Hello everyone! 👋 A big welcome to a bunch of new subscribers over the last couple of weeks. Welcome to the Thing!
This week both Tammy and I celebrated the final milestone of our Covid-19 vaccinations. 💉💉🎉 We lapped the two week mark on our second shot. Having summer in front of us and vaccinated friends is giving us a lot of hope ahead. It “feels” a lot easier to get out and about. 🤞
I hope you all have a great weekend! Especially all the Mom’s – have a fabulous Mother’s Day filled with whatever you want! Moms are pretty great at focusing on others. Let’s all flip that bit on Sunday. 🥳
Now let’s get onto some links. There was a lot going on this week! 🏃♀️
I 💙THIS! Signal went ahead and used Facebooks targeting system to send very plain descriptions of how you are being tracked.
We created a multi-variant targeted ad designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to. The ad would simply display some of the information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses. Facebook was not into that idea.
Facebook banned them.
We own a Tread+ as well as a Peloton Bike and we like them a lot, and use them regularly. Peloton has a pretty massive issue here, but they are doing the right thing at a heavy cost. It will be interesting to see how many people do take them up on the recall. There is as much as $600M on the line for them.
It’s horrible that there have been some deaths and accidents. As a user of this product I can see some ways that it can be dangerous. The Tread+ has dials to adjust incline and speed. You could accidentally hit the dial and make the tread take off. Even worse, the back of the treadmill is open and it can catch items and pull them under the Tread. It sounds like that is how at least one child lost their life.
Peloton received 72 reports of adults, children, pets and objects being pulled under the back of the treadmill. This included 29 reports of injuries to children that included broken bones, cuts and third-degree abrasions.
Interestingly enough, we actually had this happen. We had a toy ball get sucked under the Tread and it caused some significant damage. Peloton repaired it. I do wish I knew how that number compared to any treadmill. For any group of 125,000 treadmills in houses, how many injuries are associated?
We aren’t sure yet what we are going to do with ours. I suspect we will keep it. I do with the company was committing to more than just software fixes. I think they should consider an in-house modification to solve some of the risks.
This new NFT project launched this week from Larva Labs, who also created the famed CryptoPunks. The CryptoPunks are now selling for over $1M in some cases, so the launch of a new project from this team is a big deal.
The Meebits all sold within a few hours. There were 20,000 of them generated. Owners of CryptoPunks could get one for free, and new buyers had to pay 2.5 ETH, or $8,000 to mint. Larva Labs generated $80,000,000 in a few hours. There was also a run-up in the price of ETH right before this. I wonder if that inflow had anything to do with it? Likely not.
It will be interesting to see how these transition over time. You can also see the collection on OpenSea.
Sailboats are coming out onto the water getting ready for a summer of sailing on Lake Harriet.
May 7, 2021
Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
“There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.” — Robert Benchley
Tracking codes embedded in URL’s are one of my big pet peeves. The combination of various parameters in URL’s, along with URL shorteners, can track you in ways that are absolutely not obvious. It’s great to see this project to remove them from URL’s automatically. I also love that the rules are freely available as well.
My big wish would be for Pinboard, my bookmarking service, would do this automatically when I save a URL.
This interview with Erin Gallagher is interesting if only to get a view into how complex the web of activity is on social networks. I think Gallagher’s last comment is one to think hard about:
Looking critically at online audiences and who or what is influencing them is a good way to frame it. I’d also go a step further: Ask yourself, ‘what audience are you in? What is the content you’re seeing everyday and sharing? Who makes it? Why are they making it?’ That’s a big ask, but it seems critical.
I don’t understand everything here, but the power built into this seems pretty incredible to provide efficient and automated conversion through various crypto assets.
A Planet style aggregator to pull in multiple RSS feeds and publish an aggregated site and feed, all running on GitHub and using GitHub actions to update. The last time I used a planet-like system like this was to run the Planet Kubb feed.
Blogger and Engineer Tim Bray playing stock analyst in his spare time. His perspective is notable as he is the high-profile engineer that left AWS due to labor matters.
Amazon’s gross revenue increased 41% year-over-year, to $108.5B. To use a technical term: HOLY SHIT! This sort of growth on that sort of base is mind-boggling.
I haven’t tried Twitter Spaces yet, but this writeup makes me want to give it a try. This seems like something that Twitter has a lot of potential with.
Thanks to Have I Been Pwned? I know that my information was contained in this breach. This is a pretty bad one and the passwords were definitely taken as well. If you are a ParkMobile user you should change related passwords right away.
Pretty comprehensive tool that allows you to do long-term financial modeling for your personal finances.
Model hypothetical income, expenses, assets, debt, and more. Visualize the long-term impacts of your decisions.
I played with it a bit and it is very comprehensive. It doesn’t tie into banking information. This is only for modeling different approaches. If you have ever wanted to do more sophisticated “What if?” analysis of your personal finances this could be very helpful.
This is a big deal and “FinOps” is in my opinion a key strategy to making sure that your cloud services are efficient.
Cloud is taking an increasing share of customer IT budgets in almost all product categories That’s a lot of cost to optimise, particularly given the huge number of AWS services that customers are using, and are constantly being introduced. FinOps vendors generally come at the world from the perspective of the finance person rather than the engineer, though. As Spotify looked to reduce its spend, its first initiative–before engineering-centred initiatives like Cost Insights–was top down, focusing on better forecasting and pre-booking GCP resources.
Designing software well in the cloud requires an understanding of the modeled costs during design, and the actual costs at run-time, along with methods to drive further efficiency over time.
Fabulous overview of the complexities of a hybrid work environment.
Figuring out how to do this is far from straightforward. That’s because to design hybrid work properly, you have to think about it along two axes: place and time.
Place is the axis that’s getting the most attention at the moment. Like Fujitsu’s employees, millions of workers around the world this year have made a sudden shift from being place-constrained (working in the office) to being place-unconstrained (working anywhere). Perhaps less noticed is the shift many have also made along the time axis, from being time-constrained (working synchronously with others) to being time-unconstrained (working asynchronously whenever they choose).
The dimensions that Gratton uses to decompose and analyze this are really well thought out.
If you are curious how Ethereum smart contracts work the documentation for Solidity will give you a good understanding.
Solidity is an object-oriented, high-level language for implementing smart contracts. Smart contracts are programs which govern the behaviour of accounts within the Ethereum state.
This challenge from 1729 is a good way to start.
Hiring well is one of, if not the, top skill of any leader, particularly technology leaders. The more success depends on capturing the creative energy of the team, hiring becomes even more important. This article is a great read on doing this well.
It can be useful, when interviewing someone, to take Rumelt’s cue and ask explicitly: what’s going on here with this person in front of me? The more I’ve done it, the more I realize that what most people think of as the hard parts of hiring—asking just the right question that catches the candidate off guard, defining the role correctly, assessing the person’s skills—are less important than a more basic task: how do you see someone, including yourself, clearly?
Seeing people clearly—or at least more clearly—matters not just when finding the “best” hire, but in identifying the best role for them. Even looking at those of us who are lucky enough to have a high degree of choice about what we do with our work, I’ll bet that as few as 20% of us are in the seat that best optimizes our talents and skills at any given time—the seat that makes us feel at home in the world. That’s not good for the 80%, and it’s not good for their teams either.
There is so much wisdom here.
I’m cooking up a new project that the whole family is going to be involved with. If you’d like to get a quarterly newsletter all about books and reading, subscribe now to Reading Things! 📚
Upcoming reading list: Klara and the Sun by Ishiguro, A Man at Arms by Pressfield, Evicted by Desmond, Radical Markets by Posner and Weyl. Excited to read all of them. 📚
It seems completely predictable that Elon Musk and Larry Ellison would represent over 50% of all the divorces amongst the 10 richest men.
The world’s 10 richest men have had 13 total divorces.
– Edwin Dorsey (@StockJabber) May 4, 2021
My daughter is taking drivers ed., and the classes are online so we can all hear. I can report that just like the 1980s, drivers ed. is mostly filled with content to scare the crap out of you. They haven’t done the screening of “Death on the Highway”, at least not yet…
I love seeing the constant innovation in Drafts! We now have Drafts Capture for the Web? I never considered this but there are a number of times when adding a draft from the browser would be handy. Great product Agile Tortoise!
I did an audit of my App Store subscriptions recently. This seems like a good process to do on an annual basis.
My annual subscriptions totaled $309.06 (including taxes). This includes subscriptions to 16 services including: 1Blocker, Albums, Darkroom, Day One, Drafts, iTunes Match, mPaceline, NoMoRoBo (multi), Overcast, RadarScope, Tweetbot, Unread, Weatherline, and YouAte. * denotes family subscriptions.
So how much are App Store subscriptions costing me a year? $1,263.66. They all add up! 💸
I did cancel a handful of subscriptions. These are all subscriptions that I use so I’m getting value from them.
Look up. 👀
On 4/30 at 11:29am I got an email from OpenSea officially announcing that they are adding support for Polygon (MATIC). Polygon is a network built on top of Ethereum. Interoperability to move NFTs in and out of Polygon into the main blockchain is a key feature for OpenSea.
Support for other blockchains (Polygon (formerly Matic) trading coming soon!)
Look at the trading activity for Polygon (MATIC). it is pretty obvious when the news leaked to the market. 😏
Just preordered three ElevationLabs TagVaults so I can use AirTags on boat and pool keys!
Our family likes doing puzzles and we saw these on Shark Tank and thought they looked great. 🧩
Very well designed app to keep track of the score of various games. Picked this up for various games we play at the cabin.
Interesting project that brings a realtime backup to SQLite.
A very thoughtful read from my friend Rob Vischer breaking down “cancel culture” into three thoughtful aspects.
I’m not a Reddit user but this map to navigate various subreddits is pretty cool.
Here is your fortune…
Ships are safe in harbor, but they were never meant to stay there. 🚢
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I’m a fan of the lawn game Kubb and play on the Kubbchucks. Together with a friend of mine, we created the very first scoring & notation system for Kubb so that games can be recorded like a baseball box score. Here is an example of a game-winning turn
3ir 2f f - b b K!