Links!   08 August 2020

The Giving Tree- Alternate Ending:

“Look, I was fine with giving you the apples
to help you get on your feet.
they’ll grow back next season anyway.
But no, I’m not giving you a house.
You know, I’ve seen boys like you
pull this nonsense
with other trees in the forest.”


The 1918 Flu, Masks and Lessons for the Coronavirus Pandemic:

Arrested on Kearny Street in January, Mr. Cocciniglia told the judge that he “was not disposed to do anything not in harmony with his feelings,” according to a Los Angeles Times report.

He was sentenced to five days in jail.

“That suits me,” Mr. Cocciniglia said as he left the stand. “I won’t have to wear a mask there.”

Scientists Worry About Political Influence Over Coronavirus Vaccine Project: If you wonder what would create an entire generation of anti-vaxers:

“There are a lot of people on the inside of this process who are very nervous about whether the administration is going to reach their hand into the Warp Speed bucket, pull out one or two or three vaccines, and say, ‘We’ve tested it on a few thousand people, it looks safe, and now we are going to roll it out.’”

Cerberus-Backed Hospitals Face Life and Debt as Virus Rages:

But almost as soon as the state monitoring period ended, Cerberus did what many private equity skeptics feared. In 2016, Steward sold off some of the hospitals’ property for $1.25 billion. The hospitals now had to pay rent to use buildings they once owned.


Freedom House Ambulance Service — File this away for the next time someone says we shouldn’t take responsibility and funding for a task away from police departments:

John Moon can still remember what the emergency services provided by the police were like in Pittsburgh in the 1960s, “The public was faced with … ‘swoop and scoop’ which meant you’d call the police and they’d pick you up, throw you in the back of a paddywagon, and rush you off to the hospital.”

These Women Entrepreneurs Created A Fake Male Cofounder To Dodge Startup Sexism:

That’s when Gazin and Dwyer introduced a third cofounder: Keith Mann, an aptly named fictional character who could communicate with outsiders over email.


Google’s Top Search Result? Surprise! It’s Google – Until you see the old screen shots it’s easy to forget how Google used to prioritize links to other sites:

We examined more than 15,000 recent popular queries and found that Google devoted 41 percent of the first page of search results on mobile devices to its own properties

Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google Faithful Face Regulatory Risk:

Monopolies are impregnable money-minting machines, so everyone wants a piece of them. It’s no accident that Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook  are four of the seven biggest companies in the world by market value. Nor is it surprising that their profits have trickled down to shareholders. An equal investment in the four tech giants since Facebook — the youngest of the bunch — went public in 2012 has produced a return of 31% a year, including dividends, more than double the return from the S&P 500 over the same period.  

U.S. ‘Clean Network’ Campaign Attempts to Wall Off Chinese Hardware, Software, and Cloud Services:

If I’m reading all of this right, the U.S. government has set a forty-five day countdown on a prohibition of financial relationships with TikTok and WeChat, citing concerns about the amount of data both apps collect on their users, and theft of intellectual property. This is likely to cause retaliation, according to the chief executive of a company that just released a clone of TikTok.

Major American Companies With a Consumer Internet Presence in China:

But AAPL shares are trading at an all-time high so I’m sure all is good and Apple has nothing to worry about with a rapidly escalating trade war with China and a cornered-rat deranged narcissist steering the U.S.

Why SPACs Are the New IPO:

That’s why the most compelling explanation for the SPAC boom is not that the IPO process is costly (it’s expensive but cheaper than a SPAC), but that it takes a long time. And that’s especially challenging for companies that want to ride a hype wave.

College football: Athletes push back on playing amid COVID-19 pandemic:

But instead of being treated as crucial partners in an entertainment enterprise, they are being asked to function as essential workers so that schools who have spent lavishly and irresponsibly for years on facilities and coaching salaries can minimize the difficult decisions they’re going to have to make and TV networks can recoup some of the money they’ve lost without live sports to show for much of this year. 


1 Million Hours of Stratospheric Flight:

Over 1 million hours of flight, we’ve been surprised by some of the clever and complex navigational behaviors to emerge from this system. These are not prescribed behaviors or ones directed by the engineers building it. Instead, they emerged as the system sought to maximize the navigational efficiency of the Loon fleet.

Tales of the Autistic Developer – I’m not on the spectrum but I’d developed some similar techniques to deal with problems focusing and tracking what I’ve done:

In one recent meeting we were discussing what it meant to be neurodiverse at varying levels at the company. In the process of that discussion I’d realized all the tools and tricks I’d used to perform at that Senior level, how I dealt with the expectations, handled the stress, and was able to deliver. These are insights that have helped me survive with autism and ADHD in work, and in many cases have allowed me to thrive.

Documenting Architecture Decisions – It so important to capture the factors that went into making a technical decision so that years later when the requirements have changed and you need to reevaluate the decision, you’re able to recreate context:

One of the hardest things to track during the life of a project is the motivation behind certain decisions. A new person coming on to a project may be perplexed, baffled, delighted, or infuriated by some past decision. Without understanding the rationale or consequences, this person has only two choices: - Blindly accept the decision. - Blindly change it.

At Recurly we’d setup an RFC process based on the one used by Rust but there’s plenty of options to choose from. The important thing is to just start recording the information.

Secrets, Lies, and Account Recovery: Lessons from the Use of Personal Knowledge Questions at Google:

We examine the first large real-world data set on personal knowledge question’s security and memorability from their deployment at Google. Our analysis confirms that secret questions generally offer a security level that is far lower than user-chosen passwords.

You don’t need to actually read it now. Just bookmark it so you can pass it along to the future product manager that asks you to implement them.


The UX of LEGO Interface Panels:

At a glance, the variety of these designs can be overwhelming, but it’s clear that some of these interfaces look far more chaotic than others. Most interfaces in our world contain a blend of digital screens and analog inputs like switches and dials. These LEGO panels are no different.

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