Google Search is Dying

Reddit is currently the most popular search engine. The only people who don’t know that are the team at Reddit, who can’t be bothered to build a decent search interface. So instead we resort to using Google, and appending the word “reddit” to the end of our queries. […] Why are people searching Reddit specifically? The short answer is that Google search results are clearly dying. The long answer is that most of the web has become too inauthentic to trust. »

A historian perspective on blockchain technology

One of my recent discoveries is A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry by Bret Devereaux, an historian who’s been posting great content over the years. His Fireside Fridays, for example, provide intriguing musings on varied topics. In this week instalment, professor Devereaux takes on the different applications of blockchain technology as seen from a historian’s perspective. Really, this is less about the technologies themselves and more about the nature of states. »

A Passage To Parenthood

A very touching Akhil Sharma in The New Yorker: Not long after we began dating, my now wife, Christine, and I started making up stories about the child we might have. We named the child—or, in the stories we told about him, he named himself—Suzuki Noguchi. Among the things we liked about him was that he was cheerfully indifferent to us. He did not wish to be either Irish (like Christine) or Indian (like me). »

Author image Nicola Iarocci on #links,

Is Old Music Killing New Music?

I had a hunch that old songs were taking over music streaming platforms—but even I was shocked when I saw the most recent numbers. According to MRC Data, old songs now represent 70% of the US music market. Those who make a living from new music—especially that endangered species known as the working musician—have to look at these figures with fear and trembling. But the news gets worse. I can’t say I can relate as my kids of ages 21, 18, and 16 do their best to stay clear from the music I like, but anyways, Ted Gioia’s latest piece on recent music trends is super-interesting. »

Go James Webb

It’s now old news that the James Webb Telescope was successfully launched on Christmas Day. But last Saturday marked another historic moment for this incredible human artifact: After a quarter-century of effort by tens of thousands of people, more than $10 billion in taxpayer funding, and some 350 deployment mechanisms that had to go just so, the James Webb Space Telescope fully unfurled its wings. The massive spacecraft completed its final deployments, and, by God, the process went smoothly. »

Moxie on Web3

An excellent article on Web3 has just appeared on Moxie Marlinspike’s website. Being Moxie1, he’s not just speculating and rambling about stuff. In an attempt to learn more about the so-called Web3 and the technologies around it, he went all-in and built a couple of dApps himself. Then, he produced an NFT and put it up for sale. What he found is, well, to put it mildly, fascinating. Some of his insights on technology are also interesting. »

System Shock is Back Home

When The Digital Antiquarian released his System Shock retrospective earlier this year, I was in awe. System Shock was one of my favorite games back in the day, and yes, in the quarrel between id Software’s DOOM and Looking Glass’s System Shock, I was siding with the latter. I was so much more for immersion and storyline than shoot ‘em-ups. The Antiquarian article is excellent. If you’re into gaming history or, really, into computer’s history, I urge you to read it all. »

A big nail in the coffin of MySQL

After five years in Oracle’s MySQL team, Steinar H. Gunderson resigned a few days ago. On the same day, he dropped the bomb on his blog: let me point out something that I’ve been saying both internally and externally for the last five years (although never on a stage—which explains why I’ve been staying away from stages talking about MySQL): MySQL is a pretty poor database, and you should strongly consider using Postgres instead1. »

On the incredible opportunities offered by Starship

Space-junkie me is back, this time reading about the innumerable opportunities that SpaceX’s Starship will offer once it becomes operational, hopefully no later than this year or the next. In his Science Upside for Starship, the exceptionally knowledgeable Casey Handmer makes a case for Starship relevance in the future of space exploration by listing an astounding number of reasonable use-cases for the vessel. I think it is relatively straightforward to think of cool things to do with SpaceX Starships, so recent posts have focused on trying to understand the more mixed consequences for incumbent industrial organizations that are not ideally positioned to exploit the coming advances. »

Chet Baker, born to be cool

A great piece of writing on jazz has recently been posted on The Smart Set. In Born to be cool, Matthew Duffus writes about jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, reporting about his troubled life, musical prowess, influence, and legacy. Some facts are well known, like the reception and then the competition with trumpet legends such as Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie; other tidbits are less known (to me at least). On Baker legacy: »

I'm a Moka guy

I’m a Moka guy, always have been. Admittedly, I also like so-called American coffee and, of course, espresso. But every day at my place, I’ll have a Moka-brewed coffee. Twice. As I wake up, and then in the afternoon before getting back to work. I’ve been observing the pods frenzy spreading all around me with curiosity and bewilderment in recent years, with dedicated retailers opening (and often closing soon after) everywhere in my town. »

The posthuman dog

Flo, our dog, spent her whole fifteen-years long life with us. Many, many times after she passed away, I wondered if she lived a happy dog life or not. In The posthuman dog (Aeon), Jessica Pierce poses a fascinating question that somehow helps find answers to my troubling question: If humans were to disappear from the face of the Earth, what might dogs become? And would they be better off without us? »

The word for web is forest

When I read Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake1, I was stunned by the scale and importance of the mycorrhizal network that lies beneath the surface of any given forest in the world. The “wood wide web”, as scientists started to call it, sounded like the perfect metaphor for such an incredibly efficient, symbiotic relation between fungi and trees. »

An nginx playground

Every single time I need nginx, I end up spending way too much time fiddling around with its configuration. If you’re like me, rejoice! Julia Evans built a lovely, helpful little tool called nginx playground. Hello! On Wednesday I was talking to a friend about how it would be cool to have an nginx playground website where you can just paste in an nginx config and test it out. And then I realized it might actually be pretty easy to build, so got excited and started coding and I built it. »

What getting old really feels like

In a new study published in Ageing and Society, researchers Sam Carr and Chao Fang spent over 130 hours interviewing older people to understand what it’s like to get old and cope with loneliness. The Conversation UK features their report, appropriately titled Loneliness, loss and regret: what getting old really feels like. We found that ageing brings about a series of inevitable losses that deeply challenge people’s sense of connection to the world around them. »

ASP.NET 6 Migration Cheatsheet and FAQ

David Fowler has a very informative gist up on GitHub. It’s titled Migration to ASP.NET Core. NET6 and it’s filled with details, recipes and FAQs on migrating an ASP.NET Core 5 web app to ASP.NET Core 61. The focus is on the new, streamlined hosting model, also known as Minimal APIs2. To be clear, You don’t have to move to the new model. As the FAQ section emphasizes: Do I have to migrate to the new hosting model »

The American Style of quotation mark punctuation makes no sense

Years ago, I translated an essay by Terry Windling, On Tolkien and Fairie-Stories, from American English to Italian. I remember arguing with the author about her use of periods in quotations. Each quotation would end with a period before the closing mark. I was puzzled. We don’t do that in Italy. More importantly, I read many English texts where the period was left outside the quotation itself. She insisted that her style was correct1. »

Daft Punk's legendary Alive 2007 concert with remastered audio and 4K video

Someone did it –the perfect Daft Punk tribute after their break up. Also ideal for those hard-coding sessions. For the first time in 14 years, experience Daft Punk like never before! The first professionally recorded live show; revived meticulously by remastering and restoring the audio and video. The Alive 2007 show is considered a staple in live performances featuring the signature ‘Pyramid’ and groundbreaking visuals, which is now complemented by a fully remastered audio track which aims to maximize the experience. »

Get the Fucking Vaccine Already, You Fucking Fucks

Wendy Molyneux, writing unabashedly for McSweeney’s, summarizes all I have to say on the COVID vaccine and never dared to say: You think vaccines don’t fucking work? Oh, fuck off into the trash, you attention-seeking fuckworm-faced shitbutt. This isn’t even a point worth discussing, you fuck-o-rama fuck-stival of ignorance. Vaccines got rid of smallpox and polio and all the other disgusting diseases that used to kill off little fucks like you en masse. »

Performance improvements in .NET6

I’m pretty psyched about the upcoming .NET6 release. I’ve already touched on ASP.NET 6 Minimal APIs. Continuing on the long-established tradition, the team has also worked hard on the performance side of things. File IO, for example, is seeing impressive gains: For .NET 6, we have made FileStream much faster and more reliable, thanks to an almost entire re-write. For same cases, the async implementation is now a few times faster! »