David Smooke

@DavidSmooke

Dealing With Reality to Get What You Want

Heyo Hacker,

“Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life. “— said Ray Dalio.

In dealing with technology, how do you stand by your principles? How do you make technology form the reality you want? And not the other way around. Too often, the platforms of the tech giants bully us to behave a certain way.

Attention hacking is the epidemic of our generationby Georges Abi-Heila. Allowing users to choose the frequency of notifications is a fairly easy feature to implement: why can’t we ask Instagram to show us new notifications only once per day? Or Twitter to batch notifications and nudge us only when 20 of them have stacked? Simply because this goes against the economic imperative of maximising time on device: they want us to swipe, scroll and tap everyday, multiple times per day.

But we can as individuals can trade for our own path.

The Eightfold Path of the Legendary Trader by Daniel Jeffries. I have not met a single good trader who is a news junky even though the average trader is a hopeless news junky. They want a reason for the market to go up or down. They can’t face that it’s random chaos and the push/pull of a billion emotional monsters.

Those with money have first pass at most opportunities.

ICOs: The Community Does the Marketing, Large Investors Grab the Tokens by Karim Dabbouz. During the first two months of 2018, already 2 billion USD have been raised in initial coin offerings. A whopping 84% were sold during private and pre-sales, leaving only 16% to the general public. Some companies claiming to build a fair decentralized system for purpose XY even skip any kind of public contribution completely. That’s a disgrace to Satoshi’s vision, part of which was that access shall be open to anybody.

But the future belongs to those who build.

Creating WebAssembly-powered library for modern web by Kagami Hiiragi. As stated in WebAssembly docs one of the main goals was to create format that can be parsed fast and has compact code representation. So I was really curious to leverage that main advantage. I’ve had experience with asm.js in past, making ports of pretty complicated C software such as FFmpeg and video/audio encoders. The build sizes were terrible — about 15 megabytes of minified JavaScript for ffmpeg CLI with few basic filters and encoders. Given that parsing of code is computationally expensive operation, especially on mobiles, it didn’t look so practical, more like targeted for proof of concepts little demos: webm.js, deviceframe.es.

And those build, go on to lead.

Learned Helplessness in Software Engineering by Marcus Blankenship. No one is born knowing how to manage or lead. The phrase “natural-born leader” is crap. Many tech managers wonder if they are “cut out” for their job. Honestly, most of them wish they were still programming! The transition from Programmer to Manager is hard, so let’s start by giving them a break. Yes, they need to change. But who doesn’t? No one is perfect.

And those build who become those who lead will go on to define how their industry talks.

Structuring projects and naming components in React by Vinicius Dacal. As React is just a lib, it doesn’t dictate rules about how you should organize and structure your projects. This is nice, because it gives us freedom to try different approaches and adapt the ones that better fit for us. On the other hand, this could cause some confusion for devs that are starting in React world.

It’s a matter of learning from the greats.

What I Learnt from Ray Dalio’s Principles by What I Learnt on Wall Street. I realized that I often go through life being a passive recipient of what the world has to offer. A casual bystander or a simple worker in the machine that is the world. Ray’s advice is to not be person in the machine, instead be the designer of your machine. This applies to your job, your relationship, your life. Design the machine, design your life for the purpose you want it to have.

It’s a matter of redefining what the job of a leader is.

What The Hell Is A Crypto Punk? by Trent Lapinski. A new generation of entrepreneurs who value individual liberty and collective value creation and co-creation through decentralization. While many Crypto Punks were born and raised in a digital world, some of the early pioneers in the crypto space are from the Oregon Trail generation. They were born to an analog world, but grew up simultaneously alongside the birth of home computing, the Internet, and mobile computing.

It’s a matter of making smarter agreements.

Comparison of Smart Contract Platforms by Michiel Mulders. It’s hard to compare all platforms as it just depends on your needs. It’s best to look at the maturity of each platform as that’s a good indicator: SDK, build tools, proper documentation? iOlite is as well a good choice when you want to prototype smart contracts very fast. In my opinion, Stellar is a strong upcoming opponent in terms of low costs and a fast blockchain confirmation time.

It’s a matter of taking what you can get from the powers that be.

Train Your Machine Learning Models on Google’s GPUs for Free — Forever by Nick Bourdakos. Training your model is hands down the most time consuming and expensive part of machine learning. Training your model on a GPU can give you speed gains close to 40x, taking 2 days and turning it into a few hours. However, this normally comes at a cost to your wallet. The other day I stumbled upon a great tool called Google Colab. I would describe Colab as the google docs equivalent of Jupyter notebooks. Colab is aimed at being an education and research tool for collaborating on machine learning projects. The great part is, that it’s completely free forever.

Or, maybe tech is a matter of improving on the oldest of processes?

How a North Dakota Farmer Built an IoT-Driven Farm by Jeffrey Lee. Greg Meandel is not your regular farmer — he loves to build and program IoT projects that remove the complexity from daily farm life.For instance, one of his many IoT projects is an excavator that can be started remotely. By using an Electron (cellular hardware that connects devices to the internet), he can remotely heat up the excavator’s block heater, which helps start up the engine. In some cases, he had to wait hours for the internal block to heat up. Now, he can wake up and wirelessly send a command to the Electron via his phone. By the time breakfast is finished, the excavator is heated and ready to go.

Read all of March’s top stories (so far). Until next time, don’t take the realities of the world for granted.

Kind Regards,

David Smooke, AMI

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