland soll Fahrradland werden – bis 2030 [German] - the best thing about German is that you can just make up new words: "Ankündigungsminister" or Minister of Announcements. I feel the same about some of the climate pledges for the far future  

We Must Cut Car Use To Save The Planet, Agrees U.K. Government - the UK has probably the most ambitious climate goals and they already have done a lot. Great to see that cars can be part of this. 

Carbon emissions to soar in 2021 by second highest rate in history - well done everybody! ... slow clap ...

Facebook says it has reached net zero emissions - that is pretty amazing and they didn't even buy offsets


The Emperor's New Tunnel [Podcast] - I like Tesla and Space-X, but Elon Musc is clearly a super villain with stupid ideas 

How US helmet laws are used against cyclists of colour and homeless people - put this in the bucket of "How ... is used against ... of colour"

Photo Series: Public Spaces of Barcelona - people over cars = living

Economic impacts on local businesses of investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure: a review of the evidence - people over cars = money 

Surrendering Our Cities to Cars Would Be a Historic Blunder - this is an opportunity that hopefully some cities will use

Random Acid

The Endless Acid Banger - algorithmic music is always tricky, but who cares if you have endless 303s? 

‘I’m not ready for other people’s sweat to drip on me’: will clubbing survive the pandemic? - yes

Why is it so bad being a night owl? [Podcast] - spoiler: because we have to get up early

Has the pandemic changed our sleep habits? [Podcast] - yes, but not as much as one would think 

Middle-aged people who sleep six hours or less at greater risk of dementia, study finds - tell this to my animals!

Is sitting still slowly killing us? [Podcast] - yes, but a little bit of exercise helps

Rutger Bregman is hopeful for humankind [Podcast] - Maybe humans are not all bad. I have to check out his book. - interesting approach to a job site by showing diversity information in the listings

«Benvinguts al Bages» s'endinsa a Castellbell i el Vilar, un poble de resistents [Catalan] - my village, in case anyone cares. We don't always dress up like this. 

How to Come up With New Ideas - structured way to open yourself to new ideas

Turns Out, Spock Is Kinda Bad at Logic - ha! Take that you pointy eared man! Lets do Data next.

Why Do Details Matter? [YouTube] - I am obsessed, but not quite that much

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, April 16, 2021

Friday Links 21-14

photo of puppies
my life is currently 90% puppies

A good mix today. I really enjoyed the CyclingTips podcast about more diversity and inclusivity in cycling and what organisations and companies could and should be doing. 


Software Development Trends 2021: The Latest Research Data - it is amazing how many of these surveys are out there ... this is maybe one of the better ones

TBM 15/52: Stop Hiring Things to Do Too Many Jobs - "The problem with something that does lots of jobs is that it is very easy to send the wrong message." - good point

Managers are Makers Too - managers are people too! 

The Last Bus Problem - and how to avoid it with continuous deploys 

My experience with burnout - I experienced burnout twice in my life and these times are probably the worst for most people. 

The Role of Tech Leads and Engineering Managers - about role overlap and team structures

Peer-to-Peer Accountability in the Workplace — You Don’t Have to Rely on the Boss - I am looking into team accountability and team conflicts at the moment 

Career Development for Leaders: Hype Docs, Mentors, and Happiness Index (with David Hoang, Product Design Director at Webflow) [Podcast] - lots of nice bits in this one


Preemptive Pluralization is (Probably) Not Evil - emphasis on "probably"

How to delete jobs from Sidekiq Retries - I think this would have been useful in the past

Ruby on Rails Controller Patterns and Anti-patterns - Rails is good soil for anti-patterns

Encouraging Inclusive Code with RuboCop - nice idea to make linters check for non-inclusive phrases in your code

Flipr: Making Changes Quickly and Safely at Scale - everybody needs to write a feature flag engine at some point

Logica: organizing your data queries, making them universally reusable and fun - new data science language that compiles into SQL

Disadvantages of Pull Requests - I agree with some of it, but the advantages still outweigh these 

Bad Code Reviews Wreck Morale. We Need a Different Outlook - use them for learning

The Cursed Computer Iceberg Meme via jwz

The Sacred “Back” Button - please don't break it on your website 

Mutation Testing - Google on mutation testing, something I still haven't tried out.


[PATCH 00/13] [RFC] Rust support - Rust going into the Linux kernel

Rust in the Linux kernel - Google about the effort of putting Rust into the kernel and Android

The FBI Is Now Securing Networks Without Their Owners’ Permission - this is pretty bad

FBI hacks vulnerable US computers to fix malicious malware - The Guardian being completely uncritical


Jeder fünfte Inlandsflug soll wegfallen [German] - German airlines and trains working together to replace short flights, but only a fifth of them

French lawmakers approve a ban on short domestic flights - this hasn't quite passed yet and will only affect a few routes

Murder Offsets via jwz "Carbon offsets are a voluntary penance mediated by an organization that promises to promote good elsewhere to make up for climate vice, much like indulgences paid to the church before the reformation. Essentially it’s paying for the right to do wrong."

Trading clunkers for electric bikes: France moves to offer financial incentive - possibly the first country to do this

Rare European vultures being poisoned by livestock drug "farmers, drug companies and regulators argued that cattle carcasses were disposed of differently in Europe than in India [...] That claim has now been shown to be wrong"


Identifying urban features for vulnerable road user safety in Europe - preprint paper about road safety "Our results suggest that policies aimed at increasing the modal share of walking and cycling are key to improve road safety for all road users."

Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities - unsurprising 

Can we make cities car free? [YouTube] - yes! and we should.

La Generalitat anuncia millores a l’Arrabassada per reduir els accidents [Catalan] - Barcelona is changing a road through the major park to make it safer. It is the most dangerous road in Catalonia ... so you wonder what took them so long.

Random Dogs

The EU has archived all of the “Euromyths” printed in UK media – and it makes for some disturbing reading - "Bones – Butchers cannot give a dog a bone, May 2004"

Iceberger - surprised me the first time

Facebook is an Open Source Ally - Facebook now requires code of conducts for their open source projects

The Muddy Waters of Arkansas [Podcast] - I have given up on US news by now, but this is a good post from Cyclingtips on how they are reacting to the anti-trans laws in Arkansas. It is also about more than the US, because we want cycling be welcoming to everybody everywhere

The dream ticket: sleeper trains could soon run from London to Europe’s cities - I am so looking forward to this. I really hate flying ... mostly I hate airports, but also flying

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, April 09, 2021

Friday Links 21-13


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

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


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

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

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

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

Awesome CTO - another collection of CTO resources 

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Signal Adds Cryptocurrency Support - Schneier is also not happy

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

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

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

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

Remote Work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

How Much Does a Cycle Track Cost? - it depends

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

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

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

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

Random Moves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links

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

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Bank Holiday Links 21-12

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

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

Also a small section about my cassette tape problem.  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things your manager might not know

Remote Work

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Spotify: Ruby Style Guide

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Major climate polluters accused of greenwashing with sports sponsorship


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Random Tapes

Cassette Tapes 

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

More Random

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links

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