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Dan Wallach
Works at Rice University
Attended Princeton University
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Dan Wallach

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OffTheKuff ran my piece on solar power, net metering, and storage batteries. http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=66944
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Dan Wallach

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Ten cent review, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (HPMOR). I'm not normally one for "fan fiction" but this was a fun read. The setup is that young Harry Potter, rather than growing up in a broomcloset, instead was adopted by loving academic parents, and self-educated as a prodigy of science and philosophy; he also developed a deep love of science fiction. The rest of the cast is largely the same. Hermione is still outrageously talented. The Weasley twins are still pranksters. But change up Potter and you've now got a scientific mind trying to experimentally understand wizardry.

I don't want to spoil the HPMOR plot progression, so I'll just say that Potter manages to pull some very impressive and decidedly unlikely rabbits from his hat. Also, there are many page-long digressions where Potter is explaining to some character or other what intellectual fallacy they happen to be suffering, really just a thin veneer over the author lecturing the reader, albeit on an interesting topic. Regardless, the story is enjoyable and throws many an in-joke at the reader of the real Rowling books, never mind groan-inducing references to Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and even Ender's Game.

HPMOR recently wrapped up after being released serially. There's all sorts of Internet chat around it, of which I've read exactly nothing. It's free, and you can download MOBI / ePub files for your Kindle or equivalent.
http://HPMOR.com
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TTAC published my rant about Tesla haters.
You’d think that, after all these years, I’d have a tougher skin for people who say stupid things on the Internet. And I’m pretty good about that, but now that I own a Tesla, it strangely gets under my skin when people write ill-informed drivel about the car. Here at TTAC, we’re all about well-informed …
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There isn't enough data yet to really talk about depreciation in any meaningful way, at least on the Tesla. When I bought mine, used, we scoured eBay "completed" auctions and used that data to triangulate on the price.
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TTAC ran my article comparing the 2013 Tesla P85 to the 2015 P85D.
I’ve got a buddy who was once a titan of industry, a computer geek in the C-suite who never forgot his roots. Let’s call him Professor Zorkmid. He never needs to work another day in his life, but he enjoys hanging out with students, telling grand tales of his adventures in the Great Underground Empire, …
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Don't get eaten by a grue.
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Dan Wallach

Android Wear Watch Face  - 
 
CalWatch, which renders your day's agenda around the watchface, now has support for XStopwatch & XTimer. When you start a stopwatch or a countdown timer, you'll get the usual notification peek card, but the watchface will also render it around the outside. All free of charge and open source. Enjoy!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dwallach.xstopwatch
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dwallach.calwatch
This watch face reads your calendar and displays your events for the next t...
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Discussion  - 
 
I'm using the .setUsesChronometer feature of notifications to do some play/pause things. When I'm in play mode, the notification does everything I want. When I'm in pause mode, I statically set the text, but the peek card is laid out different. The chronometer version's peek card has the text on the bottom edge of the screen and with a larger font size. The regular variant has the text smaller and with a uniform margin around it. How do I generate a vanilla text notification that matches the layout of the "chronometer" version? Do I need to work with text styles?

Alternately, how do I "pause" the running Chronometer that's inside the notification peek card? This would appear to require some magic with RemoteViews, but it's not obvious how to do it.
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Dan Wallach

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Freedom to Tinker ran my piece about the CIA's interest in hacking app developers. https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/dwallach/on-compromising-app-developers-to-go-after-their-users/
In a recent article by Scahill and Begley, we learned that the CIA is interested in targeting Apple products. I largely agree with the quote from Steve Bellovin, that “spies gonna spy”, so of course they're interested in targeting the platform that rides in the pockets of many of their ...
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Discussion  - 
 
Here's a weird one. I've got a Moto 360 running the latest 5.0.2 with ambient mode turned on. I looked down at the watch earlier today and it was reading 1:28 or thereabouts, in ambient mode, and with some sort of peek card pushing up from below. The actual time was 1:43. Uh oh! I bumped the watch, waking it up, and it refreshed properly to the current time. 

I extracted the logcat when I got home (https://github.com/danwallach/CalWatch/blob/master/logdumps/refreshrate-01mar2015.txt). You'll see that precisely nothing was logged from 13:28 to 13:43. My CalWatch watchface is built from the standard demo template and does all the same things as the SweepFaceWatchService example from Google. So, at least in theory, this shouldn't be happening. 

(Actually, CalWatch tries to refresh every 12 seconds in ambient mode, using a Handler, so the minute hand is more communicative. This only ever works sporadically. The handler, demonstrably, does nothing to wake up the watchface if it's deeply asleep, so at least I'm not being anti-social with overusing the battery.)

Has anybody else run into something like this? Back before we had the official watchface API, it was standard practice to use AlarmManager to wake you up once a minute. Is anybody still doing that?
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This is the first I've ever noticed this at all.

Charging for the Moto 360 brings up its dedicated screen, so I don't get to see odd behavior that might otherwise be driven by the state change. 
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In my intro computer security class today, I was scheduled to introduce buffer overflows: stack canaries, W⊕X, static analysis patterns, and all that. Now, I think I'm going to have to curtail that discussion to break down this latest Lenovo adware SSL proxy stupidity. #teachablemoment
Lenovo is in hot water today after potentially significant security breach was found to affect its consumer PC range.
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I want to go to there. 8)
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Freedom to Tinker ran my piece on Android WebView security and how it interacts with mobile advertising. https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/dwallach/android-webview-security-and-the-mobile-advertising-marketplace/
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Include a stopwatch in your watchface: I had a bunch of ideas for including a stopwatch or timer display in my CalWatch watchface (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dwallach.calwatch), but how do you control the stopwatch? Solution: I built a new stopwatch & timer app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dwallach.xstopwatch) that uses broadcast intents to announce its state to any watchface that wants to listen in. 

I also built a simple extension to one of the Android sample watchfaces to show how easy it is to add stopwatch/timer rendering to your own watchface (https://github.com/danwallach/XWatchface/). 

XStopwatch, XWatchface, and CalWatch are all open source. Dive in and have fun!
XStopwatch & XTimer are a pair of apps (installed together) for Android Wea...
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Dan Wallach

Discussion  - 
 
"Approved" apps for Android Wear: My app, CalWatch, has been "approved" since December 19, but it's not clear what this actually means. The list of apps you can get to from "get more watch faces", or the link below, hasn't been changing.
Wear what you want with Android Wear. Express your style with dozens of new downloadable watch faces. Watch faces require the latest version of Android Wear, which sho...
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"Approved" does not seem to mean anything to me. No increase in downloads or special Android Wear sections. Same applied for watch face and apps.
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Have him in circles
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Ghodsieh Shahsavan's profile photo
Kathy Dopp's profile photo
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  • Rice University
    Professor, 1998 - present
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Deptartment of Computer Science, Rice University
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  • Princeton University
    Computer Science, 1993 - 1998
  • University of California, Berkeley
    Electrical Engineering/ Computer Science, 1989 - 1993
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