[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
[ << Previous 20 ]
[ << Previous 20 ]
|Thursday, January 1st, 2037|
|Wednesday, May 15th, 2013|
|Dreamwidth vs. LiveJournal
Differences between Dreamwidth and LiveJournal seem to fall into three buckets:
1. Some differences in features.
2. Perceived trustworthiness.
3. Who's there - who can you interact with on each one.
Originally DW started from LJ's code, but both they and LJ have independently made changes, so although the two are still quite similar, each has features (or misfeatures, in some cases) that the other doesn't. Overall, the impression I get is that DW is a little better on the feature front, for people who prefer staying closer to the spirit of what LJ was like. However, I hardly ever hear anyone say that that's why they switched from LiveJournal to Dreamwidth, or using that as the reason to urge others to switch. Almost universally, people allude to #2.
What it boils down to is that LiveJournal was originally well trusted, but then it sold to less trusted owners. Dreamwidth's founders, as far as I can tell, aren't seen as better than original LiveJournal; some people are just more comfortable with them than with LJ's current owners. But the very same thing could happen to Dreamwidth: they, too, could sell to less trusted owners.
So it it worth the time and disruption of switching over to something that may be as good as what LJ used to be, but could later become what LJ is now? Which brings us to #3 - LiveJournal is still where most of the people are. Which means that, on balance, LiveJournal remains the superior service. Feature differences aren't that huge, so they don't outweigh the fact that far more of the people I want to interact with are here compared to there.
Originally, Dreamwidth made a big deal of their founding documents as supposedly a basis for trusting that Dreamwidth won't sell out in the future like LiveJournal did. It makes a lot of sense for them to have done that, because that would've been the main reason for founding a LiveJournal alternative. But I think they botched it: I read those documents, and as far as I could tell, the key difference was that LiveJournal had been subject to one person's whim to sell, while Dreamwidth is subject to two people. I guess that's a bit better, but it's no security.
Worse, when I went to the Dreamwidth IRC channel back when the project was first announced, to try to confirm my interpretation of the document... wow, were people there nasty and mean-spirited and defensive to the extreme. By asking some factual questions in several different ways, I did eventually succeed in confirming that I'd interpreted the document correctly, but people involved in the project seeme to universally view such questioning as personal attacks in the intentions of Dreamwidth's founders, and responded with hostility and insults. That experience left a bitter taste, and a gut impression on my part that Dreamwidth is actually less
to be trusted than LiveJournal.
I've got an account there in case there's ever a mass migration from LJ to DW, to make it easier for me to follow my friends there should it become necessary. But if you're curious why I'm not at all interested in supporting or instigating such a thing so far, now you know.
|Tuesday, May 14th, 2013|
You can use "j" and "k" to go to the next or previous item in a lot of web based applications, including Flickr, delicious, Facebook, Google+, Gmail... try it. Try it anywhere else - it's probably supported by some applications you use that you didn't know supported it.
Web services copied this from the Unix world, where it was popularized by the vi text editor, nethack, and a bunch of other programs. If you used a Unixy text mode email program like elm, mutt, or pine, then you had j/k for up/down.
Open to: All
, detailed results viewable to: All
, participants: 58
Did you know that "j" and "k" are often used as up/down or previous/next keys?
|Yes, I use j/k for up down in some application(s) often.
| 16 (27.6%)
|I know this, though it's not something I use much currently.
| 17 (29.3%)
|Seems familiar... you just reminded me, but I think I knew.
| 8 (13.8%)
|Doesn't sound familiar.
| 17 (29.3%)
|Friday, May 3rd, 2013|
|Valerie's recital is tonight!
I posted some videos from a couple of other recitals
I went to recently at NEC, over on cosmusic
. Both Rachel and Abigale, and Kirsten who plays in Ezekiel's Wheels with Abigale, are accompanying Valerie on some pieces at her recital tonight.
Northeastern's graduation and various related events means on-street parking in the area will be hard to find. Instead, take the #1 bus, or the green line to Mass Ave station. NEC is close to the intersection of Mass Ave and Huntington Ave. Inside the main NEC building, at the front door, ask for directions to Brown Hall (it's around to the right, to the end of the hall, down one flight of stairs).
|Sunday, April 28th, 2013|
OMG. For tonight's CD release tour show at Club Passim, I was expecting Laura on fiddle with Brittany Haas (fiddle) and maybe Natalie Haas (cello), Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle), and Valerie Thompson (cello). I was not expecting her to also throw in about 6 other people including Hanneke Cassel, Jennifer Kimball, and Darol Anger!!
I'll post a video on cosmusic
sometime soon. Add that to your friends page if you wanna see.
|Friday, April 26th, 2013|
|Election on Tuesday
Tuesday is the US Senate primary in Massachusetts.
Here's why I ask you to vote for Ed Markey
Do you know other people in Massachusetts who may not remember this is coming up? Invite them on Facebook
Are you home on Tuesday, and able to get to the polls between 7am-8pm? If not, call your town clerk or city elections department today and ask about absentee in person voting. Some places (like Cambridge) have hours on the weekend when they're open for that, but many do not, which leaves you today and/or Monday morning (you can't vote absentee in person after 12:00 Monday).
|Thursday, April 18th, 2013|
|Western Mass question
What're some fun things to do in the Northampton/Amherst area on a Saturday night (evening only), aside from food and live music (not because I don't want live music, but because I already have that option in mind and I'm looking for things I haven't thought of) ?
|Monday, April 15th, 2013|
Since I got lots of messages in the past few hours asking if I'm fine: I'm in Jerusalem, and the only explosions we had here today were the independence day fireworks.
|Wednesday, April 10th, 2013|
On my way to Israel, where I'm going to be spending a week.
Right now I'm at Fiumicino airport, next to Rome. Last time I was here
it was quite a process! This time, I'm only transferring from one flight to another in the same terminal ... which means I only had to take a short train ride. Twice. And a security check (and throwing out a full bottle of iced tea I bought at the terminal at Logan). Then, a 90 minute wait followed by 40 minutes standing in line to board after they called boarding, followed by 90 minutes sitting on the plane at the gate, until they told us they need to find another plan and sent us all back into the terminal.
Edit: After I posted this, it turned out our second boarding was via an almost 10 minute bus ride from the gate to the plane. Current Mood: nostalgic
|Tuesday, April 9th, 2013|
|Valerie Cello, May 3rd
Friday, May 3rd
, 8:30pm: Valerie Thompson's Graduate Recital
at New England Conservatory (Brown Hall)
You may already know that my friend and housemate since 2008, Valerie Thompson, is a musician, a cellist and song and tune writer of breadth and creativity. Likely you've seen or heard or watched a video of her band Goli
, a duo with Vessela Stoyanova on electronic marimba. If you haven't, ( watch some videos of Goli...Collapse )
Maybe you also know that Valerie tours with Laura Cortese Acoustic Project
and Long Time Courting
, is in the Elephant Tango Ensemble
and the house band for Bent Wit Cabaret
, and often performs with various other bands including Molly Zenobia, Sarah Rabdau and the Self-Employed Assassins... and just general has more musical projects going on than anyone else can keep track of.
Goli went to grad school in 2011. Valerie and Vessela both went into the 2-year graduate program in Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory, and now it's almost graduation time.
At NEC Valerie has written new songs (video of "Page in the Book"), collaborated with amazing musicians (video of string quartet from Joe Maneri tribute
), and joined ensembles with a wide variety of styles and instruments (video of ensemble piece from Joe Maneri tribute
)... and she's going to top it all off with her Graduate Recital
on May 3rd, less than a month away.
She'll be accompanied by her classmates and friends Jeff Balter, Anna Patton, Rachel Panitch, Daniel Pencer, Abigale Reisman, Abby Swidler, Petaluma Vale, Vessela Stoyanova and MORE! Plus you get baklvava :)
This is going to be an amazing show! Come! Bring friends!
P.S. Vessela Stoyanova's NEC Graduate Recital
is that following Monday, May 6th.
|Sunday, April 7th, 2013|
|Kickstarting Movies: Funny Bunny
You've probably already heard about the Veronica Mars movie kickstarter
, which has 5 days to go. They're trying to break the record for largest number of contributors to a kickstarter.
A much more modest movie kickstarter that I contributed to also has 5 days to go: Funny Bunny - A new feature film by Alison Bagnall
. As of when I'm writing this, she's raised $42k of her $50k goal to make the film.
Alison's sister works at ITA Software, where I work, so Alison came by our office in 2011 to show her previous film The Dish & the Spoon
and answer questions. Not only did the film totally charm me, but I learned that she'd made it kind of on the fly: Another film project had just fallen apart, and Alison had two actors she really wanted to do something with (Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander) but no movie, so she collaboratively put one together with and around the two of them.
I'd love to see what she comes up with next!
Help me help her reach $50,000
|Monday, April 1st, 2013|
Alice was telling a story about some other people and at one point fumbled between saying "master" and "ma'am" in reference to one of the characters in the story, and what came out sounded like "mas'm" or "massem". I think this could be an excellent word for a gender neutral or genderqueer parallel to "master" and "ma'am"!
|Friday, March 22nd, 2013|
|Massachusetts: Important election on April 30th!
Since John Kerry is now Secretary of State, we need to elect a new US Senator from Massachusetts. The primary for this special election will be on Tuesday, April 30th
. Don't skip this one; there's a very big contrast between the candidates!
Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, both of them members of Congress, are running in the Democratic primary. While it's not certain that the winner will become the Senator, it's quite likely. The most recent poll
shows it's a race either candidate could win, so take a look at some of the differences in their recent voting record in Congress:
- Stephen Lynch was one of only 34 Democrats who voted against Obamacare. Ed Markey voted for it.
- Patriot Act reauthorization, 2011, HR 514: Ed Markey voted against, Stephen Lynch voted in favor
- FISA Amendments reauthorization, 2012, HR 5949 - extending government power to spy domestically without cause or warrant: Markey voted against, Lynch voted in favor
- Keystone XL pipeline: Markey voted against, Lynch voted in favor - though was part of a larger bill
- Reduce military spending, H.Amdt 150: Ed Markey voted in favor, Stephen Lynch voted against
- End loan guarantees for renewable energy, HR 6213: Ed Markey voted against, Stephen Lynch voted in favor; IOW, Markey wanted renewable energy loan guarantees to continue.
- End the Afghanistan war last year, H.Res 18: Ed Markey voted in favor, Stephen Lynch voted against
- End Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act, HR 601: Never got to a vote, but Markey co-sponsored it and Lynch refused to sign on.
Edit: A couple more about Lynch...
- In 2006, Republicans put forward a resolution opposing a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq. Stephen Lynch was the only one of 10 Representatives from Massachusetts who voted in favor of that resolution.
- Stephen Lynch was one of only two Massachusetts Representatives to vote in favor of the Stupak Amendment to ban coverage of abortion in health insurance under Obamacare. (Markey voted against it)
Edit: MassEquality endorsed Ed Markey
Edit 2: Union endorsements are split, with Lynch getting a lot more, but Markey getting most of the biggest unions (SEIU, AFSCME, NEA+MTA), and the AFL-CIO opting not to endorse in this race.
Markey swept the progressive endorsements:
- Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, 350.org, MA Clean Water Action, National Wildlife Federation
- NARAL Pro-Choice and Planned Parenthood
- Council for a Livable World, Massachusetts Peace Action
- Progressive Mass, Daily Kos, MoveOn, PCCC, Democracy for America, Progressive Democrats of America
One of these two is likely to be the next US Senator from Massachusetts, so please don't skip the vote on April 30th!
Pass it on to other people you know in Massachusetts, especially people who are probably going to vote in the general election on June 30th but might miss the April primary because they don't always pay attention to primaries.
|Tuesday, March 12th, 2013|
|Famous Computer Scientists?
How many computer scientists or other important people in computing are famous enough that people outside the field know their names? Which ones?
If you're not and never have been a computer science or computer engineering major, or professional programmer or system administrator or something like that, please leave a comment naming anyone you think of as a famous computer scientist or important person in the history of computing? Or that you can't think of any, because maybe the answer is that none are well known enough to be known to most people here.
(If you are or have been one of those things, you could comment too, but state your background)
1. People who are primarily engineers who made significant contributions to the field of computing count.
2. Leave a comment with what name come to mind (or that none do) before reading other comments. Repeats are great! Then I know several people thought of that name.
3. ( Steve Jobs...Collapse )
|Tuesday, March 5th, 2013|
On the drive to Connecticut this weekend I listened to an episode of This American Life about coincidences
. Several stories of coincidences were told, some rally excellent, others nothing special. One idea they explored was that when a coincidence happens to you, you view it more significantly or remember it more than when you hear about a similar coincidence happening to someone else.
It got me thinking of a coincidence that happened to my parents last year.
When I was very little we lived in Jinja, Uganda, where my parents had been living for several years before I was born. My parents divorced here in the US, and my father remarried here.
My stepmother had never been to Africa. Last year, my dad planned a long vacation for the two of them to Uganda and Tanzania, to show her all the places and things from his past. They were going to see wildlife, and nature, and the cities, and visit Jinja and see if our former house was still there.
In the spring my stepmother's mother was diagnosed with cancer, and it was clearly going to be fatal within a year, so my parents cancelled the trip. While she was still here, they weren't going anywhere. As it turned out, the cancer progressed very quickly, and she died three months later, in the summer, during the time that they would've been in Africa.
Her final few days were right on the dates when, if they'd gone to Africa, my parents would've been in Jinja. Spending those days at the hospital with her, they met her nighttime caretaker, who'd become good friends with my stepgrandmother in a short time. A young woman from Jinja, Uganda. She and my dad traded stories, and when he described where we'd lived, she knew the street and recognized the description and told him the house was still there.
[ My parents did go to Africa this winter and did most of what they'd planned for the summer trip. ]
Tell a story of a coincidence you know of? One that happened to someone else, who told you about it, and you remembered it.
|Friday, February 8th, 2013|
|Carl Sciortino for Congress!
If Ed Markey's seat becomes vacant (if he gets elected to US Senate, which he's currently running for), State Rep Carl Sciortino will run for that office
, he announced today. Rep Sciortino represents a distict covering part of Somerville and part of Medford, and lives in Medford (which is in Markey's district; Somerville is not).
I'll write more about him later, if that seat does open up, but I just wanted to post a short Yay!!
now. Carl is my favorite member of the Massachusetts House. He's awesome. Originally elected in 2004 after defeating a 16-year incumbent in the Democratic primary, his first major achievement was saving the Green Line extension early in his first year in office; it was at serious risk of cancellation that year (partly because Romney was Governor). He's also a co-author of the transgender equal rights law
that Massachusetts passed last year.
|Wednesday, January 30th, 2013|
|Tuesday, January 29th, 2013|
|Sexual assault, things we do, and who we are
I considered locking this to friends-only, but I think it's important and I want people to link to it and re-share it and that's not going to happen unless it's public. Please read it, and share it?
I'll start with a story, something that really happened though I changed the names and some details for anonymity. Ella was good friends with a couple, Bob and Cate, and they flirted and kissed. Sometimes they attended the same sex and BDSM parties and scened with each other. One time, years ago, at such a party, Ella was having sex with someone and Bob came over. While she was giving the other guy head, Bob went down on her after what he thought was a nonverbal okay from her to join in. Ella actually would've rather he didn't, but she didn't think she minded much and she was having too much fun to interrupt what she was doing and tell him to stop, so she just enjoyed herself and let it go. Later, however, she realized that it was more of a problem for her than she knew at the time, and it made her feel icky and a little bit violated. Wanting to keep her friendship with Bob healthy, she told him about it. Not only did Bob get defensive, but Cate really freaked out. She seemed to interpret this as an attack, an accusation that Bob was a bad person, and she knew he wasn't! They weren't able to reconcile this and the friendship fizzled.
It's been on my mind lately, partly due to attending the "Addressing Sexual Harassment in Our Communities" panel at Arisia and the hours of fascinating post-panel conversation with a few people. Not long after Arisia, a friend told me about finding out from someone close to her that, a long time ago, she'd had sex with the person thinking it was consensual when actually this person did not want to and wasn't able to tell her so and just went along with it. I've long known that it's possible that I've
done something like that sometime in my past, despite trying to be very careful never to do so, and I might've really hurt someone, and if it has happened, I may never know. In fact, after that post-panel discussion, I told one of the people I'd been talking about one instance where I worried, after the fact, that I might've made a mistake and crossed someone's boundaries even though the interaction seemed good while it was happening. It's on my mind because I know that any of us - including most of you who read this - may possibly have done this to someone, and may never know for sure.
My reason for writing this post is my belief that our very efforts to combat harassment and assault and rape are exacerbating this aspect of the problem, ( and I want to explain why, and what we can change to stop doing this.Collapse )
|Thursday, January 17th, 2013|
After two visits to Maui, this winter was my first trip to any of the other islands. We started on Oahu, which felt like a cross between Hawaii and mainland. It has a real city, and highways, and streets with mainland-style English names (not a majority of streets, but a lot). Lots and lots of people, and traffic jams. Because the tallest mountains on Oahu are around 4000 feet, it doesn't have the weather/desert dichotomy of Maui, with its nearly 10,000 foot volcano.
Possibly the thing I noticed most, after getting used to the idea of a real city in Hawaii, was that we didn't see a rainbow the entire first day. When we didn't see one the entire second day, I noticed it even more. We'd gone all around the island, and up in a helicopter, been to a beach and a waterfall and various elevations. Where were the rainbows? Yet another way Oahu is more like the mainland, I thought.
But then we spent 6 days on the Big Island - on the water and up the mountains, in the rain forests and the deserts, on boats and helicopter, all over - and still no rainbows. As we were flying to Oahu for our last day, I was thinking about this. About how I'd spent a total of 10 days on Maui in two separate trips, and I don't think there was a single one of those ten days when I didn't see at least one rainbow. Some days I saw 3 or 4 at separate times in different places.
... then we flew over Maui, which is between the Big Island and Oahu, and we saw a rainbow down below.
|Wednesday, December 26th, 2012|
|Away for 11 days
I'm going to be traveling with Alice, leaving Boston Friday morning and getting back Monday afternoon January 7th. Two days of travel, 4 days Oahu, 5 days on the Big Island.
[ Would've been 2 and 7 by my original intent, except that all the islands except Oahu ran out of rental cars for some of those days by the time I tried to reserve a few weeks ago. It was quite a challenge getting the car I did get, which might've been the last one available on the Big Island before Jan 2nd. ]