Tag poll (18)

What webOS app to work on next?
Mood: curious
Posted on 2010-09-02 22:51:00
Tags: palm projects proandcon poll
Words: 347

Having finished We the People and done some small changes to earlier apps, I'm raring to work on a new webOS app for my Palm Pre. (partially feeling invigorated by the announced webOS 2.0 features)

So here are my ideas:

A client to easily browse Reddit.
- Pro: I've played around with it a little and gotten some stuff to work, which is promising.
- Pro: There's a real API which looks pretty easy to interact with.
- Pro/Con: There are already a few existing Reddit clients, although none of them are in the full App Catalog (one's in beta, I believe?)
- Con: It would be a lot of work to make pages look attractive, especially since I suck at it.
- Con: I'm not sure how much more useful it is than just going to the Reddit site in the browser.
- Con: I couldn't see charging more than $1.99 for it, and I'm not sure how many people would be interested in buying it.

A bridge game (probably single-player only, at least at first)
- Pro: There are no existing bridge games in the Catalog. Even in Apple's I only see two.
- Con: That's probably because it's a huge pain to write AI that bids well. And if it doesn't bid well, it's almost useless.
- Pro: I could see charging $5-$10 for it if I spent the time to do it well.
- Con: Bidding aside, it's still a lot of work to put in correct play, proper scoring, fancy card graphics, etc. I'm not convinced I won't give up or lose interest before I'm done.

Mystery option #3, which I just thought of
- Pro: Uses some exciting new features in webOS 2.0, like <redacted>!
- Con: It's not a very original idea, and I bet someone can beat me to it.
- Pro: But it would be kinda fun to write and play around with...and I would use it...
- Con: But I can't start working on it until webOS 2.0 releases, whenever that is.
- Pro/Con: Probably a 99 cent app, although a fairly wide audience.

What do you think? (open to other ideas!)


Curious about Roman Polanski
Mood: bouncy
Posted on 2009-10-08 10:50:00
Tags: poll
Words: 90

So, if you haven't heard, Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland two weeks ago. In response, some prominent filmmakers including Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen have signed a petition asking for his release. So, I'm curious:

My thoughts behind the cut:

I pretty much don't understand why this is an issue. He was tried and convicted of a pretty heinous crime and fled the country. Yeah, it was a long time ago, but sending the message that disappearing for a few decades = forgiveness of punishment seems pretty crappy to me.


browser of choice?
Mood: curious
Posted on 2009-03-21 17:09:00
Tags: poll
Words: 32

So I saw this article about how Chrome is killing Firefox and I thought "Really?" That doesn't seem very likely considering Chrome's still under 1% market share.

But, just out of curiosity...


politics, whereslunch, magazines: an entry in three parts
Mood: awake
Posted on 2008-10-24 10:19:00
Tags: whereslunch projects poll politics links
Words: 410

Will Ferrell was on SNL last night as George W. Bush and it was pretty good (although maybe not "one of the best skits ever"). It still looks like Obama is way ahead. It warms my heart that someone who wants to investigate all members of Congress to see whether they're pro-American or not (hello, Joe McCarthy!) can suddenly find that most people won't stand for that crap. Obama makes a good fantasy football partner. Also, politics has always been sleazy - this is not a recent phenomenon.

Where's lunch:
This is my project for a google map of lunch places in Austin. It's kinda stalled out, because I haven't had a lot of free time and I can't decide what to do next. Right now you can view restaurants, rate them, leave comments, color the markers based on rating and some other things, and filter which markers are shown. (if you're interested in trying it out, drop me a line and I'll hook you up) Things I want to add at some point:
- letting people add restaurants themselves. This is kind of a pain to do, and raises some security issues and means I have to police the data to some extent.
- suggesting restaurants you might like based on other people's ratings. This isn't too hard to do but since there are few ratings in the system it won't be interesting for a while.
- add user profiles where you store where you work and you can limit lunch places by their estimated time for lunch (2 * travel time + time it takes to get food).
- putting ads on the site to make $$$
So, how interested would you theoretically be in these features?

Time vs. Newsweek:
When I was a kid, I had a penchant for stupid rivalries. We got the Houston Chronicle, a friend got the Houston Post so I immediately assumed the Chronicle was better, "rooted" for it, and was not exactly happy when the Post folded but I felt victorious. Same thing for Newsweek and Time - we got Newsweek and it was clearly better for no particular reason.

But now I'm wondering - maybe Time is the better magazine? I like some of the columnists Newsweek has (Fareed Zakaria, Anna Quindlen) but Time has Joe Klein, and I read a copy randomly this week and it was pretty interesting. I barely get through the magazines we have, so getting both is not a reasonable option. Which should I get?


Mood: thoughtful
Music: Death Cab For Cutie - "I Will Possess Your Heart"
Posted on 2008-08-26 12:59:00
Tags: essay poll links
Words: 260

I read this article on panhandling and it brought some things to mind.

I've never been quite sure what to do about panhandlers - they're somewhat common in Austin (and Houston) and so it's not infrequent that I'll be stopped at a light and one or two will be on the median. Back when I first started driving, I leaned towards giving them a dollar and feeling good about myself. "After all", I'd tell myself, "even if they are just going to spend it on alcohol or whatever, it's not my place to judge them, and I have the right to spend my money on stuff that isn't great for me, so why shouldn't they?" I thought it was the Christian thing to do.

After a while of that, I got a little jaded, and thought about the fact that economically I was encouraging more panhandling by "rewarding" those who were. (cold-hearted economics strikes again!) My mom tended to have a bag of non-perishable food (cereal and the like) that she would give instead of money, which is actually a pretty good solution.

Now I'm generally torn on the issue. Since we moved further away from downtown I don't see panhandlers as much so it hasn't come up, but reading the article sure makes me less likely to give. I like Denver's solution of converted parking meters where you can drop money and the city will give it to homeless shelters, etc. - that way you can give at the time you're being asked while ensuring it goes to a good cause.


Website redesign
Mood: productive
Music: Goo balls
Posted on 2008-03-01 20:48:00
Tags: homepage poll
Words: 40

After doing some more realish work today, I redesigned my website a bit. Here's the new version, and here's the old one for comparison.

I realize no one will see this now since it's Saturday, but feedback is always welcome!


houses houses houses...I made you out of clay...
Mood: creative
Posted on 2007-12-21 10:22:00
Tags: math elevator work house poll
Words: 408

We went house-hunting again yesterday. The first house we looked at is now our current favorite (which is good, as we heard our previous favorite is already under contract. Stop buying houses, people!), with a nice big kitchen (with an island!) that opens up to a living room which is a little on the small side but could probably fit the TV and computers. Master bedroom is plenty big and the bathrooms are nice. Plus it was built in the 90s and is reasonably priced!

- a bit far from freeways, although the neighborhood it's in is nice (it's off of Duval)
- there's a deck in the backyard which would be nice were it not so rundown, presumably by the current owners' (don't yell at me, there's more than one owner so I'm assuming they both own the dogs) dogs.
- living room is a little small

We have another good possibility that we'll see after the holidays, hopefully.

Now for the important stuff: at work my building has 8 floors and elevators. I work on the 8th floor, so I get plenty of time in said elevators. (fun thing to do: walk in a circle as the elevator is moving and realize that you're tracing out a helix!) Often I have to wait for other people to get off on their stupid less important floors before I get to the top, so I was wondering: let's say it's a given that we have to make two floor stops from 1 to 8. Is it better to have the stops be consecutive or spread out? For the sake of concreteness, let's say one way we stop at floors 2 and 3, and the other way we stop at floors 3 and 6.

I have an idea but I'll cut it: my guess is that, even though the elevator won't get up to full acceleration between floors 2 and 3, the total time spent getting up to top speed will be the same, so it'll be almost exactly the same. Depending on the acceleration versus the height of the floors, it's possible that stopping at floors 2 and 3 will be faster, though. I'll go with almost exactly the same for now.

Anyway, I was going to start taking measurements when I get my new phone, but it looks like the RAZR V3 doesn't have a stopwatch. (can anyone confirm?) That makes me sad. I'll come up with something, though!


iTunes ratings analysis - what looks nicer?
Mood: loved
Posted on 2007-11-05 10:37:00
Tags: pictures itunesanalysis projects poll
Words: 81

quijax and Todd and djedi and I went to Enchanted Rock on Saturday - here are pictures. I am sore and out of shape, but it was a fun hike.

My next project will be smallish - sprucing up my iTunes ratings analysis and letting people do it on their iTunes libraries. I'm starting with the sprucing up part - here's version 1 and version 2 (for reference, here's version 3 which is the same as version 1 except with darker alternating background colors):


nukes, outing
Mood: okay
Posted on 2007-09-06 10:17:00
Tags: poll politics
Words: 191

I'm back at work today, feeling decentish. Took care of canceling utilities and setting up new ones yesterday, which is a load off of my mind. Also, my RFID blocking wallet came so I'm using that now. No more foil in my pants!

Air Force investigates mistaken transport of nuclear materials - yikes.

Per our earlier discussion, here's an article about the guy who's been outing anti-gay politicians. (there was a more biased version of the article in the Washington Post this morning) This isn't exactly the same since Craig was arrested and it seems like Mike Craig just brought that arrest to light, but it brings up the question:

My thoughts (no peeking before you vote!):This is no longer quite the issue it once was, since being gay in and of itself is fairly widely accepted these days. But after being closeted myself for a while, it put a big emotional strain on me to keep it a secret. I get the hypocricy angle, but I don't think outing is justified except in the most extreme situations. I'm also a big believer in keeping one's personal and work lives separate.


Mood: hungry
Posted on 2007-08-27 12:05:00
Tags: poll
Words: 54

I need a new wallet. I feel bad because my nice current wallet was a high school graduation present from my late grandfather, but that was 8 years ago and my credit cards are starting to fall out of it, which is bad.

A geeky one would be nice. Here's one option, here's another.


starcraft, buying stuff
Mood: awake
Posted on 2007-08-08 09:12:00
Tags: starcraft poll
Words: 98

Cracked open Starcraft last night (found my old CD as well so djedi and I can play at the same time!) and played the first 5 or so Terran missions. Good stuff!

Apparently I was allergic to something I ate or touched on Saturday, because I had a ton of red bumps (that looked like mosquito bites but didn't itch) on my chest and back. Thankfully, they're almost gone now.

Here's a question I've been meaning to ask: Let's say you go into a retail store alone with the expressed purpose of buying a birthday gift for someone.


what if money were no object?
Mood: calm
Music: Radiohead - "The Bends"
Posted on 2007-06-04 09:27:00
Tags: music poll
Words: 342

(this is by no means an original question) Let's say that you won the lottery today, and you'd be receiving enough money to live on comfortably (maybe a little lower than your current standard of living) for the rest of your life.

My thoughts, cut to avoid influencing your answers :-)

For me, work is more than just a way to earn money; it's a way for me to make a difference (however small) in the world. I guess even if I couldn't find a job that I liked/was sufficiently good at, I would spend my time doing work-like activities. (contributing to open source products, etc.)

We had a good weekend. The weather was pretty nice on Friday and Saturday - we got together with a work friend and played some Mario Party 8. (verdict: not much different from previous Mario Parties, but still fun, and the minigames that use Wiimote functionality were neat) Saturday was gorgeous in the afternoon and I went out and got new CDs: 3 Radiohead, 2 Wilco, the new Linkin Park, and the Muse one with "Knights of Cydonia". The last I got because I was reminded of the songs existence via wildrice13 who was excited it was going to be on Guitar Hero III. I heard it at New Year's, and really liked it. The sample on iTunes was OK but not the part I remembered. Anyway, I listened to it later, and at first was disappointed because it was neat but not awesome like I remembered. Then it got to the good part with the great harmonies and stuff and I was happy and listened to it like 6 times :-) Point being, all the albums are up on my music site if you'd like to listen (if you don't have access, drop me a line!)

quijax came later that evening, after it started raining. (I think, anyway...it was definitely raining most of the time) It was fun having a guest! (and somewhat reinforced our feelings of missing our friends and not getting to hang out with people)


Recent local laws...
Mood: hungry
Posted on 2007-02-12 11:51:00
Tags: dodgeball taxes snow poll
Words: 316

I heard about two proposed laws around here that I thought were interesting. One, in New York, would ban using electronic devices (such as iPods) while crossing the street (in response to the death of two such pedestrians) - the penalty would be a $100 fine. The other, in New Jersey (and proposed in Washington DC as well), would ban smoking in a car with children in it.

In my opinion, the New York law is way beyond the bounds of what the law should cover. It's common sense that you should pay attention while crossing the street - why not make it illegal not to look both ways?

The New Jersey one is a lot tougher...protecting children from secondhand smoke versus legislating what you can do in your car. I voted "No", but I could probably be convinced to vote "Yes". Maybe.

Anyway, I was just interested in what y'all thought.

Dodgeball was fun this weekend, except for getting the glasses knocked off of my face (they were OK, albeit a little more bent than before...I really need to get new frames at some point!) and running into a teammate which left my left cheek a bit tender. And this was in the match where the other team didn't have enough players! (so we lent them some of ours and played for fun)

There's supposed to be a big storm coming through tonight and tomorrow. Winter weather advisories and such. Hoping we get the day off!

Finally got around to doing my taxes this weekend - it was less painful than I thought and I ended up with a smallish refund. The state taxes thing was new, but you can do them online in a mostly painless manner. State taxes are high, though, especially considering that sales tax here is 5%, which doesn't seem like that much less than 8.25%. I guess property taxes are significantly lower, too?


back in the cold
Mood: discontent
Posted on 2006-11-27 14:49:00
Tags: ljbackup poll
Words: 172

Thanksgiving was fun. (except for the flight down - it felt like my sinuses had acid in them for about an hour and that my ears were going to explode on the way down! Cold + airplane == bad) It was nice to see David's nephews again, although I didn't really feel like taking pictures so I didn't. Weather was good, too.

I actually got up early Friday morning for my first Black Friday experience. I was trying to get a Wii but came up short. (the gamestop in Victoria didn't get any...) The crowds in Target and Best Buy were amazing - at least a two hour wait to check out, I'd say. Luckily (I guess) I didn't have to :-)

I was in a bit of a mood last night after getting home so I worked on the LJ backup some more, and was able to make it spit out a calendar (which I had been dreading). Thank goodness! Oh, and here's a fake poll for example purposes when I get around to parsing them:


Mood: grateful for the little things
Posted on 2006-07-27 14:57:00
Tags: asmc poll links
Words: 205

Rehearsal went well last night, except we didn't get a chance to do a runthrough because we had to re-setup the sets (someone used the theater Tuesday night) and lots of other stuff. So we're doing two runthroughs tonight, which we need, but is going to totally exhaust me. On the plus side, I'm not too exhausted since we didn't runthrough last night :-)

There's a part of the show where me and some other guys lift Vixen (a doll) up in the air. Last night it didn't go well, and we sorta half-dropped her, although she ended standing up. I hold her legs and feet, though, so I got kicked in the jaw. Totally not her fault, of course, but it's still bothering me a bit today :-/

Lance Bass (member of NSync) is gay! Neat!

Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder - I have this, most certainly.

Clips from the new Simpsons movie look good so far. Maybe it really will come out next year :-)

Tour de France winner Floyd Landis tests positive for testosterone, although the results aren't final yet. Hope it isn't true, but if so...ouch.

TIOBE ranking of most popular computer languages - wow, didn't realize Java was #1. Ruby's only #17. Also, go LabVIEW! (#34)


"burn baby burn" - poll
Mood: curious
Posted on 2006-05-17 09:07:00
Tags: poll
Words: 117

Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani appeared to renounce a fatwa calling for the killing of homosexuals "in the most severe way"...um, yay!

So Austin Police Chief Stan Knee is resigning to work with police in Afghanistan. He's had a good tenure here, although there were a few incidents that reflected poorly on the department. One such incident that happened a year or two ago was that a group of police officers, watching the Midtown Club burn down, text messaged another police officer "burn baby burn". People protested because of the other messages which seemed to celebrate the burning, and this one in particular, because of the racial undertones. That leads us to this week's poll:



Quick poll
Mood: busy
Posted on 2006-03-07 10:42:00
Tags: poll
Words: 0


quick poll
Mood: pensive
Music: Upscale - "Rockin' Robin"
Posted on 2005-06-21 13:11:00
Tags: death penalty poll
Words: 19

(del.icio.us evangelization will resume after this post)

I was just interested in what people thought, so here's the poll:


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