Joe Blau

Design Engineer

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The Sovereign Ratio

Measuring the New Power Metric

Have you ever considered what truly determines your ability to influence the world around you? Beyond wealth and status, there lies a concept poised to redefine personal empowerment: the Sovereign Ratio.

The Sovereign Ratio is a metric that quantifies your capacity to act independently and shape your environment. It’s a balance between being bound by external forces and standing sovereign amidst life’s chaos.

At the heart of the Sovereign Ratio are six core pillars:

  • Economic Stability: Your financial freedom and resilience.
  • Political Influence: Your voice and power in civic affairs.
  • Social Connectivity: Your network’s strength and your societal impact.
  • Emotional Equilibrium: Your psychological well-being and emotional intelligence.
  • Health Stability: Your physical health and access to healthcare.
  • Educational Foundation: Your knowledge base and...

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Age Of Suggestion

The battle for consumer’s attention is increasing and winning products will be the ones that provide relevant and accurate suggestions.

In the late 90’s there were over 20 search engines categorized by different dynamics and chracretists. Some were manually curated and others used web crawlers to create a graph of links between websites. Regardless of the technique used to build the search index, users of the engines were responsible for typing the question they wanted to answer for. Today we know that the winner from the last 20 years of search is Google.

As we transitioned through the early 2000’s, search was infused into every product. Napster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube all built amazing companies around allowing users to create, share and search content. Today more than half of the world is online increasing the number of content creators, bots, and...

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Rebuilding My Favorite Messaging App

In December of 2019, TapStack shut down. I discovered TapTalk (TapStack) in 2014 during the rise of a handful of quick-shot messaging apps (Yo era). My face is even in a screenshot from a TechCrunch article by Mike Butcher in 2014. There were three things that immediately attracted me to the product.

The first was privacy. TapTalk did not have a public feed where people could like, comment, heart, favorite, repost, upvote, and amplify. The network was only for people that you already knew which made it great for sharing personal and private messages.

The second was speed. Sending a tap was faster (still faster) than any other messaging platform. Instagram and Snapchat rely on post-production filters and editing before sharing your messages. TapTalk inverted this model by placing the editing up front. Pre-production creates a quick message composition workflow for sending messages using...

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The Tesla API

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 5.24.11 PM.png

To create my own Mobile Application, I need to figure out Tesla’s API. Since I am more familiar with iOS and Apple ecosystem, I am going to use tools I have at my disposal to try and figure out what API’s are available.

My Toolset

  • iMazing2 - This application makes it easy to download the .ipa files from Apple’s servers.
  • Charles Proxy - This is a proxy server that can be used to inspect network calls coming from your mobile device.
  • Hopper - This is a disassembler that allows you to reverse engineer compiled binaries.


In order to reverse engineer the Tesla API, I need to figure out what API the current mobile app uses. I have version 3.4.3 installed on my phone so I started with that App.

  1. Use iMazing to Download the Tesla 3.4.3.ipa
  2. Rename the Tesla 3.4.3.ipa to Tesla
  3. Unzip Tesla
  4. cd into the Payload/
  5. List files

Now that we are in...

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Tesla Mobile Experience


In June 2018 I parked my Model X to charge it and as I went to unlock the charger, the doors and charge port closed and locked. The key fob died entirely so the vehicle assumed nobody was present. This is usually not a problem because you can use the mobile app to unlock the vehicle, but my phone was also inside on the charger. The other thing that was inside the vehicle was my 18 month old son.

At this point, I ran around the vehicle trying to unlock all of the doors. Thankfully, I have a second work phone and I was able to call Tesla to remotely unlock my vehicle. I later learned that there is passive access if your key dies at the base of the driver side B-pillar. After calling Tesla, I called my wife and told her our son was locked in the vehicle and I was waiting on a call back from Tesla.

Funny enough, my son thought I was playing a game by running around the vehicle...

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The Community has been growing slowly and steadily for five years. A lot of that growth is due to the community building tools on top of I want to highlight some great tools built by the community that use to help you create useful .gitignore files for your project.


goji by Cuong Manh Le

This is a gitignore client built in Go with the goal of making gitignore client more portable, without relying on the shell, curl, wget or any other http client.


go get -u

ignr by Antriksh Yadav (or simply ignr) is a Python-based command line utility to fetch .gitignore templates from has official command line tools, but they rely on bash or zsh, and may not be compatible with all systems out there.


pip install ignr

add-ignore by Tejas Kumar

Add ignore is a node.js...

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The Transportation Renaissance


Human beings are embarking on the dawn of a transportation renaissance. In the past five years, multiple evolutionary and revolutionary transportation products surfaced with the potential to dethrone incumbent businesses and reshape our planet.

Each novel transportation product promotes a combination of environmental, energy, and time savings. Four areas where design, engineering, and product teams are focusing their efforts are intracity, intercity, international, and interplanetary.



Traveling between two points within a city

Two intracity transportation renaissance contributors are bike sharing and self-driving vehicle products. Intracity incumbents include businesses such as parking meters, parking-decks, subways, city-busses, taxis, moving traffic violations, the auto-insurance industry, and auto-manufacturing.

Bike Sharing
Citibike • Ford GoBike • Jump


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Bitcoin: What is The Big Deal?

Bitcoin marks the first time one person is able to give money to another person on the Internet without a bank between them. After the money is sent, the second person has the money and the first person does not.

View → Template Fork

Growing Beyond GitHub’s gitignore Template List

Since Feb 13, 2013, relied on GitHub’s list of gitignore templates to power the website. GitHub maintains the most popular gitignore template list as reflected by it’s 50,000+ stars. As grows, our community faces challenges relying on GitHub’s template list.

  1. Responsiveness - GitHub maintains a popular template list, but is slow to merge pull requests. This results in slow updates to templates and certain developers simply abandoning their requests.

  2. Acceptance - gitignore templates must meet contributing guideline requirements preventing merges from small and undocumented projects. As a result, already has twice as many gitignore templates.

  3. Composition - Larger templates, such as the Objective-C.gitignore, can not be composed from smaller templates. Objective-C.gitignore includes Cocoapods...

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Benchmarking Express vs Vapor

Migrating from Express To Vapor

I have maintained since February of 2013. Recently, I decided to update the website from the ground up to version 2.0 with lofty goals such as snapshot tests, public metrics, localization, 100% test cases, and 100% code coverage. My goal was to increase site performance under the same server constraints. I’ve been running the site using one free Heroku Dyno since 2013 and as the site slowly grows, I want to ensure that the site is fast.

Why Vapor?

Vapor fit my 2.0 requirements needs. I tried Perfect and looked at IBM Kitura, but at the time neither had a good localization solution. The server-side Swift community is growing rapidly and each framework solves slightly different problems when it comes to building web applications and web services. That being said, all three communities are awesome and extremely helpful. If...

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