These Were My Jams

As the year comes to a close and all the usual music publications post their end of the year lists, I can't help but think back to September.

This is my jam came to an end in September.

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Worms

As someone that spends his working time writing code to power user interfaces, a very simple form of computer thinking (if input received here, output this there), this Hacker’s Guide to Neural Networks is perhaps a little beyond my purview. At their core neural it’s doing the same as my UI code but rather than one procedure converting input to output you have a network of them. Intelligence arises from the system. This is evident in ant colonies: Ants Swarm…

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Google, Not Now

I used to use Google Now on my Android phone. Its easy identification of my home and work locations and my daily commute was distressing but overall it was mildly useful for some weather, commute times, sports, and random internet stuff once in a while. It gave me some scores when the World Cup was going on without having to type “World Cup” into Android’s all-seeing Google search bar. One day it started giving me the weather for Boston. I…

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This Month in Phone Tabs

Earlier this year we bought a new Nexus 5 to replace my old Nexus One that probably fell out of my pocket during a movie at the O2 Cineworld and someone found and didn’t return because they’re assholes. Whoever took it immediately turned the phone off after we realized it was gone — it rang and wasn’t answered, then was switched off — and I kept checking Android Device Manager for weeks hoping it would show up because of a…

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Places

Here we are in this post Google Reader world wondering whether our RSS feed url was transferred over to any of the replacement services (I’ve been using feedly.com myself but the user interface is losing me) or if it is being published to an audience of none. Many weblogs have long since shuttered but I’m still fond of the concept of a weblog and like to add to it occasionally if only to keep a continuous record of my long-time…

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2012

2012 was a confounding year, the majority of which was spent in Mexico for reasons previously described, but an amazing one too for nothing else than because I got married to an wonderful woman. We’ve been inseparable. I love her. In 2012 we’ve split our time between Queretaro and Mexico City, with a honeymoon sojourn in Cuba and a holiday break in Nayarit. I worked on some nice freelance projects, upgraded some of my web development skills, listened to a…

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Canada Mexico

I’ve been in Mexico for almost four months now. I’m happy to be here, very much so, but this isn’t what I’d call a vacation. Our new home, in between several stints in Mexico City, is the tiny city of QuerĂ©taro, metropolitan population one million. By my Canadian standards it’s a large city, but when you’re next to a city of 21 million it feels quaint and provincial. The historic centre of the city, a well preserved patchwork of narrow…

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Elzbieta Kocot-Nowak: 28-04-56 — 24-10-11

My mother passed away peacefully yesterday evening, just before 17:40 on Monday October 24th, at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital with my father, my sister, and myself at her side. She was 55. Elzbieta was a proud and caring mother to the end, never wavering in her love and devotion for her children. Even in the worst of times her first thought was for our well being. It is a love I won’t ever forget and a memory that I will…

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The Antarctic: Damoy Point

The relaxed nature of the voyage didn’t diminish in the slightest the sense of achievement that came from setting foot on the most remote and desolate of the seven continents, and swimming there. While the ship that took us down to the Antarctic wasn’t some five star luxury liner — it was an old converted car ferry, actually — it’s safe to say that the price of the expedition was the most uncomfortable aspect of it and even with that…

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BlockiAd

In the early 2000s, Flash was supposed to revolutionize online advertising. Its animation and drawing capabilities, combined with the scripting and interactivity of ActionScript, were the future. Advertisements that users could play around with, in ways more complex than punching a monkey, were seen as a compelling alternative to the passive ads of tv, print, and flashing animated gif ads of the past. The word bandied around this type of advertising was “sticky.” None of it stuck. While there has…

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Avatar Days and Red Dead Redemption

Pirhana Bar‘s “Avatar Days” reminds me a lot of Robbie Cooper‘s “Alter Ego” project and the subsequent book. Robbie Cooper also created “Immersion” which looks at how we look while playing a game rather than how we choose to look within one. He has a blog. Robbie Cooper “Alter Ego” I don’t play MMOs; the majority of my gaming time is consumed by single player titles. Though many such games involve you taking the role of a character, and sometimes…

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Ten

As part of a Kickstarter backer reward, I have received a download code for the PC indie game Crayon Physics Deluxe (previous entry about it here). It follows. First person to claim it has it: GONE If you do grab it and it works, let me know. As a side note, as of last week this domain is ten years old which makes it yet another thing making me feel old right now. So to freshen things up I redid…

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Flight Game

We boarded the plane at high noon. By three in the afternoon I was on the ground again, nearly ten hours passed. A direct flight from Paris to Toronto is eight hours long, but this one had a stop-over in Quebec to let off all the Quebecois. The final one hour stretch from Quebec City to Toronto Pearson airport was wonderful; the majority of passengers had disembarked, leaving a mostly empty and spacious plane for the more English speaking passengers.…

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