[06/2022] This month...

Hybrid work is hell, README as a manual for people, an app for tipping, ransomware gets search feature and more...

The first edition of "This month..." (the title is a work in progress) and it is not perfectly on time (already 7 days in July) but hey, we have to start somewhere. This will bring glance-worth content that I saw and I can recommend. If it was interesting to me, there is a non-zero chance it will be also interesting for you.


Mega-projects that were built in surprisingly small amount of time. I'm not sure what takeaway is here as I believe a list of big projects that went multiple times over the budget is probably much longer.

It took less than 5 years to build and open the first 28 NYC subway stations

Apps used for tracking COVID symptoms that got millions of downloads in matter of weeks (mostly as being first on the market) are starting to rebrand and pivot into more business-oriented areas, and many their users could be surprised by this. Is this praying on users by luring them with functionality X and then doing Y?

Yelp is closing some of their offices, and its CEO describes hybrid work as "hell" and "It’s the worst of three options". I tend to agree with this view as it is much more demanding/complex than it looks and than the "fully remote" or "fully on-site" approach is. My brief take - a team has to swiftly change from office work to fully remote days in most cases once a week, also if you can work for days remotely - most likely is that you don't need to be in the office that often and it is just an organizational issue in a particular company. Kudos to Yelp for calling it out and putting their decisions where their opinion is.

Salesforce doing a week without a meetings (for a second time). I think this is a bit desperate move - probably once a problem overwhelms management and people are calling for a drastic change as asking to do fewer meetings didn't help much. Maybe it might be a solution for them in such situation, case study is decent and I'm curious to look forward to employee's opinions on this.

Doing a README as a manager for others in a company and colleagues. Basically, a manual how to interact with you. I love writing stuff down, as a good approach to many topics with not much costs. This might work, I'm curious enough to give it a shot in the next weeks in my case and see if this helps my colleagues and maybe me as well. Clearly sharing your expectations for others should be a must-have and not obtained from 'non-direct communication' (as often it is).

I'm curious where on this XKCD chart would be Manager Readme.

Do you hate giving tips when you pay by card? Last week I discover (out in a wild!) a startup to allow direct tipping waiters [TipTip] in Poland, and the same week used TipJar in Berlin. TipTip seems to use QR code assigned to the waiter, when TipJar uses QR code assigned to the restaurant (or maybe a particular table as it was placed on it), at least this is how it was in my case. I'm glad to see some improvement in that area, only as it is a simple feature - maybe it should be a part of a bigger product? Feature request - add an option to tip a cook/kitchen staff. I also just hope this won't normalize tips in more countries as a social norm.

There is a cloud in the space (by AWS), done by sending an edge AWS server (compute+storage) to the space. I just wonder how well it will handle cosmic radiation, but maybe having a portable server will allow for easy rotation of them?

Good explanation of database inconsistency and transactions, if you do software it is worth skipping over.

Snapchat introduces paid subscription, which offers more features and early access to new ones. Twitter Blue comes first to my mind as a comparison of paying for app features (also lack of ads).

Data from ransomware victims are not only published but an easy search is added to it, to put bigger pressure on victims to pay the ransom.

Good vs. great F1 lap - the difference is minimal and almost impossible to spot without slowed side-by-side video and telemetry data.

Mars Explorer spacecraft (orbiting Mars), one that initially discovered signs of water on Mars in 2004 gets a major software update, the first one in 19 years. Among other challenges, the original software was written on Windows 98, which is not common these days.

Startup Glance (which got funding also from Google) is proposing putting ads on smartphone lock screens, basically forcing users to at least glance at them. Isn't this already done by Amazon on Kindle for ages and just pushed to its limit? Will next will be a phone app for Android that will force you to listen to ads before picking up your phone?

Top Gun: Maverick is a very very good movie, and air combat scenes are breathtaking, this video goes into many details from behind the scenes. Starting with how to squeeze 6 IMAX cameras into a tight cockpit, going through training of actors for air combat g-forces, or that they didn't see footage from cameras until the plane landed an hour later. As an extra to this recommendation:

Have you seen something interesting recently, please share it in the comment below, there is a lot of content online, let's comb it together.