Weekend Reading — Hurkle-Durkle

Weekend Reading — Hurkle-Durkle

Heliograph “finally someone found it”

Tech Stuff

No Maintenance Intended Finally. I need to put this cool badge of many of my “no longer maintained” open-source projects.

Liam “Playlist for the day”

Range Range looks like a really interesting addition to Slack / Teams. Share async updates, create agendas, take meeting notes, track team goals, and plan your work with 75+ integrations. There's a free plan for small teams (applies if you’re just getting started).

Robert McNees

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that if you set aside six hours to work on a really complicated project, you’ll have your only good insight in the last five minutes, or maybe the next day in the shower.

Godspeed A todo app built for speed. It’s 100% keyboard driven, every interaction under 50ms. If you use todo lists a lot, check it out ($8/month).


you know that meme, 'two kinds of electrical engineer: the kind that makes antennas on purpose, and the kind that makes them by accident'?

it's fucked up how that's just literally true.

Mela A simple, elegant and modern recipe manager for iOS and macOS that syncs with iCloud. From the same company that brings us Reeder (my favorite RSS reader), so you know the UI is impeccable. It can store and show recipes, with full screen cook mode, list them in a calendar, help make a groceries list, and more.

Charlie Stross If you double performance every 2 years, that’s about 23 billion performance boost in 49 years, so Moore’s law is pretty accurate:

The Nvidia DGX GB200 server of 2024 consumes 120kW of power, about the same as the Cray-1 supercomputer of 1975. The Cray-1 cost $7.9M and ran at 160 MFLOPS. The GB200 runs at 1.44 exaFLOPS, or roughly ten billion times the power. But you can network 8 of these racks together, and AWS is building Project Ceiba around 20,736 of the CPUs (there are 72 CPUs per DGX server rack).

10 billion times more performance per watt, in 49 years.

Jason Gorman

The problem with Test-Driven Development is that you have to think about what you want the code to do before you write it. And that ruins the surprise.

CatSalad “Going to need slightly bigger truth table... “

Eye for Design

Calvinarium How do draw manual wheelchairs proeprly.

Students who grew up with search engines might change STEM education forever

“What are you talking about?” multiple students inquired. Not only did they not know where their files were saved — they didn’t understand the question.

Chris Vreeland The 1st

A thermostat SO SOPHISTICATED, SO ADVANCED that it operates with ONE SIMPLE MASTER CONROL KNOB which, when you want it warmer, you just turn the knob UP and when you want it cooler, you just turn the knob DOWN


How a second language can boost the brain Being bilingual benefits children as they learn to speak — and adults as they age.

How Children Acquire Racial Biases Sometimes the lessons that stick the most are the ones never intended to be taught:

What every parent, teacher, and societal leader should think about is that children watch and learn from our behavior before first grade. When we exhibit biases in front of young children, we are unwittingly instilling our biases in their minds — biases they then adopt, practice, and perpetuate.

Business Side

Sara Safavi Thread:

Ok I’m doin the thread I said I wanted to do last week. (feel free to mute unless you enjoy a little second-hand drama as a Monday morning treat)

Attn #devrel people! Are you job hunting? Does this pic of search results look familiar? Have you ever seen a bunch of job postings like this from Canonical and thought “gee I should apply to one of these”?

I’m here to tell you:


What happened to Product Hunt? I unsubscribed from Product Hunt in late 2023, exactly because of this:

From being a global community of tech enthusiasts to hosting lousy, low-grade, and shabby AI-powered tools like a ChatGPT bot to get advice from a sexist, narcissistic, misogynic social media personality. This is the fall of Product Hunt.

The Seven Voyages Of Steve

“How product A became such a success” is generally about as useful to anyone who has any level of experience in an industry as “how Dave won at roulette”

The Messy Reality Behind a Silicon Valley Unicorn An excerpt from the book Behind the Startup details how an unnamed Silicon Valley-based unicorn's push for rapid growth left little time for actual engineering.

Machine Intelligence

Tepid Revenue at Cohere Shows OpenAI Competitors Face Uphill Battle The tech is amazing, the business model … not so much:

Cohere, which has raised $445M and was seeking new funding at a $6B valuation last year, generated just ~$13M in annualized revenue at the end of 2023

ScreenAI Interesting — an LLM that can interact with UI-based applications. You feed it text (eg questions) and it uses the UI to enter data, push buttons, navigate, etc and gathers the information for you. You can basically automate any software application that way.

How Chain-of-Thought Reasoning Helps Neural Networks Compute | Quanta Magazine This article is actually a really good intro to the transformer model that powers GPT. Also, it talks about CoT, but that’s secondary and on the later part of the article. And it does explain how step-by-step thinking helps GPT solve math problems, like adding 2 10-digit numbers.

Is Your AI-First Strategy Causing More Problems Than It’s Solving?

The problem with an AI-first strategy lies not within the “AI” but with the notion that it should come “first” aspect. An AI-first approach can be myopic, potentially leading us to overlook the true purpose of technology: to serve and enhance human endeavors. Instead, the author recommends following 3Ps during an AI transformation: problem-centric, people-first, and principle-driven.

Among the A.I. Doomsayers Supposedly this is an article about the doomer scene, a hot topic in the AI community. But if you know Silicon Valley, if you stop by Berkley for a cup of coffee, then this is really a story about the bizarre irrationality of the Rationalist Community. “The doomers are aware that some of their beliefs sound weird, but mere weirdness, to a rationalist, is neither here nor there.” Bonus point if you can name all the right-wing Nazi lovers that are very casually named-dropped in this article.

8 Google Employees Invented Modern AI. Here’s the Inside Story About the human intelligence that created the new artificial intelligence model, the transformers that power GPT. Also, is Google the new Bell Labs?

AI-Generated Science This is a real and big problem in science that has been brewing over for decades:

These types of journals are a well known problem in the academic community, and predate the advent of generative AI tools. In February, The Guardian reported that last year 10,000 “sham papers” were retracted by academic journals. A study in Nature also highlighted “pay to publish” journal scams, which are journals that charge exorbitant fees in exchange for getting a paper published quickly.

Big Context Windows Are a Big Deal Sometimes bigger is better**:**

Last week, I got my hands on Google’s newest generative model: Gemini 1.5, a multi-modal behemoth that can consume up to an hour of video, 11 hours of audio, 30,000 lines of code, or 700,000 words. That’s a big leap forward in terms of context length: Gemini accepts 5x times more input than its beefiest predecessor, Claude 2.1.


John Francis This post was published this week, but that’s exactly what I was doing a week ago. And yes, I did delete my Glassdoor account, which I don’t remember why I ever signed up, and I recommend you too:

Web 4.0 is the phase where you spend a lot of time deleting accounts from all the web 2.0 properties that enshittified or turned evil.

So long #glassdoor. I maybe logged in like twice in 10 years. Reviews of employers are a great idea, but it can't work with capitalists at the helm. Maybe a trustworthy labour or community org will pick it up.

(Users ditch Glassdoor, stunned by site adding real names without consent)

Unpatchable vulnerability in Apple chip leaks secret encryption keys Apple is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Am I in The Stack? If you have code on GitHub, at this point it’s getting ingested by Hugging Face for training their AI models. You can have it removed, of course, but if you think “it’s probably a time consuming process”, you are absolutely right.

Everything Else

Gregor “one for the road”

Just Frank being Frank

If you can read this, it probably means you waste a lot of time on the Internet just like me.

You do not need to worry about your note-taking system Thoughts on why the most important thing about note-taking and writing is not the system, but rather just starting and capturing.

Big Jesus Trashcan

Hurkle-Durkle Is the New Way to Self-Care Ourselves to Death Thanks to the internet, there are fancy names for old-fashioned laziness, writes Suzy Weiss for The Free Press.

Axios This is pretty interesting (and not in a good way):

Older Americans are among the happiest people in the world, coming in 10th on Gallup's worldwide happiness rankings — the young, meanwhile, rank 62nd, just behind the Dominican Republic.

To rinse or not to rinse? You might be brushing your teeth wrong. “We asked dentists about best dental hygiene practices. Should you rinse after brushing? The answer from experts might surprise you.” It sure surprised me, and this week I changed my toothbrushing routine.

Tab Combs

The kid's grown six inches in two years and still isn't tall enough to be seen over the hood of these ridiculous death machines prowling our neighborhood streets.

‘I’m a Food Scientist, and This Is How To Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee’ PSA

Dan Wentzel

This border drama is wholly a Texas MAGA Republican distraction for them to scare racists into voting for them so that they can pass unnecessary tax cuts for billionaires. Go down the road a few miles and the border gates will be wide open so that Texas Republicans can get cheap exploitable labor under-the-table.

As a Californian, I don’t even think about “the border”. In fact here is a typical game of Volleyball using the Southern border as a gate.

The Forgotten History of Hitler’s Establishment Enablers “The media lords thought that they could control him; political schemers thought that they could outwit him. The mainstream left had become a gerontocracy. And all of them failed to recognize his immunity to shame.” This is a summary of a 400-page book about Hitler’s rise to power, but also it’s a damning and scary tale about present day politics in the US and some parts of Europe.

Jerome G “Maybe should’ve gone with the longer pants”

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