[07/2022] This month...
Everything I found interesting in July. All things bunched up together. There is no one topic, just the most share-worthy links from last month, unfiltered.
Figma - how to use for a Design System (ex. use slots in components ❤️).
I really love reading on big projects, and there is nothing more complex than public transport (and transport/logistics in general), this month I have found a website trying to make apples to apples comparison in the area of costs for those projects over time.
I have wrote on new players in the Search market, and now it turns out for Gen Z TikTok and Instagram are the first place to search and not Google. This only furthermore chips away from Google's monopoly in this segment.
Hunt for the understanding of the dark matter is on with a new detector!
This has been James Webb's telescope month with the first pictures from it, and I love this direct comparison with Hubble's pictures. If you missed all this fuzz this brings you to speed. Also, pictures are not everything, spectrum analysis is key. James Webb's telescope was also hit by rocks, as most people agree it is not a problem right now, but most likely it has been a more significant issue than it was assumed before. Interesting bit - telescope has a 68 GB SSD drive which can contain around 1 day of work, as it transmits data to the Earth at around 28 Mbps.
Salvador is having hard times with BTC but it seems to have little to no effect on its president popularity. Celsius (a crypto token company) has filed for bankruptcy and it owes $4.7 billion to individuals who purchased their tokens, and it is estimated that its creator cashed out around $44 mln.
Many new-wave social media are focusing on collabs between multiple content creators (TikTok being the most prominent), now Twitter introduces co-tweets, a sweet feature for influencers and brands.
Nuclear and gas have been labeled in EU as green energy (lowering cost of a capital for investments in those technologies). I have very mixed feelings about a gas and putting it in the same basket as nuclear technology...
The eye health episode from Peter Attia, is on my shortlist to read/listen.
23 Terabytes of personal data were leaked from the Shanghai police database in China (up to a billion people might be affected).
Taling about leaks...UberFiles - over 124,000 records with >80k emails were leaked from Uber, describing how the company operated on the edge of the law and used top politicians to nudge the law in their favor.
Amazon asked FCC to slow down approval for SpaceX Gen 2 30,000 satellites as space is getting crowded, at the same time buying cargo space to send their own 3,000 satellites. I believe they are raising a valid point (radio interference) as it is really fast getting really crowded up there but they have skin a game to slow competitors and try to catch up.
Russia was planning way ahead by sabotaging international supply chains for 122 and 152mm artillery rounds for Ukraine since 2014. Bellingcat has a very good piece on sabotage by Russia GRU by detonating stockpile of munitions in Czechia that could be sold and blocking Ukraine from obtaining it from any other sources. Now Washington Post is publishing an update to this story as the situation is still critical and Russia is actively harassing anybody to sell ammunition to Ukraine. Seems lately supplied by USA HIMARs are a devastating weapon to destroy Russia ammo depots, so hopefully, the tide will turn on artillery war and ammunition supply.
EDIT: now also M270 seems to be working at the frontline, even better.
"The Internet" exposed one of the Twitter accounts of a "volunteer soldier" in Ukraine as a fraud.
Sort tasks in product development to have the most "surprising" ones at the beginning, in my case, I just assume some have a bigger "risk" factor (due to unknowns). However I do like "sort by suprising" approach, and would love to see it in more user content services (HackerNews, Reddit, Twitter...), as a way to break my bubble from time to time.
9 key factors for long life, gathered by a National Geographic expedition from "Blue Zones". TLDR: Move when possible, stress less, meat and alcohol in stable and moderate quantities, and find your inner place, purpose, and family.
Glassdoor was forced by the court to hand over employee's details who posted negative reviews, by an NZ company Zuru. On the same note, Bitpanda was threatening to sue a former employee over a LinkedIn post (bad press due to cutting headcount by 30% recently), which was dropped after getting even more bad press. Only some would find a particular post or a glassdoor review, but all potential candidates will be familiar with those cases of threatening to sue former employees.
30 most beautiful libraries. Aren't libraries similar to big open spaces but with proper culture and a nice design? We hate open spaces but maybe the solution to better open spaces is not more partition walls but a better work etiquette to allow deep work?
I was in London... and so were Notion ads, which got tech-twitter to wonder if this move makes sense. To me it does, Notion is not trying to compete with Google and MS as products for the whole company but establish a foothold in people's minds and get to the companies eventually by word of mouth. They do one thing perfectly and there is no reason to limit it only to software. Notion also improved app startup time so the app now opens 3x faster, they are gradually moving from webviews to native UI components, and thus the performance improvement. This started a lot of discussion on Native vs. React or WebView or cross-platform in general.
I think that it was probably the right choice at the time for this company to kick off the app without too much investment, but maybe a move to the native app is a bit late. It is not about right vs. wrong, it is about picking the right technology for your needs and constraints, and moving it from there. Here is Notion Mobile Lead's take on this (also I would recommend Austin's blog based on Notion - sadly there are no email notifications about new content).
Also here is a good case study of why their desktop app is slow.
Vitalik's (founder of Ethereum) 40-liter backpack guide, I came to it from a discussion about portable air quality monitors as on one hand it is important to keep CO2 in our work environment low as well it might indicate how many people are also breathing it (indicates higher COVID risk). Personally, I have a cheap one and it gives a rough estimate, but so far it is enough for me.
COVID is here to stay and there is more discussion about having vaccination yearly for dominant variant.
Hyundai showed promo materials for three new EV cars (2 of which are concepts) and I love the retro look of N Vision 74.
War Economy - a case for the strong government against other strong governments (China/Russia), in the age of other challenges (climate change), and in the case of the Ukraine War. Calls for extraordinary plans and long-term thinking and strong private-public initiatives with a common goal.
China is flailing - economic issues of China are starting to show up, with many companies and countries relocating some of their production closer, pushing to create chip factories in USA and EU... this is for sure not the end but maybe the first cracks in China economy.
I saw "Design Emergency" in a bookstore and now it is on my to-read list. Bonus points as it is recently written and many use cases are ones from our still-vivid memories.
As every year this has been "the biggest Prime Day ever" for Amazon with over 300 mln items sold.
Volkswagen creates PowerCO entity entirely focused on making batteries (for EV and households etc.), starting with 20 mln EUR investment and plan to have 6 gigafactories in Europe by 2030. On the same page - lithium is started to get called "white oil" and China controls over 40% of its mining and more than 66% of its refinement.
Feeling uninspired? Take a walk.
Feeling lonely? Work at a coffee shop.
Feeling sad? Call a friend.
Feeling uncertain? Write it out."
Netflix names Microsoft as a partner for new customer subscription plan with ads served from MS, one of big pitch points was being "agnostic" and that Microsoft will never compete with Netflix in streaming services. Some speculate this might open a path for Microsoft to buy Netflix in the future.
Great article on why nuclear reactors are so expensive.
(US Navy) built over 200 nuclear-powered ships and 500 reactor cores, meaning the US Navy has more experience building nuclear reactors than anyone in the world.
Management of Thalys (Dutch railway operator) was busy doing a photo session and talking about a lower carbon footprint when at the same time one of their trains with 750 passengers was stuck for over 4h in 45-degree heat without AC or doors/windows open and people couldn't leave the train (Twitter 1, 2, 3). Why it is so hard to make trains on schedule and in good travel quality a commodity? On the same note - an airplane from Charlotte to New York in the USA spend almost 6h with no AC and no drink service on the hot tarmac.
Oh, and the first heat wave got its name - Zoe.
Flipper Zero has arrived! This is one of my favorite Kickstarter projects (great product development, great updates to supporters, open source, and some behind the scenes updates), genuily this is how Kickstarter project should look like, now it is generally available. And first people are getting hands-on experience with them. In my case, most of my garage openers are Keeloq protocol and not working (out of the box), let's give makes some weeks to find the best utilizations for this toy!
Great visualization of average temperature per month over the years. There is a special place in my heart for spiral charts like Florence Nightingale's coxcomb or spiral track timeline. If you had trouble playing SteamDeck or Switch outside recently... their manufacturers are reminding you that the device can operate up to 35C temperature, which is not unseen in recent heat-wave.
Arm yourself for the ARM future - as Hetzner launches dedicated ARM servers with Ampere Altra (80 core), at the same time as AWS discloses that their ARM chips (Graviton) will stand for ~10% of the whole AWS Elastic Cloud Compute income, and are on rapid raise (so much as AWS has trouble to keep up with demand in some locations).
Google created VM for a quantum computer.
This already goes for years but more and more of the cloud might shift to edge locations (closer to client), if anybody it is Cloudflare who can drive this change even further. Azure is also struggling with server availability in some of its regions.
Google Pixel family is growing with the new addition of Pixel 6a (449 USD), CPU is the same but the biggest budget cuts are done in the area of the screen (60Hz) and camera. Reviews are "meh" and I don't understand the budget cuts in the area of key Pixel differentiation - a camera.
Reviewers are scared (?) to compare Apple Silicone MacBooks with Intel laptops as it will look too good and their audience might not be happy - thesis by this opinion. I feel we are already way past this (not many people compare MacOS and Windows anymore).
Meta is focusing on deliverables and tangible output with the latest Mark speech, Metaverse being the biggest bet, as well company is moving towards a "discovery engine" more focused on video (a.k. Tik-Tok), with some celebrities not liking the new Instagram redesign, the end of the epoch of social networks as we know them. The perfect title award goes to Gizmodo with "Zuck Says Instagram Is Going to Suck Twice as Much Next Year" (as AI recommendations will be responsible for 30% of content - from 15% currently).
My take - we move towards video and personally I don't like it (harder to search, buzz over quality, click baits (eye baits?) are winning even more... but it looks like I'm in the minority, maybe this is why lately I'm more active on Twitter?
Metaverse - I think we are still too early for it, and the solution (product?) by one company probably won't win. But once you convince content creators - then it is a home run. I think NVidia Omniverse (platform) will have bigger success than FB Metaverse (product).
All in all, Meta is facing a perfect storm: inflation with the cooldown in ads, strong USD, slow monetizations of Reels (short videos), TikTok competition in this exact product, War in Ukraine and hit in its Russia business, Apple locking down privacy for external ads. Meta just reported for the first time a decline in quarterly revenue (by 1%) and a 36% decline in YoY profit, and 36% of employees are optimistic about Meta future (the lowest number so far), and Mark's number two is leaving the company after 14 years at the helm.
Price increases for Amazon Prime in the EU by 30% in some cases, Meta of Oculus Quest 2 by 100 USD.
Texas power grid monitoring using Datadog in real-time. Neat.
Now for something different, remember everybody talking about the ozone hole in the Antarctic? Well, it is the same size for the last 30 years, it is so mostly thanks to the Montreal Protocol agreement (signed by 197 countries). On the other hand, you have this (warning, this is a pain to watch).
What Anu Atluru (Head of Community at Clubhouse) has learned over 2 years of adventure in this company.
Write better docs with a product mindset. My take: this article goes into too many details, when you are on the level of those details is all anyway very much depends on your particular situation, organization, and your needs so I would focus on highlights: motivations, solutions, simulations, desired outcomes, as key steps to prepare.
I'm writing a Manager Readme, I take this as a very good way to take a look at our own behavior patterns (once you write it down it is often easy to notice), despite some criticism of this format, and execution of it. With the latter one I agree, as it often shows us as we want to be seen (aka CV), this is why for now I assume I won't publish mine. This is more of a self-exercise for me.
And let's wrap it up with brief on how to present to executives, I like it and those are good rules of thumbs in 'most' cases.