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Weekly Thing

Weekly Newsletter from
Jamie Thingelstad

Issue #83 / Dec 8, 2018


I've been putting a fortune at the very bottom of the Weekly Thing for a while now. It's a surprise for those that read all the way to the end! 🎁 I was using a service for that that was mostly fine but occasionally gave bad fortunes 😒 that I would replace. Last week I didn't catch a bad one, so I rebuilt the fortune process and it now is part of my editorial selection. Better fortunes from now on! 🎉


Featured Links 🏅

New Documents Show That Facebook Has Never Deserved Your Trust | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Everything you ever thought Facebook might do with your data that you don't want them to, they are doing. The end of this article hits it right:

No matter how Zuckerberg slices it, your data is at the center of Facebook’s business. Based on these documents, it seems that Facebook sucked up as much data as possible through “reciprocity” agreements with other apps, and shared it with insufficient regard to consequences for users. Then, after rolling back its permissive data-sharing APIs, the company apparently used privileged access to user data either as a lever to get what it wanted from other companies or as a weapon against its competitors. You are, and always have been, Facebook’s most valuable product.

I continue to happily live in an Internet, with my 1Blocker setup, that doesn't include any Facebook properties. They simply cannot be trusted with any data, and they have the most of it.


The Total Incompatibility of Mindfulness and Busyness

Article from Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the leaders of mindfulness practices.

Precisely because if we are overloaded to the point of being overwhelmed, it is likely that we will be so agitated, so distraught, so self-preoccupied that we won’t be able to meet anybody or any situation from a place of ease within the fullness of our own being in that moment, and that includes, most importantly, even an authentic meeting of ourselves and those we most care about.

This is worth reading a few times, just to make sure it sinks in. Via Leah Cunningham.


My Weekly Photo 📷

Beautiful scene with snow covered tree.

Beautiful scene with snow covered tree.
Dec 2, 2018 at 10:26 AM
Cannon Lake, Minnesota


Notable Links 📌

Stripe Atlas: Guide to scaling engineering organizations

Very thorough and detailed overview of how Stripe builds out their technology teams from recruiting to onboarding. A lot of great practices!


Events, the DNA of Kubernetes · Do not go gentle into this good night. Rage.

Very approachable read on how Kubernetes handles internal communication.

Event-driven design has many more advantages and can address a lot of problems in distributed systems (back-pressure, queuing, retries, scale-out, etc.). However, it’s not a new idea. Not at all! For example, relational databases work the same way (transaction log). The database is said to be the (stale) cache of the immutable log 😄.

Neat! 🤓


5 books I loved in 2018 | Bill Gates

Educated has shown up on a lot of book lists. I’m not sure about the Harari book. My book club read Sapiens and liked it, but then read followup materials that suggested it was not sound science. It’s crazy to me that I’m a Headspace subscriber but didn’t know that there was a book!


Software Sprawl, The Golden Path, and Scaling Teams With Agency –

I like the concept that Majors' puts forward here. It’s all carrot and no stick. I do a similar concept in tech teams. There are great support options to help your team, but to get them you need to adopt certain patterns and technologies.


Gendered Linguistics: Why Words Matter - YouTube

Gendered language is something that I have thought about a number of times lately. The topic is coming up more in job postings when recruiting, and I've also considered it when companies write policies or training material. This talk is thought provoking regarding where gender coding of language comes from. Is it the language or the usage?


Twilight of the Taj - BBC News

I got to visit the Taj Mahal when I was in India this year. It’s an amazing site and I hope that the government of India takes action to reverse these issues.


How to Start Amazon FBA - My FBA Experiment 2018 - Updated Regularly

This is an interesting journal of all the activity this person is taking to sell a product on Amazon. It goes through each step in the process, and highlights the myriad of things that need to be dealt with. It’s an interesting read.


@bfeld v53.0 - Feld Thoughts

Writing letters to yourself on your birthday, or commemorating the year and looking ahead, is a fun thing and I like reading these when people share them. It is a way to capture a little bit of wisdom for free.


After 12 draws, Magnus Carlsen is once again the chess world champion - Time is of the essence

The state of Chess at the highest level is amazing.

The result is human chess that increasingly resembles computer chess. has developed a metric, Computer Aggregated Precision Score (CAPS), which compares a player’s moves to those of a top engine. Mr Carlsen scores higher than any other champion; his moves parallel those of the engine’s more than 85% of the time, and his overall choices are better than 98% as effective as those of the computer.

These players are literal human computers. ♟


Marriott: Data on 500 Million Guests Stolen in 4-Year Breach — Krebs on Security

This is a giant and deep breach.

Marriott said the breach involved unauthorized access to a database containing guest information tied to reservations made at Starwood properties on or before Sept. 10, 2018, and that its ongoing investigation suggests the perpetrators had been inside the company’s networks since 2014.

Four years is an incredibly long time for an attacker to have access. 😳


PlugShare - EV Charging Station Map - Find a place to charge your car!

This is the most comprehensive map I've found of charging stations for electric cars. I was looking for one in Faribault by our cabin and this is the only one that had the single station there.


Dogs Catching Treats - Vieler Photography - Fotos Frei Schnauze

What awesome pictures – they crack me up! Via


Give Back 🎁

Let's Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority, run for the public’s benefit. All connections to web servers should be encrypted! The biggest challenge with encrypting the web historically has been the cost and hassle of getting an SSL certificate. Let's Encrypt has changed that entirely by being a free certificate authority. Let's Encrypt is possibly one of the most important things to happen on the web in recent years. Donate to Let's Encrypt today!


Yet More Links 🍞


Microposts 🎈

Tuesday @ 9:53 PM

Finally got my Bluetooth blood pressure monitor to re-pair with my phone, after much troubleshooting. It’s the little things. 🥳


Sunday @ 8:44 PM

There was a lot of very pretty looking snow to deal with this morning.



Saturday @ 7:08 PM

Cabin Christmas Tree up with cabin themed decorations! 🎄



Saturday @ 2:16 PM

To all Music services:

Why can’t I find any Christmas channels, playlists, stations, etc. that our family enjoys?


Fortune 🥠

You've made it all the way to the end! 👏 Here is your fortune for this week.

Try the Moo Shu Pork. It is especially good today.

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All content in the Weekly Thing is placed here at my discretion. There is no advertising or promotional content. Links that are featured are found from a variety of sources, and there is no attempt to provide attribution to the source as I would inevitably get it wrong or forget routinely. In some cases links may have affiliate codes associated with them.

This work by Jamie Thingelstad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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