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Peter Kasting
Works at Google
Attended Harvey Mudd College
Lived in Akron, OH
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Senior Software Engineer, Chrome UI team
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  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2006 - present
  • Green Hills Software
    Software Engineer, 2001 - 2006
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Akron, OH - Sequim, WA - Claremont, CA - Santa Barbara, CA - Mountain View, CA - San Jose, CA
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Chrome team founding member; designed and built the Chrome Omnibox
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  • Harvey Mudd College
    Computer Science, 1997 - 2001
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Peter Kasting

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Summary of an ex-Microsoft UX designer AMA.  Really good, honest answers to a lot of questions.

https://www.thurrott.com/mobile/windows-phone/3000/ex-microsoft-designer-explains-the-move-away-from-metro

I feel frustrated that much of the public doesn't understand or appreciate UX design.  I often hear people complaining about Google changes that are actually good changes: they're logical, they have strong HCI research justification, they test well -- but they're new, and new takes adjustment and is bad.  Then there are bad changes that get made, and people complain about those too, but they have no idea of how or why the bad changes they don't like are different from the good changes they don't like.  Instead, it's a simple binary question: do I like it immediately, or not?  If no, then the designers are idiots changing things just to change them, the product is getting worse every revision, and all the people involved should be fired.  (I've heard all of these -- and had a petition started for one of them -- before.)

Whereas, if you actually look hard at these questions, you realize that good design is difficult, and it's full of tradeoffs, so it's impossible to do everything for everyone.  I think the answers here do a good job of capturing some of that, while still acknowledging that some choices really are objectively worse.
An ex-Microsoft design lead who actually worked on Windows Phone has gone public and agreed with my assessment of the platform. It had to change.
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Dan Leighton's profile photoJerome Leclanche (Adys)'s profile photoHarvey Cabaguio's profile photoMatt Dragon's profile photo
 
I try to explain to some people that decisions to rip features out of products after an overhaul is because they're being rebuild from the ground up and it takes time to do it right. 

If there is something I don't like about a UX/UI I try to provide as much feedback as possible to explain how it affects my usage. 
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Peter Kasting

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I hate internet petitions and believe they do nothing.  Tonight I found another one that won't do anything either, but I signed it anyway.  I can't recall another internet petition I've ever signed, so maybe it's worth sharing this.

First read this article: https://medium.com/matter/the-man-who-was-accidentally-freed-from-prison-88-years-early-25de04899009

Then if you agree that Lima-Marin deserves clemency, sign here: https://www.change.org/p/john-w-suthers-release-rene-lima-marin
His life was altered by a typo, and the same error might change it all again.
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Rui Araújo's profile photoJoel Webber's profile photo
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+Rui Araújo Yeah, prosecutors are basically out of control in many parts of the US. Prosecutorial overreach actually turns out to be a large component of our absurd rates of incarceration (most of us tend to assume that it's all related to minor drug offenses, but that turns out to be a modest part).
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Peter Kasting

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Google will on Wednesday be accused by Brussels of illegally abusing its dominance of the internet search market in Europe, a step that ultimately could force it to change its business model fundamentally and pay hefty fines. Margrethe Vestager, the
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Gerald Cox's profile photoLisa Borel's profile photo
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I suppose they would rather operate without Google?
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Peter Kasting

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Happy 9th anniversary of joining Google to me!

All but about 4 months of it on Chrome.  Wonder if I'll still be working on it in another 9 years?
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Peter Kasting's profile photoPaul Swanson's profile photo
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Thanks for your part in giving us Chrome!
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Peter Kasting

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This article started somewhat unconvincingly, but I thought its second half was reasonably strong.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/should-businesses-that-quietly-oppose-gay-marriage-be-destroyed/389489/

Among the more interesting points in this article are the ones contrasting resistance to gay marriage with racism (a comparison I've heard frequently).  The article excerpts parts of this post, which is also worth reading: http://www.juliansanchez.com/2014/02/27/discriminating-between-discriminations/

The endnotes of the article also link to this rather less-convincing argument that a refusal to photograph a gay wedding is not necessarily due to "hatred or bigotry" by definition: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/03/refusing-to-photograph-a-gay-wedding-isnt-hateful/284224/ .  I happen to agree with the argument, but I'm not sure it's phrased powerfully enough to convince anyone who disagrees.

Ultimately, I think the right takeaway from all of these is similar to the takeaway on other controversial issues, e.g. vaccinations: pretty much everyone would be better off if, when we disagreed, we did so in a reasoned and civil manner which seeks to persuade rather than demonize.  You may feel, in your heart, that people who oppose your position on issue X are not only wrong, but are jerks.  But calling them jerks is unlikely to do very much other than make both of you angrier, whereas there is real evidence that opinions on controversial issues can be swayed by calmer appeals.

I've heard a surprising number of people respond to that argument with "I don't care whether it's effective, they ARE jerks, and they need to be told that," which I really fail to understand at all.  "Need" in what sense?  I think the only "need" here is on the part of the accuser, whose sense of (possibly justified!) moral superiority is so strong that it has to come bursting out.  I don't think there's any "need" being met on the part of the recipient, and I don't think an author of such a sentiment actually cares at all for the person being criticized.  And at the core, I don't think that lack of compassion is a laudable thing, no matter what position is in question.
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Joel Webber's profile photoPeter Kasting's profile photoPhilippe Beaudoin's profile photoHubert Chao's profile photo
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+Daniel Martin I'm also interested in data backing this up. Intuitively I believe it's possible that using invectives modifies onlooker's opinions, but I would presume it tends to polarize it. ie. Someone siding with the attacked party will reinforce their belief in that partie's opinion and vice-versa. In that sense, invectives may work as a "advantage amplifier", turning a small advantage in public opinion into a more solid one. But it does so at the cost of increasing the divide between proponents on both sides of the debate. That may be a good way to win a first-past-the-post election but it doesn't sound like the most efficient way to reach a thoughtful agreement, even when a large population is involved.
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Peter Kasting

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If you hope that people are becoming less stupid, there's always news to make you feel bad.

http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/04/west-virginia-is-the-latest-state-to-ban-tesla-direct-sales/

Tellingly: "The bill was championed by West Virginia's Senate president, who is an auto dealer in his home state and Kentucky."

I sometimes wonder whether auto dealers are deluded enough to think that dealerships are good for consumers, or whether they're just cynically out to get money and fearfully protective of that revenue stream from any source that looks to bypass their useless economic deadweight.
Law bars the sale of new motor vehicles other than through franchised dealers.
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Ricardo Vasconcelos's profile photoBill Richardson's profile photoNate Woodward's profile photoSid Stefanescu's profile photo
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Not always. I'm American and I call it corruption, too.
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Peter Kasting

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Stream-of-consciousness post

Day 31 of no carbs.  Starting weight 185.4, weight today 170.6.

The weight loss is going very slowly now, and I've probably taken my metabolism down too far by not eating enough.  Also after wakeboarding last weekend I was so starving hungry the rest of the day that even eating no carbs I gained like 5 pounds and it took me most of this week to lose it again.

Man, how did I get to 165.0 last year?  Uff da.

I don't know whether my plan is to stick with no carbs until I can hit 165 again, or try to go lower, or go ahead and have some once the right temptation comes along (I've had cherry cobbler in my head for a week, so if I ever see some of that I'm eating it for sure).  The nice thing is that I've been not eating carbs for so long now that while desserts are still tempting, they're tempting in a more abstract way; I look at them and admit they would taste good but feel like they wouldn't be good enough to be the thing that's worth breaking my streak for.

I really wanted a chicken sandwich the other night, though.

Why is gaining weight so much easier than losing it?  I know I could get back to 185 in about two weeks without even trying.  Stupid body, why don't you have the metabolism you had 15 years ago.
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For me, gaining is just as hard as losing is for you, unfortunately. :(
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Peter Kasting

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The United States has a record of human rights abuses despite its position as a leading voice on human rights issues worldwide, legal experts said Friday.
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Sad. :( And so few people ever think about it, or are enraged by it.

Though, they diminish their argument with the first two "human rights" issues listed (healthcare and water shutoffs). How can something be a human right if it requires infringing on other's human rights to provide? That's self- contradicting.
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Peter Kasting

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The EU has raised four concerns about how Google has dominated shopping search. A close look at each charge and possible fixes that might emerge.
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Peter Kasting

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Song mashups never fail to amaze me.

Today: Kansas vs. Quad City DJs.
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Another tale from the let's-give-kids-felony-records-for-things-that-don't-deserve-it department.

http://www.networkworld.com/article/2908555/opensource-subnet/florida-teen-charged-with-felony-hacking-for-using-password-his-teacher-showed-him.html

As usual, the moronic sheriff in charge of doing this is defending the level of consequence he's imposing and talking about how other kids should and will suffer it too.

What the hell is wrong with people?  I usually try to be a bit more polite in my phrasing on this feed, but: America, are you so freaking stupid that you think a student changing his teacher's wallpaper deserves felony charges?  If no, then why do you elect "get tough on crime" police and sheriffs and reliably vote for harsher punishments, tougher sentences, etc. any time it comes up as a political issue?  Do you realize the level of damage this excessive criminalization of our country does?
After using an administrator password, which was just his teacher's last name, to log into his middle school's network and change the background image to a photo of two men kissing, a 14-year-old found himself put in jail and charged with a felony.
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Peter Kasting's profile photoMichael Ireland's profile photoJason Cramer's profile photoEric Tolle's profile photo
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For once, this isn't the school's fault. Giving a kid a three-day vacation is a pretty decent reward for ingenuity. But then the fascist small--town cop had to get involved.

http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/11-11-2013/wNY6aM.gif
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Peter Kasting

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Well, that's some good website layout.
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Nevermind, I see the bug with the information now.
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Peter Kasting's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
The Greatness of Ron Paul
www.theatlantic.com

By introducing moral imagination to the foreign-policy conversation, the Republican candidate is doing the nation an important service.

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