Notes for the week of July 5, 2021


Andy Matuschak was lamenting the lack of good typesetting in ebooks, wanting the high-quality formatting you can get from PDFs. Michael Woods linked over to 1DollarScan which can scan your books for you ($1 per 100 pages).

Eng Management for the Rest of Us and Widakk Design

Sarah Drasner has a new book: Engineering Management for the Rest of Us. The book contents sound awesome, and the cover design is spectacular. The designer is Widakk Design.

ohyay virtual environment platform

Another communications platform has sprung up in the wake of COVID-19: ohyay. This one has some neat-looking aspects, apparently (I haven’t tried it yet) letting you create a space that people can congregate in and do various activities together. Currently just has “get started-it’s free!” buttons, so I have no idea what the pricing is or will be.

New top 5 COVID symptoms

COVID-19 symptoms have changed with vaccination status and variants. The top 5 symptoms among the fully vaccinated:

  1. Headache
  2. Runny nose
  3. Sneezing
  4. Sore throat
  5. Loss of smell

T cells protect against severe disease

Monica Gandhi (infectious disease doctor at UCSF) explains why the COVID-19 vaccines are very protective against severe disease, even from variants.

unlikely to evade T cell immunity since 80-100 T cells line up across the spike protein so 10-13 mutations of variants can’t evade that many T cells.

Rendering a game in text

In a 20-minute video, Filip Hráček describes creating a system to render a game’s output completely in text. I had a kind of silly idea for a Fortnite-style game in text (multiplayer, last one standing kind of game), with the primary benefit being that the game world could change often because of the low cost of changing text. Of course, such a thing would be super-niche (how many people would actually choose to play such a thing when there’s actual Fortnite and others available?).

Filip put the techniques he described to use in Knights of San Francisco. He also had an earlier article on Medium Skyrim rendered in text about the techniques.

A first look at Astro

Chris Coyier wrote a first-look piece about Astro, an intriguing new JavaScript build tool that can create static sites from components with dynamic bits as needed.

Planes vs. cars

Climate Change solutions are not always obvious because of the complexities of the calculations. Youmatter explores the question of plane travel vs. cars, and the answer is not obvious. Clearly, cars will be electrified before planes are, but right now flying may have lower CO2 emissions than driving. As this Treehugger article points out, having better bus and train availability in the US would help even more.