Comments of spchampion (75)

Comment on post link friday: pay employees more!, gamifying relationships, free co-pays are probably good:

I could never imagine Boston before the Big Dig, and from what I can tell it has been an absolute improvement for the city. However, Massachusetts will be paying for it forever. And other projects that would fix traffic are now too expensive to pursue.

Comment on post A few thoughts about the George Zimmerman trial:

I thought this would have been an excellent use for the Scottish verdict, if we had such a thing in our legal system.

Comment on post Google Reader is closing - try Newsblur instead!:

Seems crushed under the load.

Comment on post Setting values on a view: webOS vs. Android vs. Windows Phone 7:

BTW, I enjoy these posts. I'm learning a lot about mobile ecosystems from the perspective of a developer, which is a lot different than the standard industry perspective.

I almost wish you would develop for iOS so I could just get your opinion about it.

Comment on post CrashPlan and a few links:

I had no idea Crashplan supported Linux now. Thanks for pointing that out! That dramatically changes a lot of things about my storage plans (since I'm running out on my server).

Comment on post trying to learn Android and missing webOS:

Crazy alternate idea: since you like the Javascript approach so much, skip the whole native app thing and develop for mobile web instead. It changes how you monetize, but you could either do advertisements or subscriptions. The big advantage is that you can target every mobile platform instead of just one - which means a much bigger potential audience.

Plus, tools like jQuery Mobile are dead simple. And you can do some incredible stuff with HTML5.

Comment on post trying to learn Android and missing webOS:

Are you definitely a "no" on iOS?

Comment on post app reviews getting better!:

Does WebOS have some kind of review reminder feature? A lot of iOS apps will ask you to review the app after a certain period of time.

Comment on post monday is for linking: financial geekery, NY same-sex marriage, DVR sports:

Wait, Britton is doing a financial coaching business? That's really awesome, but how in the world did he get into doing that?

Comment on post it's-been-a-little-while links:

RE Facebook birthdays:

I agree that Facebook devalues the greeting, but it has a distinctly modern upside. It's basically an excuse to say "hi" to people, many of whom I don't speak with on a regular basis. Sometimes it results on an impromptu update where I learn how they're doing and they learn how I'm doing.

Comment on post byte manipulation in Javascript = not fun:

Actually, if I do print instead of print_r, I do get an error.

Catchable fatal error: Object of class Foo could not be converted to string in - on line 8

print_r is for dumping any kind of data structures, whereas print should just print strings. But the bigger issue remains - the return statement in the constructor is totally ignored and unreported.

Comment on post byte manipulation in Javascript = not fun:

For what it's worth, here's PHP's take on the world:

[stantonc:~] stantonc% php -v
PHP 5.3.3 (cli) (built: Aug 22 2010 19:41:55)
Copyright (c) 1997-2010 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.3.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2010 Zend Technologies
[stantonc:~] stantonc% php
class Foo {
public function __construct() {
$this->variable1 = "foo";
return "bar";

print_r(new Foo);

Foo Object
[variable1] => foo

Comment on post byte manipulation in Javascript = not fun:

RE errors in constructors - isn't that the whole point behind exceptions? Because the only thing that a constructor can and should return is a pointer/object reference?

Comment on post stock market returns project:

Forgot to login. That was me, btw.

Comment on post home energy usage - new shiny graphs!:

Interesting. I can't say that National Grid has a similar system at all here in Massachusetts. Very sad, but then again so much of my energy consumption up here comes in the form of things like gas and heating oil. Figuring out how those are consumed is nearly hopeless.

Comment on post home energy usage - new shiny graphs!:

Very cool! Where are you getting the usage data? Is it your monthly bill or are you using some kind of measurement device?

Comment on post FlightPredictor released!:

Wow! Congrats on a new app!

Comment on post LJ for WebOS update:

I should proof read my comments.

"The next ideas are *three* of the hardest to adapt:"

Comment on post LJ for WebOS update:


- Create a limited version you can give away. Make upgrading easy.

- Make a website for your app. Choose a domain name and build a nice looking site. Use Wordpress and a nice looking template. (See for a list of some good ones.)

- Focus on SEO so that when I search for Palm and Livejournal, I find your app.

That will definitely raise your interest level a bit.

The next ideas are two of the hardest to accept:

1.) LiveJournal is losing popularity in this country. Are there other geographies (Russia?) where it's more popular? Could you get your app translated, assuming Palm Pres are available in that geography in the first place?

2.) Palm is a tough sell for people right now. Can you move your app to Android or iPhone?

3.) Could you provide access to more platforms? Your app could do LJ, Twitter, and Facebook. Or LJ and Wordpress. Or LJ, Blogspot, and Wordpress. Etc, etc.

Comment on post Palm up for sale?:

Sadly, there are far too many mobile platforms out there. Between Apple, Android, Palm, RIM, Symbian, and Windows Mobile, consolidation is almost a certainty.

Now, who buys whom and how they consolidate is a different issue. RIM could buy Palm and base the Storm 3 on Palm OS. Who knows?

I'm still betting on HTC buying Palm for the patents and maybe as a base for their own mobile platform. Alternatives are Motorola or Google. I think RIM is a distant possibility.

Comment on post Palm up for sale?:

I predicted this a while back. Their patents are the real treasure trove, and whoever owns them will receive a "get out of jail free" card when it comes to negotiating with Apple.

Comment on post LJ for WebOS featured on palm homepage!:

That kicks ass! :D

Comment on post Test post:

Very interesting. Thanks! :)

Comment on post Test post:

I would love to know what made you choose the Pre over an Android phone. Pros and cons, etc?

Comment on post Rice pictures:

Wow, a lot has changed since I last saw Rice in 2005. Thanks!

Comment on post Palm Pre review:

You can disable the iPhone's Wi-Fi modal popup and just select networks via the settings menu. Under the Wi-Fi menu, set "Ask to Join Networks" to Off.

Comment on post I am the law!:

Oh wow, I totally imagined this happening in black and white. And in my mental version, Henry Fonda was there.

Very cool experience! :)

Comment on post Email to Time Warner re bandwidth caps:

Er, I meant "oral contract" rather than "verbal contract." I'm not a lawyer either, but I do know there's a difference between those two.

Comment on post Email to Time Warner re bandwidth caps:

Some contracts have provisions that allow one party to change the terms at any time. The legal implications of those terms is dubious, but I'm sure a lawyer would be happy to take your money and take the issue to court.

Verbal contracts are generally unenforceable in Texas. In practice, however, anything can end up in court. Did you blink twice while saying "yes" under the light of a full moon on a Thursday? That might be in the Texas Constitution somewhere, or something.

Comment on post same-sex marriage legal in vermont!:

By the way, hidden in my sarcasm was an implied "go Vermont!" :)

Comment on post same-sex marriage legal in vermont!:

Oh noes! Civilization will soon end in Vermont just like it has here in Massachusetts! I tell you, our low crime rates and well educated population are just terrible!

Just last night, I had to swerve my car to avoid running over several imaginary pitchfork and torch carrying mobs.

And lets not forget all of those marriages that have been destroyed here, including mine!

Vermont will rue the day it empowered gay people to spend money in their state. They could even settle there, adding unimaginable amounts of economic power and value. Rue the day I tell you!

Comment on post looking for a tree place:

Just a few thoughts on pecan trees (after growing up with a few hundred of them):

Here's a good page:

And here's another with cultivars recommended by area:

Looking at that list, it looks like most of the cultivars we have are out of favor. I can't remember them all, but I think we had Slyberts, Moores, Stewarts (big trees, kind of ok nuts), Mahans (medium trees, tasty nuts), Burketts (weird round nuts), and one or two others that escape my memory.

Let's see, what else...

Crows will eat the nuts if you're not careful. Bugs will too. When they fall, get them fast. Check to make sure they haven't already been compromised by insects (is the shell intact?).

For whatever reason, our trees tended to produce on an every other year cycle. I have no idea if that's normal, but I suspect it's probably common.

Pecans in their shell will last a while. Let freshly shelled pecans dry a little before eating. Don't wait too long or they'll spoil. Freeze the ones you aren't planning to use.

Oh, their leaves are not attractive in autumn. Don't expect any kind of bright colors or anything. They turn an ugly brown.

Comment on post looking for a tree place:

They grow like crazy there.

Comment on post BSG and Lost:

I actually liked the BSG episode. I thought the flashbacks were a thoughtful recapitulation of the mournful exposition of the very beginning.

By the way, supposedly the finale is..intense:

Comment on post adieu genetic Mona Lisa:

So the "makes you dumb" links are truly ridiculous but still entertaining. I'm kind of perplexed by the music link, though. Smart people only listen to Beethoven? I don't think he has enough data.

Comment on post benchmark analyzer!:

Got another one: if I change the p-value in the options to 0.95, the decision tree still shows p < 0.001. Or am I misunderstanding?

Comment on post benchmark analyzer!:

Ah, interesting. BTW, I'm getting a 404 when I click Reanalyze in your sample:

Not Found

The requested URL /~gregstoll/benchmarkanalysis/doanalysis.cgi was not found on this server.

Comment on post benchmark analyzer!:

I feel like I should understand what this is doing, but I don't. Can you give an example about how you would use this?

Comment on post anti-gay monday!:

You know, for all this talk about gays declaring war on things, you think they would be welcomed into the military with open arms.

Comment on post a slight geek-out:

That scoring article was actually related to marketing and very interesting. Cool link! :)

Comment on post book review: First, Break All The Rules:

Rackspace built its entire corporate culture around those two books to mixed effect. As a "high-touch" support driven company it made a lot of sense for their support organization. Their support people were structured in teams, and it helped as a means of evaluating team performance and people balance. For non-support related teams, I think the results were more mixed.

The happiness metric (they called it the Happy Check) was relatively interesting, and I think it captured the mood of the company and individual groups fairly well. I would have no problem using it as a metric in the future.

The strengths measurement, on the other hand, tended to get a little overused - lots of people believed in it more than they should have. As a metric, the strengths assessment tends to suffer from the same advantages and disadvantages shared by most personality measurement tools. People tended to identify with their strengths, which made for good conversation starters. However, the results were at best "interesting" and at worst wildly misleading. For example, the data demonstrated a lack of repeatability (people who took the test different times would get different results).

Another problem with the strengths assessment is that it really doesn't work well as a management tool for most jobs. For example, just because a lawyer doesn't have Analytical as a strength doesn't mean that they should be excused from doing analysis. Our jobs require that we do a lot of things that may be both strengths and weaknesses for us - and in most circumstances there's nothing we can or should do about it. That's life.

Still another issue I had was that something ranked low on the strengths scale was interpreted as a weakness. While that may be true, it isn't necessarily the case that because something isn't a strength it must automatically be a weakness. The strengths finder often missed this nuance.

BTW, my five strengths were Analytical, Achiever, Intellection (the most indecipherable of the bunch), Learner, and Strategic.

Comment on post weight:

I dropped 10 pounds this past spring before I went to Peru. I wanted to lose as much weight as possible so that I didn't have to carry it on the Inca Trail at 13,000 feet.

Basically, I took my backpack (which I was going to use for the Peru trip), filled it with engineering textbooks, and then went hiking every day in Eisenhower Park in San Antonio.

As an engineer, you too can utilize the engineering textbook weight loss plan!

Comment on post Texas Bowl was awesome!:

Rice was in a bowl game? And we won? Who were we playing?

Comment on post just so I feel caught up:

Gwen and I bought World of Goo for our new Wii and it's great fun. I remember watching you and David playing it, and I'm glad I now have my own copy.

However, nothing matches Mario Galaxy in terms of fun. That's an awesome game.

Comment on post $1 coins available at a bank near you!:

My bet is that the carrying costs for the coins were excluded in the government's calculations. Specifically, how much does it cost to use and carry dollar coins?

That includes things like the cost of moving them (they're heavier than the same quantity of dollars), retrofitting existing equipment (cash registers), and the overall wear and tear on things like pant pockets and purses.

Add those in, and there's almost certainly a negative cost for the *users* of the coins, but not for the *producers.* My bet is that this reason trumps all others including familiarity with existing dollars and habit.

Put another way, if coins were really cheaper for banks and retailers, we would all be using dollar coins now.

Comment on post $1 coins available at a bank near you!:

Wow, what a strange site. It tries to convince everyone that coins are "green," but it describes no real benefit to the average person. Heck, I'm not even sure I believe the whole "green" claim. Savings for the government are listed in terms of "billions" but no actual numbers are listed.

In short, it probably saves the government money, but so would a lot of things. If we didn't want those pesky roads, for example, that would also save the government money.

I like paper dollars (lighter weight, easier to use), so to switch I need to see more benefit for me. Dollar coins help me because...why?

Comment on post $1 coins available at a bank near you!:

But why? They're heavy and feel like quarters.

Comment on post friday link friday:

On the Argentina thing, I read that yesterday and concluded that there has to be a deeper economic crisis happening that isn't apparent yet. I'm not sure what or why, but it just "smells" that way.

Comment on post trying to move on:

The going theme seems to be that McCain could have been more negative but chose not to. Palin was out of control.

Comment on post mildly interesting politics quiz:

Yeah, basically move your circle directly up to the first quadrant and you've got my profile.

Comment on post "heroes" but not about "heroes":

One word: Hulu. No need to waste time with TV's silly politics anymore.

Comment on post best TV shows quiz:

By the way, two write-ins:

House - It can be very predictable, but it gets good marks for Hugh Laurie's acting and for the depth of medical understanding. It's not perfect, but very good compared to other medical shows.

Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles - The pilot was kind of lame and stale, but the rest of season 1 was decent. Season 2 premiered last night, but I missed it.

Comment on post best TV shows quiz:

The Wire
Friday Night Lights
30 Rock - Tina Fey's humor really grew on me.
The Daily Show
Battlestar Galactica - Best show on television.
The Sopranos
Arrested Development
Studio 60
South Park - Can be very clever. Haven't seen it in years.
Veronica Mars
Six Feet Under
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys
The Colbert Report
Mad Men
The West Wing

Comment on post back from Maine:

And Gwen works in Portland! Wish I knew you two were coming...

Comment on post back from Maine:

You were right in my new backyard! Manchester is about 45 minutes from where I live now.

Comment on post linxplosion:

I wonder if Sean is related to Paul Tevis?

Comment on post the syndrome that has no name:

the syndrome that has no name


I kid, I kid. Your blood isn't solidifying.

Feel better! :)

Comment on post captioning sucks:

Yeah, captioning definitely needs an overhaul. Almost makes you wonder if a wiki approach would work any better.

Comment on post weird phone thing:

RoR is neat, but it's really slow and immature. The departure of Zed Shaw with his angry rant leaves giant question marks about the future of the project.

On the other hand, since you already know Python, try out Django and see what you think. It's supposedly more mature than RoR and far more scalable.

Comment on post weird phone thing:

Well I'll see your strongly typed language and raise you arbitrary white spacing:

[erdos:~] champion% perl

my $id = 0;
$id = "id" + 1;
print "ID: $id\n";
ID: 1

Let's see your language parse that!

(Seriously, any recommendations for a good Python book? I have been meaning to learn it. It's currently higher on my list than Ruby on Rails, which really does suck.)

Comment on post weird phone thing:

How is this different than Perl?

[erdos:~] champion% perl
my $id = 0;
$id = "id" + 1;
print "ID: $id\n";
ID: 1

Comment on post lapping it up:

I love my 15" Macbook Pro. Get Parallels. :)

Comment on post moving on:

Yes. San Antonio working as a product manager for Rackspace. Great company.

I need to get my webpage back online so I can go back to making blanket announcements about what I'm doing.

Comment on post moving on:

Goodbye. We'll miss you.

Oh wait, you're moving to Texas? Hello! Welcome! How's it going?

Comment on post Sen. Larry Craig:

Slate's video reenactment makes it pretty clear that he was over the bounds of good behavior in society. Whether he's gay/straight/bi/Martian is none of my concern, but his actions were still unacceptable. There are better, safer, and less invasive ways of finding random people to meet for sex. Heck, Craigslist is even better than that. The idea of a US Senator conspicuously spending two minutes peeking in at me while I'm minding my own business in a bathroom stall gives me cold shivers down my spine.

Now misdemeanor or felony? Definitely misdemeanor in my mind.

Comment on post taco wrap! RIP marvin zindler. twitter!:

Whoo hoo! Link to my blog. :)

On a side note, I'm redesigning my page (slowly) and migrating to Wordpress. The upshot of this is that my RSS link may change in the coming weeks requiring an update to the LJ blog user you've setup. I'm going to try to patch together some PHP to make everything backwards compatible, but if that doesn't work I'll let you know.

Comment on post "entreprenurial" is hard to spell:

Did Twitter ever have a point? I always thought of it as a technology demonstration more so than a useful tool.

Comment on post my bad:

Very cool! :)

Comment on post My subconscious hates Macs:

Apparently his attention is so intense that people who are working with him on projects would rather not be.

All heard second hand from an ex-Apple guy. May or may not be true.

Comment on post My subconscious hates Macs:

Clearly you've never heard of what it's like to work for Steve Jobs. He's supposed to be a very difficult boss, and it's supposedly not uncommon for Apple people to try to keep their projects below his radar lest it become the next big thing at Macworld.

Comment on post Wii story:

I think it was 20F here in Ithaca when I walked to class around noon today. Then again, our low last night was 8F and we have an inch of snow on the ground.

Comment on post some days, accomplishing anything is enough:

It's supposedly the same way in NY (my car still has Texas plates and may continue to have them so long as I'm a student). Makes one yearn for the Texas car inspection where they spend 10% of the time kicking the tires to make sure they don't fall off and 90% of the time doing the emissions check.

Comment on post look what we can do!:

I'm pretty much stuck with the RSS as it is. The version of Textpattern I'm running doesn't let me customize it. I think newer versions do.

Very, very annoying that LiveJournal does not allow disabling of comments.

Comment on post look what we can do!:

I'm actually a little unhappy about it. LiveJournal now allows people to comment on my blog on LiveJournal, but those comments never migrate back to my blog. So now I have to check two places to see if there are comments to my postings.

I would much rather not have commenting enabled on the LiveJournal feed.

Comment on post look what we can do!:

I had no idea you could syndicate like that (and I looked around for it). Could I make this easier and just syndicate my blog into Livejournal without making people add a new friend?

This backup was done by LJBackup.