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Daniel Martin
The D. T. Martin currently in Burlington, NJ.
The D. T. Martin currently in Burlington, NJ.

Daniel's posts

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So Time Magazine is doing its list of "best 10 things of 2016", and they like my brother-in-law's game at #4 in video games:

And if you go buy it on Steam right now, it's less than $3:


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It's not a huge deal, but it's my first patent, so...

Confession: the triumphalism around killing Osama Bin Laden still bothers me.

I get that it was a problem for him to still be able to lead Al Qaeda, even from hiding. I agree that letting him go free wasn't a viable option, and certainly don't think that the soldiers were wrong to use deadly force when he resisted apprehension, nor do I even think a drone strike would have been unjustified. In short, I can believe that killing him was necessary, or if not strictly necessary the least bad of a slate of bad options. (And I get that it was a great relief to many people who'd lost friends to know that he was dead. I don't begrudge anyone their sense of relief.)

But it was a necessary EVIL. I don't expect everyone to remember that all the time, but I would hope that national-stage politicians could avoid referring to his death and the mission that led to it in the same jubilant tone that one might refer to a Superbowl victory. Yes, I suppose Democrats can justly take credit for competently managing the military and intelligence apparatus that led there. And they certainly should mention this in speeches.

I'd just prefer more "We got the job done that had to be done" and less "yee-hah! Take that!"

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Dear +Google Maps - I'd like to report a data quality issue that doesn't fit into any "report" category I can find.

This is a link to a business in downtown Burlington, NJ:,-74.8591264,18z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c14e89bed71a0b:0x2a6ed26a26b887e!8m2!3d40.0785311!4d-74.8582726!6m1!1e1

I'd like you to notice how there are three restaurants shown there on the map: the Brickwall tavern, Francesco's (the good no-frills pizza place), and Legends pizza (the hipster pizza place). Now, click on "Nearby" and ask for "Restaurants nearby".

The map zooms out, and the three restaurants seen before aren't labeled, not even with little red dots! Instead, you get all new restaurants, including a little dot for "New Panda Chinese" that should have been shown on the original map, but wasn't. It's not a matter of quality/expense either: all three restaurants originally on the map have several reviews with decent averages. What's going on here?

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On the one hand, listening to a daily news summary in the morning on my walk has really been helping me with my German. On the other hand, it introduces me to stories like this:

A quick summary: That's the leader of the Central Council for Jews in Germany calling for a strict cap on the number of refugees to be admitted into Germany not because of some fear of terrorism but because "they come from cultures where hatred of Jews and general intolerance are a major component". This while admitting that the refugees were fleeing ISIS and just wanted to live freely in peace. "Don't just think of the Jews; think of the equal status of men and women or of dealings with homosexuals". (he then further clarified that this wasn't a religious thing, but a general problem of people from Arab countries)

So you have a Jewish organization in Germany saying "we can't have these people with a culture different from the surrounding society living here." I almost think it's more excusable what politicians are saying in the US, where the cover story is that we're just scared of ISIS infiltrators and the thought of a mass shooting happening in the US is so unthinkable we can't think straight. (/s) I think that's cowardly and more than a bit dishonest, but it isn't surface-level racist.

Okay, I'll grant that I chose "Throwback Thursday" and then the "80s Sing-Alongs" station myself.

That's still no excuse, +Google Music​, for rickrolling me that early in the morning.

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If you're into high fantasy and want something a bit different (high fantasy flavored with just a dash of Austen-style courtship drama, but mostly straight by-the-numbers high fantasy)
This is what I'm selling. Please consider checking stuff out.

Citadel of the Sky PRICE DROP. $2.99 instead of $5.99.  Complex epic fantasy about teenage girls, weird magic, aliens. Book 2 (Green Wild) should come out in April or May.

Matchbox Girls. $2.99, available free via Kindle Unlimited. The beginning of my urban fantasy about women, angels, faeries, corporations, technology and the return of magic to the public sphere. The followup books (2 novels and a short story collection) are also available via Kindle Unlimited. The 4th novel will be released in November!

Nightlights, $3.99. Available freely on Wattpad. Modern YA novel, genre mashup with aliens and magic swords, AIs and soul monsters.

I am currently working on Moonborn, which is another YA, my attempt at the straightforward paranormal romance that would have curled my toes at age 16. Unicorns, werewolves, best friends. If all goes well, it will be available in late January.

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Random Google+ thought: there needs to be a "Report This Post" category for "wildly off-topic for the community, because the poster is just lost". Is it spam? No. Is it offensive or racist or hate speech? No. Do I actively dislike it? Well... I don't like where the post was made.

I mean, I also don't care to help the author answer his question, but what I really don't like is that this "how do I avoid spam filters 101" crap showed up in a community that's supposed to be about actual Computer Science.

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Shared mostly for the blogroll link.

I also think the analogy of AOL to tour buses holds, but am less certain about the Facebook analogy. The internet did reshape itself around Facebook, but I'm not sure how to describe the reshaping that happened.

On being made to feel old in one sentence:

This is a story that took place in (I think) 2008, so seven years ago. As background for this, you should understand that the way Google prefers to hire PMs is to hire them straight out of undergrad into a role known as "Associate Product Manager", or APM, have them get used to things in that role for a few years and then promote them to PM.

So in the fall of 2008, I had been at Google for about a year and, being 32 at the time, was maybe 5 or so years older than most of the other people on the (relatively small) NYC billing team. There were two other people approximately my age, and our new just-graduated APM, but most of the other people on the team were in the 25-28 year-old age range.

At lunch with two of my colleagues, I was telling a story about this thing that had existed on LambdaMOO, where it was a basic programming test to see if you could program your way out of a paper bag. When I finished, the people I was eating with asked "What's LambdaMOO?", so I then explained about MOOs and MUDs and those things and contemplated that I had been kind of on the tail end of those things being popular when I was in undergrad, so it makes sense that they wouldn't know. When we got back from lunch, I asked the other people closer to my age if they'd ever heard of LambdaMOO. +Kelly Campbell (graduated a year before me) hadn't at all, but +Kai Bolay vaguely remembered it, and knew someone at undergrad who was really into all manner of MOOs and MUDs, but he'd never seen the appeal. I'm feeling a bit like the old rambling Simpson Grandpa at this point.

Then our APM turns around and says "Oh, LambdaMOO! I remember that." Aha! Well, good, nice to know it's still a thing...

She continued: "We studied it in my 'History of Social Media' class."

(By the way, if anyone from NYC Billing is still in touch with Amanda, our APM at the time, I'd love to get confirmation from her on what the class was - I can't remember if it was "History of Social Media" or "History of Online Communities")
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