BEST TECH STORIES of 2019 (so far)by@David
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1,808 reads

BEST TECH STORIES of 2019 (so far)

by David SmookeJanuary 4th, 2019
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<strong>But first, three short updates from around the </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Hacker Noon HQ</strong></a><strong>:</strong>
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Hello Curious Hacker,

The internet has so many best of 2018 articles right now… At Hacker Noon, we’re forward thinking. Below are the best 27 stories of the year 2019 (so far).

But first, three short updates from around the Hacker Noon HQ:

  1. Our equity crowdfund campaign is up to $986k from 893 people. The Reg CF maximum raise is $1.07M. Invest before it’s too over.
  2. We’ll be media partner at Blockchain Connect Conference: Academic 2019 @ San Francisco Marriott tomorrow (Jan 11th), with Trent Lapinski recording podcasts and Derek Bernard recording video. A few tickets are still available, come meet the team.
  3. Longtime Hacker Noon contributor Febin John James published a new book: “Ripple Quick Start Guide: Get started with XRP and development applications on Ripple’s blockchain” via another long timer Hacker Noon contributor Packt_Pub, and it included this really kind acknowledgement. Thanks Febin! We bought your book too :-)

And now onto the good stuff: THE 27 BEST TECH STORIES OF 2019 (so far):


Surviving Crypto Winter — Part One: Mattereum and the Internet of Agreements by Daniel Jeffries and Carly E. Howard, JD, LLM. Time to build. From the ashes of competition, rises the phoenix. As winter hits, good projects buckle down and get to work building real technology that works in the real world. And that’s what this new series of articles is all about: Who will survive the crypto winter? I’m going to dig deep and profile companies with the best shot at surviving the bust and building something we can’t imagine living without in the coming years.

Surviving Crypto Winter — Part Two: Blockstack and the Great Pendulum of History by Daniel Jeffries. AI went through two wintersand it took 50 years for anyone to reap rewards like self-driving cars. The Internet looked like a joke for the first twenty years. 3D printing is still in a winter, after early hopes of a printer in every house failed to materialize without the reason to have one yet. And of course, the crypto market suffered a spectacular crash in 2018, as the markets lost 80% or more of their value over a long slow slide to despair. The winds of crypto winter are blowing furiously and the storm is taking many victims already. In this series, I cover who stands the best chance of rising from the freezing cold and thriving when spring comes again.

2019 Developments

Best Coding Languages to Learn in 2019 by Rafi Zikavashvili. In an ideal world, your choice of programming language shouldn’t matter. Most of the popular languages share the same basic concepts, to the untrained eye most of them look the same, and let you achieve more or less the same outcome. From a developer’s perspective, a programming language is a tool and choosing the right one will influence one’s career, economic prospects, and future happiness. This article looks at five of the most popular programming languages, examines their individual and relative merits, and recommends which ones you should learn in 2019.

Major Programming Trends to Prepare for in 2019 by Constantin. Trend #1: Could Python Catch up to Java? If you look at the chart above, you’ll see that Python is already the third most popular programming language in the world. According to Stack Overflow, it surpassed C# in popularity in 2018 and PHP in 2017. But Python only recently achieved this status.

Useful Vim tricks for 2019 by Cláudio Ribeiro. Vim has a steep learning curve, let’s not try to cover it. But once you start getting the nuances of it you start discovering that Vim is full of time-saving tricks. That’s what we’re going to cover in this article. I’ve scoured the internet for Vim tricks. Some of them come from different websites, twitter posts and some of them are my own. Either way, some of these might be useful to improve your workflow in 2019.

What if

… we could verify npm packages? by Steve Konves. An npm package is just tarball of files. The fact is that all package managers (Npm, Nuget, Maven, etc) just distribute tarballs or zip files or some other bundle of content. Any responsible developer is going to keep their code in source control; however, this code may or may not be the only thing in the package. For compiled languages like Java or .Net, packages contain build artifacts, not source code. Especially if the build output is obfuscated, it is difficult if not impossible to casually discover security flaws in the package contents. Javascript is a bit different in that many simple packages are simply tarballs of unmodified source code. However, Typescript requires a transpilation step any many other non-Typescrpt codebases include some form of bundling or minification process before an npm package is created. Security concerns are exacerbated but the fact that minified code is hard to read.

Making Career Moves

How I Got Multiple Software Engineer Job Offers When Switching from Another Industry by Weihe Wang. Failure is the mother of success. I failed onsite interviews 4 times before getting my first offer. Sometimes you solved all problems brilliantly but failed the interview; while sometimes you struggled in one or two rounds but succeed in the end. There is an uncontrollable factor called luck that might be pivotal. It is frustrated to be rejected after an onsite interview, but don’t lose confidence and keep applying to other companies.


Cowen, Andreessen, and Horowitz: Annotated by Arnold Kling. The view from 1995: Marc Andreessen and bhorowitz first collaborated in 1995, when Horowitz left an established, successful company, Lotus Notes, to work with Andreessen at a high-flying startup, Netscape. Andreessen points out that the big issue dividing the tech world was whether or not the Internet was going to actually solve the problem of connecting the world’s computers. As late as 1995, there were still many major companies that were working on technology that would be valuable if and only if the Internet did not work. That was a bad bet.

Hacking The Self with Nick Seneca Jankel & Trent Lapinski. “What is purpose? Well, purpose is like love in action. It is that love and kindness that comes out into I’m going to take on this community issue, I’m going to take on a bigger social problem then I was before. Until we can access purpose within, and keep it stable within us, that control and protect mode of a monkey will keep going ‘forget the purpose, lets make another million, that would be really cool, then we’ll be loved’.” Listen on iTunes or Google Play


24 Experts Weigh In: How Do You Get Traffic Without Budget? by Kirill Shilov. In my own personal experience, the best way to come up with new solutions is to find experts who have already achieved success in the same field as you and simply improve or repeat what they did. So I went ahead and asked experts from different fields about what they would do if they could start from scratch in 2019. And they answered!

Venture Capital

The Warning Label That Should Come With Venture Capital by Founder Collective.

The 200 Black Women in Tech to Follow On Twitter List by Jay Jay Ghatt. Why Black Women? Since the first list was published three years ago, I’ve been asked why I only featured women on this list when the tech ecosystem is not inclusive of black men as well. My answer: the list of 200 Black Women in Tech to Follow on Twitter was created out of a need to fill a specific and articulated void after I learned that Black Women were less than 1% of StartUp Founders receiving VC Capital (less than .02%), and in essence were located at the bottom of the totem pole and represented the least, much less than black men, white women, Asian American women and other marginalized groups. Not only did this group not receive funding, it was the least represented on the staffs of tech companies and virtually absent on other “who to follow” lists in tech. Out of exclusion comes a solution. I wanted all to know that we’re here too and to make it easier to “find us”, offer a list of the group least represented to draw from so that could not longer be an excuse as to why we were not included.

Hmm… the internet actually works for…

Who’s Really Behind the World’s Most Popular Free VPNs? by William Chalk. Over half (59%) of the apps studied ultimately have Chinese ownership or are based in China, despite its strict ban on VPNs and its notorious internet surveillance regime. This raises questions about why these companies — which have such large international user bases — have been allowed to continue operating. The Chinese-owned VPNs have been downloaded by users in the US, UK, Latin America, Middle East, and Canada. Three of the apps — TurboVPN, ProxyMaster and SnapVPN — were found to have linked ownership. In their privacy policy, they note: “Our business may require us to transfer your personal data to countries outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), including to countries such as the People’s Republic of China or Singapore.”

More Government Imagery

See people’s faces from miles away in the 195 gigapixel photo of Shanghai. by Ben Longstaff. As an engineer this is amazing, as a citizen the privacy implications are terrifying. Your average smartphone camera is around 12 megapixels. This image of Shanghai is 195 gigapixels. One megapixel equals one million pixels, a gigapixel equals one billion pixels. Put another way, this image is 16,250 times larger than the image you can take with your smart phone. Let’s see what that feels like through the BigPixel viewer looking at the roof top of a building a few miles away.

How to Download Live Images From Government Weather Satellites by Alex Wulff. Using nothing but your computer, some software, and a $20 radio dongle you can receive transmissions from NOAA weather satellites in the sky overhead. This is an incredibly exciting project that’s easy to do but produces great images. Think about it — you can receive images from a satellite almost 1000KM straight above you!

Listing Infinity

Infinite Data Structures In JavaScript by Francis Stokes. In the real world we deal with “infinite” ideas all the time. All the positive numbers is an example of an infinite concept we wouldn’t bat an eye at. But typically when we are programming we have to think of these infiniteconcepts in a finite way. You can’t have an Array of all the positive numbers (at least not in JavaScript!). What I want to introduce in this article is the idea of an Infinite List data structure, which can represent some never ending sequence, and let’s us use common operations like map and filter to modify and create new sequences.

You Know the Value of Patterns

Complicated patterns aren’t always that complicated. Usually it’s the “simple” ones that bite you. by Patrick Lee Scott. Staring at the maze of interconnected passageways of the microservice system, I immediately recognized the problems. I was sitting with a new client doing a review of their system. This was the first time they were showing me the code which was described as “very interesting” and “definitely one of the most complex I’ve worked on!” with excitement. I shuttered a bit. I thought about my ironically misquoted t-shirt with a picture of Albert Einstein.“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex… It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” — E. F. Schumacher.

Necessary Comparison of Bitcoin to the Weather

Bitcoin: The Gathering Storm. How Thunderstorm Dynamics Are Similar To Bitcoin Market Cycles by Charlie Shrem. On a typical summer day in Florida, the sun rises and begins to heat the ground. This solar heating is transferred into the lowest part of the atmosphere near the surface, essentially the air near the ground begins to gain energy and buoyancy. This can be compared to how Bitcoin adoption increases, such as when thousands of Bitcoin ATMs are deployed and stores begin to accept Bitcoin, which pumps energy into the Bitcoin system.

Necessary Comparison of Bitcoin to Light Itself

The Bitcoin Light Bulb Moment by Beautyon. This is the central problem with the state interfering with technology; no one can predict the future. Now that the law is in force, we are in a situation where capital has been wasted and misdirected, resources wasted and misdirected and depending on the state of the decommissioning of the incandescent bulb lines, no cost less way back to the manufacturing of incandescent light bulbs. The state, by its nature, is incompetent. They cannot predict the future and they are not omniscient. In order to be able to legislate effectively, especially where technology is concerned, they would need to be omniscient, with perfect knowledge of every piece and field of ongoing research and technology, and the potential of each piece and field of research and technology.

About Your Health

Eat Fat, Get Thin? A Physician’s Approach to Reinventing Your Health in 21 Days by Jordan “J” Gross. I tested the strategies presented in Dr. Mark Hyman’s New York Times best-selling book, and here is how it went… My friends have called me the human guinea pig. I am a test mouse in a lab full of endless possibilities. I have gone seven days with only eating Chipotle, I have done a full year with no McDonald’s, I have talked to a new person every day for the last few years, and I have even gone a full month without going to the gym (that one was the hardest for me)… the self-experimental journey I embarked upon recently was actually not so much out of curiosity and adventure, but rather, it was out of necessity.

About Those Other Coins

“When Altseason?” — How to Time the Most Profitable Period in the Cryptocurrency Market. by Rekt Capital. Altseason, a shorthand for Altcoin Season, is the time of the year when the majority of the people in the cryptocurrency market develop a very positive sentiment about Altcoins. This translates into exponential gains across Altcoins (i.e. Alternative coins to Bitcoin). In the past, Altcoins have enjoyed immense gains during Altseasons. Most notably in December 2017 which saw most (if not all) Altcoins gained their initial market valuation many times over during a period of a few weeks of constant, almost uninterrupted uptrends.

About Those Other Tokens…

STO Market Outlook 2019 by Tatiana Koffman. 2018 will be remembered as having paved the way for a new generation of security tokens. Issuers and investors continue to remain curious about the benefits of tokenization such as increased liquidity, fractional ownership, decreased issuance costs, innovative structures and greater pricing efficiency. After conducting an independent study of 130+ STOs currently on the market, the following are some trends forming for 2019.


2.0 — The Road To Constantinople And Beyond by Vince Tabora. The next system wide upgrade for the Ethereum network called Constantinople will be implemented in 2019 (originally set for 2018). It is also called as “Ethereum 2.0” or the “New Ethereum”, software version 3.5, part of the release called Metropolis. There is a lot on the line with the success of the Ethereum project, and these are the upgrades to scale the network. The Constantinople upgrade is scheduled for block #7080000. There will actually be three forks in the beginning of 2019 and this includes Constantinople. The two other forks are “hard forks”, meaning they will create a new cryptocurrency. These are Classic Vision and Ethereum Nowa. ETH holders should get an equivalent of those coins in their digital wallet after the fork, if supported by the wallet or digital exchange.


Interview with Data Scientist at kaggle: Dr. Rachael Tatman by Sanyam Bhutani (check out his whole series on machine learning heroes). Dr. Rachael Tatman: As for technical speaking, the best two pieces of advice I can give you are, first, to practice as much as possible. Ask if you can give talks at local events or to relevant clubs. The more talks you give the less nerve-wracking they are and the more you learn what is effective for you. Practice is doubly important when you’re prepping a talk. I usually try to run through the talk at least twice a day in the week leading up to it, making little adjustments when I come across awkward places. Of course, I don’t do that with live streams. I pretty much treat livestreams like technical interviews; it doesn’t matter if I make mistakes so long as I’m telling you what I’m thinking so you can follow my thought processes. My second piece of advice is to be as specific as possible. One of my personal pet peeves are talks that are about how “data science is revolutionizing something” but that is super vague. I want information I can actually apply! If you built a model that does X, talk about why X is important, how you built the model, what makes your model different from other models and how it performed in various situations. Tell me about what specifically you did that didn’t work so I know not to try it. Think about what you wanted to know about whatever you’re talking about a year ago and then tell me those things.

A Last Thought About Diversification

Why Should Everyone Invest In 2019 (Attention, Engineers) by Rafael Belchior, who also wrote the definitive productivity post of the modern era: Top 1,337 Productivity Tips For 2019, Or Any Other Year. As we have just started 2019, 🎉 we have another perfect opportunity to review our lives, opportunities, values, and expectations.


Despite being a tech addict (DevOps, Blockchain), my path presented me several ways of approaching life and the knowledge I have gained. At some point, I noticed that there is something that professors at my university are not teaching that would turn us into more independent persons. Money. In particular, I became very interested in the investments world, as it allows you to generate money using the money. If you don’t invest your money, it will never increase. You will likely spend, give it away or save it (and possibly spend it in a short-term wish). Now, you could be asking yourself: Why should we care about investments and money? What are the opportunities? Shouldn’t we just save money? How to start well? How to avoid being scammed by false gurus? What is the big picture that we should be aware? Shouldn’t we limit ourselves to the observation of the secret mysteries of this beautiful universe? 🌌

Until next time, don’t take the realities of the world for granted.

Kind Regards,

David Smooke

P.S. We built 13 new collections this week to make easier to find great stories about: BioHacking, Bitcoin ETF, Blockchain Development, Coding, Cryptoeconomics, EOS, Learning to Code, Hacks, Ripple (XRP), Security Tokens, Tech Economics, & Women in Tech.

P.P.S. Our equity crowdfund campaign is up to $986k from 893 people. The Reg CF maximum raise is $1.07M. Invest before it’s too late.