A Makapuu Summer

When I was a junior in high school I took some money I had saved from working at summer jobs and bought a round trip ticket from Los Angeles to Honolulu. The plan was to spend the summer riding waves with a friend. My friend was a little older than me, which helped to convince my parents that this was not the worst idea I had ever proposed. I had good grades, and probably worked too hard during the school year. I suppose my parents thought it would be good for me to relax a bit the summer before senior year.

My position on network neutrality

The success, rapid adoption, and diffusion of the Internet are largely due to the
principles that underly its design. The Internet is non-hierarchical and open (any
node can connect to any other node), free (no single entity controls the network or
its policies), and all packets are treated as equals. Packets sent by me, by Vint
Cerf, or by the CEO of Time Warner Cable are all treated the same way by the

The cable and telecommunications companies would like to create a caste system, or a
slow lane for companies who do not pay their fees, and a fast lane for companies who

Life of a mnemonist

I just finished reading A. R. Luria's Mind of a Mnemonist, a book about a man who had a fabulous memory. It reminded me of a short story by Borges, Funes el memorioso. Funes could remember everything that happened in his life, and would stay awake at night recounting his life's history. The subject of Luria's case history was referred to as "S" and he did not have an incontinent memory, like Funes, but he had a prodigious memory that he learned to cultivate by populating imaginary buildings with different memories, each in a separate room.

Tracking vessels at sea or anything in motion using scalable vector graphics (Snap SVG)

Check it out

I recently became curious about the Automatic Identification System used by vessels at sea. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_Identification_System), it enables anyone with an interest to track a tanker moving across San Francisco bay, or a containerized cargo ship moving across the vast Pacific. The AIS system broadcasts the vessel's identifying information, its course, destination, the type of vessel, even the dimensions of the vessel.

Quartz Composer: Who knew you were so dang amazing?

Years ago, I remember reading a blog post about Quartz Composer, a Mac OS application that seems to have been intended to create graphical filters, screensavers, and graphics-intensive applications. It's not an authoring environment, it is more of a visual programming language. There are little blocks of code called Patches and patches have inputs and outputs that can be wired up to each other, and can be combined to form larger blocks of code that are easier to manage.

Back to Yale for my class reunion

My freshman year a guy named Mark lived above me. He played the organ. After the library closed one night, he said: "Let's go to Battelle Chapel and I'll play the organ." I sat in the front row of the dark chapel while he played Bach. It was quite an experience. Not unlike the video below.

From pyramid to rectangle

America's morphing age pyramid

Longer life-spans and reduced birth rate means that the age pyramid in America has become a rectangle.

Remembering Gabriel García Márquez

When I was in elementary school there was a book that sat on the drafting table in the kitchen. On its cover was an illustration of a man and woman embracing, a reddish glow in the distance, some jungly growth crawling from below. The book was titled One Hundred Years of Solitude. One day when my dad was not around, I cracked it open and read a few pages, but put it down. This is a grown up book, I thought. I could tell by the illustration on the cover. I probably shouldn't read it.

Syndicate content