Spring 2019 round-up

22-Jun-2019


A round-up of tweets, links and other gubbins from the past few months (click here to read the previous instalment).

What I've been working on

"Maintenance" is the word that best sums up the past few months. Nothing very exciting to report, but that's not necessarily a bad thing - it's as important to keep the engine purring like a kitten as it is to build the car in the first place :-) Clients such as Nokia and Macmillan Distribution have been keeping me plenty busy, and I've also had the chance to give some TLC to our internal projects, notably Another Read and Sitesuma.

What I've been reading

Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis
Ordinary Thunderstorms, by William Boyd
Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

What I've been tweeting

20-Jun-2019
While I'm reminiscing about cherished books from my younger years, here's a thoughtful piece from Salman Rushdie on the relevance of Slaughterhouse Five, half a century after its publication:
newyorker.com/books/page-turner/what-kurt-vonneguts-slaughterhouse-five-tells-us-now

20-Jun-2019
Looking forward to watching Clooney's take on Catch-22 this evening, but apprehensive too - a treasured book from my youth, I'd hate to see it butchered...

17-Jun-2019
Curious to see who will take over the "Have I Been Pwned" service now that Troy Hunt has put it up for sale:
troyhunt.com/project-svalbard-the-future-of-have-i-been-pwned

14-Jun-2019
This opinion isn't very heavily tested or researched, but so far I'm really enjoying Typora - a real-time WYSIWYG markdown editor:
typora.io

07-Jun-2019
How Designers Engineer Luck Into Video Games - The responsibilities and challenges of programmed luck
(If only real life came with a "pity timer"...)
nautil.us/issue/70/variables/how-designers-engineer-luck-into-video-games-rp

01-Jun-2019
"Every Second" - such a simple idea (takes me back to my "Salary Timer" days!), but wonderfully executed:
everysecond.io
(see more of Neal's work here: nealagarwal.me)

21-May-2019
Worries about whether this final season of Game of Thrones has felt rushed, lacks fully fleshed narrative arcs, whether the ending does or doesn't deliver on an emotional level, dissolve into insignificance next to the immense relief of being able to navigate the internet (and indeed the wider world) again without the constant gnawing terror of encountering spoilers around every corner! :-D

17-May-2019
Interesting write-up of how Dropbox modified their storage architecture to more efficiently cope with "warm" and "cold" data access across multiple regions:
blogs.dropbox.com/tech/2019/05/how-we-optimized-magic-pocket-for-cold-storage

10-May-2019
This has come up in a few conversations recently, so thought it worth sharing an article that explains what's going on (and I rather like their voodoo-doll metaphor) - "Your phone [probably] isn't spying on you"
www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/your-phone-is-not-spying-its-listening-to-your-voodoo-doll/11073686

03-May-2019
Interested to see that Telerik have released v.1.0 of their UI controls for Blazor (i.e. the ability to create rich web apps using C# rather than JavaScript):
telerik.com/blazor-ui

26-Apr-2019
I see that Cloudflare's new registrar service has launched (for transfers-in, at least). An obvious move, as the main barrier to using CF for many of our clients has been trouble accessing existing DNS settings. Registering domains via CF in the first place could make life a lot easier.
developers.cloudflare.com/registrar

19-Apr-2019
Delightful illustrated article from Shelly Tan at the Washington Post, documenting every Game of Thrones death so far (needless to say, SPOILER-TASTIC!)
washingtonpost.com/graphics/entertainment/game-of-thrones/

12-Apr-2019
Remaining Relevant as a .NET Developer - useful and succinct advice from Rockford "Rocky" Lhotka:
lhotka.net/weblog/RemainingRelevantAsANETDeveloper.aspx

05-Apr-2019
Interesting to hear my 7 year old telling his friends to "search it up", instead of "Google it". I guess it reflects the fact that for their generation search is less about the web, and more about smart speakers, video streaming apps, smart TVs, mobile assistants like Siri, etc.

29-Mar-2019
Who knew that GCHQ host public repos on GitHub? They even have an Enigma machine emulator, which takes me back to when I was learning C++, an Enigma emulator was one of the first things I built (I was reading "The Code Book" by Simon Singh at the time).
github.com/gchq/CyberChef/wiki/Enigma,-the-Bombe,-and-Typex