Google App Engine before and after (which one is better readable?)
As screens have advanced, designers have taken advantage of their increasing resolution by using lighter typeface, lower contrast, and thinner fonts. However, as more of us switch to laptops, mobile phones, and tablets as our main displays, the ideal desktop conditions from design studios are increasingly uncommon in life.
My plea to designers and software engineers: Ignore the fads and go back to the typographic principles of print — keep your type black, and vary weight and font instead of grayness.
via How the Web Became Unreadable
You’ve worked out an efficient way of living your life, but you end up seeing the same people because they’re also following their own routines. Why not make your network slightly more inefficient? Go to a bathroom on a different floor, get your morning coffee from a different place, park in a different spot. You should encounter a new network of people.
Another way we get stuck in ruts is through filtering. We do this automatically and immediately. The minute we meet someone, we look at them and decide “You’re interesting” or “You’re not interesting” or “You’re relevant” or “You’re not relevant.”
When someone recently did something for you, did you just reply with a “Thank you,” “thx” or “ty”? Next time, say “Let me know if I can ever help you” or “I look forward to collaborating again.” Sentences like these can reinforce our ties with other people.
via Three practically painless ways to expand your network — ideas.ted.com
Thumbs up for Mi Cloud (Xiaomi) because the ability to read synced SMS messages.
Synced SMS messages
Posted in android, mobile
Tagged cloud, sms
The best companies aren’t families. They’re supporters of families. Allies of families. There to provide healthy, fulfilling work environments so when workers shut their laptops at a reasonable hour, they’re the best husbands, wives, parents, siblings, and children they can be.
From The company isn’t a family
Posted in work
Tagged company, family
Thoughts from ‘Dirt Is Good’: Why Kids Need Exposure To Germs
So that dirty pacifier that fell on the floor — if you just stick it in your mouth and lick it, and then pop it back in little Tommy’s mouth, it’s actually going to stimulate their immune system. Their immune system’s going to become stronger because of it.
… if they’re interacting with a dog, and the dog licks their face, that’s not a bad thing. In fact that could be extremely beneficial for the child’s health.
The five-second rule doesn’t exist. It takes milliseconds for microbes to attach themselves to a sticky piece of jammy toast
Oftentimes, it’s hard to get your kid to eat a healthy diet. I would strongly try to encourage the consumption of more colorful vegetables, more leafy vegetables, a diet more rich in fiber as well as reducing the sugar intake. But just generally, allow your kid to experience the world.
The idea that too clean an environment might be harmful has been dubbed ‘the hygiene hypothesis’. The concept has been perverted by some to suggest that the less clean the environment, the better. But its meaning is different: it is not dirt that we are missing but exposure to certain microbes that normally contribute to the development of our immune system. ‘It’s not that we aren’t exposed enough to microbes but that we’re not exposed to the right types of microbes,’
From The very microbes that helped us evolve now make us sick
Some thoughts from Heisenberg Developers that I really enjoyed reading.
Software development is a complex system of multiple poorly understood feedback loops and interactions. It is an organic process of trial and error, false starts, experiments and monumental cock-ups. Numerous studies have shown that effective creative work is best done by motivated autonomous experts. As developers we need to be free to try things out, see how they evolve, back away from bad decisions, maybe try several different things before we find one that works.
If you ask me how long a feature is going to take, my honest answer is that I really have no idea. I may have a ball-park idea, but there’s a long-tail of lower-probability possibilities, that mean that I could easily be out by a factor of 10. What about the feature itself? Is it really such a good idea? I’m not just the implementer of this software, I’m a stake holder too. What if there’s a better way to address this business requirement? What if we discover a better way half way through the estimated time? What if I suddenly stumble on a technology or a technique that could make a big difference to the business?
As soon as you ask a developer to tell you exactly what he’s going to do over the next 8 days (or worse weeks or months), you kill much of the creativity and serendipity.
The more finely grained the tasks, the more you kill autonomy and creativity.
Not all developers dislike micromanagement. Some are more attracted to the paycheck than the art.
Finely grained management is a recipe for “talent evaporation”.