- Berlin becomes first German city to make rent cap a reality
- Aussie student proves existence of plasma tubes floating above Earth
- A grandmother’s 36-year hunt for the child stolen by the Argentinian junta
- Ursula K. Le Guin Calls on Fantasy and Sci Fi Writers to Envision Alternatives to Capitalism
- Kalief Browder, 1993–2015
- Map: The remarkable distances you can travel on a European train in less than a day
- Absolute power
- Vladimir Putin, interview to the Italian newspaper «Il Corriere della Sera»
- My Startup’s Dead! 5 Things I Learned
- Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain
Since I won’t manage to publish a new issue of Information Overload every Sunday, from now I’ll adopt a “whenever I feel like it” schedule.
- It Only Took Four Months For China To Achieve A Jaw-Dropping Reduction In Carbon Emissions
That’s good news for a change.
- Why so many Dutch people work part time
Bottom line: because they are smart.
- Stalking Your Friends with Facebook Messenger
This illustrates nicely how location data could be correlated and why that is a problem.
- A TED speaker coach shares 11 tips for right before you go on stage
- Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD
Answer: more reasonable parenting.
- The people who think they are made of glass
Speaking of psychology, this is one of the stranger conditions I’ve heard of.
- »Ich bin in Rage angesichts unserer Sexualkultur«
Interesting interview with a sexologist (in German).
- Skyping with the enemy: I went undercover as a jihadi girlfriend
Title says it all, an intense read.
- A Border Town Built for Vice
Border towns can be fascinating places.
- Nigeria Outlaws Female Genital Mutilation
While this won’t solve the problem, it’s a good first step.
- Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace.
I agree with a lot of the points mentioned in this article.
- The 10 world cities with the highest murder rates – in pictures
8 of them are in the Americas.
- Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761
History, maps, revolution. Count me in!
- The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop
Nice combination of music, language, and statistics.
- Before I Go: A Stanford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time
Despite the heavy topic, this is a very good read.
- Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks
My take: because they are subjected to an extremely unhealthy work culture.
- How many iPhones can fit in a 747?
Interesting little writeup on transport logistics.
- Want a Steady Income? There’s an App for That
The Silicon Valley really seems be believe that every problem can be solved with an app. At least these guys are trying…
- The Fake ‘Asian’ Who Fooled 18th-Century London
This very bizarre story would make a very interesting movie.
- Vera Putinas verlorener Sohn
An interesting story about Vladimir Putin’s alleged real origins (in German, also available in English).
With a slight delay…
- China’s Man-on-the-Side Attack on GitHub
Using censorship infrastructure for DDoS attacks. More information: Pin-pointing China’s attack against GitHub
- Mr. Anarchist, we need to have a chat about colonialism
Interesting read and a good reminder to look for bias in your own arguments/assesments.
- I made an NES emulator. Here’s what I learned about the original Nintendo.
For retro nerds.
- Incredibly Detailed Map Shows SE Asia’s Amazing Diversity
I love maps and am very interested in SEA, so this is very fascinating.
- Iran’s Been Two Years Away From a Nuclear Weapon for Three Decades
The poignant title says it all.
- Tragedy in the Maldives
On the exploitation and mistreatment of Bangladeshi migrant workers in the Maldives.
- Sie wollen ihr Leben zurück
Not all women are happy to be mothers (in German).
- How Hong Kong’s subway turns a $2 billion annual profit
Maybe they should use the money they make from property development to subsidize transport.
- Fascists at the gate in Greece It’s always scary to see institutionalized fascism.
- Why We Should Demand a Shorter Workweek
To add some perspective: Refusal of work
- The Lost Civilizations of Asia
Some preservation would indeed be appreciated, many of the lesser known sites are slowly rotting away.
- Why Birds Keep Crashing Into Cars And Planes
Apparently because they judge the potential danger of approaching objects by distance and not by speed.
- Burma’s bizarre capital: a super-sized slice of post-apocalypse suburbia
I only drove through Naypyidaw by bus at night, but it sure did feel bizarre.
- The great escape that changed Africa’s future
Highly recommended, a very good read and a gripping story.
- Being an Animator in Japan Is Brutal
I’m no Japan expert, but I can’t imagine that 1000$ a month is anywhere close to a living wage.
- No more physics and maths, Finland to stop teaching individual subjects
I’m not sure I like the premise, but education surely can do with an overhaul.
- Guest Post: 5 Chinese Ghost Cities That Came Alive
Good read, especially because gives an alternative version on China’s urban development.
- Ebola whole virus vaccine shown effective, safe in primates
That’s some great news.
- The Origin of the Tale that Gavrilo Princip Was Eating a Sandwich When He Assassinated Franz Ferdinand
Time for some history.
- Why Thai women cut off their husbands’ penises
The article is somewhat older, but still an interesting read.
- Wie Austromarxismus zum Spottbegriff wurde
A short but interesting article about Austrian Marxism after the first Wold War.
- Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Fascinating visualization by the BBC.
- Hip Hop Video from Saudi Arabia Takes on the Exploitation of Immigrant Laborers
Good to see some social awareness in the region.
- A new New Cairo: Egypt plans £30bn purpose-built capital in desert
Egypt plans to build a new capital with up to 5 million inhabitants within 5-7 years.
- Lighten Up
Our narratives should be as diverse as our realities.
- Parasite turns shrimp into voracious cannibals
Exploring the role of parasites in cannibalism.
- Noam Chomsky on the Roots of American Racism
Once again a very interesting interview.
- The Bengal Famine: How the British engineered the worst genocide in human history for profit
Als this is not the only politically motivated/engineered famine.
- Google crocks capacitors and deviates DRAM to root Linux
That’s one creative exploit.
- Chinese Labor Strike: 5,000 Workers Strike At Factory Making Shoes For Nike, Timberland, Kenneth Cole; Police Dogs Deployed
There is a certain irony to labor strikes in “Communist” countries.
- Psychoactive Plant May Hold Key to Reversing Diabetes
Always good to see some potential advancements for chronic diseases.
- Government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots
While there’s no need to get the tinfoil hats out, this trend for entrapment by government agencies is rather disturbing.
- Here’s what happened when Bogota decided to let graffiti artists do their thing
Bogota is a city I feel I didn’t have enough time for. Certainly would be worth another visit.
- Neil Gaiman: ‘Terry Pratchett isn’t jolly. He’s angry
RIP Sir Terry Pratchett!
- Listen: Why Scientists Have Created Music Just for Cats
Animals react to music that’s specifically made for them.
- For the first time, the world economy grows while carbon emissions don’t
They are still crazy high though…
- How Ikea took over the world
A really good read.
- Malaysia’s first warrior woman
A female MMA fighter is helping in destroying stereotypes.
Disclaimer: The good folks at The Pragmatic Bookshelf were nice enough to provide me with a free copy of this book, but this has no influence on the contents of the review.
My first contact with Dave Thomas was the famous “Pickaxe book” for Ruby. It wasn’t my first contact with the language, but it certainly helped in deepening my understanding of it. It’s a great book, and I went back numerous times to re-read certain chapters. I already had a crush on Ruby, but “the Pickaxe” helped turning that into a solid and lasting love affair.
Fast-forward some years. While I still love Ruby and work with it professionally, I have to admit to having a new language crush: Elixir. I’ve been interested in Erlang for several years, read some books, dabbled a bit, but never really got into the language. Elixir however got me hooked almost from the get-go. I find it’s a simple, elegant language, that’s easy to pick up, but has quite some depth.
Let’s start off by clearly stating what this book is not: a reference. It weighs in at around 340 pages and does not try to cover every aspect of Elixir/Erlang. It still is one of my all-time favorite programming books though. Why? Because I believe it does an amazing job in conveying the “essence” of Elixir. There’s no point in documenting APIs, the language has great documentation online. Instead Dave tries to teach the reader how to think in Elixir.
“Programming Elixir” has three main parts. The first called “Conventional Programming” introduces some core concepts like pattern matching and immutability, before covering Elixir types, functions, modules, language constructs, and project organization. It’s easy to read, but not too boring for seasoned developers. However, if you have some previous experience with Elixir, Erlang, or even some other functional programming language you may end up skimming this section a bit, at least I did.
Where it starts to get really interesting is the next part called “Concurrent Programming”, which covers processes, nodes and the basics of OTP. This latter part can easily fill books of its own, so the author only manages to cover some behaviours, like servers (gen_server to be specific), supervisors and applications. It’s some excellent material however, so unless you’re a seasoned Erlang developer this part alone could be reason enough to read this book. Sure, it would have been great to go into some more detail or cover more of OTP, but I think it’s more than enough to make people understand the core principles of the framework so they are able to continue their studies with a solid foundation. I’ve seen many people struggle with the concept of processes and message passing concurrency, despite the relative simplicity of the Actor model. But when Dave suggests thinking of processes somewhat like objects in the sense that they encapsulate state, sending messages suddenly will feel very familiar to OO programmers who find it hard to structure their code around Elixir/Erlang semantics.
Last but not least there’s “More Advanced Elixir”, which covers macros, protocols, the language’s approach to mixins and a grab bag of topics that didn’t quite warrant chapters of their own. I really liked this entire section, especially the parts on protocols and mixins. I feel like it gave me the tools to look at most Elixir code and figure out what’s happening, which is quite an achievement for a book of this length.
The world of Erlang/OTP is somewhat different from other programming languages, so no matter what your background is, chances are that certain things may feel somewhat alien to you. This is were “Programming Elixir” shines: it doesn’t just try to get you to write Elixir, it wants you to write good idiomatic code because you understand what makes the language tick. The writing has a good flow and is to the point. On top of that each chapter comes with some well thought-out exercises that should keep motivated readers busy for a while. It’s hard to imagine a better introduction to the language than “Programming Elixir”, highly recommended!
- No, Mornings Don’t Make You Moral
Luckily my job allows me to at least somewhat live my night owl tendencies.
- No one could see the color blue until modern times
While the title is borderline click bait, the actual article is very interesting.
- Pepe Mujica: “Vielleicht bin ich ein wenig Anarchist”
Nice interview (in German).
- GPG And Me
While the actual blog post is a bit weak, the comments have some good discussions.
- Araújo’s Vision for East Timor
Sometimes you also have to talk about the “forgotten” countries.
- Brazil releases ‘good’ mosquitoes to fight dengue fever
This sounds like it could be a major step in the fight against dengue!
- The Punisher’s Paradise
“The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.” — Max Stirner.
- “I found myself turning into an idiot!”: David Graeber explains the life-sapping reality of bureaucratic life
- In the End, People May Really Just Want to Date Themselves
At least according to statistics done with data from various popular online dating sites.
- Exclusive: Lost City Discovered in the Honduran Rain Forest
There may be remnats of a whole lost civilization, but they are threatened by greed.
- The best idea to redevelop Dharavi slum? Scrap the plans and start again
When visiting Dharavi in 2008 I was blown away. Certainly not what I expected from a slum.
- Modernization Theory and Uncritical Histories: A Review of South Korea’s Rise
Since I’m not a big fan of modernization theory myself, this resonates with me.
- Ancient Civilizations Held The Key To Gotham’s Growth
Maybe some things really don’t change.
- Why are women leaving the tech industry in droves?
As if our industry didn’t already have a pretty bad male:female ratio…
- ‘Nobody My Age Can Afford to Stay Here Forever’
Unfortunately London’s not the only city that’s becoming unlivable.
- 10 photos of the real 19th Century Gangs of New York
- The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’
No matter where they are, “black sites” should not be part of any law enforcement apparatus.
- Visualizing Hold’em Hands
Poker and visualizations in one post, I basically had to include this.
- Antiwork – a radical shift in how we view “jobs”
I always was of the opinion that work is overrated.