The Best of the Internets

When Engineers Become Whistle-Blowers

Ralph Nader is absolutely right:

“We need more engineers who embody the three principles of any profession – independence, scholarly pursuits, and commitment to public service. Those are the vital ethical pillars to helping engineers withstand the great pressures to place commercial priorities over their engineering integrity and limit harm to the public.”



Nothing Fails Like Success

From optimistically conceived origins and message statements about making the world a better place, too many websites and startups have become the leading edge of bias and trauma, especially for marginalized and at-risk groups.

This is an important read.




Online Hate Is a Deadly Threat. When Will Tech Companies Finally Take It Seriously?

I am 100% in favor of social media platforms taking a proactive stance against online harassment, bullying, threats, and the like. Sadly, few are doing much (if anything about it).

Tech companies also need to make their content moderation training materials publicly available so anti-hate advocates and the public can make sure the trainings accurately reflect what we need to feel safe on these platforms. Recent leaks of moderation materials have shown these documents to be woefully inadequate – one leak of a Facebook manual featured passages lifted straight from Wikipedia. When asked for comment by one media outlet, Facebook directed it to the “community standards” document the company released to the public. A $500 billion company such as Facebook should have higher standards than a college freshman rushing to finish a term paper.


Smart Bundling: How to Serve Legacy Code Only to Legacy Browsers

While this approach is total overkill for pretty much anything I build, if you have a lot of JavaScript, especially JavaScript that uses newer language features, you might consider taking an approach like this. IT ensures the broadest level of support for your app without penalizing more modern browsers by making them download polyfills and transpired code they don’t need.

Great work!



Hard Costs of Third-Party Scripts

Dave has an excellent round-up of considerations when looking at your reliance on 3rd party scripts (or any 3rd party resources, for that matter). Most are hidden and all have a serious effect on download performance, UI responsiveness, and, ultimately, user experience.

The Web is an undependable place, so this shouldn’t be very surprising.