Why TED Takes Two Weeks Off Every Summer

From the TED Blog:

“When you have a team of passionate, dedicated overachievers, you don’t need to push them to work harder, you need to help them rest. By taking the same two weeks off, it makes sure everyone takes vacation,” she said. “Planning a vacation is hard — most of us still feel a little guilty to take two weeks off, and we’d be likely to cancel when something inevitably comes up. This creates an enforced rest period, which is so important for productivity and happiness.”

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Weekend Links

  • The Fallacy of AI Functionality is a well written critique of AI and AI critics. TL;DR: Too much effort is spent talking about the ethics of AI, and not enough on whether it actually works.
  • How Hertz Paid Accenture $32 Million for a Website That Never Went Live is a good summary of an old dispute. It largely demonstrates the challenges and miscommunications that occur when a whole bunch of folks who are not proficient in software technology are involved in a software project. Lots of miscommunication, missed project deadlines, and finally lawyers.
  • Shapeshifting Robots Can Now Brush Your Teeth was a surprising and neat innovation. Unclear how it might look and manifest as a consumer device, but seems like a great tool for kids or folks that can’t or don’t like using existing methods.
  • When COVID Came for Provincetown was a good case study in how to respond to a COVID outbreak the right way.
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Anne Meeker on Modernizing Congress

Friend of Code for Boston Anne Meeker testified to the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress recently. As a former Congressional intern many of her ideas and suggestions hit home. Congressional offices receive a lot of correspondence so her suggestion to create APIs and data standards around the correspondence is some great low hanging fruit. The clunky system I used from Lockheed Martin held a lot of data, but was not most usable. If you are a political or civic tech nerd, it is worth watching the full video.

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Why Highlighting Your Code is So Challenging

One of the biggest improvements to working with code is switching to tools that use syntax highlighting. By giving different colors to parts of the code based on whether it’s a variable, class, method, etc. it becomes dramatically easier to read and understand. As a coder it is worth finding and switching to tools that do syntax highlighting. For the command line I like to replace cat with bat. Despite the clear value of this, many tools lack highlighting. Yesterday I found a post from Logan at Panic as to why it is so challenging to implement syntax highlighting in an app.

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Announcing Urban League Heat Pump Accelerator Project

As a part of my volunteer work with Code for Boston I am helping to launch the Urban League Heat Pump Accelerator Project to accelerate the adoption of heat pumps in the Boston region, with a focus on equity.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.