Jul 1 2013

Selected slides from Wordcamp Montreal 2013

Some speakers share their slides on Slideshare, so I thought I’d show them off if any of you are interested. I only include talks that I or my wife went to and liked and only if they have easily accessible slides online.

Elida Arizza had the best talk of the conference for me personally. As a bit of a noob, this was a torrent of great information:


Jun 30 2013

Megalist of WordPress tools and services

Just got back from Wordcamp Montreal 2013 and thought I’d share the somewhat massive list of plugins, tools and services that I accrued there through the recommendations of speakers and guests attending it. Just because something is on the list doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best in it’s category (since everything popular is obviously wrong), but it does mean it’s probably well coded, safe and reputable. Naturally I take no responsibility for them being just that.

This is written in summer 2013. If you are reading it much later, make sure that things are still being properly supported before using them.

Feel free to let me know if I’m missing anything important.

WordPress Plugins

Audio and video


Jun 20 2013

Quick note on English speakers

According to wikipedia there are almost twice as many people with English as first language in the US as in the rest of the world. Not that surprising really.

3/4 of the rest live in Canada, the United Kingdom or Australia.

Surprisingly few Canadians have English as a first language, or only 17 out of 33 million. 25M to speak it as one of their main languages though. The majority of the remaining 8M speak French only, as 98% of Canadians speak either English or French)

Only 28 million people outside these four countries have English as a first language, or less than 10% of the total. This includes all English-speaking African and Caribbean countries as well as Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore and other moderately populated countries.


May 20 2013

The story of information sharing

I share interesting sights on Snapchat, fun events on Facebook and my gym progress on Fitocracy. I share my opinions and interesting links on Reddit, and converse with people on Twitter. Some of my friends regularly share their video gaming on Twitch TV. Not only do we share way more information with people than the last generation would have found appropriate, we share more than any other generation has found possible. And yet it pales in comparison to what the next generation will do.

Sharing information changes our culture and history. Whether it’s the use of Twitter in the Arab Spring, Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride or hard-hitting newspaper journalism, information sharing changes how we see the world, and what we can know of it.

The most successful types of information sharing are ones that:

  • Allow a great amount of people
  • to precisely and unambiguously
  • share a great amount of ideas and information
  • with a great amount of other people

Although related, multicasting methods and technologies do not fall well under this hat. This includes anything that is focused on getting a relatively small set of ideas to as many people as possible. E.g. the printing press, the television, broadcast radio, etc.

What follows is a series of articles, each focusing on an important part of the narrative of information sharing:

  1. Writing
  2. The mail service and the telegram
  3. The telephone
  4. Email
  5. BBSes
  6. The web and modern social media
  7. The future of information sharing

We are neither at the beginning nor the end of this development. The narrative has been playing out for millennia, and it’s nowhere near over.


Apr 28 2013

Getting new thoughts

I love it when my brain makes connections from seemingly unrelated things and points out an interesting pattern. Sometimes this leads into weird conspiracy theories which I then need other parts of my brain to help me debunk, but often it offers genuine insights.

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of videos with Louis C.K. As I watched this video, I instantly connected it with this article by Leo Barbuta, that I read earlier this week.

Louis is talking about how George Carlin advised him to throw away all his material every year and come up with something new. Before that he had been gradually developing material for about 15 years, and some of his jokes he had kept in the routine for that long, with limited success. Continue reading


Feb 23 2013

Tech prediction: Wearable computing

We all know wearable computing is coming. But what will it be like?

Google glass is kind of cool, but the current version suffers from an input problem. It’s voice activated, which isn’t super-practical. I’m not very interested in writing my text messages with that, and like someone said on Reddit: “I can’t wait to run into the office bathroom and yell ‘OK glass, take a picture and upload to Facebook'”.

Microsoft has been working on a bracelet that can sense hand-gestures (sort of a Kinect for your wrist), and Apple is probably joining the soon to explode Smart-Watch market.

Now let’s put all this together:

Smartwatch:

  • Flexible screen shows you notifications and allows simple touch-input
  • Hand sensor detects the location of your hand and fingers down to a fraction of a millimeter, allowing for precise gestural inputs
  • Motion detectors, self-facing camera and whatever else they think would be useful on there

“Glasses”:

  • Screen with a controllable transparency or in eye laser that can show stereoscopic images (3D)
  • Can also record everything you see (in 3d?)
  • Can be placed on/over normal prescription glasses or shades OR has cameras and lenses that self-correct to give you 20/20 vision when worn

“Phone”

  • Computing hardware with a touchscreen, much like our current cellphones

The glasses and smartwatch will be optional, but you need the phone as a computing/storage center.

There used to be a time where I couldn’t see how all the input and output problems of wearable computing could be solved, but now I’m getting really excited. All that’s left now is figuring out the details and designing actual products.


Jun 23 2012

List of free online Ross Kemp videos

I love Ross Kemp’s documentary shows, so I thought I’d compile a short list of his stuff that can be wathed for free online. At least the ones you Youtube. From war, to pirates, to gangs and poverty, he shows the side of the world you won’t be shown very often.

Frontline: Afghanistan

Return to Afghanistan

In search of pirates

Continue reading


Jun 2 2012

How to create ebooks for all major vendors

First of all, let’s look at what file formats the different vendors expect, and what they offer:

Biggest Stores

Kindle (Amazon)

Continue reading


May 23 2012

Passive income: Goal

I’ve long been fascinated by the idea of Passive Income: Earning money in a way that requires periodic effort, instead of constant effort.

Songwriters earn passive income when they get royalties for songs they’ve written in the past, bloggers do it when they get ad revenue, and investors do it when they get interest or dividends.

So I’ve set a goal that I mean to achieve.

Continue reading


May 5 2012

The Holy Economy: Our lord and saviour

I like to think about what people will say of us in the future. Of course, they’ll have their own nonsense to deal with, but it’s fun to figure out what it is we take for granted today but will be considered ridiculous later.

There must be a lot of things, but let’s take the holiest of holys: The Economy.

Continue reading