2023/11/30 #

  • 15:25:00 +07:00 My techno-optimism - It's an interesting read, but bloody hell it's a slog to get through it all. You have to have galaxy brain turned on for like an hour and if the world doesn't co-operate and you have to move location several times, as I did, battle through bouts of tiredness, and the boring parts, don't expect to retain much. The ending is quite up lifting which is nice, but on the whole I'm more worried about our tech future than before embarking on the ride. None of this feels like freedom to me. Rather it feels like never ending war, with impossible odds. It was already bloody difficult before AI and crypto. I wish I could be more optimistic, but that's how I feel about it today. #

2023/11/28 #

2023/11/25 #

  • 16:26:00 +07:00 What’s New in CSS Land (JS Party Podcast) - The latest episode has Una Kravets on from the CSS Podcast to talk about the latest CSS features. So many great new features. If I were starting a new project I'd be exploring sass style nesting, cascade layers, popover and select list components, anchor positioning, scroll driven animations, view transitions, the :has selector and responsive design with container queries. There's also some general advice about separating style from logic. Great episode. #

  • 12:45:00 +07:00 🚀 Latest Newsletter: Passing the Baton of Chaos (Issue #142) #

2023/11/24 #

  • 06:10:00 +07:00 Git branches: intuition & reality - There's definitely confusion in this area, but for me it isn't around the concept of a branch. I'm happy with my mental model of a branch. However I've always been confused by the concept of a rebase, while I'm happy with the idea of a merge. Though the article was looking at it from a different angle than I would have liked, the diagrams midway through that compares a simple rebase with a simple merge make a lot of sense. The rebase basically squeezes in all the latest commits from main, shoving them below the common ancestor, thus re-creating the base that the feature branch is built on. Presumably this results in a branch that has a more full history, whereas a branch updated via merge has loads of code appearing all in one go at the merge point. The article doesn't go into that, which is a bit of a shame. I'm going to continue favoring merges, for now I'm still not convinced that rebases are worth the trouble. #

2023/11/23 #

  • 18:31:00 +07:00 Everything is a file - "Everything is a file" describes one of the defining features of Unix, and its derivatives--that a wide range of input/output resources such as documents, directories, hard-drives, modems, keyboards, printers and even some inter-process and network communications are simple streams of bytes exposed through the filesystem name space. #

  • 10:08:00 +07:00 Sam Altman to return as CEO of OpenAI - It would be interesting to compare the complexity of these big tech events over time. Similar to how in code you can measure cyclic complexity, it seems the blow ups are ever more complex and over shorter and shorter timescales. Eventually...I'm not sure, do all our heads explode? Or perhaps a massively distributed never ending race condition, like a star-trek-phazers-on-stun-appocalypse? #

  • 09:41:00 +07:00 Welcome to the Next Era of Loom - I haven't used this product but the feature descriptions sound awesone. It's an AI that watches your videos and automatically does tedious things you normally have to do yourself like creating a title and description, but it can also summarize discussion points, aggregate tasks and even create chapters for easy navigation. It's really impressive, I could imagine that these sorts of tools will make working with video really attractive for teams. I'd love to have some of these features in my static site generator. #

2023/11/22 #

  • 17:01:00 +07:00 unjs/h3: Minimal h(ttp) framework built for high performance and portability ⚡️ - I thought this library looked pretty cool. Fully supports promises aswell as Express middleware. #

  • 12:11:00 +07:00 The new Picadilly Line trains have air-conditioning - Anyone that has spent time living in London will have been on the Picadilly Line trains as they pass right through the centre of the city. They are some of the oldest lines on the network and are the deepest underground. They're also very compact, which makes them unique stylistically, but horrid in the summer rush hour. It's not uncommon for people to temporarily mentally turn into literal sardines. As you can imagine then, the news that these new trains will have aircon, is pretty big news. I used to commute in central London on the Picadilly Line everyday, first from West London and then a few years later, from East London. Turns out most trains throughout europe are tested in Germany, and they just had a staff and press day outing and wrote it up. The new design has a modern art deco vibe going on. Mind the gap mates. #

  • 12:08:00 +07:00 Getting Started with Mistral-7b-Instruct-v0.1 - I've been hearing Mistral mentioned a lot on various podcasts recently. It's totally open source LLM, all the pieces run on your laptop using WASM. Has a chat client to interact with it and an API server so you can access it over HTTP. Pretty cool. #

2023/11/20 #

2023/11/18 #

  • 17:08:00 +07:00 Some kind of purge happening over at OpenAI - The company that arguably kicked off the recent revolution in AI tech appears to be going through some kind of purge. Sam Altman looks to have been pushed out, and a bunch of others including founders are quiting. It's always weird when this happens, but it's very common for this type of thing to happen in companies that are growing quickly. I've had it happen at two previous companies I've worked for. It will be super interesting to hear their side of the story. #

  • 12:45:00 +07:00 🚀 Latest Newsletter: Surrounded by Bears (Issue #141) #

  • 10:19:00 +07:00 New Post: All-in Dirty Sanchez - Why don’t we have a podcast of similar caliber to the All-in Podcast coming out of the UK? If we want to compete in tech, and maybe politics, we are going to need one of those. Otherwise even the french will have one. #

  • 09:14:00 +07:00 Tether Reveals Bitcoin Mining Expansion With $500 Million Investment - They will be opening bitcoin mining farms in Uruguay, Paraguay, and El Salvador. I guess since we are at the bottom of the market, it's probably the time when mining operations start to ramp up, with expectations of a bull market. There was recently the first city hall to experiment with bitcoin mining, with the mayor of Fort Worth in the US installing nodes, aiming to become a big commodities hub. Oil, beef, natural gas and now bitcoin. If more institutions start this type of experimentation, the next phase of bitcoin adoption could be very interesting. #

2023/11/17 #

  • 14:52:00 +07:00 X rival Bluesky hits 2M users, says federation coming ‘early next year’ - This is good news. I think social media is a place where having a handful of different protocols will be beneficial. Human interaction is so varied in the real world, it's unreasonable to expect there to be one protocol. It would be great if Bluesky also supported RSS, but maybe they want to force people to always be using their service rather than people flowing their content from their personal site through their service. I think that's shortsighted. If I could more easily flow content from my site through their service, I'd have more time to actually hop on their service, interact and find more followers than Satan, who is still my only follower. He doesn't even answer my questions. #

  • 14:29:00 +07:00 What I learned building an audio plugins system for the web - I built a plugin system for my static site generator. In some ways it's quite simplistic, but it's very flexible. In the future I imagine I'll need to modernize it in some ways, but for now it's good enough. That's why I'm always interested to read about plugin system implementations. It's amazing how different they tend to be depending on the runtime environment. This audio plugin system has almost no similarities to that of my SSG, but it's interesting to understand the constrainsts and requirements, if only to more fully appreciate the variety of patterns out there. Also once you know several implementations, similar to with spoken languages, you gain new perspectives on your environment. #

  • 14:09:00 +07:00 YouTube Shorts to introduce generative AI tools - Users will be able to create music for their videos using the style of various famous artists. It will be interesting to see how many artists get onboard with this trend. It's Napster all over again, but maybe this time artists will be able to ride the wave too. #

  • 13:39:00 +07:00 How to use NPM packages outside of Node - Some useful techniques that sort of remind me of symlinking on Linux filesystems, but you use package.json with local file:path style dependency paths that point to shims which might re-implement some parts of the package, or completely stub out some bits that aren't necessary. Quite technical but good to understand how this works, could be very handy in serverless / edge function environnents. #

2023/11/16 #

  • 14:00:00 +07:00 git rebase: what can go wrong? - I used to use rebase -i a lot more than I do now. I tended to only use it on local feature branches before pushing to remote. It's very useful for combining lots of small commits into bigger commits that make more logical sense. I think the UI makes quite a lot of difference. In vim it's very straight forward most of the time, not so much in my current editor. Anyway the article gets very technical but worth a quick read to get a better sense for the pitfalls, and for which use cases it's safe. #

  • 13:44:00 +07:00 Microsoft is finally making custom chips -- and they’re all about AI - There are two chips. The Azure Maia 100 competes with Nvidia's very popular H100 GPU, primarily used for AI. They have been developing them with input from OpenAI, optimising everything down to the silicon. The other called Cobalt 100 is an ARM based CPU aimed at data centre cloud workloads. It has the ability to "control performance and power consumption per core and on every single virtual machine". They are 40% faster than current chips in their data centres. #

2023/11/15 #

  • 10:57:00 +07:00 How to Build a Server-Side React App Using Vite and Express - It's essentially a minimal example that demonstrates data fetching and server side rendering (SSR) with a browser client that hydrates the app with a copy of the fetched data that is stored in a <script> tag on the SSR'd page. It's pretty cool, though I'm a little confused by the statement at the beginning saying that it isn't using a framework, when it clearly is using React. Reguardless, it's an imformative tutorial, uses Express to serve the app, with a vite development server that Express loads as a middleware. It all seems suprisingly straight forward. #

2023/11/14 #

  • 15:12:00 +07:00 International mafia bust shows US-Italy crime links still strong - Interesting story. I've wondered for ages how modern tech is going to affect these big crime families. Things are going to change at an exponential rate, and I'm not sure that our societies are ready for it. It might get very difficult at the edges. These things are dufficult to talk about too. Families are tricky for regular people, but I bet things get insane complicated in these crime families, because they have such big influence, so it's not just the families, it's all the affiliated families and groups. Looking at it from a purely system's architecture perspective these are likely going to be enormous migration projects. The only thing similar I can think of was how the british royal family has been modernized over the past 30 years. And that was very very painful, in that case for an entire nation. Remember Diana's death and the outpouring of emotion that happened then? Well I wonder if we aren't going to see lots of smaller family modernisations, and somehow our societies are going to have to absorb that. I'm not passing any judgement here, just saying that we might need to think about how best to make such a transition easier. The only thing I would say would be that you probably don't want to over complicate things, could get quite narly for all. The jolly bloke pictured looks very familiar for some reason. #

  • 14:12:00 +07:00 Cameron's return revives memories of Greensill finance scandal - Certainly an interesting turn of events, on several levels. I don't recall a previous priminister ever returning to government. But this lending scandal by the company he was lobbying for sounds like it could be quite bad. I always thought Cameron made quite a good Priminister, but to be honest I've never really followed UK politics that closely. So that's based more on him looking and sounding the part rather than his actual policies or accomplishments. Interested to read more about that and what position he's back in for. #

  • 13:24:00 +07:00 HTML Web Components - I liked where this article was going, but the examples are too simplistic. I still don't really see what these HTML components actually do. They just appear to contain an image. So what? Why is that any different to a div? Quite relevant HN thread with some interesting comments. Seems like others were wondering the same thing I was. #

2023/11/11 #

  • 18:12:00 +07:00 Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg details Tumblr’s future after re-org - It will be interesting to see how many of the Tumblr users get a subscription and how many decide it's not worth it. Automattic is such an odd company in a way, it's like this sort of hodge podge collection of products that don't quite fit together into a cohesive whole, but they do kinda. Their approach to development and community building is interesting to watch. It looks very different to non open source companies. I hope they can turn it around somehow because Tumblr is a big part of internet history. #

  • 17:48:00 +07:00 Whatever happened to NFTs? - The Simpson's just did an episode all about NFTs, in which Homer tries to get in on the speculation action. Perhaps it's a sign the market has bottomed out? There are some interesting figures in the article. I'm curious to see how and if the market recovers. Some are currently buying big name NFTs in the hopes of getting a bargain. If there is a recovery they could make hundreds of thousands of dollars. Seems unlikely in a recession environment, but it's not a normal environment, with the treasury bond market looking unstable, Bitcoin is starting to become an attractive store of value. And if that happens, then maybe NFTs will see a resurgeance. I am not a finance expert though. #

  • 12:45:00 +07:00 🚀 Latest Newsletter: Money, Movies, Kindness, Elon and Barack (Issue #140) #

  • 11:51:00 +07:00 Write your own terminal - Cool idea for a side project. One of my favorite things about building the first version of my linkblog was that I could use it everyday as I was building it. It ended up being one of my most used tools. Of course it was quite rudimentary initially, but since I was using it a lot, I added lots of features. The article mentions a wild idea of using OpenGL, and if you are planning on going into 3D stuff it definitely is, but if not I'd focus on other things like portability abd modularity. You might even be able to structure your application so you can swap out the boring renderer for the fancy OpenGL later. Though to be honest getting that right might be a big challenge in itself. Whatever the route make sure the iterations are small, get something operstionally working quicky, even if it looks basic, then make it better. #

2023/11/10 #

  • 08:38:00 +07:00 Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in hospital - I've read in other reports that he fainted resulting from a minor stroke. Right at the start of my career in tech I attended a lecture by Woz. It was in a college on perhaps on the outskirts of London, I forget the exact location, maybe Ravensbourne college?. Anyhow I was just getting into tech after being mostly into the music scene for many years. The lecture was great. It was in a smallish oldiworldy lecture theatre. He's a great story teller and had a lot of cool stories! It was the first time I realised that nerdy geeks could be kind of cool. That tech and computers were kind of cool. I hope you are okay Woz! Get well soon :) #

2023/11/08 #

  • 16:29:00 +07:00 The OpenAI Keynote - I feel like I haven't read many articles from Stratechery in the last few months. The idea in this article, and I've heard it echoed elsewhere, is that the frontier in developer conferences is in AI. OpenAI is the new Apple WWDC. I have to say, though I am definitely often very impressed with the things these AIs can do, I'm just not super interested by it. I find myself scrolling through, reading a bit here, and a bit there. Maybe it would be different if I could get involved in some way. It all feels just out of reach to me. Other people's fun. Nice and I'm happy others are having fun, but ultimately, from my perspective, it's dull and boring. #

2023/11/07 #

  • 20:24:00 +07:00 The US is quietly arming Taiwan to the teeth - With all these regions like Ukraine and Gaza destabilizing it makes sense to do some preparations to ensure key locations don't fall into trouble. Interesting that they are sending army personal all the way to the US for training. I bet that would be quite eye opening to spend time in the west like that. #

  • 20:01:00 +07:00 Berlin's famed nightclubs, losing customers, face an uncertain future - The party scene in Berlin has an interesting history, where many of the big clubs started out as squat parties in large unused commercial spaces in East Germany following the fall of the Berlin wall. In the late 90s in London much the same was happening in the outskirts of London. The raves back then were kind of dangerous but a lot of fun. I wonder whether something similar will happen in the US if the commercial real estate crisis results in lots of abandonned warehouses. #

2023/11/06 #

  • 06:00:00 +07:00 Hundreds Of Stars Have Vanished Without A Trace. Where Did They Go? - There's a theory that if there are very advanced alien civilisations out there, they might have created Dyson spheres. That's the name given to a theoretical future technology that would enable to completely surround a star with solar panels in order to harnass it's energy. Since they completly surround a star, Dyson spheres would result in stars suddenly disapearing from our view of the night sky. I don't like the sound of Dyson spheres. Imagine if stars have some form of consciousness that we haven't detected yet, surrounding them like that would be a truely horrible thing to do. Fucking horrible name too, at least if you are from planet Earth. Makes you wonder what's up with space scientists, don't you think? #

2023/11/05 #

  • 11:01:00 +07:00 Cockney and King's English becoming less common, researchers find - The article could have done with some sound clips. It occurred to me last week when helping Brian McCullough review his french AI deep fake that you could use these models to learn accents in other languages by sort of triangulating on the same content with a known language and accent, an unknown language and neutral accent and the same unknown language with a regional accent. It's fascinating that accents are changing, but also I had no idea there were all these specific accent names like estuary English, southern British English and multicultural London English. Of course kinda sadenned to hear about the demise of the mighty Cockney accent. I can trace my origins back to East London, though I think I ended up a bit multi myself. #

  • 17:42:00 +07:00 EU Tries To Slip In New Powers To Intercept Encrypted Web Traffic Without Anyone Noticing - The new legislation would give individual member states the power to control certificates that web browsers trust. They would thus gain the ability to intercept and decrypt all web traffic using these certificates. What's even more worrying is that officials are currently denying they would have this power under the new arrangement, when clearly they would. They are currently accusing Mozilla of spreading misinformation. Scientists across the EU have signed a joint statement criticising the plan. I've been worried about certificate management for a while now. Who should we trust to organize this vital function? How would we ensure they don't abuse their power? #

2023/11/04 #

  • 16:26:00 +07:00 OpenSea Slashes NFT Marketplace Staff by 50% - I heard an epic rant against NFTs earlier in the week, I don't remember who it was from exactly or I'd link to it. And I get it, I'm kind of frustrated by the NFT craze too in a way, but I also like that despite all their faults, people find NFTs fun. There aren't that many things in tech like that. I wonder how it will look when the hype shakes out. Might be a sign that a more rational market is starting. #

  • 16:20:00 +07:00 The Future of RSS is Textcasting - Is RSS catching some wind in it's sails again? That would be pretty cool. All the fancy decentralised protocols are great, but it would also be nice to have a better RSS ecosystem too. #

  • 16:04:00 +07:00 How Framework Laptop Broke The Hacker Ceiling - Great writeup from Arya Voronova that covers the expanding maker community that is developing around Framework's modular laptops. This stuff is really awesome. If I ever manage to get myself one if these devices I'd want to mod it into the perfect mobile media publishing device, with integrated blogging, podcasting, newsletter, linkblogging and distributed social media software and custom input hardware. All running open source software, with fully customized workflows. And of course I'd want a 3D printer so I could make my own hardware! #

  • 15:24:00 +07:00 How to build your own customizable, upgradeable laptop - These customizable Framework laptops look really awesome. Great intro article with a tour of what's possible. I really like the idea of being able to put all the parts together because it's re-assuring to know that you could fix it yourself easily should something break. Some parts like a main board I guess have to be bought from them but SSD storage and memory are off the shelf which you should able to buy anywhere. Great laptops for nomads IMO. Also the magnetic input bezels could be interesting for custom keyboards. #

  • 12:45:00 +07:00 🚀 Latest Newsletter: Social Media Renaissance (Issue #139) #

2023/11/02 #

  • 06:02:00 +07:00 What's New in Node.js 21 - Lots of web platform stuff like fetch and WebStream APIs as well as WebSocket client. The Array.groupBy functionality of the latest V8 v11.8 also looks very useful. The experimental feature to treat all files as ES modules by default is interesting too, no need for strange file extensions or poluting your package.json. #

  • 06:00:00 +07:00 Support for npm modules in Edge Functions - Sounds great, I haven't had a chance to try their edge functions yet. Personally what I really want is Netlify to have a message queue implementation. I want to quickly create a message queue using for example a yaml file in file based routing. Then have admin interface with controls and logs in the web UI :) #

2023/11/01 #

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