Monday Links 40

Identifying and Mitigating the Security Risks of Generative AI

Every major technical invention resurfaces the dual-use dilemma – the new technology has the potential to be used for good as well as for harm. Generative AI techniques, such as large language models and diffusion models, have shown remarkable capabilities…However, GenAI can be used just as well by attackers to generate new attacks and increase the velocity and efficacy of existing attacks.

How the 5-panel hat took over the running world

Throw a rock at a running event and it is likely you’ll hit someone in a five-panel (note: We do not condone throwing rocks at running events). Of course, trends come and go and runners often glom onto a particular look before the newest trend comes along (see: sweatbands). But the five-panel hat has enjoyed a relatively long run at the top atop the heads of runners. Is this pervasiveness a passing phase, or has the five-panel hit that hallowed sweet spot between functionality and style?

Two recent links from Schneier on Security: Bots are better than humans at solving CAPTCHAs and LLMs and tool use

10 Minute Squat Test

I run and cycle fairly frequently and the running volume is ramping up as I incrementally build up to the 52km trail run in February. In the past I’ve found the biggest barrier to consistency in my exercise is soreness and injury. I’ve tried to prevent injury and treat soreness via stretching, even doing a daily yoga-like routine. But stretching hasn’t really helped.

Earlier this year I listened to what my gym coaches have preached and concentrated on mobility and improving my range of motion. I bought Built To Move by Juliet & Kelly Starrett and started some of the daily practices in it. More recently I cancelled a couple of streaming subscriptions and signed up to the Starrett’s Virutal Mobility Coach and encouraged everyone in my family to give it a go. Every day for three weeks we’ve squatted, rolled, and mobilised using a variety of simple equiment and techniques. The results have been transforming. Working on my hips and feet has made running easier and reduced pain. I used to occasionally get abductor cramps after riding. a 40km jaunt the other day had no ill effects. The daily maintenance has worked for me and my family.

I’m looking forward to when the 10 Minute Squat Test is a piece of cake. I don’t think it will be that long.

Monday Links 39

Stereogum: Reconstruction Site Turns 20

Keegan Bradford’s write up of The Weakerthans’s third, best album, is a lovely tribute to John K. Samson’s songwriting. The highest rated comment says it all:

the weakerthans are a band that’s barely worth talking about most days because when we put on their records we bawl, and then there’s not much left to say when the record is finished

Related to the comment: Top 10 The Weakerthans Songs To Cry To On A Long Drive (MeFi thread)

Kent Beck and Gergely Orosz: Measuring Developer Productivity (A Response To McKinsey)

We urge engineering leaders to look to outcome and impact measurements, to identify what to measure. It’s true that it is tempting to measure effort. But there’s a reason why sales and recruitment teams are not judged by their performance in being in the office at 9am sharp, or by the number of emails sent – which are both effort or output.

Career advice from Barack Obama - "Learn how how to get stuff done"

For years Joel Spolsky has been saying the best people to hire are the ones who are smart and get stuff done. Steve Martin is quoted as saying the secret to becoming successful is to “be so good they can’t ignore you”. Cal Newport took that line and used it in his book that talks about building “career capital” by being reliable and getting stuff done.

The other day I came across a clip of Barack Obama talking about exactly the same thing:


I could not agree with the advice more.

By the way, the clip comes from a longer interview on the LinkedIn series This Is Working which is different to Obama’s Working docuseries on Netflix.

Monday Links 38

The Surprisingly Simple Training of the World’s Fastest Marathoner

Kipchoge still follows an old-school approach, logging every detail in a notebook. He began the practice in 2003 and now has 18 logs stored at his home to reflect on at the end of each season.

“I document the time, the kilometers, the massage, the exercises, the shoes I’m using, the feeling about those shoes,” he says. “Everything.” He is known to review these details and learn from them for future training cycles.

And they make a remarkable record of marathoning excellence. “I trust one day I will go through them and see what has been happening in the whole system,” Kipchoge says. “When I call off the sport, I will combine them and write about them one day.”

Mapping where the Earth will become uninhabitable

A 3D visualisation of uninhabilitability in the coming years based on heat, water-stress, rising sea levels, and tropical cyclones. (MeFi thread)

Michael Lopp: Bored People Quit

This is my favourite essay on people management and I was happy to be able to introduce it to someone last week. May you will be one of the lucky 10,000 today?

US Open: Tennis Grand Slam marks 50 years of equal prize money

The recent FIFA Women’s World Cup was a triumph for the sport and yet another example of why pay parity is important. Not that we should need another example - it’s paid off incredibly well at the US Open for FIFTY FUCKING YEARS.