Mark Smith’s Newsletter - Saturday 24th July, 2021

Wordpress buys Pocket Casts, Clubhouse, Google Maps, Node-Red Dev Tools, Compiled Nodejs Apps, Virgin Galactic, Netflix, Privacy, Tiger Global, Outer Space, Tech in the EU

Hello and welcome to my newsletter!

Another season 2 instalment…

It’s all about the podcasts this week, with several space related episodes which I found fascinating.

From how life evolved on Earth, to what the outer solar system is really like, and of course the possibility of alien life out there, or indeed here on the small asteroidish planet we inhabit.

Also in the past few weeks Richard Branson took a trip up to space in one of the rocket’s he’s been building for many years. It’s a big moment because it’s the start of commercial space travel. Humans travelling to space! Incredible.

There are also some javascript / nodejs / tech links scattered in amongst the podcasts.

Housekeeping note: I just noticed earlier that the hash (#) links in the newsletter have been broken for several issues. There’s was a bug in the way I’ve been copying over the links into the newsletter. I’ve deployed a fix, so hopefully the hash links won’t be broken going forward.

That’s all from me this week…

I hope you enjoy the links!

As usual all the articles from the linkblog in chronological order are included below, which is also a good way to explore, there are some pieces there amongst the main summary items that didn’t make it into the main themes, but these are interesting in their own right, and often end up developing into something more substantial further down the line.

Special mentions

Stuff from me

Nothing from me this week :(

Stuff from around the web


Automattic, owner of Tumblr and, buys podcast app Pocket Casts - Pretty big news I’d say, I used to use Pocket Casts, it’s a great app, and Wordpress is of course massive and looks to be setting sail in an interesting direction #

Clubhouse is no longer invite-only #

Google Maps will help you avoid crowded mass transit in way more cities - The subway carriage business tool sounds cool #

Node-Red - Version 2.0 released - There aren’t a huge amount of new features, however they are releasing the first version of a flow debugger and linter which look super interesting, it’s part of their push to improve the developer experience #

vervet/ncc - Compile a Node.js project into a single file - Supports TypeScript, binary addons, dynamic requires #

Virgin Galactic: Sir Richard Branson rockets to the edge of space - This happened a few weeks ago, I’m just seeing it now, I’ve listened to some great space podcasts this week, so it’s incredible to hear that he made it up there, pretty big moment for travel :) #


Source Code Podcast - Netflix gaming, privacy fights and the rise of Tiger Global - Great selection of interesting and current tech topics with coverage of Netflix’s somewhat surprising move into the gaming space, the recent twists and turns in the privacy debate which has gravitated over to the W3C, and Tiger Global shaking up the VC industry, all with just the right amount of depth and analysis #

Lex Fridman Podcast Ep #198 – Sara Walker - The Origin of Life on Earth and Alien Worlds #

Lex Fridman Podcast Ep #201 – Konstantin Batygin - Planet 9 and the Edge of Our Solar System # Podcast - Going after the world from Europe - Interview with Jean-Pierre Saad from investment firm KKR - I enjoyed this interview, some good perspective, lots of stuff happening in the european tech sector #


Thanks for reading!


Mark Smith‘s Newsletter is a weekly roundup of some of the best javascript, tech and web development links published to my daily linkblog.

If you liked this newsletter you might like my blogdaily linkblog or experimental podcast :)

I’m a freelance web developer, consultant and automation engineer, consider hiring me!

Have a great weekend and a fantastic next week!