thingelstad

Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

Page 2 of 171

One Smoothie, Two Straws

I finally got Tyler to try a fruit smoothie and he decided he liked it.

A couple of weeks ago I submitted an account deletion request to Facebook, logged off and erased my Facebook cookies. If you’re looking for me there, trying to tag me, or otherwise wondering why I’m not reading your Facebook posts this is why.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at Stages Theater

Today we went and saw Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Stages Theater in Hopkins. It was a really great show, the best production we’ve seen there. I highly recommend catching it before it ends on Jan 3. The kids loved it and the costumes were great too.

A compelling read on how an objective was achieved, but not really. This part from the end of the article really struck me:

This is our last chess metaphor, then—a metaphor for how we have discarded innovation and creativity in exchange for a steady supply of marketable products. The dreams of creating an artificial intelligence that would engage in an ancient game symbolic of human thought have been abandoned. Instead, every year we have new chess programs, and new versions of old ones, that are all based on the same basic programming concepts for picking a move by searching through millions of possibilities that were developed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Like so much else in our technology-rich and innovation-poor modern world, chess computing has fallen prey to incrementalism and the demands of the market. Brute-force programs play the best chess, so why bother with anything else? Why waste time and money experimenting with new and innovative ideas when we already know what works? Such thinking should horrify anyone worthy of the name of scientist, but it seems, tragically, to be the norm. Our best minds have gone into financial engineering instead of real engineering, with catastrophic results for both sectors.

via The Chess Master and the Computer by Garry Kasparov at The New York Review of Books.

I’d add advertising optimization to the other items our best minds have gone into.

Nearly everything in this Minimum Vacation Policy post from Travis-CI is spot on. I’ve never been a supporter or believer of the unlimited vacation policy. Having managed teams for a long time I know that the majority of people faced with uncertain guidance like “unlimited” just will never take it. The dialogue inside someones head is something like:

Is it really unlimited? Of course not, there is some limit. What is that limit? I don’t know. Well, I better not take any time off.

Even worse I think this type of policy is a punt on the part of the leadership team to not actually specify what the operating practices for the organization are. Oftentimes this is considered “cool” but I think it’s really just shortsighted.

The idea of instituting required vacation each year however is interesting and is probably a very healthy thing. I think you can get much of the same affect by having the leaders in the organization set a good example of taking time away and disconnecting.

Wanted: Dropcam Window Mount

I’ve had a Dropcam now for several months and I really like the device. It is super simple to setup, has a very small and manageable form factor and it is one of those things that “just works”. I have it setup in our house pointing at the garage and alley with 7-day continuous video recording and motion detection. We live in South Minneapolis and garage theft is a common occurrence. The Dropcam keeps an eye 24×7 on activity around our garage and through our alley.

The biggest challenge I had was figuring out where to mount it. It has a really nice metal stand that provides a lot of options, but we have it placed in a bay window and there just wasn’t any place I really had an option to screw the mount into. I finally decided to use some double-stick tape and attach it to the window.

IMG_2362.JPG

Once I did this it really struck me how nice it would be if Dropcam made a proper window mount for the camera. The camera itself is relatively light and fairly thin. It is like a small hockey puck that sits in the metal stand. It could easily be set directly onto a window.

IMG_2361.JPG

I have to think a lot of Dropcam units end up pointing at the outside through a window. This mount I did works okay, but has some real shortcomings that a proper mount would remove.

Dropcam Window Mount

Here is what I wish I could exchange US currency with Dropcam to have.

  1. A circular mount that attaches to a window with suction cups (probably 4 or 6 suction cups). Imagine something that is shaped like a ring flash and holds the Dropcam in the middle.
  2. The mount should allow a degree of swivel to the Dropcam itself so that it can be mounted directly on the glass, but still allow pointing the Dropcam a number of degrees one way of the other.
  3. A little cable management to route the USB power cable in a way that limits the impact of a tug on the cable on the direction the camera is pointed.
  4. It should shield against ambient light in the room. This is the biggest issue with my mount. Since there is about 1″ of space between the glass and the camera, at night when the lights are turned on in the room a reflection bounces off the glass and into the camera which messes up the picture but more importantly the camera detects it as motion so you get a false positive of motion.

That is easily a $20 to $30 add-on that would be a “no brainer” for many installations.

Einstein Cabinet

Tammy got this custom made Einstein cabinet by artist Paul Carbo this week. I love it. I think this might be the coolest piece of furniture we have.

For Those About To Rock

Tyler with one of his favorite bands t-shirts.

Twitter Spam #NFL

If you have a Twitter account, or have many like I do I’m guessing you got this email from Twitter. I sure hope the NFL paid them a pretty penny to annoy all their users.

  1. I really have 13 Twitter accounts? Well, not really. @VeloTweets, @thinglesBot, @SenateTweets and @Wikinosh are accounts I’ve deleted. Odd Twitter, why do you send email to deleted accounts?
  2. I’ve now unsubscribed 13 accounts from this type of message, which I think I did already, but maybe “#NFL promotions” is a new type of message I have to unsubscribe from?
  3. Couldn’t Twitter at least have done some looking at my feed and realized I don’t follow anything football, never tweet about football or show any interest in this?

2014 Olson Family Weekend

This years Annual Olson Family Weekend was planned by Don & Kaye and the extended family had a great time at Grand View Lodge!

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2015 thingelstad

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑