Archive for category: Rants and Raves

Some thoughts as Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple…

August 24, 2011 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

Breaking news: Silicon Valley pioneer Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO of Apple, and Tim Cook will be stepping up from his previous role as chief operating officer to become CEO. This post talks a bit about my employer, Pixar Animation Studios, but in no way should be construed as anything but my own […]

Hackaday Comment Policy: We’re cleaning up

July 27, 2011 | Blogging, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

I am a long time reader of Hack A Day. It’s a great website, and often details projects that I find interesting well before they are picked up on other sites. It also tends to drive significant amounts of traffic to sites mentioned, so it’s good publicity for many interesting objects. But lately, their comment […]

How to mistake correlation and causality, from Scientific American

July 27, 2011 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

My tweets this morning included a link to a story by Scientific American editor Anna Kuchment, entitled “How to raise a science fair champ”. How to raise a science fair champ | Scientific American Blog Network On the one hand, it’s a mildly interesting look at some talented kids who have risen to the top […]

Parents can trump mentors…

July 18, 2011 | My Diary, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

Back on July 8th, I wrote a brief post about mentoring. Hopefully, some of you read it. In case you didn’t, I made the completely unsupported claim that mentors don’t normally create interest, they merely nurture the interests that are already there. They also serve to help remove the obstacles that frustrate the enthusiasm of […]

Shouldn’t we use programming languages with fewer bad parts?

July 11, 2011 | Programming Languages, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was reading that Stanford has begun teaching their introductory computer science course CS101 with Javascript. Despite a lot of the propaganda surrounding the web and a pretty good book on the good parts of Javascript, I can help but think that Javascript has some really tragic flaws. Dijkstra famously referred to PL/1 as “the […]

Some thoughts on the last Space Shuttle launch…

July 8, 2011 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

This morning, I was a bit late coming into work. I decided to sit until 8:26AM Pacific to see if Atlantis would be launched on the final mission of the Space Shuttle program. Low cumulus clouds threatened, but in the end the shuttle rose on its pillar of fire for the last time, and in […]

Are you a mentor, or are you just getting in the way?

July 8, 2011 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

It’s Friday, and Fridays are good days for thinking. It’s unclear that it is a good day to write about what you’ve been thinking, but here goes anyway. I’m involved in a couple of different communities (hacking and amateur radio) which might be characterized as “ageing”. As a young adult, I was influenced by Steven […]

What is your blog’s business plan? Does it really need one?

June 27, 2011 | Blogging, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

It was a convenient time to renew my blog’s hosting plan over the weekend, so I made my payment and you can be assured that the brainwagon blog (which as many as a dozen of you inexplicably read) will be available for another 12 months. It got me thinking about the many bloggers I know […]

What should Radio Shack do to satisfy the DIY/Maker community?

June 1, 2011 | electronics, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

Radio Shack recently posted this (as yet, not incredibly popular) video asking for feedback on what they could do to support the DIY/Maker community: I’ve thought about it off and on for the last couple of days, and read some other blog posts, and I thought I’d give my take on it. I mostly don’t […]

Jesse Jackson Jr.: The iPad Is Killing American Jobs

April 18, 2011 | Quack of the Day, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m going to divert myself from my normally safe topics of conversations, and briefly wander into a matter of politics, because Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. has been getting a lot of press lately for his astonishingly stupid remarks about the iPad costing American jobs. Jesse Jackson Jr.: The iPad Is Killing American Jobs. Sigh. First […]

Sony drops lawsuit against Geohot, but not really…

April 11, 2011 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was directed to a posting about the lawsuit between Geohot and Sony by a twitter from @adafruit. Sony drops lawsuit against Geohot – a maker, hacker and innovator… « adafruit industries blog. I think the article’s title is rather misleading. Sony didn’t drop the lawsuit: the lawsuit was settled. While Geohot admitted to no […]

The Ham’s Inconsistent Love/Hate relationship with Progress and Technology

February 16, 2011 | Amateur Radio, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

WARNING: pontificating and ranting ahead. You’ve been warned. Tom pointed out that I had an inadvertent markup error which ended up dropping several paragraphs of this post. It is now corrected. Julian, G4ILO followed up yesterday’s post about technology not being good for ham radio with a nearly equally confusing one today entitled Platform for […]

What ideas infect my brain and why…

December 13, 2010 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

Some of you might be wondering what it is about this Karplus-Strong algorithm that has got me interested. Of course, long time readers of my blog might well have wondered that about any of a number of things that I’ve written about. What is it about checkers that prompted me to write a checkers program? […]

Thoughts on the Google/Verizon net neutrality proposal…

August 12, 2010 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve had a few days to sit and think about the proposal that Google and Verizon have published, and I think it is time to write some of it down. If nothing else, in the future it will provide me perspective in future years, as August 12th rolls around each year, this post will circulate […]

My Thoughts on The Acceleration of Addictiveness

August 9, 2010 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

Paul Graham has a interesting little missive over on his website on the increasing trend toward addictiveness in our society: The Acceleration of Addictiveness. I don’t think it is bad as far as it goes, but I wonder why he didn’t ask what I thought was the obvious question: “why are things becoming more addicting?” […]