Chuckellania for October 21st, 2021

Published on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

One of the things about the new MacBook Pros' "notch" is that use cases like playing a game or movie in full screen don't really matter. Those will simply fill the 16:9 or 16:10 portion of the screen, which doesn't have a cutout. The top just becomes black.

Several additional tidbits. I really hope making laptops useful in the outdoors isn't too many more years out.

(See also)

Vaccine hesitancy by country.

Germany, for example, is a fair bit higher than the UK or Canada. Why? Does this say something about respective media ecosystems? Or education?

Running Android apps in Windows 11 works through a Linux VM (not emulation; both the host and the guest are x86), with roughly 24% performance overhead.

That's still pretty good, but of note, running iOS apps on M1 Macs doesn't require a VM at all, as the iOS "software platform" is similar enough to macOS.

Release notes are hard (believe me, I know), but if you're going to have major bugs or major incompatible changes, you have to be good about surfacing those to the user. Simply pointing to "it says so right here" is not good enough.

Ubuntu 21.10 apparently has a major data-corrupting bug with ZFS, and the release notes do say this if you scroll way down.

Similarly, years back, I ran into a situation where sudo do-release-upgrade would lock me out. Why? Because someone at Ubuntu had (correctly, I'm sure) decided that the algorithm for my SSH keypair was no longer secure enough, and would no longer be accepted.

Both situations are similarly problematic. If you're going to have such drastic bugs and changes, your software update tool should do a preflight: is this user currently logged in with a keypair that won't be supported after the upgrade? Does this person use a file system with a known dataloss bug?

You cannot and will not have time for everything.


Joe Pinsker: Time management often gets framed as a matter of boosting your productivity with something like a new morning routine. Even when these strategies work, why do they usually fail to reduce our stress?

Oliver Burkeman: They work in the sense that you’ll process more incoming inputs, but we’re living in a world with effectively infinite inputs—emails you could receive, demands that could be made of you, or ambitions that you could have. Getting better at moving through them is not going to get you to the end of them, so the promise of reaching a point at which you feel on top of everything is flawed on a math basis from the beginning.

(See also: the paradox that adding more lanes to a freeway does not solve traffic.)

I rarely see this (and have rarely done this myself), but occasionally it pays to put ASCII art right in the source code, as a crude visualization of an algorithm or the thought process behind the implementation.

(For example, a coworker put ASCII art in an algorithm for a particularly gnarly edge case of time tracking / work shift management, explaining how the code deals with overlapping time. Useful and somewhat delightful to see that comment in there!)