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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 12

2014-12-08 02:33:12 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

To my tech friends, if you were (re)building a machine today, would you stick with Windows 7, or go ahead and make the jump to 8.1? Why?

Most reshares: 5

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2015-07-21 14:06:15 (1 comments, 5 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Most plusones: 13

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2015-05-26 19:04:06 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

+David Wilson Brown and I are happy to announce the re-relaunch of Ninth World Hub. NWH will henceforth be know as the CypherCast Hub (or more simply, just The Hub). This has been in an effort to create a discussion community better suited to not just Numenera, but also The Strange, NTYE, and more general Cypher System discussions. Oh, and it should go without saying, we wanted to deal with a lot of the problems that existed in the NWH infrastructure such as spam.

Now, the important bits. If you go to the old site, you'll be redirected specifically to the Numenera subforum of The Hub. HOWEVER, all of NWH has been statically snapshotted at http://old.ninthworldhub.com/, just in case. However, we tried to make sure all the old NWH threads, blogs, and users made it to the new site. We were pretty successful in that, and at worst you might need to do a password reset.

We have done... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2015-08-28 16:18:25 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Fun exercise in creative casting.

Fun exercise in creative casting.___

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2015-08-24 21:46:06 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

ICYMI: Art Walk photos are now up and available, including the Wax street fashion show and balloon launch. All photos are available under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa license. Contact me for high res versions if you want anything for print, or if you're a business that'd like to use anything.

ICYMI: Art Walk photos are now up and available, including the Wax street fashion show and balloon launch. All photos are available under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa license. Contact me for high res versions if you want anything for print, or if you're a business that'd like to use anything.___

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2015-08-13 19:31:45 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-06 20:26:55 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-05 18:31:00 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-21 14:06:15 (1 comments, 5 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-16 13:00:43 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-05 01:09:34 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Celebrating the 4th of July with a Red, White, and Blue Screen of Death.

Celebrating the 4th of July with a Red, White, and Blue Screen of Death.___

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2015-06-14 23:07:54 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Landed a beautiful old 40s Sheaffer Triumph Vac-Fill desk pen for restoration today. Polished up fantastic, but going to have to pull the guts out to restore the plunger still to be usable. Debating whether or not this goes into the collection, or back up for sale when it's done.

Landed a beautiful old 40s Sheaffer Triumph Vac-Fill desk pen for restoration today. Polished up fantastic, but going to have to pull the guts out to restore the plunger still to be usable. Debating whether or not this goes into the collection, or back up for sale when it's done.___

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2015-06-12 03:21:33 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

First full day using my Pebble Time. It's sorta awesome. I've immediately enjoyed how much better I am with things like email notifications as a result, and being able to dictate replies to messages is great. The phone can do that too, of course, but this is just really convenient.

I need to learn a lot more about it to get it how I want, I think. Working on trying combos of IFTTT and Pushover to get "better" notifications. I'm hoping that the native Pebble Android app gets a bit better, but part of that is limited specifically by Android's SDK (especially if you aren't rooted). I did manage to get it to work as a 2-factor authentication key generator, which is a lot more convenient than my phone, too.

As geeky as it is, even the LCARS watchface is really nice, getting a lot of info in a small space.

What's really impressive is how... more »

First full day using my Pebble Time. It's sorta awesome. I've immediately enjoyed how much better I am with things like email notifications as a result, and being able to dictate replies to messages is great. The phone can do that too, of course, but this is just really convenient.

I need to learn a lot more about it to get it how I want, I think. Working on trying combos of IFTTT and Pushover to get "better" notifications. I'm hoping that the native Pebble Android app gets a bit better, but part of that is limited specifically by Android's SDK (especially if you aren't rooted). I did manage to get it to work as a 2-factor authentication key generator, which is a lot more convenient than my phone, too.

As geeky as it is, even the LCARS watchface is really nice, getting a lot of info in a small space.

What's really impressive is how responsive the eInk screen is. Like, way better than I expected with animations and such. And the size is normal watch sized.

All in all, very positive initial impressions. I wish app developers would do a better job with descriptions, but that's not Pebble's fault necessarily (they could enforce better content standards, but that's time and money, of course).___

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2015-06-10 00:56:57 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Excuse the overly dark/compressed photos. Flickr's being a jerk lately about how they process smaller versions of the photos you upload.
Shots from our last PSSEK outing over at the Frontenac Wilderness Park.

BTW, if you go out there, take bug spray. And maybe a 9mm. The mosquitoes are crazy mean.

Excuse the overly dark/compressed photos. Flickr's being a jerk lately about how they process smaller versions of the photos you upload.
Shots from our last PSSEK outing over at the Frontenac Wilderness Park.

BTW, if you go out there, take bug spray. And maybe a 9mm. The mosquitoes are crazy mean.___

2015-06-01 13:55:01 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Woke up this morning to my computer telling me that I should reserve my free upgrade to Windows 10. Which is all well and good. Except I'm just not sure how much I trust Microsoft not to screw it up. Windows 7 has worked pretty damn well for me for a long time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it? I know some of you have at least tried out the 10 beta, what do you think so far?

Woke up this morning to my computer telling me that I should reserve my free upgrade to Windows 10. Which is all well and good. Except I'm just not sure how much I trust Microsoft not to screw it up. Windows 7 has worked pretty damn well for me for a long time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it? I know some of you have at least tried out the 10 beta, what do you think so far?___

2015-05-31 22:35:43 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Protip: You can go out and pay ~$4/month for crappy shared web hosting, or spend $5/month and get a full blown VPS from Digital Ocean and be able to do whatever you want with it. Plus, if you're a webdev, it'll give you a chance to learn some basic server management stuff too, which is a super valuable skill to have anyway if you aren't used to it.

Protip: You can go out and pay ~$4/month for crappy shared web hosting, or spend $5/month and get a full blown VPS from Digital Ocean and be able to do whatever you want with it. Plus, if you're a webdev, it'll give you a chance to learn some basic server management stuff too, which is a super valuable skill to have anyway if you aren't used to it.___

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2015-05-26 19:04:06 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

+David Wilson Brown and I are happy to announce the re-relaunch of Ninth World Hub. NWH will henceforth be know as the CypherCast Hub (or more simply, just The Hub). This has been in an effort to create a discussion community better suited to not just Numenera, but also The Strange, NTYE, and more general Cypher System discussions. Oh, and it should go without saying, we wanted to deal with a lot of the problems that existed in the NWH infrastructure such as spam.

Now, the important bits. If you go to the old site, you'll be redirected specifically to the Numenera subforum of The Hub. HOWEVER, all of NWH has been statically snapshotted at http://old.ninthworldhub.com/, just in case. However, we tried to make sure all the old NWH threads, blogs, and users made it to the new site. We were pretty successful in that, and at worst you might need to do a password reset.

We have done... more »

+David Wilson Brown and I are happy to announce the re-relaunch of Ninth World Hub. NWH will henceforth be know as the CypherCast Hub (or more simply, just The Hub). This has been in an effort to create a discussion community better suited to not just Numenera, but also The Strange, NTYE, and more general Cypher System discussions. Oh, and it should go without saying, we wanted to deal with a lot of the problems that existed in the NWH infrastructure such as spam.

Now, the important bits. If you go to the old site, you'll be redirected specifically to the Numenera subforum of The Hub. HOWEVER, all of NWH has been statically snapshotted at http://old.ninthworldhub.com/, just in case. However, we tried to make sure all the old NWH threads, blogs, and users made it to the new site. We were pretty successful in that, and at worst you might need to do a password reset.

We have done away with "Groups," preferring instead to encourage people to use G+ or Facebook for more of the social networking aspect of gaming, allowing The Hub to focus its energy on conversations. This was a tough choice, but I think the best one in this case. We learned a lot from when we moved off Ning, and tried to apply those lessons here. It's easy to try to be too many things at once, and given our resources (most importantly, time), this allows us to do less better.

Finally, I'll be in the live chatroom all afternoon for anyone that has any questions, trouble, or just wants to chat. This feature hasn't changed at all, and is still located in the bar at the bottom of the page (you must be logged in). The Vestibule is the main channel, plus there are rooms for individual games, and you can make your own. 

Please stop by, get involved, and give us feedback. We're really excited to finally be able to open the gates to everyone, and think you'll be happy with the result.___

2015-05-26 01:57:25 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

So, I was just thinking about something. Remember in Back to the Future III when Marty went back to 1885 and tore his fuel line? He and Dr. Brown then experimented with other fuel options to replace the gasoline. In the process, they tried whiskey and blew up the intake manifold (or something along those lines). Dr. Brown proceeds to explain that it will take him a month to rebuild it, which is an obvious problem, because, you know, pending death and all.

BUT.

Dr. Brown arrived in 1885 via the DeLorean which he then hid in the cave so that Marty could find it in 1955, which he did, and subsequently used to go back to 1885. SO, there was a SECOND DeLorean available in 1885 Hill Valley that they could have scavenged the parts off of (and possibly even fuel, though one could speculate Dr. Brown drained all the fluids and either disposed of them or used them for something else). It’se... more »

So, I was just thinking about something. Remember in Back to the Future III when Marty went back to 1885 and tore his fuel line? He and Dr. Brown then experimented with other fuel options to replace the gasoline. In the process, they tried whiskey and blew up the intake manifold (or something along those lines). Dr. Brown proceeds to explain that it will take him a month to rebuild it, which is an obvious problem, because, you know, pending death and all.

BUT.

Dr. Brown arrived in 1885 via the DeLorean which he then hid in the cave so that Marty could find it in 1955, which he did, and subsequently used to go back to 1885. SO, there was a SECOND DeLorean available in 1885 Hill Valley that they could have scavenged the parts off of (and possibly even fuel, though one could speculate Dr. Brown drained all the fluids and either disposed of them or used them for something else). It’s even reasonable to assume all of that could have been done without destroying the timeline that would allow Marty to travel back in the first place to save Dr. Brown.

Ain’t time travel a bitch?___

2015-05-25 23:45:36 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Spent a good chunk of the day finalizing data migration stuff for the CypherCast Hub, which will be the "new" version of the Ninth World Hub that caters to #Numenera, but also other CypherSystem games as well. Should be launching very, very soon.

Spent a good chunk of the day finalizing data migration stuff for the CypherCast Hub, which will be the "new" version of the Ninth World Hub that caters to #Numenera, but also other CypherSystem games as well. Should be launching very, very soon.___

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2015-05-19 13:46:39 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

In case you missed it:


In case you missed it:
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2015-05-18 22:27:48 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

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2015-05-18 20:10:20 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Saying that you shouldn't include content on a desktop website if it's not important enough to have a place on a mobile-sized site is like saying you shouldn't put a bathtub in a large bathroom because you can't fit it in a small one. It's fine, as long as you aren't hanging the bathtub upside-down from the ceiling or some silly nonsense like that. #rwd   #responsivewebdesign  

Saying that you shouldn't include content on a desktop website if it's not important enough to have a place on a mobile-sized site is like saying you shouldn't put a bathtub in a large bathroom because you can't fit it in a small one. It's fine, as long as you aren't hanging the bathtub upside-down from the ceiling or some silly nonsense like that. #rwd   #responsivewebdesign  ___

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2015-04-07 19:50:30 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

My work here is done.

My work here is done.___

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2015-03-26 18:03:16 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

I just pushed out the latest release for Wordpress Content Framework v2.4. Updates include incrementing the file for Wordpress 4.1.1, adding a page for WP generated CSS classes (like wp-caption, alignright, etc) for layout/CSS testing, and smaller changes like spreading out post dates and adding in more filler comments.

I just pushed out the latest release for Wordpress Content Framework v2.4. Updates include incrementing the file for Wordpress 4.1.1, adding a page for WP generated CSS classes (like wp-caption, alignright, etc) for layout/CSS testing, and smaller changes like spreading out post dates and adding in more filler comments.___

2015-03-20 19:44:18 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

So, I have a question that cannot possibly be unique. Google has a "handy" feature whereby photos taken on devices get backed up to your "account." This all seems great.

But...

I have my Google+ account. I have Drive. I have two Android devices. And I have a bunch of photos now in a place (Google+ Photos? Picasa?) in an utter mishmash of collectivity. Deleting them in one place doesn't necessarily delete them elsewhere. Apparently it scans Drive and duplicates stuff I'm using like photos for slide decks and things like that which I have zero need for the duplication of.

Basically, I feel like managing all this is a huge pain in the ass, and I have tons of crap and/or useless photos backed up that also seem to pop up in places even after I think they're gone. What solutions do people have for this? Surely there's something?

So, I have a question that cannot possibly be unique. Google has a "handy" feature whereby photos taken on devices get backed up to your "account." This all seems great.

But...

I have my Google+ account. I have Drive. I have two Android devices. And I have a bunch of photos now in a place (Google+ Photos? Picasa?) in an utter mishmash of collectivity. Deleting them in one place doesn't necessarily delete them elsewhere. Apparently it scans Drive and duplicates stuff I'm using like photos for slide decks and things like that which I have zero need for the duplication of.

Basically, I feel like managing all this is a huge pain in the ass, and I have tons of crap and/or useless photos backed up that also seem to pop up in places even after I think they're gone. What solutions do people have for this? Surely there's something?___

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2015-03-20 05:26:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

"Episode thirteen starts with a pop as Michael Fienen, Senior Developer at Aquent and CTO for nuCloud, cracks into a new bottle. In this episode, we talk a lot of tech, but we talk higher ed, too. Michael used to be the one-man web team, bringing us down a long winding road of figuring out how to prioritize tasks alongside putting out fires. We also talk about the importance of face-to-face interaction, especially across departments, and how being a “translator,” or at least having one in your office, is key to collaboration. We also do a lot of tech talk, discussing UX and UI, website design fads, and skeuomorphism, a new phrase you can use to make you sound smart."

"Episode thirteen starts with a pop as Michael Fienen, Senior Developer at Aquent and CTO for nuCloud, cracks into a new bottle. In this episode, we talk a lot of tech, but we talk higher ed, too. Michael used to be the one-man web team, bringing us down a long winding road of figuring out how to prioritize tasks alongside putting out fires. We also talk about the importance of face-to-face interaction, especially across departments, and how being a “translator,” or at least having one in your office, is key to collaboration. We also do a lot of tech talk, discussing UX and UI, website design fads, and skeuomorphism, a new phrase you can use to make you sound smart."___

2015-03-18 14:12:14 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

For your listening pleasure, me drinking scotch and talking about web development and higher ed for an hour with the http://highered.social crew. Also, apparently I'm lucky episode 13.

http://highered.social/michael-fienen-the-moderately-priced-scotch/

For your listening pleasure, me drinking scotch and talking about web development and higher ed for an hour with the http://highered.social crew. Also, apparently I'm lucky episode 13.

http://highered.social/michael-fienen-the-moderately-priced-scotch/___

2015-03-17 18:26:58 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Be sure to catch tomorrow's http://highered.social podcast where I'll be joining +Lougan Bishop and +Jackie Vetrano to talk about things ranging from how to handle work prioritization in a one-man web shop, to dealing with coordinating web communication between different offices on campus along with much, much more. A good time will be had by all.

Be sure to catch tomorrow's http://highered.social podcast where I'll be joining +Lougan Bishop and +Jackie Vetrano to talk about things ranging from how to handle work prioritization in a one-man web shop, to dealing with coordinating web communication between different offices on campus along with much, much more. A good time will be had by all.___

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2015-03-06 00:29:23 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Finally to the time to set up a proper page for promoting my zombie one-act play, Walking. So if you like theatre, or you like zombies, or you like me, then go like that page and help me spread the word. You can also read a preview and order copies from there.

Finally to the time to set up a proper page for promoting my zombie one-act play, Walking. So if you like theatre, or you like zombies, or you like me, then go like that page and help me spread the word. You can also read a preview and order copies from there.___

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2015-03-03 17:38:19 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Last night I went off on a rant about web development in higher ed. This was the result. I Storified the tweets along with some of the responses for your reading pleasure.

Last night I went off on a rant about web development in higher ed. This was the result. I Storified the tweets along with some of the responses for your reading pleasure.___

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2015-03-02 20:49:01 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

"March is the one year anniversary of the “new” social network Ello. Ello was (is?) striving to be a social network free of advertising, that gives users more freedom and simplicity in sharing than existing options. Their goal seemed noble enough, and four months ago I signed up to give it a look. They had a motto and plan that there was an apparent demand for. People came. After the time passed, I thought it was worth taking some time to share my reactions and thoughts on the platform."

"March is the one year anniversary of the “new” social network Ello. Ello was (is?) striving to be a social network free of advertising, that gives users more freedom and simplicity in sharing than existing options. Their goal seemed noble enough, and four months ago I signed up to give it a look. They had a motto and plan that there was an apparent demand for. People came. After the time passed, I thought it was worth taking some time to share my reactions and thoughts on the platform."___

2015-02-08 23:55:09 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

So, Tiny Epic Defenders came in (another Kickstarter project, and the second in the line of soon to be three games), and we played a round today. First off, the instructions are terrible. They aren't the worst that I've ever read, but they definitely don't do a good job explaining several mechanisms (including one particularly game breaking card combo we came across). Be prepared to just start playing and see what happens if you try it out.

That said, I didn't think it was terrible, and it could be very good for a simple grab and go game (Which is sort of the point of the Tiny Epic X game line). I think, concept wise, TED was a lot more baked than Tiny Epic Kingdoms was (TEK was a "simple" 4X game that really just turns into a race, because "simple 4X" is sort of a paradoxical concept in my opinion). TED lines up as a fairly portable version of something like... more »

So, Tiny Epic Defenders came in (another Kickstarter project, and the second in the line of soon to be three games), and we played a round today. First off, the instructions are terrible. They aren't the worst that I've ever read, but they definitely don't do a good job explaining several mechanisms (including one particularly game breaking card combo we came across). Be prepared to just start playing and see what happens if you try it out.

That said, I didn't think it was terrible, and it could be very good for a simple grab and go game (Which is sort of the point of the Tiny Epic X game line). I think, concept wise, TED was a lot more baked than Tiny Epic Kingdoms was (TEK was a "simple" 4X game that really just turns into a race, because "simple 4X" is sort of a paradoxical concept in my opinion). TED lines up as a fairly portable version of something like Castle Panic, where the players are working to defend a central point from incoming enemies.

The game plays pretty quickly, and once you get the basic mechanics down (which is easier to do just by trying to play it, rather than reading the instructions), it's not too hard to build a nice back and forth with everyone. I didn't mind the horde-turn deck relationship either, which has some Pandemic qualities when it comes to regions being attacked in a marginally predictable manner that isn't so repetitious that it'd be easy to stop. If you wanted more randomness, you could always incorporate a D6 roll into where a monster attacks.

Overall, not bad for something small, cheap, and easy to toss in a bag. And if you watch Tom Vassel's review of the game on YouTube, I think he was incredibly unfair in many of his points.___

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2014-12-20 23:57:50 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

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2014-12-08 02:33:12 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

To my tech friends, if you were (re)building a machine today, would you stick with Windows 7, or go ahead and make the jump to 8.1? Why?

To my tech friends, if you were (re)building a machine today, would you stick with Windows 7, or go ahead and make the jump to 8.1? Why?___

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2014-12-03 16:38:47 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

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2014-11-25 05:41:31 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

If there's one thing people learn tonight from the events going on in Ferguson, I hope it's the difference between a protester and a rioter. It's an important difference that distinguishes selflessness from selfishness.

If there's one thing people learn tonight from the events going on in Ferguson, I hope it's the difference between a protester and a rioter. It's an important difference that distinguishes selflessness from selfishness.___

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2014-11-24 22:55:29 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

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2014-11-24 02:37:46 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

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2014-11-08 21:07:59 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Say hello to the newest members of the family!

Say hello to the newest members of the family!___

2014-11-05 23:55:21 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

There are a lot of people happy today. There are a lot of people disappointed. Across the spectrum, there are a myriad of responses to the election. Many of them quite ugly, actually, from both sides, and not nearly enough focus on getting right with each other. Hear me out though.

To the Republicans, a congratulations. You are being entrusted with an enormous responsibility, and you have an opportunity to help define your success, almost at will. Don't waste it. And most importantly, remember, you're representing Us. The People. Not just the ones that voted for you, but all of us. Ignoring the voice of the opposition is not a recipe for success. You don't have to submit to them, but take ten seconds to hear them out once in a while, and consider them in your plans, because we all have to live here. Do well, be successful, and just remember, there are a lot of ideologies in this... more »

There are a lot of people happy today. There are a lot of people disappointed. Across the spectrum, there are a myriad of responses to the election. Many of them quite ugly, actually, from both sides, and not nearly enough focus on getting right with each other. Hear me out though.

To the Republicans, a congratulations. You are being entrusted with an enormous responsibility, and you have an opportunity to help define your success, almost at will. Don't waste it. And most importantly, remember, you're representing Us. The People. Not just the ones that voted for you, but all of us. Ignoring the voice of the opposition is not a recipe for success. You don't have to submit to them, but take ten seconds to hear them out once in a while, and consider them in your plans, because we all have to live here. Do well, be successful, and just remember, there are a lot of ideologies in this country you need to appease. Be leaders - the real kind, not the puppet kind. Don't be sore winners.

To the Democrats, chin up. There's still a lot of you in DC. For god's sake, work with the Republicans. Get Shit Done. Help the Republicans be successful, because a productive, successful Congress benefits Us all, even if they get to take some credit for it. You can still be a part of that success. Be better, because there's a whole hell of a lot of room there to do it these days. Don't be sore losers.

There's still work to be done. Most importantly, keep focusing on what really matters: reduce spending and waste, really shrink government, simplify the system, eliminate corruption, represent the People over industry. Don't be spiteful towards each other. That goes for our leadership in DC, but also needs to start right here at home. Stop for a minute and listen to your neighbors. Understand that their problems might not be yours, and your solutions might not be appropriate for them. Educate each other. For fuck's sake, be civil.

I've read one too many "suck it libs" and "enjoy digging your own grave neocons" posts today for my liking. How does that help? This is a big damn country, and as we get bigger, trying to craft more laws and become more polarized does not serve us well. Neither side should take joy in trying to crush the other side, because we aren't fucking enemies here. We're people. We're The People. We're going to have different ideas. What has always made us great was our ability to balance and work with those ideas, not put them against one another. How about we focus on what we're good at, instead: freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And it starts right here. Your voice, and your speech. The way you address other people on Facebook, on Twitter, and in public should send a message that you're the best damn human being you can be, to all other human beings, even if you don't agree with them. Being the "suck it libs" guy is nothing to be proud of. If our congressmen won't be the better people, then We should be the better people.___

2014-11-04 20:02:45 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

With all the mess that continues to surround electronic voting systems put out by closed-source, for-profit companies, is it weird that we - as a society - aren't having more open and honest discussions about the role open source voting systems can or should play in our process? Tools like OpenIDEO, LiquidFeedback, Helios, etc. Systems we can independently verify, audit, and confirm. Systems users have a means of verifying their trust. This should actually be an easy problem to solve, right? I mean, of all the things we use technology to do, processing votes is actually a pretty trivial thing. And yet we're still filling in bubbles on paper with pen like it's the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Additional thought on properly implementing voting machines. Voting system designers could stand to learn a lot from the Bitcoin blockchain methodology. Imagine an anonymous, public pool of voting... more »

With all the mess that continues to surround electronic voting systems put out by closed-source, for-profit companies, is it weird that we - as a society - aren't having more open and honest discussions about the role open source voting systems can or should play in our process? Tools like OpenIDEO, LiquidFeedback, Helios, etc. Systems we can independently verify, audit, and confirm. Systems users have a means of verifying their trust. This should actually be an easy problem to solve, right? I mean, of all the things we use technology to do, processing votes is actually a pretty trivial thing. And yet we're still filling in bubbles on paper with pen like it's the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Additional thought on properly implementing voting machines. Voting system designers could stand to learn a lot from the Bitcoin blockchain methodology. Imagine an anonymous, public pool of voting data. Anyone with the public keys can access it and independently verify the integrity of the voting data and results for any particular local block of results. You go to the voting terminal, and enter your votes. When done, it's submitted to the vote blockchain (maybe one each for a given level - local, state, national, etc), where it becomes an anonymous piece of the voting pool. You then go to the registration person, who generates and prints a unique Bitcoin-style "paper wallet" composed of a private and public key hashed from your specific submission. You then peel and seal your paper wallet's private key and leave. At any point, you go to the blockchain's website and you can enter your public key and verify that your vote was indeed recorded correctly. In the event you see any mistake (prior to certification of the results), you can open the private key to change or fix the entry, which records that change back to the blockchain, and generates a new set of keys.___

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2014-11-01 14:13:05 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Shots from the Halloween Art Walk last night downtown.

Shots from the Halloween Art Walk last night downtown.___

2014-10-27 16:20:29 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Let's dish for a moment. With all the ‪#‎gamergate‬ and related crap going on, I think we need to take a second to consider that our problem isn't in a failure to properly moderate channels, or ban people, or educate people on sexism, racism, or whatever -ism is the popular conflict of the day. The real problem is two-sided: we are failing as a culture to teach future generations to not be dicks in a broad sense, and in how to handle people that feel they absolutely must be dicks. The root source of virtually every -ism in the book is an inability to sympathize with other human beings on a very primal level.

One of the very real impacts that the web has had on us now that a full generation has come and gone in it is that we are losing grip on how to address intellectual conflict. This can be true even at "higher" levels of conversation (see: politics). We aren't takingthe t... more »

Let's dish for a moment. With all the ‪#‎gamergate‬ and related crap going on, I think we need to take a second to consider that our problem isn't in a failure to properly moderate channels, or ban people, or educate people on sexism, racism, or whatever -ism is the popular conflict of the day. The real problem is two-sided: we are failing as a culture to teach future generations to not be dicks in a broad sense, and in how to handle people that feel they absolutely must be dicks. The root source of virtually every -ism in the book is an inability to sympathize with other human beings on a very primal level.

One of the very real impacts that the web has had on us now that a full generation has come and gone in it is that we are losing grip on how to address intellectual conflict. This can be true even at "higher" levels of conversation (see: politics). We aren't taking the time as a culture and society to address the very important issue of accountability for our words and actions, regardless of the venue in which they play out. It's a problem not solved by laws, or policies, or technology. It's a problem that must be solved in the homes. It's a problem that requires us to look inward for the solution.

This is important, because when we don't solve the problems, government will. And that's a scary principle. When people turn to abstract concepts like government to tell them what is right and wrong, you create a world where it's illegal to become an individual. That freedom comes at the cost that there will always be dicks in society, but we have the power to minimize their influence and reach. But we have to be accountable to that power.

In the words of Malcolm Reynolds: "Y'all got on this boat for different reasons, but y'all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that."

It's okay to be different, or cranky, or outside the box, or to push the envelope. Hell, it's even okay to be wrong. But only when you know where the line between right and wrong is.___

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2014-10-16 16:10:45 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Finalizing slides for my talk at Crowdsource Summit tomorrow. Including a screenshot of the first site I ever build, 16 years ago. Best viewed at 800x600 with TRUE COLOR.

And strictly speaking, this is the second version of the site. There's one that was even older than this, but archive.org didn't go back that far for me.

Bonus, the site included "interactive JavaScript" for a "personalized experience" and "reasons." ‪#‎nerd4lyfe‬ 

Finalizing slides for my talk at Crowdsource Summit tomorrow. Including a screenshot of the first site I ever build, 16 years ago. Best viewed at 800x600 with TRUE COLOR.

And strictly speaking, this is the second version of the site. There's one that was even older than this, but archive.org didn't go back that far for me.

Bonus, the site included "interactive JavaScript" for a "personalized experience" and "reasons." ‪#‎nerd4lyfe‬ ___

2014-10-06 20:03:39 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

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2014-09-24 16:18:01 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

I want to pick your brains about knee injuries. Four years ago, I tore my ACL (non-biking related). Had surgery, patched it back up, rehab, second surgery, more rehab. Long story short, I've never gotten back to 100%, and my left leg still isn't as strong as my right. But I'm trying. Dammit, I'm trying. And I'm having some success, as well. Slowly getting distance back, speed is picking up, general progress is being made.

The one thing I'm not sure about though, is the pain. Do any of you still have bad knee pain while riding after an ACL reconstruction? I'm not sure if I should have it looked at again, or if it's just my body telling me there's still muscle support there to regain.

Specifically, it's below (not under) the knee, at the top of the fibula, around the area where the bottom of the patellar graft came from. I have some scar tissue... more »

I want to pick your brains about knee injuries. Four years ago, I tore my ACL (non-biking related). Had surgery, patched it back up, rehab, second surgery, more rehab. Long story short, I've never gotten back to 100%, and my left leg still isn't as strong as my right. But I'm trying. Dammit, I'm trying. And I'm having some success, as well. Slowly getting distance back, speed is picking up, general progress is being made.

The one thing I'm not sure about though, is the pain. Do any of you still have bad knee pain while riding after an ACL reconstruction? I'm not sure if I should have it looked at again, or if it's just my body telling me there's still muscle support there to regain.

Specifically, it's below (not under) the knee, at the top of the fibula, around the area where the bottom of the patellar graft came from. I have some scar tissue there along the tendon. The pain itself isn't exactly limiting - I can pedal through it, but it's definitely unpleasant. But it mainly just happens under the load of pedaling. It stops almost immediately when I do. I'm hoping this is just one of those things I need to push through, and it will resolve itself, but I thought someone here might have some experience in that area.___

2014-09-19 20:24:44 (9 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

I think I've got about all the life I'm going to get out of my Speedplay X-1 pedals. Rather than sticking with Speedplay, I think I'd rather go with something that doesn't have a mechanical cleat (I always felt like Speedplay designed their system backwards, the cleat as the pedal, just to brag about it being lighter). Is SPD-SL pretty much the best alternative these days? Is Look still a popular option? I haven't evaluated pedals in YEARS.

I think I've got about all the life I'm going to get out of my Speedplay X-1 pedals. Rather than sticking with Speedplay, I think I'd rather go with something that doesn't have a mechanical cleat (I always felt like Speedplay designed their system backwards, the cleat as the pedal, just to brag about it being lighter). Is SPD-SL pretty much the best alternative these days? Is Look still a popular option? I haven't evaluated pedals in YEARS.___

2014-09-19 20:24:14 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Cyclist friends, I think I've got about all the life I'm going to get out of my Speedplay X-1 pedals. Rather than sticking with Speedplay, I think I'd rather go with something that doesn't have a mechanical cleat (I always felt like Speedplay designed their system backwards, the cleat as the pedal, just to brag about it being lighter). Is SPD-SL pretty much the best alternative these days? Is Look still a popular option? I haven't evaluated pedals in YEARS.

Cyclist friends, I think I've got about all the life I'm going to get out of my Speedplay X-1 pedals. Rather than sticking with Speedplay, I think I'd rather go with something that doesn't have a mechanical cleat (I always felt like Speedplay designed their system backwards, the cleat as the pedal, just to brag about it being lighter). Is SPD-SL pretty much the best alternative these days? Is Look still a popular option? I haven't evaluated pedals in YEARS.___

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2014-09-03 14:10:34 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

These people (the websites) do realize that copyright law doesn't work that way, right? They're entirely correct to point out that Jennifer Lawrence might not own the copyright, but SOMEONE NOT THEM still does. And an inability to contact or find that owner does not create an exception to the law.

So, regardless, they still shouldn't post the photos, knowing they don't have permission to do so. These aren't embarrassing photos they bought from a paparazzi, after all. At best, the most they could do is take a small crop from the photo for use in an article discussing or commenting on the issue - that could be arguably fair use at that point. But wholesale posting of the images without the owner's consent most definitely still violates copyright law.

The problem is, the issue with the law is two-way. Jennifer Lawrence can't block some pictures because she... more »

These people (the websites) do realize that copyright law doesn't work that way, right? They're entirely correct to point out that Jennifer Lawrence might not own the copyright, but SOMEONE NOT THEM still does. And an inability to contact or find that owner does not create an exception to the law.

So, regardless, they still shouldn't post the photos, knowing they don't have permission to do so. These aren't embarrassing photos they bought from a paparazzi, after all. At best, the most they could do is take a small crop from the photo for use in an article discussing or commenting on the issue - that could be arguably fair use at that point. But wholesale posting of the images without the owner's consent most definitely still violates copyright law.

The problem is, the issue with the law is two-way. Jennifer Lawrence can't block some pictures because she didn't take them. But the sites posting them also face no actual punishment if the creators don't step up to assert their claim. It's a passive system, and as such, fortune favors the brave (or in this case, those willing to take the chance that they won't get sued for posting the pictures).___

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2014-08-29 03:31:34 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

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2014-08-27 20:14:15 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

The Great Triumph Restoration of 2014 (and 2015) begins today. Dad bought this car, I think, somewhere around 1989. I know we still lived on Locust Street back in Independence, so I'm thinking in the area of 25 years ago. It's hung around ever since. Ran some new parts through it now and then, tinkered on it here and there, always grand plans, but she went to sit the past few years and was starting to show worse for it. It was my car through part of high school and college. Now, baby's gonna get a pretty new dress and get taken out to fancy parties. A year and a half from now, she's hitting the new streets with a new lease on life.

The Great Triumph Restoration of 2014 (and 2015) begins today. Dad bought this car, I think, somewhere around 1989. I know we still lived on Locust Street back in Independence, so I'm thinking in the area of 25 years ago. It's hung around ever since. Ran some new parts through it now and then, tinkered on it here and there, always grand plans, but she went to sit the past few years and was starting to show worse for it. It was my car through part of high school and college. Now, baby's gonna get a pretty new dress and get taken out to fancy parties. A year and a half from now, she's hitting the new streets with a new lease on life.___

2014-08-22 20:46:42 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

The results are in. The oncologist was satisfied from my bone scan that Bob is likely benign and non-cancerous, and that for the time being, no surgery is justified to remove it. Basically everything is cool, and I'll have a followup in January for another round of X-rays and imagery to do a comparison and confirm that it is indeed not changing. Basically, I've finally been given the all clear to go be not-cancered.

Now, Via Christi, you and I need to have a talk about how he tried for three weeks to get that imagery, and only by virtue of the fact that I had a copy of the disk and mailed it to them myself were we able to wrap this little adventure up. I am... displeased.

The results are in. The oncologist was satisfied from my bone scan that Bob is likely benign and non-cancerous, and that for the time being, no surgery is justified to remove it. Basically everything is cool, and I'll have a followup in January for another round of X-rays and imagery to do a comparison and confirm that it is indeed not changing. Basically, I've finally been given the all clear to go be not-cancered.

Now, Via Christi, you and I need to have a talk about how he tried for three weeks to get that imagery, and only by virtue of the fact that I had a copy of the disk and mailed it to them myself were we able to wrap this little adventure up. I am... displeased.___

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2014-08-22 14:27:42 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

This news about the "monkey selfie" being in the public domain is interesting. I do understand the reasoning given by the USCO - that protections of copyright in the US are a privilege of a human creator, therefore something created by an animal cannot be copyrighted. But they bring up interesting side effects.

This principle would also carry over to, for instance, the elephant that paints pictures. Any picture created by the elephant must be in the public domain. Which I also think makes sense. The elephant's doing all the work? Putting a paintbrush in its... trunk... doesn't constitute an artistic action by the person doing it in that case.

But, here's where I disagree. The ruling issued implies that the creation of a particular artistic work - in this case a photograph - is contingent and resolves upon the pushing of the trigger. That a photograph taken by a... more »

This news about the "monkey selfie" being in the public domain is interesting. I do understand the reasoning given by the USCO - that protections of copyright in the US are a privilege of a human creator, therefore something created by an animal cannot be copyrighted. But they bring up interesting side effects.

This principle would also carry over to, for instance, the elephant that paints pictures. Any picture created by the elephant must be in the public domain. Which I also think makes sense. The elephant's doing all the work? Putting a paintbrush in its... trunk... doesn't constitute an artistic action by the person doing it in that case.

But, here's where I disagree. The ruling issued implies that the creation of a particular artistic work - in this case a photograph - is contingent and resolves upon the pushing of the trigger. That a photograph taken by a monkey cannot be copyrighted by a person. As a photographer, I'm not sure I agree with that. The reason is that as the artist, why can that not be a planned component of a larger artistic concept or project, which would be attributed to me? If the whole idea is to create scenarios that empower animals to use equipment, but I have invested in that process and enabled it, doesn't that create a body of work that can and should be attributed to me? It's the difference between putting the paintbrush in the elephant's trunk and letting it do as it pleases versus directing that process to have it make what I want and/or intend.

To be clear, I'm not sure that holds up in this particular case, as from what I've read, this monkey straight up purse-snatched a camera from the guy and went off taking some pictures. That's an accident. He shouldn't be able to take credit for that just because he paid to fly to the jungle with some equipment and a happy thing happened. To me that's not the same. So while I agree with the judgement, I disagree with how they arrived at the conclusion, at least in part. I think that the statement "that a person cannot claim copyright on a 'photograph taken by a monkey'" makes sense in a very shallow interpretation of the concept, but ignores a deeper principle about what intentions might go into artistic creations which should be protected.___

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