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James Turner
Works at Christian Science Monitor
Attended Hampshire College
Lives in Derry, NH
5,067 followers|12,391 views
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James Turner

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My article on MakerFaire and young Makers is in this week's Christian Science Monitor, it's available in print (or via Nook/Kindle now), and available next week only at the site.
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thats nice of u +James Turner
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James Turner

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Something that doesn't happen every day: Honda calling me to tell me that I miscalculated the amount they owed me for inappropriately replacing my catalytic converter 2 years ago (due to software issues), and that they really owed me $200 more.

Of course,they get major props for owning up to it in the first place, and letting all the potentially affected owners know. Corporate accountability, what a novel idea.
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Bro james i want to be your friend, you can meet on face  you just click magungu john
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James Turner

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New toy arrived in the mail yesterday, the latest sensor package to attach to your iPad from Oscium (the guys who do the 5 channel oscilloscope for the iPad). In this case, an RF spectrum analyzer. Haven't had time to take it out of the box yet, but I'm going to bring it to MakerFaire NYC this weekend and see just how noisy the spectrum is in a geek Mecca.

Truth in advertising: They sent it to me for free because they like me, they really like me, but I didn't ask them to.
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James Turner

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Scored 3rd row tickets to Avenue Q for me and the boy next Saturday, something to do between MakerFaire days in NY
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Went with the son to see Contagion tonight, a few thoughts.

1) This is far and away the most scientifically accurate movie I've seen in years, possibly ever. As far as I could tell, all the jargon and procedures were accurate (to my semi-informed lay eye), and little attempt was made to dumb it down, or have Basil Exposition baby-talk stuff. Evidently, hordes of CDC folks and virologists consulted, down to instructing Gwyneth Paltrow how to convulse convincingly.

2) As a result, it's also damn scary. No attempt is made to make MEV-1 into some "wipes out all of humanity and turns us into zombies" virus, it's just a nasty novel virus with a moderate mortality rate, similar to the Spanish Flu. What's scary is how tellingly the film portrays what even a modest death rate would do to civil society today. We're so highly dependent on trucked in food, police and medical personnel being there when you need them, and so casual about basic hygiene, that it's easy to see how quickly things could go pear-shaped.

3) I'm hoping to heck that this isn't another China Syndrome, where the real event occurs a few weeks after the movie comes out :-)
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If you're looking for an action film, you're going to be disappointed. It's clearly a procedural story.

I suspect that most people are too Michael-Bay'd out these days to appreciate a movie where nothing blows up.
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James Turner

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How I spent my weekend:

1) Doing a dry run for next week's Vex Robotics competition at my son's school. All the hardware worked fine, so I'll be all set to act as Competition Coordinator.

2) Buying two new guns at a show in Manchester, a Remington 870 Pump 12 Gauge for me (which will become our Southern NH deer gun w/slugs, and bird gun), and my son bought a Mosin Nagant 91/30 (which will eventually become our Northern NH deer rifle...)

And my iPhone 4S finally started talking to Siri :-)
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James Turner

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Enterprise iOS fans, I'll be doing a Webcast for O'Reilly on October 5th, come hear how to get an Enterprise iOS app ready for the App Store.
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Anyone else experiencing spotty Internet connectivity tonight. Internet Traffic Report is showing a bunch of routers down in North America
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Question of the day: We're used to (and in my case, sick of) weird high tech company names now that sound like something a two-year-old would gurgle, and tell you nothing about the company's line of business (contrast with International Business Machines, Texas Instruments, Digital Equipment Corp, Microsoft, Paypal.)

Who started the trend? Google? Yahoo? eBay? Can people think of examples from earlier of high tech ventures with nonsense names?
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what has oil to do with SHELL
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James Turner

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Anyone else going to be going to MakerFaire NYC and want to get together for a meal or something? I'll be there with my 16yr old Maker son, and looking for trouble :-)
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I will be exhibiting both days, and giving a talk on Sunday. Look for me outdoors, will be firing chunks of ice with a catapult. (exhibit titled "You can be a Siege Engineer") Say hello, and you can join the counterweight. (its a traction trebuchet, the counterweight is human)
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People
Have him in circles
5,067 people
Work
Occupation
Writer, Journalist, Software Engineer
Employment
  • Christian Science Monitor
    Correspondent, 2001 - present
  • O'Reilly Media
    Contributing Editor, 2007 - present
  • Kronos Incorporated, O'Reilly Media
    Software Engineer, iOS Developer, 2006 - present
  • Lisp Machine, Inc.
    Software Engineer, 1980 - 1986
  • Xerox AI Systems
    Presales Engineer, 1986 - 1988
  • Kendall Square Research
    Manager of Network Services, 1990 - 1991
  • Interleaf
    Senior Member of Technical Staff, 1991 - 1995
  • Christian Science Monitor
    Manager of Website Technology, 1997 - 1999
  • Solbourne Computer
    Field Engineer, 1989 - 1990
  • Viridien Technologies
    Senior Developer, 1999 - 2001
  • Massachusetts Communications College
    Adjunct Professor, 1999 - 2001
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Research Associate, 1980 - 1981
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Derry, NH
Previously
Newton, MA - Milford, NH - Cincinnati, OH - Newton, MA
Story
Tagline
Developer, Maker, Journalist, Dad
Introduction
James Turner, contributing editor for oreilly.com, is a freelance journalist who has written for publications as diverse as the Christian Science Monitor, Processor, Linuxworld Magazine, Developer.com and WIRED Magazine. In addition to his shorter writing, he has also written two books on Java Web Development ("MySQL & JSP Web Applications" and "Struts: Kick Start"). He is the former Senior Editor of LinuxWorld Magazine and Senior Contributing Editor for Linux Today. He has also spent more than 25 years as a software engineer and system administrator, and currently works as a Senior Software Engineer for a company in the Boston area. His past employers have included the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Xerox AI Systems, Solbourne Computer, Interleaf, the Christian Science Monitor and contracting positions at BBN and Fidelity Investments. He is a committer on the Apache Jakarta Struts project and served as the Struts 1.1B3 release manager. He lives in a 200 year old Colonial farmhouse in Derry, NH along with his wife and son. He is an open water diver and instrument-rated private pilot, as well as an avid science fiction fan.
Education
  • Hampshire College
    Computer Science, 1980 - 1984
  • Beaver Country Day School
    1976 - 1980
Basic Information
Gender
Male