Nerd Alert 87: Last-Minute Labor Day Newsletter


You'll be grilling hot dogs on Labor Day, right?

  Adam: In a world filled with looming deadlines, over-filled inboxes, always-on chat and incessant push notifications, a reminder that very little of what we do in the tech industry is truly urgent.

  Ben: Brian Boyer's quote about the similarities between programming and cooking in this transcript is worth a read. Keep an eye out for the full interview, publishing next summer.

  Gabe: Our understandings about gender and sexuality are increasingly become more nuanced. How should journalism reflect that? CJR has a thoughtful thinkpiece about preferred pronouns, outing ethics, and inappropriate interview questions.

  Jack: The Dropbox hack was the real deal, and sorry to be using the Dad Voice but it’s time to get serious about password management. Here are some great free options.

  Julia: Gotta love how “Pantsuit” is the name for the UI pattern library behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

  RC: Ideas and Insights from the Data Team at Automattic is a new blog that gives insight into the data challenges of running’s massive multisite installation.

  Inndy: Un robot qui cuit des muffins.



C'mon over!

Our guest this week is Alexandra Millatmal (@halfghaninNE), coding instructor at Omaha Code School.

In both my personal and professional realms, I spend a great deal of time thinking about race, representation and marginalization, and how I can make my local tech community more welcoming and inclusive.

One way we try to address this at Omaha Code School is by structuring a conversation about the state of the tech industry (and our roles in it as individual developers) into our beginning coding curriculum. Our goal is to make a space for uncomfortable truths and disagreement in that conversation – much like what I see in the "Under Our Skin" project from the Seattle Times.

A particular piece of the project that I enjoy is its commenting feature, which prompts users to select an option describing how the video made them feel and then frame their comment around that feeling. I find a lot of value in thinking about how we can better structure our conversations on race and identity in the United States, and I would love to know if the team found that this approach had an impact on the quality and tone of the comments they received.

Want to be a guest contributor for a future edition of this newsletter? Learn how and shoot us an email at if you're interested. We'd love to hear from you!


The happening things

September 14 - Join us at 1 ET for our monthly News Nerd Book Club discussion. This month we'll be reading Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green.

September 23 - The deadline for submitting talk proposals to the 2017 CAR Conference in Jacksonville, Florida.

September 28-29 - INN is hosting a two-day event for news leaders to discuss everything you need to know about managing technology and product design in your news organization. Travel stipends for INN members are available and we just added some new speakers/mentors. Hope to see you there!

October 14 - The deadline for applications to the Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowship at Cambridge.


Work we admire by our journalism peers

An illustration of a cop pulling his pistol out of its holster, with the text: Unholstered: When Texas Police Pull the Trigger - a project by the Texas Tribune.

The Texas Tribune launched Unholstered, a database of police shootings in Texas. Check outtheir summary of the data, the problems with the data, or download the data to run your own analysis.

NPR's Visuals Team announced version 1.0.0 of Pym.js this week, bringing better support for responsive iframes in a number of Content Management Systems, and introducing a canonical CDN for the script.



Good jobs with good people, doing good work

INN is hiring a program director and an operations manager. is hiring a junior full-stack software developer.

Mississippi Today seeks a database editor.

And Mother Jones is hiring a designer for print and digital work.

If you're looking for general jobs in nonprofit news, the main INN newsletter had 29 JOB OPENINGS this week. Check it out and sign up here if you'd like to get that in your inbox every week. We'll pretend to not be jealous.


Kick back and relax

LISTEN: Telsa Coil Music presents The Cars ?⚡️?

WATCH: Super Mario World in 81,032 Dominoes. Mesmerizing.

EAT: The best way to grill your Labor Day hot dog.

DRINK: Labor Day marks the end of summer, but it also honors the American labor movement. How about a beer made by organized labor?

It's not a delay of game if the umpire is dancing, too

A looping gif of a segment of a Japanese baseball game. The pitcher, the batter, and the umpire appear to be dancing, because of how the gif loops.