summing up 31

a more or less weekly digest of juicy stuff

  • the mature optimization handbook (pdf), highly recommended
  • the craziest date ever, jeff and i traveled to eight countries in 21 days without changing clothes. it sure beat meeting for coffee. great read
  • you might be asking the wrong questions, going around asking for "feedback" won't get you anything useful. here's how to dig deeper and find real answers
  • "ultimately it comes down to taste. it comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you're doing. i mean picasso had a saying, he said good artists copy great artists steal. and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas and i think part of what made the macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world", steve jobs
  • m.v.p., not m.v.p.o.s., in theory it's a great idea - inputting the minimum amount of time necessary to validate a product/feature - but like many great ideas it seems to be frequently bastardized in practice and reinterpreted as what i like to call m.v.p.o.s., or minimum viable piece of shit
  • over my dead body, high quality is nothing you ask your boss for, you do it, you don't even get into the discussion if it pays off or not. either the company is committed to high quality code, that steadily improves or it is doomed. crappy code will fail your customers, your business, your shareholders, your investors and it will fail you
  • a conversation with alan kay, a lot of the problems that computing has had in the last 25 years comes from systems where the designers were trying to fix some short-term thing and didn't think about whether the idea would scale if it were adopted. there should be a half-life on software so old software just melts away over 10 or 15 years
  • never use a warning when you mean undo
  • google doesn't understand people, they have some of the best tech people in the world, and they are wizards with data and the infrastructure it requires. but when it comes to humans they are amateurs. and their products prove it
  • bootstrap bankruptcy, when it comes to custom interfaces, bootstrap isn't a box of bricks, panels, walls and doors with which you can build anything you want. bootstrap is more like a mortgage
  • rfc 3514, firewalls, packet filters, intrusion detection systems, and the like often have difficulty distinguishing between packets that have malicious intent and those that are merely unusual. the problem is that making such determinations is hard. to solve this problem, we define a security flag, known as the "evil" bit, in the ipv4 header. benign packets have this bit set to 0; those that are used for an attack will have the bit set to 1
  • how i learned to work a room, and you can too, if you see a pair of people, the chances are that they arrived together and know they should be mingling. or else they've just met and are, in the back of their minds, worried that they're going to end up talking to this one person all night. either way, they're relieved to see you
  • stop freelancing, remember, you're not a no-strings-attached temporary employee, you're an expert in your field whom clients come to because they want the best product possible
  • and i will show you everything, beautiful comic strip
  • numbers stations
  • terminal cornucopia, can common items sold in airports after the security screening be used to build lethal weapons? yep