Big data doesn't need to be so big

There are lots of people talking about big data these days. There's a lot of discussion about how to build apps for "web scale", and there's an emphasis on real time apps that collect comprehensive data. This article is me playing devil's advocate. I think the big data

Do we have a moral obligation to society?

I just spent 48 hours without electricity. I'm not complaining; I could have had it much worse (many people in Staten Island did) and very fortunately nobody I know was hurt or lost their home. But my experience without power got me thinking. I was sitting around in the dark

SiteChat: a postmortem. Or, the rise and fall of a society.

About a year ago I built a Chrome extension called SiteChat -- the premise was simple: turn every website into a chatroom. The app was an instant success, and over the following year I watched entire societies emerge and die off inside the bizarre ecosystem that I had created. Genesis

Effective Teaching is a Long Con

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. Carl Sagan The above Carl Sagan quote is why most smart people are bad teachers. Smart, impassioned people know the whole story behind what they're teaching. Smart people like to think about the whole

Bash Scripting: Why didn't I start this earlier?

Learning bash scripting ended up turning what used to be a 30 minute manual server build process into a perfect lean, mean, server building machine. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this. I've been building software for fifteen years, and I'm only just now getting into bash scripting. I had