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Open web developer. Publishing / Music. DJ (under @CloudseerDJ). Tall Dutch guy.

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TechDev Reading List #001

11 min read

My new approach to interesting articles in the technology and development space is to add them to a weekly digest and scan through them each Friday. This frees up the week to not having to worry about catching up with the latest news, so it's a process I recommend.

I haven't read and do not condone the articles here, I merely thought they look interesting. Thoughts on this format are welcome

Here's the first edition:

2019: What’s Coming Next on DigitalOcean

2019: What’s Coming Next on DigitalOcean



It is the beginning of the year and an opportunity for us to reflect on 2018 and share what’s upcoming for our community in 2019. Last year, we shared details on the progress we’ve made on an ambitious roadmap in January and August. Here’s a recap:

Tags:

via Pocket https://do.co/2BcUSSq

February 01, 2019 at 08:05AM February 01, 2019 at 08:15AM

via Pocket https://blog.digitalocean.com/whats-new-for-2019/

 
 

An Illustrated Guide to SSH Agent Forwarding

An Illustrated Guide to SSH Agent Forwarding



The Secure Shell is widely used to provide secure access to remote systems, and everybody who uses it is familiar with routine password access. This is the easiest to set up, is available by default, but suffers from a number of limitations.

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via Pocket http://www.unixwiz.net/techtips/ssh-agent-forwarding.html#chal

February 01, 2019 at 08:09PM February 01, 2019 at 08:15PM

via Pocket http://www.unixwiz.net/techtips/ssh-agent-forwarding.html#chal


Using SSH Agent Forwarding

Using SSH Agent Forwarding



SSH agent forwarding can be used to make deploying to a server simple. It allows you to use your local SSH keys instead of leaving keys (without passphrases!) sitting on your server. If you've already set up an SSH key to interact with GitHub, you're probably familiar with ssh-agent.

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via Pocket https://developer.github.com/v3/guides/using-ssh-agent-forwarding/

February 01, 2019 at 08:09PM February 01, 2019 at 08:15PM

via Pocket https://developer.github.com/v3/guides/using-ssh-agent-forwarding/


Privacy is not just a personal matter

Privacy is not just a personal matter



I started working with the Web in 1992, just a few years after Tim Berners-Lee made Web standards available to the public, paving the way for a massive transformation in our lives. A transformation that has been very positive.

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via Pocket https://vivaldi.com/blog/privacy-is-not-just-a-personal-matter/

February 03, 2019 at 02:37PM February 03, 2019 at 02:39PM

via Pocket https://vivaldi.com/blog/privacy-is-not-just-a-personal-matter/


50 Years In Tech Part 15. Be: From Concept To Near Death

50 Years In Tech Part 15. Be: From Concept To Near Death



As described in the Firing Frankness Monday Note, my exit arrangement with Apple involved staying another six months or so as a ”minister without portfolio”. As I pondered my next move, I got a pair of phone calls from Steve Jobs.

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via Pocket https://mondaynote.com/50-years-in-tech-part-15-be-from-concept-to-near-death-f69c64d8725e

February 03, 2019 at 02:37PM February 03, 2019 at 02:39PM

via Pocket https://mondaynote.com/50-years-in-tech-part-15-be-from-concept-to-near-death-f69c64d8725e


How Not to Crash #9: Mindset

How Not to Crash #9: Mindset



You know the old line about not writing code that’s as clever as you are, because it will take someone even smarter than you to debug it? I used to think that means I should write code that’s about 80% as clever as I am. Save a little bit for debugging.

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via Pocket http://inessential.com/2015/06/10/how_not_to_crash_9_mindset

February 03, 2019 at 02:37PM February 03, 2019 at 02:39PM

via Pocket http://inessential.com/2015/06/10/how_not_to_crash_9_mindset


inessential: How Not to Crash

inessential: How Not to Crash





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via Pocket http://inessential.com/hownottocrash

February 03, 2019 at 02:37PM February 03, 2019 at 02:39PM

via Pocket http://inessential.com/hownottocrash


Paying tribute to the web with View Source

Paying tribute to the web with View Source



The web isn’t just another software platform. It’s the greatest software platform the world has ever seen. And yet even in its obvious glory, we’re still learning how to be grateful for all its constituent parts. Take View Source, for example. I owe much of my career to View Source.

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via Pocket https://m.signalvnoise.com/paying-tribute-to-the-web-with-view-source/

February 03, 2019 at 02:37PM February 03, 2019 at 02:39PM

via Pocket https://m.signalvnoise.com/paying-tribute-to-the-web-with-view-source/


Multisite Support for Site Metadata in 5.1

Multisite Support for Site Metadata in 5.1



WordPress multisite introduces a new database table to store metadata associated with sites. This allows for the storage of arbitrary site data relevant in a multisite / network context.

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via Pocket https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/01/28/multisite-support-for-site-metadata-in-5-1/

February 03, 2019 at 02:37PM February 03, 2019 at 02:39PM

via Pocket https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/01/28/multisite-support-for-site-metadata-in-5-1/


Memento, the Third-Party Reminders Client, Adds Watch App, Keyboard Shortcuts, and More

Memento, the Third-Party Reminders Client, Adds Watch App, Keyboard Shortcuts, and More



Apple's Reminders is one of the few native iOS apps with a database that can be directly tapped into by third-party clients.

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via Pocket https://www.macstories.net/reviews/memento-the-third-party-reminders-client-adds-watch-app-keyboard-...

February 03, 2019 at 02:39PM February 03, 2019 at 03:19PM

via Pocket https://www.macstories.net/reviews/memento-the-third-party-reminders-client-adds-watch-app-keyboard-...


The Ethics of Web Performance

The Ethics of Web Performance



One question I’ve seen posed a few times in the past several months is whether performance really is a moral or ethical concern, or if that’s all heavy-handed exaggeration. It’s a fair question, I suppose.

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via Pocket https://timkadlec.com/remembers/2019-01-09-the-ethics-of-performance/

February 03, 2019 at 04:35PM February 03, 2019 at 04:39PM

via Pocket https://timkadlec.com/remembers/2019-01-09-the-ethics-of-performance/


How can we break the Brexit deadlock? Ask ancient Athens

How can we break the Brexit deadlock? Ask ancient Athens



In the central marketplace of ancient Athens, around 350BC, there stood a machine called the kleroterion. This was a six-foot-high slab of stone that had a series of slots on the front, and a long tube bored down from the top to the base.

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via Pocket https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/25/break-brexit-deadlock-ancient-athens-sortition

February 04, 2019 at 08:06AM February 04, 2019 at 08:09AM

via Pocket https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/25/break-brexit-deadlock-ancient-athens-sortition


How to deal with a micromanaging boss

How to deal with a micromanaging boss



The 5 reasons why people tend to micromanage in the workplace – and how to manage up, and around them. I’ve heard the phrase, “I have a micromanaging boss,” more times than I can remember. I heard it again, just last week.

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via Pocket https://m.signalvnoise.com/how-to-deal-with-a-micromanaging-boss/

February 05, 2019 at 04:16AM February 05, 2019 at 05:34AM

via Pocket https://m.signalvnoise.com/how-to-deal-with-a-micromanaging-boss/


Synth One is a free, no-strings-attached, iPad and iPhone synthesizer

Synth One is a free, no-strings-attached, iPad and iPhone synthesizer



Call it the people’s iOS synth: Synth One is free – without ads or registration or anything like that – and loved. And now it’s reached 1.0, with iPad and iPhone support and some expert-designed sounds.

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via Pocket http://cdm.link/2019/01/synth-one-is-a-free-no-strings-attached-ipad-and-iphone-synthesizer/

February 05, 2019 at 04:16AM February 05, 2019 at 05:34AM

via Pocket http://cdm.link/2019/01/synth-one-is-a-free-no-strings-attached-ipad-and-iphone-synthesizer/


I Cut Google Out Of My Life. It Screwed Up Everything

I Cut Google Out Of My Life. It Screwed Up Everything



Goodbye Big FiveReporter Kashmir Hill spent six weeks blocking Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple from getting her money, data, and attention, using a custom-built VPN. Here’s what happened.

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via Pocket https://gizmodo.com/i-cut-google-out-of-my-life-it-screwed-up-everything-1830565500

February 05, 2019 at 04:16AM February 05, 2019 at 05:34AM

via Pocket https://gizmodo.com/i-cut-google-out-of-my-life-it-screwed-up-everything-1830565500


The Datasette Ecosystem — Datasette documentation

The Datasette Ecosystem — Datasette documentation



Datasette sits at the center of a growing ecosystem of open source tools aimed at making it as easy as possible to gather, analyze and publish interesting data.

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via Pocket https://datasette.readthedocs.io/en/stable/ecosystem.html

February 05, 2019 at 04:16AM February 05, 2019 at 05:34AM

via Pocket https://datasette.readthedocs.io/en/stable/ecosystem.html


Introducing WP Acceptance

Introducing WP Acceptance



WP Acceptance—a team-centric tool we’ve built for writing reliable, scalable acceptance tests—is now available in beta. Part of our pursuit of finely crafted web experiences, we think that WP Acceptance will help ensure stable releases and fewer regressions for WordPress applications.

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via Pocket https://10up.com/blog/2019/introducing-wp-acceptance/

February 05, 2019 at 11:09PM February 05, 2019 at 11:20PM

via Pocket https://10up.com/blog/2019/introducing-wp-acceptance/


Questions for a new technology.

Questions for a new technology.



Given that coordination and communication swamp all other costs in modern software development it is a pressing area to invest in, especially as your team scales. I use a framework of a Small Number of Well Known Tools to build shared understanding in our complex systems over time.

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via Pocket https://kellanem.com/notes/new-tech

February 06, 2019 at 06:51AM February 06, 2019 at 06:52AM

via Pocket https://kellanem.com/notes/new-tech


The New York Times Co. Reports $709 Million in Digital Revenue for 2018

The New York Times Co. Reports $709 Million in Digital Revenue for 2018



The New York Times Company generated more than $709 million in digital revenue last year, growing at a pace that suggests it will meet its stated goal of $800 million in digital sales by the end of 2020.

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via Pocket https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/business/media/new-york-times-earnings-digital-subscriptions.html

February 06, 2019 at 06:10PM February 06, 2019 at 06:52PM

via Pocket https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/business/media/new-york-times-earnings-digital-subscriptions.html


System Administration Screencasts

System Administration Screencasts

In this episode series, we will be looking at Ansible, which is an easy to use configuration management and orchestration tool. My goal for this series, is to show you what Ansible is, how it works, and the steps to get going on your own.

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via Pocket https://sysadmincasts.com/

February 06, 2019 at 06:22PM February 06, 2019 at 06:52PM

via Pocket https://sysadmincasts.com/


PHPUnit

PHPUnit



PHPUnit is the official testing framework chosen by the core team to test our PHP code. 1. Install PHPUnit. WordPress uses PHPUnit, the standard for unit testing PHP projects. Installation instructions can be found in the PHPUnit manual or on the PHPUnit Github repository.

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via Pocket https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/testing/automated-testing/phpunit/

February 06, 2019 at 06:38PM February 06, 2019 at 06:52PM

via Pocket https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/testing/automated-testing/phpunit/


What Data Does Jetpack Sync?

What Data Does Jetpack Sync?



To take advantage of the performance boosting features of Jetpack, certain information about the content, settings, and setup of your site are synced with our servers. This data begins to sync when Jetpack is installed and connected to a WordPress.com User ID.

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via Pocket https://jetpack.com/support/what-data-does-jetpack-sync/

February 06, 2019 at 06:49PM February 06, 2019 at 06:52PM

via Pocket https://jetpack.com/support/what-data-does-jetpack-sync/


An Introduction To Automated Testing Of WordPress Plugins With PHPUnit

An Introduction To Automated Testing Of WordPress Plugins With PHPUnit



Upgrade your inbox and get our editors’ picks twice a month.

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via Pocket https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2017/12/automated-testing-wordpress-plugins-phpunit/

February 06, 2019 at 07:57PM February 06, 2019 at 08:02PM

via Pocket https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2017/12/automated-testing-wordpress-plugins-phpunit/


What’s New in Gutenberg? (6th February)

What’s New in Gutenberg? (6th February)


@mapk said earlier that the Gutenberg repository is on fire ?, he was not lying. More than 52 contributors participated in this release. This release is also the first release dropping support for WordPress versions prior to 5.0.

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via Pocket https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/02/06/whats-new-in-gutenberg-6th-february/

February 06, 2019 at 08:14PM February 06, 2019 at 08:17PM

via Pocket https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/02/06/whats-new-in-gutenberg-6th-february/


Firefox 66 Makes It Easier Search Open Tabs

Firefox 66 Makes It Easier Search Open Tabs



While this addition won’t change the way the world uses the internet, it will improve things for those who have a crazy amount of tabs open at the same time. Firefox truncates the tab title the more tabs that are open, leaving users to rely on favicon spotting to identify tabs.

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via Pocket https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2019/02/firefox-66-search-open-tabs

February 06, 2019 at 08:15PM February 06, 2019 at 08:17PM

via Pocket https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2019/02/firefox-66-search-open-tabs


Docs – opensource.google.com

Docs – opensource.google.com



Open source is about more than just code. It's also about the planning that happens before the code is written, the process of how that code is used by others, and fostering a welcoming environment where a community can grow.

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via Pocket https://opensource.google.com/docs/

February 07, 2019 at 11:21PM February 07, 2019 at 11:22PM

via Pocket https://opensource.google.com/docs/


NI now has killer, budget audio interfaces and compact keys

NI now has killer, budget audio interfaces and compact keys



The answer to questions like “I just need a simple audio interface,” and “I want a compact keyboard that doesn’t suck,” and “oh, yeah, wait, does this connect to my Eurorack?” along with “did I mention I’ve got almost no money?” – just got some new answers.

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via Pocket http://cdm.link/2019/02/ni-now-has-killer-budget-audio-interfaces-and-compact-keys/

February 07, 2019 at 11:29PM February 07, 2019 at 11:32PM

via Pocket http://cdm.link/2019/02/ni-now-has-killer-budget-audio-interfaces-and-compact-keys/

 

Taking back control

2 min read

Recently, I've come to the conclusion that it's the nature of realtime social media to cause drama and upset. In the search for ever increasing thirst for gossip, instant reactions are stimulated so heavily that  there is no time to research or read about the context of a story, and open discussion isn't possible when group mentality means we must be outraged or be part of the problem.

At the same time, people have never engaged so little with web content, being the metaphorical frogs in the pressure cooker of Facebook and Twitter that is modern society. We are the product that is monetised by the advertising dollars that demand page views in a broken system of inflatable viewership figures.

In the music scene, the illusion of hyper promotion and like-networking results in a feed of people and content I have little interest in following, in the hope that they will listen to what I have to say.

Pointless and bad for my health. So therefore I'm distancing myself more from social media now.

If you want to follow what I have to say about technology, read vandragt.com. If you are interested in my music visit cloudseer.me. They will soon have a mailinglist and RSS feeds without advertising and like buttons.

The quest for the perfect notetaking tool

1 min read

I'm always looking for a cross platform good value note taking solution and the latest find in this space is Zim - a desktop wiki

Zim is a notepad like desktop application that is inspired by the way people use wikis.

I have the following requirements:

  1. Cross platform native client (not web)
  2. Supports images (copy paste and by upload)
  3. Capture webpages or supports pasting in part of webpages, that can be updated (not just a study tool)
  4. Rich text that can be exported in usable formats.
  5. Linking between notes.
  6. Fast full-text search
  7. Some form of organisation / tagging.

So far I have excluded EverNote (too expensive), OneNote and Apple Notes (no cross platform native clients) and markdown files (no images).

 

A People Centred Web

2 min read

Have you ever tried to leave a social network? Want to be free to move web platforms because your needs have changed? Perhaps you might no longer agree with the business practices employed by the service provider, or no longer see the value in paying for having content monetised.

Currently, this means you have to build up new social connections and can't move over your friends as they might not be on the new network. This is a dark pattern employed by the investor-heavy digital media giants to keep people siloed, making it easy to move in but burdensome to move out.

Social networks can then add messages and events on top, keeping the money making engine oiled with an persuasive analytics layer. Other places like media hosting providers where it seems a subscription fee supports the music uploaded to the system but causes artists to lose control over their fan base.

The silo is responsive and cushy yes, but ultimately the users are at the whims of the platform. I have accounts on hundreds of websites because every site wants to identify their users. Sites start their own network; to build things on top off.

It seems to me that it is very wasteful to keep building social graphs and user account systems when we can do so much better. Instead, have the person be in control of the people they interact with, and manage the information that is displayed to them!

Imagine launching a dashboard app that sits on your computer and is independent from any information sources. It's free of tracking and open source to us all and doesn't do too many things. It doesn't belong to anybody but yourself. It's just a window where information from friends can be shown in a timeline. It can connect to a friend's dashboard so you can stay in touch. Hey what's new? It manages who you follow.

Web services you visit can ask permission to add information on your dashboard. Want to see when concert tickets are available for your favourite artist? Allow them to display that. Allow the event provider to display dates of the next group meeting, and the music hoster to add in new tracks from that producer you follow.

Never again be stuck in a silo. Disconnect a source and attach another. A social reader for the new generation.

More Private Browsing

2 min read

If you visit this site you will know what browser cookies are and that they are used to store information about you across visits to that website. A typical website will store a few to a few hundred cookies on your computer.

Each cookie has an expiry date for when they are no longer valid and then automatically deleted by the browser. Did you know the lifetime of some of these cookies are several decades in the future and that they are routinely used by data brokers and analytics companies to gather data on you?

That's why I've recommended installing a plugin like PrivacyBadger, to prevent these tracking cookies from being passed back to websites that track you across websites.

But you can also override the maximum lifespan of these cookies. I've experimented and 10-14 days seems to be a good medium between having to login to all your websites all the time and maintaining privacy.

On Firefox, open about:config and search for network.cookie.lifetime, you will find network.cookie.lifetime.days (set this to 14) and network.cookie.lifetimePolicy (set this to 3 to override the default behaviour or letting the website decide).

On Chrome or Vivaldi browsers it's possible to set these values by installing my FreshCookies addon, which does not contain any tracking itself.

Embedding a ted.com video by pasting the URL into a WordPress post means the whole video loads (33mb!) on pageload! Great videos, bad service.<p>#status </p>

We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

1 min read

We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.

This is why I run PrivacyBadger to block tracking, not ads.

How to install pip and pipenv properly on Ubuntu 17.10

1 min read

Ubuntu 17.10 comes with python3 3.6.3 installed by default but not pip and pipenv. We can install install pip systemwide and pipenv into the user local bin so we can use all the convenience when working with our python projects:

wget https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -O /tmp/get-pip.py
sudo python3 /tmp/get-pip.py
pip3 install --user pipenv
echo "PATH=$HOME/.local/bin:$PATH" >> ~/.profile
source ~/.profile

Sources: Installing Python 3 on Linux; pip installation; Installing pipenv; How to permanently set PATH on Linux

Update 9 Nov 2017: replaced curl with wget, thanks Peter

Banning the "Ban Crypto" Agenda

1 min read

Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing.net writes:

Theresa May says there should be no "means of communication" which "we cannot read" -- and no doubt many in her party will agree with her, politically. But if they understood the technology, they would be shocked to their boots.

Perhaps we should no longer assume that politicians 'do not understand the internet' and assume they are asking for changes in the full understanding that they don't achieve the goal for which they're introduced.

As long as the situation that's being created is more favourable for them than the current one it's a net benefit.

Short-term politics is the biggest threat to UK society at the moment and the current government is particularly good at it.