Web Excursions 2021-05-25

For Startup Leaders, SPACs Have Lost Their Allure - WSJ

  • Of those that completed a public listing through a SPAC merger in 2020, about 50% missed their revenue forecasts and 42% saw their revenue decline in their first year as a public company,

  • Among 44 technology startups that completed a SPAC deal from the start of 2020 through this past April, share prices have on average fallen 12.6%

  • Enthusiasm for SPACs waned after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced new accounting mandates last month and stepped up scrutiny of other SPAC practices

  • Another deterrent for startups is mounting litigation from stock traders against SPACs, alleging conflicts of board members, breaches of fiduciary responsibilities and misleading statements, among other things.

  • The cooling demand is set against formidable supply: There are more than 400 SPACs searching for startups to merge with

  • SPACs generally have two years to complete their deal,

    • although startups tend to shy away from those that haven’t found a partner after about six months

    • CEOs said they are inundated with SPAC mail that they just delete or ignore.

    • Some are thoughtful in their overtures, but with many of them “it’s almost to the point where your company is irrelevant—they just want a deal.”

  • At the height of the frenzy, many startups skipped traditional private financing rounds in favor of a SPAC deal, but CEOs now say they are more inclined to tap the abundant venture-capital or private-equity options.

The Grammarphobia Blog: On mom, pop, and dad

  • The various “mom,” “pop,” and “dad” words are all probably derived from the “ma,” “pa,” and “da” sounds

    • that babbling infants utter and that parents mistakenly think are references to mother and father.

    • The parents then respond with baby talk that gives reduplicative, or doubled, sounds like “mama,” “papa,” and “dada” a maternal or paternal sense.

  • this process begins while babies are nursing:

    • “Often the sucking activities of a child are accompanied by a slight nasal murmur,

    • the only phonation which can be produced when the lips are pressed to mother’s breast or to the feeding bottle and the mouth full.”

  • After nursing,

    • “the nasal murmur may be supplied with an oral, particularly labial release; it may also obtain an optional vocalic support.”

    • (The “nasal murmur” is an m-m-m sound; the “labial release” and “vocalic support” produce an a-a-h sound.)

  • Since the mother is the source of a baby’s nourishment

    • “most of the infant’s longings are addressed to her,

    • and children, being prompted and instigated by the extant nursery words, gradually turn the nursery interjection [“mama”] into a parental term,

    • and adapt its expressive make-up to their regular phonemic patter.”

  • “a” is the easiest vowel for a babbling baby to produce.

    • All you have to do is open your mouth and make a noise.

  • Two of the easiest consonant sounds are “m” and “p.”

    • All you have to do is put your lips together—no tongue or teeth required.

    • That’s why they’re called labials.

  • The letter “d” is a bit harder since you have to put the tip of your tongue against the upper gum or upper teeth

  • The “f” and “th” sounds in “father” and “mother” are much harder to make, and even a toddler may have trouble with them.

In praise of --dry-run | G Research

  • Something I always want to see in a tool which does anything non-trivial is a --dry-run mode.

    • To be able to know what you’re about to do, before you do it, is a great and wondrous thing, helpful to the novice and the experienced user alike.

  • But in many languages (such as F#, the language I use most and the language this post is written in), we have a simpler and more lightweight way to machine-check things: we have the type system.

    • We can use the type system to keep our --dry-run and our “execute” flow in sync, by artificially introducing an API boundary down the middle of our tool: a boundary which the compiler can check.

    • The --dry-run mode produces a strongly-typed output which is essentially a declaration of what actions we want to carry out.

    • The “execute” mode consumes the --dry-run output as its own input.

  • an extra architectural benefit: it really pushes you to make your tool’s functionality into a library.

    • If you’ve got a function which works out what to do, and a function which does it, then you’ve got two ready-made units of compilation to pull out into the library;

    • additionally (in a statically-typed language) you’ve got some ready-made types (the ProgramInstructions) which serve as places from which to hang docstrings.

In praise of --dry-run | Hacker News

  • amirkdv: You still need safety nets for when someone is doing dangerous operations without dry-run.

    • Pointing and calling is a great trick for this.

    • For example, say your tool is about to delete X, Y, and Z. Instead of a simple "Yes" confirmation which the user would quickly end up doing on auto-pilot, you could have a more involved confirmation like "Enter the number of resources listed above to proceed" and then only proceed to delete if the user enters "3".

Pointing and calling - Wikipedia

  • 指认呼唤是一种透过身体各种感官(包括视觉、大脑意识、身体动作、口诵及听觉)并用协调,以增加操控器械的注意力的职业安全动作方法。

  • 指差确认始创及流行于日本,原为铁路事业用的安全动作,

    • 做法是在各程序中以眼望物件、手指指著物件、同时口诵确认、心手并用及集中精神,

    • 以达到减少人为失误导致意外的效果。

    • 后来它广泛用于不同范畴的事业,包括建造业、制造业及机电工程等等。