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Web Review, Week 2023-37

Friday, 15 September 2023 | Kevin Ottens

Let’s go for my web review for the week 2023-37.

Willingham Sends Fables Into the Public Domain

Tags: culture, law, public-domain

This is unclear on the technicalities (is it even possible to just claim it like this? is CC0 required? etc.). Still this is a bold move, hats off to this renowned author.

Google gets its way, bakes a user-tracking ad platform directly into Chrome | Ars Technica

Tags: tech, google, surveillance, attention-economy

If you’re still using Chrome, maybe you shouldn’t… They’re clearly making it easier to overcome ad blocker and the tracking won’t be a third party thing anymore, this browser will directly report on your behavior.

Meet the Guy Preserving the New History of PC Games, One Linux Port at a Time

Tags: tech, gaming, maintenance, culture

Interesting conservation work. Video games being part of our culture, especially indie ones, it’s important for such work to happen and be funded.

Touch Pianist - Tap in Rhythm and Perform Your Favourite Music

Tags: tech, music, funny

Really cool and fun experiment. Surprisingly relaxing I find.

If a hammer was like AI…

Tags: tech, ai, gpt, ethics, ecology, bias

Lays out the ethical problems with the current trend of AI system very well. They’re definitely not neutral tools and currently suffer from major issues.

Against LLM maximalism · Explosion

Tags: tech, ai, gpt, language

Now this is a very good article highlighting the pros and cons of large language models for natural language processing tasks. It can help on some things but definitely shouldn’t be relied on for longer term systems.

Computer Science from the Bottom Up

Tags: tech, system, unix, cpu, memory, filesystem

I didn’t read it since it’s basically a whole book. Still from the outline it looks like a very good resource for beginners or to dig deeper on some lower level topics.

A systematic approach to debugging | nicole@web

Tags: tech, debugging

Good process for fixing bug. Definitely similar to how I approach it as well.

A user program doing intense IO can manifest as high system CPU time

Tags: tech, io, storage, cpu, kernel, performance

A good reminder that depending what happens in the kernel, the I/O time you were expecting might turn out to be purely CPU time.

Linear code is more readable

Tags: tech, programming, craftsmanship

A bit of a rambling, there’s something interesting in it though. Splitting small functions early will do more harm than good if they’re not reused. Don’t assume they automatically make things easier to read.

Async Rust Is A Bad Language

Tags: tech, rust, asynchronous, criticism

More details are surfacing regarding async and Rust… definitely not a match in heaven it seems.

Good performance is not just big O - Julio Merino (

Tags: tech, performance, programming

Good list of things to keep in mind when thinking about performances. Of course, always measure using a profiler when you want to be really sure.

Response Time Is the System Talking

Tags: tech, queuing, networking, system, performance

Interesting way to approximate how loaded a system is.

FIFO queues are all you need for cache eviction

Tags: tech, caching

Interesting caching strategy. Looks somewhat simple to put in place as well.

Death by a thousand microservices

Tags: tech, microservices, criticism, complexity

Looks like the morbid fascination for microservices is fading. This is very welcome. This piece is a good criticism of this particular fad and gives an interesting theory of why it came to be.

Making visually stable UIs | Horizon EDA Blog

Tags: tech, gui, fonts

Think of the typography and fonts if you don’t want to have text jumping around in your GUI.

Bricolage | Some notes on Local-First Development

Tags: tech, web, frontend, crdt

Interesting, “state of the union” regarding local-first we frontend. Lots of pointers towards other resources too.

Multi-page web apps

Tags: tech, web, frontend, complexity

Good reasoning, multi-page applications should be the default choice for web frontends architecture. The single page applications come at a cost.

The Tyranny of the Marginal User - by Ivan Vendrov

Tags: tech, attention-economy, criticism, design, ux

OK, this is a very bleak view… maybe a bit over the top I’m unsure. There seems to be some truth to it though.

On Waiting - Tim Kellogg

Tags: management, organization, patience

This is a sound advice. In other words, don’t commit too early, only when you got enough information. Of course monitor to make sure you don’t miss said information.

Bye for now!