How the Other Half Works: an Adventure in the Low Status of Software Engineers

Well worth the time to read for anyone with a career in technology. And I am amazed with the number of parallels between the social/political challenges of being a software engineer and being a teacher.


Being a Better Online Reader, Reading Online vs. On Paper, from The @NewYorker

Maria Konnikova at The New Yorker discusses the differences between reading online and reading on paper:

One of her main hypotheses is that the physical presence of a book—its heft, its feel, the weight and order of its pages—may have more than a purely emotional or nostalgic significance. People prefer physical books, not out of old-fashioned attachment but because the nature of the object itself has deeper repercussions for reading and comprehension. “Anecdotally, I’ve heard some say it’s like they haven’t read anything properly if they’ve read it on a Kindle. The reading has left more of an ephemeral experience,” she told me. Her hunch is that the physicality of a printed page may matter for those reading experiences when you need a firmer grounding in the material. The text you read on a Kindle or computer simply doesn’t have the same tangibility.

Read the full article here.

Rare NPR Morning Edition Blooper and What it Tells Us



Every once in a while, I will hear news anchors on NPR mess up, trip over a word, clear their throat, and then expertly regain their stride and move on. But last week on Morning Edition, I got to witness a real mess up. I’m still not sure if it was human error, or technical error, from the anchors, or from the technicians. Either way it was a moment that caused me to reflect on the quality of programming I receive in my car every day.

Unfortunately, I could not find the recording of this moment, or any other blooper to share with you here. A testament to the rarity of them, perhaps? After a loss of momentum reading the intro to a story, Steve Inskeep tried to throw it to a different story. Apparently that package was not ready either, in which case they both laughed and made a joke to stall for a few more seconds. This was enough time for the producers and technicians to finally (a few seconds is an eternity in live media) play the next story.

My first reaction was to smile and enjoy this human moment with two people I listen to every day. I felt like I was getting a glimpse at another side of them that we rarely get to see, raw and unscripted. As I continued my ride to work, I thought about how it revealed how truly consistent that show is, and everyone who is a part of it. A week later, I still take that appreciation of quality and consistency with me as I drive and listen.

Photo:  Morning Edition Anchor Steve Inskeep at Iowa Public Radio studio

Photo credit:  LicenseAttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by John Pemble

New Photo: A Sea of Gadget Glass; and Site Redesign

If you haven’t noticed, things look a little different around here. Part of the new look is the photo I took for the banner at the top of the page. In honor of the site redesign here is a two for one photography deal! While designing that banner, I also took these gems. The mini photo shoot has sparked an idea for a series of gadget-themed photos. Look out for more to come…



Some days, I publish an original photo along with some of the technical information. You can see more of my photography on my Flickr page.

My photography is licensed under Creative Commons (see details below). In addition, I ask that if you use any of my images that you try to show me how you used them. I think it would be interesting to see and track how my images are being used. Thank you.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.