Four short links: 24 July 2020
Audrey Tang, Remoting, Datomic Internals, and Service Meshes
- How Taiwan’s Unlikely Digital Minister Hacked the Pandemic — Taiwan and Audrey Tang occupy a unique spot in a world, where the ascendance of the internet and digital technology is marked by the twin dystopias of “post-truth” information chaos in the United States and China’s totalitarian, technologically mediated surveillance-and-censorship regime. With Audrey Tang as the symbolic figurehead, the island nation is making the radical argument that digital tools can be effectively used to build stronger, more open, more accountable democracies. Whether the challenge is fighting disinformation campaigns orchestrated by hostile powers or the existential threat of a virus run amok or simply figuring out how to regulate Uber, Taiwan is demonstrating the best ways technology can be used to marry the energy and talents of civil society with the administrative powers of government bureaucracy. A strong profile of Taiwan’s Digital Minister, who happens to be a former Perl hacker.
- Microsoft’s Remote Workforce — Microsoft looked at the way that the Covid lockdown changed the patterns of work at their organisation. People worked four more hours a week, on average, but at all sorts of hours. Multitasking during meetings didn’t spike, even though people weren’t in the same room. 10% more meetings, but they skewed towards 30m or less rather than the hour-long previous norm. Interestingly, we found that the employees who averaged the most weekly one-on-one time with their managers experienced the smallest increase in working hours.
- Unofficial Guide to Datomic Internals — How it works: persistence, indexing, query execution, and caching. Datomic is a distributed implementation of Datalog, which regular readers will know I have a fondness for.
- You Don’t Need No Service Mesh — if you have a fleet of healthy services written in a single application stack, then it’s a good idea to think twice before introducing a service mesh. By simply introducing or evolving a shared RPC library, you’ll get the exact same benefits and avoid dealing with the downsides of maintaining service meshes. Some architecture advice for the weekend.