Sunday Selection 2012-09-16

Around the Web

There is something magical about Firefox OS

As much as I love my Android phone and think that Windows phone UI is pretty interesting I’m starting to wonder if the phone software ecosystems aren’t starting to get a bit stale. Especially with the iPhone 5 release it looks like we’re getting to the point where manufacturers only make small incremental updates to their systems instead of really improving. I’m hoping Firefox OS for mobile devices will shake things up in much the same way that Firefox did for the desktop

The Joy of Quiet

I love the Internet. I love being connected. I love being able to talk to my parents across the world for virtually nothing every day. I love being able to exchange snarky quips with friends I haven’t seen in years ( and writing that sentence made me feel really old). But I sometimes I can’t help wonder if it isn’t all getting just a bit out of hand. I’m not at the point where I’m willing to pay money to get disconnected (and I went without Internet for a week in the summer with no withdrawal symptoms). But I am starting to tone things down a bit, watching less TV, unsubscribing from RSS feeds and trying to spend some time each day reading good old dead tree books and just hearing myself think.

Why I write: George Orwell’s Four Motives for Creation

The flip side of consumption is creation. Part of the reason I want to tone down my connectivity is so that I can consume less and create more. George Orwell has a somewhat unusual take on the reasons behind creativity: it’s less Zen and passion and more a combination of ego, pride and simple pragmatism. It’s useful to realize that not all creative types are driven by some diving inspiration by way of a capricious muse. Some people just want to be heard.

Web services


The Internet is a great medium for sharing, even better than a soapbox in a park or a podium at a forum. Findings in an interesting service for sharing text either from your Kindle or from the Web. They also place emphasis on proper attribution. I don’t know how they plan on making money but it’s well put-designed and I hope they add support for sharing from other reading platforms like Instapaper and Readmill.

Revamping the ByteBaker series

Not too long ago I started writing series of posts on The ByteBaker. I started two of them: Powerful Python and Sunday Selections.

PythonPowerful Python was a series of posts about the Python programming languages and how its features make it easier for programmers to write code. As it stands now there are four posts in this series:

Python is the language that I’m most familiar with and have written the most code in. Over the last month or so I’ve been writing Python day in day out and really exercising my Python chops (as well as getting acquainted with features like generators and decorators).  Over the next few weeks I’m going to be writing more posts exploring Python and adding them to the Powerful Python series. If you regularly write code in Python or just have a passing interest, this is something you’re going to like.

The second series that I had was Sunday Selections. I try to post two to three times a week, but I didn’t want to leave the weekends completely bare. I also wanted to spend my weekends doing other things (preferably away from the computer). So I started a series where every Sunday I would post links (with brief intros) to interesting things that I had found the week before. I’ll admit that I haven’t been very stable with the post schedule, partly because I kept forgetting or losing what I had found and really didn’t want to go hunting around the intertubes for whatever it is that I liked.

Over the past few months I’ve become much better at holding onto things I find online. Using Diigo for bookmarks and Tumblr for “scrapbooking” the web I’ve been managing to keep a good record of all the wonderful stuff I’ve found (and there is a lot of it). So I’m bringing back Sunday Selections as well (starting this Sunday) so stay tuned for a steady flow of Internet-y goodness.

I’m really looking forward to writing series posts again. I feel like my writing can sometimes get either monotonous or spread all over the place without any focus. I’m hoping that the series (especially the Powerful Python series) will provide a good path for me to write articles that are coherent and progress along a definite line. Stay tuned.