There has been a lot of fuss about Windows 8 over the year since its release, and I’ve heard a lot of harsh criticism regarding it. Normally I wouldn’t feel any need to defend Microsoft, but I’ve been running Windows 8 for a while on my home desktop and wanted to chime in with my own (admittedly anecdotal) experience. I honestly feel like it’s a good improvement over Windows 7. It feels cleaner and more responsive. Moreover, I feel like most of the UI criticism is based on ignorance or incompetence. Read on for my full thoughts and suggestions.
After the recent article in the Diamondback about a donation for developing a flipped-classroom program in the CS department at UMD, I figured I’d share my thoughts on the concept.
Observation: I haven’t posted in a very long time. I could make excuses involving my research, my dissertation, or any number of other things, but I’ll just skip that step and try to charge right into posting again. Nothing major today, just a couple thoughts from a survey I just completed about “2nd generation” people such as myself who were raised in religiously strict and politically conservative households.
As my readers may remember, I opposed the SOPA/PIPA legislative acts and participated in the blackout on January 18th to protest them. A new bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has now passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill was proposed by Mike Rodgers (R-MI) and is co-sponsored by Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), and they are now looking for support in the U.S. Senate to pass a similar bill. Many advocacy groups (e.g., ACLU, EFF) have criticized CISPA, and the vote for it in the House was very partisan (Republicans generally supported it, and Democrats generally opposed it). I just heard a defense of the bill by Representative Ruppersberger at the First Annual Cybersecurity Symposium hosted by the Maryland Cybersecurity Center, and I’d like to share a few thoughts.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently hearing “Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida,” the arguably monumental case that challenges the constitutionality of the recent health care bill (“Obamacare”). The argument that was heard by the court this morning is perhaps the most important part of this case, because it strikes at the heart of constitutionality: does the federal government have the power to mandate individual health insurance?
I’ve read a good bit of the written transcript, and the conversation is remarkably accessible and lively, with discussion ranging at times from health care to health insurance, burial insurance, car purchases, and even broccoli. There are many facets to the arguments, including some (such as the tax vs. penalty issue) that I’m not really interested in. There are some questions that I feel are particularly important, though, and I wanted to mention them.
I wanted to post a quick shout-out to my alma mater department, Computer Science at James Madison University. They invited me back to be a part of an external review team, which means that I got a chance to visit earlier this week and interview faculty, staff, and students. It was really fun and I learned a lot. They’ve got a great program, and I think it’s on track to become even better. Go Dukes!
Just wanted to mention that we’ve chosen a name for the software system that I am developing as part of my dissertation. It will be called CRAFT: Configurable Runtime Analysis for Floating-point Tuning. With the name set, I have started a project page on SourceForge, and the source code is publicly available for the first time. It’s not like anyone can actually use it yet, but it’s a nice first step. I’ve also added a project page on this blog to track its development.
Over the weekend I finally got around to a little pet project I’ve been wanting to do for a while, which was to create a hybrid creed that combines the salient features of both the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed, while updating the language of both and dealing with a minor issue I have with the Apostle’s Creed.
After owning a Kindle Touch for a month or so, I’d like to clarify a few things about the device that weren’t really clear to me when I purchased it. Some of the information I found on the internet was vague or misleading regarding the Kindle’s abilities. Here’s what I’ve learned from my own experimentation on my Kindle Touch.
I just wanted to mention that tomorrow (Jan. 18) this blog will be participating in the anti-PIPA blackout. As a liberty-minded individual, I am often disturbed by the dangerously invasive legislation passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Unfortunately, there is usually not much I can do about it. Thankfully, there are occasionally some viable grass-roots protest efforts, and the pending PIPA legislation has garnered such opposition.
I won’t bother writing extensively about this since there is already a wealth of information available. Suffice it to say that I agree with those who are of the opinion that PIPA/SOPA represent a legitimate threat to internet freedom. By adding my blog to the blackout, I hope to lend my voice (as minor as it may be) to support their cause.