The eli4d Gazette – Issue 007

Issue 007: 2016-06-08

Tech Pick

I’ve been really enjoying Julia Evan’s charming technical blog. Julia describes her blog as:

AFAICT, the theme is “things Julia has learned recently”, which can be anything from Huffman coding to how to be happy when working in a remote job. When the posts are on a topic I don’t already know, I learn something new. When they’re on a topic I know, they remind me that the topic is exciting and contains a lot of wonder and mystery.

I like Julia’s ability to put herself out there in terms of what she’s learning and in honestly expressing her current thinking. She walks the path between the beginner’s mind and the beginning expert.

I liked the following recent article which fully shows Julia’s voice and enthusiasm, you might like it too: http://jvns.ca/blog/2016/05/29/three-ways-to-solve-hard-programming-problems/

Media Pick

I’m a big fan of The Changelog podcast, and they’ve recently introduced a brand new podcast about the Go programming language. The new podcast is called Go Time. It still getting its ‘legs’ but it has great promise. To access the show beyond the podcast:

If you’re wondering about Go: Go is a C-like language with a focus on conciseness, simplicity, and safety. I like the ability to easily run Go programs on every operating system. An example of such a program is the amazing Caddy web server.

The eli4d Gazette – Issue 006

Issue 006: 2016-05-25

A Slightly Tech Pick (human and machine protocols)

For this issue, I’ve picked a perhaps depressing topic – death. Death from two aspects. They’re not mirrors of each other or related to each other except by the thread of death.

The first aspect is an article called “A Protocol for Dying” by Peter Hintjens. When it comes to cancer, there is no protocol for communication. There are default settings and a crap-load of attempts at encouragement and ‘positivity’. I like Peter’s approach to cancer-related communication in terms of a protocol, no different than HTTP. I know it sounds ridiculous but when the sh*t hits the fan – no one knows how to speak to a person that has cancer. The “Talking to a Dying Person” section is pure gold.

The second aspect is an article about men and the nature of grief. It’s a heart-wrenching article on many levels, and it reflects about some faulty society norms around grief.

Media Pick

My media pick relates to Peter Hintjens and his core work in building communities. He spoke of his effort and approach on the Ruby Rogues podcast – Episode 188. It is an eye-opening discussion about the community around an open source project (ZeroMQ), but it greatly relates to communities in general. A written encapsulation of his ideas and approach to community building can be found on his blog in this extensive article.

The eli4d Gazette – Issue 005

Hello Friend,

Welcome to Issue 005 of the eli4d Gazette. You can find the newsletter archive at http://tinyletter.com/eli4d/archive and the blog at eli4d.com.

Have a great day!

Eli (@eli4d)


The eli4d Gazette

Issue 005: 2016-05-11

Quick note about upcoming online JavaScript: Registration is opening on this coming Monday (5/16) for my online beginning programming JavaScript course that I am teaching. I will be covering JavaScript fundamentals. For course content info – check out the syllabus.

Tech Pick

Encryption has been a topic of debate from the early Clipper Chip days to now. But is encryption the issue or is it more about device access. Steve Gibson discusses the important difference in his The “Encryption” Debate article. Encryption is math, and this (math) long been out of its bottle. Making encryption intentionally weak makes everyone vulnerable. Strong encryption with lawful and mediated access is the key (pun intended :-)).

Media Pick

So this may seem like a somewhat crazy pick, but it truly is one of the best presentations that I have ever seen (I came across this through John Gruber’s site). It is 4 minutes and 31 seconds of pure awesome with a gentleman named Joe Smith who presents a TED talk on how to use a paper towel. There’s, of course, the ‘reduce waste’ message. But there’s much more from a pedagogical point where Mr. Smith demos his point several times (the repetition concept in play that’s reinforcing and entertaining) while engaging the audience, and giving them ways to remember his approach easily.

The eli4d Gazette – Issue 004

Hello Friend,

Welcome to Issue 004 of the eli4d Gazette. You can find the newsletter archive at http://tinyletter.com/eli4d/archive and the blog at eli4d.com.

Have a great day!

Eli (@eli4d)


The eli4d Gazette

Issue 004: 2016-04-27

Tech Pick

In the previous issue I jokingly mentioned the difficulty of choosing among JavaScript frameworks and the fact that every day there seems to be yet another JavaScript framework. I’ve been thinking about this, and how to choose a framework (whether in JavaScript or another language) and I wrote this article where I discuss a more ‘feeling’ based approach besides the pragmmatic approach that I wrote about previously.

Media Pick

What do economic majors speak about at a bar? You can find out the answer by listening to this Imaginary Worlds episode discussing the economics of Game of Thrones, Firefly, and The Martian. It is 19 minutes of gold for those that are interested in fiction with a slight dab of economics on the side.

The eli4d Gazette – Issue 003

Hello Friend,

Welcome to Issue 003 of the eli4d Gazette. You can find the newsletter archive at http://tinyletter.com/eli4d/archive and the blog at eli4d.com.

Have a great day!

Eli (@eli4d)


The eli4d Gazette

Issue 003: 2016-04-13

Tech Pick

JavaScript! Do you love it? Do you hate it? Sometimes JavaScript and especially the latest JavaScript frameworks remind me of our current presidential race. Pushing this analogy to its limit – in the JavaScript framework world – which framework would be the equivalent of Trump? What about the Hillary one? Or the Bernie one?

Of course, I’m kidding because it’s all fun/sad melodrama. What’s not melodramatic is the fact the ECMAScript 6 aka ES6 is here. It’s not fully adopted by by everyone, but we’re getting there. Some neat articles about ES6:

Media Pick

Season 1 of the disturbingly dark and technically accurate Mr. Robot series. It’s like a cyber-space/security version of Dexter.

The eli4d Gazette – Issue 002

Hello Friend,

Welcome to Issue 002 of the eli4d Gazette. You can find the newsletter archive at http://tinyletter.com/eli4d/archive and the blog at eli4d.com.

Have a great day!

Eli (@eli4d)


The eli4d Gazette

Issue 002: March 30, 2016

Tech Pick

I’ve been following the Laravel framework for quite a while and on a recent episode of The Laravel Podcast there is a great discussion about open source software, and whether whoever uses it should pay for it.

There is an inherent (bad) assumption that “open source” means “free”. Nadia Eghbal has been exploring this very issue. I came across Nadia’s work through the (excellent) Changelog podcast where Adam and Jerod interviewed her about her investigation into open source funding.

Edu Pick

I’m a big fan of Alton Brown’s cooking shows because of the brilliant way he explains things. In the same vain, comedian John Oliver did a brilliant job in explaining all of the issues around the Apple/FBI encryption through this 18-minute video: https://youtu.be/zsjZ2r9Ygzw. Oliver’s comedic explanation is brilliant in covering the nuances of this case and the overall issues of encryption and privacy. The Apple/FBI battle may be over, but unfortunately the war is just beginning.

Podcast Episode Pick

My pick is related to the Apple/FBI encryption issue and it comes from the brilliant Note to Self podcast. The episode (13 minutes) covers the issue from an author’s point of view. It’s a different perspective that is very eye opening and refreshing (as are most of Note to Self’s episodes).

Introducing The eli4d Gazette

Hello Friend,

Welcome to Issue 1 of the eli4d Gazette. This will be my way to keep in touch with former students and new friends that I have made through eli4d.com. My intent is to keep this short and sweet and pick some interesting things related to tech and non-tech. This will be delivered every two weeks, and it may change to a weekly delivery depending on how it goes.

I value your time and attention and I hope you find this to be worth your time. If you are interested, you can subscribe through the following url: https://tinyletter.com/eli4d


The eli4d Gazette

Issue 001: March 16, 2016

Tech Pick (JavaScript related)

Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript, discusses his view of JavaScript’s direction at the Fluent Conference (click the ‘x’ to get past the “you need to login screen”). His message is the same as other years – “don’t bet against JavaScript”, but this year he added WebAssembly to the betting phrase. Apparently Ash from Evil Dead is his spirit animal (so the programming approach of jumping into JS and ‘hacking’ is built into the language’s DNA :-O ). Is Brendan right about JavaScript future? Who knows? He’s a smart guy but JavaScript is out of his and anyone else’s direct control. The battle lines are certainly being drawn in the mobile space between web apps and native apps (so far native has trounced web in terms of performance).

Edu Pick

I tried to provide a comprehensive approach to picking server-side software through my “Using the Boring / Old / Popular (BOP) criteria for server side software evaluation” article. It was geared towards beginners (developers and those that need to pick server side technologies), since experienced devs will have a “gut feel” and wont need such a numerical approach.

Podcast Episode Pick

Eric Molinsky created an amazing episode called “Why They Fight” where he connects superhero battles to D&D character alignments. I know it sounds ridiculously geek but once you listen to this episode, you will never again look at TV/movie/story heros/villains in the same way. If you’re a writer, the character alignment table may give you a new twist/angle on how you view/build characters in your writing.