yesthattom: (happy)
It is frequently very difficult for me to say "no" to people.  This week I said "no" twice in situations where it would have been easy to say "yes" and then have my life fucked up as a result.

Go me.
yesthattom: (happy)
You know how when climate crisis deniers say things like, "look!  it's snowing!  obviously global warming is a hoax!" and people like me rush to point out, "Hey, there's a difference between WEATHER and CLIMATE!"

Well here in New Jersey its 70 degrees out and Christmas is only a few days away.  When we see relatives this holiday season I'm going to use every opportunity to say, "Gosh, it is Christmas and its 70 degrees out!  Global Warming must be real!" and if anyone starts to clarify that there's a difference between weather and climate I'm going to just say...

Suggestions?   I have no idea what I'm going to say.
yesthattom: (happy)
When I was at Google I complained that Google Drive was unsearchable and, to be honest, I was sick and tired of friends emailing me snarky comments like, "I can never mind anything in Google Drive!  If only this product was made by a company that knew something about search!"

The reply that I got from the product manager was that the average Google Drive user has less than 80 documents.

My reply was to explain to them that 'average' is not as useful in this situation was 'median" is.

This is where you can insert a joke about them wanting to send me their standard reply, but they couldn't find it.


Now that I don't work at Google, nearly every week (and often every day of the week) a coworker complains to me about how frustrating it is that they can't find the doc they need in Google Docs.  They think it is hilarious to bring such complaints to me, often in public forums.

So today I was shocked when my RSS reader brought me this headline:
"Better search experience in Google Drive"

I feel sorry for the develoeprs that wasted their time improving Google Docs search. How does it feel to be writing code that solves a problem that doesn't exist?

yesthattom: (happy)
I keep a certain amount of my investments in CDs.  Each time one matures, I move banks to get the best rate.

According to my best research, two banks were tied for the highest interest rate for 5-year CDs right now.

  • Bank A: 2.25% APR.  Penalty for early withdrawl is 6 months interest.

  • Bank B: 2.25% APR.  "There may be a penalty for early withdrawl"

Wait... what?  What does that mean? Nowhere on their website do they say what it means.  So I called them up and spoke with their very friendly CSR who explained the penalty is 180 days of standard interest. This is pretty much what I expect and seems to be the industry standard.

Ok, so really my choice is:

  • Bank A: 2.25% APR. Being up-front.

  • Bank B: 2.25% APR.  Making customers work to get the information that any investment book would tell them to get before they invest.

As you can guess, I went with Bank A.

And I let Bank B know that their website needs some editing.

Even if they are able to show me where their website has that information, it is too late now.  I've sent my millions (well... millions of microcents) to their competitor.  (Oh, and if anyone from Synchrony Bank is reading this... the page that needs to be updated is this one.)

My next CD to mature is before the end of the year.  If they have the highest APR and have edited their web page, they're back in the running.

NOTE: I'm sure someone is going to point out that I could get a better return with something other than CDs.  Actually most of my money is elsewhere. This is my emergency fund which has a month or two expenses liquid and the rest in CDs.  All my other investments are managed professionally.
yesthattom: (happy)
I'll be in SF for a 4-day weekend.  I'll be speaking at Meetups on Thurs and Monday.  Bored and looking for things to do on Fri / Sat / Sun. (ok.... ok, not really that bored, but if you wanna hang out, let me know!)
yesthattom: (happy)
I keep seeing people get these expressions wrong. I'm writing them down here so I can link to them later.

  • "the elephant in the room" -- The uncomfortable thing that everyone knows but isn't talking about. A drunk father complains "why is everything so messed up?" and nobody talks about the elephant in the room... his alcoholism.

  • "white elephant" -- Something you can't get rid of; that costs more to dispose of than to keep.  Related: a white elephant sale or auction is a charity event held soon after Christmas where items are sold that have been donated by members.  If you received a "white elephant" for Christmas, you bring it to this event and donate it so that the charity can make money and the gift can find a home by someone that would appreciate the item.

  • "Seeing pink elephants" -- a euphemism for drunken hallucination. Old cartoons would show a drunk person hallucinating and what they would see is pink elephants.

  • "The 800 pound gorilla" -- The big thing that nobody even tries to fight, usually a company; so big they don't have to obey the law or pay attention to competitors. In the 1970s, IBM was the 800 pound gorilla that nobody would even consider fighting. In the 1990s that was Microsoft.

Things that are wrong wrong wrong:

  • The 900 pound gorilla.  Where did the extra 100 pounds come from?

  • "The 800 lb elephant". Mixed metaphor.

  • "the white elephant in the room".  Mixed metaphor.

  • "the 900 pound gorilla in the room".  Mixed metaphor; wrong mass.

yesthattom: (happy)
I wonder if there would be more funding for String Theory if there was an obvious weapon that could be built as the result of the research.

I suspect the reason String Theory can't be used to build a weapon is that, if I understand the situation correctly, included in the theory is the quality that we can't touch it or prove/disprove it by means of physical evidence. You can't build a new kind of bomb out of something we can't see or touch.

If that's what holds back funding, then we should find the jerk that wrote the paper saying that String Theory has that particularly quality. I mean... fuck! ... he could have held back that one important detail, right?

He ruined it for everyone!
yesthattom: (happy)
Yahoo! has stopped supporting Yahoo Messanger for Mac. I don't know why but that's not relevant.

Instead they make you use their web-based client which isn't too bad. However it does have 2 problems:

1. I have 1 account with 3 aliases. I can't tell which alias someone is chatting to when they send to me. Can anyone tell me how to figure this out?

2. The web client doesn't support sending files. This is ok because I can use other systems to send files.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix the first issue?

yesthattom: (happy)
3 months and still doesn't mention the new book (by the way, wikipedia policy prohibits me from editing that page)
yesthattom: (happy)
Hey Philly friends!

I will be speaking at the Philadelphia area Linux Users' Group (PLUG) meeting on Wednesday night (Oct 1st). They meet at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP). My topic will be "Highlights from The Practice of Cloud System Administration" and I'll have a few copies of the book to give away.

For more info, visit their website:

Hope to see you there!
yesthattom: (happy)
I swear I clicked "cancel" but obviously I have instructed LinkedIn to tell the world I wanted to connect with them them. Every mailing list I'm on seems to have received an invitation.

I have a feeling I'm going to get a lot of angry email today. So, if you received an invitation, please ignore it. My apologizes.

yesthattom: (happy)
Look how many teen movies have a day at which kids of a certain age are assigned their future role as part of a big ceremony:

The Giver
Harry Potter
City of Ember
The Hunger Games

1) What's up with this trope? Does it resonate with teens or is it just a convenient plot device?

2) I figured there would be a wikipedia page that lists books/films with this plot device but I couldn't find one. Of course, it is a difficult thing to search for. I'd love to see a full list.
yesthattom: (happy)
When Barbara Buono ran against Chris Christie for governor of New Jersey her campaign was slow to react to the negative onslaught that Christie had prepared. The moment she announced her running make, the Christie campaign had an immediate reply so that the very same news cycle would be filled not with why she's a good running-made but with Christie's attacks and the fact that the Buono campaign hasn't replied yet.

If you remember when Dukakis ran for president he refused to respond to any attacks on the theory that it just gives them credibility. As a result, he looked like an idiot. In this 24/7 news cycle, if you don't have an immediate response, cable TV news has 24 hours of nothing to say but to repeat the attack.

Four years after Dukakis, a Democratic candidate surprised the world by actually fighting back. He set up a "war room" and made sure that every attack was responded to immediately. They used a "flood the field" technique so that each attack received 100 responses. Did it work? Well, that candidate was your husband, Bill Clinton, and he won that election against all odds.

Eight years later Al Gore chose the Dukakis strategy. He didn't want to look unpresidential. As a result, one of the most honest men in politics was painted as a "compulsive liar" ("he claims the film Love Story was written about him! he says he invented the internet!"). He kind of won, but then lost at the supreme court because he figured, heck, if we are just honest the good and honest courts will follow the law and how could we possibly lose. Meanwhile Cheney right away saw that this would be won or lost in the media and nothing else mattered. If you recall, Al Gore did not become president.

Then John Kerry followed the Dukakis/Gore strategy and lost.

Then Obama used the "war room" strategy and won. Twice. He made an interesting change to the strategy... he was never the one to respond because he didn't want to look like "the angry black man". Instead he had legions of surrogates responding so he didn't have to.

So now it is your turn. Are you going to be the unprepared Barbara Buono or the well-prepared, Clinton-esque, ready-to-fight, go-getter?

Based on who you hired to run your earlier campaign, I have zero hope. You are surrounded by "yes men" and "yes women" that are in a bubble, confusing inevitability in the primary with inevitability in election. This isn't going to be an easy win. They have 20+ years of "attack research" sitting in a warehouse just waiting to be used. Just because they didn't get to use it in 2008, doesn't mean they don't still have it.

If I see Mark Penn on your campaign staff again, or any sign that there is no war room, or that the war room is fucked up, I swear I don't know what I'm gonna do.

Pissedd that Christie is still my governor.
yesthattom: (happy)
GOProud co-founder gives up, leaves Republican Party

If you recall, I used to always defend the Log Cabin, GOProud, and any other "change from within" organization. But that was a long time ago. For the last 10+ years I've said they should give up. I wish I had a list of people that, for the last 10 years, have told me how wrong I was to start dis'ing them, calling them out for their hypocrisy and saying that they'd fail, that they shouldn't waste their time, that they should join the Dems.

I wish I had a list of those people so I could send them this link.
yesthattom: (happy)
I'll be in Austin Texas from Monday to Wednesday.


Oct. 22nd, 2013 11:36 pm
yesthattom: (happy)
I still read LJ about every 2-3 days. Really.

I just don't have much to say.
yesthattom: (happy)
As most folks know, most of the "tools" I create are mental models or processes. Here's one that I've been working on for a while. I finally got around to writing up a blog post about it:

Amplification would be appreciated. If you can retweet, favorite, repost it would be appreciated:
yesthattom: (happy)
LJ has become enough of a wasteland that I only check it once a week. Today I realize that I know longer remember half the real names of the people I read.
yesthattom: (happy)
Here's the campaign messages I'm getting:

Holt: I'm a freakin' scientist! Vote for me! Aren't you sick of lawyers fucking things up? I was great in the house, now let me be great in the Senate!

Cory Booker: I cleaned up Newark... kind of... oh hell just vote for me because I'm so awesome on Twitter!


And then there's that other person that's running... but I haven't seen any campaign materials from her so I don't know what to say... I don't even know her name.

P.S. If you aren't sure, I'm voting for Rush Holt! FOR SCIENCE!!!
yesthattom: (happy)
Hey, my fellow NJ-ians! Would you like to finally have a senator that is a GEEK? That understands SCIENCE? That makes decisions based on SCIENCE?

I remember doing politics in Trenton years ago. Any time I met with a politician I had to explain basic facts. I was the expert trying to educate the powers that be... sometimes just explaining the terminology to get to the point where I can explain what my side of the issue is. It got old fast.

When I see RUSH HOLT speak about issues I care about (the climate crisis, social security, internet policy, etc.) he knows what the fuck he's talking about! It's so refreshing! It's like talking with your geeky progressive friend at a science fiction convention that reads the same blogs you do.

I know its august.... if you are on vacation get your ass to the polls anyway and vote.

I know he's number 2 in the polls. Not if we all SHOW UP!

Go to his website. Register. Donate. DO IT TODAY!

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