Thoughts on Conway's Law and the Software Stack

Thoughts on Conway's Law and the software stackMonday, March 25, 2019I’ve been talking to a lot of people in different layers of the stack during my funemployment. Conway’s Law states “organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.”If you were to apply Conway’s Law to all the layers of the software stack and open source software you’d see a problem: There is not sufficient communication between the various layers of software. Seems like the software and hardware layers should better communicate…That’s just one example, let’s reverse the interaction. I’ve talked to a bunch of firmware and kernel engineers and they’d all love if the firmware from chip vendors did less complexity. For instance, it seems like a unanimous vote among firmware and kernel engineers that CPU vendors should not include runtime services or SMM with their firmware.

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Golden Rules for Making Money by P. T. Barnum (1880)

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My New Favorite Tool for Reviewing PDFs: Okular

There are also tons inefficient ways to review those PDFs as they’re being created. I found a software program the other day and it’s my new favorite tool for reviewing PDFs. Okular ScreenshotsHere’s a simple demonstration of the review tools within Okular, using a freely licensed PDF from Creative Commons about their six licenses for sharing work. The deliberation that comes with using the tool undermines the almost God complex I’ve previously felt when reviewing and approving collateral. I love creating and using PDFs for sales collateral and marketing materials.

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Credder Wants to Create an Equivalent to “Rotten Tomatoes” for News

No one has ever attempted to create a review system for news comparable to what Rotten Tomatoes is to the movie business. The page looks like this:The Credder team drew its inspiration from Rotten Tomatoes and its “Tomatometer” (the movie review site derives its name from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a bad stage performance). Like in RT, reviewers will be split between professionals and the general public. This set of exigences gave Rotten Tomatoes its authority — and its valuation. Again, Rotten Tomatoes learned the hard way how delicate it was.

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Lesson #1 – Nobody wants to read your shit

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Hallucinations Are Everywhere (2018)

This example, Corlett says, builds the case that auditory hallucinations are linked to the processes of expectation and prediction. For some people, hallucinations can be more persistent and disturbing. It’s too early to say how much the causes of auditory hallucinations and other kinds might overlap, Fernyhough says. So far, the research has focused on auditory hallucinations. Eleanor Longden, a mental-health researcher and advocate, has publicly recounted how her own auditory hallucinations have shifted between neutral and distressing at different points in her life.

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More Than 90% of Americans Have Pesticides or Their Byproducts in Their Bodies

Yet, experts say, the agencies’ pesticide-monitoring approach suffers from several limitations that make it difficult to draw meaningful conclusions about pesticide risks to the nation’s food supply. Regulatory gapsMore than 90 percent of Americans have pesticides or their byproducts in their bodies, mostly from eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. “These synthetic chemicals were not designed with hormonal biology in mind.”Scientists now know that doses of pesticides once considered safe can harm developing bodies and brains. California growers applied 11.3 million pounds of pesticides to produce nearly 3 billion pounds of strawberries worth over $1.8 billion in 2016. They did not acknowledge that residents and workers could be exposed to other pesticides, along with 1,3-D, that might increase their risk.

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Apple Arcade – Game subscription service

Apple wants to tilt the balance from ad-laden freemium gaming titles towards all-access ad-free gaming experiences that can be downloaded across platforms on iOS, macOS and tvOS. At the company’s services event this morning, they announced Apple Arcade, their new premium subscription service for gaming across their hardware products. “We want to make gaming even better,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said onstage. The subscription will provide access to all of the content in the games without ads. Apple has the benefit of building this directly into the App Store, you’ll be able to access Apple Arcade from a new bottom tab in the App Store app.

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Procrastination Has Nothing to Do with Self-Control

Cultivate curiosity: If you’re feeling tempted to procrastinate, bring your attention to the sensations arising in your mind and body. Consider the next action: This is different than the age-old advice to break up a task you’re tempted to avoid into bite-sized chunks. If you compulsively check social media, delete those apps from your phone or “give yourself a really complicated password with not just five digits, but 12,” Ms. Rubin said. On the other side of the coin, Ms. Rubin also suggested that we make the things we want to do as easy as possible for ourselves. “Try to remove every, every, every roadblock,” Ms. Rubin said.

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The Measure of Man – Human Factors in Design (1966) [pdf]

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