Happy CES week! Here’s five three (weeks like that will happen) things that popped on my radar these last days:
🎰 Not going to Vegas
Consumer Electronics Show is happening in virtual formula and it’s nowhere near as exciting as the in-person event. On the flipside my liver, my circadian rhythm and overall wellbeing is much better. So, what’s dominating this pandemic edition of CES? 8K TVs, affordable OLEDs, obviously COVID (like Razers RGB mask), manufacturers further dipping their toes into smart glasses, AI on the edge, however all in all I haven’t yet seen anything net new yet.
⌚ Checking the time
Pine64, known for their open-source phone, this time came up with a hackable smart watch that got me really curious. After a bit of research it turns out they repurposed a widely popular P8 smartwatch, so I ordered one to see if its possible to flash it with open source WaspOS or similar operating system, if it is this may be the cheapest wearable prototyping platform out there.
🦹♂️ Getting hacked
As an aftermath of horrific events that happened in US Capitol, Parler (alt-tech microblogging, communication platform used by rioters) got kicked off pretty much every infrastructure they could (AppStore, Google Play, AWS etc). Yet before going dark a security researcher was able to pull ALL the content off the platform through a bunch of open API endpoints that required no authentication whatsoever. What a great reminder to put effort into properly securing your APIs.
What up 2021! I’m more than confident this year will be like no other, and it’s got “21” in it, so will be lucky for sure. Here’s five things I stumbled upon this very first week of 2021, have a look.
👀 Looking back
Listened to Joe Rogan’s interview with Alex Brenson, and while I don’t agree with most of stuff Alex has been saying on there, one statistic that was brought up shows the often underestimated impact COVID19 had on our society. This last year there’s been a spike in overdose deaths thorough out the US – over 30k more than past year. I believe that K-shaped recovery folks on Bloomberg TV mention all the time in many businesses will happen, however the society will struggle getting out of the psychological dent COVID19 made.
Stumbled upon a very interesting article which proposes a completely new theory to the purpose of dreams. Go read the whole thing, but in a nutshell group of scientists claim it is a protective mechanism aiming at making sure neurons in visual cortex don’t get re-assigned to other tasks. Sleep has been an aspect of my life I have worked hard on improving these past few years and I continuously jump on anything new to read in that department. If you’re looking for a good entry point to sleep checkout Matthew Walker and his book.
Finally got my hands on a Clubhouse invite. For folks living under a rock, it’s an app that allows for creation of moderated live audio rooms around certain topics. I really dig the format and over the past few days I listened to a LOT of very interesting convos. I’m super interested in how this startup grows since already being on a platform for a short amount of time, you can see the quality of content degrades along with user base growth.
Folks at Open.Ai did it again. You may remember lots of press covering their GPT-3 model which was capable of generating text based on a short prompt. The quality of the output it produced was really hard to distinguish from human written text (someone put together a website with examples). Well, now they came up with Dall-E which generates images based on a text prompt, and it can generate some amazing, very abstract things – checkout the link to see some examples.
After pandemic hit and rendered me no longer able to do fencing, I decided to replace it with running. Problem being, I don’t like running, I REALLY don’t, so I started looking for a motivation online and that’s how I found David Goggins. His philosophy of doing something that sucks every day somehow strikes a chord with me and pushes me to run early morning nearly every day (and do a bunch of other shit, but that’s for another post). He’s a savage I’ll never be, but highly recommend you follow this motherfucker! 👊
“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.”
Stumbled upon this one in a podcast interview Tim Ferris did with Leo from ZenHabits. Not only do I find this quote be very tuned to the times we have now with COVID19 and how many people feel, but it also comes from Buddhist meditation master, a topic I plan to deeply explore in the coming year.
I am and I was a mobile software engineer for almost all my professional life. While I have ventured into hybrid apps a few times with mediocre experience, I pretty much always preferred to build apps the native way (Obj-C/Swift for iOS and Kotlin/Java for Android). Recently, however, I got interested in a technology released by Google called Flutter. It lets you target iOS, Android and even web with single and coherent codebase as long as you’re willing to take some UI compromise. While I’m still big believer in native I think there is a lot of space for Flutter in scenarios like “I have 2 months to build an MVP” or hackathons. We’re (@srgtuszy who’s my ever so partner in crime and myself) on track to release our first Flutter app in 2021 and hopefully soon I’ll post a lengthier post about how to get into Flutter as a native old dog who’s trying to learn new tricks.
I did such a shitty job reading this year it’s really embarrassing to even have this section in here, however out of a few books I did manage to read, the one I’m ever so close to completing (but always something comes up) is Lifespan by David Sinclair where he states a thesis that ageing is a disease we’ll likely be able to cure soon. Being 34 myself I started to reflect more and more about how not to make my current age be a half-way point of my life, and that book is a great onboarding to the whole idea.
I’m insanely eager to play the latest release of Flight Simulator, however being so vested into Mac I still didn’t get a chance to (I’m still on team XPlane). This documentary is a great window into how much work went into this product and makes me think about running out and getting a beefed out PC just to play it.
Ok, so here’s me trying to restart my blogging efforts for probably 3419th time. This is one of my very few resolutions for 2021 and I’m starting it right now to blast into 2021 with some nice momentum. Hopefully this time around the habit of posting notes regularly will stick, but let’s see.
I’m stating my 2021 blogging efforts with:
Short weekly posts that share a bunch of stuff I’ve learned, read or stumbled upon over the course of past week. I will do my best to limit these posts to 5 things, but occasionally there will be more, as there’s just so much cool shit around 🙂
Longer, probably once-a-month posts that cover a single topic I’m either passionate about or currently working on
Wish me luck & hope to see you around here soon! ✌️