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I criticized Amazon's policies in a blog – their lawyers have subpoenaed me

  • Amazon's policies prevent sellers from offering lower prices off-Amazon, which leads to higher prices for consumers.
  • The state of California filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, citing the blogger's article as evidence and making him a witness.
  • Amazon's lawyers have subpoenaed the blogger for documents and demanded more after receiving them, causing financial and legal stress for the blogger, but Amazon risks losing the lawsuit and potentially facing a breakup.

Industry Reactions

  • Amazon has subpoenaed critics and expert witnesses in a legal battle with the state of California, requesting personal and business documents.
  • The discovery process can be overwhelming and costly for third-party witnesses, who can file a Motion to Quash subpoena to limit scope.
  • The case highlights Amazon's third-party seller policies and their effects on competition, with ongoing investigations in the UK.

Federal judge: Border searches of cell phones require a warrant

  • A district court judge in New York has ruled that a warrant is required for a cell phone search at the border, "absent exigent circumstances".
  • This decision is historic and is a significant win for EFF, who have been advocating for a warrant for border searches of electronic devices for nearly a decade.
  • The Supreme Court has not yet considered the application of the border search exception to smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices that contain the equivalent of millions of pages of information detailing the most intimate details of our lives.

Industry Reactions

  • A federal judge has ruled that border searches of cell phones require a warrant, protecting the Fourth Amendment rights of US citizens and setting a precedent for reciprocity.
  • The phone industry is criticized for soldering on memory, which impedes users' ability to swap out components.
  • The ruling clarifies that travelers' mobile phones are protected by constitutional privacy rights, requiring border authorities to show justifiable reason for searches.

JMAP – a modern email open standard

  • JMAP is a new email standard that is open to innovators and developers, and was recently published by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
  • It is an alternative to proprietary email APIs that only work with Gmail and aims to meet modern expectations of developers and users for connectivity, efficiency, and mobile access.
  • JMAP offers faster and more secure email management, better mobile access, and is open to all users everywhere. It has free resources available for client developers and implementers, and you can join the JMAP community for email updates from the IETF working group.

Industry Reactions

  • JMAP simplifies integration of masked emails and FastMail offers a workaround with "sending identities"
  • FastMail is an independent email service with beloved features and pricing but lacking end-to-end encryption
  • JMAP is a potential alternative to IMAP/SMTP, but adoption is limited due to Gmail's monopoly and lack of clients and support

Rust has been forked to the Crab Language

  • Crab Programming Language is a new programming language with its compiler, standard library, and documentation.
  • It has a build system, used for building the compiler, which manages the bootstrapping process.
  • To build and use Crab, the user must install dependencies such as python 3 or 2.7, git, C compiler, curl, pkg-config, libiconv, CMake 3.13.4, libstdc++-static, and OpenSSL (libssl-dev or openssl-devel).

Industry Reactions

  • A community fork of Rust called CrabLang has been created due to disagreements over Rust's trademark policy and leadership.
  • There are concerns that the fork could lead to fragmentation and confusion within the Rust community.
  • Some argue that forking could benefit both parties and provide a necessary solution to existing problems, while others believe ignoring the drama is best.

I gave commit rights to someone I didn't know (2016)

  • Trusting OSS contributors can have positive effects, even more than expected, as it makes them take their contributions more seriously.
  • Giving a diligent contributor commit rights can lead to them maintaining and improving the project even further, as demonstrated by the experience of django-money.
  • The popularity and success of django-money was due to a series of contributors, including someone given commit rights by the original author, who maintained and improved the project over time.

Industry Reactions

  • Giving commit rights to unknown contributors can lead to abuse and the hijacking of open-source projects.
  • Good commit messages and clear communication are crucial for managing code changes in open-source projects.
  • Trust in colleagues and responsibility for code ownership are important for effective software development.

I open sourced the QR designer from my failed startup

  • The QR Designer is a web app that allows users to create QR codes with custom designs in the middle section.
  • Unlike other QR code generators, this one does not use error correction and instead deterministically turns certain pixels on or off while maintaining the code's destination.
  • The designer requires URLs to be exactly 25 characters long and alphanumeric, and can be installed and run on Node version 16.

Industry Reactions

  • A user has open-sourced their QR designer from a failed startup.
  • The designer allows for arbitrary designs in the middle area of the QR while still being scannable.
  • The startup was building a link shortener with the mini-website host, but the designer was an added bonus. The startup failed because the creator did not sell it.

Where have you found community outside of work?

  • The post is a discussion thread on Hacker News, where people are sharing how they found community outside of work, primarily in the tech industry.
  • The thread includes a variety of responses from attending meetups and conferences to joining online communities and playing sports.
  • Some people also shared how they found community through non-tech-related activities or hobbies.

Industry Reactions

  • People suggest various options for finding community outside of work, including hobbies with events, block parties, welcoming neighbors, volunteering, and joining sports teams or clubs that share your interests.
  • Emphasis is placed on finding places where psychological safety is high so that people can be vulnerable and form real connections.
  • It is important to find a community that aligns with personal values and interests.

Purely Functional Data Structures (1996) [pdf]

Industry Reactions

  • Purely functional data structures promote immutability and declarative programming, aiding concurrency and reducing bugs
  • Reasoning about amortized runtimes is critical when working with functional data structures
  • Different hardware may be better suited for different collections of hardware and workloads

Plane: Open-Source Alternative to Jira

  • Plane is an open-source project planning tool for managing issues, sprints, and product roadmaps.
  • Users can customize their project view with different layouts, create custom filters, and use Command + K to navigate projects easily.
  • Plane also offers an AI-powered notepad-like function called Pages to synchronize with issues and a feature to sync GitHub issues for better collaboration and tracking.

Industry Reactions

  • Makeplane has released the open-source alternative to Jira called Plane, which is getting attention from users due to its speed and front-end extensibility with the Propel framework.
  • Jira's effectiveness depends on the experience of the managers and project managers, and there are challenges using it, such as slow performance and workflow/transitions issues.
  • Critics suggest that proper setup and knowledge of Jira's features are crucial for improving the efficiency of the system, while some users suggest that Jira's state could derive from the codebase to solve discrepancies between code and project management tools. Atlassian, Jira's developer, is pushing customers to move to their cloud system, and they have discontinued server-tier licensing.

How to Stare at Your Phone Without Losing Your Soul

  • The amount of time spent staring at your phone doesn't matter as much as whether your phone is a needy, attention-sucking vampire. If it is, the only healthy screen time is no screen time.
  • The quality, not quantity, of time spent staring at screens should be evaluated. Apps that do their job and politely step aside are better parameters to evaluate quality.
  • Improving the relationship with your phone requires conscious decisions, like couples therapy for you and your tech. Ask yourself if your phone is a helpful assistant or a demanding boss.

Industry Reactions

  • Strategies for reducing screen time include setting up focus modes, putting the phone away, using website blockers, and using grayscale mode to reduce the saturation of colors.
  • People are discussing the need to limit screen time, what constitutes healthy vs. unhealthy screen usage, and the difficulty of achieving zero screen time in today's world.
  • The article encourages readers to be mindful of how they use their screens and not let them take over their lives.