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Sweating

I’ve sweating a ton! It’s annoying. I don’t know if I’m sick or have some other issue or if I’m just out of shape or if something about the air here in Scandinavia. The weather has been relatively mild. Google says it was 68f/20c today in Stockholm. It was mostly cloudy. It’s been around that almost every day. A couple of days have been sunny. Several days have been cloudy with short under 30 minute showers. Regardless if I walk 5 blocks I’m sweating. I have to wipe my forehead, my neck, my back is dripping or close to it. It’s really annoying. I feel like I can’t do anything. I have to walk really slow and take a break every few blocks. This morning just walking from my room to the lobby and then around to the back of the hotel building (up 2 flights of stairs) and I was sweating.
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Helsinki Notes

Just random notes to myself about trip to Helsinki. If you’re from Helsinki feel free to correct anything. Sorry this isn’t much of a “Here’s my impressions of Helsinki as a tourist destination” type of post. It’s just a random stream of thoughts added to over a couple of days.
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Helsinki, Assembly 2013

I’m mostly writing this for myself.

I quit my job recently because it felt like I was just spinning my wheels. It felt like I was doing nothing of interest, just working 9 to 6 and growing older week by week. So, as scary as it is I quit. I decided to try traveling to see if that helped. I have no idea if it will help or if I’m just blowing money.
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The Slow Death of non-English Languages by Navigation Software

Ok, that title is a little off. What I really want to do with this post is help to make it a priority for companies that make navigation and or text to speech software a little less English specific (or whatever language it’s built for). What am I talking about?

Lots of people use GPS navigation services either built into their car or on their phone. Those navigation services almost always read out the directions. “In 300 feet, turn left at main street” for example.

The problem is that text to speech software doesn’t understand pronunciation and so arguably it’s slowly killing off the correct pronunciation by teaching everyone, especially children, the wrong way to pronounce things.
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Match.com Needs to Update!!!

I know no one will read this, especially from Match.com but… Match.com is probably the oldest and claim to be the biggest internet dating service. Whether or not that’s true I don’t know. I’ve been on it since they started. So long I have a free account from when they first offered accounts. (*)
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Finding Motivation

I didn’t know what to title this post. “Starting over”? “Looking for inspiration”?

I gave my resignation letter a couple of weeks ago and last Friday was my last day at Google. I left on good terms and they were sad to see me go. Google is a great place to work and I’ve recommended it to all of my friends. But, at this point in my life I was not happy with my life including Google. That’s not Google’s fault it’s mine.
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A World with very little Privacy

There’s a lot of interest in the surveillance society. People don’t like it. Or I should probably say some vocal people don’t like it. There might be plenty of people on the “I’ve got nothing to hide so I think it’s good” side of the aisle though I’m not sure I know many. This usually comes up in discussion of video cameras placed outdoors. It also comes up in discussion of police having drones. Lately it’s come up in discussion of Google Glass.

I’d like the try to consider what the possible positives are rather than the negatives.
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emoji (絵文字) Picture Characters

Emoji (pronounced eh-moh-jee) are iconic characters first introduced in Japanese cell phones in the early 2000s. At first different carriers each made up their own set of icons. NTT started off with a few. Then if I remember correctly J-Phone added many more than NTT to try to entice users to their system. Japanese, especially young Japanese women love using emoji and love to send messages to their friends full of them.
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Lost, Jaded, and without Direction

I feel like a dork writing this post. It’s certainly #firstworldproblems and I’m certainly lucky to be able to do this but … I’m kind of freaking out.

I mentioned I quit my job and decided to travel. But now I’m finding travel is kind of .. um, overrated? I guess that’s a personality thing. Some people might find it invigorating to travel long term. Me, not so much. Elizabeth Dunn claims long vacations don’t make you more happy than short ones. The advice seems to be take lots of short trips rather the 1 long trip. Sitting on a beach watching the sunset is great but after a while everything gets old? I don’t know if that makes any sense. Maybe a more common example is going to say 5 different cities in Europe and after visiting the biggest church, market, museum in the first 3 cities not really feeling like visiting the more churches, markets, and museums in the remaining 2.

Another thing that’s happened is my burn rate is higher than I expected. I don’t like naming numbers because it makes people jealous and reveals how lucky I am and how whining about it so messed up but … as I mentioned I was paying certain amount a month in San Francisco for rent. So, my goal was to spend not too much more than that for hotels while traveling. That means staying at places under a certain amount a night. Except for hostels though that’s a really hard goal to meet in certain places. I managed it in some cities in Europe but London? Not a chance. Singapore? No way. Honolulu. Not even close. Tokyo I managed to rent a short term apartment within my budget but only because I committed to being there several months.

I guess all of that is basically the long way of saying I feel pressure to choose a place and live there to lower my expenses. And that brings up my issue. Where? I still have no clue what I want to do. Indie games? I need partner(s). Do I really want to do make indie games? I don’t know.

Teach? Clearly I’ve written several educational articles on my other blog and I’ve been answering questions on stack overflow which makes me feel good but teaching sounds like a very low-paying job and I’m not sure I’m willing to go there. Also teaching sounds like a highly political job at most schools. Maybe I should start my own? But I have no clue how to do that or if I’m motivated or skilled enough to do it, or if I’d even find it fulfilling. Even scarier is trying to keep up with tech while teaching.

Maybe make some kind of web app? I have no idea what that would be. Better forum software? A better dating site? (not even sure how to make it better. My sole idea is to try to brainstorm a way to get rid of the aholes and still manage to get people to sign up.

A mobile app? Like what?

Just go back to work? That feels safe but dumb given the opportunity now to do my own thing.

Something else entirely? No ideas there.

But that’s just it, where do I settle? SF? LA? NYC? Tokyo? Singapore?

And —how— do I find motivation? I don’t feel like traveling has helped that at all, except maybe to make me realize I’d rather be somewhere more permanent and doing something productive rather than just sightseeing. Maybe I should go to a bunch of tech conferences, hack-a-thons, or game jams? The #1 thing that dissuades me from doing that is just how big a sausage fest each one of those is. It’s depressing for some reason. It feels like choosing to be alone and nerdy by choosing to do stuff where there are generally only men. I know that’s irrational … or is it?

Another which I also mentioned before is I’m just not as big a gamer anymore. A play maybe 4-5 games a year to completion? I’m not addicted to Candy Crush Saga or Puzzles and Dragons, I never got into Pokemon, Everquest, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Counterstrike, Skyrim, or any fighting game. I haven’t been able to get sucked into an RPG since the mid 90s. I appreciate new ideas like Portal, World of Goo, Braid, FTL, Anti-Chamber but I’ve rarely gotten into them. I’ve never played DOTA or League of Legends. In fact until a year ago I had never heard of it. I guess what I’m saying it’s it’s hard to work up the motivation to start an indie game studio if I’m not actually feeling it anymore. Maybe hanging around other gamers would bring back that love of games?

I also need social support, as in friends. If that’s my goal I either have to pick Tokyo or else make a serious effort to make some new friends, something I’ve never done in my life. All of my friends up to this point have been naturally occuring for lack of a better way to say it.

A World with no Privacy - The Movie

The sci-fi series, Black Mirror covered some of the ideas of this future in their 3rd episode “The Entire History of You”

Check it out if you can.

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