Let’s go for my web review for the week 2022-29. This is a very large triple issue since I was mostly away from the keyboard lately. That summer break was good. :-)

The Home Computer Generation |

Tags: tech, culture, hacking

An excellent piece which raises interesting questions about computer literacy. There’s indeed be a generation of people before the so called “digital natives” who had to know how computers work. Are we loosing this by cuddling people with too much convenience? How much are we then loosing as a society?

Uber broke laws, duped police and secretly lobbied governments, leak reveals | Uber | The Guardian

Tags: tech, uber, ethics

Disgusting practices… unlawful too… this company is really an overgrown parasite.

The Uber Leak Exposes the Global War on Workers

Tags: tech, uber, ethics, business

I don’t understand this “it is illegal and bad for workers” leading to “let’s change the law to make it happen anyway”. Change your business model already!

Driverless Robotaxi Fleet Paralyzed for Hours in San Francisco – The Last Driver License Holder…

Tags: tech, funny, ai, automotive

Mysterious event… that’s the problem with such centralized and homogeneous system, when something fails it is quickly at scale.

An experiment to test GitHub Copilot’s legality

Tags: tech, machine-learning, copyright, licensing, github

Very interesting thought experiment around Copilot’s legality. I’d love to see that happen and see what the outcome would be.

Microsoft To Ban Commercial Open Source from App Store

Tags: tech, microsoft, foss

Microsoft being its usual self… now trying to make sure Free Software developers can’t make money through their app store. They claim they like Open Source but only when that’s about getting a benefit for them on platforms they control.

mjg59 | Lenovo shipping new laptops that only boot Windows by default

Tags: tech, microsoft, lenovo, linux, vendor-lockin

Unsurprisingly, this might be the first device with such defaults… probably more to come until the settings disappear completely. Not cool.

Unity is merging with a company who made a malware installer

Tags: tech, unity, 3d, surveillance

Clearly a worrying move from Unity… it wasn’t great before but now the level of trust one can have for games made with that engine will be even lower.

It’s time to make that indie C# game in Godot.

Tags: tech, 3d, foss, godot

Let’s hope we’ll indeed see more indie game creators moving to Godot, it’s a neat engine.

I’ve started using Mozilla Firefox and now I can never go back to Google Chrome

Tags: tech, browser, privacy, firefox

Still important to have it around and alive.

Don’t Lie To Me About Web 2.0

Tags: tech, web, web3, blockchain, social-media

Let’s get the historical records straight indeed. Don’t believe the web3 bullshit revisionism.

Generate RSS feeds from websites

Tags: tech, rss

Looks like a nice tool to handle websites lacking a RSS feed.

Thoughts on RSS

Tags: tech, web, rss

As much as I like RSS, it has indeed a few issues. It’s important to keep them in mind.

SourceHut is committed to making IRC better

Tags: tech, irc

I admit I secretly wish for an IRC revival… been using lesser solutions too much for my taste.

void versus [[noreturn]]

Tags: tech, c++

If you’re still confused about [[noreturn]] this is a good short read. Indeed it’s a bit annoying that it is not part of the type system.

The Windows malloc() Implementation Is A Trash Fire

Tags: tech, windows, memory, system

OK, it’s 2022 and this is still not an adequate ecosystem for system programming.

What happens when you press a key in your terminal?

Tags: tech, unix, terminal, command-line

Very neat trip back in history. Ever wondered what happened in your terminal? This explains it well.

DNS Esoterica - Why you can’t dig Switzerland

Tags: tech, dns, history, surprising

OK, now that’s a surprising bit of DNS history.

Postgres Full-Text Search: A Search Engine in a Database

Tags: tech, databases, postgresql, search

Neat little introduction to Postgres full-text search facilities. Too often overlooked, you can wait before pulling another dependency like Elasticsearch.

Advantages of not using Spring Data and Hibernate with relational data

Tags: tech, spring, orm, databases, java

This shows quite well why I stay away from Spring Data JPA…

Soft Deletion Probably Isn’t Worth It —

Tags: tech, backend, databases

Interesting points about soft deletion… its usual pattern might not be what you need in the end. The proposed alternative is interesting to keep in mind.

Gradual Soundness: Lessons from Static Python

Tags: tech, python, type-systems

Interesting paper about the gradual typing experiments done around Static Python. Shows a few interesting properties. I wonder if some or most of it will find its way back to CPython.

Typing your way into safety

Tags: tech, python, type-systems

The developing type system in Python is really having some nice properties now. Well used, it can help quite a bit with checking an API is properly called by user code. This is nothing new to languages with stricter type systems of course.

The new wave of React state management

Tags: tech, frontend, react, javascript, web

Good overview on the state management offer around React. Especially interesting is how it frames the different problems one has to keep in mind to maintain state in your UI.

Holograms, light-leaks and how to build CSS-only shaders - Robb Owen

Tags: tech, browser, html, css

Definitely a cool trick. Not really practical yet due to the performance and differences of behavior in the various browsers. Hopefully his will get solved at some point.

Pandas vs Polar - A look at performance

Tags: tech, data-science, python, rust, pandas, polars

Polars looks like an interesting alternative to Pandas in the industrialization phase of a data processing pipeline. The performance difference are really notable with larger volumes. I’d be interested to see how much of it is lost when using its Python API though.

Unit and Integration Tests

Tags: tech, tests, craftsmanship, tdd

Likewise I’m more and more unconvinced about the unit vs integration tests distinction. It’s likely a continuum between them. I like the proposed axes for classification here. I wish they’d be a bit more orthogonal though.

Every programmer should care about UI design

Tags: tech, programming, design, api, tests, craftsmanship

I don’t quite subscribe to some of the terms used (even though I see the point of not calling this API). Still I think this is a very good way to approach design, it’s also why I like TDD, the tests force you to see how the code is used. If it ain’t pretty there’s a problem.

Carbon Language: An experimental successor to C++

Tags: tech, c++, surprising

Now this is surprising and unexpected… extremely ambitious as well. I wonder how far this will go, I like the overall idea though.

Some Thoughts on Zig — Sympolymathesy, by Chris Krycho

Tags: tech, zig, rust, system, programming

In the end, this is a nice conversation about language design…

Metastability and Distributed Systems - Marc’s Blog

Tags: tech, distributed, bug, complexity, safety

Discusions around a fascinating and very important class of errors in distributed systems.

The Laws of Software Development Explain Why Creating Software Always Takes Longer Than Expected | by Ben “The Hosk” Hosking | Jul, 2022 | Medium

Tags: tech, project-management, estimates, complexity, management

It feels a bit like cumulating aphorisms and “laws” to prove the point. Still it’s nice to know them at least for the general culture.

Planning for Project Deadlines So You Can Sleep at Night - Build the Stage

Tags: tech, project-management, estimates

Couple of interesting tips. I like how it challenges the usual mythical man-month quote. Indeed sometimes adding people might help, if the conditions are right.

3 tribes of programming

Tags: tech, culture, craftsmanship

I’m not sure the boundaries are a clear as laid out in this article. That said it’s an interesting way to frame things. Also, clearly it’s at the intersection of the so called tribes that the most interesting things happen.

Giving a Shit as a Service

Tags: tech, services, business, craftsmanship

Definitely this, showing care is the best thing you can do in services. Otherwise you can only do a mediocre job.

Remote first, Async second

Tags: tech, management, remote-working

Very good points in there. Indeed there’s a natural tension between making and managing. You can’t schedule the day in the same way. After more remote work, indeed we’ll need more async communication.

Three part solution to leaders burnout

Tags: management, leadership

OK, unexpected introduction, still the advices are sound: teach, delegate, handle the hard cases.

Panel interviews don’t work - Jacob Kaplan-Moss

Tags: hr, interviews

I so much agree with this. Interviews are just better one on one. Mind the stress of the candidate.

Is your smartphone ruining your memory? A special report on the rise of ‘digital amnesia’

Tags: tech, smartphone, attention-economy

None of this looks like definitive research results on the topic. Still, there are quite a few weak signals pointing in the same direction.

A Bored Chinese Housewife Spent Years Falsifying Russian History on Wikipedia

Tags: tech, wikipedia, surprising

Now this is a really strange story… amazing how she managed to be so successful and stay under the radars for so long!

Days of Rage – George Monbiot

Tags: ecology, politics

Too little too late? Let’s hope not… now it’s time to see radical changes.

Bye for now!