Viewing posts by jag

A thought on public transportation

Over at The Atlantic's CityLab, they present a chart and some thoughts on a Brookings Institution analysis of losses-per-passenger in U.S. subway and metropolitan rail projects. Unsurprisingly, they all lose money. Surprisingly, some of them lose a lot of money. They note that the small, dense, center-of-the-city operations tend to fare better than those systems with tendrils stretching out into the suburbs.

Why campaign finance reform is doomed to fail

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC prompts my liberal interlocutors to start frothing at the mouth. It's clear to anybody of any political bent that the very cozy relationship between big business and big government corrodes our republic, that the channeling of money and favors to lawmakers and decision makers merits labels like bribery and corruption. But I don't see the Citizens United decision the way they do.

Filing good bug reports

We all use software and systems we didn't create, and we all find ourselves in the position of having to report bugs and seek support. Surprisingly, support staff and software engineers are human beings, too, and human beings have moods and feelings just like everybody else. They probably spend a good portion of their work day dealing with such things, and they can easily have any number of negative reactions: frustration, impatience, or condescension. This is rude, clearly, but we still need their help to get back to what we were doing. Filing good bug reports and doing your part as a good user can help ensure that you get the most helpful response. Here's how.

A Saturday in DC

Yesterday, I enjoyed what was a pristine spring day by venturing toward the District. After brunch at Lyon Hall, we hiked the loop on Theodore Roosevelt Island, and then enjoyed a beer on the patio behind the Madhatter. Two of my dogs, Addison and Arizona, joined us for the day. It was an amazing way to enjoy the weekend.

Gender and cultural bias in the programming world

Almost as soon as it had happened, my Twitter feed was abuzz with the keynote talk that Jacob Kaplan-Moss gave on how the internal mythology of programmer skill distribution leads to excluding and discouraging what must be the vast majority of software engineers. You should watch it, if you haven't:

CNN International romanticizes Cuban poverty

CNN International wrote a piece romanticizing slum tourism in Cuba this morning, lamenting that with the weakening of the US' embargo against Cuba and the inevitable end to that embargo, the timeless 1950's vintage character of Havana will wither away once American investors begin developing and modernizing the island nation. From the article:

Risk calculus, gender, and blame

As outlined with appropriate outrage over at the Frisky Fairy, FetLife, the social networking website for kink and fetish enthusiasts, finds itself in a bit of a firestorm with its members over its complacency or ineptitude at protecting its users' privacy, insofar as such things are possible.

Integrated toolchain for life management

Life is complicated. My brain is not cut out for the chaos of this life. Over time, I've found a set of tools that integrate very well to try to keep everything managed. If you have an Android phone and a Mac, you might find them helpful too.

Sunday coding fun: Blunderbuss

I took a break from doing my taxes this afternoon to scratch an itch. I call it Blunderbuss.

Head slamming against wall kind of bug

On a client job, I'm being asked to set up an instance of Discourse, a Ruby on Rails application for hosting discussion forums. I've been a fan of Jeff Atwood's blog for some time, so I was excited at the chance. Doubly so because Discourse's preferred shipping method is using Docker containers.