Tag proandcon (4)

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!)


genome hacking
Mood: busy
Posted on 2008-05-31 15:06:00
Tags: 23andme proandcon genetics
Words: 179

I've kinda peripherally been aware of this, but you can get your genome sequenced from 23andMe or deCODEme and get back a full report on genetic risk of diseases and stuff. And then you can compare the raw data with known genetic datapoints at SNPedia. This is like super cool. I'm like vaguely considering having this done.

Pro: This is like wicked awesome. A 2MB zipped text file with all of my genes? Awesome.
Con: There are some privacy concerns, although both companies stress their commitment to privacy and all that.
Con: It costs $1000, which is a lot of money for a science experiment.
Pro: Did I mention it was wicked awesome? Think of all the interesting things I could learn!
Con: I'm a little bit of a hypochondriac and I can't imagine this would help.
Pro: In theory I could be on the lookout for warning signs for diseases I'm prone to. (but see "hypochondriac" above)
Con: Still, $1000.

So I think that's a "no" for now. Maybe when it gets a bit cheaper I'll revisit it.


living situation pros and cons
Mood: happy
Posted on 2006-12-10 13:44:00
Tags: proandcon
Words: 424

So I had this idea for a post about things I like and don't like up here, in the spirit of my previous pro and con post. I'm trying to limit this to location stuff. (i.e. no job stuff or complaints about the obvious lack of friends, etc...)

Con: The nearest grocery store is like ten minutes away by car if there's no traffic. This feels obscenely far away, given that we lived literally across the street from an HEB in Austin.
Con: The grocery stores here are nowhere near as good as HEB. The selection isn't as good and they aren't as clean, etc. And they require use of the stupid loyalty cards (which we managed to get without giving them personal information, but the idea still bothers me).
Pro: Our apartment complex is really nice - we love our apartment and they have a small but decent gym. And there are cookies in the main office! And there's covered and assigned parking.
Pro: We're right across the street from a mall, which we used to walk to in better weather. There's also a movie theater and restaurants there.
Pro: It seems like there are lots of good restaurants around here, Copeland's and Bertucci's among them.
Con: We definitely live in the suburbs, which means almost all the stores around are chain stores. Still looking for a good independent bookstore like Bookpeople.
Pro: We're close to both Baltimore and DC, which means there are lots of things to do if we feel like it. The huge number of museums and such in DC means we'll never lack for things to do when people are visiting. (hint, hint!)
Pro: The weather. Yeah, on the whole I'd say this is a pro. It is cold here, but it's warmer today (50s!) and it really does feel like Christmas. Also, I can't wait for snow! (I reserve the right to change this to a con in January...)
Con: Radio stations. This is another close one, but I liked Austin radio better than here. At least WAMU is a good NPR station with shows like The Kojo Nnamdi Show. (the Diane Rehm Show counts against them because I cannot stand her voice)
Con: This is probably a suburb thing and to some extent a Maryland thing, but things just aren't as close as they seemed to be in Austin. We have to get on the freeway to go anywhere. This also may be because we haven't lived here too long.

Anyway, that's what was on my mind today.


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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