28 January 2014

Icepocalypse

This morning, Austin Texas had freezing rain. There were 90 car crashes within an hour or so. Texans just have no idea how to drive in bad weather. I’ve driven in Minnesota, in winter, in the middle of a blizzard — and lived. I’ve driven in ice storms on black ice. Frankly, the situation in Austin today would be no big deal, if it wasn’t for the sheer incompetence of so many Texas drivers. ... Read more

24 January 2014

San Francisco’s real problem

Amidst all the hand-wringing over San Francisco’s unaffordability problems and the resulting protests, there’s something that isn’t getting discussed much. As an experienced software developer (amongst other things), I get contacted by recruiters on a fairly regular basis. And the conversations pretty much always start–and finish–with “Of course, you’d have to relocate to the San Francisco bay area.” That’s the problem people aren’t talking about. You can’t get a job writing software for Apple unless you work in the Infinite Loop campus. ... Read more

16 January 2014

On home ownership

A friend posted a link to a posting on Forbes titled 11 Reasons Why I Never Want To Own A House Again. I found the points made quite ridiculous. I started writing a brief comment, but before long it turned into a point-by-point rebuttal. Before continuing, some disclaimers: I am not an expert and I am not offering professional financial advice. I’m only going to be considering the situation in the USA. ... Read more

10 January 2014

Food labeling news

I’ve noticed some recent discussion and news coverage of the idea of labeling foods with red, amber or green labels, based on how healthy they are. It’s known as the ‘traffic light’ system. This isn’t actually a new idea. It was proposed in 2006 in the UK, but didn’t happen then because of objections from the processed food industry. Studies had examined the effect of the traffic light labels on people’s eating, compared to US-style ‘recommended daily intake‘ labels. ... Read more

10 January 2014

Another Google freakout

People are freaking out about a ‘new’ feature that lets people e-mail you from your Google+ profile, even if they don’t know your e-mail address. Well, guess what? That feature has been in there for years. You can still read an article I wrote about the feature back in 2011. I’ve had it set to “Anyone can e-mail me” since before then, and I’ve received zero spam as a result. The only new feature is that Google+ contacts show up in Gmail’s autocomplete, and the preference is visible in Gmail as well as Google+. ... Read more

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