• Organizing Marc Andreessen's Thoughts Using Python and NLTK

    Marc Andreessen is one of my role models and favorite thought leaders in entrepreneurship. Back in simpler times, he used to write a blog of sagely startup advice. But since joining Twitter, Marc now shares...
  • The Enchantments of Elm: Part 1

    Some other roguelike TL;DR: I'm making a game in a browser based functional language called Elm. Here's a simple Hello World-type demo. Inspired by purely functional retro games...
  • Bits and Bobbles: Catchup Edition

    "Bits and bobbles" is a (supposedly) weekly, curated list of cool things I've seen people making on the Internet. 1. Web Services as Functions A Twitter engineer explains how they they model their asynchronous RPC...
  • Bits and Bobbles: 10/7/2013

    "Bits and bobbles" is a weekly, curated list of cool things I've seen people making on the Internet. 1. Nootropics People already take caffeine to stay alert. Why stop there? This guy find out whether...
  • Bits and Bobbles: 9/31/2013

    "Bits and bobbles" is a weekly, curated list of cool things I've seen people making on the Internet. 1. Foolproof Gardening My dream is to have an automated vegetable garden which provides me all the...
  • Sprezzatura

    "Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect" - Teller (of Penn and Teller) I recently came across an interesting concept called sprezzatura. It's an Italian term...
  • Facebook's Sponsored Posts Become Smarter (and Creepier)

    I logged into Facebook today to find my friend's 5 days old post on the top of my newsfeed. It wasn't particularly popular so I was curious to see why it had resurfaced nearly a...
  • Why You Will Never Have a Jetpack

    Taking a look around you, you would believe that humanity is on a steady march of progress that carries on without bound. Today we live at the height of freedom and convenience. Some even claim...
  • A Proposal To Improve Hacker News

    This morning, HN user sw007 reached out the community to explain why he/she hates Hacker News. sw007 is not the first to notice the vile demeanor of the site but it was his/her post that...
  • I'm A Maker, Dammit

    The other day I encountered this blog post in which an entrepreneur accidentally meets Russell Kirsch, computing pioneer and inventor of the first digital photo. Kirsch, at the wise age of 81, informs the author...
  • A Primitive Approach to User Experience

    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery Designing an engaging and pleasant user experience is a very fragile...
  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Newbies

    I discovered this open letter to developers in an HN comment thread the other day. The author points out an concerning trait of many software developers to be overly critical and hateful towards beginners. Almost...
  • The Problem With Lazy Evaluation

    Imagine you have a landlord who collects your rent check and deposits it in a very unpredictable way. Sometimes he does it immediately. Sometimes he collects the checks for months before cashing them. Initially you...
  • Rabbit holes: Why being smart hurts your productivity

    XKCD's "Nerd Sniping" is the epitome of rabbit holing The geek's Achille's Heel I recently decided practice my algorithms skills everyday by working through Skiena's Algorithm Design Manual and doing some Interview Street problems. To...
  • HTML5 Has Failed Us

    Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard the fanfare about HTML5 and all it eye-catching splendor. What you don't know is that HTML5 completely dropped the ball on ensuring that the web...
  • The Essence of a Good Software Framework

    I was reading a review of Backbone.js when I came across a quote that anyone who is writing a software library or programming framework should keep in mind. I look at Backbone, and I say...
  • Nappy Boy and Pretty Boy: Finding Your Perfect Cofounder

    Chris Brown (Pretty Boy) and T-Pain (Nappy Boy) consistently produce radio hits together One of the most common problems I hear from friends looking to get into startups is the difficulty in finding a cofounder....
  • Setting Metrics That Encourage Failure

    I've been using a nifty app called Chains to keep track of my New Year's resolutions. It is based on Jerry Seinfeld's principle of "Don't Break the Chain," in which you strive to accumulate as...
  • Testing Out Syntax Highlighting

    I have a tendency to wax philosophical on this blog so I am hoping to bring a new sense of pragmatism by posting "real-world" things such as code snippets and tutorials. To help with this,...
  • How to Achieve Everything You Want With Zero Discipline

    Traditional life coaches think you are too weak to be able to accomplish multiple things at once. Common wisdom says you should only try training for one goal at a time so you don't run...
  • Hidden Elegance of the JVM

    Last week, I wrote a (botched) attempt to run supervised user-generated code on the JVM. (It's a cardinal sin, I know, I know). In the process, I wrote several hooks into the JVM runtime to...
  • What Computer Geeks Really Do: A Guide for Friends, Family and Humanities Students

    People like me are widely misunderstood. I am disappointed when people think of computer geeks as practitioners of soulless, mechanical endeavors. I like to think of what I do as an art and a craft....
  • The Frightening Return of Walled Gardens

    Everyone who used the Internet in the 1990s remembers the ubiquity of "AOL Keywords." They were short phrases that served as proprietary URLs within the AOL portal; for instance, you could navigate to the cryptic...
  • You're Only As Good As Others Say You Are

    This little tidbit, entitled "Apple's Attention to Detail, has been making rounds around the Internet recently. It describes how the Mac sleeping indicator blinks in a way that emulates human breathing patterns.  I am skeptical if...
  • An Experiment in Simplicity

     Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. - Henry David Thoreau, Walden  Like Thoreau, I've decided to leave...
  • Why Being A Techie Is Ruining Your Products

    If you are reading this blog, chances are that you describe yourself as a technology enthusiast. But all these things could be preventing you from building. Like many of you, I face the problem of...