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  1. WDG Hosts Refresh DC Talk About “The UI of AI”

    Last week, WDG opened our new Clarendon office to a packed audience for Refresh DC. We were thrilled to have Maxim Leyzerovich, Senior Experience Lead at Capital One, discussing “The UI of AI.” With years of UX design experience, Leyzerovich is known for his deep insights about the intersection of design and technology.

    I couldn’t make last week’s Refresh DC meetup, but I’m grateful for the hard work my fellow organizers put into the event, to Maxim for speaking, and to the folks at WDG for hosting and putting together this great recap!

  2. DIY Time Capsule with a Raspberry Pi

    As a Mac user I’ve always used Time Machine for local backups. The only issue is that it requires plugging a drive directly into your machine or buying an Apple Time Capsule. At $200–$400 that’s not a cheap option for NAS backups. So I set out to create my own DIY Time Capsule using a 3TB Hard Drive and a Raspberry Pi.

    A helpful tutorial from Caleb Woods outlining how to use a handful of packages—including netatalk—to create a Time Machine-compatible backup system using a Raspberry Pi.

  3. PostgreSQL Quick Tips: Working With Dates Using EXTRACT function

    A handy tip here from Karol Galanciak demonstrating how to use PostgreSQL’s EXTRACT function:

    We can use EXTRACT and now() functions—the former could be used for extracting the current year from a timestamp and the latter could be used for getting the current time.

    Order.where("EXTRACT(year FROM created_at) = EXTRACT(year FROM now())")

    Plain language makes it easier for the public to read, understand, and use government communications.

    Led by the incomparable Nicole Fenton, the team at 18F recently relaunched, an exceptional website full of writing guidelines, examples, and resources. While the Plain Writing Act of 2010 mandates that government resources be written in clear, concise language, there’s ample evidence that agencies have been slow to update problematic services.

    It’s heartening to see GSA tackle the matter head on.

  5. Fizzy School

    jQuery makes writing browser JavaScript so accessible, it’s easy to skip over some of JavaScript’s core concepts. Fizzy School covers these concepts so novice developers can fill in the missing areas in learning JavaScript and jQuery.

    This is a great resource from long-time DC-area Web developer David DeSandro. If you’re just dipping your toes in the JavaScript/jQuery worlds or if you’re looking for a refresher, click on through!

  6. Marvin Visions - A typeface with character

    Marvin Visions is a more modern and consistent reinterpretation of Marvin, a typeface originally designed by Michael Chave in 1969 and published by Face Photosetting. It has been revived by Mathieu Triay for the identity of Visions, a new science fiction magazine that aims to be a literary introduction to the genre, mixing classic texts with new writing.

    This typeface speaks to me.

  7. IndieWebCamp Baltimore 2018 - Baltimore, Maryland

    IndieWebCamp Baltimore 2018 is a gathering for independent web creators of all kinds, from graphic artists, to designers, UX engineers, coders, hackers, to share ideas, actively work on creating for their own personal websites, and build upon each others creations.

    I’m hoping to make it out for this event next month. If you’re in the DC/Baltimore area and interested in the IndieWeb movement, I recommend you consider signing up!

  8. Extended Validation is Broken

    Today, I will demonstrate another issue with EV certificates: colliding entity names. Specifically, this site uses an EV certificate for “Stripe, Inc”, that was legitimately issued by Comodo. However, when you hear “Stripe, Inc”, you are probably thinking of the payment processor incorporated in Delaware. Here, though, you are talking to the “Stripe, Inc” incorporated in Kentucky. This problem can also appear when dealing with different countries.

    In this post, Ian outlines several Web security-related flaws in current-era browser user interface. Browsers, in an attempt to be clever, obfuscate several important pieces of information that might provide users with details about the people behind a particular website. On top of that, Ian demonstrates flaws in the cross-jurisdicitonal systems that allow for the coexistence of like-named but unrelated business entities.

    Browser vendors treat extended validation certificates as special cases, giving them visual priority over standard TLS certificates. The average user won’t know the difference—nor should they—when they see “Trusted Company X” highlighted in green in their browser’s URL bar. The expectation is that they’re actually viewing Trusted Company X’s website and not the website of some rando with a little bit of money to spare.

  9. In praise of those who serve. Yes, even under Donald Trump. Especially under Trump. - Recode

    In this article, Code for America founder Jen Pahlka expertly captures many of the reasons I have for choosing to serve our country in tumultuous times.

    But sometimes [leaving the federal government] is a luxury. The veteran to whom we’ve promised benefits after she served our country does not have the luxury of choosing to opt out of the federal government; she needs processes to work for her to access benefits. About 75 million people in our country rely on Medicaid; they don’t have the luxury of opting out, either. If the people who administer these and other services walk away and others don’t come to replace them, that choice will be made for them, with devastating consequences.

    Earlier this year, I willingly ran into the burning building with a goal of helping as many of my fellow Americans as possible. Six months in, I’m proud to say that—in spite of the three-ring circus at 1600 Pennsylvania—my work continues apace.

  10. Deploying ES2015+ Code in Production Today — Philip Walton

    Most developers think of <script type="module"> as way to load ES modules (and of course this is true), but <script type="module"> also has a more immediate and practical use-case—loading regular JavaScript files with ES2015+ features and knowing the browser can handle it!

    To put that another way, every browser that supports <script type="module"> also supports most of the ES2015+ features you know and love.

    This very helpful article outlines how you can take advantage of modern JavaScript features while still serving usable code to older browsers.

  11. Rejected Princesses

    Rejected Princesses is a fabulous website featuring the stories of women “too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids’ movies” run by illustrator and former DreamWorks animator Jason Porath. I came across the site via his Twitter thread sharing Neerja Bhanot’s story resisting the armed hijackers on Pan Am Flight 73:

    In 1986, a 22-year-old flight attendant named Neerja Bhanot fended off a group of armed hijackers on Pan Am flight 73. When the attackers boarded the plane, she shouted a secret command to the pilots, allowing them to escape. With them gone, she was now the senior member on the plane. It was her, the rest of the crew, and 300+ passengers.

    She and the crew set about hiding all the international passengers’ passports, so they wouldn’t be targeted. After 17 hours, the power began to fail and the terrorists began opening fire and setting off explosives. She threw open the emergency exit. She died on that plane, shielding children with her body. She died 2 days short of her birthday, which is today [September 7th]. She would have been 54.

    It’s also worth checking out the site’s blog which contains additional stories and bits of ephemera.

Looking for more great links organized by year? Browse the archives.