It’s been awhile. I’ve spent the last four months applying for new jobs, interviewing, getting hired, and moving from the midwest to the bay area. It’s been a long ride (drive, really). I’ve been out here three weeks now, and it still feels strange to call it my new home (new license plates on my car notwithstanding).
I’m a tech writer by trade, as I’ve alluded to/mentioned in the past with my post on Prescriptive Design and the Decline of Manuals, and I’ve so far enjoyed being in an area so tech-focused (though I do worry about the bubble).
Let’s get back into it, shall we?
I’ve recently started sewing again. After learning how in home economics in junior high school, I decided to pick it up again in order to have an offline hobby with more tangible results (like baking, but longer-lasting). Sewing has changed in the last twenty years, and a fabric wholesaler has witnessed the changes in his own warehouse.
My birthday was yesterday! To celebrate, I ate an overly large and overly expensive steak and sorely undercooked brussels sprouts. Do yourself a favor and always roast brussels sprouts until they are caramelized and crunchy, then put some reduced apple cider and maple syrup on top. YUM!
Technology, while making the world more accessible than it has been in the past, has a lot of work to do for people with disabilities. A huge example of this is the shortcomings in OCR (optical character recognition) technology. In short, OCR sucks. And when we use it to simplify our lives (make a PDF into something that I can copy-paste into a text file), then when it fails it’s a minor inconvenience, and a silly one at that.
Just one problem. Continue reading
David W. Butterfield (American, 1844 – 1933) Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad, about 1870 – 1880, Albumen silver print 42.2 x 56.6 cm (16 5/8 x 22 5/16 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Once upon a time (okay, the first one was in 1871), fish were carted across America in railroad cars. Of course, this was terrible for native fish species, but great for fisherman looking to fish fish that were in demand.
More than a century later, a community around the Putah Creek in California rallied together to restore a creek that had run dry after the watershed was transformed by a dam and opportunistic farmers.
Happy Data Privacy Day!
It may seem like a Hallmark holiday, but there aren’t any cards for it (if there are please mail me one). It exists to commemorate the 1981 signing of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data by the Council of Europe. Accordingly, Europe celebrates this day as Data Protection Day.
Let’s start with some basics…
Librarians are an underused, underpaid, and underestimated legion. And one librarian in particular is frustrated by e-book lending. Not just the fact that libraries have to maintain waitlists for access to a digital file, but also that the barriers to checking out an ebook are unnecessarily high. As she puts it,
“Teaching people about having technology serve them includes helping them learn to assess and evaluate risk for themselves.”
In her view,
“Information workers need to be willing to step up and be more honest about how technology really works and not silently carry water for bad systems. People trust us to tell them the truth.”
That seems like the least that can be expected by library patrons.
The Senate Intelligence Committee released hundreds of pages (soon available as a book) detailing acts of torture committed by the CIA.
Taylor Swift has been blowing up the music industry lately, first by surprising everyone with the beauty of her latest album. SNL dubbed it a result of Swiftamine, and I can certainly say I’m under the spell.
Then, pre-release, she removed her entire discography from Spotify. The Atlantic reflects on this decision by pointing out, “Owning music outright, instead of renting it through a streaming service, would be better for listeners and artists in the long run. Indeed, it would be better for just about everyone except Spotify.”
Americans are still reading books, Internet and all! Younger Americans are actually reading more than older generations, which could be partially due to the fact that with the rise of texting and social media, so much of our communication is text-based, so everyone is doing a lot more reading (and writing) in order to communicate with their friends. The original study is linked in that article and in this graph:
What are some other ways to get people to read books?
Well it helps a lot if your college library not only tells you the call numbers of the book, but it gives you precise directions to the location of the book, which is pretty awesome. Much more useful when navigating a giant library, like I have access to at the university I work at, as opposed to the smaller library at the university I actually attended.