Posts with mood contemplative (7)

on firing people for remarks made outside their job
Mood: contemplative
Posted on 2010-10-29 15:58:00
Tags: essay
Words: 334

Background: last week Juan Williams got fired from NPR for making some comments on Fox News about Muslims. I've kinda gone back and forth about what I think about this - the comments weren't terrible, but they do seem to indicate a bias and NPR is within their rights to fire people who don't represent them well. James Fallows at the Atlantic makes the point that NPR isn't just Fox but liberal - they do strive to report the facts and not let their opinions drive their coverage of the news.

Yesterday, some guy on an Arkansas school board made some really terrible comments about gays saying he wished all gays would commit suicide, etc. His comments were more private (they were made on his Facebook page, not national TV) but a lot more offensive, and certainly point to an inability to do his job fairly. I'm uncomfortable with people being fired for what they say in private, but I think the comments were odious enough to warrant it in this case. (postscript: He quickly resigned and was interviewed by Anderson Cooper, on which he sounded suitably contrite, although it sure sounded like his attitude hasn't really changed...)

Now that so much of our private lives is less private than it used to be, we're going to need to decide what's acceptable. If I'm polite to coworkers during work hours but am a raging racist outside of work, is that grounds for firing? What if I smoke pot, or go out drinking all night? I definitely learn towards the "if it's not affecting your work performance or environment, who cares?" school of thought, but these are going to be real issues. I kinda think that employers shouldn't even be allowed to look at an employee's Facebook page in an official context. What do y'all think?

Creepy Google CEO said that in the future everyone will be allowed a name change upon reaching adulthood in order to "disown youthful hijinks". Maybe it's not such a bad idea...


developing for the Palm Pre
Mood: contemplative
Posted on 2009-10-09 10:18:00
Tags: palmpre programming
Words: 179

This week Palm announced how you'll be able to publish apps for the Pre, Pixi, etc. There seem to be three options that I'd consider:
- Join the Palm Developer Program (PDP) for $99/year and pay $50/app to get it in the App Catalog on the phone (paid or free)
- Join PDP for $99/year and distribute it on the web (paid or free)
- Release it open source and distribute it on the web (no need to join PDP in this case)

Basically, if I wanted to sell apps, I'd have to choose options 1 or 2, which are a bit more expensive than I'd like for a hobbyist project. I've been working on a LiveJournal client under the assumption that I'd be selling it for $2.99 or so - I haven't seen any other clients and I put a fair bit of work into parsing posts and comments, etc.

But I think I'll probably just release it on the web open source and put up a Donate button or something. Costs me nothing and it will let more people use it.

1 comment

I miss music
Mood: contemplative
Music: Mozart - "Requiem"
Posted on 2009-03-03 10:02:00
Tags: music essay weight
Words: 106

I think I miss singing. Last week I couldn't get the Durufle Requiem out of my head (beautiful piece of music), and today I have the same problem with the Mozart Requiem, probably due to this 30 Rock episode. Maybe after the whole wedding thing I'll look into rejoining Austin Civic Chorus.

Another bit of self-reflection: The last few weeks I've been waaaay too moody. Insignificant things will bring me down, but then I'll feel better for no reason. I'm not sure how to work on that exactly.

We're seeing Watchmen at midnight Thursday and I'm quite excited!

Also, my weight sure bounces around a lot.


25 things about me
Mood: contemplative
Posted on 2009-02-02 14:18:00
Tags: quiz
Words: 473

(this is a thing going around Facebook, but I'm more of an LJ person...)

1. I actually sat down at lunch today and tried to make a list of 25 things, and didn't get very far. So we'll see how this goes!

2. I program for a living and also enjoy doing it in my spare time. I have a bunch of side projects up at

3. destroyerj and I got interviewed in Wired for one of them.

4. My current project I'm trying to push is!

5. Enough about that. My favorite TV shows on the air now are Lost and 30 Rock, with Chuck following close behind.

6. I live on tea at the office, especially now that I'm trying to cut out sodas. I'm talking at least 3 cups a day.

7. Growing up I loved math and always planned on being a mathematician when I grew up.

8. As such, I was an avid watcher of Square One. I cried when it was preempted by the Iran-Contra hearings.

9. I don't keep in touch with my family as well as I should.

10. I have a hangup about getting water splashed on me. djedi used to splash water at me from the sink and I hated it!

11. I am almost always comfortable in silence. The "awkward silence" doesn't really exist for me.

12. I just read through most of Did you know George Frankly has been in a lot of random shows?

13. I'm usually pretty socially awkward and kinda introverted.

14. I took piano lessons for 8 years. I should bust them out more :-)

15. I really enjoy singing!

16. When I was in middle school, I was in the Houston Boychoir for a year. We took a trip to Taiwan. I met a girl that I liked, although she didn't speak very good English (and I didn't speak Mandarin). Such is life when you're 14 or so.

17. I am fascinated by infrastructure, especially highways and mass transit.

18. I'm usually pretty happy in solitude, except for missing djedi.

19. 6 more to go? Man...umm...I've only lived outside of Texas for a year, after which we quickly moved back here.

20. Austin >>> Houston.

21. I hate hate hate feeling nostalgic. I enjoy living in the now. And the future.

22. I kinda like driving.

23. scraping the bottom of the barrel here...I can smell cucumbers from a distance. I'm not sure if this is weird or not, but my family has led me to believe that it is.

24. Growing up I loved salad - my parents joked that they'd have to tell me to eat more pizza before I could have more salad.

25. I don't like tagging people. If you want to do your own 25 things, cool. If not, also cool.


-1 for working on New Year's Eve
Mood: contemplative
Posted on 2007-12-31 13:06:00
Tags: elevator work
Words: 77

The worst part is that I'm actually getting work done. I plan to party even harder for the holiday in exchange for this. The second worst part is that there was a great elevator timing I could have taken on the way up (1->3->5->8) but I couldn't get my cell phone out of my pocket in time. Still taking data, though.

Managed to reschedule my meeting so as to not conflict with the wedding. Hooray for that!


time warner not the problem?
Mood: contemplative
Posted on 2007-10-25 10:49:00
Tags: referrer
Words: 110

So after I went and badmouthed Time Warner it looks like our router might be at fault, as three times in the last 24 hours our connection was down, I rebooted just our router, and things then worked. Time for a Fry's trip, hopefully to find a 802.11n-compatible router that will solve all our problems.

Most of my referrer logs these days are fairly straightforward (and I don't pay as much attention), but I saw a good one this morning: pictures of abs on MSN search leads to my Pretty Pictures through Genetic Algorithms (since a few examples there use the "abs" function :-) )

(this set's icon for contemplative - also inappropriate)


between projects
Mood: contemplative
Posted on 2006-11-06 08:59:00
Tags: netflixprize projects proandcon
Words: 666

Vote tomorrow!

(I've been kinda unhappy and antsy the last few days, so the below is as much for myself as for anyone else...)
So I'm generally happiest when I have a side project that I'm working on outside of work, especially when work stuff is boring (i.e. now). I have been working on the Netflix Prize, but as of this evening (when my last run finishes and produces the same unimpressive results) I'll be done. Things that made it a good project:

- I used C++, which I haven't used in a little while
- The whole contest framework gave me a way to quantify how well the project was going
- Using real data with real movies is always neat

Not so good things:
- Because there was so much data, the nature of the project was to work on something for a few minutes or an hour and then leave it running for days. This meant at any given point in time I probably couldn't work on the project, and my computer was tied up so doing other things was painful.
- I like projects that other people can use (vanity?), but there's not much one can use about this one. I'm thinking of putting up a related movies finder but that might violate the TOS of the contest.
- Because people are so good it became pretty darn hard to get on the leaderboard.
- It was fun to play around with algorithms, but apparently you need a good idea or to do a lot of research to find a good one, which I didn't have/do.

Anyway, so like I said I'm putting this project to bed this evening. My question is, what will I work on next? I have some ideas stored up but I'm not thrilled with any of them.

LiveJournal backup - provide some way to backup all LJ posts and comments to those posts.
Minus: There's already a decent way to do this, except for comments.
Plus: This would be potentially useful for myself and others.
Minus: I have a hard time figuring what outputs to produce: one giant page with tons of entries and comments? A zip file with pages for each month?
Minus: Because of friends-locked posts, you would only want to view it on your own computer (and not publish it or anything) unless I somehow tied LJ users in with viewers of the page, which is not going to happen.
Plus: Ooh, I could provide some interesting statistics on moods and such. Or even some kind of randomish text from your LJ posts. Maybe.

Some kind of World of Warcraft mod
Plus: I've already done this, so I have the basics down at least.
Minus: I've already done this so it wouldn't be as interesting.
Minus: I don't have an idea of what kind of mod would be useful - there are lots of them out there already.
Minus: Developing for WoW is kind of a pain, since you have to open WoW a lot and develop at the same time, which is kinda slow.
Minus: I'm already spending a lot of free time in WoW...on the one hand this means I might be using whatever mod I make a lot, but I'd also prefer a non-WoW-related project.

Adding annotations to the baseball Win Expectancy Finder graph.
Minus: This project already exists, so it's less interesting to add little features to it.
Minus: It's not baseball season anymore, making this seem less appealing.
Minus: The main problem is coming up with a placement algorithm for annotations so they don't run into each other or the graph, which sounds pretty hard.

Add some kind of Getting Things Done style tickler list to my todo list
Plus: I kinda use the todo list, and working on it might be more incentive for me to use it again.
Minus: ...but I don't really use Getting Things Done stuff anymore. Without that, the todo list is pretty good as it is.
Minus: Again, not a new project.


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