March 3, 2014
Do you have any superstitions? I have one: the jinx. The NY Times reassures me I’m not alone: “people… tend to believe that negative outcomes are more likely after they “jinx” themselves.”
So when, just after I posted approvingly about Kickstarter, the site’s security was breached, I felt a little guilty. I knew I was being irrational. I also knew that I would feel less guilty if I backed something. I backed the boardgame Lagoon: Land of Druids.
Lagoon went on to meet stretch goal after stretch goal, closing with 3,503 backers and more than seven times its initial funding goal of $20,000. No jinx there. But my irrational belief in the jinx lingers. That’s not an entirely bad thing: it provided an excuse to get an excellent deal on what looks like a very good game.
February 10, 2014
One of the problems with restarting posting is that there are so many things I intend to post about. Kickstarter is more appropriate than most for the restarting phase. KS is “a funding platform for creative projects.”
I have backed a few projects on KS, most of them in the Tabletop Gaming category (i.e. boardgames or cardgames, videogames go in the category next door). One of my first was Eight-Minute Empire: Legends. As its KS project page shows, it met its funding goal of $10,000, and so was produced. It also met several stretch goals, attracting over $40,000 in funding. So I feel a little foolish that one of my reasons for funding was to make sure this worthy project got produced. Another reason was to get an early copy. Yet another was to get extra boards, and so I went up to the funding level at which they were included.
More recently, I backed Tangram States, in the Illustration category. I’ve always been fascinated by maps, and this one seems particularly cool.
January 30, 2014
Frozen is the word because:
- It describes this site, to which I made only two posts in 2013.
- It describes the DC area, which has been below freezing point for a while.
- I loved the movie of that name.
It’s due to get warmer round here too. I may well take the kids to Whitetail for skiiing on Sunday. I expect higher temperatures than we’ve had recently (>40 F, not many in C, but at least >0). I also expect lower numbers of people than usual on a weekend (I think that some sports event is taking place that day).
This site will come out of hibernation, or whatever it was. Unfrozen sounds like a good title for tomorrow’s post.
May 29, 2013
Happy 10th birthday, WordPress! And same to you, ReadWrite! Here are a couple of “open letters” celebrating WordPress’s 10th: fanmail on RW; and a love letter from Matt Mullenweg to his baby, now all grown up.
10 years ago (according to my memory, and the rather more reliable Wikipedia):
- WordPress was Matt (and Mike Little)’s transformation of the open source b2/cafelog software.
- RW was Read/Write Web, which was Richard MacManus. It’s one of those blogs that was started by an excellent writer, who I sometimes selfishly wish was still the main writer, and mainly writing).
- I was living in Boston, and had no kids and no blogs.
Since then, WordPress has grown in ways too numerous to mention here and RW has long been a media property or suchlike. I am now in in the DC area, and have two kids, one of whom is nearly as old as WP and RWW.
Here’s to further good decades for WP, RW, me – and you, dear reader(s).
January 16, 2013
Aaron Swartz is dead. It appears that he took his own life. He was facing prosecution, and the possibility of jail time. I didn’t know him personally, but I am grateful for much of what he accomplished in his too-short life. I knew of him best for his co-founding of Reddit, but obituaries and other accounts of his life show that his energy and achievements went far beyond software development and entrepreneurship.
One of the outcomes of Aaron’s death has been a petition to remove from office Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, “for overreach in the case of Aaron Swartz.” The petition is directed to the Obama administration, which appointed Ortiz.
I have signed the petition. I did not do so lightly. It first occurred to me to sign when I read the following quote from Ortiz in a recent Guardian article.
Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars. It is equally harmful to the victim whether you sell what you have stolen or give it away.
My reaction was (and is) that if Ortiz said this in the context of the Aaron Swartz case, I don’t want her anywhere near such a case. It is alleged that he copied documents. Copying documents, leaving the originals intact, is not the same sort of taking as stealing money, leaving the victim poorer. To introduce a economic term, copies of documents are not rivalrous goods.
Notice the if in the previous paragraph. It occurred to me that Ortiz may have been misquoted. I didn’t want to jump to the conclusion that she had said something so ridiculous. So I Googled the above quote. One of the many sources I found for it was a web page with the title “USDOJ: US Attorney’s Office – District of Massachusetts”. So the web site of Ortiz’s own organization “credits” her with that exact quote.
My objection to Ortiz as US Attorney is manyfold. First, she is actually responsible for the ridiculous statement quoted above. Second, she sought to have someone convicted of a felony and imprisoned on that ridiculous basis. I’ll stop here, partly because I am in no position to measure Ortiz’s share of the blame for Aaron’s death.
November 18, 2012
The edge between the front yard and the road is buried under a long, fairly deep pile of leaves. This photo gives some idea of the pile, and a better idea of how much I enjoyed moving the leaves from various parts of the yard to the pile. I won’t even be this happy if the county doesn’t come and collect the leaves before we get a strong wind that spreads the leaves back over the yard.
The photo also shows that I haven’t shaved for more than two weeks. I wasn’t planning to participate in Mowvember, but my shaver gave up the ghost around Halloween. I’m not sure whether the beard will survive the month, let alone make it to the new year.
What do you think? (Here’s a photo of a beardless Andrew, if it helps.)
November 6, 2012
I didn’t give up blogging, I just didn’t post for almost four months. I last posted just after the big summer storm, when we lost power, and got it back on the 4th of July. So I hardly blogged at all between Independence Day and Election Day.
Today’s election was the first in which I was eligible to vote as a US citizen. I did so accompanied by my kids.
Voting is good, and blogging is good. Will the outcome of the election be good? Or rather, for whom will it be good?