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Scott Merrill
Works at CoverMyMeds
Attended Ohio State University
Lives in Columbus, OH
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What 3rd party launchers do folks recommend for Android phones? I've been using Trebuchet as its the default on CyanogenMod ROMs and it works well enough.

My recent upgrade to CM 11, though, has me looking at other options.
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Thanks for the recommendations, everyone!  The suggestions were all useful, and helped me refine my investigation.

I've elected to use Action Launcher for the time being.  I'm already impressed with the Covers feature, though of course not all app widgets prove as useful for this feature as I might like.
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That'd be swell.  Jonah just broke one of the feet off trying to do a flip into a tree, so our's is already battle hardened. ;)
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Scott Merrill

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My sister shared this yesterday about Ukraine:

It's hard to believe what has happened in just a few days - as many as 80
Ukrainian citizens were killed and hundreds injured in the streets of Kyiv
within the past week. It was terrifying and horrifying. But the revolution
was quick, and not nearly as bloody as it could have been. The now-deposed
president Viktor Yanukovich fled the capital, and is believed to have tried
to flee the country. Parliament voted with an overwhelming majority on
Saturday to remove him from power, and acted swiftly to restore order and
the rule of law. There are still many issues to be dealt with, but the main
objective of the Maidan, the people's protests, have been fulfilled - the
terribly corrupt Yanukovich and his cronies are gone.

The stunningly opulent estate that Yanukovich made his own, property he
stole from the state in one of his many shady arrangements, was opened to
the public on Saturday. This article shows just the beginning of what has
been found there:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/02/22/to-get-why-so-many-peopl +e-hate-viktor-yanukovych-take-a-tour-of-his-ridiculously-luxurious-mansion/
If you want to see more photos and videos, just search for "Mezhyhirya" -
new reports are being added almost hourly, it seems. As the article states,
if you want to know what Ukrainians have been fighting for, the pictures of
this estate should explain a lot.

We celebrate the victory of Maidan, and we mourn the martyrs of Maidan. I
am in awe of the Ukrainian people, who finally and truly held their
government responsible - and insisted on what we in the United States
insisted on 238 years ago - a government of the people, by the people, and
most importantly, FOR the people.

There is a long road ahead to healing and reconciliation, and to building a
free, democratic nation, but Ukraine is on that road now.

Thank you to everyone who has thought about us, written to us, worried
about us. I am thrilled to have a front seat to the history being made
right now, and let us hope that the suffering and loss of life were not in
vain.

Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!
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Josie and I built a little snowman.
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Too cute!
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Scott Merrill

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Sounds about right...
 
A guide to understanding us engineers.

[edit: I forgot to add an important one:
Working as intended = Reality is wrong, and has to be fixed to match the output of the code]
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Oooh, shiny!
 
I'll be keeping an excited eye on the neovim project. Good initial signs: an actually nice logo!
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A number of distros are already available. I've been using neovim for mac via homebrew. 
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The latest from my sister in Ukraine:


Many of you have reached out since my last update - I am very sorry that I can't reply to you each individually but please know that it is extremely comforting to know you are thinking about Igor and me, and that you are paying attention to what is happening in Ukraine.

We are still far geographically from Putin's aggression, but we are feeling it closer and closer morally.  I say "Putin" specifically because I have many friends and colleagues in and from Russia, and I do not (cannot) believe a well-informed Russian would agree with what is happening, thus I lay the illegal acts solely on the shoulders of one man - Vladimir Putin. I did not want to be held personally accountable for the illegal acts for George W. Bush, and in that same philosophy, I won't hold all Russians responsible for the acts of a very wrong-minded president. Sadly, many Russians are victims of his propaganda and believe the lies they are told.

There is much discussion that Putin is insane, Obama is weak, the EU should do more. I will address these in reverse order, and emphasize that these are my personal opinions. Plus, I've not slept well in several weeks, so please forgive me for not being particularly articulate or polite.

The EU: Anyone who counts on the EU for anything is just plain naive. The concept of the EU is great, but in practice they can not agree on a effective way out of a paper bag. They will spend 3 months discussing the language of a slightly stern letter, and then ultimately not agree. This has been the way of the EU since its conception, and in theory I kinda like the idea of a government that debates how to get out of a paper bag, but their ineffectiveness is just, well, ineffective in the real world.

The U.S.: President Obama has been criticized on both sides of the pond for not being "strong" enough against Putin. I have 2 thoughts on this: (1) It's not the U.S.'s border at risk here, it's the EU's freaking border and thus the EU ought to be taking leadership, and (2) I absolutely do not want to be at ground zero of World War III, and I THANK President Obama for not risking the lives of every single person in Ukraine for some geopolitical power-play to show how "strong" he is.

As for Putin is insane, I suppose anything is possible, but I am inclined to agree with Masha Gessen's analysis in her recent op-ed (she wrote a biography of Putin a couple years ago): http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-gessen-putin-russia-ukraine-20140311,0,1433770.story#axzz2vdxV55eV. This article that she recommended is also very good, albeit very discouraging:
http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/03/10/falling-into-putins-trap/

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, well, then it's the U.S. and the EU who are insane, not Putin. He has behaved exactly the same way for 15 years, and gets the same results each and every time (Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, and many other similar situations). The West, on the other hand, has never once been able to get Putin to play by their rules, and they will NEVER be able to get him to. Sanctions are necessary and the EU should stop buying Russian gas and oil immediately, but further isolating Putin both politically and economically will absolutely NOT have the effect the West desires - he isolates Russia himself and does not care at all to be part of any international community.

Some of you have asked about news sources. I am quite disappointed with most European and U.S. media and have almost entirely stopped following them. The BBC has generally been OK, but the speed with which they capitulated Crimea to Russia was disheartening. The fact that they continue to refer to the "referendum" in Crimea as the "illegal" referendum, putting quotes around illegal instead of referendum, is disappointing, as if it is questionable that the referendum is illegal, when it is absolutely sure that the referendum is unconstitutional and illegal. When the only countries that say they recognize the referendum as legit are the likes of Russia, North Korea, and Venezuela, you know something ain't right. As for the U.S. media, I find their myopia frightening and insulting. The world does not revolve around the United States, and I simply cannot listen to another "news report" that pivots the focus of every story to the "battle" between Democrats and Republicans. This is not about Obama, no matter how hard the media or politicians try to make it about him.

Good English-language sources I can recommend are: Kyiv Post (independent news in Ukraine), Moscow Times (independent news in Russia), Al Jazeera, and sometimes BBC (although less and less). On Twitter:@ChristopherJM, @shustry, @andersostlund, @EuroMaydan_eng, @edwardlucas, @steven_pifer, @MGongadze, @UkrEmbassyUSA, to name a few.

I also highly recommend the articles by my good friend Bill Varettoni, who really knows what the hell he is talking about.
http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/op-ed/william-varettoni-a-primer-on-crimeas-road-to-ruin-338084.html
And this rather predictive article of his from 2011: http://csis.org/publication/twq-crimeas-overlooked-instability

And Bill basically says it all about the "referendum":
On the upcoming "referendum" in Crimea - A referendum held at gunpoint without any outside, unbiased observers? In the presence of a foreign army? And where maintaining the previous state of affairs before the armed invasion is not even a choice on the ballot? 'Will of the people' is good and right, but you can't possibly believe this ballot has any hope of representing the will of the people.

I have not been able to write an update recently about what is happening because, frankly, I see no outcome that is not horrible, and it's just too hard to think about. I find it challenging to go down any theoretical path about what happens next, as every path leads me to a terrible conclusion. Putin will never play by anyone else's rules, and it's pointless to try to negotiate with him as if with a civilized world leader who recognizes the values of a global society. But I absolutely don't want the U.S or the EU to play by Putin's rules, because I think it would be disastrous to do so - I am not exaggerating when I say we could be on the brink of World War III if the U.S. and/or the EU respond to Putin in the only language he understands, one of aggression and violence. I do not think he values human life, and it will mean nothing to him to destroy all of Ukraine, Europe or even the globe. But I don't want my beloved Ukraine to be abandoned by the EU or the U.S., left alone to fend for herself against the worst and possibly most dangerous bully of our time. Ukrainians will fight to obliteration before submitting again to rule from Moscow, I have no doubts about this. Crimea may likely be lost, but I do not believe Putin will stop there.

And thus, the terrible conclusions to which I cannot find any alternatives. If you haven't already asked me about my evacuation plans, I know you want to now. I could leave at any moment, but I don't plan on it, at least not yet. Every day is "wait and see", and I'll keep waiting and seeing.
 
Hoping Putin's next botox shot is from a bad batch....

Ann
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The definition of insanity is not doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  I'm really glad that the president that took office after Bush has not commited any illegal acts.
 
Sorry, the insanity thing is just one of my pet peeves.  I hope you sister stays safe.  I really do not know what to say about the situation there.
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Latest update from my sister in Kyiv:

Dear family and friends,
Many of you are writing today - thank you for being aware of what is
happening in Kyiv, and for thinking of us. Igor and I are safe. Sadly, many
Ukrainians are not tonight. After a very short and tenuous truce, violence
broke out this morning in central Kyiv. Demonstrators had planned a march
to Parliament, and police blocked them. Who threw the first stone? Who
knows? Maybe both sides, probably provocateurs. Clearly both sides were
ready to fight.

Sadly, at least 8 people are confirmed dead, there will be more before
morning. Hundreds have been injured. We live next to a hospital, and I
counted 45 ambulances bringing the injured throughout the day. More were
brought by private citizens in their own cars. Around 6pm I stopped
counting the ambulances, but in the 5 hours since, they have continued to
arrive every few minutes. And this is just one of the many hospitals in
central Kyiv receiving the injured today.  It is devastating to the
flashing lights and hear the sirens constantly.

It is surreal tonight, watching the live feeds from Independence Square,
where the demonstrators are singing the national anthem as the riot police
surround them and steadily move in. I fear there will be a bloodbath
tonight. Some independent TV channels are offline; the metro (subway) is
closed; roads into Kyiv are blocked to prevent more supporters from joining
the people; cell service is reportedly blocked on/around Independence
Square.

I can report that our internet, phones and cable TV are working at home,
about 1.5-2 miles from Independence Square. Except, of course, the TV
channels that have been blocked to the whole country.

You can follow me on Twitter now,@ankabelle. You can watch the live feed
from Independence Square on Espreso TV,
Espreso TV - LIVE. It is not easy to watch, and
will not be any better as the night progresses.

Please consider donating to Medical Help for Maidan. They have already
helped dozens of injured over the past 3 months, and after today, many,
many more people will need urgent and long-term medical care. This is an
excellent group, doing very brave work. Every dollar donated goes directly
to help injured people from EuroMaidan. Thank you!
https://www.facebook.com/maidanmedicalusa

We are safe, just very tense and very worried for the brave people on
Maidan.

Ann and Igor
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The eastern portion of Ukraine has closer ties to Russia, while the center and western parts of Ukraine align more closely with Europe.
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In his circles
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Linux administrator.
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  • CoverMyMeds
    Operations Engineer, present
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Columbus, OH
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I brew my own beer.
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