Teaser: My least-readable blog post may be coming soon

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I have a topic for an impending blog post that is likely to be my most arcane, geeky, unreadable post ever. Even if you know what I’m talking about. It will be the blog post equivalent of Metal Machine Music. Even I won’t be able to read it after it is written.

The topic: migrating the primary keys in a CakePHP site’s MySQL database from GUIDs to integers. I can’t wait.

Testing new CSS

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I’m working on a modified version of the default WordPress “Twenty Eleven” theme. I’m keeping the templates more-or-less untouched, but I stripped the CSS down to nothing and am rebuilding it. It’s not done yet, but it’s far enough along for now… and I needed to get it rolled out before my MacBook Air ran out of battery charge. Enjoy!

What I Wish Wikipedia and Others Were Saying About SOPA/PIPA

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What I Wish Wikipedia and Others Were Saying About SOPA/PIPA
Writing for ReadWriteEnterprise, Joe Brockmeier gets to the heart of why this kind of legislation can even exist in the first place:

What I wish Wikipedia (and others) were saying: “Today, we’re going to an extreme to notify the public of bills that threaten the Internet. We’re doing so because this was the only way to get your attention. The mainstream news media was not going to tell you about SOPA or PIPA. Many of your elected officials want to push through harmful legislation because their supporters demand it, and they know you’re unlikely to hold them accountable. It’s vitally important to stop SOPA or PIPA from passing, but what’s even more important is that you start paying attention and demand better from your government. Even if we stop SOPA, the larger problem continues. Tomorrow we’re going to go back to business as usual, but it’s up to you whether Congress does.”

The Rise of the New Groupthink

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The Rise of the New Groupthink
Susan Cain, writing for the New York Times, explores the correlation between introversion and creativity, along the way profiling one of the great introverts of our times, Steve Wozniak. Quoting Woz in his memoir:

“Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me … they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone …. I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone… Not on a committee. Not on a team.”

(Via Charles Hennen.)

SOPA is DYING; its evil Senate twin, PIPA, lives on

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SOPA is DYING; its evil Senate twin, PIPA, lives on
Cory Doctorow brings us some good news over on Boing Boing concerning House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s decision to shelve SOPA (for now). Cory also hits on just why fighting this legislation is so important:

[T]he net is more than a glorified form of cable TV — it’s the nervous system of the information society. Any pretense that is used to build censorship and surveillance into the network will touch every part of networked life.

Edge cases

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On the Behavior of the iPhone Mute Switch
Yesterday the New York Times reported on an incident where an audience member at a New York Philharmonic performance interrupted a Mahler symphony (literally… the conductor stopped the performance) with an iPhone alarm.

It was understandable, in context. And I think John Gruber gets it exactly right:

You can’t design around every single edge case, and a new iPhone user who makes the reasonable but mistaken assumption that the mute switch silences everything, with an alarm set that he wasn’t aware of, and who is sitting in the front row of the New York Philharmonic when the accidental alarm goes off, is a pretty good example of an edge case.

Climate as Proxy for Capital Within the Minneapolis Skyway System

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Climate as Proxy for Capital Within the Minneapolis Skyway System
I spent the better part of the last decade working in downtown Minneapolis, and as such became intimately familiar with its convenience, its obscure corners, and, as this scholarly longread explores, its complex challenges in managing expectations between public and private spaces, and the class- and race-based divisions it engendered.

When walking through the skyway system, it is very difficult not to keep moving. The difficulty of strolling, sitting, standing, or stopping inherently excludes certain groups, particularly the poor and the elderly. Similarly, the ease of skyway access to certain populations (e.g. suburban commuters, office workers) lies in stark contrast to the hidden access points to the street.

(Via kottke.org.)