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From the creators of devRant, Pipeless lets you power real-time personalized recommendations and activity feeds using a simple APILearn More
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This happened at my previous job where I worked for a dating app. It was at a time where the CEO was trying to turn the dating app into “more than a dating app” by adding tons of social features. We always had “interests” which allowed users to see what interests they had in common with another person, but he wanted to take the social component even further.
So with that, he decided we needed an “activity feed.” The activity feed would show what various Facebook connected users were liking on Facebook, posting on Facebook, etc. On a dating app. Where the majority of the audience was > 50 years old. The idea was absolutely ridiculous and everyone but the CEO knew it was destined for failure before we started building it.
But that’s not the best part. The best part was when we launched the activity feed component. We launched it late on day and went home shortly after. The next morning, we came in, and checked on the activity feed to see what was doing. It was literally all spammers liking porn/sex related stuff on Facebook. It was a complete disaster. All garbage but not just boring garbage - completely obscene garbage.
And just like that, the activity feature came and went in the course of a few days.18
We have a few pieces of news we're very excited to share with everyone today. Apologies for the long post, but there's a lot to cover!
First, as some of you might have already seen, we just launched the "subscribed" tab in the devRant app on iOS and Android. This feature shows you a feed of the most recent rant posts, likes, and comments from all of the people you subscribe to. This activity feed is updated in real-time (although you have to manually refresh it right now), so you can quickly see the latest activity. Additionally, the feed also shows recommended users (based on your tastes) that you might want to subscribe to. We think both of these aspects of the feed will greatly improve the devRant content discovery experience.
This new feature leads directly into this next announcement. Tim (@trogus) and I just launched a public SaaS API service that powers the features above (and can power many more use-cases across recommendations and activity feeds, with more to come). The service is called Pipeless (https://pipeless.io) and it is currently live (beta), and we encourage everyone to check it out. All feedback is greatly appreciated. It is called Pipeless because it removes the need to create complicated pipelines to power features/algorithms, by instead utilizing the flexibility of graph databases.
Pipeless was born out of the years of experience Tim and I have had working on devRant and from the desire we've seen from the community to have more insight into our technology. One of my favorite (and earliest) devRant memories is from around when we launched, and we instantly had many questions from the community about what tech stack we were using. That interest is what encouraged us to create the "about" page in the app that gives an overview of what technologies we use for devRant.
Since launch, the biggest technology powering devRant has always been our graph database. It's been fun discussing that technology with many of you. Now, we're excited to bring this technology to everyone in the form of a very simple REST API that you can use to quickly build projects that include real-time recommendations and activity feeds. Tim and I are really looking forward to hopefully seeing members of the community make really cool and unique things with the API.
Pipeless has a free plan where you get 75,000 API calls/month and 75,000 items stored. We think this is a solid amount of calls/storage to test out and even build cool projects/features with the API. Additionally, as a thanks for continued support, for devRant++ subscribers who were subscribed before this announcement was posted, we will give some bonus calls/data storage. If you'd like that special bonus, you can just let me know in the comments (as long as your devRant email is the same as Pipeless account email) or feel free to email me (email@example.com).
Lastly, and also related, we think Pipeless is going to help us fulfill one of the biggest pieces of feedback we’ve heard from the community. Now, it is going to be our goal to open source the various components of devRant. Although there’s been a few reasons stated in the past for why we haven’t done that, one of the biggest reasons was always the highly proprietary and complicated nature of our backend storage systems. But now, with Pipeless, it will allow us to start moving data there, and then everyone has access to the same system/technology that is powering the devRant backend. The first step for this transition was building the new “subscribed” feed completely on top of Pipeless. We will be following up with more details about this open sourcing effort soon, and we’re very excited for it and we think the community will be too.
Anyway, thank you for reading this and we are really looking forward to everyone’s feedback and seeing what members of the community create with the service. If you’re looking for a very simple way to get started, we have a full sample dataset (1 click to import!) with a tutorial that Tim put together (https://docs.pipeless.io/docs/...) and a full dev portal/documentation (https://docs.pipeless.io).
Let us know if you have any questions and thanks everyone!
- David & Tim (@dfox & @trogus)51
Unfortunately earlier tonight some code was deployed with functionality only compatible with the new version of the devRant app that will be coming out early this week. It caused some weird issues where normal rants would be rendered as collabs causing them to not show up correctly.
This happened when going to rants from the feed (fixed earlier) and going to rants from push notifications (fixed a little while ago).
If you notice any of that behavior still occurring please let me know, thanks!
Apologies for the weirdness and missed notif activity for those who were impacted.7
I had a discussion with a coworker earlier.
I owed him for lunch the other day, and he suggested I pay him back either with cash (which I didn't have), Venmo, or just by him lunch the next time (which I ended up doing).
The short of it: they make money by selling your information. That's worth far more than charging users a small fee when sending $5 every few weeks. Sort of what I expected when I heard "always free," but what surprised me is just how much they collect. (In retrospect, I really shouldn't have been surprised at all...)
Here's an incomplete list:
* full name, physical address, email, DoB, SSN (or other government IDs, depending on country)
* Complete contact list (phone numbers, names, photos)
* Browser/device fingerprint
* (optional) Your entire Facebook feed and history
* (optional) all of your Facebook friends' contact info
* Your Twitter feed
* Your FourSquare activity
(The above four ostensibly for "fraud prevention")
* GPS data
* Usage info about the actual service
* Other users' usage info (e.g. mentioning you)
* Financial info (the only thing not shared with third parties)
So I won't be using Venmo. ever.
I mentioned all of this to my coworker, and he just doesn't understand. at all. He even asks "So what are they going do with that, send me ads? like they already do?"
I told him why I think it's scary. Everything from them freely selling all of your info, to someone being able to look through your entire online life's history, to being able to masquerade around as you, to even reproducing your voice (e.g. voice clips collected by google assistant), to grouping people by political affiliations.
He didn't have much to say about any of them, and actually thought the voice thing was really cool. (All I could think of was would happen if the "news" had that ability....) All of his other responses were "that doesn't bother me at all" and/or "using all of these services is so convenient."
but what really got me was his reaction to the last one.
I said, "If you're part of the NRA, for example, you'd be grouped with Republicans. If they sell all of this information, which they do, and they don't really care who buys it or what they do with it... someone could look through the data and very very easily target those political groups."
His response? "I don't have to worry about that. I'm a Democrat, and have always voted Democrat. I'll tell anyone that."
That's basically saying every non-democrat is someone you should be wary of and keep an eye on. That's saying Democrats are the norm and everyone else is deviant and/or wrong.
and I couldn't say anything after this because... no matter what I said, it would start a political conflict, and would likely end with me being fired (since the owner is also a democrat, and they're very buddy-buddy). "What if they target democrats?" -> "They already do!" or "What if democrats use it against others?" -> "They deserve it for being violent and racist, but we never would" (except, you know, that IRS/tea-party incident for example...)
But like, this is coming from someone who firmly believes conservatives are responsible for all of the violence and looting and rioting and mass shootings in the country. ... even when every single instance has been by committed by democrats. every. single. one.
He doesn't understand the need for privacy, and his world view is just... he actually thinks everyone with different beliefs is wrong and dangerous.
I don't even know how to deal with people like this. and with how prevalent this mindset is... coupled with the aforementioned privacy concerns... it's honestly *terrifying.*68
Better than last year
It seems that it is the time of year where everyone on devrant complains about not having a girlfriend.5
In the before time (late 90s) I worked for a company that worked for a company that worked for a company that provided software engineering services for NRC regulatory compliance. Fallout radius simulation, security access and checks, operational reporting, that sort of thing. Given that, I spent a lot of time around/at/in nuclear reactors.
One day, we're working on this system that uses RFID (before it was cool) and various physical sensors to do a few things, one of which is to determine if people exist at the intersection of hazardous particles, gasses, etc.
This also happens to be a system which, at that moment, is reporting hazardous conditions and people at the top of the outer containment shell. We know this is probably a red herring or faulty sensor because no one is present in the system vs the access logs and cameras, but we have to check anyways. A few building engineers climb the ladders up there and find that nothing is really visibly wrong and we have an all clear. They did not however know how to check the sensor.
Enter me, the only person from our firm on site that day. So in the next few minutes I am also in a monkey suit (bc protocol), climbing a 150 foot ladder that leads to another 150 foot ladder, all 110lbs of me + a 30lb diag "laptop" slung over my shoulder by a strap. At the top, I walk about a quarter of the way out, open the casing on the sensor module and find that someone had hooked up the line feed, but not the activity connection wire so it was sending a false signal. I open the diag laptop, plug it into the unit, write a simple firmware extension to intermediate the condition, flash, reload. I verify the error has cleared and an appropriate message was sent to the diagnostic system over the radio, run through an error test cycle, radio again, close it up. Once I returned to the ground, sweating my ass off, I also send a not at all passive aggressive email letting the boss know that the next shift will need to push the update to the other 600 air-gapped, unidirectional sensors around the facility.11
Lots of questions going on about devRant. Just want to make devRant better.
1. Please tell the update intervals of upvotes and downvotes. Is there a delay? Doesnt really matter but i see many times i got a upvote notif but my score didnt increased...
2. Duplicate image algo is so poor. I know it is only in beta, but i see so many reposts which has the same pic but only with the resolution different or the image with the devrant watermark.
3. Minor, tags should be also saved when exitting the post rant activity.
4. Feature request : go to top, bottom in rant
5. Please make web app accessible in mobile. I think you check the user agent for the web app, but can you make it available to mobile users who cant download the app?
6. When accessing the web app in mobile, i type devrant.io/feed
Then, by the wonderful intent you made, it opens the app automatically. I was writing a rant, but it was all deleted.
7. Any new podcasts and cartoons planned?
8. Still bug not fixed.
Write a comment in a long rant.
Delete the comment you just wrote.
You cant reply to the last person comment.
The repair man and janitor for the devmatch arena.
The arena is made so you can resolve all conflicts without the passive aggressive slights and career sabotage. Have a problem with the BA? Send him an invite to the arena where you can bash each other's head in. You get to pick any weapon in the office. You can choke them with a mouse, hit them with a keyboard, make them eat and shit the keys then feed it to them again, sodomize them with a monitor, you can take one manager and one BA and connect their asses through a cable. You can invite a whole team from your favorite country and make your own human centipede! Using a kensington cable lock! Hooray, team building! Look at that bonding!
The repair man and the janitor cleans up the mess and repairs what could be repaired because as heavenly as this activity is, the project is still on a tight budget.1