Mar 312015
I occasionally catch grief from friends and family not quite on board with my brand of environmentalism.  Now, I’m not out chaining myself to trees marked for lumber, but I do believe a little green goes a long way.  I’m just curious about the resistance. Continue reading »

Mar 282015
This isn’t the article I expected to write.

I wasn’t even planning on driving down to Austin for South by Southwest this year.  I’d been to the event in 2011 and 2012, and the second time was largely an exercise in frustration.  One year seemed to make a huge difference in the number of cars and degree of chaos.  So I swore off returning for that particular reason.  But certain things came together recently to compel me anyway, especially the invitation of a friend from Finland, so down I ventured. In some respects, I wish I hadn’t. Continue reading »

Mar 172015
I‘m going to shift gears a bit, get out of my own head and back to broader topics.  I’m motivated today by some activities I’m doing to ramble a bit about volunteerism, and maybe help overturn some preconceived notions I’ve run into on the subject. Continue reading »

Mar 082015
So International Women’s Day got me thinking.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that in recent months the raucous discussion of women’s issues has reached epic– or maybe epidemic— proportions.  Some of the heated discourse revolves around specific, male-dominated toxic issues, like GamerGate, but there’s also a general sense that men from all walks just don’t get how to approach women.  Especially those they don’t actually know.

Subsequently, I’ve noticed a lot of related angst prevalent among men, many of whom are intrinsically decent but often come across, inadvertently, as the very boors they endeavor not to be.  I should know.

On occasion, I’ve been one. Continue reading »

Mar 032015
The ever-acuminate Andrea Grimes of the Texas Observer indulged a poignant twitter lecture about social trolling today, and inspired me to switch topical tracks a bit and add my thoughts.  Context is easily lost on Twitter, especially since I want to drag in some related/supportive stuff, so we’ll do it here instead. Continue reading »

Mar 012015
I pounded out a little cathartic bit about my online dating tragicomedy recently, and after a bit more thought and experience realized the failures there aren’t entirely my own. It occurred to me that Match is missing an element critical to any online community.

That is, the community. Continue reading »

Feb 232015
In my blissful pre-Internet youth, weather was a local concern and climate was something you only worried about at epochal intersections.  Like the Cambrian–Ordovician extinction event, which really sucked for trilobites but became useful to first-year Geology students millions of years later.

Today’s electronic immediacy though means everything is local and instant.  Geographic boundaries have been replaced by ideological ones that realign our interests and attention.  Thanks to the Internet, I can be a better neighbor to Timo the programmer in Finland than what’s-his-name who lives across my street.

But knowing each other’s news doesn’t necessarily put us on the same page. Continue reading »

Feb 052015
With the recent rise of mobile assistants like Cortana, Siri and Google Now, we’re getting used to smartphones finally getting, well, smart.  I’m alerted by my Lumia 1020 when it’s time to quit annoying my dog and drive to work, and conversely, when it’s time to wake up and drive back home.

The Internet at large seems to believe I need more help than that.  Aside from ads trying to sell me what I’ve already purchased, I’m besieged by helpful spammers.  Every tweet, post or article I create is apparently just another vehicle for injecting my needs into some harvesting bot stream, and boy do they capitalize on it.  Reverse Tinnitus offers one email after I complained on Facebook.  Brain Power Without Limits promises another.

No idea what specifically triggered the second one.  It could just be my general content. Continue reading »

Jan 142015
A buddy and I had a brief exchange recently about twitter follower counts, and at one point he expressed admiration for mine.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t get it.  Sure, I used to perform work that drew in quite a few of the curious, but lately I’ve just been bellyaching about my health and taking potshots at politicians.  You know, typical cranky old guy stuff.  You’d think the crowd would have gotten off my virtual lawn by now. Continue reading »

Jan 072015
This morning my twitter feed was greeted by yet another tired, loaded question asking if Windows Phone is dead, this time from Venture Beat’s Chris O’Brien .  I like Chris, and odds are his headline is borne more of frustration than click-baitiness, so I’ll spare him my usual snarky reply and take a cold, sober look at the situation. Continue reading »

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