The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

One of the major US events in the 1970s is the oil embargo. Historical documents about the embargo includes photos of long lines for gas and countless shortages. Rationing policies had to implemented to ensure that there was enough for everyone.

By David Falconer, Photographer — This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the National Archives Identifier (NAID) 555474., Public Domain,

This was not the case last week, when our supply was not actually limited. The supply chains we’ve built were hijacked, preventing our ample supply from getting to the right places. That didn’t stop hoarding, price gouging, and panic.

The panic was ultimately silly and certainly exacerbated…

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

A “moonshot” is all the rage. 10x engineering. Big ideas. Big execution. Dream.

Yet do moonshots actually work?

Obviously yes, you’ll say. After all, the phrase was coined after the original moonshot: literally going to the moon.

The literal moonshot

At the same time, many moonshots we have today seem to fail. In particular, there are two that I’ve recently one into.


Makani was founded in 2006 to tackle the problem of renewable energy. They decided that the best thing to do was deploy large kites on offshore platforms to generate…

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

I haven’t really been following along with the controversies at the Free Software Foundation. Apparently Richard Stallman was kicked out but now is being welcomed back. That has made a number of people angry that such a prominent organization is taking back this person.

This post is not about this controversy at all, and I don’t intend to defend this decision at all. Rather, I keep wondering how much this decision matters. How much does the FSF actually matter in my life, and the software industry in general?

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

There are a variety of tools to build a blockchain-based web app. For example, you can see a simple banking app below:

Simple Bank on the web, with deposit/withdraw smart contracts

These contracts were written in Solidity and executed through Truffle. While I could verify they worked, getting them to run in a browser environment was hard. In fact, there is basically no documentation on the integration of these technologies.

This blog post gives you a setup of everything together, but does not go into the specifics of building a simple bank. …

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

I’ve been a fan of Spotify ever since they launched in the US. The ability to stream music rather than storing hundreds of gigabytes of MP3 files had a profound effect on how I listen to music. Beyond that, the weekly recommendations I get are often spot-on, and I have discovered many new artists this way.

However, as I have continued to listen to songs I started to notice certain patterns. These song titles bridged across artist, genre, and decade. I started collecting these songs in specialized playlists…

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

Cyanobyte logo

Over the past few years I’ve continued to iterate on this idea I’ve had for a while. When building applications for embedded devices, you’ve often need to connect to a peripheral using something like I2C. This requires you to either look for an existing library for that device on your platform, or write the library yourself from scratch.

For embedded software this is often an exercise in frustration, having to read through convoluted datasheets or cherry-picking from manufacturer sample code.

Cyanobyte was created to define a common spec…

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

I enjoy writing code. In fact it’s the easiest part of my job. Knowing what code to write, and getting reviewers to agree, is certainly a more human and less fun part.

These reviews may go through several layers including style, functionality, and sometimes even the title of my commit. Many years ago there was a lot of debate we had over the way we write commit titles, whether to past tense, present tense, or imperative tense.

  • Past: “Added new field”
  • Present: “Adds new field”
  • Imperative: “Add new…

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

I’m all-in on RSS, the standard used to subscribe to updates from a website. I’ve spent close to a decade subscribing to various news sources and webcomics, occasionally adding and removing feeds.

Paying for news is important as well, as newsrooms shutting down have created a vacuum for misinformation and malicious actors to grift. Increasing the number of paid news sources is one goal I’ve had this year.

Additionally I have purchased a subscription to Feedly Pro. After Google Reader shut down, I easily transitioned to Feedly and…

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

A little while ago, I came across a blog post on FreeCodeCamp about how the author wrote their own programming language. In my time I’ve used a wide variety of programming languages, and the choices made for different syntaxes have been interesting. It led me to wonder what choice I would make.

Defining the syntax can be the easiest part of a language, as then you need to write the tooling to make it work. After reading a second blog post, I took the route of transpiling my…

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

Good morning!

A few weeks ago I was working on a side-project that involved checking into various entities. While this implementation is coffee, it could be easily swapped out for other types of crafts, like pizza or tea by changing a few strings. It’s also a Progressive Web App, making it easily accessible across platforms.

s/coffee/anything else/

Everything is hosted on Firebase, using its services for authentication, hosting, databases, and server execution. In particular, Firebase Callable Functions make it trivial to serve authenticated code with JSON payloads. …

Nick Felker

Social Media Expert -- Rowan University 2017 -- IoT & Assistant @ Google

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