Friday, September 30, 2022

Friday Links 22-31

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

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

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


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

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

The myth of tech excellence in tech leadership - it depends 

The Coach and the Fixer - another good one from Rands 

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


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

Bash 5.2 released - new command substitution code with better errors 

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

Random Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 23, 2022

Friday Links 22-30

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


Hacker Stations - more workspace porn 

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


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

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

Been Angry [Comic] - me too  

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Random Trombones 

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

Gratitude [Comic] - me looking at some mindful tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links

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

Friday, September 09, 2022

Friday Links 22-29

AI art: lady in front of cityscape

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

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


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

Is Engineering Management Bullshit? - no

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Random Queen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links


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