Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Stories of Your Life was made into Arrival, and it's a great story but just one of many in this book. Only one fell flat for me. Ted Chiang has a thought and then takes it so devastatingly literally that it will take you a while to stop thinking about it.
The End Has Come (The Apocalypse Triptych, #3) by John Joseph Adams
A cunning ploy - like most sets of short stories this is a mixed bag. The sting in the tail is that most continue in some form through all three books in the series so you have to read all three (if you have trouble not finishing a story, there isn't an executive order or anything). It's probably more of an investment than the material warrants (I'd have preferred a single and more tightly edited volume). It does however include a new strand of the Wool saga as well as a few other standouts so if you have the time, dive in.
Updated on Saturday, October 21, 2017
My February resolution was to do something to #Resist Trump every day. Here's the breakdown:
Calls to Congress: 77
Non-profits donated to: 15
Failing media subscriptions: 4
Protests attended: 2
Advocacy sites launched and promoted: 1
I'll ease off a bit and try something else in March. But the routine of doing something every day has been really helpful. I've gone from saying I really should do something to actually getting in the habit of actively resisting.
Updated on Sunday, June 25, 2017
New Scientist hypes DeepCoder:
"Software called DeepCoder could allow non-coders to simply describe and idea for a program and let the system build it"
Coding is nothing but simply describing an idea for a program. As simply as possible but no simpler. Won't be really useful without an AI product manager.
Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Catfood Weather is a free taskbar based weather forecast app for Windows that includes a seven day forecast and severe weather alerts. It uses National Weather Service data and works for any US location (by ZIP code or latitude and longitude).
This update fixes a problem calling the National Weather Service API, so please install 2.30 if you're using a previous version of Catfood Weather. To get alerts for new releases follow the RSS Feed or sign up to the ITHCWY Newsletter.
Updated on Saturday, February 16, 2019
Google just released an API for the mobile friendly test and so I've whipped up a script to send an alert if a web page violates their guidelines. This will run the test as often as you like and send you an email if it detects a problem. Alternatively if you're not mobile friendly it will keep emailing you until you fix any problems which might be a good motivational tool.
First start a new apps script project in drive and paste in the code below:
There are three variables you need to set, urlToMonitor is the full URL of the page to test, alertEmail is your email address (or whoever needs to be pestered) and runTestKey is the API key for the service. To get this go to the Google API Console, click Enable API, search for 'Google Search Console URL Testing Tools API' and click enable. Then click the Credentials option and generate a browser key.
Once you've configured the script choose 'Current project's triggers' from the Resources menu in apps script and set up a schedule for the mobileFriendlyMonitor() function.
Updated on Saturday, October 21, 2017
February resolution: do something to resist Trump every day.
Out of interest the signup flow for a LastPass devotee with a reasonable password policy is:
"Please provide a password that is between 5 and 15 characters in length."
Fiddle with settings...
"Passwords can contain only letters, numbers, periods, underscores, and hyphens."
Fiddle with settings...
"We're sorry, but we're having a technical issue right now. If you continue to have problems, please call Customer Care at 855-698-8545."
So my NYT password is a bit retro and easy to guess. Maybe Trump is on to something with this one...
Updated 2017-02-03 00:10:
Today I called my Senators (Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris) to oppose the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Updated 2017-02-03 21:00:
Donated to the ACLU.
doubled it via donation matching at work. And tripled it via matchingdonations.us. Satisfying!
(Turns out to not be a tax deduction and not eligible for matching, so only doubled. But no regrets.)
Updated 2017-02-04 21:53:
Updated 2017-02-05 20:41:
Donated to IRC, doubled with work donation matching.
Updated 2017-02-06 23:38:
Donated to Planned Parenthood. Again, doubled via the magic of work matching.
Updated 2017-02-07 21:07:
Called Representatives Matt Gaetz, Thomas Massie, Steven Palazzo and Barry Loudermilk to ask them to withdraw HR 861, a bill that would terminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Updated 2017-02-09 00:42:
Donated the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Doubled with work matching.
Updated 2017-02-09 15:52:
Updated 2017-02-10 13:56:
Today's action is a little self serving, but they might just goad Trump into impeachment: purchased season 42 of Saturday Night Live.
Updated 2017-02-11 19:49:
Resist Trump - Now! at Ocean Beach.
Updated 2017-02-12 23:55:
Donated to Let America Vote.
Updated 2017-02-13 21:14:
Donated to FairVote and doubled with work matching.
Updated 2017-02-15 00:24:
Launched democracy.vision, an advocacy site for the National Popular Vote.
Updated 2017-02-15 21:13:
Via the magic of Fancy Hands called all the Republican members of the House Oversight Committee and asked them if they'd care to investigate the circumstances leading to Michael Flynn having contact with Russia’s Ambassador and the Trump campaign’s alleged contact with Russia last year.
That's Representatives Jason Chaffetz, John Duncan, Darrell Issa, Jim Jordan, Mark Sanford, Justin Amash, Paul Gosar, Scott Desjarlais, Trey Gowdy, Blake Farenthold, Virginia Foxx, Thomas Massie, Mark Meadows, Ron Desantis, Dennis Ross, Mark Walker, Rod Blum, Jody Hice, Steve Russell, Glenn Grothman, William Hurd, Gary Palmer, James Comer and Paul Mitchell.
I was expecting and mostly got either a refusal to comment, or the party line that the Intelligence Committee should be the one to investigate. There were some more promising responses though.
Representative Rod Blum's office said "The Oversight Committee's priority is to investigate Michael Flynn. Since this is a fairly new occurrence in the last 48 hours, no statement has been released with details."
Representative Jody Hice's office said "A hearing will take place on the matter."
Representative Steve Russell's office said "It will be all over the news once it comes out."
This is my people talking to their people so third hand intel at best, but maybe something will happen.
Updated 2017-02-16 23:10:
Just donated to the Natural Resources Defense Council. And of course doubled with work matching.
Updated 2017-02-17 21:08:
Called the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to oppose the appointment of Steve Bannon to the National Security Council.
Updated 2017-02-18 21:07:
Donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center. This is a good one as you can donate in honor of someone and have them mail a card. You might be able to guess where mine went. Also doubled via work matching.
Updated 2017-02-19 18:24:
Donated to the League of Women Voters.
Updated 2017-02-20 20:14:
Just donated to the Sierra Club.
Updated 2017-02-21 23:50:
Donated to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and doubled with work matching.
Updated 2017-02-22 22:59:
Donated to the International Refugee Assistance Project, doubled with work matching.
Updated 2017-02-23 23:45:
Donated to Trans Lifeline (and yes, doubled).
Updated 2017-02-24 21:00:
Called Representatives Bob Goodlatte, Jim Sensenbrenner, Lamar Smith, Steve Chabot, Darrell Issa, Steve King, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Ted Poe, Jason Chaffetz, Tom Marino, Trey Gordy, Raul Labrador, Blake Farenthold, Doug Collins, Ron Desantis, Andy Biggs, Mike Johnson, Ken Buck, John Radcliffe, Martha Roby and Matt Gaetz to ask them to support Jerrold Nadler’s Resolution of Inquiry into President Trump’s potential ties to Russia. Which apparently they're going to try and bury on Tuesday.
Updated 2017-02-26 19:30:
This one is for yesterday, because sometimes you just drink too much Tannat and then forget to resist for one night. Subscribed to The Washington Post.
Updated 2017-02-26 19:35:
Donated to Human Rights Campaign.
Updated 2017-02-27 23:58:
Donated to NORML.
Updated 2017-02-28 11:00:
End of February finale - one more push to actually investigate Trump's ties to Russia. Representative Darrell Issa actually came through on this so the list is one name shorter. Called Representatives Bob Goodlatte, Jim Sensenbrenner, Lamar Smith, Steve Chabot, Steve King, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Ted Poe, Jason Chaffetz, Tom Marino, Trey Gordy, Raul Labrador, Blake Farenthold, Doug Collins, Ron Desantis, Andy Biggs, Mike Johnson, Ken Buck, John Radcliffe, Martha Roby and Matt Gaetz to ask them to follow Representative Darrell Issa's lead and appoint a special prosecutor.