Links, page 2

  1. Dev perception
    adactio.com

    Jeremy Keith:

    It’s relatively easy to write and speak about new technologies. You’re excited about them, and there’s probably an eager audience who can learn from what you have to say.

    It’s trickier to write something insightful about a tried and trusted (perhaps even boring) technology that’s been around for a while. You could maybe write little tips and tricks, but I bet your inner critic would tell you that nobody’s interested in hearing about that old tech. It’s boring.

    The result is that what’s being written about is not a reflection of what’s being widely used.

  2. Stuffing the Front End
    bridgestew.com

    Bridget Stewart:

    How many features are built-in to a framework or library that your app doesn’t need yet (and may never need)? How much can you hold back from the package you send to the web? How dependent are these modules and bits of code on one another? To me, that sounds like a lot of analysis up front to pick apart a tool before I even write a single line of code to be truly productive. It is also the antithesis of Progressive Enhancement, which strives to start with the bare minimum necessary to make it work and build up from there.

  3. Grifters Gone Wild
    nytimes.com

    More on scammers, by Maureen Dowd:

    As Maria Konnikova wrote in her book, “The Confidence Game,” “The whirlwind advance of technology heralds a new golden age of the grift. Cons thrive in times of transition and fast change” when we are losing the old ways and open to the unexpected.

    We are easy marks for faux Nigerian princes now, when chaos rules, the American identity wobbles, and technology is transforming our lives in awe-inspiring and awful ways.

    See also, on Wired: Nigerian Email Scammers Are More Effective Than Ever.

  4. Scammers: They’re Just Like Us
    buzzfeednews.com

    Prompted by the college admissions bribery scandal in the US, the hosts of Do By Friday had an interesting discussion about grifting on a recent episode of the podcast. This article by Tom Gara was mentioned by Max Temkin and caught my attention:

    We are living in a golden age of grifting. For an ambitious scammer in 2018, this is like being a sculptor in 1500s Florence — every major force at play in our world is like a wind at your back. In politics, a team of all-star grifters now runs the United States, and their fake-it-till-you-make-it ethos bleeds into everything it touches and elevates aspirational young con artists into national figures. Technology now allows you to create and maintain an entirely constructed identity, giving you not just the tools to manipulate your image and massage the truth of your everyday life, but also an audience hungry to consume that image and believe in it.

  5. Regarding the Thoughtful Cultivation of the Archived Internet
    kottke.org

    Prompted by an excellent Kurzgesagt video on the subject, Jason Kottke reflects on what to do with old blog posts that don’t quite pass muster anymore:

    But so anyway, I don’t know what to do about those old problematic posts. Tim Berners-Lee’s idea that cool URIs don’t change is almost part of my DNA at this point, so deleting them seems wrong. Approximately no one ever reads any post on this site that’s more than a few years old, but is that an argument for or against deleting them? (If a tree falls in the woods, etc…) Should I delete but leave a note they were deleted? Should I leave the original posts but append updates citing my current displeasure? Or like Mister Rogers used to do, should I rewrite the posts to bring them more into line with my current thinking? Is the kottke.org archive trapped in amber, a record of what I’ve written when I wrote it, or is it a living, breathing thing that thrives on activity? Is it more like a book or a performance?

    This is an issue I struggle with, too. I no longer agree with some of my older film reviews, and some even contain mistakes. Should I delete them? Do I need to rewatch the films and write new reviews?

    I might implement something I’ve seen in other blogs: a notice on old posts saying something to the effect of “this post is old, I might not agree with it anymore.”

  6. Homework I Gave Web Designers
    cloudfour.com

    Tyler Sticka:

    When everyone finished translating articles to semantic, accessible HTML, I let them in on a secret: This was still design. While we hadn’t yet incorporated color, typography or composition, we had made decisions about prioritization, hierarchy, information architecture and user experience. And those decisions would be the most resilient… accessible to virtually any visitor, not just those blessed few with perfect vision, hearing and mobility. The web was the only medium that offered designers the chance to craft one work for such a varied landscape with so few gatekeepers.

  7. I ruin developers’ lives with my code reviews and I’m sorry
    m.habr.com

    Philipp Ranzhin:

    I was mad that, while I spent my nights learning F#, my daughter started calling everyone around “fathers”. And this guy, instead of getting better at his job, went home to his children. And I wanted to punish him.

    Because I do code review for self-identification. I don’t give a toss about the project or the code. I’m simply a madman who’s allowed to hurt people. I’m a psychopath with a licence to kill. An alpha male with a huge stick.

    When I realized that, I felt ashamed of myself.

  8. Managing Flow and Rhythm with CSS Custom Properties
    24ways.org

    Andy Bell suggests using CSS Custom Properties together with Heydon Pickering’s lobotomized owl selector to manage vertical spacing. It’s an elegant solution that works well with the cascade:

    .flow {
      --flow-space: 1em;
    }  
    
    .flow > * + * { 
      margin-top: var(--flow-space);
    }
    

    I’ve been experimenting with old-school margin collapsing for vertical rhythm this past year, in Cobalt. I’m a proponent of spacing being an inherent property that exists by default instead of something that has to be explicitly added. But margin collapsing doesn’t really play well with Grid layout (until we get something like margin-trim), so I might give this method a try.

  9. Astronauts arriving on Mars won’t be able to walk. VR may save them
    wired.co.uk

    Katia Moskvitch:

    Astronauts returning to Earth after a long stint in space are so badly disorientated that they usually can’t walk properly for 24 hours or longer. Turns out human brains function differently in space and when an astronaut gets back, it takes his or her brain some time to re-train itself. Now Marissa Rosenberg, a neuroscientist at Nasa, plans to use virtual reality headsets as a tool to short-cut the training.

  10. Oscars 2019: ‘Burning’ Would Have Won
    gq.com

    Kristen Yoonsoo Kim investigates why Korean films keep getting snubbed at the Oscars:

    At the time, the submission of Age of Shadows made no sense to me. But in early 2017, a government blacklist created by Korea’s former, impeached president Park Geun-hye was uncovered. Thousands of Korean artists and cultural figures were banned from receiving government support, and one of the most prominent figures on that blacklist was The Handmaiden director Park Chan-wook, thought to be too leftist and thus a threat to the government’s agenda.

    The Handmaiden, Okja, and Burning are among my favorite films of the last few years. It’s a shame they’re not getting wider recognition.

  11. Once hailed as unhackable, blockchains are now getting hacked
    technologyreview.com

    Mike Orcutt:

    A miner who somehow gains control of a majority of the network’s mining power can defraud other users by sending them payments and then creating an alternative version of the blockchain in which the payments never happened. This new version is called a fork. The attacker, who controls most of the mining power, can make the fork the authoritative version of the chain and proceed to spend the same cryptocurrency again.

    This sounds less like a hack and more like a consequence of “it’ll never happen” dismissal of possible abuses of the system as it’s designed.

  12. FOREVERYONE.NET
    foreveryone.net

    A great little documentary about the birth of the web, featuring Tim Berners-Lee front and center.

    FOREVERYONE.NET connects the future of the web with the little-known story of its birth. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet creating the world wide web.

  13. CERN 2019 WorldWideWeb Rebuild
    worldwideweb.cern.ch

    Digital archeology — a working simulation of the first ever web browser:

    In December 1990, an application called WorldWideWeb was developed on a NeXT machine at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as CERN) just outside of Geneva. This program – WorldWideWeb — is the antecedent of most of what we consider or know of as “the web” today.

    In February 2019, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the development of WorldWideWeb, a group of developers and designers convened at CERN to rebuild the original browser within a contemporary browser, allowing users around the world to experience the origins of this transformative technology.

    It’s amazing just how resilient and backwards-compatible HTML is. My site is already quite usable in WorldWideWeb, but now I’ll have to resist the urge to add some optimizations for 1990 web users.

  14. ‘Apollo 11’ Review: Astonishing NASA Documentary Is One Giant Leap for Film Restoration
    indiewire.com

    David Ehrlich writes about the upcoming Apollo 11 documentary, made using recently discovered 65mm footage:

    It’s rare that picture quality can inspire a physical reaction, but the opening moments of “Apollo 11,” in which a NASA camera crew roams around the base of the rocket and spies on some of the people who’ve come to gawk at it from a beach across the water, are vivid enough to melt away the screen that stands between them. The clarity takes your breath away, and it does so in the blink of an eye; your body will react to it before your brain has time to process why, after a lifetime of casual interest, you’re suddenly overcome by the sheer enormity of what it meant to leave the Earth and land somewhere else.

    This looks absolutely incredible.