Curated Bits

Curated Bits is a feed of articles, videos, and projects that I found interesting and worth sharing, accompanied by my comments. I don't want to impose any limitations on the content here, but you can expect it to be mostly about frontend, design, open source and interesting tech things. To follow this feed subscribe to its RSS (it's separate from the main website RSS feed).

Alternatively, you can subscribe to the Curated Bits newsletter, which delivers all the same content directly to your inbox. The Curated Bits newsletter is sent irregularly, once I have five or more new and interesting links to share. The newsletter also includes announcements of my new blog posts and updates about what's new on this website. You can unsubscribe at any time.

I hacked time to recover $3 million from a Bitcoin software wallet
Added at 24 June 2024

The title is a bit inflated, imo, but the video is nevertheless very interesting. It's about how insecure RNG can be a weak link in security; in this case, specifically, RNG seeded with system time was used to generate passwords.

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"AIs will all become the same" - Platonic Representation Hypothesis Explained
Added at 15 June 2024

Each Large Language Model has its own inner representation of our world (I can't talk about other models, as I'm not that familiar with them, but I assume they are similar in this regard). It allows the model to 'understand' that orange and apple have something in common. And as LLMs become more intelligent, they are able to pick up more nuanced relationships. But does this mean that in the end, given enough resources and time, all models will have the same most comprehensive representation?

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Butterick's Practical Typography
Added at 13 June 2024

This book was an excellent companion to spend 10 hours on train to Košice and back to Bratislava! While not geared towards the web specifically (and so some chapters are not really applicable), it was still very interesting to read. Especially about more basic and subtle topics, like when to use en dash vs em dash, or what type of quotes you should use in English.

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Font size is useless; let’s fix it
Added at 7 June 2024

Yet another example how centuries old legacy haunt modern developer and designers. I just always assumed that font size sets, I don't know, size of letter. Turns out, fact that fonts with same font size are at least somewhat consistent in actual sizes is more of a coincidence than we'd like.

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Why floppy is still used as icon for "Save"
Added at 5 June 2024

Reading Spotify's design system guide, I noticed a (quite controversial) suggestion to not use a floppy as an icon for the "Save" action, as it's very outdated and a lot of users don't even know what it is. Fair enough, I myself saw floppy only a few times at my parent's work. When I got my first computer, it didn't even have a floppy disk reader.

But that got me thinking: do you really need to know what a floppy is to understand an icon's meaning? And if we abandon floppy, what should be used as an icon for "Save"? In the end, I didn't find a satisfying answer for the second question. But the good news is that there are a lot of other examples of how an icon lives longer than the object it depicts, and it works just fine!

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I tried Blurring things in Quirky ways
Added at 1 June 2024

I like Juxtopposed's videos so much. This particular one is about blur and shows 10 different ways to use it. Video is a bit too fast-paced for my liking, but, oh boy, there are so many examples.

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Things you're allowed to do
Added at 31 May 2024

This link comes from "Lessons From Six Years of Self-Employment" which I linked a few days ago. But it's just too good to not post it separately. Just a list of a lot of things you can do. Even if you don't want to do most of them, it was nice to realize that I'm a grown adult and can do a fucking lot of things, lol. Some of the items on the list sound very interesting, though. I copied those in my personal to-do list.

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Maker Stations
Added at 29 May 2024

I really like Workspaces account in Twitter, but this is levelup. It's whole magazine about workspaces!

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Lessons From Six Years of Self-Employment
Added at 28 May 2024

I have been working as a freelancer/independent contractor pretty much my whole career, and this article is very relatable. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is that whatever hourly rate you have now, you can earn more. Even if you're sure you can't charge more. Even with your current level of hard skills. Fortunately for me, I got into an awesome community of freelancers early in my career and they both showed me that it was possible to earn much more and helped increase my hourly rate.

If you recently started (or only plan to) working as a freelancer, I recommend you check this article, it covers other topics besides money too. If you have been freelancing for a while, you probably won't find anything new there.

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Hardest Problem in Computer Science: Centering Things
Added at 27 May 2024

I present this to you: one more thing which you won't be able to unsee. This article not about centering blocks (that was more or less solved by flexbox), but about centering inline elements and centering text.

If you're doing frontend, I'm sure you had problems with it too, this article explains nicely why it happens and what we can do about it (spoiler: not much).

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