Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reading digest 01

Right, sometimes I'd like to share some of the cool/useful/thoughtful things that I've read/watched, so here goes. Note that this may look like an odd mix, but so are my interests :)

The Useful

Demystifying this in JavaScript — as it says on the tine, a brief overview of how “this” is handled in JS. Some interesting nuances with it (or, shall I say, this) depending on the way you call a function, and also ways to override it (this!) if needed. Also, the article has a GIF that is both one of the funniest and one of the saddest at the same time.

Scott Hanselman's 2014 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows — a huge (no exaggeration) list of Windows tools and tweaks, often offering several options. A good read to see if you've missed any of recent (or old) developments. I am sure to go back to this list every once in a while.

How to write at work — business communication is something I do all the time at work, so not much new here frankly, yet I greatly enjoy more people talking about how to write properly. The sad part is that people who really need to see such advice probably don't care. The main message, as always, is think (!) before you hit that “Send”.

The Thoughtful

'Marines Don't Do That': Mastering The Split-Second Decision — I'll put this under “Work”, since sticking to our principles is what matters in the end. Especially if you believe in God, yet for everyone else too. Would you be comfortable telling your children what you’re planning to do? Will you sleep well? Will you be able to calm your conscience year down the road, when the money earned by an immoral decision is already spent, and all you're left with is yourself?

The Smartest Book About Our Digital Age Was Published in 1929 — I find this parallel fascinating (not everyone does, and a brief FB argument sparked to life about this article), as well as the general observation of the world turning its back on educated opinion in less precise fields. If you need a site made — you'll take someone with experience. If you need a music commentary — you'll rather trust someone who splashes in the same kiddie pool as you are in, over someone who'll attempt to take you to new heights. This is how I behave, too, sadly. Applies to everything with at least one level of abstraction.

The Interesting

How to draw gesture — a lot of such videos around, yet this one concentrates on 30 seconds and 2 minute poses, what shortcuts are required, how motion is emphasised (over contour), with a lot of quick examples (note that this is N-e-SFW — not entirely safe for work). Need to do more of these, I never managed to get into the habit.

How it's made: Piano — unfortunately a lower-resolution video, yet still very impressive. How much time, care and precision goes into making one of the most beautiful instruments in the world!

The Bizarre

This is an actual academic paper about tracking time travelers online — sharing this in the hopes of promoting the idea so that, perhaps, some future readers notice this and post the requested hashtags in the past. If they do, though, I will not need to post this link anymore, so in the new future they will not find out about the hashtags, and then… Doc, help me out here!

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