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Summaries of gr8 articles, videos I have encountered and what I have learned from them.

ArticleSummary
MySQL and Linux Context Switches

- Voluntary context switch for a thread / process happens when a blocking operation occurs and thread waits, so the execution switches to another thread / process. The thread can be preempted by OS scheduler if it's time for execution is over and other process with potentially higher priority want to execute.
- It is better to look at the context switches per CPU core since they execute almost independently. The article advises to look per logical core, I'm not too sure about that.
- System context switches / (logical) core count - gives a more meaningful value.
- The max CS value can be determined: sysbench --thread-locks=128 --time=7200 --threads=1024 threads run
- If the number per code is above 10% of the max. - then start worrying.
- InnoDB implements its own mutexes and RW-locks, which often try to "spin" to wait for a resource to become available. This wastes CPU time directly rather than doing a context switch.
- Apparently the least amount of CS per SQL query is 2.
- Original: https://www.percona.com/blog/2017/11/09/mysql-linux-context-switches/

After a 23-Year Wait, WebVR Ships Today

- Web VR enables putting VR applications into the web so anyone can use it.
- One of the challenges of VR: Graphics and audio have to stream in a coordinated way. The interface has to be able to respond to user input in real time. And the content has to display properly on a number of headsets and devices.
- Three.js - 3D js library.
- ... pieces coming together: a complete WebVR API, multiple authoring frameworks, and a new Firefox browser that’s optimized for web VR experiences.
- As of 2017-09-28 you can get VR headset for 400-500e.

You Are Not ‘Behind’

- The feeling of being behind is destructive.
- Behind? Compared to what? Some alternate-reality version of yourself without flaws, a relentless Terminator on the Perfect Course of Life, chasing down and slaying goals and if you stop to catch your breath for one second the cyborg-has-no-bad-days-or-relationship-or-family-issues-and-never-binge-watches-Netflix ‘you’ will just fly by and you will never be able to catch up no matter how hard you try?

Elon Musk's brilliant email rule at Tesla

- "There are two schools of thought about how information should flow within companies," he writes. "By far the most common way is chain of command, which means that you always flow communication through your manager. The problem with this approach is that, while it serves to enhance the power of the manager, it fails to serve the company."
- "Anyone at Tesla can and should email/talk to anyone else according to what they think is the fastest way to solve a problem for the benefit of the whole company. You can talk to your manager's manager without his permission, you can talk directly to a VP in another dept., you can talk to me, you can talk to anyone without anyone else's permission. Moreover, you should consider yourself obligated to do so until the right thing happens. "

How We've Been Learning Wrong

- Knowledge is more accurately 30% consumption and 70% creation;
- You learn the most by failing;
- Stop using learning as a method of procrastination - when you say things like "I will do X when I read a book on X or complete a course of X" it is precisely "using learning as an excuse and a method of procrastination".

Feynman Technique for learning

- Choose the subject you want to learn, like: "Algorithms" or "C# delegates" or "Maxwell's laws";
- Write down everything you know about the subject already;
- Study the topic and write down what you have learned;
- Teach it to someone, providing examples;
- Fill the gaps that arose from using the knowledge;
- Simplify everything and create metaphors;

Why Chinese Manufacturing Wins

- China produced 50% of the worlds GDP in 1000AD. The Europe and US rose. Now China is coming back (from 200 Bln USd in 1978 to 11 Trln USD in 2016 (15% worlds GDP)), being made competitive again by its manufacturing (enabled by globalization);
- What makes its manufacturing superior: (i) cheap labor prices; (ii) efficient manufacturing lines (division of labor) - it takes somes 2-3 days from mockup to working implementation; (iii) people actually wanting to work;
- 1978 - Dug Xao Ping visited nearby economic miracles (like Singapore) and decided that CH needs to be more open. He opened 4 free economic zones (with oversight and tax exemptions, also in infrastructurally strategic places), of which the most successful one is Shenzhen (consumer electronics silicon valley).
- China is artificially depressing the value of its currency so that it would remain attractive to foreign investors (western companies can buy more, for less money).
- Some consumer electronics is build and shipped w/o any intermediate taxes. Below follows a list of products and their respective duty rate in the United States:

- Wristwatches: 9.8% + US$1.53 per unit
- Tablet PC: 0%
- Solar Panels: 0%
- T Shirts: 16.5%
- Electric Bikes: 0%
- LED Bulb Lights: 3.9%
- Peanuts: 131.8%
- Whitelable companies.
- Manufacturing becomes less competitive since the quality of life is improving, wages are growing, prices are rising.
- Automation can bring back manufacturing jobs since robots cost the same everywhere.
- Eliminate the retailer, eliminate the supplier. Manufacturer -> consumer (amazon actually enables that, the manufacturer can directly ship to consumer (that requires a supplier)).

8 Steps to Getting What You Want… Without Formal Credentials

- Concentrate on the informal job market.
- Studies vary, but some say around 80% of jobs are filled informally.
- The informal job market is conquered by knowing people.
- Formal education is sometimes little more than just a screening tool in the formal job market (maybe excluding academic and research fields).
- Portfolio of results is important.
- The Yellow pages fallacy: "All they show is that, on average, people who have invested more in their learning earn more. Big whoop. They will never answer the more important question: Is spending your time and money on formal credentials the best way of investing in your continued learning?"
- Talking about an advantage in absolute terms, without comparing it to the costs and benefits of other options (i.e. opportunity cost), is pointless.
- Steps: (i) Choose the field; (ii) Showcase your learning; (iii) Learn Networking; (iv) offer your new skill for free (write letters to SMBs, they rarely turn down people for free); (v) Blog about case studies of your work; (vi) Build relationships with mentors (interview the book authors and other people); (vii) Learn sales (best book: "SPIN selling") and apply what you have learned working for free to gain experience;
- Most people who drop out of school also drop out of learning... and that is not the thing you want to drop out off.

I spent 23 years as an elite fighter pilot, and it taught me that motivation is meaningless

- Discipline is the most important quality.
- Discipline conquers fear. Discipline keeps you going when your curiosity, motivation, and excitement evaporate.
- The discipleined pilots outperformed their more talented peers because they worked harder and longer.
- If you want someone who will do the tedious, thankless, and essential work, find someone who is disciplined. If you want someone who will commit to doing everything necessary to win, find someone who is disciplined.

Humans are the only animals who crave oblivion through suicide

- The idea that death means mental oblivion is a sophisticated one that can be reached only by deduction, not observation; we assume no non-human animal could grasp it.
- Suicide among humans is, in fact, dreadfully common. In the United States, someone kills him or herself every 12 minutes. Across the world, more people die from suicide than in all wars and homicides combined. It’s true that some do it for altruistic reasons, so as to bring benefits to group members or kin. But the great majority are primarily concerned with obliterating their own minds. Far from hoping to benefit others, these self-killers are motivated by self-interest.
- The idea might have originated around 100K year ago, a mental meme, jumping from one head to another. The author asks: "Did we develop any immunity towards it over the years (in the form of cultural deterrents – religious, legal, civic)?"
- At the level of biology, egoistic suicide is clearly a mistake, a sure path to genetic extinction. But it is precisely because humans, alone among animals, rise above biology that they can make this mistake. Humans have reason to believe that by killing themselves they can escape from pain. Thus, suicide might seem a rational solution to an immediate problem. Self-killing may be undertaken as self-euthanasia.
- In parts of Asia, people are known to ‘hang’ themselves simply by kneeling and leaning into the rope.
- Real suicides are often unplanned and impulsive. A survey of 306 Chinese patients who had been hospitalised following a suicide attempt, found that 35 per cent had contemplated suicide for less than 10 minutes, and 54 per cent for less than two hours.
- "Werther effect" - every time a celebrity suicide is given exposure in newspapers or on television, the copy-cats follow. It is estimated that Marilyn Monroe’s death in August 1962 was responsible for 200 extra suicides within a month.
- There have been several genetic bottlenecks in human history, suggesting that populations crashed almost to nothing. These have been attributed to external factors such as internecine strife, or volcanic winter, or disease. But was the real cause a worm internal to the human mind?

Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone

- Serious and abstracted thought is only possible in solitude, the escape of the cacophony of the crowd.
- The distinction between vita contemplativa and vita activa is an important distinction.
- In 1961, The New Yorker commissioned Arendt to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi SS officer who helped to orchestrate the Holocaust. How could anyone, she wanted to know, perpetrate such evil? Surely only a wicked sociopath could participate in the Shoah. But Arendt was surprised by Eichmann’s lack of imagination, his consummate conventionality. She argued that while Eichmann’s actions were evil, Eichmann himself – the person – ‘was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic nor monstrous. There was no sign in him of firm ideological convictions.’ She attributed his immorality – his capacity, even his eagerness, to commit crimes – to his ‘thoughtlessness’. It was his inability to stop and think that permitted Eichmann to participate in mass murder.
- Being alone is not being lonely. Being alone is being with oneself and keeping oneself company. Being lonely is being w/ no one and craving company.
- A very Cartesian thought: The self, Arendt declared, ‘is the only one from whom you can never get away – except by ceasing to think.’
- It is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong,’ Arendt wrote, ‘because you can remain the friend of the sufferer; who would want to be the friend of and have to live together with a murderer? Not even another murderer.’ I addressed a similar question to a girl once and she said that she would be happier with a "bad boy" than with a "boring-good guy", even if he was a murderer... to this day I hope she did not understand the question.

The quitting economy

- When employees are treated as short-term assets, they reinvent themselves as marketable goods, always ready to quit.
- Neoliberals developed a metaphor – that every person should think of herself as a business, the CEO of Me, Inc. in the 90's.
- A single human being, or even group of human beings, could never competently handle the informational complexities of modern economic systems. [Q: what is the limit of complexity that a human being can understand exemplified as an existing economic entity? - Is it a company of 5K people? 2K? 500? ]
- Once established, markets have tendencies towards monopoly and other business practices that could undercut forming an even playing field. So markets can’t be entirely left to self-regulate; laws and governments are necessary. Indeed, this is the primary reason why governments should exist – to ensure that markets function well.
- Because market competition is the goal, arbitrarily curtailing this competition through tariffs or other nationalist strategies for undercutting a global market was also deeply undesirable. Hayek wanted a global market.
- Metaphors like "invest in yourself", "market yourself" and "think of yourself as an asset" have spawned from (neo)liberal ideas of "human capital" according to the article.
- Companies took a short terms gains matter most view at the same time (90's). [...] as market value overtook other measures of a company’s value, maximising the short-term interests of shareholders began to override other concerns, other relationships.
- [American airlines increased salaries] The company was, in fact, funnelling money to workers instead of to its shareholders. Wall Street’s reaction was immediate: American Airlines’ stock price plummeted. [This means that stock is evaluated based on the immediate return for the shareholders, not the long-term thinking inspired decision to increase the salary to the employees]. In general, to keep stock prices high, companies not only have to pay their employees as little as possible, they must also have as temporary a workforce as their particular business can allow. The more expendable the workforce, the easier it is to expand and contract in response to short-term demands. [elastic business]. What this means is that companies treating employees as templated, replaceable assets caused them to become job-quitters.
- The most powerful sentence in the article: "Good jobs used to be ones with a good salary, benefits, location, hours, boss, co-workers, and a clear path towards promotion. Now, a good job is one that prepares you for your next job, almost always with another company. " Good managers know this and help employees to acquire transferable skills.
- The calculus of quitting, example: if the company is C++ based and introduces a JAVA project, everyone will switch want to switch to it. It will be hard to market the skills of C++ for them.
- Since company loyalty is no longer around to guarantee committed workers, passion is now supposed to be the driving force. Passion is what drives you to work long hours on a short-term based project. That is why companies are valuing it so much, and ... working for passion means focusing on the task, not the company.
- Collegiality becomes important, since you can/will have contacts in other companies in the economy where everyone is constantly quitting. This is the reason people are nice to each other these days. "Co-workers, the ones who like you, are now hoping you will quit – since if you do, you might help them get a good job somewhere else."

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9314534/why-does-changing-0-1f-to-0-slow-down-performance-by-10x?rq=1Denormalized floating point
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streaming_SIMD_ExtensionsSSE
We are happiest at 74, says new report

- The researchers have found that happiness starts to dip in the teenage years and continues on a downward spiral until the age of 40. It then levels off until about 46, before rising to a peak more than 30 years later.
- My take: it could be argued that this has implications to the best time to have children from the psychological perspective - maybe younger parents are better since they are happier when the child is growing up.

The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

- Sometimes the dragon would devour these unfortunate souls upon arrival; sometimes again it would lock them up in the mountain where they would wither away for months or years before eventually being consumed.
- The fatalities selected were always elders. Although senior people were as vigorous and healthy as the young, and sometimes wiser, the thinking was that they had at least already enjoyed a few decades of life.
- The wealthy might gain a brief reprieve by bribing the press gangs that came to fetch them; but, by constitutional law, nobody, not even the king himself, could put off their turn indefinitely.
- Spiritual men sought to comfort those who were afraid of being eaten by the dragon (which included almost everyone, although many denied it in public) by promising another life after death, a life that would be free from the dragon-scourge. Other orators argued that the dragon has its place in the natural order and a moral right to be fed. They said that it was part of the very meaning of being human to end up in the dragon’s stomach.
- Others still maintained that the dragon was good for the human species because it kept the population size down. To what extent these arguments convinced the worried souls is not known. Most people tried to cope by not thinking about the grim end that awaited them.
- Over the course of these centuries, the dragon, being well fed, slowly but steadily grew bigger.
- Humanity is a curious species. Every once in a while, somebody gets a good idea. Some of these ideas - devices (calculator, blackboards, computers) - serve to make it easier to generate and try out new ideas, including ideas that expedite the process of idea-generation.
- As they invented a way to kill the dragon, arguments like "many jobs that would be lost if the dragon was slaughtered" were put forth.
- Surely, words coming from such a distinguished appointee of the king must have profound substance.
- After the "let's do it!": The next morning, a billion people woke up and realized that their turn to be sent to the dragon would come before the projectile would be completed.
- After the killing of the dragon: “we have come a long way… yet our journey has only just begun. Our species is young on this planet. Today we are like children again. The future lies open before us. We shall go into this future and try to do better than we have done in the past. We have time now – time to get things right, time to grow up, time to learn from our mistakes [...]"
- Morral: “Deathist” stories and ideologies, which counsel passive acceptance, are no longer harmless sources of consolation. They are fatal barriers to urgently needed action. Extending, as far as possible, the human health-span. A recurrent tragedy became a fact of life, a statistic, an unquestionable truth. [...] The lack of a sense of proportion. A tiger killed a farmer. A rhumba of rattlesnakes plagued a village. The king got rid of the tiger and the rattlesnakes, and thereby did his people a service. Yet he was at fault, because he got his priorities wrong. [...] Calorie restriction (a diet low in calories but high in nutrients) extends maximal lifespan and delays the onset of age-related illnesses in all species that have been tested.

How to become a superager

- “Superagers” (a term by Marsel Mesulam) are those whose memory and attention is on par with healthy, active 25-year-olds.
- Several brain regions of the superagers where indistinguishable from the youth's - the “emotional” ones, such as the midcingulate cortex and the anterior insula and not the more "rational" ones.
- Brains evolve like companies do: they reorganize as they expand. The all too simple lizard-ape-rational (created in the 1940's) brain theory is debunked. The emotional / lymbic system is actually responsible for intercommunication inside the brain (integrating the experience from 5 senses, for example), internal organ regulation, memory formation.
- How to become a superager: best answer at the moment is - work hard at something. Anything that makes you feel tired, stymied, frustrate whether it is mental or physical (swimming, running long distances, intense weight workout).
- List of things that are hard: playing chess competitively, learning and using a new language, learning a musical instrument, completing a STEM college course. Sudoku or crosswords will not cut it, you need to hustle till you feel very, very uncomfortable. It has to be very hard!.
- What measurements are most pronounced in superagers : aerobic capacity — the amount of oxygen you can take in and distribute to your tissues in a minute, expressed as maximal oxygen consumption, or VO2 max.
- "You must expend enough effort that you feel some yuck.” Perform the tasks that you would otherwise google. Good luck, half fun.
- A very interesting idea related to more and more people living longer lives: If you are under a certain age in any country (say <30) do you not feel like you live in a world ruled by the conservatism and culture of an older generation? These prior generations have the head start to protect their status quo.

When My Employees Ask Me for a Raise, I Always Tell Them This

- 1. Dominate your current role. "Dominate" means over-perform to a level that's far beyond simply over-performing.
- 2. Volunteer to solve the biggest problem.
- 3. Work yourself into a position of being underpaid. No one is paid exactly what they're worth. It's such a moving target. So you're either overpaid or underpaid. Always strive to be underpayed.
- 4. Be patient.
My take: In life and in your career - be underpayed and overqualified. Overqualified by so much that it's ridiculous. Be the most amazing guy w/o any social life, be the most overqualified person with the worst job or no job. Laugh into the face of people notions of what is fair w/ this ultimate ironic gesture.

The Story of an Expired WHOIS Server

- the whois[.]co.za domain was deprovisioned with the replacement of whois.coza.net.za. Old versions of who is tool on the linux machines used it, and got malicious messages. New versions of whois id not have this problem, because they have the updated domain list.
- What is a SEO spam injector and how is it done?
- A customer of ours was concerned about recent changes to their WHOIS records and email notifications containing spam content
- How to check the official whois server for a TLD? : dig co.za.whois-servers.net +noall +answer --> coza[.]net.za should be the answer
- http://whois.co.za/search/redirect.php?f=http%3A%2F
- The bare domain and the www subdomain are pointed to different servers. -- always an interesting find
- /usr/bin/whois --version --> Version 5.1.1."

Stop Comparing JSON and XML

DZONE: Learning Big O Notation With O(n) Complexity

- Nothing particularly amazing, but a good refresher of big O. Non-formal, heuristic.
- What surprised me is that author claims never to have used the big O concept outside of university. Well, once you do server side things, work with redis () or hashtables

First comprehensive map of the ‘dark web’ reveals a remarkably antisocial corner of the internet

- An article about an article, that cough my attention when shared thought the social media. Few people share the original articles on social media, I though, just the commentary of the commentary of the commentary ...
- As many people who have researched the dark web at least a bit will know, one can't expect that people there will just happily link to other deep-web sites.
- It is not like the www-web where even search engines incentivize you to link to other pages - it's an exclusive club where even knowing the name of the domain is not for everyone.
- One thing to remember from the original article: "We find properties highly dissimilar to the well-studied world wide web hyperlink graph; for example, our analysis finds that >87% of darkweb sites never link to another site."

5 Security Concepts Every Developer Should Understand

- "Secure code is good code". Article is advocating that software developers need to know the basics of how to secure the code they write.
- 1: CIA triad. Confidentiality - no eavesdropping is related to authentication (have, know or multifactor), authorization, and encryption. Integrity - no unauthorized change. Accountability is the ability of a system to know who changed what and when (never share your credentials, minimize "root" acc which in turn allows impersonating other users or don't have policies that depend on it). Non-repudiation - ensuring someone cannot deny that they did something (relates to logging the activities, which in turn are important for auditing). Hashing - small change in input produces large change in output (Windows updates use hash checking to ensure integrity of the updates). Availability - available to authorized entities when needed. DoS is targeting availability. Related concepts: disaster recovery, failover (redundancy, LB), and resiliency (HA).
- 2: Least privilege - create service accounts that only have the access they need for the time they need it and not more (no root / superuser in the db or system environment. The database user should either have rw only or view and stored_proc access in the database (not the tables themselves). Directory traversal prevention by limiting app acc to server directories is also here).
- 3: Complete mediation - authorize just before sensitive action (REST endpoint needs to be authorized, password change form in webapps should reask for current password and not show it, avoid NOPASS in the sudoers file for any user).
- 4: Cryptography/Cryptographic Agility. Know your crypto algs (plan column sizes appropriately) and use cryptographic agility. Cryptographic agility is a design principle that states that software should be free to change its cryptographic algorithms whenever it is needed. Providing the desired Secure Hash algorithm as a parameter to a function that can be obtained from a config file is an example.
- 5: Threat modeling - modeling how an attacker might attack or misuse your software. This assessment is done in four steps: looking at how data flows through your application, examining trust boundaries, identifying threats, and using attack trees to identify security controls and mitigations.

The “Cobra Effect” that is disabling paste on password fields


- British colonialists offered money for catching cobras, so Indians started breeding them. After realizing this, the British stopped the bounty-hunt, so the Indians released the cobras.
- Cobra Effect - solution to a problem that actually makes the whole thing a lot worse.

NOT FINISHED

SQL Statement Processing

- SQL DML part is a declaratively-flavored subset of the SQL language, NOT processed in the order that is written (in case you ever get asked this question on the interview), top to bottom (as is usually the case with imperatively-flavored languages), not counting the PL part of PL/SQL, and the DDLs.
- DML queries can be (and are!) analyzed and optimized by the query optimizer (QO). And this is the reason we have the lexical, the logical and the real/empyrical/actual order of execution. Logical takes into account only the (i) query and the (ii) abstract table structure but the QO takes into account cache and distribution statistics, see below. QO is a cost based optimizer that selects one of many different execution plans that have the costs associated with them (worst case - QO adds some overhead, which is repayed severalfold on the best cases, when the optimizer is actually beneficial).
- QO does not select the lowest cost execution order necessarily. For example, processing a query in parallel typically uses more resources than processing it serially, but completes the query faster. The SQL Server optimizer will use a parallel execution plan to return results if the load on the server will not be adversely affected.
- Lets define QO as a function: QO(database schema, distribution statistics, query) => Query execution plan (QEP);
- QEP == the sequence in which the source tables are accessed + the methods used to extract data from each table (index scan, table scan);
- database schema == {table definitions, index definitions};
- the statement defines only part of the result - the data source (FROM), format of the result set (SELECT this, that, ORDER BY, TOP, GROUP BY), related tables (ON, WHERE).
- N.B.: In a table representing cars, many cars have the same manufacturer, but each car has a unique vehicle identification number (VIN). An index on the VIN is more selective than an index on the manufacturer. This is how cardinality (aka uniqueness) is related to indexing. VIN has a higher cardinality (more uniqueness) than manufacturer.
- All that being said we can only meaningfully talk about the logical query order, which is usually give as such:

FROM
JOIN
WHERE
GROUP BY
HAVING
SELECT
DISTINCT
ORDER BY
TOP

Your Company’s Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote - Part 1, The Performance-Values Matrix

- Enron were declaring a culture of honesty, but were found guilty of massive fraud;
- Aspirational values are only "cheap talk" the real values are showing themselves in actions, namely: who get's hired, promoted, who does not and who gets laid off (Netflix approach);
- Important thing to remember is the impact definition: a history of successful projects;
- The no-asshole rule w/o compromise;
- If you get some false positives anyway, the solution, as Sam Altman said, is to “fire quickly”;
- If you start weighing values against each other, you have compromised you
- Evaluation matrix approach: "performance-based behavior AND values-based behavior";
- Rules: Incompetent Assholes (Fire Fast) --> Competent Assholes (remediate their behavior in a measurable way within a limited time or Separate) --> Incompetent Nice Guys (Manage or Move) --> Competent and Outstanding Nice Guys (Praise and Raise).
- Giving free license for someone to underperform just because they are kind or likeable sends the message that your company is not a meritocracy, and that it’s more important just to be socially skilled (or at worst, be a brown noser).
- The 10x engineer is a thing in Silicon Valey. An established thing.

Your Company’s Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote - Part 2, Anatomy of an Asshole

- “Dark Triad”: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism.
- The dark triad is much more prominent in CEOs than in the general population.
- Corporate culture, particularly in Silicon Valley, encourages such behavior by glorifying the leaders that “do whatever it takes” to ensure their company survives and succeeds.
- It is important to note that some degree of ego is actually healthy to form a resilient sense of self that allows one to persevere through trying times.
- Cognitive empathy is the capacity to understand another person’s mental state, while affective empathy is the capacity to respond with an appropriate emotion to another person’s mental state.
- As seen in the matrix below, people on the autism spectrum have impaired cognitive empathy and intact affective empathy, while people on the dark triad spectrum have the reverse: intact cognitive empathy and impaired affective empathy.
- Wozniak and Jobs involvement in the Atari game creation story (Wozniak created the game, Jobs took the credit and money) is an example of how the autist and the narcissist cooperate.
- Being surrounded by operational leaders with high emotional intelligence (EQ) can help balance the high IQs (and temperaments) of visionary CEOs and steadily steer unicorn companies forward.

Your Company’s Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote - Part 3, Breaking Bad: Why Good People Become Evil Bosses

- Best exposure story: "She gave a calculated response. “I trusted her to stay silent, but I didn’t trust her boss to, he cared too much about the people who would be impacted.” I countered. “No, you were grooming her as an abuser would, because you wanted to poach her later. If her boss never found out, she proved her loyalty to you. If she confessed to her boss, you know she could never become your trusted foot soldier.” Her smile turned into a frown, as I continued. “But if her boss found out about your arrangement from someone else, he would no longer trust and promote her, which would drive her into your arms for a promotion. Her lose-lose was your win-win.” The anger in her eyes showed that the gig was up. “You cannot tell the board this. It’s my time to finally be CEO, I’ve earned it.”

The Happy Demise of the 10X Engineer

- Author sees a historical trend: Instagram had 30 million users and just 13 engineers when it was acquired for $1 billion dollars. So how long will it take for a single engineer to get a billion dollars for his product?
- Scalability is not hard with Digo, GAE, Heroku, AWS.
- The main point of an article as that software building and scalability becomes less complex in terms of human labor and the intelligence required. The need to go "down the stack" and solve complicated problems (which some of us do love) will diminish. That is probably true, and that is one possible reason to become a software security professional rather than a developer. The depth of knowledge is still relevant in sec.
- "As software becomes a high-impact, low-skill trade, we decouple the technical ability and experience needed to write tricky software from the ability to solve problems for people."

Lessons from the field in "bolting"

- Article has a great distinction between: over-torquing (twist) and over-tightening (stretch, tension).
- "Using a predetermined torque value was such a problem for achieving bolt tension in the field bolt that the Research Council on Structural Connections (RCSC) banned torque tables over 50 years ago."
- Great explanation: "Installing dry rusty bolts is just like driving your car straight uphill. While your ultimate goal of cruising 55 mph hasn’t changed, the amount of energy needed to get there has changed dramatically."
- This is the reason technicians do not use torque (twist) for measuring tightness in field. They use the rule: "hand-tight + 2 flats".

 

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