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Hey,

Everyone here can make a big impact to a project, to someone else. I’m very excited about this when reading stories like an intern at Google doing an experiment that saves tons of traffic, or getting an email by one of my readers who now shares an awesome complete beginner guide to front-end development.

We need to recognize that our industry depends on people who share their open-source code and we should support them and their projects that we heavily rely on. Finally, we also need to understand that these people perhaps don’t want a job as an employee at some big company but remain independent instead. So if you make money with a project that uses open-source libraries or other resources, maybe Valentine’s Day might be an occasion to show your appreciation and make the author a nice present.

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  • So here’s something that helps beginners to start with web development and advanced people to recap some of their knowledge: Oliver James wrote “HTML & CSS Is Hard (But it doesn’t have to be)”, a friendly web development tutorial for complete beginners.

Tools & Workflows

  • With the Enterprise Onion Toolkit, you can finally deploy HTTP and HTTPS onion sites at scale. While the project is still in its early days, the tool makes it easy to provide access to your web service via a hidden Tor service, which in some countries can be essential for journalists and activists.
  • Rembrandt.js is an image comparison tool based on node-canvas running on a server or in the client. Great for visual regression testing, for example.

Security

  • Two engineers at Etsy recently shared how they offer their merchants TLS-certificates for their custom domains on the Etsy-platform. The tricky part here is scale: How to store the massive amount of certificates in a secure way? How to negotiate the connection?
  • The latest Docker release offers a great solution to store your secrets securely in containers. The Docker Secrets Management is a solid approach to do so.

Privacy

  • Facebook collects data about you in hundreds of ways, across numerous channels. It’s very hard to opt out, but reading this article by Vicki Boykis on what they collect, you’ll learn to better understand the risks of the platform so you can choose to be more restrictive with your Facebook usage.

Web Performance

  • During her internship at Google last year, Anamaria Cotîrlea integrated Brotli into the Google Play app store saving Google 1.5 petabytes of traffic each day.

Going beyond…

  • In only 1 1⁄2 months a gigantic crack developed in the Antarctic ice shelf, and it’s likely to break apart in the next few months, setting free about 2,300 square miles of ice into the sea. But the key is not this tiny piece of ice but the much bigger ice shelves that’ll follow. A video captured by the NASA back in November shows the crack in detail.
  • If you haven’t read “Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)” by George Orwell yet, here’s your chance: The entire book is available for free as PDF, eBook and Audio versions. I personally recommend it to everyone who is only slightly interested in just one of these topics: social change, politics, technology.

And with that, I’ll close for this week. If you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here. It’s available via email, RSS and online.

— Anselm



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