Week 2023-W31 in reading

Voyager 2 Communications Pause

Source: NASA Mission Update: Voyager 2 Communications Pause

Voyager 2, the space probe launched in 1977 and still working, has pointed its antenna 2 degrees away from the Earth, making communication impossible at the moment. However, the spacecraft has been designed so carefully, that it is programmed to reset its orientation multiple times each year, so it's just a pause in communication most probably.

This is the very opposite of move fast, break things. I admire this careful and thoughtful engineering, but rarely see it nowadays in this “fast moving world”. (Voyager is by no means slow, moving at a velocity of 15374.14 m/s. See mission status for up-to-date details.)

Musk threatens to sue researchers

Source: Musk threatens to sue researchers who documented the rise in hateful tweets

Center for Countering Digital Hate, a non-profit organisation campaigning to stop providing services to individuals promoting hate and/or spreading misinformation, had published a report about Twitter's profits from anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric (see Toxic Twitter). Now Musk threatens to sue CCDH for publishing that report. So the guy pretending to be a free speech advocate actively fights against results of independent research and suspends Twitter accounts he dislikes at a whim.

If he wins, it might have chilling effect on other researchers studying Twitter.

Side note: isn't it funny how Musk names everything with “X”? First he had X.com' (an online bank), then SpaceX, then Tesla Model X, and now it's X.com again, but this time he claims it's going to be like-Twitter-but-with-banking-capabilities. But of course this is a move to allure investors…

Read more:

Rice crops threatened by El Niño

Source: Rice crops are being threatened by El Nino after grain supplies were disrupted by the war in Ukraine

The title already says a lot about the situation: there was war in Ukraine, and then El Niño came and made things even worse. It's already anticipated that this would impact global economy.

Common Lisp software helped discover the farthest star ever observed

Source: Franz’s Allegro CL® Used for Scheduling the Hubble Space Telescope Discovery of Earendel

Software written in Common Lisp (SPIKE) has aided discovery of Earendel.

See? Lisp isn't dead, it just smells funny!

Cargo pants

I've been searching for information about cargo pants and how those cargo pockets can or should be used. Haven't found too much, but The Baldwin Articles – Cargo Pockets is interesting as it gives an overview of evolution of cargo pants.

Kara za dziennikarskie śledztwo o Macierewiczu

Źródło: Władza przeciw sędziemu, czyli kara za dziennikarskie śledztwo o Macierewiczu

W latach 90-tych kontrwywiad prowadził operację, ale gdy resort MSW przejął Macierewicz, śledztwo przerwano. Teraz dziennikarze, którzy to ujawnili a przede wszystkim sędzia, który pozwolił dziennikarzom na wzgląd w akta, są szykanowani.

Staying organised in "Agile organisation"

Source: Becoming More Efficient and Productive in a Distracted World

While hints presented in this article are not totally new to me, I did need someone to remind me about these practices.

  1. Productive meetings:
    • have a goal,
    • should be attended by people prepared to take part,
    • should produce decisions and/or action items.
  2. Staying focused:
    • blocking time for focused, deep work,
    • eliminating distractions (notifications, unnecessary open applications),
    • daily planning and following the plan.
  3. Routines:
    • daily: plan in the morning, reflect and re-plan in the evening,
    • weekly and quarterly planning