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Makario Lewis
Still pretends to be a super hero.
Still pretends to be a super hero.

Makario's posts

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keep in touch

I'm absolutely terrible at keeping in touch with people. I'll go weeks without calling my parents, and sometimes months will pass before I'll respond to an email from a distant friend. (I'm also a horrible texter, but I'm blaming Google Voice for a lot of that.) I beat myself up about it a few months back and decided I really had to do better.

The first step is acknowledging you have a problem. The second step, in this case, was to build an Android app to help me. Yes, it's a little embarrassing to admit that I need an app to remind me to talk to people. "Hey everyone, my phone has to coach me on my people skills!" Incredibly humbling, but it works. The occasional nudge to take a moment to say hello to my friend or call my mom has been extremely helpful in keeping the conversations flowing. And if you're dealing with the same problem I am, maybe it can help you too.

So here it is. It's called keep in touch, or kit for short. It will keep track of any phone calls or text messages between you and your friends, and notify you when you haven't been keeping up with them as much. You can contact your friends directly from the notification or within the app. There are also some pretty stats to look at.

I've been working on kit off and on for far too long now, and while there's still a lot more I'd like to do with it, it's reached the point where I need to slap a "DONE" sticker on it for my own peace of mind. (Finished is better than perfect, they say.) So please, try it out, and feel free to share any feedback/requests you have.

keep in touch.
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Look at this, advertising where fathers are portrayed in a positive light!

Go dads.

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Sometimes I just don't get Android reviewers.

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Don't know about that "looks almost as goofy as Google Glass" line (if anything, these make Glass look downright sexy), but this is pretty cool.

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In regards to our work, I just find it slightly limiting. This isn’t just about writing a long article — it’s about leveraging technology, design and device capabilities to create a deeply engaging experience.

Great interview with the guys who designed yesterday's "Fanboys" article.

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Okay, first, the content in the article is worthy. It's an insightful commentary on the how crazy the smartphone fanboy culture today is. Sure, you've probably heard it all before, but the author provides a lot of interesting examples and makes many thought-provoking points. But that's not the cool part.

This is an incredibly beautiful article. And not just aesthetically: it looks pretty, sure, but the experience of navigating through the content goes beyond impressive. Both of these things (aesthetics and navigation) help to amplify the content and enhance your experience, but it gets even better: your experience is even further enhanced by the medium on which you read the content!

So look at the article. Notice how beautiful it is: captivating high resolution background images; calming, intuitive transitions; adaptive scrolling. Now read it on your smartphone. Then go find someone else who runs a different smartphone OS (or computer OS), and read it there. 

All that stuff we learned in our media theory classes about the how the medium is the message? The Verge has given us a prime example. You could consider it an art piece, sure, but I see it not as some singular artistic experiment, but as one of hopefully many more instances where journalists (and others) deliberately use digital mediums to shape the content they present.

Have you ever loved something so much it hurt?

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Here's a great article on how Netflix's recommendation algorithm works. It's really cool to see how the writer reverse engineered it.

There's still one thing I can't understand:
Why do so many Americans like horse movies?

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An interview with two Marines who also happen to be gamers who also happen to be women.

In my time serving, you always come across new recruits who think they can actually serve just because they play shooting games at home “all the time”. These same recruits never make it past their second week of basic. Coincidentally, it’s the same recruits who have a very low opinion of women in the military, so it doesn’t surprise me that those who can’t make it in the actual service go home and design these games with these dumb female characters.

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I've often wondered about this, so it's nice to see that there's solid discussion around it.
You read that, Japanese corporations? Get off your lazy asses and try to properly use the power of the web! ;)

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