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Weekly Thing

Weekly Newsletter from
Jamie Thingelstad

Issue #91 / Feb 2, 2019


We survived the deep freeze! 🥶 We had three days with the temperature between -27°F (-32.7°C) and -15°F (-26°C), for the high! Wind chills were something silly, like -50°F. I can't remember school ever being cancelled for four days in a row. I know it's particularly old man of me to say, but I don't think it was like that when I was a kid. 👴 The kids stayed home and got a bit of cabin fever. It reminded me when I was a kid in Minot, ND and we made the national news because the wind chill was -102°F! I think they cancelled school, that one day. Just sayin'... 👀

The rest of life mostly went on as normal. I had the luck of scheduling my annual team event at the office on Wednesday, what will surely go down as the coldest day of the year. It didn't deter us. We took pride in being in the Bold North™.

Unfortunately I got taken down with a nasty cold at the end of the week and I've mostly been napping and sniffling 🤧 the last couple of days, along with a headache, sore throat, sneezing – you get the picture. I'm still getting your Saturday links to you though. The Post Office 📭 halted mail delivery on Wednesday, but I won't be so easily deterred!


My Blog Posts ✍️

Hack the Gap 2019

Hack the Gap hosted their 5th annual Hackathon for women and non-binary individuals this weekend. I was able to attend the demo event today where each team showcased what they created.


Featured Links 🏅

AI Helps Amputees Walk With a Robotic Knee - IEEE Spectrum

This is absolutely brilliant.

Normally, human technicians spend hours working with amputees to manually adjust robotic limbs to work well with each person’s style of walking. By comparison, the reinforcement-learning technique automatically tuned a robotic knee, enabling the prosthetic wearers to walk smoothly on level ground within 10 minutes.

Use AI to get the computer to adapt to the human faster! 💙


My Weekly Photo 📷

A clean, white blanket of fresh snow on Monday made it look like winter was really here.

A clean, white blanket of fresh snow on Monday made it look like winter was really here.
Jan 28, 2019 at 7:28 AM
Edina, MN


Notable Links 📌

Inspecting JSON Files on iOS with Jayson – MacStories

I have the same use case as Frederico, using iCloud to store state for Shortcuts in JSON files. If you need to deal with JSON on iOS this is a nice tool to do it with.


On Being A Principal Engineer

Great reflections on the breadth of responsibilities that come with being a principal engineer.


Google will stop peddling a data collector through Apple’s back door | TechCrunch

This story as well as the one about Facebook is getting a lot of attention. A number of people have seemed to think that Apple pulled the enterprise certificates because of the privacy issues with these applications. I don't think that has anything to do with it. These certificates are meant to be used to distribute internally developed applications to your employees, not outside your company. That is the reason they pulled the certificates.


Lawrence Lessig On What MMOs Can Teach Us About Real Life Politics — Seed

I’m a big fan of Larry Lessig. I had no idea that he was an advisor to Second Life. Seed sounds like SimCity taken to the extreme.



I like seeing new email newsletter platforms popping up that are focused on more grassroots things, versus serving marketing teams. This is a lot more powerful than TinyLetter. Not as powerful as Mailchimp, but it’s also way easier to use. If you are lookin for an easy way to start a newsletter this seems like a good option.


Michael Tsai - Blog - Malicious Shortcuts

I didn’t think of this but it’s right, it would be really easy to make a shortcut that pulled a copy of all sorts of data from your phone and then had the user send it to you. To be clear, the user would have to willingly go along for the ride. It wouldn't be possible to do this automatically. But you could pretty quickly fool people I would think.


Stoop for iOS — An Inbox for Newsletters — Tools and Toys

There are a few people who subscribe to this newsletter via Stoop. I haven't tried it, and don't plan to. I don't have a problem routing newsletters to the right spot to read when I have time. I would also be paranoid of putting a company in the middle of the content I’m reading. But, I’m sure some will find this a great option for newsletters.


In WSJ Op-Ed, Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Down to Users and Misses the Point | Electronic Frontier Foundation

I’m a proud supporter of the EFF.

Zuckerberg ends his op-ed with a call for government regulation codifying the principles of "transparency, choice, and control." But in reality, Facebook is tirelessly fighting against laws that might do just that: it is actively battling to undermine Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act in court, and the Internet Association, of which Facebook is a member, has asked California legislators to weaken the California Consumer Privacy Act, and is pushing for a national law only if it "preempts" and rolls back those vital state protections.

Follow the money.


How To Be Successful - Sam Altman

Altman does reference getting lucky in this, but I would suggest adding a new "0. Get Lucky". I agree with his recommendations, but those simply tip your odds. You also have to get lucky. 🍀


Opinion | Steve Jobs Never Wanted Us to Use Our iPhones Like This - The New York Times

I agree with Newport's primary assertion here, that Jobs' would not have wanted a device to become so constantly integrated into our worlds. Mostly I would say that based on his lifestyle. The fact that he didn’t pitch a store and was downplaying third party apps, I suspect, had to do more with Apple not being ready to pursue that strategy at the time.


Developer Demos HomeKit’s New Integration with Smart TVs — MacStories

Seriously, of all the devices I'd like to control with HomeKit my TV would be right up there. Controlling inputs would be dynamite. I’m hoping a bunch of companies add this to their TV's with an update! 🤞🏻


Give Back 🎁

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property. Donate to Wikimedia today!


Yet More Links 🍞


Microposts 🎈

Wednesday @ 8:30 PM

Over 50 members of #TeamSPS Tech shared demos, milestones, learnings, and upcoming plans today. It was incredible to see how we are continuing to advance! Great tech organizations are learning organizations, and we learn fast! I am humbled to be surrounded by so much talent!


Wednesday @ 7:54 PM

Hashtags IRL! #SPSTech #TeamSPS Should have gotten this before the Hors d’ouevre’s were cashed!


Wednesday @ 7:52 PM

How do you wrap up the #TeamSPS Tech Summit for 2019? Trivia Mafia!



Wednesday @ 7:49 PM

Time to socialize and mingle for #TeamSPS Tech!



Wednesday @ 7:46 PM

We finished the fourth session of #TeamSPS Tech Summit 2019 with more service team wins! 🙌🥳🏆



Wednesday @ 2:39 PM

Fabulous third session for #TeamSPS Tech Summit 2019! Service team wins all over the place! 🙌



Wednesday @ 2:15 PM

“Worry-as-a-Service” 🤣 Cloud database engineering managing hundreds of distributed databases for #TeamSPS


Wednesday @ 11:37 AM

Great highlights from more teams at #TeamSPS 2019 Tech Summit! Security, Australian Team, Career Paths, Tech Patterns & Frameworks!



Wednesday @ 10:26 AM

Great start to our #TeamSPS 2019 Tech Summit with sessions from Jim Frome, Dan Juckniess, and Karin Lucas!



Wednesday @ 7:39 AM

Yesterday’s rehearsal for #TeamSPS Tech Summit 2019! Excited for a great day, braving the Bold North’s -20F! 🙌🔥🥶


Wednesday @ 7:37 AM

View from the control room as we get ready to start #TeamSPS Tech Summit 2019!


Sunday @ 9:34 PM

Schools cancelled. Kids are rejoicing. 🥳


Sunday @ 7:49 PM

We saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse today and I was completely blown away! I enjoyed the story thoroughly and the visuals were amazing. It feels like you are in a comic book! The soundtrack is great too! 😎🎬


Saturday @ 9:32 PM

Everyone had a lot of fun at iFly.



Saturday @ 8:22 PM

Made my signature lasagna tonight. Delicious. 🤤🍽


Saturday @ 2:13 PM

Checking out iFly Indoor Skydiving. Wow!


Friday @ 9:59 PM

Delightful dinner tonight at Oceanaire with my brother and his wife. Yum!


Friday @ 9:57 PM

Very first espresso from my new Breville Oracle espresso machine. I’m impressed with the capabilities and the quality of the espresso. ☕️


Fortune 🥠

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

Someone is speaking well of you.

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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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