fun

My 100x ROI as accidental domain speculator

Paul Bissex
One of the hazards of working in the web biz is impulse-buying domain names. Back in the Web 2.0 boom days, there were a lot of “social” web plays with silly names. I thought I’d satirize this by registering numbr.com and making a social site where you could “friend” the number 7 and that sort of thing. I never got around to building that site. However I did get a curious email one day from “Joe” who wanted to know if I’d sell the name.

Quora questions I've seen enough of

Paul Bissex
I really do like Quora (you may have seen my SadQuora tweets, a side effect of the time I spend there). But when somebody asked, “What are the most annoying types of questions on Quora?” I couldn’t resist. Maybe it’s just my feed, but I see things like these a lot: I’m 23 years old, am I too old to learn programming? If a self-driving car had to either hit and kill a cow in the left lane, or hit and kill a horse in the right lane, which would it choose?

Teaching Non-programmers what Programming is Like

Paul Bissex
How do you comprehensibly explain to non-programmers the challenges of programming? Why can’t you “just tell the computer what you want it to do”? A classic teaching tool for this is the “make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich” demo. Put out on the table a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, a loaf of bread, and a knife. Tell them you are a robot (computer) that is physically capable of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but you need instruction (programming).

dpaste.com spot check

Paul Bissex
Once in a while I look at a sampling of recent dpaste activity. Partly I do it so I’m not totally out of touch with what my site contains. Partly I do it because it’s just interesting. And I do it to confirm that the site is actually used by people who want to share code snippets, not just spambots who fire their cannons into every porthole. I just sampled 10 random items from the last week.

Chess via iPod

Paul Bissex
I’m still loving my iPod touch. It’s really a great little handheld computer. I’m able to do almost everything I need with the stock apps, but there are a couple free third-party apps that have earned a permanent place on it. One is the game Chess With Friends from NewToy. This is a version of what is also known as “postal” or “correspondence” chess. You make a move and send it to your opponent; your opponent makes a move and sends it back to you.