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The Proprietary Ties that Bind: Part I — Instagram, not the last straw

In yesterday’s New York Times, there was an article about people getting angry over changes to Instagram’s privacy policies under Facebook rule. Rebecca Lieb of the Altimeter Group was quoted as saying

There are always Facebook users who say ‘This is the last straw,’ [but] there’s not a lot of portability. Where would you go?”

Continue reading The Proprietary Ties that Bind: Part I — Instagram, not the last straw

Testing is sexy

HACK ALL THE THINGS! vs. test all the things?

Test all the things? With apologies to Allie (who is awesome and I hope leaves the depressive spiral) http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.ca


Writing a slick iPhone app is exciting. Building a communication tool that changes how people communicate is stimulating. Hacking1 into a bank’s security system to pull of a heist is the stuff of Hollywood. “Liberating” information from classified sources can lead one to be hailed a hero. Writing test cases for code is sexy. Wait… what?
Continue reading Testing is sexy

  1. cracking []

Star Light, Star Bright

Star light, star bright,
The first start I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might…
Hey, that’s no star…
It’s a satellite!

Looking up into space as a kid was so much simpler. Camping in the woods is no escape.

No more Rob

Maybe she was right; I am obsessed with Rob — I was clicking refresh over and over for this one. But he’s gone, now: Rob Ford removed from office. As you might have noticed, now that the Globe and Mail has gone behind a paywall, I’m reading the Toronto Star for my local news.

Let's Ask the Internet: Dropping a course

How do you suggest to a student that you think he/she should drop a course? Let’s ask the Internet!

“How to tell someone” … autocomplete suggestions “you love them” or “you have herpes”.
Nope. These questions might be related — just not to my question.

“How to tell someone you think” … “they have borderline personality disorder”.
Closer.

“how to tell someone you think they should drop” … “a class”. Bingo.
No relevant results. Why did you suggest that autocompletion?

Open letter to the Internet:

Dear Internet,

I thought you knew everything. When I was three, I used to think my parents knew everything, too. Now, I see that I am wrong again. How many times can one face disillusionment in life?

Sincerely,
Twice Burned

Edit: Internet’s response:

Subject: Re: How many times can one face disillusionment in life?

Dear user 7138620,

You can activate your Microsoft Office Home Edition product key up to three times.

Digitally yours,
The Internet

The War on Toronto

I’ve been following the current hearing about Mayor Ford and his alleged run-in with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA). Over lunch, I explained to Daniel Levy, one of Steve’s new students, the gist of what is happening. Daniel, hailing most recently from Winnipeg1, rightly wondered if the Mayor’s oafishness is due to cherry-picked quotes from the media. Continue reading The War on Toronto

  1. Daniel had his bike stolen the week after he arrived and now he gets to hear about our mayor. Welcome to Toronto! []

MrRoboto: Part 1— Automatic tunnelling on a Mac

After a hard disk failure that finally rendered MacBook Air #2 unable to boot (or even formatted so as to boot), I’ve set up its replacement MacBook Air, MrRoboto, to be as “automatic” as possible. Things should “just work”. This particular blog post is about automatic tunnelling. If you don’t know what ssh or a local/remote tunnel is, this post is not for you. It’s also aimed at Mac users.
Continue reading MrRoboto: Part 1— Automatic tunnelling on a Mac

Which airline do clumsy people go work for?

Bad pun alert!

Q. Which airline do clumsy people go work for?
A. Two Lufthansa.

Ethical and Legal Considerations of reCAPTCHA: Part V (Legal)

This is the fifth post in a series of blog posts of excerpts of my paper Ethical and Legal Considerations of reCAPTCHA to be presented at PST 2012. The paper’s primary purpose is to provoke thought and discussion. I’ve signed a document prohibiting me from publishing the final copy of the paper, but I am allowed to post the paper as originally submitted for consideration, so here it is… Continue reading Ethical and Legal Considerations of reCAPTCHA: Part V (Legal)

Ethical and Legal Considerations of reCAPTCHA: Part III (Ethics 2)

This is the fourth post in a series of blog posts of excerpts of my paper Ethical and Legal Considerations of reCAPTCHA to be presented at PST 2012. The paper’s primary purpose is to provoke thought and discussion. I’ve signed a document prohibiting me from publishing the final copy of the paper, but I am allowed to post the paper as originally submitted for consideration, so here it is… Continue reading Ethical and Legal Considerations of reCAPTCHA: Part III (Ethics 2)