Category Archives: Computing

Quote of the day: Elena Glassman on learning

It’s been way too long since I posted a quote of the day, so here’s one: It can be tough to find resources at the right level of depth — not too simple, not too detailed. For folks with math anxiety, the … Continue reading

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Where we went wrong, or, The one thing Philip Greenspun got right (in 1997)

Cast your mind back, if you will, to the heady days of the “Web 1.0” bubble. A fellow by the name of Philip Greenspun was a Ph.D. student at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science. He was also a serial … Continue reading

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What I saw (and did) at (and around) LISA’14

I recently got back from my one-per-year business trip, to attend the 2014 LISA Conference, and now that I’ve presented to my group, it’s time to make a more public write-up. I’ll start with some of the more personal or … Continue reading

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The network nightmare that ate my week

A few hours ago, I sent the following “dear colleagues” email (lightly edited to remove some private details) to all my users at work: This has been a very trying week. For those of you whose work was disrupted this … Continue reading

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From the pages of Stupid Software Design Quarterly…

About a month ago, printing stopped working on my machine. I had a clunky workaround, so I didn’t worry too much about it. I had just upgraded the cups package, which manages printing, on the print server, and it seemed … Continue reading

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Debugging a weird network problem (or: IPv6 privacy addresses, just say no)

All you folks who followed my blog for food porn are going to want to skip this one. The past ten days have been pretty horrible for me at work, thanks to the combined effect of five different network issues. … Continue reading

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Nutrition facts formatting

I made some changes to the blog’s CSS so that the nutrition information looks more like the FDA recommendation, and learned a bit about’s CSS setup in the process. Unfortunately, I can’t do much about the fonts: allows … Continue reading

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Human-What? Interaction

Somewhere near the intersection of cognitive science, psychology, and computer science lies the subfield of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) — sometimes called Computer-Human Interaction. It’s not a subject I’ve studied at all (and if you saw the user interfaces I’ve developed … Continue reading

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Consent, real and imagined, in the technology industry

Everyone must read this article from ModelViewCulture: Betsy Haibel (2014-04-28), “The Fantasy and Abuse of the Manipulable User” A few representative quotations: Another mechanism behind rape culture is the belief that sexual consent and non-consent exist on a different plane … Continue reading

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The latest way in which Firefox is broken

At work, Firefox is our recommended and officially-supported browser. We have historically liked it because (a) it works the same on all platforms, and (b) it implements SSL client authentication correctly. Unfortunately, it seems that very few Firefox developers actually … Continue reading

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