Mobile Site

Submitted by Shawn Conn on Sun, 01/02/2011 - 13:41

With the start of the new year, I've made changes to the websites I administer. The biggest change is that I've moved them from a cheap shared hosting account to a virtual private server (VPS), a middle ground between shared hosting and a fully-dedicated physical server. If you've loaded this website in the last week or so, you've probably noticed the biggest change, speed.

Ambiguous Precision

Submitted by Shawn Conn on Thu, 12/30/2010 - 13:05

Steve has mentioned to me on a couple of occasions his surprise that the XBox Kinect hasn't had more hype about it compared to the Nintendo Wii upon its release; the reasoning, technologically, the XBox Kinect is more impressive with its body/voice recognition than the Nintendo Wii's Wiimote gestures. I agree it is. However, it's not surprising that the degree of hype isn't the same.

Technology and Demography

Submitted by Shawn Conn on Thu, 10/07/2010 - 13:29

Economics is an interesting science. For me, one of its appeals is its dual nature; it makes use of both sides of the brain. In some ways, it has elements of a hard science, mathematical models, empirical data, etc. However, at its core, it is a social science. We can see an example of this in the concept of value. It can be both intangible and tangible. The value of a human life is subjective.

The Fail Meme

Submitted by Shawn Conn on Sat, 07/10/2010 - 12:14

Why does everyone say "fail"? That's so fucking gay! -A Concerned citizen

I've been thinking about the fail Internet meme recently. In the past couple of years it has hit a critical mass; you can find it in all kinds of mass media and people's conversations. A friend of mine, new to social media over the net, found the meme's pervasiveness troubling (articulated by the quote above). I was curious about its origins so I embarked on quest for knowledge.

Reading

Submitted by Shawn Conn on Sun, 06/20/2010 - 00:07

 I love reading. Being so ubiquitous, we take it for granted how useful it is. For English, all we need is less than 40 distinct written symbols for us to convey practically every thought imaginable. We can express our thoughts and feelings, communicate events, describe how our world works just with abstract symbols. Even with all stuff mankind has created, the written language is still one of its top inventions; without it most other great inventions aren't possible.All this shit should be obvious to anyone reading it, but it's worth repeating.

The Digital World of Media

 My first interest in computers, programming, etc. was video games. It made for an obvious choice when I went into college. A Computer Science curriculum however has much more to do with math than video games. Conceptually there is some overlap, but most of what you learn and do is more like math than anything most people would associate with video games. That is a major weed out factor in would-be CS graduates. You like video games or computers? Great. You like thinking and learning mathematical concepts? No? GTFO.

Shawn Conn Wed, 05/19/2010 - 22:32
The World in Numbers

I just finished reading an interesting book called The Logic of Life. Much in the same manner of Freakonomics, the book covers a number of various insights gathered from academics in the field of behavioral economics. The book does a good job of explaining some big concepts in the field without going into too much jargon. Like with Freakonomics and its summary of The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime (argues that the significant drop in crime in the 90's was the result of Roe v.

Shawn Conn Tue, 05/11/2010 - 21:12
Data Visualization

 I saw this the other day and that it was cool. Google in their quest for world domination/organizing information, has possibly bought another company that makes 3D multitouch desktops. Ever since I saw multi-touch demos around 2007, I've figured that was going to be the future of computing. And while I'm pretty skeptical of bringing computer desktops to 3D, that's because I'm a power user.

Shawn Conn Mon, 05/03/2010 - 15:00

Keeping Up

Submitted by Shawn Conn on Wed, 04/28/2010 - 23:54

I've been trying to keep at least a post per month going on here. I keep reminding myself to post more, but my time gets divided between a multitude of things. Moreover, I'm aware of it; when I realize my time is divided up, too much to focus on everything, I start disregarding things. It's a mental attribute I've picked up that allows me to focus on the tasks I have at hand. It's helpful in someways (it allows me to focus on things to accomplish), and harmful in others (myopic view points, forgetting other important things, etc.).