When I hear the word tool, I always think of a crowbar — not because of any past life as a bank robber (hopefully?), but because it so clearly embodies the concept of leverage.

Have you ever tried to open a safe with a 12-inch-long crowbar?

I probably haven’t.

But if I had, I imagine I’d be all sorts of disappointed with how much effort I had to put in to get a decent result. Now a 12-foot-long crowbar is much better, but good luck fitting it in your standard Ford Econoline™ van.


What does leverage mean as a…

I’m several months deep into my deep learning journey, and I’ve been taking the excellent fastai course. This is the first in a series of posts aimed at beginners (like me!) that explore common stumbling blocks.

So let’s say you’re an aspiring young deep learning practitioner. You’ve been following along with the fastai course, trying your hand at some Kaggle competitions, and just generally having a blast. You’ve been mostly living (quite comfortably!) inside the fastai library so far, but you want to implement a few neural nets of your own, from scratch, to better understand how they work.


🐙 Github: holmesal/react-sketch-grid

I design in Sketch, and I use grids pretty heavily. I know there are some fancy grid plugins out there, but I find that 90% of the time Sketch’s built-in grid works just fine. You know, this one:

Nice and simple.

When I start translating my design work into code, I don’t want to lose that grid. What’s the point in sweating the grid in the design phase, if everything starts drifting off-grid in the final product?

I looked around and didn’t see anything that quite fit the bill, so I decided to make it myself. You just stick the…

We launched on ProductHunt today, and one of our earliest users (and podcasters) posted an amazing review of us over there. His name is Otis Gray, and he’s the host/producer/everything of the Hungry podcast, which is about food, the stories behind it, and the people who make it. It’s all sorts of amazing and you should listen to it.

The review is a little hard to find on the site, and it captures so perfectly what gets us out of bed in the morning, that I wanted to reproduce it here in it’s entirety:

Otis Gray, on ProductHunt:

Pros: Easy…

A great podcast can change your life. It can expand your worldview. It can make you spend half an hour in the driveway, in tears, with the lights off and the engine running. It can make you feel a deep connection with someone you’ve never met. A great podcast can make you feel like you’re not alone.

Chorus is a new place for podcasts. It’s where podcasters and listeners come together to share their thoughts, feelings and stories.

🍎 Download Chorus on the App Store

🤖 Join the Android beta list

There are 3 things that make Chorus special:

1. People-powered podcast recommendations

Since launching Communities earlier this week, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from podcasters asking how best to grow their community of listeners on Chorus — so we decided to put together this handy guide!

If there’s anything missing that’s worked well for you, shoot us a message and we’ll get it added!

Claim your Chorus Link

Click here to claim your Chorus Link ✏️

Chorus Links make it really easy for your listeners to join your community on Chorus — no matter where they hear about you.

Anyone that downloads Chorus after visiting your Chorus Link will:

  1. Automatically subscribe to your…

Earlier this year, we (myself, Matthew Kulp, Ethan Sherr, and Alex Whittemore) built a little app called Shortwave that allowed you to chat anonymously with other people within 100 feet. We had a few reasons:

  • It seemed weird that we’re all walking around with super-fast network-connected devices with ambient sensors (we used to call these “phones”), yet said devices are only dimly aware of one another.
  • Nearly everything nowadays has a signup flow and a contact list — we wanted to play with a social model that didn’t.
  • Hacking our way around the limitations of nearby networking on iOS seemed…

Have had a few friends ask for airbnb recs from Japan, so here we go. In general, I found that the “shared space” and “private room” airbnb categories were more interesting than the “entire home” category — I liked having a host to talk to, and didn’t mind sharing a room with cool people. YMMV.

This isn’t an exhaustive list — I’m excluding places that were boring, weird, or felt too much like a hotel :-)

Oh, and if you’re new to AirBnB, here’s $20 in credit.


I stayed in this shared space, which is run by an awesome human…

I’ve been working on a new portfolio site at alonso.io. I built it with the famo.us/angular integration, which feels suspiciously like the future of web development.

angular ♥ famo.us

If you haven’t played with famo.us yet, you owe it to yourself to do so. It’s a physics-based rendering engine backed by $30.2 million in venture capital. I’m not bringing up the amount because I equate fundraising with success, I’m bringing it up because we (the web development community) are getting $30.2 million worth of work done on an open-source project. That’s awesome.

So anyways, famo.us keeps you pretty far from the DOM, which…

Spoiler alert — it’s not just about piracy

By now, you’re probably familiar with the story of an app called Popcorn Time. If not, here’s the quick version: a bunch of Argentine developers built a well-designed desktop app that allows you to browse and stream torrents. The legal arm of the entertainment industry reacted to this in exactly the way we’ve come to expect them to, and the founders announced that they were shutting down the project. It then reappeared, (possibly) under new ownership.

There are two reasons that Popcorn Time should interest you. One concerns the glacial entertainment industry’s inability to…

Alonso Holmes

My mission is to delight people with software. Sometimes available for hire. alonso.io

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