StackOverflow Friend’s List

I use stack overflow quite a bit in my day-to-day. Here is my profile widget:

profile for livingtech at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers

The official word (well anyway, the official meta thread) says that Stack Overflow will never support a friend’s list, so I decided I should just start collecting a list of my friends and/or people I follow who also have accounts there. This post will likely get updated as I add or (heaven forbid!) remove folks. It would be really cool (as usual, I think this several times a year) to have a single place to maintain my list of friends, a meta-social-networking site that connects all the other social networking sites into one thing. Obviously Stack Overflow isn’t really meant to be a social network… but it is a network, and I would like to keep tabs on my friends there on occasion. Now I can just come to this page/post.

profile for Insyte on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites
Ben B

profile for Zachstronaut at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers
Zach Johnson, @zacharyjohnson

profile for slembcke at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers
Scott Lembcke wrote chipmunk.
@slembcke, github

profile for Whit at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers
Whitaker Trebella wrote Polymer &
Pivvot! (github, @wtrebella)

profile for nimblegorilla at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers
Nate Yourchuck

Please know that if you are reading this, and use StackOverflow (or any of the StackExchange sites), and aren’t represented here, it’s likely because I couldn’t find you on there, or just plain didn’t (yet) think to look for you. Feel free to message me or comment here, and I’ll add you forthwith!

An idea: “Incentivized Curation” of search results

So, just now I had this idea in the shower. (Yes, now that I work for myself from home, I can take showers whenever I feel like it.)

I was thinking about Stack Overflow, and how great it is, and I was thinking about how google results are often not as good (for very targeted specific topics), and also the phenomenon where, when I find a stack overflow question I want to answer, but don’t have some specific piece on hand, I go to google. So in some sense, for some questions/answers, Stack Overflow is really just a curated list of google results, and then I had this thought.

What if google provided a link, after you search, that said something along the lines of “Not what you’re looking for?”, and it immediately flagged the search for an incentivized human to look at. The human would not actually provide links (I guess maybe they could), but would instead provide “better” search terms. Of course google would do some intelligent caching so that if someone has searched for the same thing before, it gives you back the best terms from before first. And then the final piece is upvoting/downvoting of search terms/results that help you.

Essentially, I’m using the word incentivization to avoid the word gamification. But I mean adding RPG elements. Levels, points, all that kind of fun stuff that makes people go bananas. It struck me as weird that Google hasn’t really done any gamification outside of G+. Clearly they are avoiding it intentionally, since it would be easy to add those types of features across the board (I’m mostly thinking of search here). I guess maybe they are dipping their toes in the water with G+, since it’s now invaded most of their products.

Anyway, just a random thought.

30 Podcasts and Geekdom

This last weekend, over at, we posted our 30th podcast. We were talking about the second Geek Girl’s Guide podcast at lunch, and I mentioned this milestone with the realization that I’m rather proud of it, and thought I’d share it here also. Next month it’ll have been a whole year since our first Read Comics podcast. We let the year anniversary of the blog’s inauguration pass without much fanfare, in part because I haven’t been writing nearly as much over there as I did last summer, and probably also in part because we have these few beginning posts from even a year before that. (They don’t count though.)

Anyway, I do all the editing for the podcast, which is to say, hardly any at all. Normally, I’ll just make sure the beginning and ending don’t sound terribly stupid, and trim any extraordinarily long dead-space. We’ve recorded almost every episode right from my MacBookPro’s built in microphone, which does an astoundingly good job.

I was joking with everyone on Saturday after the podcast that I really only do it for geek-cred. Yeah, I have a podcast. Yeah, it’s about comic books. What’s geekier than that?

Tangentially related, Florence pointed me this weekend to Wired’s 10 Annoying Habits of a Geeky Spouse. Number four is dissecting movies, something we do a great deal of at Read Comics. Florence thought that she is as guilty of the things on this list as I am, and furthermore that she finds some of them endearing. Yet more reasons I married the perfect geek girl for me.

iPhone 2.2 firmware feature list on MacRumors

MacRumors has up a list of new features found in the 2.2 firmware beta that has been released to some developers. In that list can be found the following item:

– App Store: ‘Categories’ now shows the icons of the applications instead of the list

Now, this is translated from German, and is scant on details, so I really, really hope this is wrong, but if you take this at face value, this is an absolutely terrible idea. Who downloads an application based on the icon!?!? Seriously, if i have to “click into” each app in order to see what it does, I’m going to tear my hair out.

(Incidentally, I don’t even want to get started on this, but I can’t sync my applications with my laptop right now because I didn’t check that box when I last upgraded my iPhone, and checking the box NOW says it’s going to erase all my application data and replace it with the apps that are on my computer. WTF?)

Honestly, I have been upset about the UI (or lack there of) for browsing applications on the iPhone since I wiped my jailbreak and upgraded to 2.0 several months ago. The App store is filled with wonderful apps, but finding them… that’s a bitch and a half. Here is my App store wishlist:

  • sorting options for category view: by date added (the default now), Alphabetical (duh), price, and BY USER RATING (it seriously pisses me off that you can’t even do this in iTunes.)
  • How about breaking the 1400+ games in the “Games” category up into subcategories?
  • Let us browse more than 200 apps in a category. (Seriously, WTF!?!?)
  • Some kind of global toggle for filtering out non-free apps entirely. This would be really useful (I can imagine) for allowing someone else to browse and install apps on your phone. But to be honest, I would keep this “on” most of the time.

That’s all I have time for right now. (I’m off to catch a plane in 2.5 hrs!)

Posting from my iPhone

I’ve just been accepted into the iPhone developer program (as part of Clockwork), and I’m pretty stoked. So far I haven’t donemore than read a bunch of docs & tutorials and compile my co-worker’s demo app, but I’m looking forward to diving in headfirst.

Anyway, to celebrate, I found the wordpress app and installed it. First time using it, but it’s not bad!


Note that my last post was pretty much inspired by thinking about cool things that could be done with Ubiquity. If you haven’t seen or heard about Ubiquity yet, check out the announcement at Mozilla Labs first (and watch the video), then just check google. Everyone is talking about it.

There is some debate about whether the video was edited to “speed up” the cool stuff that happens. I find it incredibly hard to believe there is essentially no load time with some of those commands, I don’t care how fast your machine is.

lazyweb: clustering for RSS feeds

I mentioned to my co-workers Lloyd and Sheldon today that I had this great idea for a new website. You know how flickr does clustering? Well, what if that concept were applied to RSS feeds? I want to see all the new posts from all of my RSS feeds, grouped into categories and sub-categories.

But wait, there’s more!

It would be super sweet to me if EVERYTHING I READ was all in one place… that would obviously not be the sole location for these things, it would just be the aggregation of those things. And that place should also use clustering. So I’m talking about email, twitter, and sites I’ve subscribed to. This reminds me of a sweet article I read about online email aggregators, and how some of them do more than just email. Maybe one of these already does what I’m looking for!

But maybe I’m thinking about this the wrong way… maybe instead of a website (what I’d been imagining) I should be looking for a thunderbird plugin. Can I view all my tweets I’m following from thunderbird yet? I don’t really have that many thunderbird plugins installed, just OpenPGP, I think. Hell, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t even know how to see what “add-ons” I’ve got installed… it’s not obvious anyway. Thunderbird is still my preferred email client, but it does suck in many ways. I should look around for more Thunderbird add-ons, but I’m too lazy even for that.

brief (but gentle) iPhone tirade

I saw a post somewhere (too lazy to even dig up the link again) with their pie in the sky iPhone wishlist. And I figured, while I’m thinking about it, and while I’m waiting for the iPhone-devteam to get around to releasing the software that will let me upgrade to 2.0 (cause I can’t be bothered without the jailbreak), I figured I’d blort out a quick post about what I wish I had on the iPhone.

  • copy/paste — This is self-explanatory, and I don’t know a single iphone user who hasn’t bemoaned this lack from the beginning. I personally love the way tap-select (and two-tap-right-click) works on the new powerbook touchpads, and wish they’d just get around to implementing it, for crying out loud.
  • bluetooth keyboard support — This also seems like a no-brainer. I want to be able to use the iPhone for writing on the go. Not to mention using ssh in any sort of realistic fashion. ;)
  • multi-machine music add — With my iPod, I can add music from the various machines I’ve “authorized” to use my iTunes account. Why can’t I do this with my iPhone!?! It’s SO frustrating. I have hardly any space left on my home machine, and I didn’t even have my work machine when I got the iPhone initially.

I guess that’s it. I can’t wait to have (access to) a G3, so I can use the GPS features, but honestly, other than increased speed on the go, I can’t imagine much else that could be better about it.

art, poetry, podcasts and porn

Well, first of all, I’ve been meaning to link to this video of an interview with my brother john since it was posted (last saturday?) over at the walker’s teen website/blog. His site has been getting a lot of traffic this week as a result, although it looks like a lot of it is coming from this post about it rather than the walker.

While I was trolling the wooster collective looking for the link to, I found the art of one Zak Smith, who created this incredible painting called 100 Girls and 100 Octopuses back in 2005. (Note, that link is NSFW, though it is totally awesome, and you should click on it anyway. Further note that Zak Smith also goes by the monkier Zak Sabbath.)

This month’s poem-a-day hasn’t been going as prolifically as I’d planned, although I’ve definitely been writing (and reading) more poetry this last month than has been usual the last couple of years. I’ve been really having to force it out when inspiration just isn’t forthcoming. Yesterday, for example, I just riffed on my mindblurbs page (you’ll have to search for the date “4.22.8”, since mindblurbs don’t have permalinks) on each of the major topics in this fascinating youtube video I found of a talk by Marissa Mayer. She’s apparently a google high-mucky-muck of some sort.

Finally, yesterday also marks my first foray into the land of podcasting. Jason, Mike, Florence and I sat around for about an hour to create the first podcast. If you do end up listening to it, I’d love to hear any feedback you might have about any aspect of this dubious operation.