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Sandro's Journal
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Date:2015-06-04 15:18

Anyone use Solar City? I'm inclined to get their system, and I believe an existing customer can get a significant referral bonus if I name them.

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Date:2015-04-16 20:42
Subject:car swap for a few days?

Any of my Boston-area friends:
1. have a car with a center-console handbrake
2. automatic transmission
3. willing to trade for a few days with my well-worn minivan
4. in the next few weeks

Gregorian's ready for his driving test, and they require it be in a vehicle with a center-console handbrake. They'll supply a vehicle for $90, but he's never driven anything other than our minivan, and I'm thinking during-the-test isn't the best time to try.

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Date:2014-12-28 09:51
Subject:Your online identity, in the future

I'm trying to change the Internet so that instead of living inside facebook, twitter, youtube, pinterest, etc, etc, people will have their own, separate online identities, and the things they now do inside those sites will just be apps. (And you'll be able to switch apps whenever you want, and interact with folks who use different apps. No more social lock-in. Lots of freedom to innovate.)

You can read a little more about this at crosscloud.org, but right now I'd love some feedback on one of the key points.

If you were going to have a stable identity outside of these apps, a place where people could contact you, where you could see your own stuff, where people could see the stuff you wanted to share, what kind of domain name would you give it?

Some people will buy their own domain name (I was lucky enough to get hawke.org long ago) but I don't think most people will want to do that. They'll be fine with a subdomain like sandhawke.livejournal.com.

I think of these special high-functionaly websites as "pods" (which originally stood for "personal online database"), and I have several domain names on which I could provide these subdomains. Which ones would you be happy to use for yourself and comfortable seeing other people use? It's a bit like your email address is today; you'll be telling it to people in various circumstances, and perhaps seeing them around everywhere.

Please let me know which ones I should focus on. It would be a pain and perhaps rather confusing to support all of them. Thanks!

Poll #1993696 Your online identity, in the future

Which domain(s) would you like for online identities? (Imagine people's names/handles in the blank.)

________.1w.io (one world)
I don't understand what you're asking
This sounds great. When can I try it?

Feel free to suggest others in the comments, if you know they are currently unclaimed. (Once you start checking, it's amazing what's already taken.)

Also, feel free to reblog/share this, if you think it's cool.

20 comments | post a comment

Date:2014-11-04 12:28
Subject:dentist recommendation?

Anyone have a dentist in the Cambridge/Belmont/Newton/Waltham/Lexington area who they like an trust? I've realized I don't trust mine very much.

4 comments | post a comment

Date:2014-06-29 17:54

If you haven't pledged yet, please do. It's our best chance to save what's left of american democracy.

For the fun of it, you can pledge via my pledge page, and then I can see just how motivated folks are!

10 comments | post a comment

Date:2014-05-16 16:37
Subject:Couches in Seattle?

Do I know anyone in Seattle who's got some crash space for my son July 17-22? Hotels seem a bit much; a couch is more than enough.

(And yes, he'll be turning 18 while there, but that's just coincidence. He's going for a sporting event.)

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Date:2014-03-22 06:26
Subject:where am I now

My camera isn't good enough to capture the view outside my window: in the building across the way, through the windows, I see people playing ice hockey. On several different floors, around the 35th floor.

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Date:2013-11-04 10:41
Subject:girls clothes age 4-8

I have about 20 cubic feet (3 very large boxes) of clothes to pass on, mostly girls clothes for ages 4-8. I'm happy to drop the boxes on your porch in camberville/newtwatertham; otherwise they'll go into some random charity input stream.

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Date:2013-10-28 18:56
Subject:i'm busy =?= i don't like you

Awkward situation. A parent of a kid who knows one of my kids emailed me to arrange a playdate. But my kid doesn't actually like this other kid. The initial email was constrained to a time we were busy, so it was easy to just say that. But then the reply was, "okay, how about one of the next few weekends?".

What would you do?

If you were this other parent, what would you want me to do?

Bonus - apply this to adults, too. What do you do if someone wants to get together some time, and that's not how you want to spend your time? Have you ever emailed a friend an open-ended invitation like that, and they didnt reply? What did you make of that?

(Latest installment: my kid says, well, okay, I guess, invite her over. Does that change your answers?)

17 comments | post a comment

Date:2013-10-01 08:19
Subject:govt shutdown

The lefties (usually my people) seem to think the Tea Party has made a big mistake and that it will cost them.

Looking over the list of what will actually get shut down, I don't think so.

You see, it's only the "non-essential" stuff that's getting shut down. And at this point, the people have zero interest in paying for anything "non-essential". For 5 years now, in their own budgets they've had to cut "non-essentials", so why shouldn't the government?

It's like the sequester -- everyone said "this will be so horrible" -- but I haven't heard one story of actual pain it caused, except to a gov't employee.

Is there a point where "essential" personel also stop working? If the Tea Party makes *that* happen they'll get into trouble, but I doubt they will. I think this is exactly what they want -- to point out that much of the gov't is "non-essential".

Also, on the debt ceiling, ... that will be interesting. Yes, it's a terrible plan to default on your debt because then the cost of credit tends to go up (and any rise in interest rates when you're $17T in debt would be murderous), but I can't help wondering if lenders really have anywhere better to put their money. As long as T-Bills are still the best option, even if they're not as good as they used to be, folks will use them. Still, it could be very, very, very, very bad.

19 comments | post a comment

Date:2013-04-17 17:51
Subject:journaling using livejournal?

I think I'm going to start keeping a journal, for the first time in many years. You know, a personal, private journal, so I can get some of my thoughts about the day, etc, out... without having to find someone to talk to first. (and harder -- without having to find someone appropriately trustworthy, and appropriately interested.)

I'll probably type it.

I might even use LJ, because, hey, it's there. Errrr, here. I used it for private entries for a while in 2005. But those were deep, introspective writings that were just too private to share (until they were subpoena'd but that's another story). Here I'm talking about piddling shit. It's stuff that's not necessarily private so much as stuff I wouldn't want to bother my friends with.

That's not quite right. It's stuff that I wouldn't want to share because I have a standard of quality for my various publication feeds, and it would significantly lower the quality, at least in terms of the wisdom-to-babble ratio.

For these purposes, I don't want to be trying to seem wise, or contributing great thoughts, or respecting my readers' time at all. This is for *me*, not for "my reader", or it doesn't serve the purpose.

How do other folks deal with this?

7 comments | post a comment

Date:2013-03-28 18:33

Why does the YMCA need to know my name before they'll tell me how much membership costs? That totally creeps me out.

(Of course I could lie, but that's kind of beside the point.)

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Date:2012-12-29 18:44
Subject:year in review

I've been missing old-style LJ, so here, from aroraborealis some questions and my answers:

What was your proudest achievement?

Either (1) submitting my first real grant application or (2) getting my son out of a living situation that was making him crazy. Both have since turned out to be filled with unintended consequences.

Your biggest change?

Having my son living with me full time, now.

Your happiest moment?

Roller skating at my 10yo's birthday party. (That's her with me in my LJ photo, about 8 years ago.)

Your saddest moment?

Discovering I'd damaged my knee while roller skating at that birthday party? Or maybe some of unintended consequences of the first items. It's complicated / not sure.

Your most exciting trip?

Not a lot of trips this year (see above). Business meeting in Lyon was pretty great, but that was mostly just because of the people/business, not the location.

Your favourite meal?

One night, Marc and I threw together a few quick dishes, which just somehow came out really well. The steamed beet greens were among the best things I've ever tasted.

The thing that made you laugh the hardest?

A joke hawkegirl made, when I asked if she happened to have a wetsuit I could borrow to fix something at the bottom of my pond. She said no, then mused about offering to do it for me (since she has her own wet suit, which would not fit me), then offered: "No, officer, I don't have any idea what my ex-wife's body is doing at the bottom of my pond."

What did you do that surprised you the most?

Spent the *first* weekend of the four weeks I had to write a grant application doing the bulk of the work, instead of the last.

What happened that you'd have never anticipated this time last year?

Going to a grant pitch meeting on crutches?

Who made you smile the most?

I first read this as "*What* made you smile the most?" and cynically but truthfully answered: Knowing that smiling makes me happier. As for who, I think that's got to be my youngest.

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Date:2012-07-11 19:32
Subject:developers, please

Do I know anyone who develops social software?

Do I know anyone who would develop social software, if it were easier/different?

By social software I mean any software that is used by multiple people, with some interaction or information flow between them. Lots of software is like this, even if it's not called "social".

I'm specifically looking for someone who is a bit unhappy with the process or prospect of developing this stuff. It can be hard to get a critical mass of people using your software. It can be hard to maintain a fast and reliable back-end when all you like to think about is the front end. It might be frustrating that you have to rely on some social network provider. It might be awkward trying to get people to use your corporate app for when they use a different app for personal stuff. ... or? what other frustrations do you have?

If this isn't you, but it sounds like someone you know, please introduce us. (best option is probably email to sandro@hawke.org)


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Date:2012-06-21 17:53

I just wrote a nice post about something really important to me that I accomplished this week. And somehow between emacs and firefox and lj, it got lost.

Oh well.

(It ended with saying "So if you see me at baitcon, feel free to give me a pat on the back." But now you wont know why.)

Okay - the one line version is that I turned in some grant applications for funding to work on the thing in my previous LJ poll. But somehow, that version leaves out all the drama....

4 comments | post a comment

Date:2012-04-01 22:28
Subject:What I'm really up to

(Please take the time to answer this. It's important to me.)

Imagine if all the websites you use and the apps on your phone stored the data they collect from you in a place where you could control it. In today's world, every time you buy something, every time you search for something, every move you make in a game, every comment you post, every "like" or "+1" button you press, every time you follow a link from one site to another, ... everything you do online today can be recorded and kept, somewhere beyond your reach. Imagine if, instead, it was stored by a service that you selected and which would do as you asked. If you wanted it deleted, or changed (but not to cheat someone), you could open the control panel and do it. If you wanted to download it, archive it, even upload it elsewhere, you could do that. And everything still worked fine.

You might worry this new service would now know too much. But it would be one of many, and you could move between them when you felt like it, and maintain multiple independent personna accounts. More importantly, because you would not be locked in, these providers would be competing to serve you better, with the best privacy policies and terms of service, at a price you like.

Please, for now, ignore the questions of how this might work, and how we'd get everyone to switch.

Poll #1830744 owning your data

If you could switch your apps today, so they would store your data like this, on a cloud server you control, would you do it?

I don't understand, sorry
No, I'm happy with things as they are
No, I don't really like this plan
Yes, I'd use it as long as it was free
Yes, and I'd pay $10 per year for this
Yes, I'd probably pay $5 per month this
It's so awesome, I'd even pay $15/mo for this
Other, please explain in comments

So, if you had $10K you needed to invest in a startup, would you invest in this?

I simply cannot imagine this situation
I can imagine it, but I still have no clue what I'd do
No, I'd rather invest in something that might rule some market
No, this is too ambitious; it wont work out, long term
Yes, even commodity business make money, if they are run well
Yes, this just sounds so awesome
Other, please explain in comments

25 comments | post a comment

Date:2012-03-13 07:29

It's tempting to join the stream and post a (true and heartbreaking) ididnotreport (from the 70s), but I just use twitter for professional contacts, so that really doesn't seem like a good idea. I dunno. I'm not great at the whole "out" thing any more.

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Date:2012-02-25 09:10

Anyone have an recommendations or advice about refinancing? I've never done it before, and there are a few complications in this case.

5 comments | post a comment

Date:2012-02-03 05:36

I suppose lj is passe now.

ETA: and the UI is confusing. I thought I was posting this in a different place, one that had been unused since 2005.

6 comments | post a comment

Date:2011-12-28 15:18
Subject:Very cool new technology

Please check all that apply:

I sometimes write code that uses a database (MySQL, Mongo, etc)
I sometimes write code that involves users interacting with each other
I'm comfortable writing in Javascript
I'm comfortable writing in Python
I'm local to Boston
I'd be interested in attending a talk/tutorial on a new shared, open, global database platform you're developing
I'd be interested in playing with it, but not attending a talk/tutorial
This isn't for me, but you should talk to some friend(s) of mine, who I just emailed you about
None of the above, thank you very much.

If you said you'd be interested in attending the talk:

I'll need to see some technical details first
I could probably attend on a Monday evening
I could probably attend on a Tuesday evening
I could probably attend on a Thursday evening
I'd even give this a Saturday evening
All day Sunday, too!
None of the above / Not applicable

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