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Blair S. Ellsworth


Blair S. Ellsworth

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Is there a county breakdown of the map showing rates of vaccine noncompliance?

What a bet to be taking, to not get your kid vaccinated, that their children will come out ahead of serious and deadly diseases. Not to mention the social irresponsibility for those who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons, or who have been vaccinated, but that the vaccine didn't "take".

TL;DR: So much for herd immunity in Oregon. :(

Blair S. Ellsworth

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Saw this in the window of Emerson School in Portland.

Blair S. Ellsworth

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I'm very disappointed in O'Reilly's Python 2 course.

First, there was the bumpy ride with Eclipse. It seems that the O'Reilly School of Tech were allowing people to sign up for their course before having all of the bugs worked out. Bugs such as:

- slow python interpreter (to the point of being unusable)
- eclipse settings not being saved
- graphical PyUnit runner not working

The last point I don't really care so much about, as I'd rather just run everything from a command line and be done, but the fact is that the course shows how to use that tool -- and then the tool did not work.

Also, I have noticed a number of items presented out of order in the courses: a lesson on file handling displays a code snippet to type in, goes on to explain a decorate-sort- undecorate technique, and shows code using list comprehensions that was not in the original snippet for the explanation; another lesson uses a quiz that replays items from a past lesson (not a big problem, but given the other items I'm not sure what's up); another lessons utilizes a code snippet demonstrating a unit test that Fails, but due the fact that the code in question is stubbed in such a way that a file needed does not exist, the actual code presents an Error.

This wouldn't be so bothersome if it seemed my concerns regarding the material were dealt with professionally. Instead, I understand that one of the items I pointed out (regarding unit test failure versus error) has been raised by other students in the past and not fixed. I haven't seen changes to the text yet for list comprehensions being explained out of order. This does not provide me the confidence that my concerns are being dealt with. When I tried to raise all of these issues at once, I was provided an appeal to authority of the person who put the material together (who, I have no question, knows their stuff, but I still believe the problems I've raised are genuine), instead of genuine concern over what I've said.

Finally, the realization that I forked over money while a system was still being fixed really irks me.

This is not the quality I expect from the O'Reilly name, and certainly not what I've witnessed in 15+ years of using O'Reilly products. I would love to have some assurance that my concern will amount to something, because I don't want to pay $484 for a course that is broken or has bugs.
Blair S. Ellsworth's profile photoMichael Faille's profile photoChris Williams's profile photo
I do.

Blair S. Ellsworth

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I'm taking a set of Python courses from O'Reilly's School of Technology, starting with the second class, Python 2.

So far, I'm learning how frustrating Eclipse is to deal with (and, trust me, if I could, I'd be just doing this over ssh with a tmux or screen session and using vim as my editor). Although, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure how much of my pain is due to Eclipse, or do to the setup O'Reilly uses.

The coursework for the first assignment of their Python 2 course shows how to run a unit test in Eclipse by using the "run-as Python unit-test" dialog. Currently the setup is broken, so the intended tool doesn't work. No worries, try it as a conventional Python program in Eclipse and it runs just fine.

My current joy is that on every startup Eclipse forgets my preferences for how to run Python. I have been pretty frustrated as I try to figure out where exactly the preferences pane is to configure the Python interpreter again, so I can be on my way. (I've found it, now to commit it all to memory).

I think I understand why they're using this tool -- a lot less hand-holding for someone who is used to a Windows world (since we use a remote desktop client to connect to a Windows VM), but for folks who are at all accustomed to a Unix world, and have done some scripting outside of Eclipse at all, be prepared for some pain.
Blair S. Ellsworth's profile photoJosh Price's profile photo
Consider your plug received.

Blair S. Ellsworth

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My favorite version of the Hitler meme so far.
Gina Trapani originally shared:
"Don't cry. Disney owns the rights to that emotion."
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Oh yeah, I've seen this one a couple times now. It is hilarious that it works so perfectly.

Blair S. Ellsworth

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Can we end belief exemptions for vaccinations? This is getting out of hand.

What angers me most is that one arse went out of his way to try to show a link between MMR and Autism and later have his assertion debunked (,9171,1960277,00.html), but now so many folks believe they are experts on vaccines (Jenny McCarthy? Really? Since when did she become a medical expert?) that the health benefits that vaccines provided are being eroded over irrational fears.

Great job, folks! Polio has a chance of a comeback in the US!
mike n's profile photoBrice Keeler's profile photoMike Wick's profile photoJordan Clymer's profile photo
Could an employer  bring civil suits against employees who knowingly come to work with influenza and infect a bunch of other employees?

Blair S. Ellsworth

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I first came across the term NEETs (not in employment, education, or training) from watching Eden of the East. I think this article well explains the problems folks of my generation and younger face as the glut of the older generation continues to hold power in any way possible.

Blair S. Ellsworth

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Robinson writes: “If they came to work that drunk, we’d fire them — we’d rightly see them as a manifest risk to our enterprise, our data, our capital equipment, us and themselves. But we don’t think twice about making an equivalent level of sleep deprivation a condition of continued employment.”
Blair S. Ellsworth's profile photoJordan Clymer's profile photo
I think a lot of American companies don't understand diminishing marginal returns with respect to labor

Blair S. Ellsworth

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Fascinating opinion on why anti-authoritarian people are considered mentally ill by the medical establishment.
Mike Wick's profile photoBrian Beckham's profile photo
When do we start medicating people for their choice of political party? Cause everyone knows those democrats/republicans/libertarians/progressives/neocons are all crazy.

Blair S. Ellsworth

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RiffTrax -- keep hearing about them, so now I want to give them a try.

Suggestions on a good RiffTra(ck?)x or two to start with?
Tara Severson's profile photoJosh Price's profile photoJordan Clymer's profile photoDenise Harwood's profile photo
That's why I love the LotR riffs +Jordan Clymer. You get a good movie and a great riff all at once. Some of the only good movies to come out in a while (IMO at least)

Blair S. Ellsworth

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Snow is fun. More fun is watching the stupid that neighbors get up to in the weather.

The neighbors at the end of the road come back home in their pickup truck, and gets it stuck on the road right in front of their driveway. Much spinning of tires ensues. Truck remains stuck.

Neighbor, across the street, uses a pickaxe(!) to remove snow from under their Camry, after getting stuck while backing out of their garage. Refuses a snow shovel when offered, claiming she only needs to remove snow from under the car. Backs car out onto street, turns toward main road, gets stuck after going forward 3 feet.

Tire chains? Snow tires? Staying home because it is a freezing mess outside? No, not for my intrepid neighbors. Thank goodness, I need a laugh.

Blair S. Ellsworth

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Tim O'Reilly originally shared:
SOPA and PIPA are bad industrial policy

There are many arguments against SOPA and PIPA that are based on the
potential harm they will do to the Internet. (There's a comprehensive
outline of those arguments here At O'Reilly, we
argue that they are also bad for the content industries that have
proposed them, and bad industrial policy as a whole.

The term "piracy" implies that the wide availability of unauthorized
copies of copyrighted content is the result of bad actors preying on
the legitimate market. But history teaches us that it is primarily a
result of market failure, the unwillingness or inability of existing
companies to provide their product at a price or in a manner that
potential customers want. In the 19th century, British authors like
Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope railed against piracy by American
publishers, who republished their works by re-typesetting "early
sheets" obtained by whatever method possible. Sometimes these works
were authorized, sometimes not. In an 1862 letter to the Athenaeum,
Fletcher Harper, co-founder of American publisher Harper Brothers,
writing in reply to Anthony Trollope's complaint that his company had
published an unauthorized edition of Trollope's novel Orley Farm,
noted: "In the absence of an international copyright, a system has
grown up in this country which though it may not be perfect still
secures to authors more money than any other system that can be
devised in the present state of the law.... We cannot consent to its
overthrow till some better plan shall have been devised."

America went on to become the largest market in the world for
copyrighted content.

That is exactly the situation today. At O'Reilly, we have published
ebooks DRM-free for the better part of two decades. We've watched the
growth of this market from its halting early stages to its robust
growth today. More than half of our ebook sales now come from
overseas, in markets we were completely unable to serve in print.
While our books appear widely on unauthorized download sites, our
legitimate sales are exploding. The greatest force in reporting
unauthorized copies to us is our customers, who value what we do and
want us to succeed. Yes, there is piracy, but our embrace of the
internet's unparalleled ability to reach new customers "though it may
not be perfect still secures to authors more money than any other
system that can be devised."

The solution to piracy must be a market solution, not a government
intervention, especially not one as ill-targeted as SOPA and PIPA. We
already have laws that prohibit unauthorized resale of copyrighted
material, and forward-looking content providers are developing
products, business models, pricing, and channels that can and will
eventually drive pirates out of business by making content readily
available at a price consumers want to pay, and that ends up growing
the market.

Policies designed to protect industry players who are unwilling or
unable to address unmet market needs are always bad policies. They
retard the growth of new business models, and prop up inefficient
companies. But in the end, they don't even help the companies they try to protect. Because those companies are trying to preserve old business models and pricing power rather than trying to reach new customers, they ultimately cede the market not to pirates but to
legitimate players who have more fully embraced the new
opportunity. We've already seen this story play out in the success of
Apple and Amazon. While the existing music companies were focused on
fighting file sharing, Apple went on to provide a compelling new way
to buy and enjoy music, and became the largest music retailer in the
world. While book publishers have been fighting the imagined threat
of piracy, Amazon, not pirates, has become the biggest threat to their
business by offering authors an alternative way to reach the market
without recourse to their former gatekeepers.

Hollywood too, has a history of fighting technologies, such as the
VCR, which developed into a larger market than the one the industry
was originally trying to protect.

In short, SOPA and PIPA not only harm the internet, they support
existing content companies in their attempt to hold back innovative
business models that will actually grow the market and deliver new
value to consumers.
Brian Beckham's profile photo
Huzzah for more people jumping on the market failure bandwagon!
Maintainer of a 'fro, disturber of pieces, possibly unhinged, certainly geeky.
Bragging rights
I can drive a forklift.
Basic Information
Blair S. Ellsworth's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Pluses: They have quite a lot of books (although if you are at all familiar with Powell's Books in Portland, it feels more like a mess of books). Cons: They don't have an inventory system; if the cover of the book you are selling looks different than the picture of the book on Amazon, even if it is the same edition, good luck convincing them to buy it; the place feels like a death-trap; finally, the customer service tends toward the abysmal. If you want used books, this is the most well-known place in town. As a student, I went there quite often. Since graduating nearly 10 years ago, I avoid Smith Family as much as possible.
• • •
Public - 3 weeks ago
reviewed 3 weeks ago
Great view, but the gusty wind and the height aren't my cup of tea.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
Great food, would eat here again.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
Not the best, flavorful pizza I've had, and not the worst. I'd say better than a chain by far, but it didn't meet my expectations for a small pizza shop.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
23 reviews
Lovely view, but not for those afraid of heights.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
The sandwiches are very generous in size, with respect to the meats they put on them. Very satisfying, lovely crunch. We found that one sandwich easily fed two people. This was definitely a treat.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
I was surprised at how long it took for the waitstaff to take our order, and how one waitress was when my daughter cried because she tasted some hot sauce. The waitress took the bottle angrily, claiming that it needed to be thrown out. I asked another waitress to cancel our order, and we promptly left.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago