hearthstone

Virtually Collectable Card Bits

The story goes, I was tired and slightly bored during a recent business trip, and ended up downloading Blizzard’s free card game Hearthstone from my hotel room. A few hundred games later, I can start to appreciate the game and Blizzard’s game design magic. Hearthstone is a free-to-play game pitting two players in battle, a […]

The Great App Cheapening

During a fairly lonely drive to a friend’s gathering up in Tahoe a few weeks back, I was listening to ATP, and the hosts of the podcast were chatting about the newly announced iPhone 6 Plus. In their keynote, Apple showed off apps that made use of the additional screen real estate for more UI […]

The Prestige in Writing Code for a Living

This writeup on the software industry’s gender bias is maddening and depressing. To summarize, someone commenting on Secret made a horrendous assumption about a woman being “unqualified” to be a software engineer in the context of her giving an interview and disregarding her as defacto technically incompetent. The commenter was unwilling to back down from […]

Outsized Credit for Tangential Association

I figured out the reason I find tech punditry – I guess punditry in general – distasteful. I’m writing the first draft of this post in the afterglow of the Apple Watch event, as they announced bigger iPhones and Apple Pay. Of course, all of these announcements have been leaked: the manufacturing pipeline has long […]

The End of Standardized Readability

It started with Instapaper. The idea was to boost efficiency by employing the batching technique to article consumption, particularly mid- to long-form journalism found online. Saving an article for later separates the act of browsing content (say, from an RSS feed) from putting in the time commitment to engage with longer pieces of writing. As […]

pricenomics

Everything is Bullshit

Pricenomics is a startup that has somehow stumbled upon a pair of business models: data crawling, and blogging about data from a consumer-centric perspective. The latter has a pop-culture economics bent; it’s a technique taken straight from Freakonomics in appealing common curiosities to “dispel” myths and beliefs. The articles are freely available on their blog, […]

cookie clicker

When Clicking is Pleasurable and Addictive

Click. Click click. Click click click click click click click click click click click click. One of our company mailing lists brought attention to Particle Clicker, a game that, as the title suggests, is about both particles and clicks. While its goals were around particle physics education, the game itself isn’t that well balanced. But, […]

Michael Lewis Discusses His New Book, "Flash Boys"

Flash Boys

I’m convinced that ever since humans have invented this idea of trade, that there soon followed people, with the idea that they can profit as middlemen, even if they have nothing to buy or sell directly. This concept is easily applicable to settings beyond real world economies: players in games stumble upon viable business models […]

respect-dot

(Management) Game Respect (Engineering) Game

Software engineers. Most of the time, we’re docile and content and easy to please. We write software for big enterprises and tiny startups alike, create our own startups once in a while, and only occasionally pen a blog post on the perceived slights against our profession. The complaint is a common one, though instead of […]

The Privilege of Meaningful Work

I’ve been listening to the Unprofessional podcast. The show’s premise is simple: a pair of hosts bring on a rotation of guests and talk about all things not work. But as hard as they try, their conversations often do end up revolving around professions and the stories from their workplaces, perhaps a tacit admission that […]