Interesting Things #48 — Tidbyt


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!


Tidbyt: a review — A tabletop LED display for quiet data. I think it’s pretty cool. (hn)

Tech Talks Don’t Have to be Boring — Most people think these simple rules are impractical and don’t follow them. Result? Bo-ring! (hn)

M-427 DERVISH — This online/offline encryption device developed around 2000 in Russia cannot be hacked and withstands electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks. (hn)

Valve Releases Windows Drivers For the Steam Deck — If you believed that the Steam Deck will only run SteamOS, you might want to revise your opinion. (hn)

Hooks: The secret feature powering the Postgres ecosystem — They are a powerful way to customize how Postgres works. We explore how to build with them with examples from popular projects. (hn)

How China Made An Exascale Supercomputer Out Of Old 14 Nanometer Tech — 37 million cores. (hn)

The Code Review Pyramid — Focus on those parts which matter the most. The other parts could and should be automated. (hn)

Editing stuff in prod — Editing files in prod to develop them? That’s bad news. Having to do it to get your job done? You might be in a bad place. (hn)

The Tech Behind Apple’s M1 UltraFusion Chip Interconnect — Apple’s UltraFusion architecture uses TSMC’s CoWoS-S to deliver 2.5 TB/s of interprocessor bandwidth. (hn)

Giving Better Code Review Feedback — Got an emotional reaction when you asked a logical question? Code reviews easily get personal, even when it’s about the code. (hn)

ECMAScript proposal: Types as Comments — Add type annotations to JavaScript code which are transparent to whatever JavaScript engine is running it. (hn)

Rust WebAssembly OCR experiments — This post will go over two things: the process of extracting the scores from a JPG in rust, and the process of embedding it in Cyberscore’s frontend. (hn)

SQL-Powered Reading List — I keep my reading list in a Google Sheet and I query it with SQL from my website. (hn)

MongoDB Performance is Disk-graceful — MongoDB databases often require lots of disk I/O because documents aren’t stored in a clustered index and writing snapshots can saturate disk I/O. (hn)

Restoring and attributing ancient texts using deep neural networks — Cooperation between artificial intelligence and historians can transform how we study and write about one of the most important periods in human history. (hn)


Tech workers are fed up and want to quit. A few thoughtful changes could make them stay — Tech workers are more inclined to leave their jobs than those in other industries. But it is possible to persuade them to stay. (hn)

Deep work in interesting times — I’m going to show you how I use emacs org-mode to keep me sane, focused, and productive even when the world is in impending chaos. (hn)


The Elephant in the room: The myth of exponential hypergrowth — If you have an incorrect model, you can’t control nor predict growth. Here is a different model to understand how companies actually grow. (hn)


Intermittent fasting in the prevention and treatment of cancer (Aug 2021) — It has become a popular diet. Patients with cancer are seeking advice about its beneficial effects for cancer prevention and treatment. (hn)

Kids show mysteriously low levels of COVID antibodies — Children also seem to be able to clear SARS-CoV-2 from their bodies much quicker than adults can. (hn)

How TrueCaller built a billion-dollar caller ID data empire in India — How a Swedish company has used India’s lack of a comprehensive legal framework surrounding data protection to advance its business. (hn)


‘Reselling PlayStations keeps a roof over my head’ — How so-called scalpers use online bots to snap up consoles and resell them for profit. (hn)

How companies are hiding inflation without charging you more — Do consumers notice when their everyday products get smaller? Shrinkflation is causing consumers to pay the same or more for less. (hn)

Biden considers digital dollar—here’s how it could differ from regular money — Digital currency may have advantages but could also be a tool for surveillance. (hn)

How The Inca Used Knots To Tell Stories — To fully understand quipu, we must shed our preconceived notions of what defines writing. (hn)


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Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng