Weekly Linkage: The Long Edition

At some point in the last 2 weeks, I had 0 unread items in Google Reader.

It was a short-lived, joyous experience, but this is the result of my web branching:

On small houses:

I totally hadn’t realized that tiny houses are illegal/violate zoning. I knew they were tricky to place, but I figured if you buy a patch of land somewhere, you could put whatever kind of house on it you wanted.

From Blasphemy & Revelation – with David Heinemeier Hansson:

DHH has some great advice on launching products for pay vs. free, getting user feedback, and actually earning money from your business. I really like the idea of finding a feature set point where yes, you have a free version, but the clear majority of your customers are going to need to pay for what they want. I think FogBugz/Kiln does a pretty good job of this.

They also touch on suffering in a way that I’m still thinking about:

I think thinking about work in terms of pain and suffering is a very sort of Protestant work ethic that I think is very deeply embedded a lot of people in this part of the psyche of how we think of work, which I just don’t think is valuable. I think it’s a problem, it should be, in programming, we have this sense of code smell, right? There should be a work smell. If the work is too painful, then there’s something wrong.

This is particularly relevant as I watch Greg work to learn more aspects of his trade, both on the technical side and the business side. If there are parts of his business that cause serious suffering for him to do, then is he in the wrong business?

  • Is the NYT paywall this easy to jump? – "If defeating the paywall as suggested at techdirt is, in fact, legal, then the NY Times has implemented a form of price discrimination whereby the technically savvy pay less than those who don’t know any better."
  • Miss Jackson, if you’re still interested – I've never been to a Janet Jackson concert, but I've been a casual fan of hers for most of my life. This article on her relevance and place these days is poignant and well-written.
  • Performance Calendar — PNG that works – The author focuses initially on browser support, but I think a lot here applies to game developers who work in PNGs as well: the pros/cons of different PNG profiles, ways to optimize, and the differences in gammas across different screens. 
  • metahacker – Boys don’t know how to say no (to sex) – A fun essay on an idea I've read somewhere before: that part of the reason behind homophobic responses from men is that men aren't taught to say "no" or reject advances gracefully or politely.
  • My Mom Reviews the iPad, Her First Computer – This is an amazing perspective of the iPad from a woman who's never owned or used a computer. I love it.
2001 Chevy Volt
2011 Chevy Volt. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
  • Batteries For Electric Cars Have Barely Begun To Get Better – "If you hear someone say that EVs don't work, have too short a range, don't do well in cold weather, take too long to charge, or have some other limitation, remember: They are looking at the current technology and seeing only limitations."

    I'm so there. I intend to test drive a Volt sometime soon to see how it feels.

  • What it’s like to own an Apple product – The Oatmeal – I'm pretty happy not to have this Apple fixation, but this is hilarious.
  • Q&A: ‘I was married to a gay Mormon’ – San Jose Mercury News – An unfortunate tale of the misery of the wife of a gay Mormon who was considered a faithless failure for not "fixing" her husband. Unfortunately, she loses some of my sympathy with the statement:

    "I stuck it out and stuck it out until I found out my ex was meeting men on the Internet for sex. At that point, I wasn't going to stick around to wait for him to bring HIV home to me."

    Um, gay sex != HIV. General promiscuity increases the chances of an STD, though, yes.