Archive for April 5, 2023

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Bob Lee, RIP

Amy Graff (Hacker News):

Bob Lee, 43, died after being found stabbed on the 400 block of Main Street in SoMa. Lee was chief product officer of MobileCoin[…]

Romain Dillet:

Before joining MobileCoin, Bob Lee worked at Google for the first few years of Android, focusing on core library development. He then joined Square, the payment company that later became Block, to develop its Android app. He became the company’s first CTO and also created Cash App.

Bob Lee, also known as ‘Crazy Bob,’ was an investor in tech startups as well.

Scott Perry:

goddamn, I was thinking of Bob last night as I wrote a ringbuffer for something. what a terrible loss

Dylan Field:

So sad to hear of @crazybob’s untimely passing. I first met him in summer 2006 — he didn’t care that I was only 14 and we talked tech / geeked out about programming. We remained connected over the years and he was an early supporter of Figma. It’s so hard to believe he is gone.


I want to draw attention to Bob Lee, a well-respected technologist and prototype hacker, always curious and sharing lots of interesting technical developments. He was a great role model for how Engineers should be respected in an executive capacity as he advanced his career from 'Software' to 'Product'. His efforts contributed to technology used by millions.


Please share your stories featuring Bob Lee, who I'm sure would like to be remembered for his contributions rather than as a victim of this unfortunate awful event.

Bryan Cantrill:

Bob very much deserves to be remembered as you described him: an engineer’s engineer. I first met him at Foo Camp in 2011, and we had a deeply enthralling conversation about building the Square reader. As it turns out, credit card swipes are (were?) fiendishly complicated! (I still tell others the advice that Bob gave me: for the best read, you want constant acceleration of your card -- not a fast swipe.) He showed me the tooling that he had built at Square to debug bad swipes; it was a role model for rigor in engineering and especially for the power of tooling.

Yishan Wong:

I met him when he was CTO of Square and I was consulting there - here is a write-up of some great programming that he did for a coding challenge.


He was not a high-flying celebrity CTO, he was a great engineer who was just happy to be able to solve problems and Square was lucky to have him.


Bob was a nice guy. We had an overlapping tenure at Google in the 2000s. He was one of the original authors of the Guice dependency injection framework. When I was earning Java readability at Google, I was fortunate to have had him assigned as a reviewer. Having the review work so smoothly alleviated a lot of the imposter syndrome I felt at the time. I felt like a million bucks afterwards. The compassion and humility he brought to the table made a world of difference.

See also: LinkedIn.

Update (2023-04-06): Wil Shipley:

He was just such a nice dude, and also so brilliant.

I once had a meeting with him at Square where I was showing off our barcode-reading tools and he showed me his magnetic-strip reading tools and his were WAYYYY better than mine.

See also: MobileCoin:

StopTheFonts 1.0

Jeff Johnson (Mastodon):

Today I’m introducing StopTheFonts, a Safari content blocker for web fonts on iOS and macOS, available now in the App Store.


There are a number of reasons to use StopTheFonts: to protect your privacy, because every web font is loaded over the web, exposing your IP address and possibly other information, often to third parties; to make web pages load faster, because they don’t have to wait for the fonts to load; to save bandwidth on carrier-limited connections.


StopTheFonts makes it easier to create a “blank slate” for font replacement rules in StopTheMadness.

It’s a $2.99 universal purchase.


Update (2023-04-07): Jeff Johnson:

Apple seriously rejected version 1.1 of StopTheFonts for this complete bullshit.

The biggest problem is that App Review asked me for [documentation and a screenshot] while I was trying to rush out a version 1.1 update instead of asking me for these bullshit things while they were reviewing version 1.0.

That’s always the most frustrating part: we suddenly get rejected for things that were already accepted!


Dark Noise 3.0

John Voorhees:

The free version of Dark Noise includes eight sounds, continuous sound looping, Shortcuts support, Siri integration, and a timer. The Pro subscription increases the number of sounds to over 50 and adds custom sound mixes, alternate app icons, themes, and Family Sharing. The Pro features are also available as a one-time purchase.


There are a lot of ambient sound apps on the App Store, but a lot aren’t very good. Dark Noise is excellent, and I expect having a free tier to show off what the app can do to new users will result in more paid users in the long run.


Version 3.0 also introduces remastered Rain, Beach, Airplane Interior, and Thunderstorm sounds that sound better when used with stereo speakers.

I have been using Rain Rain for years, and both iOS and macOS now have built-in Background Sounds, which can be triggered from Control Center or Siri.

Update (2023-04-06): Craig Grannell:

I’ve long used White Noise+, with its straightforward mixing desk layout and one-hit price.

Google Drive Adds File Limit

ra13 (via Hacker News):

Around 14th February 2023 several Google Drive accounts started showing an error of “Upload Failed” for any creation action carried out. (Eg. creating a new empty folder).

I faced the same on my Google Drive account (2 TB). My usage is only 1.62TB of the 2TB, and my Bin is empty.


There were a few reports of Google Support reps informing people of a 5 million item limit on Google Drive. (Regardless of if you have a 2TB, 5TB or 20TB account).

That might sound high, but up until this issue, I had 7 million files in my Google Drive without any problems at all.

Now all of a sudden, since ~14th Feb, it’s unusable, unless i delete 2 million files!

Ben Schoon (via Slashdot):

Effectively, that user and anyone else in the same situation are locked out of their accounts, with the files stored now in a “read-only” mode.


In a brief Twitter thread, Google tonight confirmed that it is rolling back the limit on created files for all Google Drive users. The limit, which was imposed by surprise, was done to “preserve stability and optimize performance.” Google says that it is now looking into “alternate approaches” despite reiterating that only a small number of users were affected by the limit.

Google also addressed its shortcoming in notifying users of the limit, saying that “will communicate” any further changes to users prior to implementing them.


Google Drive lost all our HR files, everyone’s contracts etc. Huge panic. We only got them back by using Vault (the legal discovery back door, which doesn’t return them in the same format or folder structure). And yes, no one deleted them - I checked the audit logs.

See also: Hacker News, Ron Amadeo.