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The Dumping Ground

Life and code.

Last Build Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:46:38 +0000


How To Automatically Clean Your macOS Downloads Folder

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:58:53 +0000

I download a lot of crap, and it ends up in my Downloads folder. I used to use Hazel to keep my Downloads and Trash clean, but it was overkill: Hazel is a much more powerful tool than I needed. With the relatively recent addition to macOS to automatically remove items from the trash after […]

Natural Reaction

Tue, 04 Feb 2014 14:30:38 +0000

Just south of San Francisco, shortly after you merge onto Interstate 280 heading down to the South Bay, there is this massive red stain in the center lane of the freeway. At night, flashing by so quickly under the headlights before disappearing underneath your car at seventy-five miles per hour, it looks for all the […]

The Real Reason We’re Disappointed About Google Acquiring Nest

Thu, 16 Jan 2014 21:11:26 +0000

Leave aside the privacy concerns for a moment. The issues there are real enough: The non-answers in their privacy statement leave enough room to build a data center in, and both the words and the actions of the leadership at Google can leave no doubt that they intend to push the boundary of what is creepy […]

Target Hacked – Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards

Thu, 19 Dec 2013 18:19:05 +0000

The world seems to be going crazy this morning with news that some 40 million credit cards were stolen from Target’s databases. My Twitter feed is aflame, it’s all over my news sites, and I’ve even received email from family members warning me to get all my cards reissued. I’m not going to, though. I […]


Fri, 23 Aug 2013 07:00:33 +0000

[I wrote this post several months ago, shortly after the divorce was finalized. I have held off publishing it until all the final details were completed. Now they are.] “How long were you married,” was always the first question. “Nine years,” I would reply. It was only a slight exaggeration. Our anniversary was only a […]

Brian Drinks Java: Chromatic Coffee

Tue, 11 Dec 2012 12:55:34 +0000

Everything old is new again, and that includes Chromatic Coffee in Santa Clara, California. Formerly Barefoot Coffee, longtime visitors were surprised by the sudden change in name and signage. But concerns that the hangout would lose its charm or passion for great joe were quickly ameliorated: The staff tells me that the owner simply decided to open his […]

How Twitter Ruined Their API And What They Can Do To Fix It

Mon, 03 Dec 2012 16:23:39 +0000

During the question and answer section of the panel I recently spoke on at DCWeek 2012, one questioner asked the panel to describe an API that had “disappointed” us at some point. I replied: Twitter. Though he was angling for technical reasons  – poor design, bad documentation, or insufficient abstraction – I had different reasons in […]

Win, Lose, Banana – The Best $1 You’ve Ever Spent

Thu, 29 Nov 2012 21:15:06 +0000

Little pockets of downtime pepper our lives: waiting for the bus, waiting at a crosswalk, waiting for that one person in the group to come back from the bathroom again. We make smalltalk, we look at our watches, we check our phones. These moments flit away like a mote of dust passing through a sunbeam, a few […]

The One API You Should Know

Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:04:04 +0000

I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at DCWeek 2012 this past week: “Five Crucial APIs to Know About”. (I am not listed on the speakers page, as I was a rather last-minute addition.) Conversation ranged from what goes into making a good API – dogfooding, documentation, focus – to pitfalls to be aware […]

Mike Daisey’s Program From April 14, 2011

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 12:50:36 +0000

I don’t have anything to say publicly about Mike Daisey’s lies. What I will say publicly is that Heather and I saw The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs at Woolly Mammoth Theater on April 14, 2011. It was a powerful piece, and – unusually for me – I saved the program. After reading this […]