Charted

Charted is a tool for automatically visualizing data, created by the Product Science team at Medium. Provide the link to a data file and Charted returns a beautiful, interactive, and shareable chart of the data. Charted is deliberately sparse in formatting and data transformation options, and instead gives you a few powerful core features:

  • Rendering well on all screen sizes, including monitors
  • Re-fetching the data and updating the chart every 30 minutes
  • Moving data series into separate charts
  • Adjusting the chart type, labels/titles, and background

This is just awesome. There’s a hosted version available at charted.co in case you don’t want to run the software yourself.

Word of the Day

suspiration, noun
The act of breathing, not necessarily for a sustained period (compare respiration, which is sustained)

(via Wiktionary)

Let’s Encrypt

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. Let’s Encrypt is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).

The service is due to launch in summer 2015, but unless all browser vendors choose to include it as a trusted CA, it will be dead in the water. So far, I haven’t been able to find out if such an agreement has been made. Maybe they are using IdenTrust as a cross-signing partner.

learnyounode

Learn You The Node.js For Much Win! An intro to Node.js via a set of self-guided workshops.

The single best interactive tutorial / guide to Node.js I’ve seen yet. I’ve fiddled around with it, and for beginners, I have only one tip: read each assignment carefully. It should go without saying, but personally, I’ve yet to heed my own advice.

Font rendering issues when using CSS transitions in WebKit

A couple of days ago, I was messing about with CSS3 transitions and I noticed that, in Safari at least, text rendering gets messed up for the duration of the transition. WebKit uses sub-pixel anti-aliasing for font smoothing by default; apparently this gets disabled when a GPU-accelerated CSS transition is executed, causing the text to be rendered using “regular” anti-aliasing.

I haven’t found a satisfactory workaround. This Stack Overflow thread recommends using either -webkit-transform: translateZ(0px); or, curiously, explicitly setting sub-pixel smoothing (-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased) even though it should be enabled by default. Either way, you’ll end up with a) thinner (and uglier) fonts even before a transition or b) a slightly less noticeable change—but a change nonetheless—in font rendering during a transition. It’s not an ideal situation.

Feel free to comment on this post if you know of a workaround that eliminates the problem without one having to force regular anti-aliasing.

Update: I found the original bug report, first filed in 2009 (!): https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=23364

With no prior knowledge of OpenStack, I must say that as a user, it has proven to be a really nice experience. Was able to configure and start and instance with an extra attached volume in a few minutes. Good stuff.

The Knowledge, London’s Legendary Taxi-Driver Test, Puts Up a Fight in the Age of GPS

Actually, “challenge” isn’t quite the word for the trial a London cabby endures to gain his qualification. It has been called the hardest test, of any kind, in the world. Its rigors have been likened to those required to earn a degree in law or medicine. It is without question a unique intellectual, psychological and physical ordeal, demanding unnumbered thousands of hours of immersive study, as would-be cabbies undertake the task of committing to memory the entirety of London, and demonstrating that mastery through a progressively more difficult sequence of oral examinations — a process which, on average, takes four years to complete, and for some, much longer than that.

An exceptional piece by Jody Rosen.

Why you probably won’t understand the web of the future

The giants of the connected world are finally waking up to one of the biggest obstacles in their stated missions of connecting billions more people to the internet: The language barrier.

An exceptional piece. I’ll highlight the following (something I had no idea about):

Another example is color. In the West, red is associated with danger or bad news, while in China it means good news. Any company serious about serving a global audience needs to take such subtle cues into account.