Managing GitHub with Terraform - Andrew W

We use Terraform extensively to manage our AWS environments but were you aware that you could use it for other things. In this article Seth Vargo from Hashicorp shows you to use it to manage your GitHub repos and automate laborious tasks such as ensuring a consistent set of labels across your repos.

Grid Garden - Charlie

Support for CSS grid is coming along nicely - this is a simple horticultural game demonstrating it's functionality.

Consolia Comics: Containers and docker - Charlie

If you like explanatory comics and don't know what containers are or how they relate to docker and VMs this might be worth a look over.

Kurzweil Claims That the Singularity Will Happen by 2045 - Elena

Google's Director of Engineering has a reputation for making informed predictions about the future. I believe some of it is hype, but I find it fascinating to read about what ideas are currently being passed around regarding the future of humanity. Kurzweil believes that a singularity (i.e. an AI that will pass a valid Turing test) will occur within the next 30 years.

He suggests that it will actually be used, as any current technology, to enhance our own capabilities instead of being a stand alone entity. Specifically he goes a step further and talks about hooking this AI up to our own neocortex. To quote Kurzweil: "We're going to get more neocortex, we're going to be funnier, we're going to be better at music. [...] We're really going to exemplify all the things that we value in humans to a greater degree." One can only hope more brain power means enhanced understanding of the world. We certainly need more of that.

Humanity in a virtual Petri dish - Elena

As every year, Reddit has an April Fool's Day prank that normally results in fascinating social experiments which give us a glympse into basic human behavior. In a previous year, Reddit randomly assigned people to teams and watched them battle out for supremacy. Last year, it was about pressing a button at the right time in order to keep a timer going. It's usually amazing to watch how people organize themselves for a common goal, even if that goal is ultimately completely pointless.

This year it's been about getting the ability to place a pixel every few minuts on a blank canvas called The Place. The results have been, in my opinion, human nature in a petri dish. We've had people showing off their pride in their nationality (ironically also arbitrarily assigned) by drawing flags. Swedes and Danes battling out for space, just like in real life. The Mona Lisa drawn by an ad-hoc team under great leadership. And the Void, which attempted to overwrite Mona Lisa and all of the other great drawings that resulted through painstaking team work. Ultimately the Void was contained thanks to continued effort. It's quite a metaphor for how we behave as a society.

Full timelapse:

A React Rendering Misconception - Elena

Rendering in React can be a little harder to grasp and I know I've struggled with understanding when a component will actually result in the DOM getting updated.

This article explains how we can take advantage of React's lifecycle hooks by using a PureComponent base class to check whether a property has changed. This will, in turn, trigger a re-rendering of our component and update the DOM.

This cuts down on automatic re-rendering as we are more in control of when the DOM gets updated, saving us valuable CPU power.

Track of the Week - Ben W

The 2013 Tony Awards opening number, where Neil Patrick Harris:

  • plays a musical instrument
  • sings
  • dances
  • mentions Doogie Howser
  • performs circus tricks and acrobatic cheerleading
  • gets attacked by Mike Tyson
  • etc ...

Neil Patrick Harris - 2013 Tony Award Opening