Matt Langer · Stop Calling it Curation

Matt Langer · Stop Calling it Curation:

If people want to be celebrated for being smart or for having exceptional taste that’s all fine and good, everyone can go right on congratulating one another in their little mutual admiration societies. But please spare the rest of us all this moralizing on why we should be giving people who share links anywhere near the same amount of credit we afford that singularly special act of original content creation.

Separating the Baby From the Bath Water

★ Separating the Baby From the Bath Water:

The actual larger truth — underage workers, unsafe conditions, grueling hours, crowded dormitories — are all real problems, and all deserve our attention. But that’s exactly what Apple itself has been saying for five years. It’s also what journalists from the Times to ABC Nightline have been reporting for years.

Daisey impugned the integrity of Apple — and the journalism of ABC News — in order to work people up regarding problems that don’t exist. This only served to draw attention away from the labor, health, and environmental issues in Apple’s Asian supply chain that do exist.

He has hurt the true cause, not helped it.

[Roight. Nothing beats the truth. And a lie is never warranted if your fighting for what’s right. Daisy got all this wrong.]

Source: Daring Fireball

More Consumer Reports sensationalism

More Consumer Reports sensationalism:

Any reasonably competent, well-intentioned writer or editor would assume that most people reading this would think the new iPad gets hot, implying severe discomfort and a significant flaw that will affect nearly everyone who uses it, rather than merely warm, which would imply an occasional minor inconvenience for the few people who might notice and care.

Clearly, no such editor is employed by Consumer Reports.

[I haven’t trusted them for unbiased reviews in many years.]


d: A build light

Build light

I have a long history with build lights. A build light is as indicator that displays the success or failure of a software “build” where all the parts are integrated, the tests run, and if all right all the tests pass and to the best of out test suites knowledge, everything is working.

It’s a confidence enhancer to be sure. The light just makes it obvious, and in fact, with my current team we have a number of indicators since we’re a virtual team. Test runs show in our group chat, are visible via ccmenu, and email. But nothing seems to bring as much joy as green build light. In one former place there was a build “bunny” a WiFi enabled device that would play some audio and move it’s ears, but it never seem to catch on as good indicator of the build.

I was looking for something to install with this group when I ran across this article. And while our setup is different, this seemed like an excellent start. Here’s how I wired it up:

There’s a gem called blinky. Blinky relies on libusb-compat, but that turned out to be only a “brew” away: brew install libusb-compat. And then gem install blinky. They’re designed around this usb powered light. They’re not far away in Portchester, NY. Nice. A few lines of code later, and my light was flashing on and off. It’s warning mode seems to be a little hinky, but everything else was perfect. A little parsing of the ccmenu xml that Tddium delivers, and I was off to the races. But I couldn’t afford one light per project just for myself so I decided on a pattern that would be obvious about a failure of any of the projects. Next I wanted things to run periodically. OS X uses launchd for stuff like this and here I ran into an issue.

I do lot of Ruby development, and use rbenv to switch between runtimes. And it works just fine. But in this case a standard call to ruby wouldn’t work because launched doesn’t know anything about my shell settings and so would try and run the system ruby which has nothing installed (no gems and it’s an old version I don’t often work with at this point). I couldn’t figure out how to get launchd to use a shell that would respect my settings.

In the end my launched command is sh -c /Users/daniel/buildlight/ and in there is a line that points directly to the ruby executable I wanted to run with this file /Users/daniel/.rbenv/versions/1.9.2-p290/bin/ruby ~/buildlight/light.rb. That worked. While slightly inelegant… I’ll take “works” any day. And maybe someone else can explain to me how to make launchd respect rbenv. I use Lignon (app store) to control a number of things under launchd, and it makes it really painless to load stuff and set the params. And that’s it. Now every 5 minutes it checks the builds and lets me know what’s going on. I didn’t find a lot of articles about creating a build light when I looked, so I thought I would write this up. Happy coding…

Other folks I know are using this setup to display sales and other successes over the course of the day. It can be a great way to bring some celebration to the little wins that make up our days.

These are OK Telling a true story, with objectivity and…

These are OK:

Telling a true story, with objectivity and…:

Mike Daisey could have performed a monologue about going to Taiwan to visit the Wolfconn factory where they make the Orange ePhone. He could have played a character not named Mike Daisey, or he could have presented his story as “inspired by real events” rather than as some new form of investigative theater. The artistic value of the piece would have been the same, though it may have received less attention. But instead, Daisey put himself in the story, he made up stuff about China and Apple and Foxconn, and then, offstage, he told everyone it was objectively true.

[This story continues to make my blood boil. It doesn’t seem like much of the media understands how destructive this is to them. CBS gave the whole thing a big pass Sunday morning.]

Source: venomous porridge

Why Jeremy Lin will be fine

Why Jeremy Lin will be fine:

Many in the media had written off Jeremy Lin after the Knicks hit the skid that ended with Mike D’Antoni’s resignation as head coach. But Jeremy has participated in the Knicks’ three straight wins since then, as a starter. I listened to the fourth quarter of this game, and he was the Main Man down the stretch, grabbing rebounds, getting steals, distributing the ball, drawing fouls, and hitting four straight free throws without a miss.

Not many people have visited the possibility that Jeremy Lin went undrafted because he wasn’t this good then. He got this good by playing against better competition, and learning every step of the way.

[And it continues to point out, that talent is not about how good you can get, but how quickly you get there. No reason not to just strap it on and get to work. Further, you’ll be more insightful (in my experience) about how “good” works. In many ways, it can be a better road…]

Source: Doc Searls Weblog

Twitter: The Modern Day Complaint Department – Shopify

Twitter: The Modern Day Complaint Department – Shopify:

Whether the complaints are justified or not, every online store can be a victim of public scorning on Twitter. As an ecommerce merchant you need to start thinking of Twitter as a public complaint department. The secret to running a successful Twitter complaint department is to give awesome customer service. Here’s where to start

[Nice way to think about it.]

Dear “Landlord”

Dear “Landlord” – raganwald’s:

I used to sell things for a living. One thing I remember is that there is a tremendous gulf between free and a dollar. In companies, you can’t spend a dollar without having to justify it to someone, to make a case for it. Everyone wants to know who the vendor is, how long they’ve been around, whether we can trust them, and whether what they’re selling is worth a dollar.
So, although your offices are crowded, that actually doesn’t provide me with any security that other people have thought things through and decided you are a good bet. For all I know, they could decamp tomorrow for some other hot, free thing. This feels like fashion, not business, and it’s going to keep feeling that way until you can show me some tenants who actually pay, not just squat.

[The irony here is that this was posted to posterous, which was just bought by Twitter, and which everyone suspects will disappear before too long. Twitter purchased them for their talent, not their product, and business dictates that they’ll shut it down at some point relatively soon. But @raganwald really makes an excellent point about all see services. If you’re getting something of value, and your not paying for it, you must ask who is and why. But never consider a service for which you don’t pay yourself reliable. It’s not.]

Rands In Repose: Hacking is Important

Rands In Repose: Hacking is Important:

It happens quietly, but the projects that could be the most disruptive to the company begin in silence. Someone, somewhere has a bright idea and a handful of talented engineers are whisked off to a different building behind a locked door. Their status is “elsewhere” and their project is “need to know.”

[Nice idea. Nothing I have to worry about at the moment, but filed for future use.]

Source: Daring Fireball