Interesting Things #50 — BonsaiDb


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!


A Year of BonsaiDb: A retrospective and looking to the future — Aiming to be the most developer-friendly Rust database with a unique feature set geared at solving many common data problems. (hn)

Rust is minimalist — I realize that, today, Rust is the first language that can reliably do everything well. (hn)

Why and how we use primitive maps — Operating on petabytes of data in public clouds could be quite costly. Is there any way to optimize performance? (hn)

The Ars Technica guide to mechanical keyboards — Want a mechanical keyboard but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. (hn)

Shrinkwrap: Taming dynamic shared objects — Overcome some of the chaos of dependency hell by freezing the dependencies directly on the executable. (hn)

how is Debian doing? — Starting with a tl;dr, I think Debian is doing ok. It’s not doing great, but it is ok. (hn)

Battleship — Lets overengineer a childhood game. (hn)

We Tried Elixir, Liked It … And Decided Against It (For Now) — It has a steep learning curve and a small mindshare. (hn)


Out of Office: The Case for More Paid Vacation Days — The pandemic has forced us to reevaluate our relationship with work and time off. (hn)

How to Vet a Remote Workplace — Questions to ask before you take the job. (hn)

Twin Anxieties of the Engineer/Manager Pendulum — I have written a lot about this and I often hear from people who are angsting about the transition. (hn)


Churn - How it works operationally and ways to calculate it — Understanding the intricacies of working with churn metrics. (hn)

Should I Open Source my Company? — The unexpected upsides of building in public. (hn)

Wordle creator describes game’s rise, says NYT sale was “a way to walk away” — Meteoric rise, celeb fans, flagrant clones, feeling “miserable,” and moving on. (hn)

What happened to Starbucks? How a progressive company lost its way — Starbucks’s app has made the coffee giant healthier financially, but at a cost to its culture, cafés, and even its brand identity. (hn)


You Try Constricting Your Prey and Breathing at the Same Time — It’s not easy but boa constrictors have figured out a way to inflate only parts of their lungs. (hn)

Researchers Discover Oldest-Known Ochre Workshop in East Asia — Tools and pieces of the clay earth pigment date to about 40,000 years old and introduce new theories about early human migration. (hn)

What did the ancient Babylonians discern in the skies above? — Ancient Babylonian astronomers help us see that our view of the world is as much a product of our senses as of our culture. (hn)

Life’s Preference for Symmetry Is Like ‘A New Law of Nature’ — Techniques from computer science may help explain the tendency in biology for structures to repeat themselves. (hn)

How a few geothermal plants could solve America’s lithium supply crunch and boost the EV battery industry — A new U.S. source could provide 10 times more lithium than the country uses today. (hn)

Microplastics found in human blood for first time — The discovery shows the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. (hn)


Slobbing out and giving up: why are so many people going ‘goblin mode’? — Goblin mode is about a complete lack of aesthetic. Because why would a goblin care what they look like? (hn)

Harvesting the Blood of America’s Poor: The Latest Stage of Capitalism — There is no shortage of corporations ready to exploit America’s most vulnerable populations in order to get their blood. Literally. (hn)

Confessions of an Information Hoarder — What happens to our brains when we have an infinite memory? (hn)

Not smart but clever? The return of ‘dumbphones’ — Why sales of very basic mobile phones, without apps and internet connection, are increasing. (hn)

A Nineteenth-Century Pandemic May Be a Window into Coronaviruses — Experts have turned back the clock to see what the Russian flu and other epidemics can teach us. (hn)


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Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng