Interesting Things #47 — NaN


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

Happy reading!


If it’s not a number, what is it? Demystifying NaN for the working programmer. — There are few things that can trip up even experienced programmers more easily than floating-point arithmetic. (hn)

Problems with Signal messenger app (Jan 2022) — Centralization means that the whole infrastructure is controlled by one entity. (hn)

Developer tooling must spark joy — Happier people tend to be more pleasant to work with and to stay longer at their jobs. This has an impact on productivity. (hn)

How to design better APIs — 15 language-agnostic, actionable tips on REST API design. (hn)

The Truth About “MEH-TRICS” — Metrics aren’t worthless; they’re just limited. (hn)

Hacking Hadoukens — Reverse engineering a Street Fighter Two cabinet. (hn)

ARPANET pioneer Jack Haverty says the internet was never finished — The early structure of the internet was experimental, and not much has changed since. (hn)

Piercing the Cloud Armor - The 8KB bypass in Google Cloud Platform WAF — The limitation is not widely known and is not presented to customers prominently. (hn)

Introduction to Free Monads (Jan 2022) — In this introductory article, we’ll show you what they are, why they are useful, and examples on how they can be used. (hn)


Get Computer Glasses — Run, not walk, to the nearest optometrist, get your eyes checked, and order a set of “computer glasses”. Trust me. (hn)

Respect the time of your engineers — Before hiring more engineers, managers should learn how to efficiently work with them. Use these tips to reduce wasted time. (hn)

Are tech interviews broken — or is the cruelty the point? — Hiring managers say that coding challenges are the easiest way to find the best developers, but I’m not convinced. (hn)

My 2021 Job Search (Nov 2021) — On my process of searching for the right next thing as a later-career software engineer and manager. (hn)

There’s one job perk more popular than a four-day workweek — 50% of workers said they’d rather have the freedom to set their own hours. (hn)

Hire remote employees that write well (and how to do it) (Feb 2022) — To find great remote employees, prioritize candidates with strong writing skills. (hn)


If Russian Currency Reserves Aren’t Really Money, the World Is in for a Shock — This may reshape geopolitics, economic management and even the international role of the U.S. dollar. (hn)


Investigators Identify New Connections Between Circadian Rhythm and Muscle Repair — A novel mechanism connects circadian rhythm-controlled cellular metabolism and regeneration with muscle repair after injury. (hn)

“Drug factory” beads implanted in mice take out tumors within a week — A new type of implant carries the cellular machinery needed to produce and deliver continuous doses of anti-cancer compounds. (hn)

Scientists Watch a Memory Form in a Living Brain — Neuroscientists saw an unexpected level of rewiring occur in the synaptic connections of a living fish. (hn)


In Japan, a million people have shut themselves in their rooms. One mother is helping them come out — Seiko Goto stood by her son’s bed with a knife: She feared she had raised a person who was of no use to the world. (hn)

If you’ve rented a car from Hertz, there could be a warrant out for your arrest — Hertz files 3,365 police reports about stolen vehicles involving its customers each year. Many of them were innocent paying customers. (hn)

My Battle with Post-finasteride Syndrome, Part I — What would you do if, in your early twenties, your sexuality was permanently impaired by an FDA-approved drug for male pattern baldness? (hn)

The Kind of Smarts You Don’t Find in Young People — How older people can save tech. (hn)

How mindfulness can make you a darker person — Mindfulness is beneficial but it can also make you less likely to feel guilty about wrongdoing and derail your moral compass. (hn)


Honey, He Shrunk The Watches! — This man makes faithful tiny watch replicas from pop culture. (hn)


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Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng