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Dan Morrill
Works at Playground.Global
Attended Clarkson University
Lives in Mountain View, CA


Dan Morrill

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Hmm. I'm of two minds.

On the one hand, the new G+ web app is just terrible, especially on mobile. Also, they moved my cheese again, and the cheese just isn't good enough for me to be motivated to relearn where they put it. (I gave up on the Android app long ago because it was such a bad UI/UX with equally bad battery performance, and once GPhotos was split out there was no reason for it to exist.)

On the other hand, all I really want is Twitter with Paragraphs, and that is more or less exactly what neo-G+ here is. Or I guess, Twitter with Paragraphs and Lots of Stream Spam.

I think in the end I'm out, though, because on balance the +1 stream spam (which was always broken) has in recent weeks meant that I feel like I get more YouTube videos I don't care about posted by people I don't know than any other type of content. And for that there's YouTube Red, now.
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no we
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Dan Morrill

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This is just indecent.

On the one hand, anyway. Google Music already has Christmas stations up! Before Thanksgiving!! Can you imagine?! Why I never.

But on the other hand, god bless me right in the ear if these aren't some seriously interesting sub-categories/stations. "Vintage Christmas Crooners"? Oh hells yes. "Brass and Bells"? With a Trombone Choir?! Hook me up.

Google Music, I wish I knew how to quit you
Free radio for everything you do. Store 50,000 tracks from your personal collection. Subscribe for on-demand access to 35 million songs and offline listening.
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Songza is one of the best acquisitions that Google has ever made. They actually understand the value of human curation and haven't tried to machine learn their way into playlist magic.
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This year is the 45 years Apollo 11 Moon-landing anniversary. What a perfect time to present you the Saturn-V rocket which took the Apollo 11 crew to the moon out of Lego! Y...
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Dan Morrill

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Ringtones are a bit of an art. There are rules that govern ringtones, of course; the art lies in how you satisfy them.

1) You may not simply set a song as your ringtone, as this is some bull shit. It is some weak sauce. No. Request denied.

2) Rather, your ringtone must be seamlessly loopable. This means that you typically need to clip a powerfully recognizable section from the song, preferably the introduction or hook.

3) It must be coordinated with a matching Notification sound.

These rules are obviously self-evident, but rule out a lot of things that would otherwise be quite excellent.

For example, the theme song from Johnny Quest is absolutely amazeballs and is for sure iconic -- but it has no chorus, and the most iconic portions are not repeated, so it's impossible to loop. Also there isn't a clear notification counterpart. Same for the theme from Peter Gunn.

More recently, Nyan Cat is, obviously, extremely loopable and is basically ready-made to be a ringtone. (In fact I even used this for a while and it really annoyed people -- so awesome.) But there isn't an obvious coordinating notification sound, so it kind of fails.

Video games, however, tend to work well -- especially ones from the 80s since the old 8 and 16 bit chiptunes were looped by necessity. Since they are games, they also have excellent coordinating sound effects -- Mario theme song + 1-up sound, for example, or the Zelda theme song plus the "you found a secret!" 6-tone ditty (which +Jason Chen once used to excellent effect.)

But, video games are too easy, in a way. Real artistry is to distill and invoke pop culture from multiple media (or at least, their music.)

I've been meaning, for example, to dig up some Knight Rider tracks, and see if you can loop the iconic introduction to that song as the ringtone, and use KITT's "whoosh-whoosh" sound effect as the notification. I also think you might be able to loop the M*A*S*H theme song properly, and use a helicopter sound for notifications. Game shows might also be fertile ground.

I've had two moments of ringtone glory in my career, which I consider outstanding ringtone achievements.

For a while I had my ringtone set to the Mega Man 2 introduction's "top of the skyscraper" beat-drop sequence -- it can be looped perfectly. ( The notification tone was Mega Man's end-of-stage teleport sound effect (which I used for Calendar especially -- i.e. "time to be somewhere else.")

One day I was in ye olde weekly Android team meeting, and my mom called me. I immediately slipped my phone out of my pocket, silenced it, and set it on the table, but it was too late -- everyone was looking at me. +Hiroshi Lockheimer then says, "I guess the 80s just called Dan" Like a boss (if I do say so myself), I was like, "That's right."

A few years later, I was using this lovingly hand-crafted, utterly perfectly looped Trololo Guy clip ( with a Nyan Cat "nyan" for notifications. (One might argue that this is reaching a bit vis a vis Rule 3, but never mind that.) I was sitting in my office, and my office mate +Chris DiBona was talking with a visitor, who shall remain nameless but is one of my Troll Models.

My phone rings; I pull it out, and silence it. The conversation had stopped, so I look over and my Troll Model is looking at me with unalloyed admiration.

"What... Is that your ringtone?"
"Uh, yes?"
"That is amazing. Where did you get it?"
"I made it. ...want a copy?"

When your ringtone terminates conversations in stunned wonderment, that's when you know you're doing it right.
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+Tony Chan

Sorry, I appear to not have the Nyan Cat one anymore.
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Yep. This.
When your serialization mechanism provides a remote entry point into every library visible to your application, then it's almost certainly not secure, and I'm not really sure why anyone expected it would be.

Do not communicate using language-dependent serialization schemes that directly reference arbitrary classes in the serialized data. This includes Java serialization, Python's Pickle, Ruby YAML, etc. You may sometimes use them for persistence (where you are loading data you saved for yourself, not from others), but it's probably best to avoid them altogether.

Use language-independent serialization like Cap'n Proto, Protobuf, JSON, Thrift, etc. instead. Language-independence generally implies that the parsers will not instantiate arbitrary classes, because naming an arbitrary class wouldn't be very language-independent.

Plus using a language-independent protocol implies that you're not locked into a language, which is nice.
By @breenmachine What? The most underrated, underhyped vulnerability of 2015 has recently come to my attention, and I'm about to bring it to yours. No one gave it a fancy name, there were no press ...
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Looks like commons already has a fix ready.
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I play +Destiny the Game for one of the two reasons below; can you guess which?

Destiny story: God's own holy zombies vs. murderous krill necromancers

Destiny gameplay: lovingly handcrafted near-hypnotic run & gun
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Why not both? 😀
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"Measurements show that on average 1.7 percent of Android smartphone users upgraded to a new Android smartphone model each month, while another 0.3 percent changed to an iOS smartphone.

Similarly, 1.1 percent of iOS smartphone users switched to a new iOS smartphone model, while another 0.4 percent switched to an Android smartphone."

So then the iOS upgrade rate is slightly lower than Android's, and iOS users switch to Android at a (probably statistically insignificantly) higher rate than Android users switch to iOS.

But! But! I thought iOS users were wealthier than Android users and Android users were switching to iOS in droves!!

Are you trying to tell me that tech journo sites are unreliable clickbait fabricators that focus on dramatic headlines? Or that I can't rely on Apple fanblogs for unbiased facts?

Why that's just crazytalk!

"This indicates that the majority of Android and iOS smartphone users are loyal to their existing smartphone operating system. 82 percent of Android users and 73 percent of iOS users selected a smartphone with the same operating system when switching to a new device. This is not the case for Windows phone users – around 60 percent switched to Android smartphones and 15 percent to iOS smartphones, while only around 20 percent switched to a new Windows smartphone."

I wonder where that last 5% of WinCE users went. Back to Blackberry? Or did Windows break them outright, so that they just gave up in disgust and swore off phones entirely?

The whole article is interesting, BTW, not just the amusing paragraphs I cherry-picked. Nothing shocking in there, and projections 5+ years out are always dubious, but still interesting.
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Don't forget the percentages come out to very different numbers of users. .003*1.4 billion vs .004*250 million. But in both cases they're relatively small to the number of new users from elsewhere.
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John Rambo's profile photoJay Sherman's profile photoPaul Milovanov's profile photoLisa Borel's profile photo
Why is 12 weeks the magic time frame for bone healing? That is about 4 weeks after the limits of tolerance.
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Dan Morrill

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In which the author dreams of becoming fabulously wealthy by mining a deep, rich vein of butthurt, financed by the revenue from his sour grapes emporium
Why, after over two decades, has Amazon opened a brick and mortar bookstore?
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He's actually mocking them for curating books and not having every single book in existence on their shelves? Wow. 
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In Symbian's defence, in the 90s, when they were Psion and making their own pocket devices, they were some hot shit.
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Dan Morrill

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If I have seen further than others y'all must have really bad eyesight since my eyes are made of wood

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Just this guy, you know?
For a number of years now, work has been proceeding in order to bring perfection to the crudely conceived idea of a transmission that would not only supply inverse reactive current for use in unilateral phase detractors, but would also be capable of automatically synchronizing cardinal grammeters. Such an instrument is the turbo-encabulator.
Bragging rights
Accused of being a Muppet by Valleywag. Veteran of the Mobile Wars. Quoted out of context by the NY Times. Wore sneakers to testify in federal court. Never worked for a company with an exit strategy.
  • Clarkson University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic University
Basic Information
  • Playground.Global
    Engineering, 2015 - present
  • Google
    Engineering, 2006 - 2015
  • GE Global Research
    Computer Scientist, 1998 - 2005
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Mountain View, CA
San Francisco, CA - Scotia, NY - Potsdam, NY - Omaha, NE - Caribou, ME - Morgantown, WV - San Antonio, TX - Fort Walton Beach, FL - Atlanta, GA