Link Dump – Feb 2014

Link Dump
A few months ago, I discovered Raymond Chen's occasional Link Clearance posts. I decided I'm going to do a similar style post once in a while, to clean out the ever-growing stash of "must-read!" bookmarks. Many of my links are from hacker news, or boing boing, some other news source, or friend, naturally. WHAT SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO WITH THE FIRST HOUR OF THEIR WORK DAY - made me realize that my best working hours are the first few after I wake up. Dojo Of Death - Addictive flash game. How I Created the Iconic iPhone Sound The best picture on the internet. Empire Falls - Long read on the subject of western civilization. Source Code in TV and Films - "Images of the computer code appearing in TV and films…
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The Fall From Grace (Life & Career Lessons, 2013)

Life and Philosophy, Midnight Ramblings
2013, for me, sucked. The overly-simplistic way to summarize would be to say that I simply made a bad career move. It's more than that, though. The person I had become leading into 2013 was not who I want to be - to be clear, I did not say it's not who I wanted to be, rather, who I was aiming for becoming is no longer who I wish to be. For me, if nothing else, that's the main takeaway from 2013: people can (and do) change who they are and who they want to be - and that's ok, it happens. The trick is remembering how much impact our choices can affect others. --- It's as if I've come full circle - a few years ago I left a…
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Music To Code By, 2013

Lists, Music
It's that time of the year again. For more great music, check out the previous 'Music To Code By' posts from 2011 and 2012. It seems this year, soundcloud really became a thing. In previous years I've had to link to Amazon mostly for 30 second clips at best. This year, links below are actually worth a click - as almost all of them link to music you can stream for free from soundcloud or bandcamp - no subscription cost necessary. That being said, I strongly recommend that you join a music service like Rhapsody or Spotify - so you can hear some of these amazing albums in full. Standard Disclaimer I prefer full-album front-to-back listening experiences. Favorite genres currently include post-rock, noise-rock, EDM, alt rock, shoegaze, and dream pop.…
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Oh, Google just turned my iPod touch into a free wifi phone

Cool Stuff, Tips, What I Just Learned
Today I noticed that Google turned my iPod touch into a free wifi phone. That's nice of them. To turn your iOS device into a free wifi phone. Simply create a Google Voice #, and install the Google Voice and Google Hangouts apps on your device. You'll be able to send and receive text messages with the Google Voice app, and read your Google Voice voicemail there too. The Hangouts app will let you make and receive calls to/from real phone #s, and instant-message with your friends. I've used Google Voice for several years. It's great, because it gives you a free phone number that redirects to other numbers. I give people my Google Voice #, and when they call, it automatically rings several personal lines. Further, if I ever…
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Cool Stuff: Music & Audio (Part 1)

Cool Stuff, Lists, Music
I recently discovered that I'm the son of an audiophile - suddenly I understand why I was encouraged to buy a decent amplifier/receiver at a very young age, suddenly I appreciate those old dads-college-days/hand-me-down kickass KLH speakers just a little bit more than I always have. I am definitely not an audiophile myself, but music is a huge part of my happiness in life. I'm also a geek, so over the years I've learned a clever thing or two about the hobby of collecting and listening to music, and I'd like to share a bit of what I've learned. Required Reading Before we get into the hardware geekery, I think it's prudent to point you toward a few classic articles and books about the music industry. First up is Steve…
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Creative Bankruptcy

Life and Philosophy, Midnight Ramblings
Commiting to a rambling blog entry at 7a without sleep is always a good place to start. Music: Matthew Good - Non Populous TLDR: When it feels topsy-turvy, it's time for a break. It's okay to take a break. Thursday, August 22: "Man, this stuff + work drama makes me so want to quit all of this crap. ever feel that way?" .. "Yes." I spent a large part of the year working on a half-dozen personal projects in my spare time, enjoying myself quite a bit - until I didn't. I could have been stretching myself too thin, it could have been that my latest career move was a bad one, it could have been that the projects I'd kicked out earlier in the year didn't bring results, it…
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When the room spins

Midnight Ramblings
I was young, but not so young as to not remember, perhaps 8. It was early evening, but felt like dawn. I clung for dear life, at the edge of my bed, as the room spinned and spiraled around me. Slowly, methodically, I made my way through ice cubes, mouthing one after another, willing the room to stand still. Sometime minutes or hours later, mother opened the door to check my fever - clearly still going strong. I beg her to make the room stop spinning. I cry in confusion, unable to grasp the edge of the bed strong enough to put the world back in place. Mother frowns at another thermometer read over 100 degrees, and tells me I need some rest. She explains the spinning room in terms…
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It doesn’t matter.

Life and Philosophy, Midnight Ramblings
I haven't been taking many photographs recently. When I analyze it, the story goes: I started sorting through years of photos, trimming the fat, collecting the better bits into something worthwhile. Sorting years of photos proved such a daunting task that at one point early on I was able to calculate how long it would take to finish this personal project. I determined it would take a long time - too long, really. So, why shoot more? Why bother? My grandfather was a photographer too. Always with the camera. Every family get together, several photos a day. He always promised us that if we made a funny face, the photo would be printed at 8x10 size. I saw dozens of hilarious/embarassing 8x10s of various relatives over the years. I'm halfway…
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School of Code: Making A Website

School of Code
My super-smart engineer brother-in-law wants to make a website for his upcoming wedding. He spent the last few years of his career ensuring the core processors of your iPhone worked correctly, and he recently moved to a systems position. Changing from hard-core chip fab excellence to a jack-of-all-trades is no easy feat. He first needed to pick up SQL and databases, and he's picking up C# here and there. Now, it's time for a wedding website 'from scratch', so he can learn a little HTML and CSS. Don't do it. My advice to anyone looking to make their own website: don't do it. The skills and patience required to make a website are kind of like some of those mathematical skills you learned in high school.. If all you want…
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Corporate Metrics

Midnight Ramblings, Quotables
Corporate metrics are a necessary but terrible mouse trap. Rule benders will bend the rules, and creating a mouse trap to catch a rule bender inevitably turns into a rube goldberg machine. This machine eliminates autonomy and freedom of choice. It transforms personal pride, integrity, and accomplishment into a generic store-brand product of mediocre quality. Cultural metrics commodotize the definition of excellence, at the expense of all, to weed out the few.
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