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Broc Seib
I'm passionate about creating software. It's what I love most.
I'm passionate about creating software. It's what I love most.

Broc's posts

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A 1024 core 64-bit processor. Neato.

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How to gather a user's phone number.

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Spot on satirementary on web app development these days.
The money quote:

It’s JavaScript. There has to be thousands of libraries that all do the same thing. We know libraries, in fact, we have the best libraries. Our libraries are huuuge, and sometimes we include pictures of Guy Fieri in them.

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I like the idea of competition in set-top boxes because so many of them have user interfaces that flat-out stink. So let me choose the one I want.

However, I'm afraid it's too little, too late. We live in the streaming world now, or the "app" world. Amazon forces us to buy their dongle to watch their content, and Netflix controls the UI in their own app. So unless streaming providers are forced to make their content available to generic set-top boxes, the whole thing is moot. And I doubt we can successfully write a spec for that.

In summary, :-( for consumers.

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+David Gilbertson shares some Chrome DevTool tips you might not know about. My favorite that I didn't know about is number eight, which is this:

document.designMode = "on"

Then you can just edit stuff right on the page. Whoa. 0_o

I'm totally baking that into my next "admin tool mode" so it's easier to mock data when sending people little screen captures.

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“The age of neutral journalism has passed,” [...] “It is impossible because what you select from the huge sea of information is already subjective.”

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What's behind a tradition?
A tradition is simply a custom that has been passed down from one generation to another. Their longevity can have many reasons, some good and some bad. We can not assume that persistence alone provides moral justification. Instead we must ask better…

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Garfield minus Garfield. Brilliant.

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If you read or watched "Into the Wild", you know the story about Chris McCandless, who took himself into the Alaskan wilderness in the spring of 1992 to leave society and live off the land. In the fall of 1992, Chris died from eating the wrong plant.

Jon Krakauer, the author of the book "Into the Wild" just shared his latest research regarding McCandless's death, 20 years after his book was originally published. It seems Krakauer likes to get the facts right. He tells the story of his investigation of the plant(s) involved, and how they were tested for alkaloids as a toxin, with no luck finding a smoking gun.

In 2012 Krakauer got a new lead from another writer who had remembered reading about symptoms similar to McCandless's occurring at a World War II concentration camp, Vapniarca. The prisoners of that camp were subjects of a cruel experiment, having been given food made from the "grasspea", a plant that humans have known for 2400 years to be toxic. It turns out to be an amino acid that makes the grasspea toxic, as well as the plant that McCandless ate. So when Krakauer searched for this kind of amino acid, he succeeded in finding what very likely killed McCandless.

I find it interesting that the "frontier of human knowledge" and the literal/physical "frontier of wilderness" can have such gaps between them. Generations of successively standing on shoulders have allowed humans to evolve our societal blueprints; we've increased our probability of survival living together vs. going it alone. But knowledge, even if recorded somewhere, is useless unless it is present at the moment that it has the greatest utility. Think about how we go about our daily routines. The various knowledge we must apply to our daily lives in order to "not die today", is pretty narrow. And should something life threatening confront us, living in a herd has its benefits. But leave society. Go off the grid. And here's a known toxin that exists in a plant. And it got eaten. So even if McCandless had all the up-to-date, current human knowledge at his fingertips while he was in the Denali Borough, would that have allowed him to survive alone in the wild?
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