Issue 2: 10 Reads for Weekend Reading


Welcome to second issue of 10 Reads weekly newsletter. Below are the 10 posts that I found good to read this week. Total time to read this newsletter is 105 minutes.

  1. I wandered off and built an IDE: 5 mins read. A few years ago, I set out to build a small Excel plugin to help out my girlfriend at the time. I ended up building a full-blown IDE over the course of four years and spent the winter in Poland in a startup accelerator.
  2. The dots do matter: how to scam a Gmail user5 mins read. I recently received an email from Netflix which nearly caused me to add my card details to someone else’s Netflix account. Here I show that this is a new kind of phishing scam which is enabled by an obscure feature of Gmail called “the dots don’t matter”. I then argue that the dots do matter, and that this Gmail feature is in fact a misfeature.
  3. Building Real Time Analytics APIs at Scale: 15 mins read. We recently redesigned our analytics API from the ground up, in order to provide near real-time analytics to our customers on billions of search queries per day. Here’s how we did it.
  4. Why does “=” mean assignment?: 5 mins read. A common FP critique of imperative programming goes like this: “How can a = a + 1? That’s like saying 1 = 2. Mutable assignment makes no sense.” This is a notation mismatch: “equals” should mean “equality”, when it really means “assign”. I agree with this criticism and think it’s bad notation. But I also know some languages don’t write a = a + 1, instead writing a := a + 1. Why isn’t that the norm?
  5. First Principles: The Building Blocks of True Knowledge: 30 mins read. First-principles thinking is one of the best ways to reverse-engineer complicated problems and unleash creative possibility. Sometimes called “reasoning from first principles,” the idea is to break down complicated problems into basic elements and then reassemble them from the ground up. It’s one of the best ways to learn to think for yourself, unlock your creative potential, and move from linear to non-linear results.
  6. Amazon spent nearly $23 billion on R&D last year — more than any other U.S. company: 5 mins read. Tech companies claimed the top five spots in the U.S. for research and development spending again last year, investing a combined total of $76 billion. Amazon was at the top of the list, spending $22.6 billion in 2017, 41 percent more than in 2016
  7. Migrating 15 years of Meetup photos to the cloud: 10 mins read. Meetup has been around for quite a while, at least since 2002, and our members have always been fond of uploading photos: profile pictures and countless memories of every type of Meetup. So, after 15 years, we have hundreds of terabytes of beautiful pixels to keep good care of, and to move with us, wherever our platform goes.
  8. Why Bitcoin is bullshit, explained by an expert: 5 mins read. It turns out cryptocurrencies and blockchains have a few problems.
  9. Building a Text Editor for a Digital-First Newsroom:  15 mins read. Our primary task is to create an ultra-customized story editor for the newsroom. Beyond the basics of being able to type and render content, this new story editor needs to combine the advanced features of Google Docs with the intuitive design focus of Medium, then add lots of features unique to the newsroom’s workflow.
  10. India – Scaling People: 10 mins read. After one year of working with an off-shore team, we lost about a million Euros and needed to re-write most parts of the software. What actually was the problem? I’ve been thinking about that for quite some time. But let’s rewind to mid 2015.
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