The Changelog The Changelog #377  – Pinned

Meet Algo, your personal VPN in the cloud

The commercial VPN industry is a minefield to navigate and many open source solutions are a pain to use or ill-suited for the task. Algo VPN, on the other hand, is a self-hosted personal VPN designed for ease of deployment and security. It uses the securest industry standards, builds on rock-solid solutions like WireGuard and Ansible, and runs on an ever-growing list of cloud hosting providers.

On this episode Dan Guido –CEO of security firm Trail of Bits and Algo’s creator– joins Jerod to discuss the project in depth.

Founders Talk Founders Talk #68

Becoming an accidential founder

Mike McDerment is the founder and CEO of FreshBooks. Believe it or not, Mike became a founder by accident. Like many of us, Mike had an itch that he just had to scratch. One thing led to another and soon enough FreshBooks became a key tool in the belt of many freelancers and agencies looking for an easy way to send invoices and get paid quickly online. We talk through the early days of FreshBooks and how things came to be, why they created a secret competitor to iterate on a bold idea for the future of FreshBooks, and we also cover what keeps Mike excited.

Learn github.com

How I write backends

From late 2012 to the present I have been writing backends (server-side code) for web applications. This document summarizes many aspects of how I write these pieces of code.

I’m writing this lore down for three purposes:

  1. Share it with you.
  2. Systematize it for future reference and improvement.
  3. Learn from your feedback.

JS Party JS Party #111

Lesser known things browsers can do in 2020

Did you know you can make a device vibrate via a webpage? Neither did we until we popped open Luigi De Rosa’s super cool repo that collects many of the lesser known things browsers can do in 2020.

On this episode we hang out on his list and discuss which APIs were surprises to us, which we think are the most useful, which we wish would die in a fire (sorta), and what you might get if you mash up a few of these APIs.

Heroku Icon Heroku – Sponsored

🎧 GraphQL's benefits and costs

This week’s episode from Heroku’s Code[ish] podcast covers the costs and benefits of GraphQL. GraphQL is a querying language with the aim of increasing the productivity of frontend and backend developers. It can make working with React easier, be used as an API for third-party clients, and allow for feature-rich applications to request precisely the data they need. Like any part of your stack, GraphQL isn’t a panacea. The language is still being developed, and has some limitations. Tanmai Gopal, the CEO of Hasura, guides us through the pros and cons of using GraphQL in your application.

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Uber Engineering Icon Uber Engineering

Uber's new GTN algorithm speeds up deep learning by 9x

Here’s a new acronym for you: Generative Teaching Networks (GTN)

GTNs are deep neural networks that generate data and/or training environments on which a learner (e.g., a freshly initialized neural network) trains before being tested on a target task (e.g., recognizing objects in images). One advantage of this approach is that GTNs can produce synthetic data that enables other neural networks to learn faster than when training on real data. That allowed us to search for new neural network architectures nine times faster than when using real data.

Fake data, real results? Sounds pretty slick.

Chris Coyier CSS-Tricks

JAMstack vs. Jamstack

Chris Coyier:

The “official website” changed their language from JAMstack (evoking the JavaScript, APIs, and Markup acronym) to Jamstack. It’s nothing to be overly concerned about, but I care as someone who has to write the word in a professional context quite often. If we’re going to “Jamstack,” so be it.

I prefer JAMstack, myself, but I think the Ajax analogy he quotes is an apt one. Aside: if this trend continues, Chris and the team might need to rename the site to “Jamstack-Tricks” soon.

Oh, and while we’re here: It’s Changelog not ChangeLog 😄

Linode Icon Linode – Sponsored

Linode Kubernetes Engine is here!

Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE) is a fully-managed container orchestration engine for deploying and managing containerized applications and workloads. LKE combines Linode’s ease of use and simple pricing with the infrastructure efficiency of Kubernetes. You can now get your infrastructure and workloads up and running in minutes instead of days. If you’ve been following along with the Changelog infrastructure, you’ll be pleased to know we’re rolling out LKE as we speak. We love what we’ve seen so far! Oh and be sure to use the code changelog2019 or changelog2020 (whichever works) to get our special pricing.

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JavaScript github.com

A tiny (196B) JS utility to generate calendar views

I love how much is squeezed into this truly tiny library.

import calendarize from 'calendarize';

// Week = [Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat]
const view = calendarize(new Date('2019-12-20'));
//=> [
//=>   [ 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  7],
//=>   [ 8,  9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14],
//=>   [15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21],
//=>   [22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28],
//=>   [29, 30, 31,  0,  0,  0,  0],
//=> ]

Check out the demo to see it in action.

Side note: the demo “reimplements” jQuery in one line:

const $ = document.querySelector.bind(document);

This reminds me of how I answered a question in our Slack recently about whether or not I’d use Umbrella JS again if starting a new project today.

if I were merely doing JS sprinkles I’d probably just write a few ‘ergonomics’ functions around querySelector and friends.

The web really has come a long way in a short time.

The New Stack Icon The New Stack

Deploy a pod on CentOS with Podman

If you’ve been following along in the open source news cycle lately, you’ve probably heard that Red Hat has dropped the docker container runtime engine from both its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS Linux distributions.

I must not be following along, because that’s news to me.

That being the case, what do you do when you need to deploy containers? Fortunately, they’ve created a near drop-in replacement for docker, called Podman.

Podman is a rename from kpod, sorta. The new thing is actually called libpod, and Podman exists as the CLI for that library. It’s all a bit confusing, but what’s cool is none of this requires a daemon like the Docker Engine.

If you’d like to give it a go, this walk-through by The New Stack will get you started.

Jobs github.com

The path to a software architect

What exactly is a software architect, anyhow?

A software architect is a software expert who makes high-level design choices and dictates technical standards, including software coding standards, tools, and platforms. (Source: Wikipedia: Software Architect)

If that’s something you’d like to do (or are doing, but want to do it better), then this is a great resource for you. It covers the levels of architecture, important skills to obtain, books to read, and a technology roadmap.

Svelte github.com

A Svelte compiler & watcher that works with Snowpack

The goal of svelvet is to make svelte play nicely with snowpack and web_modules.

As of today, svelte depends on a loader for webpack or rollup which compiles your svelte components into individual js files. Since snowpack’s goal is to avoid the need for a bundler, we can’t use those loaders, but we can use svelte’s internal compiler api to do 95% of the work for us. On top of that, svelvet adds automatic file watching to recompile your svelte files just like a loader would, but much faster!

I’m not gonna lie, any green field that offers a super light build process is looking pretty stinkin’ green these days. That being said, there’s a reason we call it the bleeding edge.

Victor Zhou victorzhou.com

A gentle introduction to Visual Question Answering using neural networks

Show us humans a picture of someone in uniform on a mound of dirt throwing a ball and we will quickly tell you we’re looking at baseball. But how do you make a computer come to the same conclusion?

Visual Question Answering

In this post, we’ll explore basic methods for performing VQA and build our own simple implementation in Python

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