IPLD: The data layer of a decentralized web.

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What is data? The question is more philosophical than practical, but the definition we seem to be able to agree on is that data is a medium for expression.

You can express a lot with data, almost anything, but like a painting the meaning of that expression is subjective and depends on the context you have around it. A pollster publishes data they believe accurately captures the state of mind of a people, but to Nate Silver this data is only one point in a more complex answer to the same question.

We add meaning to data by altering its context. We link to and from pieces of data to accumulate greater context and therefor greater meaning. We have many means of linking data. A social network captures the expressions of many individuals and connects those expressions with others in a large relational database. The Web connects pages by way of URL links, either within the same site or between any site on the Web. …

Highlights from recent GitHub data.

Apparently there’s a standard for broadcasting regular television feeds over IP called IPTV. There’s also roughly 8K publicly available channels that people have been collaboratively adding to iptv-org/iptv.

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Trace Africa on IPTV (viewed using Feedlix on iPad)

I didn’t realize how much of this stuff is broadcast in the open without any authentication or subscription fees. I spent about half a day going through the offerings and the highlights were South African music videos and NHK World Japan, an english language channel broadcast from Japan for the rest of the world to see. …

A new way to look at npm data to find who we depend on the most.

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Visualization of every npm maintainer in September.

The npm registry provides a tremendous amount of useful open data. Many people, including me, have done a fair amount dependency analysis in the past.

In this analysis I wanted to focus on active dependence and active maintainership. I settled on a process where I look at releases of packages within a given timeframe. This gives me a good idea of what is being depended on recently rather than historically and who is an active maintainer.

An analysis of September 2019 provides some interesting results, here’s the top 10…

Washington Post gives just enough data to scare you away from scooter share.

Headline: “Hospital ER reports 161 percent spike in visits involving electric scooters.”

Between June and September 2017, physicians at University of Utah Health’s emergency room treated eight patients injured by scooters, although each of those were probably people’s personal devices and not the electric fleet vehicles owned by companies such as Bird, Lime and Skip.

During the same period this year, that number had climbed to 21, according to Troy Madsen, a doctor who practices at the University of Utah Health’s Emergency Department.

So, an increase from 8 to 21. …

A simpler way to build electron apps w/ vue using vue-cli 3.

There’s quite a few tutorials out there for using Vue.js and Electron but they all seem to require a huge amount of effort and boiler generation to get started.

In vue-cli 3 the need for boiler generation has been greatly reduced and the entire developer workflow is much simpler. I sat down to greenfield what it would be like to integrate this simpler setup into Electron and was pleasantly surprised.

Let’s get started.

Now that we’ve got Electron and Vue.js …

Cooking a peculiar shape.

It’s best not to consider sweet potatoes as you would other potatoes.

When I’m looking at a Yukon, Gold, Red or Fingerling potato I think about all the different ways I can fry and crisp it, but none of that works too well with Sweet Potatoes.

I’ve tried all manor of sweet potato fries and hash browns but they always end up a little flat or lame. …

New patterns enabled by async functions.

The more I live with async/await the more I discover new patterns and leave behind many old ones.

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One constraint of working with async/await is that we only have a single return value from async functions. In the old callback world, you could pass more than one success object to the callback.

In addition to multiple callback results, you also had the option of returning a stream from your function (while still accepting a callback) which allowed you to do hybrid APIs that accepted steam input/output in addition to function parameters and callbacks.

I used this heavily in request. The goal of request was always to reduce the amount of typing you had to do in order to use HTTP. But even as flexible as this API became, there was some common boilerplate you can find almost everywhere people use request. …

How-to create perfect avatars against any image, powered by Machine Learning.

One thing you see often are rounded avatar buttons. These are easy to add to your own app when the service, like Twitter, present images people already expect to be rounded.

But other login services, like Facebook, may not be giving an image that easily round-able or centered around the user’s face. Enter: <compretend-img>, an HTML Element powered by machine learning.

Using facial detection, we can take almost any image a user gives us and create a perfect avatar.

I’ve put together a great Glitch tutorial, but I’ll also spell out the basics here. …

A call to action for maintainers to support themselves and move forward.

Big notable projects like Linux and Node.js have comforting long term support cycles that ensure Enterprises and other production users can continue to use a release for years without migrating to a new one.

The ecosystems built on top of these projects tend to try and follow a similar cycle. They keep old releases in their CI configuration and block PR’s from being merged if they don’t work on older release lines.

I’m just going to come out and say it, this is a destructive practice for smaller projects.

Notes on separating fact from fiction in the world of ICOs.

Blockchain technology is still in its earliest stages of development. It will likely reshape much of the tech landscape over the next decade. But like many new technologies it is surrounded by an ocean of speculation and magical thinking that make it hard to separate fact from fiction.

Analyzing tokens and companies in this space has been incredibly rewarding (I can’t think of anything I’ve had more fun doing than working through the incentive structures in Filecoin) but as things have heated up and ICO’s are running rampant I’ve seen many decent ideas drowned out by the flood of awful ones. …

About

Mikeal Rogers

Accurate predictions about things that already happened.

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