Link for 2020-04-22

Valuable Dev Principles, Terms and Conditions for Stealing Ideas, Google "Privacy", Google Biased AI, Pandoc for Books, YAML, Oaths, Amazon, DI in Rust.

The Valuable Dev Principles

I know we are all tired of those manifestos and such, to the point that we are signing those without even reading the whole thing. But this isn't this kind of article: It discusses a lot of what the "value" we, developers, produce.

(Ok, it is not a manifesto, but you have to agree that the title sound like one.)

Hundreds of companies assert usage rights over all ideas sent through their services

I mentioned the perils of picking a license a few days ago, and today we have an article about the perils of... licenses to use.

Basically, one very prominent app have a clause that says they can use everything that goes into their services, including "any ideas, inventions, concepts, techniques or know-how disclosed wherein". Sounds awesome, doesn't it? You're there, discussing some wild ideas with your friend, you guys come with the next big app idea and suddenly... this company releases it before you two. You think "I'll sue them", and they will just point to the terms and services and show that you allowed them to do this.

Ok, hyperboles, I know. But the fact that terms and conditions are so large and so hard to read shows that we have a problem1.

Google can still use Bluetooth to track your Android phone when Bluetooth is turned off

While Apple abuses its walled garden to get some things outside some ecosystem, Google does what Google does: Capture your data even when you say you don't want data to be captured.

This should come with no surprise to anyone watching Google in the last years.

Google Cloud's AI recog code 'biased' against black people – and more from ML land

There are a bunch of topics there, but the one that caught my eye was exactly the "Google AI biased against black people". It's not the first time I read something like that: When Google Photos got auto-labeling, it tagged black people as "gorillas".

It seems Google still doesn't understand how those things work: If you hire a bunch of white people -- and only white people -- what do you think will happen with your learning profiles?

Also, remember these two stories next time Google do a promotion for MLK day.

Writing a Book with Pandoc, Make, and Vim

One thing I took from this: Pandoc can convert Markdown files directly into PDF.

YAML: probably not so great after all

I mentioned this before: Sometimes, the problem with the configuration format is not the format itself, but the way the configuration options were created.

And I know that, when talking about configuration files, YAML is the favourite format to get some bashing.

But you can agree that some options here make sense, but aren't being processed in the right way.

... although I have to wonder if some issues would be solved by processing the YAML in a language that has strong types, so the incoming "013" would be processed as a string instead of an octal. Maybe we need a YAML-schema format to feed into the YAML processing libraries so they know the type? And if that's the case, can't we come up with a format that already has a type definition in it?

Types Over Strings: Extensible Architectures in Rust

How to do a proper dependency injection in Rust.

Collections: Oaths! How do they Work?

Completely unrelated to technology -- which is what I usually post -- but this article about the meaning and workings of an oath and a vow is really interesting.

Amazon fires three critics of warehouse conditions in pandemic

You know, there is something really stupid when someone is criticizing their own company and that company fires that person. What would you expect? People claiming "Yeah, you can't bad mouth your company!"?


This is kinda getting the catchphrase for these posts, isn't it?

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