Dr. Drang

by Dan W

Dr. Drang is my favorite pseudonymous engineer on the web. When he sees something broken in the wild, even his wife understands his compulsion to analyse it.

"Go get your phone and take a picture," my wife said. "You know you want to."

If you enjoy this post from the good doctor, you should definitely dig into his archive.

Jet.com Update

by Dan W

In case you read that optimistic post I wrote a while back about the tremendous possibilities of Jet.com, I thought I'd share an update.

It's just another e-commerce site, and it's not even very good at the basics. There are some deals, but there are more items that seem to be priced the same as competitors. Jet doesn't do the necessary job of proving the deals exist. In 2015, a new online store competing on price bears the burden of proof, and Jet fails to offer enough evidence to remove my reasonable doubt.

Jet is live today if you'd like to see for yourself.

Routine Creativity

by Dan W

I’m not creative enough.

My almost-four-year-old daughter has made this apparent. She hasn’t told me straight up, but I just figured it out. Lately, she has been fascinated by the idea of storytelling which consistently leads to the same question.

“Please, you tell me a story?”

I always thought of myself as creative, and I frequently list writing as a hobby when prompted, but when she puts me on the spot, I’m lucky to crap out an old fairy tale with a few details changed.[1]

What happened? I used to make up all kinds of crazy stuff. Oh right, I got older and more boring. My life is about routines now, and routines don’t exactly foster creativity. Interestingly, the same toddler who keeps asking for creativity is the reason for most of the new routines we’ve added in the last five years.

Either she needs to be more realistic with her expectations, or I should be doing more to exercise my creative muscles. I’m going to focus on the latter.

Setting aside time to be creative. Now that sounds like a great routine.

  1. My latest go-to is picking a classic and re-gendering the characters to give female characters the best parts. Jill and the Beanstalk wasn’t bad, and my sisterly version of Three Little Pigs was a hit.  ↩

Just remember...

by Dan W

"Just remember, it isn't all about you."

I overheard a parent saying this to their child recently. It's a great thing to keep in mind.

I Support Brianna

by Dan W

I haven't written anything about GamerGate, because it seemed obvious to me from the beginning that these guys are absurdly misogynistic, violent, and unworthy of support from anyone. Now I'm worried my apathy has contributed to the problem.

Women are being threatened with horrific violence and death. It is totally unacceptable. 'That goes without saying' is a phrase I've used many times, but in this case I think that's the problem. I haven't said enough and I've done even less. In her latest post, Brianna Wu bravely calls out her harassers again, as well as the institutions failing to doing anything about their vile behavior.

I'm tired of inaction. I'm upset that law enforcement doesn't seem to be doing anything to prevent these threats from becoming reality. I'm not willing to wait until one of these brave women are harmed to take action. Brianna mentions the FBI in her post, and I think that makes the most sense. They have the resources and the mandate to take on this problem in a way local authorities cannot. Tangible action needs to be taken by the authorities to protect the oppressed and end this harassment before there is violence. I'm not very experienced with this, but it looks like this form is a good place to start letting the FBI know we think persistent threats to women should be a priority. Here's what I submitted:

The online hate collective known as #GamerGate has been making horrific violent threats against several women in the video game industry, including but not limited to Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian, and Zoe Quinn. These threats have been independently verified and reported by news outlets across America, including PBS Newshour and many others. Your agency needs to take the lead in preventing the threats against these women from becoming reality.

I don't have an online following. Very few people will read this post. That doesn't matter. This issue is too important not to talk about, even if no one will hear me. I support Brianna because I support women.