Thank you, Dad. ?>

Thank you, Dad.

Today is Father’s Day.  This is my first Father’s Day without my father. My dad passed away almost a year ago.  I still remember for months after he left us, from time to time I would be overcome by this incredibly strong sense of grief, triggered by something I saw or something I remembered, and sometimes for no reason at all. Things are better for me now.  I still miss him a lot and the grief is still there. But now I feel like I…

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Rethinking Reunions ?>

Rethinking Reunions

This blog post is about an event I didn’t attend. This weekend is my 25th anniversary college reunion.  Somehow I have managed to miss all my reunions over the years – there were a few that coincided with job changes, one with having a child. one with moving, etc.  So a few months back I was determined to go this time.  But something else came up this time, so once again I am here while my friends are celebrating back…

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Tyranny of Minorities and the Uninformed Voter ?>

Tyranny of Minorities and the Uninformed Voter

If you are an uninformed voter, should you vote? Today is voting day, and I’m reminded of an interesting study that I ran across a few years back that says yes, you should vote. Because of the many proposed developments in Cupertino, there have been many heated debates on a popular social media site that many Cupertino residents use to discuss these issues. There is one advocate that argues that having elected representatives make decisions on development approvals is a better system than having…

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Context versus Content ?>

Context versus Content

Think back to the last time you bought something expensive – a new cell phone or a new tech gadget, perhaps.  How much of your purchasing decision was based on the manufacturer’s advertisements versus reviews from Internet or friends?  If you’re like me, aside from getting product specifications from the manufacturer, most of the information I use to make the decision come from either hands-on experience with the product or information from third party sources. So why isn’t it this…

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Classroom of the Future ?>

Classroom of the Future

There has been an increased adoption in digital textbooks over the last few years. Digital books can be more engaging with access to Internet resources and interactive presentations with multimedia, lighter weight than a back pack full of paper text books, and possibly less expensive.  Sounds the wave of the future, right? Well, not necessarily.  There are still some kinks to be worked out.  In 2011, South Korea announced a plan to spend $2 billion to digitize all classrooms by 2015….

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Cupertino Elections 2014 ?>

Cupertino Elections 2014

As I drive around town, I’m seeing more and more of these miniature billboards popping up everywhere. It’s election time! At the municipality level, the major contests of interest tend to be that for the city council and for the school boards.  Our high school district (Fremont Union) school board election is uncontested, so there are really two elections to track – Cupertino City Council and Cupertino Union School District board. Since it’s not obvious how to find the candidates’…

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My Perfect Development Machine ?>

My Perfect Development Machine

I try to keep my hands writing code every once in a while just so I don’t forget how much fun it is. Nowadays it’s mostly code for iOS and Android, with an occasion cloud service to support the mobile apps. For the longest time I used only Windows machines since I worked for a purveyor of Windows boxes. Then iOS came along and I needed a Mac to write code, so I got a Mac Mini to start with…

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Not Yet, Glass ?>

Not Yet, Glass

I  received an invite to buy a Google Glass today. At first I thought this would be cool! I had a chance to try Glass at Google I/O earlier this year and can see myself in one.  Plus it would be cool to be the first one in the office with one. Then I looked at the price.   They haven’t changed it – it’s still $1,500.  Is Glass worth $1500? I asked a friend at GoogleX working on Google…

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Open Education Resources ?>

Open Education Resources

For both personal interest, and my day job, I’ve been looking into Open Education Resources for quite a while now and have been pleasantly surprised at the quality and quantity of material out there. Open Education Resource (OER) is freely accessible material that can be used for learning and teaching. There are many kind and knowledgeable souls out there who make all this great content available for free – thank you!  Khan Academy and Coursera are probably the most well-known…

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FitBit One versus Basis B1 ?>

FitBit One versus Basis B1

The last few weeks I’ve been wearing both of these activity trackers at same time and now a better feel for how these products compare. I really like all the sensors on the Basis B1.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with skin temperature and moisture, but having heart rate at my fingertips has been very cool. Sometimes during the day I’ll feel tense – say before a sales pitch – and I can look down at my watch and…

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