Interesting Things #22 — Universal decoder


This is Beng Tan and welcome to Interesting Things, a curation of interesting stories and links from tech, work, biz, science, life and stuff.

Been crazy busy this week so I didn’t get through as much as I normally do. But I have been thinking about cutting down a bit anyway as it makes this newsletter more digestible. Maybe this is a sign of things to come.

Anyway, happy reading!


A universal system for decoding any type of data sent across a network — Decode any error-correcting code with a novel algorithm known as Guessing Random Additive Noise Decoding (GRAND). (hn)

Logging in Python like a PRO — Most people don’t know what to log, so they end up creating just noise.

What Is a Standard Container (2021 edition) — An introduction to the OCI runtime specification.

A Deep Dive Into PostgreSQL Indexes — If you are confused about which PostgreSQL index to choose for a specific use case, here’s a free course to help you. (hn)

Code runs on people — Before that, it’s being “run” on whoever’s working on it. After that, it’s “running” on whoever’s digging into it to fix a bug or add some feature.

Decoding Voyager 1 — Today is the 44th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 1, so I want to celebrate by showing how to decode the Voyager 1 telemetry signal using GNU Radio.


Bad engineering managers think leadership is about power — Very few managers know how to properly serve software development teams.

Reflections on Burnout — Burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It happens brick by brick, one decision after another. (hn)

Hiring Developers: How to avoid the best — Hiring developers can be tricky. Here’s how to hire developers who have nowhere else to go.


On metrics — If we choose the wrong metrics, we’ll stray away from our target instead of converging toward it.

Aggregators aren’t open-ended — To be an Aggregator is to limit the open-endedness of your ecosystem for the purpose of maintaining requisite variety. (hn)

The Case for ‘Developer Experience’ — Because of our fascination with simple stories, we’re currently missing the bigger picture, and a bigger opportunity. (hn)


Has AI found a new Foundation? — Stanford declared that there has been a “sweeping paradigm shift in AI”. We think otherwise. (hn)

Worms Share Memories With Others by Swapping RNA, Wild Study Reveals — Amazingly, this behavioral shift also affects a mother worm’s descendants, teaching at least the next four generations to avoid a particularly nasty meal.

Bruce Is a Parrot With a Broken Beak. So He Invented a Tool. — A disabled parrot has designed and uses his own prosthetic beak. (hn)


The history of boredom might surprise you — What we can learn from our complicated relationship with boredom.

Confessions of a ransomware negotiator — Well, somebody’s got to talk to the criminals holding data hostage.

Evil Corp: A Deep Dive Into One of the World’s Most Notorious Hacker Groups — They have carried out several sophisticated attacks since first bursting onto the online scene. But just how dangerous are they? (hn)

On Reading, Creativity, and Self-Reflection — Reading, creativity, and self-reflection are interlinked and complete each other to make you a better human being. (hn)


If you liked these stories, please share them (or this newsletter) with your friends. I would appreciate it if you help me spread the word. 🙏

Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng