Technical debt, redirects, and truffles…
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Welcome to Issue #0003

This week has been a strange one… I took a couple of days off at the beginning of the week, and at about 02:30 on Tuesday morning I woke up with a real pain in my jaw. By Wednesday morning I looked like a chipmunk! The wonderful NHS managed to get me seen to pretty quickly, and I should be on the mend soon. Strange goings on.

Anyway! A few people have asked me about the whole cocktail thing at the end of the newsletter. A lot of people who know me already will know that cocktails are kinda my thing. Making them, reading about them, and (mainly) drinking them: welcome to Harry’s Bar! You’re all invited. Unfortunately the medication I’m on for my fat face means I can’t drink for a while, but I can still make them.

This will be the last newsletter of 2016, so have a very Merry Christmas (if that’s your thing) and a Happy New Year. Catch you all in 2017!

Talking Shop

With Yahoo! announcing (again!) that they’ve had a data breach, I’m wondering if it would be a good idea to buy non-technical friends and family 1Password licenses as Christmas presents. I know for a fact that my family tend to use the same password for everything, and they write any unique variants down in a notepad. And to be honest, asking anything more from non-technical audience feels like too much. The effort involved in changing passwords after a breach is far too high for most people, so providing a quick and efficient way of generating new, hyper-secure passwords seems like the answer. A simple and practical gift idea right there!
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I’m beginning to line up speaking engagements for 2017 which includes some really fun travel opportunities; if you’re at any of these events (many more to be announced) come say hello and let’s grab a drink together.

Screencast: The Tiniest Performance Fix: Eliminating Unnecessary Redirects  

I sound kinda drunk and drowsy at the beginning of this video, and then I suddenly seem to wake up at about 18 seconds in. Odd. Anyway, this screencast looks at a performance fix so tiny that you might not actually believe it’s true—especially when I tell you you could save hundreds of milliseconds on mobile connections with it. (Direct YouTube link.)
The Tiniest Performance Win: Eliminating Unnecessary Redirects
Fixing wasted redirects by adding trailing slashes. Really?!


Honestly, honestly, I had no idea where this talk by Sacha Judd was going for the first half of it, and then BAM, she drops it on you. This truly is a fantastic and compelling look at diversity online and in tech. (Direct Vimeo link.)
How the tech sector could move in One Direction – Sacha Judd – btconfBER2016
How the Tech Sector Could Move in One Direction

Articles and Resources

Cocktail: Sidecar

It was pointed out that my last two cocktails were gin based. Entirely coincidental, but true nonetheless. Let’s change things up a bit; this time we’re making a classic brandy (cognac, to be specific) cocktail, the Sidecar.

Nobody knows exactly when the Sidecar was invented, but best estimates put it somewhere in the 1920s. It follows the typical sour formula, and because it contains fruit juice, we shake it, not stir. This is one of those cocktails which really does need the finest ingredients, so using a generic brandy (it needs to be cognac, and Remy Martin VSOP is an affordable option) or triple sec (Cointreau is the gold standard) will not do it justice—get some good stuff in there.
  • 2oz (50ml)* cognac
  • ½oz (25ml)* Cointreau
  • ¾oz (37.5ml)* fresh lemon juice
  • ¼oz (12.5ml)* sugar syrup
  • Shake and strain into a sugar-rimmed glass
  • Garnish with a lemon twist
* I know these measurements aren’t equivalent: in the US 1 shot == 1oz, and in Europe 1 shot == 25ml.
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