Big Data Impact

I've been milling over this post about big data in the IT world for quite a while. It basically says that given large (and growing) data sets, companies that didn't previously need data researchers suddenly need people to help them use "big data." Everyone company is a data company. In effect we have an ironic counter example to the effect of automation on the need for labor. These would be "data managers" have their work cut out for them.…

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Are We Breaking Google?

Most of the sites I visit these days are: Wikipedia, Facebook, sites written by people I've known online since the late 1990s, people who I met online around 2004, and a few sites that I've learned about through real life connections, open source, and science fiction writing. That's about it, it sounds like a lot, and it is, but the collection is pretty static. As I was writing about my nascent list of technical writing links, I realized that while I've been harping on the idea of manually curated links and digital resources for for a single archives for a couple of years now, I've not really thought about the use or merits of manually curated links to the internet writ large.…

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Make Emacs Better

I love emacs. I'm also aware that emacs is a really complex piece of software with staggering list of features and functionality. I'd love to see more people use emacs, but the start up and switch cost is nearly prohibitive. I do understand that getting through the "emacs learning curve" is part of what makes the emacs experience so good. That said, there really ought to be a way to make it easier for people to start using emacs.…

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The Death of Blogging

I think blogging died when two things happened: 1. A blog became a required component in constructing a digital identity, which happened around the time that largely-static personal websites started to disappear. Blogs always dealt in the construction of identities, but until 2004, or so, they were just one tool among many. 2. Having a blog became the best, most efficient way for people to sell things. Blogging became a tool for selling goods and services, often on the basis of the reputation of the writer…

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Never Ending

I'm still not totally settled into my new routine, and I think that's apparent in the blog. These things happen, and I just realized that this is the third summer in a row with some sort of major life change. Maybe I've forgotten how to exist in a summer routine. While I should probably give myself a break, I think it's more realistic to accept a certain level of disruption as "the new normal," and figure out how to develop a routine around that.…

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Security Isn't a Technological Problem

Security, of technological resources, isn't a technological problem. The security of technological resources and information is a problem with people. There. That's not a very ground breaking conclusion, but I think that the effects of what this might mean for people doing security [1] may be more startling. Beyond a basic standard of "writing and using quality software" and following sane administration practices, the way to resolve security issues is to fix the way people use and understand the implications of their use.…

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These Shoes Were Made for Cyborgs

"Do eye glasses make us all cyborgs?" Someone asked me a few days ago. I was annoyed more than anything. Of course they do. Corrective lenses are a non-biological technology that shape our experience of the world and of our bodies. By this logic, pretty much every tool developed as a product of "technology" (applied science; otherwise known as tinkering with stuff,) renders us cyborgs. I like the notion that cyborgism is the rule and not the exception in the course of human history, but it makes the conversation about the cyborg moment more banal.…

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