Interesting Things #24 — Invisible non-printing


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

Happy reading!


Be careful what you copy: Invisibly inserting usernames into text with Zero-Width Characters — Watermarking text with invisible non-printing characters. (hn)

SRE deep dive into Linux Page Cache — I believe that the following knowledge of the theory and tools is essential and crucial for every SRE. (hn)

Collaborating to Build an Uncertain Layout — How do you make a website look good when you can’t know how that website will look? It turns out this is one of the fundamental questions we work with. (hn)

Writing High Stakes Code (At A Startup) — How to write code when the stakes are high or human safety is involved. (hn)

Postgres 14: It’s The Little Things — Calling attention to those little things that don’t get the spotlight but make a developer’s life better. (hn)

The story of the team ​behind the chip that launched a revolution — The MOS 6052 is one of the most influential microprocessors ever designed. It’s credited with ushering in the personal computing revolution. (hn)

The smart toilet era is here! Are you ready to share your analprint with big tech? — Smart toilet innovators believe the loo could become the ultimate health monitoring tool. (hn)

Python as a build tool — Why Skija and JWM use Python instead of an existing build tool. (hn)

Weaponizing middleboxes — Middleboxes can be abused to inflict denial-of-service (DoS) attacks elsewhere on the net. (hn)

Education Station: PHP is the Worst — However, at the same time, PHP allows developers to create structurally “correct” software and embrace ideas that are considered good practices. (hn)


You are so loyal. We will pay you less. — Compensation is increased more for people who change jobs vs. those who stay at the same company. (hn)

Impact of task switching and work interruptions on software development processes — What was surprising was that working on more projects didn’t correlate with cross-project interrupts. (hn)

How Big Tech Runs Tech Projects and the Curious Absence of Scrum — Why is this, and are there takeaways others should take note of? (hn)

Hard Work Isn’t the Point of the Office — The pandemic disrupted the gossip, eavesdropping, and casual relationship-building that aren’t a formal part of your job. (hn)

Why companies don’t post salaries in job adverts — The politics of making salaries public are complicated. (hn)


MVP vs Prototype – Which One To Choose For Idea Validation? — If you want to validate your product idea, but you hesitate, read our MVP vs Prototype comparison! (hn)

Elder-friendly technology is a growing market — As boomers age, a new crop of iPads and Alexas are popping up. Are they necessary? (hn)

The most successful accelerator cohort ever: How this Techstars Seattle class produced 3 unicorns — The struggles for these three startups were many, with plenty of co-founder drama, pivoting, near-bankruptcy, plateaus, visa issues, and more. (hn)


The Promise of Carbon-Neutral Steel — To understand steel, you need to think at the level of high-school chemistry. For most of human history the problem of iron extraction was unsolvable. (hn)

Mars Was Always Destined to Die — A new study reveals that Mars began drying even earlier in its history than once thought. (hn)

Flying by the Fat of the Sea — Scientists may have cracked an essential secret of shorebirds’ marathon migrations. (hn)

The Simple Math Behind the Mighty Roots of Unity — Solutions to the simplest polynomial equations have an elegant structure that mathematicians still use to study some of math’s greatest open questions. (hn)

Mathematical Analysis of Fruit Fly Wings Hints at Evolution’s Limits — Two forces of robustness and evolvability tug in opposite directions. One wants less variation, and one wants more. How is a balance struck? (hn)

This Is Why Your Car Remote Works From Farther Away If You Hold It To Your Head — You are made of meat and you can turn your head into an antenna. (hn)


Essay: The digital death of collecting — How platforms mess with our tastes. (hn)

Why women should always do what we think we are not good at — My personal story of how I quit being a software engineer due to lack of confidence and came back to it after long years. (hn)


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Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng