Interesting Things #51 — What Artists Do


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

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To Make Better Software, Do What Artists Do — Writing software involves a kind of illegible creativity, a quality we usually associate with art. (hn)

How we secure Monzo’s banking platform — Our security principles and how they work with other engineering teams to keep our customers and platform safe. (hn)

The end of the road for Cloudflare CAPTCHAs — We built a platform to test many alternatives and see which had the best potential to replace CAPTCHA. (hn)

Why Rust mutexes look like they do — You can certainly create a C-style mutex API in Rust, but it gives up most of Rust’s safety guarantees. (hn)

Nike Wants to ‘Destroy’ Unauthorized NFTs—How Will That Work? — Nike is asking a court to destroy something that pretty much can’t be destroyed. (hn)

Researchers Used a Decommissioned Satellite to Broadcast Hacker TV — What happens when an old satellite is no longer in use but can still broadcast? Hacker shenanigans, that’s what. (hn)

Even ancient JavaScript is a safer language for programming with integers than modern C — Questioning preconceived notions about what domains low-level and high-level languages belong to. (hn)

The Axie Infinity hack, what happened, and why people keep talking about bridges — Axie Infinity suffered an enormous hack on March 23. What happened, and what does it mean? (hn)

The Rarely Seen, But Beautiful Content-Addressable Memory (CAM) — A different kind of memory chip. (hn)


The ‘coasting’ workers who’ve checked out of their jobs — Rather than quit, more and more employees are happy to just get by and collect their salaries. Is it necessarily a problem? (hn)

A detailed guide to colors in data vis style guides — You won’t find a more extensive guide on this topic. (hn)

How to transform your culture? Have two days with no meetings — Two meeting-free days increases productivity, autonomy and satisfaction. (hn)

Asynchronous Communication: The Real Reason Remote Workers Are More Productive — What it is and why it matters. (hn)


Superpath: Zero to One — About six months ago, my startup closed a milestone deal. It opened my eyes to a more exciting future than the one I’d been stressing about. (hn)

How to hire engineers in a distorted job market — What startups should do to attract the best engineering talent in this distorted job market. (hn)


NIST-F1 Cesium Fountain Atomic Clock — The primary atomic clock in the US is so accurate it would neither gain nor lose a second in more than 100 million years. (hn)

Digging Up the Rich Viking History of Britain — A massive 1,100-year-old graveyard leads to a surprising new view of the Nordic legacy in Britain. (hn)

The Ocean Is Having Trouble Breathing — A drop in oxygen levels is putting ocean ecosystems on life support. (hn)


Choose your addiction — Choose deliberately what is going to stimulate you. (hn)

I like unusual books. Here’s what I’d read — if I had time. — I’d delve into undeservedly forgotten novels and works of intellectual history and explore the arcane, the magical and more. (hn)

Putin and Xi Exposed the Great Illusion of Capitalism — Unless the U.S. and its allies mobilize to save it, the second great age of globalization is coming to a catastrophic close. (hn)

The Dying Art of Driving a Stick Shift — In Europe, 80% of cars sold have manual transmissions. In the U.S., it’s only 1%. (hn)

Time in Different Cultures — Attitudes to time may differ between different cultures in often quite significant ways. (hn)


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Enjoy your reading and have a good day, Beng