• Response to Changes at Basecamp

    1. No more societal and political discussions at Basecamp.
    2. No more paternalistic benefits.
    3. No more committees.
    4. No more lingering or dwelling on past decisions.
    5. No more 360 reviews.
    6. No forgetting what we do here.
    I don't work for and don't use Basecamp/Hey, but this was a difficult and disappointing read.ย 

    Not allowing societal and political discussions at work is a tough call, depending on the internal state at Basecamp. With so much injustice in society finallyย  coming to a head, people are going to want to talk about it with other members of society (their co-workers). If the company chat (though this is Basecamp, maybe they don't have one?) is a dumpster-fire 9 - 5 with non-stop political discussions, it speaks to a larger issue with the company culture and individual impulse control.

    Blanket disallowing political discussion removes the opportunity to teach employees a valuable life skill on the internet: learning to not argue on the internet and ignoring the trolls because they will always have more time than you. It seems to me that you'd be better served by taking the instigators aside and having a frank conversation about time management. Learning to turn on the blinders and focus on the task at hand is an important skill.

    Removing the "paternalistic benefits" was also disappointing to see. We know without a doubt that exercise is good for us. Getting food from the farmer's market not only gets you quality product, but also strengthens your local community. These are things we should want to encourage.ย 

    Saying that we're giving you a profit share and you can spend your money how you'd like ignores the psychological aspect of these kinds of benefits. Having that little bit of "extra" or "free" makes it mentally much easier for employees to make better choices that benefit everyone.
  • Response to https://twitter.com/simonw/status/1384383772255084546?s=20

    I still think it's rude to return MBs of data if your client device might be an inexpensive mobile phone, but for things like server-to-server API responses I May have been being way too early 2000s in my thinking Turns out returning 10+ MB of JSON works fine these days!
    I used to think similarly until I started thinking about compute in terms of carbon emissions (all data transfer/parsing/sending/storage requires electricity and thus likely carbon emissions for now). Since then I try to minimize all compute wherever possible.
  • Response to Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities

    We've been using our electric assist "mama-chari" a lot more recently. I've been taking it to a local coffee shop that I'd usually walk (15 minutes) or drive (5 minutes)to and it's been great. My wife has been taking it to her parent's house (5.5km away) where I'd either drive them round trip or we'd take the train. Travel time ends up being about the same regardless of the method of transport we take.

    What I like the most about cycling is how you can travel quickly and you're not disconnected from your environment like you are with a car. It feels more human.

  • Response to inessential: New in NetNewsWire 6: Twitter Search Feeds

    Whatโ€™s cool about this: you can watch for mentions of whatever you want, and those come to you in the same app where your other feeds live.
    Following Twitter searches in NetNewsWire looks super handy. Will have to add the #IndieWeb hashtag once this is released.ย 
  • Response to Colin Walker - Mar 17, 2021

    It's a little bittersweet โ€” on the one hand it feels good as I know that I have a new solution but, on the other, it feels a little sad that the fruits of so much time and effort are now redundant.
    I feel this when I improve implementations all the time. Code reflects our best understanding of a given problem to a given solution at a given time. Requirements changing naturally means that the problem has also changed.

    When writing code I try to remind myself that all is temporary and will be deleted or rewritten at some point, so I best not grow too fond of it.
  • Response to jlelse's Blog

    I just took a quick look at my server logs. And I see that there are some bots that are constantly crawling my site. If that would be search engines, feed readers etc. that wouldnโ€™t be a problem. But this are crawlers by companies whose websites try to se
    I wonder if there isn't a list of these cralwers out there that you could then automatically block at the nginx/apache level. Even handling it at the app server level would discourage them from crawling your site too much.
  • 10 Years Since 3/11

    Today marks 10 years since 3/11, the great earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku that resulted in tens of thousands dead or missing and even more displaced from the nuclear accident in Fukushima. 3/11 was one of those days that I'll never forget and I still vividly remember.

    A few months prior to 3/11 I had gotten married my wife in Japan and my parents were coming to meet her family for the first time. They had a direct flight from Houston, Texas, which is about 13 hours and were scheduled to land around 4pm on March 11th, 2011. I was riding the Narita Express to meet them at the airport and chatting with my old Japanese teacher in US on Messenger about horrible the earthquake was in New Zealand a couple weeks prior.

    Initially when the train started shaking I had thought it was the usual movement of the train, people move around to get disembark quicker or driver's coming in a bit hot and has to brake a harder than usual. When it felt like the train had a very real possibility of tipping (it wasn't close, in retrospect) is when I realized this was something different.

    The trains immediately shutdown and Shinagawa station was a madhouse. The engineers (I'm guessing) on a business trip on the train had the right idea, they immediately went to the nearest hotel and booked room. I wish I had done that.

    My parents were still in the air, so I had no way to contact them. Apparently they circled Tokyo for a few, before re-fueling at Yokota airbase, before continuing on to Osaka โ€“ landing in the wrong part of the country.

    After the earthquake you couldn't make a telephone call in Japan. All the circuits were busy all the time. But the internet and Twitter worked great. I had my laptop and a 3G modem with me. Using my US number on Skype, I could use US telephone circuits, which weren't overloaded, and contact other family in the US to let them know what was happening and that I was fine.



    We found a hotel that'd let us stay in their lobby. We eventually left to go find food, but everything was sold out everywhere. The only place we found with food was a Yoshinoya with a long and slow moving line. After waiting for what felt like 30 minutes and making little progress we noticed that, despite this line not moving, people seemed to be coming and going. We were in the line for take-out. Eating in we could get service almost immediately. Due to the high volume of customers they were rationing beef โ€“ which they made sure we'd be ok with before we ordered.

    After eating we returned to the hotel to stay the night on hard marble floors with a bunch of other stranded people. The morning it felt almost oddly normal. A couple of backpackers asked if we knew where the nearest hostel was, but we were of no use. We found a different hotel that was serving nice warm breakfast with the type of service that makes you feel like everything's gonna be all right.

    My parents managed to find their way to the Shinkansen and made it to Shinyokohama. We attempted to ride the Tokaido-line to Yokohama but it was after seeing 3 trains come bursting at the seams packed with people, we looked for alternative routes to meet my parents. Funny enough, we also rode the Shinkansen to Shinyokohama. It was still standing room only, but at least you could breath. And the journey was only 7 or 8 minutes.

    What I experienced on 3/11 pales in comparison to those that lost their lives and saw their homes and loved ones vanish before their eyes. 10 years later and while things look like they've rebuilt, they'll never be the same.

  • Response to The small web is beautiful

    However, itโ€™s not just about raw size, but about an โ€œethos of smallโ€. Itโ€™s caring about the users of your site: that your pages download fast, are easy to read, have interesting content, and donโ€™t load scads of JavaScript for Google or Facebookโ€™s trackers.

    I bookmarked this post over on the Tanzawa blog, but I felt this post was worth a proper response on my regular blog.

    Ben's thinking about the small web overlaps a lot with what I think: the small web is beautiful. Not just small size (so it's fast, uses less power and so forth), but as he says an "ethos of small". He expands to say we should use smaller images and fewer scripts. (Consistent, no-nonsense, efficient and lazy loading images were actually a major motivating factor for me starting Tanzawa)

    While Ben extends this ethos of small about caring about your users - I feel it goes a step further than that.
    An "ethos of small" is about respecting your readers. Respect that they may not be on the latest and greatest machine. Respect they might be on a limit Internet plan. Respect they might be running on battery. Respect their (and your) privacy.

    The small web is about "just enough". Just enough code. Just enough html/css/Javascript. Just enough infrastructure. We are the small web: Just enough.

  • Response to The Week #34

    I started working on replies in Tanzawa. Introducing Turbo to add some dynamism to admin interface. Itโ€™s turned into a bigger rabbit hole than expected. I imagine most rails devs are familiar with the basics of Turbo (Links) but as a Django dev, things like Turbo arenโ€™t included, so thereโ€™s a bit of a learning curve for me to implement it properly. That said โ€“ itโ€™s coming along.
    Although I said it's coming along earlier today, I got it all working andย  I decided to ship despite replies not being implemented in my micropub endpoint yet.

    One thing I'd like is to make responding to a tweet via Tanzawa as smooth as butter, so it's quick to tweet and reply from your own site. I imagine I can do that if I integrate with Bridgy.
  • Response to Facebook Blocks News in Australia, Diverging With Google on Proposed Law

    With Australia moving to make the tech companies pay for news, Facebook took a hard line, while Google has struck deals to pay publishers.

    Government services and NGOs and more getting blocked on Facebook so they don't need to pay journalists for the work. Another example of why shouldn't rely on free platforms. You need a site that you own and to encourage people to use it else your work just becomes "collateral damage".

    The sooner the world stops using Mark's site as an internet portal the better.

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