Links 2017-12-31 - Thomas Bibby

Note: this is a new experiment I’m running – posting a weekly list of links that I enjoyed. Feedback welcome – also if anyone would like these in their inbox, let me know and I’ll add a subscription option.

Computer latency: 1977-2017 – Dan Luu

A wonderful article detailing how our computing devices have been getting less responsive over the years, and how complexity makes it worse.  There are good reasons why a 34 year-old Apple IIe  is top of Dan’s responsiveness charts, but that doesn’t mean we should be proud of it.

From inboxing to thought showers: how business bullshit took over – The Guardian

A glorious rant against business speak, with a shout-out to one of my favourite TV series, W1A, which skewers this practice wonderfully.

Dozens of Companies Are Using Facebook to Exclude Older Workers From Job Ads – ProPublica

Discrimination of any kind is awful of course, but what’s baffling about this particular case is that companies are hurting themselves by excluding potentially brilliant employees. And this doesn’t just go for older people – the lack of diversity in tech is a directly result of tech companies using stupid hiring practices and then wondering why it’s so hard to get good people.

Decomposing Emoji –

An illustration of how Swift, Javascript, Ruby and Python all have different answers to the question of “how long is this string”, and how they’re all right. It feels like since Unicode, strings are the new dates – representations of real-world things that most programmers get wrong.

How Facebook’s Political Unit Enables the Dark Art of Digital Propaganda

It’s not shocking that Facebook are making money from rich people looking to change peoples’ minds, but it is shocking how blatant they are about it. I’m expecting Facebook ads paid for by people and organisations outside Ireland to play a big role in Ireland’s abortion referendum next year.

How to scam $200,000 per month and get 67,882 all 5 Star reviews on the app store – reddit

A nice bit of digging on fake reviews on the App Store. My biggest complaint about the App Store – it’s not the 30% cut, or the stringent review criteria, those things I’m happy to put up with. My complaint is that the scammers still win. If the scammers are vanquished and good apps will naturally rise to the top of the sales charts I’d be a much happier app developer. This article shows how much work Apple need to do to fix the App Store and remove the rubbish.

Rust in 2017: what we achieved –

I’ve not tried out Rust yet – but this is a pretty good example of how to grow a community round your project. I enjoy these “year in review” posts so much, I’m surprised that more people don’t do them (and just to show it’s not just for programmers, I enjoyed Candy Japan’s 2017 review post too)

On the front lines of the GOP’s civil war – Esquire

An interesting account of Republicans in the US trying to take their party back.

Chrome is Not the Standard – Chris Kycho

It still baffles me how Chrome managed to get such market share, especially amongst developers. I’ve only came across a few sites that were Chrome-only – mostly complicated web apps – and I hope that this trend doesn’t continue.

Ask HN: Is it too late to find a mentor after 30 for a software developer? – Hacker News

A Hacker News discussion thread that reminds me of a business idea I have – create a remote part-time version of Recurse Center – pair people up with a remote mentor, charge a subscription fee where most of the money goes to the mentor, to a maximum of x hours a month. Like most of my business ideas, I really just want this service to exist, because I’d definitely pay for it.

The Only McLaren F1 Technician in North America – Road And Track Magazine

I’m mostly bored about cars these days, but I still remember the excitement when the McLaren F1 came out, and this article is a lovely tribute to a truly ground-breaking machine.

To Serve Man, with Software – Jeff Atwood

An eloquent post on the need for software engineers to recognise the responsibility that comes with our increasing power.