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From an XML geek, a reader, a writer, a connector, a man of the people (says keep hope alive)

Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:37:09 +0000


Quantified bronchitis

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:37:09 +0000

Lots of people are using Fitbit to get into better shape. But I haven’t heard of anyone using trackers to better measure what happens when you get sick. As it turns out, I’ve had a nasty case of bronchitis over the last week. This is the sickest I’ve been in a while, and I find […]

Antennas and photons

Fri, 17 Jun 2016 05:40:47 +0000

In the previous article I described how antennae work in terms of EM waves. But EM isn’t exactly a wave. Quantum aspects require modeling as particles. Photons. But I can’t really figure out how a photon traveling through space gets converted into an electron current in a wire. There are some cases where treating EM as […]

The antenna project

Mon, 09 May 2016 03:52:27 +0000

A layman’s description of how antennas work, plus some related experiments. Physics is strange when you think about it. I’ve been working with electronics since I was about five. (Not an exaggeration. I “fixed” one of my two-battery-requiring cars with one good battery and some wire.) I sailed through high school electronics, and went on […]

Unsafe Java

Fri, 06 May 2016 05:26:36 +0000

Pop quiz. Why is the following Java 8 code unsafe? UPDATE: this code is fine, see comments. Still good to think about, though. Entity e = new Entity(); e.setName("my new entity"); persistanceLayer.put(e); To provide some context, Entity is a POJO representing something we want to store in a database. And persistanceLayer is an instance of a […]

The physics of the impossibly tiny

Mon, 25 Apr 2016 04:09:20 +0000

According to Newtonian gravitation, the attraction between two bodies is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Einstein refined this somewhat, but as long as there aren’t crazy speeds or non-flattish spacetime involved, Newton’s formulation is accurate. As far as we know. I read this […]

Re-creating the Semantics Demo

Mon, 11 Jan 2016 07:19:33 +0000

(From the archives: I wrote this over 2 years ago, but never hit publish. At last, the tale can be told!) If you haven’t seen it, the keynote at MarkLogic World 2013 is worth a look. I was on stage demonstrating new Semantics features built into MarkLogic server. Two of the three demos were based on […]

Geektastic Things

Mon, 11 Jan 2016 07:14:56 +0000

I am trying something new with the GeekThoughts domain. Instead of pointing to my blog, it’s pointing at some cool geeky things on a CMS that’s easier to update. Won’t you check it out?

Pixel editor

Sat, 02 Jan 2016 22:45:49 +0000

I did a thing. I am experimenting with machine learning and neural networks. To do so, I need a real-world dataset to play with. For starters, I am using a 5×7 pixel array, as common in many DIY projects, representing digits 0-9. Please help me my drawing a picture of the randomly-selected digit below. All […]

The Vector Sum theory of leadership

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 06:14:59 +0000

I’ve talked about this before, but I don’t think I’ve ever written it down. As more of my day-to-day involves leadership, I think about this stuff. To run an effective team, you need to think in vector sums. As the great poet A. Yankovic once said, “Do vector calculus just for fun.” But this isn’t […]

Before your standup, sit down

Sun, 03 May 2015 03:49:50 +0000

I’m running a Scrum project, and doing things a little differently than the classic method. I’ve done this at two different companies now, and it seems to work out well. Before a traditional standup meeting with The Three Questions, I schedule 15 minutes of intentional downtime. Since this happens at the start of the day, […]

Fiction update

Wed, 18 Mar 2015 07:18:51 +0000

Quick update here: if you are reading this, you’d probably like this short story, named in honor of Dennis Ritchie, FREE and currently burning up the charts for 30 minute reads in Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense. Doing pretty well in Science Fiction and Cyberpunk as well. (link fixed) Do a solid for readers everywhere and […]

DIY fizzy yerba mate drink

Fri, 06 Feb 2015 06:42:58 +0000

Filed under need-to-try this: A homebrew version of a popular hacker drink called Club Mate. I already have a carbonator cap and CO2 setup, as part of my beer brewing hardware. One variation I would experiment with is cutting down on the sugar. Even though Club Mate isn’t very sweet, it still has a fair […]

Prime Number sieve in Scala

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 01:57:02 +0000

There are a number of sieve algorithms that can be used to list prime numbers up to a certain value.  I came up with this implementation in Scala. I rather like it, as it makes no use of division, modulus, and only one (explicit) multiplication. Despite being in Scala, it’s not in a functional style. It uses […]

I am not a robot spammer

Sat, 15 Mar 2014 01:52:29 +0000

Based on the huge number of mail bounces I’ve been getting today, it looks like an unscrupulous somebody forged my return address on a bunch of mail. Perhaps you even sought out this blog based on the distinctive domain name. Some subject lines in use: it’s so nice to write to u maybe your lady […]


Tue, 18 Feb 2014 07:22:00 +0000

I can’t blog about secret projects I’m working on, so how about something completely different? I’ve improved my fitness level substantially over the last five years. (On index cards, I have my daily weight and body fat percentage, according to the bathroom scale, back to November 2009). Here’s some things I’ve learned: Moving counts. A […]