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Ian Bicking has been shared in 5 public circles

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Oleg Kochetkov1,798HI All!I am very happy to share  for you  this #circle . You'll love this circle. This is TOP Google + peoples circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Do +1 t the post.  2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest)         (ex: fashion, photography, seo, social media marketing).   3 - Include the circle among your circles.   4 - Share the circle (include yourself).   #circles   #circleshare #circlesharing #sharedcircles #sharingcircles #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircleoftheday #circlemonday #share #shared #followers #addcircles #publicsharedcircles #share #addpeople #addcircle #addfriends #circle #empireavenue #socialmedia   #influencers #influencer   #influence #influencermarketing #slivermetalcircle 2014-01-20 18:46:52501402620
Tom Brander2,281Figured with Pycon coming up it was time to share this circle again if you want to be added comment below!2012-03-05 15:51:34471400
Tom Brander2,081Superseded by this updated circle post https://plus.google.com/u/0/118303283951449952966/posts/assbAGsf2ej Once again, (updated) my Python circle, let me know if you want to be added and you have a real interest in Python..Therefore I have closed comments here2012-01-08 18:54:034662000
Andy Dustman247Like Python? Here's my Pythonistas circle. Only a portion of these were personally hand-selected. Some are from +Michael Bernstein and others. Oh, and the convention seems to be, +1 this if you think you should be in this circle.Andy Dustman shared a circle with you.2011-10-13 19:33:37389204
Michael Bernstein1,976This is my Python circle. I've included folks from the Django, Zope, Pyramid, and Plone communities, among others. Are you a user of Python? Let me know and I'll add you too!Michael Bernstein shared a circle with you.2011-10-11 17:42:3129541813

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 22

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2014-04-25 02:43:59 (22 comments, 2 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Lots of theories on why Google+ is failing on https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7642900

I think Circles deserve more credit for G+'s failures than it is given – especially since it is never given any credit.  It's not just that Circles don't work (they are impossible to maintain or reasonably curate), but the idea and presence of Circles is what supported poor decisions like No Pseudonyms.  With a carefully maintained set of Circles and reliably posting to appropriate groups and Circles you could achieve whatever privacy you want.  But that's a fake feature.  And Google should have known that, Gmail excels because it doesn't expect users to handle their mail through careful categorization and folders, instead it tries to figure it out after the fact.  Facebook also has a set of usable groups that are maintained algorithmically (like Close Friends, and Friends in[homet... more »

Most reshares: 11

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2014-12-15 21:38:57 (3 comments, 11 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

"Back during World War II, the RAF lost a lot of planes to German anti-aircraft fire. So they decided to armor them up. But where to put the armor? The obvious answer was to look at planes that returned from missions, count up all the bullet holes in various places, and then put extra armor in the areas that attracted the most fire.

"Obvious but wrong. As Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald explained at the time, if a plane makes it back safely even though it has, say, a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren't very dangerous. What you really want to do is armor up the areas that, on average, don't have any bullet holes. Why? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That's why you don't see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return."  (From... more »

Most plusones: 29

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2014-12-15 21:38:57 (3 comments, 11 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

"Back during World War II, the RAF lost a lot of planes to German anti-aircraft fire. So they decided to armor them up. But where to put the armor? The obvious answer was to look at planes that returned from missions, count up all the bullet holes in various places, and then put extra armor in the areas that attracted the most fire.

"Obvious but wrong. As Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald explained at the time, if a plane makes it back safely even though it has, say, a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren't very dangerous. What you really want to do is armor up the areas that, on average, don't have any bullet holes. Why? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That's why you don't see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return."  (From... more »

Latest 50 posts

2014-12-17 04:55:09 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

I don't really get this sort of thing.  Maybe because I understand how to do stuff without jQuery well enough.  But jQuery isn't really a framework.  It maps reasonably well.  Doing something like $el.offset() is surprisingly painful without jQuery.  Doing $(".active").removeClass("active") without jQuery is easy, but terribly tedious.  $el.is(":visible") is pretty challenging to do right.  Of course many of these you can do naively without much trouble!  like (el.style.display == "none") – and that will work with a very particular application logic, and you'll test it and it will be okay, and maybe it is okay.  And when you fix it you might implement a real visibility test (thus going down the path of reproducing jQuery bit by bit), or you may work around it another way, probably some terrible way that only makes everything even morefragile.more »

I don't really get this sort of thing.  Maybe because I understand how to do stuff without jQuery well enough.  But jQuery isn't really a framework.  It maps reasonably well.  Doing something like $el.offset() is surprisingly painful without jQuery.  Doing $(".active").removeClass("active") without jQuery is easy, but terribly tedious.  $el.is(":visible") is pretty challenging to do right.  Of course many of these you can do naively without much trouble!  like (el.style.display == "none") – and that will work with a very particular application logic, and you'll test it and it will be okay, and maybe it is okay.  And when you fix it you might implement a real visibility test (thus going down the path of reproducing jQuery bit by bit), or you may work around it another way, probably some terrible way that only makes everything even more fragile.

If you want to reproduce jQuery in a slightly less magical way, sure; lots of people have.  There's other approaches too, but there's far more approaches that are worse than jQuery than better.  ___

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2014-12-15 21:38:57 (3 comments, 11 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

"Back during World War II, the RAF lost a lot of planes to German anti-aircraft fire. So they decided to armor them up. But where to put the armor? The obvious answer was to look at planes that returned from missions, count up all the bullet holes in various places, and then put extra armor in the areas that attracted the most fire.

"Obvious but wrong. As Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald explained at the time, if a plane makes it back safely even though it has, say, a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren't very dangerous. What you really want to do is armor up the areas that, on average, don't have any bullet holes. Why? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That's why you don't see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return."  (From... more »

"Back during World War II, the RAF lost a lot of planes to German anti-aircraft fire. So they decided to armor them up. But where to put the armor? The obvious answer was to look at planes that returned from missions, count up all the bullet holes in various places, and then put extra armor in the areas that attracted the most fire.

"Obvious but wrong. As Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald explained at the time, if a plane makes it back safely even though it has, say, a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren't very dangerous. What you really want to do is armor up the areas that, on average, don't have any bullet holes. Why? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That's why you don't see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return."  (From http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/09/counterintuitive-world)

When considering software practice and process I wonder if we make the same mistake, looking to armor the area with the most bullet holes.  Every time you have to maintain some buggy annoying and difficult piece of software, you are patching up one of the planes that got home, that made it through.  No one maintains the software that never made it through battle.  The projects that flew on until they ran out of fuel, and due to navigator error never turned around to head home to base.  There's lots of failure modes.  Most of them aren't contingent on the quality of the software engineering.___

2014-12-13 18:15:07 (8 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

I think REST is the PHP of protocol design: it'll get you there, and at least you won't have complicated things too much.

I think REST is the PHP of protocol design: it'll get you there, and at least you won't have complicated things too much.___

2014-12-12 16:56:55 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Writing jQuery-only frontend code feels a lot like coding PHP.  In that you figure out what you want to do, you start at the top, and you work your way through, and it's long and wordy and hard to maintain, but you spend your time on what you are trying to do and not on your tools.  It has its ups and downs.

Writing jQuery-only frontend code feels a lot like coding PHP.  In that you figure out what you want to do, you start at the top, and you work your way through, and it's long and wordy and hard to maintain, but you spend your time on what you are trying to do and not on your tools.  It has its ups and downs.___

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2014-12-12 16:31:39 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Another thought related to my last (https://plus.google.com/u/1/104537541227697934010/posts/h8nRQjf53SQ):

For a rich experience, I see two general arguments for rendering server-side: faster and more efficient page loads, and accessibility by robots (search engines, summarizers, etc.)  Given that React.js makes it so easy to essentially "fix up" a page, I wonder if a good compromise would be to render the skeleton of a page on the server, and then let it get fixed up.  I'm thinking you wouldn't render any controls.  A downside is that it would create jitter as those controls are put into place, and if you try to put in placeholders then maybe you have as much complexity as you started with.  But lots of controls are contingent on state that you might not want to calculate on the server.

Another thought related to my last (https://plus.google.com/u/1/104537541227697934010/posts/h8nRQjf53SQ):

For a rich experience, I see two general arguments for rendering server-side: faster and more efficient page loads, and accessibility by robots (search engines, summarizers, etc.)  Given that React.js makes it so easy to essentially "fix up" a page, I wonder if a good compromise would be to render the skeleton of a page on the server, and then let it get fixed up.  I'm thinking you wouldn't render any controls.  A downside is that it would create jitter as those controls are put into place, and if you try to put in placeholders then maybe you have as much complexity as you started with.  But lots of controls are contingent on state that you might not want to calculate on the server.___

2014-12-11 21:32:19 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Thinking about caching and webapps: it occurs to me that one way of thinking about the single-page app, or live pages in general, is that you have a function bringEverythingUpToDate().  (This is how React.js works at the template level – you can imagine the same thing at the domain object level.)  Assuming server-side rendering is valuable to you, you still have the opportunity to cache that rendering longer might otherwise seem appropriate – because a stale page is updatable on the fly, maybe quickly enough that the person viewing the page won't find it confusing.

Taking this a bit further: with lots of caching like this we're holding on to the data twice, once (inefficiently!) in the cached page, and a second time in the canonical database.  But what if instead of calling this thing a "cache" we call it "an accurate and correct snapshot of state at a moment intime&q... more »

Thinking about caching and webapps: it occurs to me that one way of thinking about the single-page app, or live pages in general, is that you have a function bringEverythingUpToDate().  (This is how React.js works at the template level – you can imagine the same thing at the domain object level.)  Assuming server-side rendering is valuable to you, you still have the opportunity to cache that rendering longer might otherwise seem appropriate – because a stale page is updatable on the fly, maybe quickly enough that the person viewing the page won't find it confusing.

Taking this a bit further: with lots of caching like this we're holding on to the data twice, once (inefficiently!) in the cached page, and a second time in the canonical database.  But what if instead of calling this thing a "cache" we call it "an accurate and correct snapshot of state at a moment in time".  Then once we've saved this thing, potentially we can throw away the data that formed the page and only track subsequent updates.  This of course changes a simple template update into a big migration task.  I still need to think this through some more.___

2014-12-11 08:17:42 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Right now I'm experimenting with a concept around content archiving and curation.  And I keep seeing shades of Pinterest in it.  I thought about it, and I realize that Pinterest is really one of the few new ideas in this area.  There's the recycling of blogs and photo sharing, Tumblr, Instagram... and there is something in them too, yes, but not a great deal.  Pinterest feels like a more distinct experiment, a more meaningful result.

It feels like we are iterating on the smaller ideas.  We're still in awe of five-year-old ideas.  This is not unfair, five years isn't so long, but time marches on and five years becomes six, and seven.  The curation and collection and organization of content is much of what it is to know things.  There is more to be done here.

My own little experiment feels modest.  But it's all modest.  Maybe because tools, as much as wethink abo... more »

Right now I'm experimenting with a concept around content archiving and curation.  And I keep seeing shades of Pinterest in it.  I thought about it, and I realize that Pinterest is really one of the few new ideas in this area.  There's the recycling of blogs and photo sharing, Tumblr, Instagram... and there is something in them too, yes, but not a great deal.  Pinterest feels like a more distinct experiment, a more meaningful result.

It feels like we are iterating on the smaller ideas.  We're still in awe of five-year-old ideas.  This is not unfair, five years isn't so long, but time marches on and five years becomes six, and seven.  The curation and collection and organization of content is much of what it is to know things.  There is more to be done here.

My own little experiment feels modest.  But it's all modest.  Maybe because tools, as much as we think about them, are still only a small corner of what it is to know something.  It is arrogant to imagine a tool can change what it is to know something.  And so incrementalism is our only option, the only thing it is fair to ask for.

Ah, my intention of a flippant but complimentary comment about Pinterest has turned wistful.  I blame it on the late hour.  To bed!___

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2014-10-29 05:48:08 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

Listening to Alan Watts (http://zencast.org/zencast-455-what-is-by-alan-watts):

Nature: the mechanistic surroundings that contain us (or do not! much debate!)  Libido: the mechanism of self-reproduction.

Remove the titillation from libido and it is still most certainly a thing, but it also seems almost unrecognizable.  It is not hard to acknowledge that we see nature as mechanistic, despite any appreciation we may have for its mechanism.  Acknowledging libido as natural is easy in the abstract, hard in practice.  Acknowledging libido as natural, mechanistic, and also part of our psyche and perhaps part of our soul – it is challenging to make all those ideas intellectually consistent.

Listening to Alan Watts (http://zencast.org/zencast-455-what-is-by-alan-watts):

Nature: the mechanistic surroundings that contain us (or do not! much debate!)  Libido: the mechanism of self-reproduction.

Remove the titillation from libido and it is still most certainly a thing, but it also seems almost unrecognizable.  It is not hard to acknowledge that we see nature as mechanistic, despite any appreciation we may have for its mechanism.  Acknowledging libido as natural is easy in the abstract, hard in practice.  Acknowledging libido as natural, mechanistic, and also part of our psyche and perhaps part of our soul – it is challenging to make all those ideas intellectually consistent.___

2014-10-22 16:24:25 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Dear lazyweb, I don't know the right keywords to search for.  I'd like to use a service that can take incoming emails and forward them via a POST message to a web service.  I don't know what this would be called, but it must exist, right?

Dear lazyweb, I don't know the right keywords to search for.  I'd like to use a service that can take incoming emails and forward them via a POST message to a web service.  I don't know what this would be called, but it must exist, right?___

posted image

2014-10-07 14:16:26 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

I always appreciate a confessional (this one on Sage Math)

I always appreciate a confessional (this one on Sage Math)___

2014-10-04 05:01:14 (21 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Any recommendations for storing/archiving family videos in the cloud? Ideally viewable sharable private and safe.

Any recommendations for storing/archiving family videos in the cloud? Ideally viewable sharable private and safe.___

2014-10-01 21:21:30 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

"Set Up To Fail: How bosses create their own poor performers": http://www.insead.edu/facultyresearch/research/doc.cfm?did=46698

One thing that struck me was how much the boss behavior described here looks like micromanagement.  Which is to say: if your boss is micromanaging you, maybe it's not because your boss is a micromanager, but instead they just think you are a poor performer.  The paper also has some good insights into how this becomes a cycle, both affecting performance and the perception of performance.

"Set Up To Fail: How bosses create their own poor performers": http://www.insead.edu/facultyresearch/research/doc.cfm?did=46698

One thing that struck me was how much the boss behavior described here looks like micromanagement.  Which is to say: if your boss is micromanaging you, maybe it's not because your boss is a micromanager, but instead they just think you are a poor performer.  The paper also has some good insights into how this becomes a cycle, both affecting performance and the perception of performance.___

2014-09-29 23:32:08 (15 comments, 4 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

We're hiring on my team!  For an engineer to work on the client side of services for Firefox OS.

Mozilla is really unique: open source, product driven, with enough resources to explore new product areas.  Also very remote friendly and your work all happens in public.  In this job you'll be working on Firefox OS – an OS built entirely on web technologies.  (Firefox OS is often presented as "a phone", but this is a genuinely new OS, this sort of thing doesn't come around often!)

More details in the job listing.  Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.  We are open to both junior and senior candidates.

We're hiring on my team!  For an engineer to work on the client side of services for Firefox OS.

Mozilla is really unique: open source, product driven, with enough resources to explore new product areas.  Also very remote friendly and your work all happens in public.  In this job you'll be working on Firefox OS – an OS built entirely on web technologies.  (Firefox OS is often presented as "a phone", but this is a genuinely new OS, this sort of thing doesn't come around often!)

More details in the job listing.  Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.  We are open to both junior and senior candidates.___

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2014-09-29 17:18:40 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Park Rules

Park Rules___

2014-09-21 02:15:15 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Now this is a configuration management tool I could get behind.

Now this is a configuration management tool I could get behind.___

posted image

2014-09-18 18:01:39 (4 comments, 2 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

An actual warrant canary?  That actually detected something?  The concept always seem so fantastical and so seldom seen that I wondered if they were really a plausible thing, or just the dream of programmers that think the law can be hacked like code.

An actual warrant canary?  That actually detected something?  The concept always seem so fantastical and so seldom seen that I wondered if they were really a plausible thing, or just the dream of programmers that think the law can be hacked like code.___

2014-09-16 04:49:27 (4 comments, 8 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Wherein I admit I am no longer even a programmer: http://www.ianbicking.org/blog/2014/09/professional-transitions.html

Wherein I admit I am no longer even a programmer: http://www.ianbicking.org/blog/2014/09/professional-transitions.html___

2014-09-14 15:39:14 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Mr Google's Guidebook: "I was in a train, reading a newspaper article about Alfred Wainwright's classic hand-written guides to the paths of the Lake District. It explained that, while the routes of footpaths usually evolved over time rendering such guides as Wainwright's obsolete, the very success of Mr. Wainwright's magnificent effort had preserved their relevance. People used the guides to follow the paths, cementing the routes in place for much longer than would have been the case without them."

Mr Google's Guidebook: "I was in a train, reading a newspaper article about Alfred Wainwright's classic hand-written guides to the paths of the Lake District. It explained that, while the routes of footpaths usually evolved over time rendering such guides as Wainwright's obsolete, the very success of Mr. Wainwright's magnificent effort had preserved their relevance. People used the guides to follow the paths, cementing the routes in place for much longer than would have been the case without them."___

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2014-09-05 19:01:50 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

“I personally feel guilty for getting star-struck and overly agreeable when Jennifer Lawrence floated her weak password ideas by me.”

“I personally feel guilty for getting star-struck and overly agreeable when Jennifer Lawrence floated her weak password ideas by me.”___

2014-09-03 04:11:05 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Maybe we anthropomorphosize so many things not because of some bias or social overlay on our thinking, but because we developed abstract thinking as a social tool, just as another part of our brain developed another way of thinking to interpret images. And then our so-called "rational" mind is just a hack to reuse a specifically social tool as a general purpose problem solver. Like mining Bitcoin on your GPU - that's handy the GPU can do that, but no one would call it a stupid GPU if it happened to be bad at mining Bitcoin.

Maybe we anthropomorphosize so many things not because of some bias or social overlay on our thinking, but because we developed abstract thinking as a social tool, just as another part of our brain developed another way of thinking to interpret images. And then our so-called "rational" mind is just a hack to reuse a specifically social tool as a general purpose problem solver. Like mining Bitcoin on your GPU - that's handy the GPU can do that, but no one would call it a stupid GPU if it happened to be bad at mining Bitcoin.___

posted image

2014-08-27 15:42:45 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Current status: http://www.theonion.com/articles/courageous-email-to-boss-in-drafts-folder-since-de,2492/

Current status: http://www.theonion.com/articles/courageous-email-to-boss-in-drafts-folder-since-de,2492/___

2014-08-25 19:37:50 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

It's funny that on phones people take lots of pictures and video, but almost no audio-only recordings.  Since, after all, phones are traditionally about audio.  There's some more general observation embedded in this that I am not seeing.

It's funny that on phones people take lots of pictures and video, but almost no audio-only recordings.  Since, after all, phones are traditionally about audio.  There's some more general observation embedded in this that I am not seeing.___

2014-08-18 21:10:44 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

I wonder what it would look like if a bug tracker had Stack Overflow-style responses.  So instead of an extended linear thread in response to a bug, you had various comments, each of them possibly expanded.

It doesn't quite work... but there's something about a bug (at least harder bugs) that typically involves a period where the understanding grows and the notion of the bug is expanded on.  The dialog of a bug doesn't represent that growing understanding very well.  Maybe another interaction model could.

I wonder what it would look like if a bug tracker had Stack Overflow-style responses.  So instead of an extended linear thread in response to a bug, you had various comments, each of them possibly expanded.

It doesn't quite work... but there's something about a bug (at least harder bugs) that typically involves a period where the understanding grows and the notion of the bug is expanded on.  The dialog of a bug doesn't represent that growing understanding very well.  Maybe another interaction model could.___

posted image

2014-08-12 21:43:24 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

This article summarizes well many (all?) request for open dialogue; quoting much of the article:

Let’s ask: When it comes to sex, what’s permitted? What’s off-limits? What should stay private? I have specific answers in mind for each of these questions, but until we start framing them in an indignant way that makes it impossible to differ with me, progress cannot and will not happen.

The progress I speak of is only possible through the discursive exchange of opinions I already hold.

And let me just say that being “uncomfortable” with this discourse is no excuse. If that’s how people feel, then we must find a way to move from “uncomfortable” to “zealous outrage in favor of all my positions.” We need to do more than just acknowledge these views. We need to congratulate me for forming them.

This article summarizes well many (all?) request for open dialogue; quoting much of the article:

Let’s ask: When it comes to sex, what’s permitted? What’s off-limits? What should stay private? I have specific answers in mind for each of these questions, but until we start framing them in an indignant way that makes it impossible to differ with me, progress cannot and will not happen.

The progress I speak of is only possible through the discursive exchange of opinions I already hold.

And let me just say that being “uncomfortable” with this discourse is no excuse. If that’s how people feel, then we must find a way to move from “uncomfortable” to “zealous outrage in favor of all my positions.” We need to do more than just acknowledge these views. We need to congratulate me for forming them.___

posted image

2014-08-09 21:09:24 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

I sometimes think about how the built and natural world could intersect more fully.  As humans we are generally capable of enhancing growth through our effort.  We use that for certain ends, to grow food or well manicured golf courses.  But I think we could achieve any number of goals.

I can't help but look at many a forest and think: this seems very inefficient.  There are points of intensity, a clearing, a pond, a grand tree.  Some plant life feels like it gives freely of itself, and some does not – many perennials seem well invested in withholding their energy, even withholding from growth from the plant itself.  I wonder about fallen leaves and needles – part of me thinks they are actually evolved as a weed suppressant, leaving the ground covered with a mat of life-suppressing material.  Forests seem relatively quiet, devoid of life, compared to environments filled withvascular p... more »

I sometimes think about how the built and natural world could intersect more fully.  As humans we are generally capable of enhancing growth through our effort.  We use that for certain ends, to grow food or well manicured golf courses.  But I think we could achieve any number of goals.

I can't help but look at many a forest and think: this seems very inefficient.  There are points of intensity, a clearing, a pond, a grand tree.  Some plant life feels like it gives freely of itself, and some does not – many perennials seem well invested in withholding their energy, even withholding from growth from the plant itself.  I wonder about fallen leaves and needles – part of me thinks they are actually evolved as a weed suppressant, leaving the ground covered with a mat of life-suppressing material.  Forests seem relatively quiet, devoid of life, compared to environments filled with vascular plants, plants that live fast rather than long.

And what if we were to design for this?  Big scale – bulldozers and irrigation and amendments.  And a place for humans, but with neither as an afterthought; not just a cabin in the woods, and not just lawns between buildings on a campus.

I came upon this Buckminster Fuller city design.  The fun old futurist designs people don't do anymore (or if they do, I'd be great fun to see).  It is of a scale that would be a sort of environment.  And it seems implied that there would be considerable landscaping, but I assume all on top of concrete.  I'm suspicious of this sense that you can just implant a natural environment so easily.  (For example: http://persquaremile.com/2013/03/07/trees-dont-like-it-up-there/ – but then apparently at least one building is getting along: http://www.dezeen.com/2014/05/15/stefano-boeri-bosco-verticale-vertical-forest-milan-skyscrapers/ and maybe it's not all just artist renderings).

I guess part of the desire is to be embedded in nature.  When you start with a flat ground and move up then you will not be embedded, even if you only go up a couple floors.  So it seems attractive to turn someone else's roof into your outdoor space.  I feel like there's a puzzle in this that might have some other solution, some of the intensity without quite so much concrete.___

2014-08-08 01:34:04 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

When I ask people about what they like and don't like in a manager, people frequently talk about how they don't like micromanaging.  Though I've had a variety of experiences with managers, positive and negative, I have never been micromanaged.  Is micromanagement really that common of a problem?  I wonder if it's just a really well labelled problem, so it comes to mind easily.  But maybe I'm wrong, my personal sampling is very small, I'd be curious about what specific micromanagement people have encountered, especially as a developer.

When I ask people about what they like and don't like in a manager, people frequently talk about how they don't like micromanaging.  Though I've had a variety of experiences with managers, positive and negative, I have never been micromanaged.  Is micromanagement really that common of a problem?  I wonder if it's just a really well labelled problem, so it comes to mind easily.  But maybe I'm wrong, my personal sampling is very small, I'd be curious about what specific micromanagement people have encountered, especially as a developer.___

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2014-07-19 18:06:44 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

I haven't quite figured out what this language is getting at, but it seems reminiscent of the tension in thinking about alternate logic systems that I was thinking about a while ago. Instead of a probabilistic approach this seems to be taking an all-of-the-above approach, where you run calculations and execute over unknown external inputs. At least that's what I'm imagining, I still haven't figured it out ;)

I haven't quite figured out what this language is getting at, but it seems reminiscent of the tension in thinking about alternate logic systems that I was thinking about a while ago. Instead of a probabilistic approach this seems to be taking an all-of-the-above approach, where you run calculations and execute over unknown external inputs. At least that's what I'm imagining, I still haven't figured it out ;)___

2014-07-11 17:03:36 (12 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

A strikingly high number of arrests, across races.  Not sure what to make of it.

A strikingly high number of arrests, across races.  Not sure what to make of it.___

2014-07-10 04:28:54 (20 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

I've been reading up on Rust and I want to try a project of some sort, but I'm at a loss to come up with an idea.  I don't really want to get into FFI and that complexity, and I also don't really feel like doing network stuff, and I tried Project Euler but found it too mathematical and not programy enough.  Any ideas?

I've been reading up on Rust and I want to try a project of some sort, but I'm at a loss to come up with an idea.  I don't really want to get into FFI and that complexity, and I also don't really feel like doing network stuff, and I tried Project Euler but found it too mathematical and not programy enough.  Any ideas?___

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2014-07-08 02:25:46 (8 comments, 2 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Ouch: " Those students who do show improvements tend to show only modest improvements. Students improved on average only 0.18 standard deviations over the first two years of college and 0.47 over four years. What this means is that a student who entered college in the 50th percentile of students in his or her cohort would move up to the 68th percentile four years later -- but that's the 68th percentile of a new group of freshmen who haven't experienced any college learning." [Also 34% of students didn't seem to learn anything in four years]

Ouch: " Those students who do show improvements tend to show only modest improvements. Students improved on average only 0.18 standard deviations over the first two years of college and 0.47 over four years. What this means is that a student who entered college in the 50th percentile of students in his or her cohort would move up to the 68th percentile four years later -- but that's the 68th percentile of a new group of freshmen who haven't experienced any college learning." [Also 34% of students didn't seem to learn anything in four years]___

2014-07-07 03:26:14 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Is there a term for the notion that doing a good job (at whatever you do) is a virtue?  That is, doing something you are paid for means doing something that other people value, and providing value to other people is one of our moral duties.  I've heard people talk in this way, but I've never encountered a name for it.

Is there a term for the notion that doing a good job (at whatever you do) is a virtue?  That is, doing something you are paid for means doing something that other people value, and providing value to other people is one of our moral duties.  I've heard people talk in this way, but I've never encountered a name for it.___

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2014-07-07 02:32:53 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

"Sauget was incorporated as "Monsanto" in 1926. It was formed to provide a liberal regulatory environment and low taxes for the Monsanto chemical plants at a time when local jurisdictions had most of the responsibility for environmental rules.
[...]
Although the Village of Sauget has but a tiny population, it has a lot of industry. The Village is controlled by these industries.
[...]
the Village operates a municipal physical/chemical treatment plant that receives industrial wastewater from its factories. This has been cited as one of only three municipal treatment plants of this type in the United States.
[...]
Sauget has its own 16-member fire department and 16-member police department; this is despite having a population below 250 people. There is roughly one officer and firefighter for every 15 residents in Sauget."

At first I thought it would... more »

"Sauget was incorporated as "Monsanto" in 1926. It was formed to provide a liberal regulatory environment and low taxes for the Monsanto chemical plants at a time when local jurisdictions had most of the responsibility for environmental rules.
[...]
Although the Village of Sauget has but a tiny population, it has a lot of industry. The Village is controlled by these industries.
[...]
the Village operates a municipal physical/chemical treatment plant that receives industrial wastewater from its factories. This has been cited as one of only three municipal treatment plants of this type in the United States.
[...]
Sauget has its own 16-member fire department and 16-member police department; this is despite having a population below 250 people. There is roughly one officer and firefighter for every 15 residents in Sauget."

At first I thought it would be at least a little ways out, but looking on the map Sauget is right across the river from downtown St. Louis, only 10 minutes away.___

2014-06-25 21:04:10 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

+Jason Orendorff asks if people would be interested in features to allow dynamic analysis of JS code.  Well of course, who wouldn't be?  Quoting:

We're considering building a JavaScript API for dynamic analysis of JS code. Here's the sort of thing you could do with it:

   - Gather code coverage information (useful for testing/release mgmt?)

   - Trace all object mutation and method calls (useful for devtools?)

   - Record/replay of JS execution (useful for devtools?)

   - Implement taint analysis (useful for the security team or devtools?)

   - Detect when a mathematical operation returns NaN (useful for game
     developers?)

+Jason Orendorff asks if people would be interested in features to allow dynamic analysis of JS code.  Well of course, who wouldn't be?  Quoting:

We're considering building a JavaScript API for dynamic analysis of JS code. Here's the sort of thing you could do with it:

   - Gather code coverage information (useful for testing/release mgmt?)

   - Trace all object mutation and method calls (useful for devtools?)

   - Record/replay of JS execution (useful for devtools?)

   - Implement taint analysis (useful for the security team or devtools?)

   - Detect when a mathematical operation returns NaN (useful for game
     developers?)___

2014-06-09 16:12:12 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

A job opportunity at Mozilla for a project manager with a web development background:

A job opportunity at Mozilla for a project manager with a web development background:___

2014-06-02 23:42:35 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Startup idea: load testing service where you write your load testing script in Javascript, and it gets injected into pages (like an ad network) to invoke the necessary load.  A little like Bitcoin mining bugs.

Startup idea: load testing service where you write your load testing script in Javascript, and it gets injected into pages (like an ad network) to invoke the necessary load.  A little like Bitcoin mining bugs.___

2014-06-02 03:34:56 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

My sister-in-law's car was broken into last night (she's also our next door neighbor).  We've had these problems regularly.  Along with various miscellany that was stolen was my foster-niece's graduation dress (I'll call her Z).

We are all white and middle class.  Z is not.  And Z is much more security conscious than we are.  To some degree from experience – we don't live in a very safe neighborhood, but Z has lived in worse.  But it's also a lot harder when she has lost material things.  It's a pain in the butt when we have something stolen, but whatever, we get new stuff.  We can manage our risk.  We can insure anything we can't afford to lose.

I don't know if our neighborhood is gentrifying.  Lots of people in the neighborhood are stressed out about that possibility.  I might consider myself the face of gentrification, except Idon't co... more »

My sister-in-law's car was broken into last night (she's also our next door neighbor).  We've had these problems regularly.  Along with various miscellany that was stolen was my foster-niece's graduation dress (I'll call her Z).

We are all white and middle class.  Z is not.  And Z is much more security conscious than we are.  To some degree from experience – we don't live in a very safe neighborhood, but Z has lived in worse.  But it's also a lot harder when she has lost material things.  It's a pain in the butt when we have something stolen, but whatever, we get new stuff.  We can manage our risk.  We can insure anything we can't afford to lose.

I don't know if our neighborhood is gentrifying.  Lots of people in the neighborhood are stressed out about that possibility.  I might consider myself the face of gentrification, except I don't consider myself an interloper and wouldn't really accept that classification.  When the subject of safety comes up gentrification also often comes up.  Perhaps because we see the more privileged members of the community worrying about security.  But isn't that just a function of the visibility of the privileged?  For most of these problems that the gentrifiers identify, complain about, and try to fix, I suspect the impact is greater on the less privileged in the community.

Or let's take the example of guys loitering.  Sometimes it turns into yelling and drinking and stuff like that, and that can make me uncomfortable, and I think about doing something about it, and sometimes I do.  But I could also tolerate it.  Those people don't really affect me.  I can easily avoid them.  Mostly we pass by each other like we're in two different worlds.  Maybe they don't have a better place to hang out, maybe this is their community building.  But it's not just annoying to Z – these are the guys that proposition her, who give catcalls when she and her friends go by.___

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2014-05-22 16:13:26 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"Xeer is the polycentric legal system of Somalia. Under this system, elders serve as judges and help mediate cases using precedents. It is an example of how customary law works within a stateless society and closely resembles the natural law principle."

There's a bunch of interesting details to this system, but I thought Insurance was particularly interesting:

"In order to assure that compensation will be forthcoming even in cases where the perpetrator is a child, or penniless, or mentally ill, or has fled abroad, the Xeer requires that every person be fully insured against any liability he might incur under the law. If an individual cannot make the required payment, a designated group of his kin are responsible. Van Notten describes in an interesting way how this happens:

"A person who violates someone's rights and is unable to pay the... more »

"Xeer is the polycentric legal system of Somalia. Under this system, elders serve as judges and help mediate cases using precedents. It is an example of how customary law works within a stateless society and closely resembles the natural law principle."

There's a bunch of interesting details to this system, but I thought Insurance was particularly interesting:

"In order to assure that compensation will be forthcoming even in cases where the perpetrator is a child, or penniless, or mentally ill, or has fled abroad, the Xeer requires that every person be fully insured against any liability he might incur under the law. If an individual cannot make the required payment, a designated group of his kin are responsible. Van Notten describes in an interesting way how this happens:

"A person who violates someone's rights and is unable to pay the compensation himself notifies his family, who then pays on his behalf. From an emotional point of view, this notification is a painful procedure, since no family member will miss the opportunity to tell the wrongdoer how vicious or stupid he was. Also, they will ask assurances that he will be more careful in the future. Indeed, all those who must pay for the wrongdoings of a family member will thereafter keep an eye on him and try to intervene before he incurs another liability. They will no longer, for example, allow him to keep or bear a weapon. While on other continents the re-education of criminals is typically a task of the government, in Somalia it is the responsibility of the family.

"If the family tires of bailing out a repeat offender, they can disown him, in which case he becomes an outlaw "Dayro." Not being insured, he/she forfeits all protection under the law and, for his safety, must leave the clan territories or even the country. Customary law is similar in this and many other respects throughout the world."___

2014-05-16 19:15:36 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

"I like the warm fuzzy feeling I get from knowing that Mozilla are out there doing the right thing. But there’s always been an edge of, well, they’re doing the right thing which means that I don’t have to. Firefox should stand on principle here and refuse to play DRMed videos… but of course I’m not going to stop using DRMed video, I’ll just use Safari for that. The warm fuzzy feeling is jolly nice, but it’s not enough to actually keep the Mozilla organisation running. If you dislike Mozilla doing this (which I do, too), then where’s the outcry against Apple and Microsoft and Google for doing the same thing? Where’s the outcry against them for doing it first? Mozilla helps keep the web open for us, but in return we have to help keep the web open for Mozilla. And we aren’t."

"I like the warm fuzzy feeling I get from knowing that Mozilla are out there doing the right thing. But there’s always been an edge of, well, they’re doing the right thing which means that I don’t have to. Firefox should stand on principle here and refuse to play DRMed videos… but of course I’m not going to stop using DRMed video, I’ll just use Safari for that. The warm fuzzy feeling is jolly nice, but it’s not enough to actually keep the Mozilla organisation running. If you dislike Mozilla doing this (which I do, too), then where’s the outcry against Apple and Microsoft and Google for doing the same thing? Where’s the outcry against them for doing it first? Mozilla helps keep the web open for us, but in return we have to help keep the web open for Mozilla. And we aren’t."___

2014-05-09 23:54:29 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

To understand internet discussions I think we must always ask "why is this group of people engaged in a discussion?" - it's easy to go into a discussion assuming it's just a global discussion among an organic group of peers, but that's never what it is.

If I'm talking about programming or something I don't feel it necessary to dissect the nature of the discussion - I suppose because it's not dysfunctional. But in discussions of politics, gender, identity, etc - where dysfunction is the norm, not the exception - I have started regularly asking myself why am I reading this? so I can understand the dynamic that precedes and includes me and avoid falling into traps.

But constructing the environment for a good discussion of these hard issues is still well beyond what I understand.

To understand internet discussions I think we must always ask "why is this group of people engaged in a discussion?" - it's easy to go into a discussion assuming it's just a global discussion among an organic group of peers, but that's never what it is.

If I'm talking about programming or something I don't feel it necessary to dissect the nature of the discussion - I suppose because it's not dysfunctional. But in discussions of politics, gender, identity, etc - where dysfunction is the norm, not the exception - I have started regularly asking myself why am I reading this? so I can understand the dynamic that precedes and includes me and avoid falling into traps.

But constructing the environment for a good discussion of these hard issues is still well beyond what I understand.___

2014-05-08 19:33:47 (9 comments, 2 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

It has occurred to me that with Firefox OS phones, WebRTC calling, and the infrastructure we are setting up around the phones, it would be possible (and maybe not that hard) to run a wifi-only phone system, not connected to any carrier or to the internet.  For security or logistical reasons. 

It's possible, but is there anyone interested in doing this sort of thing?  If so I'd like to talk to that person.

It has occurred to me that with Firefox OS phones, WebRTC calling, and the infrastructure we are setting up around the phones, it would be possible (and maybe not that hard) to run a wifi-only phone system, not connected to any carrier or to the internet.  For security or logistical reasons. 

It's possible, but is there anyone interested in doing this sort of thing?  If so I'd like to talk to that person.___

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2014-04-29 19:20:34 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Since the last two posts involved languages with non-ASCII characters, this popped into mind: a font that uses ligatures to take a notable groups of characters (like >=) and turn it into a nicer Unicode character (≥) – but only at the time of display.

Since the last two posts involved languages with non-ASCII characters, this popped into mind: a font that uses ligatures to take a notable groups of characters (like >=) and turn it into a nicer Unicode character (≥) – but only at the time of display.___

2014-04-29 19:18:39 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

I've heard references to Smalltalk 72 before, the version before Smalltalk-76 that basically contained all the features we know about Smalltalk today.  From what I'd heard Smalltalk-72 has a more open grammar than later Smalltalks, more appropriate for DSL-like systems.  But I'd only heard references, but came upon this manual:

http://www.textfiles.com/bitsavers/pdf/xerox/alto/Smalltalk72_Manual.pdf

(Via an emulator: http://lively-web.org/users/Dan/ALTO-Smalltalk-72.html)

On Page 22 they note even more funny characters in use than they ended up with, including a smiley face.  On Page 26 I am noticing that methods names weren't more dynamic, like "joe grow 100" which in later Smalltalks would be "joe grow: 100".  The Logo roots of Smalltalk are clearer here too.  For instance, using "to" as the function/method definitionword... more »

I've heard references to Smalltalk 72 before, the version before Smalltalk-76 that basically contained all the features we know about Smalltalk today.  From what I'd heard Smalltalk-72 has a more open grammar than later Smalltalks, more appropriate for DSL-like systems.  But I'd only heard references, but came upon this manual:

http://www.textfiles.com/bitsavers/pdf/xerox/alto/Smalltalk72_Manual.pdf

(Via an emulator: http://lively-web.org/users/Dan/ALTO-Smalltalk-72.html)

On Page 22 they note even more funny characters in use than they ended up with, including a smiley face.  On Page 26 I am noticing that methods names weren't more dynamic, like "joe grow 100" which in later Smalltalks would be "joe grow: 100".  The Logo roots of Smalltalk are clearer here too.  For instance, using "to" as the function/method definition word.  Also the kind of reversed Forth style that Logo has, where the value at the beginning of the expression kind of grabs values from the later parts of the expression (though unlike Logo, it's doing it at the token/syntactic level).

That's just a very limited perusal, but it'd be fun to look at this more, as the-Smalltalk-that-never-was (well, technically it existed, but in obscurity).___

2014-04-29 19:14:32 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Avail, a language that I think is focused on DSLs of a sort.  Having a hard time getting my head around the details.  Sadly built on the JVM, which I find to be a rather dull runtime, but I'm terribly biased.

I guess this is a tutorial: https://www.availlang.org/about-avail/learn/tutorials/guess-the-number.html

I think methods are essentially patterns.  Patterns can include words and types.  So for instance "randomNumberGenerator's next value in theRange" is a method call "_'s⁇next«value in»⁇_" (they really like Unicode characters).  Reminiscent of HyperTalk, except with a more extensible grammar.  I'm not sure if all methods are like generic multi-dispatch functions, or if they are methods in the sense that the first value (randomNumberGenerator) is used to parse the remainder of the expression. 

There's other ideas inthere, but t... more »

Avail, a language that I think is focused on DSLs of a sort.  Having a hard time getting my head around the details.  Sadly built on the JVM, which I find to be a rather dull runtime, but I'm terribly biased.

I guess this is a tutorial: https://www.availlang.org/about-avail/learn/tutorials/guess-the-number.html

I think methods are essentially patterns.  Patterns can include words and types.  So for instance "randomNumberGenerator's next value in theRange" is a method call "_'s⁇next«value in»⁇_" (they really like Unicode characters).  Reminiscent of HyperTalk, except with a more extensible grammar.  I'm not sure if all methods are like generic multi-dispatch functions, or if they are methods in the sense that the first value (randomNumberGenerator) is used to parse the remainder of the expression. 

There's other ideas in there, but the syntax seems the most distinct.  Given the patterns, and the high performance hit that runtime pattern matching would require, I'm guessing strong typing is a prerequisite of the approach.  Has some Smalltalk aesthetics.___

posted image

2014-04-25 02:43:59 (22 comments, 2 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Lots of theories on why Google+ is failing on https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7642900

I think Circles deserve more credit for G+'s failures than it is given – especially since it is never given any credit.  It's not just that Circles don't work (they are impossible to maintain or reasonably curate), but the idea and presence of Circles is what supported poor decisions like No Pseudonyms.  With a carefully maintained set of Circles and reliably posting to appropriate groups and Circles you could achieve whatever privacy you want.  But that's a fake feature.  And Google should have known that, Gmail excels because it doesn't expect users to handle their mail through careful categorization and folders, instead it tries to figure it out after the fact.  Facebook also has a set of usable groups that are maintained algorithmically (like Close Friends, and Friends in[homet... more »

Lots of theories on why Google+ is failing on https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7642900

I think Circles deserve more credit for G+'s failures than it is given – especially since it is never given any credit.  It's not just that Circles don't work (they are impossible to maintain or reasonably curate), but the idea and presence of Circles is what supported poor decisions like No Pseudonyms.  With a carefully maintained set of Circles and reliably posting to appropriate groups and Circles you could achieve whatever privacy you want.  But that's a fake feature.  And Google should have known that, Gmail excels because it doesn't expect users to handle their mail through careful categorization and folders, instead it tries to figure it out after the fact.  Facebook also has a set of usable groups that are maintained algorithmically (like Close Friends, and Friends in [hometown]) – it's hardly a killer feature for Facebook, but it's at least usable.

I think Circles also at least compound the difficulties with the activity feed/social stream.  They are stuck with a lossy feed like Facebook for Twitter, and the Circles model doesn't help.  When I email someone they get what I sent them.  When I make a post visible to a Circle it's vague what happens, and vague tools can't be used for serious things.  Google+ could be the social platform underlying work, underlying serious things, but they learned from the wrong people.  They should have learned from Gmail, they should have made an email successor, like Wave only driven by user value instead of technology (in Wave's case Operational Transformation – but no technology is good enough to be the driver behind a good product).___

posted image

2014-04-22 21:22:07 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

"Can an employee say NO to a decision from a superior on the grounds it violates a core value?"

An interesting challenge.

"Can an employee say NO to a decision from a superior on the grounds it violates a core value?"

An interesting challenge.___

posted image

2014-04-19 07:39:56 (8 comments, 4 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

This is awesome.. Simple, light, and tough.

From the website (translated from Russian) it appears to be open source, and comes in kit form, but I can't really tell.
http://www.mtv-t.ru/

This is awesome.. Simple, light, and tough.

From the website (translated from Russian) it appears to be open source, and comes in kit form, but I can't really tell.
http://www.mtv-t.ru/___

posted image

2014-04-17 16:00:38 (0 comments, 11 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Voila... ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geosmin

Voila... ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geosmin___

posted image

2014-04-09 16:27:05 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

___

2014-04-08 18:50:49 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Several FAQs that are more or less restatements of:

Q: Was Brendan Eich fired?
A: No, Brendan Eich resigned.

Several FAQs that are more or less restatements of:

Q: Was Brendan Eich fired?
A: No, Brendan Eich resigned.___

posted image

2014-04-05 21:10:26 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Back Into the Light
The whole Mozilla/Brendan Eich affair has been traumatic from day one.  For me, superimposed over that trauma was the death days earlier of my former partner Richard in Montana.  Please, indulge me for a moment as an old man tells a story.  Richard was diag...

Back Into the Light
The whole Mozilla/Brendan Eich affair has been traumatic from day one.  For me, superimposed over that trauma was the death days earlier of my former partner Richard in Montana.  Please, indulge me for a moment as an old man tells a story.  Richard was diag...___

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