Interesting Things #2 — Can you trust floating-point arithmetic on Apple Silicon?


Welcome to the second edition of Interesting Things, a curation of interesting stories and links from tech, indie business, science, and adjacents.

These are things I came across during my Internet wanderings. I find them interesting, and I hope you do too.

I don’t know what happened this week but I came across a LOT of stuff (60!). I didn’t do anything different so perhaps it’s just a statistical anomaly.

In any case, happy reading!


Can you trust floating-point arithmetic on Apple Silicon? — Surprisingly, it’s wrong on both Intel and Apple Silicon, but wrong in the same way. And that’s alright.

LCH colors in CSS: what, why, and how? (April 2020) — Lightness-Chroma-Hue (aka HCL) has a wider gamut and is better aligned with human perception.

How software gets color wrong (Dec 2020) — The reason is that color processing in most software is based on how CRT displays in the 1990s worked.

Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI Architecture — A look at the linux GUI stack within Windows.

Introducing git-xargs: an open source tool to update multiple GitHub repos — With a single command.

15 Graphs You Need to See to Understand AI in 2021 — If you want a birds eye view about jobs, publications, diversity, and more.

PlayStation Portable Architecture — A comprehensive write-up of the gaming console from yesteryear.

2FA is missing a key feature — When my 2FA code is entered incorrectly I’d like to know about it.

What Is Sleepminting And Will It Ruin NFT Provenance? — Someone found a way to partially forge NFTs. News. More info.

What I wish somebody told me when I was learning Haskell — If Haskell is such an advanced and effective language why do we not see a much wider commercial adoption?

Disasters I’ve seen in a microservices world — Too much microservices.

Web developer’s guide to AVIF images — The next iteration of image file formats.

semgrep — Language-aware code search and analysis tool.

Beyond Calibri: Finding Microsoft’s next default font — We’ve commissioned five original, custom fonts to eventually be the default. Meet Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview.

Geometric foundations of Deep Learning — An attempt to unify a broad class of ML problems from the perspectives of symmetry and invariance.

Cherry’s First Mechanical Laptop Switches Improved My Typing Speed, Comfort — Mechanical keyboard … on a laptop.

Unpasswords (Feb 2021) — Go password-less. Use email instead.

Let’s light it 🔥 up! — Cute animation using emoji as sprites. Non-javascript. Another one.

Blinding My Roomba — To make it work better.

Ghost in the Shell – Part 5 — Some useful CLI tips.

Why People Are Afraid Of The DOM? — Gently explaining an oddity of web development for people who aren’t web developers.

#indie biz

The Factory Is The Product — Getting better at making the thing makes the thing better.

Pory turns 1 - Our in transit journey to 100k in MRR 🥳 — A no-code tool for creating sites using Airtable.

What I Learned Buying Billboards for a Startup — Anecdotes for first time buyers of outdoor advertising.

A Path to the Minimum Viable Product — An MVP tree is a way of methodically breaking your mission into smaller components and formulating MVP candidates.

Top 5 Product and Management skills — SQL, Excel, Clear Communication, Story, Prioritization.

Why Every Founder Should Sell Before They Have a Product — The best learning happens with customers.


Large-scale origami locks into place under pressure — A new method for designing large enclosures that can be deployed and locked into shape through inflation.

Latest Neural Nets Solve World’s Hardest Equations Faster Than Ever Before — New approaches to solve entire families of partial differential equations and make it easier to model complicated systems.

The Secret Mission To Unearth Part Of A 142-Year-Old Experiment — An unusual long-term experiment started in 1879 and is handed from one generation to the next.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover Extracts First Oxygen From Red Planet — Another step on the way to future human exploration of the Red Planet.

So You Want to Learn Physics, Second Edition — If you are inspired and want to learn physics but don’t know where to start.

So You Want to Study Philosophy

Dolphins learn the ‘names’ of their friends to form teams — The marine mammals have a sense of team membership.

Getting Sick for the Sake of Advancing Medical Research — The first Covid-19 human challenge trial has begun in the U.K. Here’s what past trials have been like for participants.

Underwater Volcanoes Generate Enough Energy to Power the Entire US — These powerful eruptions can teach us about how life may have formed on Earth.

The science of why the sun makes us feel so happy — After a winter spent indoors, time in the sunshine is just what the doctor ordered.

These cellular clocks help explain why elephants are bigger than mice — Tiny timekeepers in our cells might govern body size, lifespan and ageing.

Cosmic Map of Ultrahigh-Energy Particles Points to Long-Hidden Treasures — How to identify the colossal monsters that create ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays?

Middle East Egyptologists uncover rare tombs from before the Pharaohs

Octopus ‘Teachers’ Demonstrate They Feel Emotional Pain — Octopi have feelings too.

15 French volunteers leave cave after 40 days without daylight or clocks — Two thirds wanted to stay longer. Another link.

The history of lithium, and its remarkable impact on mood disorders — It’s taken, in the form of a pill, by thousands of people every day.

A Backdoor Lets the Immune System Monitor the Brain — A newfound hub of immune system activity at the back of the brain solves a century-old puzzle.

The Puzzling Power of Simple Arithmetic — Playing with arithmetic can lead us to unexpected and profound discoveries.

Do Brain Implants Change Your Identity? — Yes, but it’s complicated.

The clockwork universe: is free will an illusion? — A growing chorus of scientists and philosophers argue that free will does not exist. Could they be right?


Welcome to the YOLO Economy — Burned out and flush with savings, some workers are quitting stable jobs in search of postpandemic adventure.

Month 6, Day 1: Fridge still off (Happy Earth Day) — This person tries living without a fridge. It’s been six months and counting.

Jacob Ziv’s Algorithms Have Powered Decades of Compression — The story of Jacob Ziv and the abridged history of compression.

Do Things That Will Surpass Your Life — Lately, the fact that I’m going to die one day very much bothered me.

Don’t consume news in the morning — You are more productive and you will get more work done at the beginning of your day.

The Best Note-Taking Method is the One You Have with You — A lesson from photography to the world of note-taking.

On using to-do lists efficiently — Principles I gathered from years of (mis)using to-do lists.

Impostor Syndrome: The Reason You Feel Like a Fraud — Feeling like a fraud? Like an impostor? We all do. But we shouldn’t.

Talkers and doers — Whenever I find myself talking and not doing, I do myself a huge favor. I shut the hell up.

A Microsoft Excel influencer is making 6 figures from her unconventional way of teaching spreadsheet hacks, tips, and tricks — aka Miss Excel.


Quandaries of Quinine — A medicinal commonly available in tonic water has a disputed history.

Squeezebox Keyboard — Another wacky custom-made split ergonomic keyboard.

bridges, maps & memories — Historical network visualizations over maps, a map of Reddit and a new website.


If you enjoyed these stories, I’d love it if you shared this newsletter with a friend or two.

And should you come across anything interesting in your wanderings, please email or tweet me! I’d love to give them some exposure too.

Happy reading! Beng