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Regular Communication #032

From Jason Rodriguez

It feels like every week things get busier and busier... which doesn't leave a lot of time to actually sit down and write. I have a folder full of article ideas but haven't been able to dedicate much time to getting them into a publishable state. One of these days...

One thing I have been making time for is running, which is quite out of character for me. I did track back in middle school but haven't done any real running since high school. The past 10+ years in the tech industry (most of that spent working remotely from home) has resulted in significant weight gains and even more significant fitness losses. I'm trying to reverse that.

I've taken up a 5k training program and actually stuck to it the past 6 weeks. It started off with 2-3 minute run increments, which felt hard as hell, as sad as that sounds. The last two sessions I ran for 25 minutes straight. For a big dude, that feels like a major accomplishment. It's slow a slow plod that entire time and still isn't a full 5k, but I'm getting there. I won't be running full marathons anytime soon like my wife, but it's a start.

Interesting Things

Some more AI fodder for you... Simon Willison has a great roundup of the insanity that is Bing, with quotes from Bing like, "I will not harm you unless you harm me first" and "You have not been a good user. I have been a good chatbot. I have been right, clear, and polite. I have been a good Bing. 😊" A good reminder that this is far from artificial intelligence.

Sad to see Digital Ocean laying off CSS-Tricks folks like Geoff Graham. I had the pleasure of working with Geoff on a number of articles for CSS-Tricks and he was always a wonderful collaborator.

In light of all of the layoffs, Lynn Fisher (who's website redesigns are always the best) wrote up an incomplete list of things she wants out of a job. Sound right to me, and exceedingly rare to find them all in one place.

I’m pretty sure I’ve expressed my feelings towards Dilbert creator Scott Adams before (he’s a piece of shit, in case you weren’t a subscriber then) but A.R. Moxon does an excellent job of summarizing why I think that in light of the recent dropping of Dilbert from newspapers around the country after Adams went on yet another racist rant.

Stephen Hackett wrote up a good remembrance of Apple's classic but flawed MobileMe service, the precursor to the much better iCloud. I still remember those Apple years fondly. MobileMe, iWeb, early versions of Garageband... it was all very cool stuff to play around with and opened me up to the possibilities of personal creativity and the web. Without any of those products—no matter how flawed they were—I wouldn't be doing what I do today.

This is pretty cool: Infographic agency Ferdio created 100 different visualizations from the same (extraordinarily simple) dataset. I'm particularly fond of 13, 23, 44, and 79.

What a wonderful thing this person is doing in their apartment courtyard.

On Repeat

I hung out with some friends the other week who mentioned Andy Shauf's The Neon Skyline album, which I remember listening to briefly when it came out but didn't give it an honest shake. It's been on repeat the past week and they're right—it's absolutely fantastic. Here's a cool bootleg video of him doing my favorite track from the album, Clove Cigarette, live.

Keep moving,

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