Pebble Steel First Impressions

Posted Tue 04 February 2014 22:37 under category tech

I've had an article sitting in Draft status since June 2013 about the Pebble smartwatch which I bought during their Kickstarter campaign. The article essentially said that the Pebble has awesome features, but feels like a toy and scuffs if you look at it askance. I was planning on going into detail about how apps like httpebble and smartwatch+ feel immensely hackish.

Well, as of today, I'm confident reporting that Pebble has resolved all of these issues with the Pebble Steel and Pebble OS 2.0.

Pebble Steel on table

I'm going to talk (briefly!) about both of these new releases ...

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I Got Sick

Posted Sat 25 January 2014 14:26 under category personal

As I alluded in my last post, I've had a fair bit of extra time on my hands for the last couple of weeks. That's because I've been quite ill. This post is the exciting story of what I've been sick with.

Starting in the evening of Friday, 2014-01-10, I had body aches and a fever. Now, at first, I didn't even know if anything was wrong — I'd slept poorly the night before, and maybe I was just feeling poorly because E was going back to school. Unfortunately, when I woke up on Saturday ...

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New Site, Again

Posted Sun 19 January 2014 18:56 under category meta

Hello dear readers. If you can see this, then it means the new, redesigned is up and running. I got tired of dealing with WordPress vulnerabilities regularly, and was somewhat embarassed to have a site running on PHP. After all, there isn't actually any dynamic content here, so why bother?

The site is now a bunch of Markdown files compiled into HTML using the Pelican framework.

Major wins:

  • Much faster, since it's just static HTML
  • Back to being standards-compliant HTML5
  • Behaves sanely on mobile, for the first time ever (thanks Bootstrap!).
  • Better Atom and RSS feeds (although they're at a new url...)
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A Rant on Redis

Posted Sat 14 December 2013 14:53 under category tech

It's been a while since I posted, and I've been spending a lot of time fighting with Redis, one of the darling databases of the NoSQL era, at work, so I thought I'd grace y'all with a brief rant on Redis, what it's good at, what it's bad at, and so on.

What is Redis?

Redis is an open-source moderately-structured in-memory key-value store. This means that, unlike full relational databases, it doesn't have a fixed schema, and it can't perform server-side operations like joining and filtering data1, and theoretically it's ...

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Serious question about urban planning policy

Posted Fri 26 July 2013 10:30 under category politics

Skye retweeted an article today which made me realize that I really don't understand something: what do people who are profoundly anti-gentrification want? The argument that I see usually goes like this:

  1. Rich people are moving into a traditionally mixed neighborhood
  2. The big spike in demand drastically drives up rent
  3. "Normal" folk can't afford to live there (usually "normal" is defined as "poor and racially diverse", sometimes it's instead defined as "people who've lived here longer than these whippersnappers")
  4. This is bad

I generally agree that a lack of diversity is bad but, uh, what's ...

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BART strike remarks

Posted Wed 03 July 2013 16:45 under category politics

This post is primarily a response to the article on the BART Strike from The Nation that seems to be making the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and all of the other blagoblag echo chambers. I've adopted this post from a Facebook message conversation I had, so it might be a little strangely-phrased. I apologize for any inaccuracies, I do not speak for my employer, and all of that necessary prelude.

I found the Nation article on the BART strike this week frustrating and inaccurate and, because someone is wrong on the Internet, I had to write a response. The BART strike is one of the more visible bits of organized labor work in the last few years, and it makes me embarassed as a stereotypical liberal that those defending to it are doing such a bad job. If the union is striking for more money, then say that. But don't misrepresent statistics to justify it. And if the union is striking for other reasons, then it would be lovely as a Bay Area resident and news-reader to know exactly what those reasons are. This well-disseminated article is nothing more than one-sided, poorly-researched editoralism masquerading as news.

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