Friday, February 24, 2012

Books I've Read This Week

The Information Diet by Clay Johnson is exactly the type of book I needed to read after my new year's resolutions. I knew that I needed to curb the amount of information that I was consuming on a daily basis but I needed some strategies in order to accomplish it. Reading The Information Diet put me in touch with the tools and techniques I needed to make this change. I've been using RescueTime to track how my day is spent and make changes. After a couple of weeks of using the tool I realize that I'm less productive in the mornings than I am in the afternoon. This is not a surprise to me as I am Night Owl and not a Morning Lark. However, I'm making looking to make a change in my behaviour so I start everyday as a producer and not a consumer. This means the last thing I do before leaving work each day will be to setup a task I can tackle the following morning before I read my email or answer any StackOverflow questions.

Besides making me more productive the book was a very enjoyable read. Particularly the section dealing with how news agencies prey on our confirmation bias in order to get us to keep consuming their brand of news.

The book is also very digestible as it uses compares the consumption of information to our consumption of food. Johnson is able to make comparables between the consumption of bad food and it's effects on our bodies and the consumption of bad information and it's effects on our minds.

Here's the books trailer:

See you next Friday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rick Mercer's Rant on Online Privacy

Thank goodness someone is looking out for Canadians online privacy. Mind you it is a comedian. It would be nice if the opposition was doing more to shut down bill C-30. You can sign the Liberals petition along with 30,000 other Canadians.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Books I've Read This Week

The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick is not really a self help book it is more like an advice book. In it Chris details ways in which you can use the ability to obsess over things that most nerds, like myself, have and use it to enhance you life. A lot of it comes down to getting out of your own way and allowing yourself to succeed. That is stop thinking about it and just do it!
Watch is the second book in Robert J Sawyer's WWW Trilogy. I've previously reviewed the first book, Wake, which I loved. It continues the story of Caitlin Decter and the emerging artificial intelligence Webmind. Since this is the second book in the series I don't want to get to specific but I will say that Mr. Sawyer continues to write a very believable 16 year old girl character and I really appreciate how he deftly handles the moral/ethical/legal implications of the emerging AI. One of the things I've always admired about Sawyer's writing is that it is almost always uplifting. Yes, bad things do happen but there is always a sense of hope for the future unlike a number of dystopian sci-fi epics.

See you next Friday.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Android Issues All PhoneGap Developers Should Star

If you are a PhoneGap developer it's pretty much guaranteed that you've run into one or more of these issues. Do the PhoneGap Community a solid and go star these issues so we can put some pressure on Google to fix them for everyone.

22254<video> tag doesn't work in a WebView.15
18695Impossible to change google account password11
17535WebView - URL mechanism is broken - passing parameters does not work74
17458Poor performance in webview running in 3.0 and 3.1108
17352Terrible rendering of CSS3 and Javascript animations in Browser and WebView108
17327WebView cannot open html fragments from html files in the application's asset folder63
16760Checking navigator.connection.type in Android 2.2 or greater always returns 0, the UNKNOWN type.11
16175window.openDatabase throws SECURITY_ERR from WebView in my application on Android 3.051
15583adb on OS X fails to see Motorola Atrix14
13731Crash in emulator due to possible audio misconfiguration on Mac OS X Snow Leopard7
12987Javascript to Java Bridge Throws Exception on Android 2.3518
11891ConnectivityManager.getActiveNetworkInfo() reporting NOT CONNECTED when connected (via wifi)7
11866ConnectivityManager.getActiveNetworkInfo() returns null in roaming9
11619Nonexistant features listed on ContactsContract API page6
10546No html5 audio tag support in WebView45
10526html5 video tag poster downloader7
9122WebViewClient::shouldOverrideUrlLoading dont catch form interactions with method="POST"43
8272Improved HTML5 <video> tag support44
5343Build script omits folder in assets starting with an underscore43
5269Synchronous XMLHTTPRequest to Proxy does not work in Android's WebKit browser6

If you have another issue that should be starred leave a link to it in the comments.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Books I've Read This Week

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher is the 13 volume in the Dresden Files series in which we follow around Chicago wizard Harry Dresden. Coming off the surprising conclusion of book 12 we get into a story in which Harry is severely limited in his ability to perform magic. It puts an interesting spin on the book as Harry can't just bulldoze down everyone. If you haven't read any of the Dresden Files I suggest you start at Storm Front to see if you like it.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente is an old school fairy tale. That is to say it is not the modern Disneyfication of fairy tales where there is always a happy ending. In this fairy tale there is blood and pain and sadness which is to say it is much more realistic. It borrows a lot from old English myths and a bit from Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass to provide the scaffolding for the story to be built upon. I enjoyed the book but I did not love it.

See you next Friday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Books I've Read This Week

Embassytown by China Mieville is another one of those genre bending epics that I've grown to expect from the author. I honestly don't think I can come close to describing it properly so you'll have to read the description and judge for yourself. 
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes on the other hand is very easy to sum up. We get fat because we eat processed carbohydrates. Stop eating processed carbs like sugar, flour, artificial sweeteners and white rice then you'll find you begin to lose weight naturally.

I'm not a dietician so I'm not going to tell you what you can and can't eat so read the book and judge for yourself.

See you next Friday.