Weeknotes 2024.01

Welcome to the first week of 2024, where I briefly reflect, release some website updates and links on programming (languages), regulation, crypto, AI and automotive, since I can’t shake old interests. Each with EOY commentary this time.

Hope you had a good start to 2024!

During the holidays, I turned off more than I had anticipated. The last year certainly took its toll on me and it seemed like my body was telling me to take a proper break.

Instead of delving into all the awesome ways a compiler can break when porting it to a new platform, I found some new sources for reading material (yikes!) and got way too deep into typefaces (again!). I think digital publishing and digital typography are such a perfect storm of design and technology, it simply took me hostage. Maybe I should give in…

Speaking of things I didn’t do, there have been quite a few topics amassed in the writing queue:

And that’s just the short list with significant notes. The full list, including vague ideas, has 32 entries so far. Maybe I should ask an AI to type it for me 🤣. At one a week, I have 2/3 of year covered.

The design has also changed a bit again. I guess I’m still trying to find my voice for lack of a better phrase. So be prepared for more design and content experiments, until we settle into a groove.



This time with a short end-of-year (EOY) comment.


EOY comment: if you want to use generative AI commercially, be sure to know what it’s trained on. The safest, but by no means cheapest, way is to deploy your own model and restrict access to trusted users, otherwise you have to deal with a multitude of novel security concerns. Beware of the AI bros (see Blockchain below).

Blockchain / Cryptocurrencies / Web3

EOY comment: most blockchain related activity, esp. related to cryptocurrencies, is all but dead outside of the core networks and it’s probably a good thing in terms of cleaning up the house. If you look at announcements in 2021/2022 by companies riding the crypto wave, you notice that the same companies fell silent or jumped on the AI band-waggon, in an ironic twist of fate forgot about their blockchain activities 😂.

2024 should be used to professionalise the narrative and purge the snake-oil utopia nonsense that our society is not ready for. Focus on legit blockchain uses, admit that, at the moment at least, decentralised regulation for cryptocurrencies doesn’t really work and detach the decentralised Web3 narrative from blockchain, because it’s only one way to achieve it (ever heard of federation protocols?).


EOY comment: As I mentioned in Why Swift, we’re spoiled for options, even if they are more academic. The combined advances of how silicon is designed and increasingly complex and new applications leaves the field of programming languages and compiler infrastructures very exciting.


EOY comment: as with all legislation (or lack thereof), you have to wait and see until someone puts it to the test, even if it is sound in theory.


EOY comment: Xiaomi’s design aside, the relentless progress of Chinese car makers is astounding. Korean car makers are better at building cars for the European market than European brands, especially the German brands are shambolic, with few exceptions. The really good European brands sit on Chinese technology. BMW’s current design has been referred to either a beaver or sporting a famous-for-all-the-wrong-reasons moustache, depending on the colour of the grille 🤦.