I hope you had a great start into the new year and while it’s an arbitrary date, many of us take it as an opportunity to try to change something in their lives. I think it’s well worth doing that and I wish you all the best to be able to match your realisitic goals. For me, I’ll start working on my mindfulness, on being able to focus, and on pursuing my dream of building an ethically correct, human company with Colloq that provides real value to users and is profitable by its users.
- This year started quite interesting for those who work with Computers. Researchers have shown that nearly every CPU from the last decade (or event longer) is vulnerable to memory side-channel timing attacks. Quite nasty, especially if you think about what this means for Cloud providers whose complete server and CPU architecture is based on shared hardware. Even worse, the bugs cannot be fixed via a simple software update—it’ll require new processor artchitectures to eliminate the fundamental issues. By now, most operating systems, browser vendors, and CPU vendors have released software patches for the known attack surfaces which should keep the biggest issues away for a while. But with it, huge performance impacts have shown up, for some doubling the load on their servers. Here’s the Project Zero announcement of the vulnerability, the Chromium statement, the Apple statement and Mozilla’s explanation how they try to mitigate the attacks in Firefox.
- Gunes Acar shows how ad scripts can pull data from user’s password manager in the browser. There’s help for users using proper adblock plugins, and things site owners can do.
font-displayplayground is a nice interactive page that shows and explains the different options we now have when using the new CSS
font-displayproperty to optimize the load of web fonts.
- Vitaly Friedman updated last year’s Front-end performance checklist for 2018 which you can use for every project this year.
- When Rob Dodson started to ensure accessibility for websites, he wanted to write automated tests. Now he shares why it’s not possible to test a screen reader yet and shares what’ll come in future.
- Peter O'Shaughnessy shares how to get started with the Payment Request API for online payments in the browser.
- Jason Grigsby explains again why it’s important to be careful when to ask for additional permission on a website. With a recent change in Chrome 63 a user won’t see the permission screen again if he blocks it first time. This is the result of 90% of the requests not being allowed by Chrome users previously.
Work & Life
- In the past year, the raising inequality between humans was a highly prioritised topic. But what should equality really look like? A question that so far has rarely been asked and Jo Litter is taking a stand now.
- In Kai Stinchcombe’s thought-provoking “Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain” he analyzes the blockchain technology, its initial goals, what it achieved so far and why most of the available services and currencies based on the blockchain are purely made for profit of single persons or private companies.
- Susan Wu says it’s now time for innovators to take responsibility for their creations. This is about the problems Twitter, Facebook, Uber, AirBnB and lots of other services cause to the world’s humanity. This is about Facebook causing people to end their lives, others seeing it, Twitter actively helping hate speech to be seen by loads of people, AirBnB destroying house rents in cities all over the world, sending people indirectly into homelessness. But most importantly, this is a thoughtful article about what social networks and platforms like the named ones could do to improve peoples’ lives and why it’s not smart by their leaders to only go after profit.
If you wonder what happened to your recurring donation you set up, I need to inform you that the provider has ended the service to the end of 2017 and I yet have no replacement. I’d love if you use the one time donation PayPal button for now until I have come up with a new solution that suits everyone.