April 25, 2017

Books of Winter 2016

Here are the books I read over the past 6 months. As usual, the fiction ones were on Kindle, and the non-fiction as audiobooks.

Fiction

  • Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle. | ★ recommended
    I was in the mood for a disaster book that dealt with the aftermath, and on that it delivers. The book is from the 70’s, which is fun for the prehistoric tech enviroment, but not so much for some flat (and sexualized) female characters.

  • Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth. | ★ recommended
    Fun action-thriller page turner with believable superpower (as in good balance of superpower versus its downside). This is a perfect weekend vacation book.

  • Death’s End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past) by Cixin Liu, Ken Liu | ★ recommended
    The final book in The Three-Body Problem trilogy. Among the best Sci-Fi I’ve read. I don’t think it is my favorite of the three, but that’s not saying much given how I love the first two. If you enjoy mind-stretching Sci-Fi, read these books.

  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. | ☆ skip it
    Great premise, powerful start, but it lost me in the second half. Maybe I was expecting more Sci-Fi, and it ends up being more action thriller. If you like do-over books give it a try, but I just went through the motions in the end.

  • The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty) by Ken Liu | ★ recommended
    Borderline fantasy — or as much fantasy as Game of Thrones is. This feels more of an early Roman or Japanese empire story set in a fantasy geography. Fun story with very strong characters.
  • The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth Book 1) by N. K. Jemisin. | ★ recommended
    Fascinating fantasy world. Actually, the world itself is a character, which in a novel with very strong characters says a lot. I’m likely in for the whole series.

  • The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth Book 2) by N. K. Jemisin | ★ recommended
    Suffers a bit as a sequel, but still a great read. It advances the story nicely to the next book, which I’ll read for sure.

  • Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky | ★ recommended
    A new classic hard Sci-Fi about humans leaving earth for the stars… without much of the usual cliches involved. While never dense, it gets a bit slow sometimes, but it’s for good reasons and you get rewarded for it. Among my favorite books of 2016/2017.

  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. | ★ recommended
    Not my typical fiction book, it’s basically a combination of deeply studied viking folklore stories put together, which makes a somewhat coherent book — as much of folklore does. I read it because I love Gaiman and was somewhat intrigued by the topic. I enjoyed it a lot more than expected.

Non-fiction


  1. Just realized I didn’t review that book, will add soon.

April 24, 2017

» Spotify looking at hardware talent

You will be leading an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles.

Spotify bluetooth/4G headphones? smartwatch? green discman? lots of fun possibilities.

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April 21, 2017

» The Fifth Element’ Returning to Theaters for 20th Anniversary

A 4K restoration of the 1997 space epic will hit multiplexes on Sunday, May 14th and Wednesday, May 17th as part of Fathom Events’ 20th anniversary re-release, Entertainment Weekly reports.

This is babysitter worthy. Will report.

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April 21, 2017

» Steph Curry Eliminates Unnecessary Distractions’ by Deleting Social Media Apps

The Golden State Warriors superstar recently told Chris Haynes of ESPN that he deleted all of the social media apps from his phone before the playoffs began. The reason behind it, of course, is he wants to devote all of his attention toward winning another championship. 

I think the time for early adopters to adopt no social apps is here.

/via jamcnn

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April 21, 2017

» Firefox 53 new minimal themes

Firefox 43Firefox 43

That’s why today’s release of Firefox for desktop ships with two new themes: Compact Light and Compact Dark. Compact Light shrinks the size of the browser’s user interface (the chrome’) while maintaining Firefox’s default light color scheme.

Enjoying the new themes, and snappiness of Firefox versus Chrome. Will use it as my work default for a few days.

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April 19, 2017

» Cal Newport on doing Deep Work and escaping social media — The Ezra Klein Show

[…] I’m a bit obsessed with Newport’s work right now, and especially his account of how the digital environment we inhabit is training us out of concentration and into distraction in ways that are bad for us, bad for our work, and ultimately bad for the world.

Halfway through the episode and I already deleted all social apps from my phone again — will use the websites for the next month.

/via coliver.

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April 17, 2017

The Verily Smartwatch (from Alphabet) looks like a Pebble, [battery] lasts like a Pebble, and quacks like a Pebble. Still sad that Pebble as a company didn’t survive.

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April 17, 2017

» Seeing Theory

A visual introduction to probability and statistics.

I say amazing a lot, but this is AMAZING.

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April 14, 2017

Waiting for a calm and peaceful moment tonight to watch The Last Jedi teaser trailer. Excited.

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April 14, 2017

» The Alphabet Book

Great lesson on idle time. I just want to print the results somewhere.

R for RobotR for Robot

[…] I gave myself the challenge to create a set of illustrations, from A to Z that would hopefully end in some sort of Alphabet Kid’s Book.

More cool designs at Ål Power website.

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April 13, 2017

» Increment Magazine

Amazing online magazine from the team at Stripe:

Increment is dedicated to covering how teams build and operate software systems at scale, one issue at a time.

Just skimming the first issue makes me realize I would have paid for it. This is a great contribution to the tech community.

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April 12, 2017

Hadn’t noticed until reading reviews about Grand Amiral Thrawn new novel that it become obvious how humanocentric/racist/xenophobic the Empire was versus the Rebels.

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April 12, 2017

» Sublime Text 3 new icon

Among some welcomed better High DPI support and fixes, Build 3128 of ST3 has nice looking new icon:

Sublime Text 3 new iconSublime Text 3 new icon

No more replacing the default icon by me.

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April 11, 2017

Things 3 beta is super clean. The one missing feature that made me stop using it is included (won’t spoil it). Just hope it gets a lot more keyboard shortcuts before launch — my second issue in the past.

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April 11, 2017

The Star Wars Battlefront II Teaser looks amazing. Video was pulled down.

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