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As Afghanistan’s harsh winter sets in, many are forced to choose between food and warmth

The Taliban, cut off from most international aid, has scant resources to protect millions of vulnerable people from a full-fledged humanitarian disaster.

Click to view the original at washingtonpost.com

Hasnain says:

History will not be kind upon the people doing this. I hope the present also forces some action.

“Aid groups estimate that nearly 23 million Afghans, out of a total population of 39 million, already do not have enough to eat. Many also lack solid shelter and money to heat their homes at night, forcing them to choose between food and fuel, and creating additional potential for a full-fledged humanitarian disaster, aid officials said.”

Posted on 2022-01-10T16:43:02+0000

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The trouble with Roblox, the video game empire built on child labour

Young developers on the platform used by many millions of children claim they have been financially exploited, threatened with dismissal and sexually harassed

Click to view the original at theguardian.com

Hasnain says:

For all the great things I see and hear about Roblox, this is really worrying. The abuse happening on platform is sad and I hope they do more to fix it.

“For Anna, success had an unfathomable, life-changing impact. At 16 her monthly income somehow exceeded her parents’ combined salaries. She calculated that she was on course to earn $300,000 in a year, a salary equivalent to that of a highly experienced Google programmer. Anna cancelled her plans to go to college”

Posted on 2022-01-10T05:22:30+0000

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The Great Surrender: How We Gave Up And Let COVID Win

I feel like I’ve lost my goddamn mind, but we’ll get back to that point soon. Let’s start with this. Two things seem to be true at this moment in the pandemic: First, that our num…

Click to view the original at terribleminds.com

Hasnain says:

This was depressing but oh so relatable.

“As a PS, I apologize if this feels like a bummer. But I honestly feel pretty anxious not just about the pandemic, but also about our sudden acquiescence to it, and I really wanted to talk about it somewhere that wasn’t just Twitter. It required unpacking and so here I am, unpacking.”

Posted on 2022-01-10T01:38:44+0000

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Forced by shortages to sell chipless ink cartridges, Canon tells customers how to bypass DRM warnings | Boing Boing

Printer ink company Canon was forced by the silicon shortage to sell cartridges without the DRM chips used to dissuade customers from using third-party tanks. Accordingly, it is reportedly telling …

Click to view the original at boingboing.net

Hasnain says:

This is amazing. I don’t even…

“Printer ink company Canon was forced by the silicon shortage to sell cartridges without the DRM chips used to dissuade customers from using third-party tanks. Accordingly, it is reportedly telling customers how to bypass its "genuine" ink bullshit.”

Posted on 2022-01-09T21:55:07+0000

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Covid may raise the risk of diabetes in children, C.D.C. researchers reported.

A heightened risk had already been seen among adults who had recovered from a coronavirus infection.

Click to view the original at nytimes.com

Hasnain says:

“The researchers found increases in diabetes in both data sets, though the relative rates were quite different: they found a 2.6-fold increase in new diabetes cases among children in one, and a smaller 30 percent increase in another.

“Even a 30 percent increase is a big increase in risk,” said Sharon Saydah, a researcher at the C.D.C. and lead author of the study. The differences likely result from different ways of classifying children as having Covid, she added.”

Posted on 2022-01-08T17:38:32+0000

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21 die in Murree as govt deploys Pakistan Army to rescue stranded tourists amid heavy snowfall

Punjab government declares Murree a calamity-hit area; PM Imran Khan says he is shocked and upset

Click to view the original at geo.tv

Hasnain says:

:(

“He said that most of the people who died in Murree did not die due to the cold, they died as they left their heaters on in the car and went to sleep.

“The fumes from the heater killed them.””

Posted on 2022-01-08T17:22:18+0000

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The Evolution of Management - ACM Queue

I have been thinking a lot about the different transitions I have made as I have been promoted to different levels of management, from individual contributor to manager to organization leader in charge of hundreds of people.

Click to view the original at queue.acm.org

Hasnain says:

This was a great read on (middle) management and growing up the ladder. I obviously don’t have experience yet at the director level but I did find myself nodding along at the areas I’m familiar with.

“Your new job is to solve problems by removing roadblocks (including yourself), streamlining processes, and helping others be productive. You don't solve the problem yourself now; you create an environment where other people can solve the problem. This is how you add value.”

Posted on 2022-01-08T07:47:23+0000

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My first impressions of web3

Despite considering myself a cryptographer, I have not found myself particularly drawn to “crypto.” I don’t think I’ve ever actually said the words “get off my lawn,” but I’m much more likely to click on Pepperidge Farm Remembers flavored memes about how “crypto” used to mean “cr...

Click to view the original at moxie.org

Hasnain says:

Great read from Moxie on web3. I continue to be a skeptic, but this was a well written analysis of the pros and cons of web3. I liked the analogies to past systems and how a lot of the stuff is still centralized under the hood.

“We should try to reduce the burden of building software. At this point, software projects require an enormous amount of human effort. Even relatively simple apps require a group of people to sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day, every day, forever. This wasn’t always the case, and there was a time when 50 people working on a software project wasn’t considered a “small team.” As long as software requires such concerted energy and so much highly specialized human focus, I think it will have the tendency to serve the interests of the people sitting in that room every day rather than what we may consider our broader goals. I think changing our relationship to technology will probably require making software easier to create, but in my lifetime I’ve seen the opposite come to pass. Unfortunately, I think distributed systems have a tendency to exacerbate this trend by making things more complicated and more difficult, not less complicated and less difficult.”

Posted on 2022-01-08T03:29:54+0000

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Scaling productivity on microservices at Lyft (Part 1)

Late in 2018, Lyft engineering completed decomposing our original PHP monolith into a collection of Python and Go microservices. A few…

Click to view the original at eng.lyft.com

Hasnain says:

I just read this three part series from Lyft on how they ensure developers can stay productive developing in an environment containing 100s of microservices. Pretty interesting read, and I can't wait for the fourth (and supposedly final) part. Learnt a lot from this one.

"After beginning to migrate our development environments to Kubernetes about a year ago, a change in engineering resourcing was the catalyst for us to zoom out and re-examine our larger direction. Maintaining the infrastructure to support these on-demand environments had simply become too expensive and would only worsen with time. Solving for our situation would require a more fundamental change to the way we develop and test microservices. It was time to replace Devbox, Onebox, and integration tests on CI with alternatives that were sustainable for a system composed of hundreds of microservices."

Posted on 2022-01-06T04:05:50+0000

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Hasnain says:

I've been following Cindy's excellent takes on twitter for quite a while, and this long-form blogpost is equally great. Read it to understand more about how to be an effective engineer at the more senior levels (across lots of companies). So much good stuff it was hard to pick just one thing to quote.

"Managers need to deal with these skills as a part of their job description. So do ICs at the very senior levels, but it’s never too early to start cultivating this knowledge. In fact, a core part of mentoring engineers needs to be schooling them in how the organization works, which will then enable them to build a successful track record of getting things done.

Shielding non-senior engineers from organizational politics not just stymies their growth but also hinders their visibility into the skills they’d eventually need to learn the hard way, skills for which there exists no easy playbook, even if some managers and senior ICs might take a more short-sighted view and see this as a way to help other engineers “maintain focus”."

Posted on 2022-01-06T03:27:36+0000