Seven Blog Posts in Three Days

Google I/O 2017 Keynote

Last week Barbara and I attended the annual Google I/O Developer’s conference in Mountain View.  We’ve attended every year since the first one back in 2008 and were glad to continue the streak.

As you may have noticed from my last few short posts here, I’ve been doing more writing over on Justia’s Legal Marketing & Technology Blog this year than in years past and as such I proposed the idea of live blogging sessions at Google I/O this year.  My suggestion was readily approved and I set to work on planning which sessions I would Live Blog.

In the end I Live Blogged 7  sessions over the course of the 3 day conference and wanted to make sure those that follow me on my personal blog knew about them.  Check out the list of sessions I ended up blogging, with links over to the individual live blog posts after the break.

Continue reading “Seven Blog Posts in Three Days”

On the claim that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is anti-feminist

Minister or Teacher: Hermione is still awesome

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a bit of an unusual entry into the Harry Potter canon.  Not being a novel makes it a completely different reading experience than the core 7 books that we love, being written by multiple people (rather than just J.K. Rowling) makes some of the characters have a slightly different feel, and centering the story on a character other than Harry makes it inherently feel different.

I for one loved reading it and I look forward to the day I can eventually see the play itself to experience it the way it was designed to be experienced, but not everyone agrees with me.  People speak out against the differences in Time Travel between this story and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  People speak out against the differences in the way Ron Weasley is characterized.  I tend to disagree with them, I think Ron seems perfectly normal and the Time Travel is consistent with the warning Hermione gives to Harry in Prisoner of Askaban.

One thing that has been hitting the media lately is a statement by a few people that “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child lets down women and betrays Hermione’s legacy” (Mashable) or “How Hermione Granger Is Portrayed in Harry Potter & The Cursed Child is Offensive To The Fans & The Character.” (Bustle).

As with the other claims, I disagree with this assessment and wrote an Essay for the Harry Potter Lexicon to dispute it.  Please give it a read and see if you agree with me or not.

How I am voting this election

Clinton vs Trump 2016

 

If you pay attention to my various streams, you’ll note I purposely stay away from posting about politics or other hot-button issues. I haven’t posted in the Politics category of this blog since 2004, and that wasn’t so much about politics as it was about the way the Legislative Branch of the government is organized.

I have friends and colleagues from both parties, and I just choose to keep my opinions on political matters private as there are so many people who are much better than me at articulating the political issues.

Choosing to talk about my beliefs would normally incite arguments, and my time on social media is better spent talking about things that people would only tease me for rather than argue with me.

Every election I exercise my right to vote and express my political beliefs through that medium. This election, however, has become such a sham that I feel I can remain silent no longer. Continue reading “How I am voting this election”

The Time Keeping Cycle

Time Keeping Cycle

As I sit here today checking the time on my Moto 360 Android Wear smartwatch, I’m amused by a concept I’m calling “The Time Keeping Cycle.”  When I was in high school college I wore watches all of the time (usually a Casio calculator watch, yes I was “that guy”), and pretty much everyone I knew wore wrist watches at the time as well.  They were simple and useful.

I’ve always been one to prefer function over form and even back then I longed for a watch that did more than just tell time.  That said though at some point in the early 2000s I stopped wearing watches (and so did most people).  The few people who still wear watches tend to wear them more as a fashion statement rather than as a utility device to tell time.

Why did everyone stop wearing watches?  Because pretty much everyone started carrying a cell phone around with them wherever they went, and in addition to keeping you in contact with the world around you, cell phones could also tell you the time (and be used as a calculator).  Now over the last couple of years, companies have been trying to get people back into wearing watches again with smart watches.  Thanks to Android Wear, they’ve finally convinced me.

It is interesting though that timepieces have moved from inside the pocket, to the wrist, back into the pocket, and now back to the wrist again.  For the enjoyment of anyone who cares, I’m including a brief history of the watch, ending with my personal history with watches after the break.

Continue reading “The Time Keeping Cycle”

Wearing a computer at MIT, a 2 decade dream realized

Nick at MIT with glass

When I was young (somewhere in the early/mid ’90s), I saw some program (I don’t know which) on PBS and they were talking about some guy (I can’t find the program, and don’t remember names, but I presume it was either Thad Starner or Steve Mann) at MIT who is wearing a computer with a Head Mounted Display and a single hand keyboard, and a computer kept in some sort of backpack.  At that point I knew 2 things.

Continue reading “Wearing a computer at MIT, a 2 decade dream realized”

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate Comcast?

Just had a very frustrating chat with Comcast Customer service.  My TiVo Premier has been on the fritz for the last several months.  Rather than buy a new one, I decided to give Comcast’s X1 a try.  So Barbara took our cable card into the Comcast service office this morning and asked for an X1.  They told Barbara that the X1 would have to be professionally installed, so they scheduled an appointment to have the X1 installed on the 10th, and gave us a regular Comcast DVR to use in the mean time.  She was told that this DVR would cost us $10/month (as opposed to the $1/month we were paying for our cable card) and that when the X1 is installed it would go up to $20/month because apparently it’s twice as good.

Barbara left the DVR for me to setup when I got home, which because of a GDG meetup I had tonight, wasn’t until about 9:30 pm.  After getting home I spent a good 20-30 minutes reconfiguring our entertainment system to replace the new defunct TiVo with the Comcast DVR.  Once I got everything hooked up, I went to comcast.com/activate to activate the DVR.  I didn’t even get to the point where I could enter in the serial number of the new DVR before I was given the following error message. Continue reading “Have I mentioned lately how much I hate Comcast?”