Tim's response to my question as to whether I should tear my hair out at home or at tonight's School Committee meeting:

Challenge them on their policy regarding reptilians and shape shifters vis a vis chemtrails.

"The Future of the News is [...]" without journalists

A colleague sent me this article written by the creative director of the New York Times Lab


What a load of crap. I can't believe that this creative director can be as uninformed as this article makes him sound. I am sure he has read lots about hypertext and other forms of prose or code reuse, so something else must be going on.

The role of a good journalist is to be able to create a new, coherent explanation of an event or circumstances as facts are continued to be found and updated. As a reader I am greatly appreciative of this story telling. Of having the news story structure and the facts in context of time and place. This is a skill that takes lots of practice. And it makes journalists expensive. "They" need cheaper workers. Since this is a people problem let's solve the problem, once again, with software.

How to Handle an InterruptedException

Good reminder about how to correctly handle InterruptedException and why, again, to not indiscriminately catch and ignore Exception.

How to Handle an InterruptedException

Manifesto for Half-Arsed Agile Software Development

Manifesto for Half-Arsed Agile Software Development. The truth is out there.

Drones and remote infrastructure

I am very hopeful that the combination of drones, 3D printing, and information processing will combine to make a less intrusive infrastructure for our needs. That is, if you don't need to the build a highway to get materials and workers to a site to build a facility -- dam, bridge, breakwater, broadcast tower, etc -- the overall impact can be less and, moreover, hidden from sight. The whole job can be done remotely. Core77 has some useful information/videos related to this this week. See 4 Drone Projects Change the Comtemporary Landscape.

The downside, of course, is that vandals can also use the same technology to break infrastructure. I am currently waiting for the first instance of skyscraper graffiti.

Update: I did not have to wait long! The Drone That Will Change Graffiti: An Interview with KATSU.

Nihilist Password Security Questions


Innovation Powered by Technology education conference

At the last minute I decided to attend today's Innovation Powered by Technology education conference presented by RIDE. What I came away with was 3 really important facts.

The first is that SK has been foolish to go about its 1:1 initiate without first drawing insight and action plans from the many successes and failures of other RI districts. West Warwick, for example, has 4,000 Chromebooks since 2013 and yet we are struggling with 500 Windows 7 laptops.

The second is that the RI school districts do not seem to actively cooperate with one another on anything. When I asked what model could be copied from another cooperation I was met with silence. I find this very odd and sad.

The third was an unexpected reassurance from, of all places, Providence's Village Green Virtual charter school. (Think kids in cubicles. But read on.) The 4 presenters gave a very clear description of the school's methodology and its successes and failures. What was reassuring was that even with all the technology available teaching works best one-on-one, in workshops, and in interdisciplinary school-wide projects.

Oh, and a fourth fact. Never expect 800 people gathered in a single, concrete floored room, and seated at 100 banquet tables to be able to hear the presenters. The RI convention center really is a poor facility.

Where are the ducks?

Letter to the Town Council:

Where are the ducks?

I was distressed this morning to find that the Town has expanded the disc golf course at the Curtis Corner athletic fields around the small pond located between the tennis courts and the bike path. The peaceful walk in a small woods surrounding a pond with many its habitats is now gone. The island that once offered protection for several species of waterfowl is now vacant, having been cleared and bridged to hold a disc golf "target."

What once looked like

Now looks like

South Kingstown offers much in support of active recreation in the town. The "Parks & Recreation" department has quietly changed to just"Recreation." Not all recreation needs fields and equipment. Supporting a walk in the woods is a recreation and one that comes at almost no cost. This walk at Curtis Corner and the one at Old Mountain Field are the only 2 walks within the town. We are now down to 1.

I ask that you please reverse the expansion of disc golf course into the woods around the pond. (And not expand it further, elsewhere.) Remove the "targets." Remove the "tee boxes." Replant native underbrush. And leave it alone for a few years to recover.

Yours truly,
Andrew Gilmartin

"black eyes"

I have never seen this painting trick before. The figure's eyes are painted as though they were bruised, ie they have "black eyes." This really look effective on Dark Age folks. Source