Thoughts on the Moves Privacy Policy

For a while, I've been using the Moves app for iOS. It's a little application that uses the accelerometer and GPS data from your phone to tell you where you've been and how many steps you've taken and so on and so forth. I've been using it in no small part because of their strong third-party privacy policy, which said:

We do not disclose an individual user’s data to third parties unless (1) you have given explicit consent to each such disclosure, (2) we are required to comply with a legal obligation or (3) if our business or assets …

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TeX is Huge

I was installing MacTeX on my MacBook Pro today and had an amusing realization. First, some background: for those of you who don't know, TeX is a phenomenal family of typesetting programs originally written in 1978 by two of the giants of 20th Century computer science, Don Knuth and Guy Steele. Most people now use it in conjunction with a slightly more modern set of extensions called LaTeX released in 1981 or so. I used TeX/LaTeX to typeset several thousand pages of homework and other assignments in college.

Now, in early 2014, the download for the OS X distribution …

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Alfred + dc

I use Alfred 2 a lot on OS X in order to get things done. It doesn't completely change how I use the operating system, but it comes close. However, one of my pet peeves about it has always been that the built-in calculator is pretty terrible (even with the "advanced" equals-sign calculator). I realized this morning that I could fix this, and, lo, the dc alfred workflow was born.

It just takes its input and runs it through the dc command-line utility, giving you a fully-programmable RPN calculator. It's not quite as great as PCalc, but it's just a …

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Interesting SSL Issue

Shortly after I upgraded to OS X 10.9.2, I was connecting to battle.net, and I got an SSL error. At the time, I didn't think anything of it (after all, sites have bad SSL certificates all the time). However, I noticed it again today when looking at the page for Reaper of Souls, and decided to look into it again. When I did, I found something very unusual: my system has a second copy of the DigiCert root CA certificate in the "login" keychain. For those of you who aren't familiar, OS X uses a hierarchy of …

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Pebble Steel First Impressions

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. All of the …

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I Got Sick

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, 2014-01-11, the fever was worse, so …

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