Nobody’s Driving

Powerful article by Jessica Wildfire.

Everyone wants to know why teens are crying on their phones. They talk about the mental health crisis. They ask what’s going on.

Well, teens are sad.

Describing why, in this age we (society, the adults) continue going on with inertia while the world becomes worse and worse for the new generations.

The adults don’t want to do anything. They don’t want to take anything seriously. They don’t want to think about the future.

I do feel that we are not doing enough.

The wildfires every year are something we have gotten used to and that’s scary.

A train in the in front of a orange-gray smokey sky. The train reads “Building America”, which is ironic

The receding ice in the poles and glaciers, and we keep going.

A panoramic photo of the Athabasca Glacier, two big mountains and in the middle the glacier. The walk to this glacier has markers showing how far down the glacier used to reach

Sometimes I feel I do my part, most of the time I feel I could do more. Planting drought resistant clover lawns and selling our second car.

These are not nothing, but they still feel like they are not enough.

Wisdom by Merlin Mann

Everybody likes being given a glass of water.

This project is a beautiful list of advice. Some random (and not so random ones):

Give kids the opportunity to learn and practice new things in a low-stakes environment. Failure is important in life, but it needn’t always be costly or dangerous.

This applies to adults too.

Open your mail over the recycling bin.

The analogue spam box.

Before deciding that you have solved a problem, it’s useful to ask yourself whether you understand what caused the problem—as well as knowing precisely how your specific choice of solution has “fixed” it. If you mostly just kept trying various random things until something seemed to improve, you just got lucky. Which is different.

It’s still a valid approach to problem solving.

Three is two, two is one, and one is none.

Applies to employees, and toilet paper rolls.

Every project is a triangle made of time, money, and quality; shortening the length of one side necessarily lengthens one or—more often—both of the other sides.

Seen this one also worded as “Good, fast, cheap. Choose two.”


Thanks, Merlin!

Two Hard Things

A classic via Martin Fowler:

There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things.

— Phil Karlton

Naming things is hard, yes. But naming your new text editor Visual Studio Code which is not a replacement to the existing Visual Studio IDE takes the cake. Microsoft is the winner of being the worst at naming things ever.

Kindly change the name of one or merge them once and for all. Worst thing to come out of 2015.

More Effective Remote Working

Mike McQuaid sharing some really simple (except, maybe the last one) tips on working remotely:

Evaluate performance on output, not on working hours: When everyone’s not colocated in the same place for meetings, pair programming, etc.: you don’t need everyone to work the same schedules.

Evaluating on output is such a no brainer but I still see sticklers for punctuality (as in start your day at 8am) and explicit focus on marking 40 hours of work.

Write more, meet less […] Instead, consider writing documents which can be linked, shared, edited and kept evergreen for discussion.

He makes it sound easy but keeping documentation evergreen is not easy. Making sure people read and understood correctly even harder.

Slack and email are async, not sync […]

Sending an email or a message on IM should not come with an expectation of an immediate response. But the bigger point he makes is further down and it’s has nothing to do with the tools used and more the message and how it’s phrased:

Don’t send messages saying “Have you got a minute?” unless it’s incredibly urgent that you schedule a sync call now. Instead, ask “Hey, about the meeting yesterday, can I grab your thoughts on the migration when you have a minute?”

This is gold, the second message makes it clearer that taking time to think on a response is ok and expected. Without going into the level of dread that a message like “Have you got a minute?” from a boss generates.

Use emoji to convey emotion


Meet in person (sometimes)

First word that comes to mind is “budget” and it makes me want to cry 😭

Thanks for the tips Mike!

The News For Jan 27, 2017

For a while now I’ve been doing Youtube videos and recently I started to switch from gaming videos (Let’s plays and walkthroughs) into other more technology related topics. A series I’ve started is doing a short video going through interesting news I saw during the week.

Here’s The News for January 27, 2017 (and you can subscribe here):

Samsung publishes reasons for exploding Note7

Samsung has finally published the real reason behind the explosions that plagued the Note 7 line. After completing their own investigation as well as three other independent consultants the conclusion was that there were actually 2 issues related to the batteries.

Batteries created by Samsung had a fault where they were too big for the phone’s casing which lead to bending and short circuiting.

After the initial failures, Amperex Technology provided new batteries.

Due to the rush to relaunch the device these new batteries had missing insulation and other low quality parts that made them prone to the same result.

Samsung has said they have overhauled their safety testing procedures to prevent this from happening again.

The whole Note 7 saga has been bizarre and plagued with half truths and half measures, hopefully this really is the end of it.

Samsung has reported they have recovered 96 percent of all the affected devices so there are potentially many more chances for things to blow up.

Samsung also announced they will not shy away from the Note brand, so expect a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to blow us away sometime this year…


SpaceX is discarding their next launch rocket

Last week SpaceX made the news with their first launch after the explosion last year. Well they are back in the news again.

This time they’ve announced that their next launch will be the last one that uses expendable rockets.

The rocket being used is fully capable of landing itself but due to the mission parameters it won’t have enough fuel to do the maneuver.

This is due to two reasons, first is that the EchoStart satellite being launched is quite large and heavy.

The other one is that it needs to be put in a geostationary orbit which is around thirty six thousand kilometers above earth’s surface.

The distance and the weight make it impossible for to the rocket to land back.

The company has announced that they intend this mission to be the last time they have to discard a rocket since the next ones will use the new iteration of the Falcon 9 or the Falcon Heavy rockets which should have enough capacity to land back after any mission.

The launch is scheduled for next Monday, January 30.


Lucasfilms releases the new Start War movie name!

This week Lucasfilms announced the name of the next Star Wars movie, so skip this part if you are so spoiler averse that even knowing the name is unacceptable.

It will be called The Last Jedi and will continue the original Skywalker saga that’s been going for 7 episodes… 4 episodes?

The movie is expected to release on December 15, I wonder if we’ll ever get tired of the yearly Star Wars movie? I know I won’t.


Apple’s latest beta WatchOS has Theater Mode

This week Apple released new beta versions of their multiple operating systems including watchOS 3.2

Beside the traditional bug fixes and improvements a new feature has been introduced: Theater Mode.

The feature disables the normal raise to wake behaviour of the watch. When enabled the screen can only be turned on by tapping on it.

I’m really looking forward to this feature, not only when going to the movies but also in a more common situation like showering. The water droplets usually trigger the touch screen and make the watch go crazy so hopefully this fixes this issue a bit.


PC Gaming Hardware Sales for 2016 surprise

For many years now the PC industry sales have been in decline, but a new report by Jon Peddie Research, seems to indicate that at least one area of the industry is actually doing great: PC Gaming hardware.

The report shows that for the first time this market broke through the $30 billion in revenue mark.

A goal that was expected to be reached in 2018.

The feat seems to be fueled by a combination of multiple things: the failure of consoles to entice the enthusiast gamers, and the value proposition of PCs that enable a better experience.

Variety of parts from budget to high end, and customization are also a powerful influence.

The report also makes it a point to identify that PC gamers are very enthusiastic no matter their budget.

Non the less, high end parts still took the biggest chunk of the market with 43%, the midrange 35% and the low end 22%

It’s gonna be interesting to see this same report next year since a lot of people will be finally making their upgrade decisions after AMD launches their Ryzen and Vega lines.


Support me when you purchase in amazon by using my affiliate links (at no extra cost to you):

Alan Turing

Protrait of Alan Turing

This week was the anniversary of Alan Turing’s death. For those who don’t know who he is, he was a British computer scientist, considered the father of computer science for defining the basis of how computers work today.

He not only defined and formalized concepts like algorithms and computation but he was also an amazing cryptographer and helped decode many German messages during World War II.

He was 41 when he died. Which is a damn shame because of all the brilliance and potential he showed.

Let’s stop being disingenuous though, he committed suicide: he was prosecuted and convicted for homosexual acts and as an alternative to prison he received a treatment called chemical castration. 2 years after his conviction he was found dead from cyanide poisoning.

So here we had a genius on the rise with more than half his life still ahead of him and due to prejudice-as-policy we (humanity) lost all that potential. To put it mildly, that sucks.

So I implore you, if you ever have a thought that has even a bit of prejudice in it: shut up. You’re creating a worse future.

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner in the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine

Just recently we went through a social media frenzy on the news about Caitlyn Jenner: the new identity adopted by Bruce Jenner after going through a gender transition. Of course the negativity didn’t take too long to come up.

The direct attacks were pretty bad but what really made me sad were the slight discriminatory comments from people that gain nothing from them.


To them I just have one thing to say: I really hope you never find yourselves in a situation where you don’t feel welcome. [1]

When the human mind is forced into a defensive state it stops allocating cycles to creative endeavours and dedicates the energy instead to the fight-or-flight reactions.

People think a joke or a slight comment doesn’t hurt anybody but they don’t realize that these types of comments perpetuate the discrimination by making it a normal thing. It also makes members of these discriminated groups to focus their energies on gaining equality instead of creating a better world for everybody.

Or worse, like Turing, give up.

Please stop, it is not worth it.

Learn from these kids:

  1. Not only this image is transphobic but also racist. Sad part is some people that use it just don’t realize.

Givin' a crap

When building something for someone else, do you try to build the best thing ever or do you just give them the minimum necessary to say you built it?

As product people we know projects have 3 strings pulling in different directions: cost, quality and time. And inevitably we need to choose one over the other to find a balance, that’s just how things work.

What should never happen is not giving a crap about your product. Saying something like “I have no opinion on how this should work” is a direct path to the land of bad products.

It’s hard, it’s exhausting, and sometimes you will make bad decisions. But a decision is necessary, a design is necessary to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Not having an opinion means you didn’t design a thing, you were presented a small bucket of play-doh and you just stood there and watched it dry.

Have you tried solving your own problems?

In a conversation with my wife one morning we ended talking about how irritating it is when people complain about a situation but don’t do anything about it (other than complain).

And before we go further, let’s be clear: this wasn’t about personal issues or some unique rocket surgery problem; We were talking about technical problems with known solutions just a Google DuckDuckGo search away.

In this era of having the answer to your question at your fingertips it seems that some people have learnt the wrong lesson: laziness is ok.

That attitude is so foreign to me, probably because I’m on one of the last generations than actually had to use an encyclopedia to do research.

Search, read, learn and stop complaining! Complaining won’t get you closer to a solution.

Whenever I find someone that constantly complains about something they don’t understand but haven’t put any effort into it, I just want to ask them Have you tried solving your own problems?