Instagram is dead

What a wonderful piece of writing by Om Malik:

It was a wonderful gathering place for photographers to showcase their work and build an audience. Not a day goes by when some photographer friend or the other bemoans how Instagram is no longer a place for photography. 

When I started out as a photographer-hobbyist a decade and a half back; Flickr was the platform where photographers form beginners to pro flocked and shared their creativity. I learned what mistakes I was making, composition, lighting and most importantly met people and have made life long friends. I was still on my blackberry which worked perfect to communicate and plan photo shoots but I always wondered, now that we have an iPhone, when will Flickr move to this new platform and bring this art to millions of more people.

Well, Flickr missed the boat and in came instagram and I was so excited to share my pictures and improve. But it looks like the platform that we all loved, is take a 180 degree detour.

What’s left is a constantly mutating product that copies features from “whomever is popular now” service — Snapchat, TikTok, or whatever. It is all about marketing and selling substandard products and mediocre services by influencers with less depth than a sheet of paper.

Clearly, instagram isn’t asking “Why” this product/platform exists, but are more focused on the “What”.


I recently moved to glass and so far it has been one of the best experience that I have had in a very long time.

Carbon, a new programming language from Google, aims to be C++ successor

Existing modern languages already provide an excellent developer experience: Go, Swift, Kotlin, Rust, and many more. Developers that can use one of these existing languages should. Unfortunately, the designs of these languages present significant barriers to adoption and migration from C++. These barriers range from changes in the idiomatic design of software to performance overhead.

Carbon, a new programming language from Google, aims to be a successor to C++.

Carbon is fundamentally a successor language approach, rather than an attempt to incrementally evolve C++. It is designed around interoperability with C++ as well as large-scale adoption and migration for existing C++ codebases and developers.

Google came out with Go a decade back and has been an excellent project with a very clean implementation. It took someone like me a few days to write basic code to a couple months to write an CLI based application.

Carbon is Open-source and will be independent and community project. I haven’t worked on C++ for about ~15 years now, but excited what Carbon can bring to C++. Will be giving this a try for sure.

Bun

Kind of excited about this project and its prospects:

Bun is a modern JavaScript runtime like Node or Deno. It was built from scratch to focus on three main things:

Start fast (it has the edge in mind).

New levels of performance (extending JavaScriptCore, the engine).

Being a great and complete tool (bundler, transpiler, package manager).

I’m most excited about this aspect of Bun:

The goal of Bun is to run most of the worlds JavaScript outside of browsers

gqt

Off late I have been dealing with API at work and home, REST and GraphQL. Came across this fantastic utility today – gqt. It’s a simple GraphQL client, but runs in the terminal. Using this in Visual Studio Code’s Terminal is so helpful when you don’t have to switch windows while working.

Give it a spin.

Markdoc

Came across Markdoc today, made by Stripe.

Stripe is know for its excellent developer documentation – well it has to be, its probably the most important feature for the company. If you go through their documentation is not just a good reference guide, but they also allow you to interact with it to get a feel on how to use the API effectively.

Stripe built their own content authoring system and have now released this as an open source project. It supports Markdown which makes it a joy to use this tool. The tool looks great too.

The tool is so easy and pleasing to use, that I have been using this to simply write my notes 😊

mitmproxy2swagger

Came across an interesting library (or tool) – mitmproxy2swagger that reverse-engineers REST API just by running the web app and sniffing traffic in the background. Once you are done, the tool allows you to download a yaml file. Open up the file in Swagger and voilà! Beautifully formatted API endpoint. Can be useful to document API for your application.

Pretty fascinating.

Microplastics are confirmed in human blood for the first time

Brad Bergan for Interesting Engineering:

These tiny particles can move freely throughout the body, and become stuck in organs — which could cause significant health issues. But now that we know, scientists are on watch to understand the full scope of effects — both short- and long-term, on human health.

It’s an unnerving discovery, but we’re all in this together as scientists rush to explore the potential health effects.

fuck.

Star”bucks”!!!

With the earnings season in full swing, this tweet just blew my mind:

JP Koning further writes about this on his blog:

Starbucks has around $1.6 billion in stored value card liabilities outstanding. This represents the sum of all physical gift cards held in customer’s wallets as well as the digital value of electronic balances held in the Starbucks Mobile App.* It amounts to ~6% of all of the company’s liabilities.

This is a pretty incredible number. Stored value card liabilities are the money that you, oh loyal Starbucks customer, use to buy coffee. What you might not realize is that these balances  simultaneously function as a loan to Starbucks. Starbucks doesn’t pay any interest on balances held in the Starbucks app or gift cards. You, the loyal customer, are providing the company with free debt.

And I thought Starbucks sold coffee (average coffee). The more I read, it feels like they are a bank (unregulated) where we have loaned them money for an interest rate of a free coffee every 120 points.

Let that sink in.

The New York Times buys Wordle

New York Times buy Wordle:

Wordle was acquired from its creator, Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, for a price “in the low seven figures,” The Times said. The company said the game would initially remain free to new and existing players.

I’m very happy for Josh Wardle, especially after the twitter-verse got behind him to take down all the copy cats, but this news hits hard. Guess we will find out how much we pay to play this game once a day.

Emotional Intelligence – An example

Justin Bariso writing for Inc. on explaining emotional intelligence when reporters asked Tom Brady if he was going to retire after the Bucs lost to Rams last weekend:

Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion.

Nice, short and simple read, but does extremely well to explain how not to be emotional when making decisions.

As product managers we tend to get attached to the products we build and work on day in and day out but it is very important to keep our emotions aside while making decisions.