TLDR 2023-10-03

Chromebook Plus 💻, inside Flexport's CEO ousting 🚢, understanding unicode 👨‍💻

The state of developer experience (Sponsor)

Check out this new report by Nylas on the top trends and tools shaping the experience of developers like you. Here are a few discoveries:

💡 98% of developers name APIs as a critical tool for getting work done.

💡 86% of developers expect their use of APIs to increase.

💡 2/3 of developers want their companies to invest in AI workflow automation.

Get the full report to discover what else is on the horizon for developers.

Bonus: If you’re in ecommerce, there’s an upcoming webinar you don’t want to miss. Your checklist to prepare your IT infrastructure for the holiday traffic surge.

Big Tech & Startups

Satya Nadella tells a court that Bing is worse than Google — and Apple could fix it (9 minute read)

Microsoft's Satya Nadella says that a deal to be the exclusive search provider on Apple devices would be a game-changer for Bing. The company was prepared to give Apple all of the economic upside of a deal if Apple were to switch to Bing. It was willing to hide the Bing brand and respect any of the company's privacy wishes. Microsoft was willing to make the deal at any cost due to the data it would gain access to if it became the default search engine for Apple devices.

Chromebook Plus is Google’s new certification for premium Chromebooks (4 minute read)

Chromebook Plus is a new certification to help shoppers identify high-quality Chromebooks. It will be awarded to laptops that have an Intel Core i3 or higher or AMD Ryzen 7000 CPU, an iPS panel with at least 1080p resolution, a 1080p webcam, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Chromebook Plus-certified devices will have access to several AI-powered features such as a magic eraser tool in Google Photos, improvements to lighting and noise cancellation in video conferencing, and Offline File Sync.
Science & Futuristic Technology

How open-source software could finally get the world’s microscopes speaking the same language (15 minute read)

Scientists have been working to standardize image formats for biological microscopy data for two decades. There are now around 160 standard file formats. A new project aims to shrink that number of formats down to a small handful. Having a common format would make it much easier for scientists to do their work - many are currently dealing with formatting issues by relabeling data by hand. There are several cultural and technical barriers to overcome before the project can become successful.

This giant, next-generation satellite is now one of the brightest objects in the night sky (4 minute read)

The BlueWalker 3 communications satellite can turn ordinary smartphones into satellite phones. It is the brightest satellite in low Earth orbit yet, and there are concerns that it may usher in a new generation of satellites that create way more light pollution than their predecessors. The satellite is bright due to its large size. It is about as bright as the eight-brightest star visible from Earth.
Programming, Design & Data Science

The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Must Know About Unicode in 2023 (22 minute read)

Unicode is a standard that aims to unify all human languages and make them work with computers. In practice, it is a table that assigns unique numbers, called code points, to different characters. This article explains what Unicode is and how it works. It covers all the basics as well as some advanced concepts and why some 'bugs' occur with certain characters.

Monitoring health and performance in Elasticsearch (Sponsor)

It’s not always easy to make sense of Elasticsearch health and performance data. This handy cheatsheet by Datadog breaks down:
  • Metrics for high-level cluster health, plus search and indexing performance
  • How to use Datadog’s Elasticsearch dashboard to keep tabs on your cluster
  • Tips and commands for resolving unassigned shards and other common performance issues

Download the cheatsheet 📥

Rethinking reactivity (10 minute read)

Nue is a library for building user interfaces. It is a user-friendly alternative to frameworks like Next.js, Vite, and Sveltekit. Nue uses an HTML-based template syntax perfect for UX developers focusing on interaction design, accessibility, and user experience. Examples of Nue components are available in the article.

The inside story of Dave Clark’s tumultuous last days at Flexport: Standoffs, politics, and spin (17 minute read)

Mixed messages from Flexport founder Ryan Petersen during an on-stage interview a week after Petersen forced Clark out as CEO underscored the dysfunction surrounding the sudden firing of Dave Clark, who was previously one of Jeff Bezos' top deputies. Petersen had publicly criticized Clark for his decisions just days earlier, yet he praised Clark's work and expressed admiration for his achievements during the interview. This article tells an account of Clark's last few days at the company based on conversations with people close to Clark and Petersen.

The Sphere’s first show looks like it was a mind-blowing spectacle (1 minute read)

U2 played the first-ever show at the Las Vegas Sphere on September 29. The band will play in a series of performances at the venue through the end of December, with the cheapest tickets going for around $400. Videos posted to social media show how breathtaking shows in The Sphere can be. Videos taken by concertgoers from inside The Sphere are available in the article.

Want to be part of TLDR? (TLDR Job)

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If you know someone who would be a good fit, please refer them to us and we will send you $2000 if we hire them.

To apply, please send your resume or LinkedIn profile to along with a few sentences on why you would be a good fit.

Quick Links

Hey, Computer, Make Me a Font (9 minute read)

This article details the journey of how a developer built a generative machine-learning model that can create true-type fonts.

Return to Office Is Bullshit And Everyone Knows It (10 minute read)

Companies forcing ultimatums on employees will lose talent and struggle to hire as employees start countering companies' ultimatums with their own.

daktilo (GitHub Repo)

daktilo is a command-line program that plays typewriter sounds every time you press a key.

No surprises on any system: Q&A with Loris Cro of Zig (16 minute read)

Zig is a programming language that has a small following - but the third-highest Admired score on last year's Stack Overflow Developer Survey.

Generative Interfaces (2 minute read)

Generative interfaces, which need to be designed individually for every task, could be compiled just in time with generative AI, enabling a much more customized experience.

Speculative Fiction Writes the Future (6 minute read)

Speculative fiction like Jurassic Park weave thought experiments into the narrative - they contextualize important questions without easy answers.
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