Crisis

02/24/18 1:50 PM

I’m not going to pretend to know what combination of solutions is necessary to fix this crisis. And it is most certainly a crisis in every sense of the word. I will say there is overwhelming evidence, like the above, that the “let’s just arm the teachers!” argument is bullshit.

If that is the solution, then no more half-measures. Let’s have the full militarization of our schools and public places. Blockades and security checkpoints; student and faculty background checks; random searches; roving security patrols; full SIGINT. We’ll also need to develop HUMINT in the classrooms, probably starting around 2nd grade.

That is the logical conclusion to the “arm the teachers” argument. And it is a bullshit fallacy which makes us no safer. As the military and other protective services frequently demonstrate, arms and training are not enough to prevent tragedy. Not when the attacker can be anyone at any time.

Email is your electronic memory

02/15/18 1:00 PM

From the FastMail Blog:

Yesterday, Google announced that Gmail will use AMP to make emails dynamic, up-to-date and actionable. At first that sounds like a great idea. Last week’s news is stale. Last week’s special offer from your favourite shop might not be on sale any more. The email is worthless to you now. Imagine if it could stay up-to-date.

More:

Over time your mailbox becomes an extension of your memory – a trusted repository of history, in the way that an online news site will never be. Regardless of the underlying reasons, it is a fact that websites can be “corrected” after you read them, tweets can be deleted and posts taken down.

I agree with FastMail here. I look to my email as a source of “truth”. I can count on it to be static and unchanging. I have an archive of emails stretching back to around 1996, and I count on all of remain unchanged forever, safe in my archive.

Also not to be discounted are the legal ramifications of dynamic emails. I work in politics and, while not frequent, my emails have had to be turned over for discovery in litigation. That entire process assumes that the contents of emails have remained unchanged and will be turned over in the same state. AMP tosses that entire premise out the window.

AMP for email is a bad idea.

Also, if you’re in the market for a new email provider, FastMail is fantastic. I’ve been using them for a number of years and they are absolutely the best. Fast, reliable, trustworthy, and inexpensive. Visit this link to sign up.

Branded in Memory: NFL Edition

02/10/18 8:47 AM

This was really interesting:

Considering how important the NFL and its teams are to millions of people, we asked over 150 people to draw 12 of the most popular team logos from memory. With nothing to go off of but their own recollection, we wanted to know just how well these sports icons stand out in the mind of NFL fans and non-fans alike. Here’s what they showed us.

As a fan, how well could you draw your team’s logo?

Apple Backs AV1: What Does This Mean for the Future of Video Codecs

02/6/18 4:01 PM

Apple Backs AV1: What Does This Mean for the Future of Video Codecs:

Earlier this month, Apple joined the Alliance for Open Media (AOM), which is working on the next-generation AV1 video compression standard. It’s interesting that Apple is now supporting AV1, after having just announced backing HEVC in both devices and software tools (i.e., publishing, browsers).

The importance of free and/or open high-quality video standards cannot be overstated.

Thanks for the memories, Chico’s

01/25/18 8:47 AM

Columbia Basin Herald::

The news that Chico’s Pizza Parlor was destroyed in a weekend fire hit many hard. The Moses Lake community and former residents showed their concern online with a flood of comments on the Herald’s website and Facebook page. People even kept talking on Facebook late into Saturday night, sharing memories and photos of the longtime business. I was right there with them because I loved Chico’s too. Starting the conversation was easy.

An entire region mourns the death (hopefully only temporary, but you know how these things usually turn out…) of an iconic pizza parlor.

I grew up there, and Chico’s was an institution. It’s unthinkable to my own children, but my hometown didn’t have a pizza restaurant. Our choices were: 1. Heat up a Tombstone or, 2. Make the 40 minute drive to Chico’s. Option 2 was always preferred.

It was one of the few places in the area where you could take a group of people for a meal and just relax. So many memories there. The arcade where we kids could play while the pizza baked. The ancient bench seats. The mountains of toppings.

Sausage and black olive was my thing.

Thanks, Chico’s.

Site Transition

01/21/18 9:26 PM

I think I change my website CMS as frequently as I do my keyboards…

Anyway, this site is now running on WordPress. It’s still in an Azure-hosted VM, but now I’m just another WP drone. I think the last mainstream CMS I used for my personal site was MovableType, from maybe 2002-2007. Since then, it’s been static pages, either hand-coded or generated with Pelican. Last year I moved to Ghost but it left a lot to be desired.

I think I’ve gotten it mostly configured how I want, and most of the content (sans images) has been migrated. The theme still needs some tweaks, but I’m relatively happy with things.

And then there were two…

10/9/17 10:56 PM

Windows Central reporting:

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Windows, Joe Belfiore, has today clarified the company’s stance with Windows 10 Mobile and what it’s currently doing in the mobile space. In a series of tweets on Twitter, Belfiore states that as an individual end-user, he has switched to Android, and that Windows 10 Mobile is no longer a focus for Microsoft.

To me, this remains the second-biggest business story of the 21st century (the debut of the iPhone, tied directly to this story, is the biggest.) It is shocking how Microsoft was the biggest and most influential software maker of the last 35 years and yet completely missed the boat on mobile. Their mobile OS strategy is now completely dead.

Let that sink in: the mobile revolution happened, and Microsoft is only a surface-level player. They make apps and provide services for mobile operating systems and hardware which is not their own.

In hindsight, Steve Ballmer’s 13 years as CEO of Microsoft marked one of the most catastrophic missed opportunities in the history of business. Microsoft had all of the incentives, resources, and experience it needed to put together a compelling competitor to the iPhone in 2007. Case in point, after the iPhone debuted, Google immediately changed gears and shifted Android from a Blackberry competitor and into something that looked a lot more like an iPhone.

From 2007-2010, Microsoft continued to fumble around with Windows Mobile 6.5 and eventually Windows Phone 7. They did not understand or appreciate what was happening to the market which they themselves had created.

Microsoft never managed to bring to market a mobile product which was compelling enough for consumers to purchase in enough numbers that made the platform compelling enough for developers. I think Windows 10 Mobile could have been that product, but it came five years too late.

Satya Nadella has done an incredible job pivoting Microsoft into a focus on services, entertainment, and hardware. But imagine what could have been! Instead, today Bill Gates carries an Android