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it's funny that my typewriter from 84 has better support for special characters than some of the shitty software coming out of the valley these days

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I propose 3 laws that will solve all issues we all have with corporations

A corporation may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A corporation must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A corporation must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

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re: Reducing Technical Debt 

pls hire me as Senior Principal Genius, and i'll train your developers to not suck at their job

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re: Reducing Technical Debt 

so here she goes into yet another skill, forensic code analysis:

This person understands how to follow paths through the code, navigate the comments, mine the git history, and draw from historical programming practices to figure out:

  • who worked on a code base (in order to understand when context got lost, not to blame people)
  • what they intended for a code base to do
  • when those intentions came into effect
  • how the developers tried to implement
  • why they did them the way that they did

Here’s why that’s valuable: this developer can recover lost context in your code base. They can walk into the abandoned house and fix the broken window.

how the heck is this not a core skill for developers?
i trained this skill, and regularly used it, as (Dev)Ops person!

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reading: Reducing Technical Debt – by Chelsea Troy 

Only one of the nine rewrites I have worked on was replacing a fundamentally broken code base.

All of the others—all of them, million and billion dollar projects—were victims of context loss. People didn’t document decisions, and then they left, and now this code theoretically works fine, but no one here knows how it works, so they can’t add a needed feature, and if it ever broke, they’d be screwed. This is a team dynamic problem related to chronically under-valuing and under-rewarding time spent on documentation and context sharing.

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Die antifaschistischen Pinguine sind wieder unterwegs in Dortmund

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@natecull People were always afraid of AIs, but for the wrong reasons.

Instead of "what if the AI becomes too smart and decides it doesn't want or need humans", the real concern is "what if the AI is really dumb and programmed by really dumb people but people take important decisions based on it's (wrong) conclusions because they think it's smart".

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#OtD 7 Jun 1954 computer genius Alan Turing, who also helped the Allies win World War II, died by suicide shortly after being given the choice between prison or chemical castration as punishment for homosexuality

reading: Quantifying Technical Debt – by Chelsea Troy 

this is partially about lack of skill, but it’s not about lack of any skill. It’s about the lack of a specific skill (code stewardship) among a group of people who are probably much better at the skill they’re taught and hired for, which is feature development.

this series is one of the best things on software maintenance I've ever read

amazon's prime TV interface is about as good as their aws interface

which is to say

i don't understand how this company is successful

(n.b.: i haven't bought anything off their website in a decade, but last time i tried that interface was also utter shite)

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massive subtoot 

I _hate_ the narrative 11 year old are tech savants. They know how to use devices as *consumers*. They don't have any particular insight beyond the affordances made available to them, which are often limited.

For-profit companies have no interest in the majority of people doing anything other than passively paying them rent. Access and ownership has been systemically decreased over the last decade or longer.

FOSS projects are only hard to use if they're badly designed or badly documented - this stereotype is dated and often inaccurate. To the extent that these are problems, there are solutions. It's not true that Glimpse, for example, is harder to use than, say, photoshop. Some projects prioritise documentation.

PD is not among them and should not be used as a barometer for anything except what happens when you let somebody who hates UIs design one.

Indeed, part of the problem of computer mediated experience is designing an accessible and ethical framework for use. While no one thing is going to solve every problem, massively inaccessible solutions are problematic. However, corporate platforms are certainly not the answer. The ecological impact of online performance is not separate from privacy and security concerns. Corporate spyware adds extra layers of shit that takes up carbon as it harms users. The cost of adware, in terms of both privacy and carbon, is enormous. Capitalism will never save us.

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Open Book:

"As a society, we need an open source device for reading. Books are among the most important documents of our culture, yet the most popular and widespread devices we have for reading — the Kobo, the Nook, the Kindle and even the iPad — are closed devices, operating as small moving parts in a set of giant closed platforms whose owners’ interests are not always aligned with readers’.

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I wish Signal could at least have the non-UI code be not Electron. Then have the official Electron UI, and let people contribute unsupported other UIs. Like e.g. Transmission, which has GTK, Qt, ncurses, Mac GUIs. If a Windows users contributed a Windows GUI it would probably be accepted.

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Some guy: *takes a drag on cigarette* *adjusts horned-rimmed glasses* *in 1960s voice* We'll set up a... wheel group. On account of every man in it being a big wheel, you see.

Average person 50 years later: I have to add myself to what group?
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sh is a full-fledged subprocess replacement that allows you to call any program as if it were a function

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Does anyone know of a safe way to remove silicone from a PCB?
It is not a coating, I have a board with components attached with silicone glue.
With mechanical methods (e.g. blades) I am worried about damaging the PCB.

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