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In January 2011 I made my 2011 Personal Development Goals public. In the spirit of complete transparency, here’s my scorecard of how I did on my quest to accomplish these goals. I’m not being quite as hard on these goals as I was on my 2011 Open Source predictions, but I’m still trying to be honest with myself. Academic Submit papers to FSE, CSCW, and ICSE - Two out of three.
As I did for 2010 and 2011, I’ve created a set of predictions for the coming year around Open Source. However, this year I’ve expanded it to the general field of technology. These are all fairly specific things that I should be able to verify sometime near the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013. SOPA dies a bloody death - While I don’t think that Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, and Facebook will enact the “Nuclear Option” for stopping SOPA (largely because of business agreements that Google, Amazon, and Facebook all have with other companies), I do expect that if this horribly misguided bill looks like it will pass that they will do something VERY dramatic.
A new year means that it is time to revisit the predictions about Open Source and technology in 2011 I made at the end of 2010. As before, I’ve tried to be entirely honest with my assessment. If I’ve got something wrong please leave a comment and I’ll correct it. On the PC front Netflix will continue to require Silverlight for streaming, although they’ll finally get their act together and make it work well with GPU acceleration.
Lately I’ve had trouble doing anything more than idly browsing the Internet during my non-work hours. Yes, they’re non-work hours, but I still like that time to be productive. I feel much better after work if I took those few hours and wrote some code than if I just sat around and browsed Reddit all evening. I’d imagine that the same holds true for most readers of this blog. I’m not above using technological gimmicks to keep me from wasting time.
I attended the joint meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the Foundations of Software Engineering Conference earlier this month in Szeged, Hungary. I was fortunate enough to have a paper in the 4th Workshop on Social Software Engineering and also in the main conference. Engineering Software Engineering Teams This is a short little paper that I wrote based on some observations regarding how software engineering teams share information and coordinate.
Graph databases such as Neo4j, OrientDB, and InifiniteGraph are useful tools for social science researchers because localized queries are a function of only the number of links relative to the nodes in question. In contrast, relational databases, such as MySQL and PostgreSQL, suffer performance degradation as more nodes are added because of the number of entries in join tables and the computational difficulty of finding the relevant edges in the indexes.
In addition to being a computer science nerd and a part-time policy wonk, I’m also a bit of a commercial aviation nut and, like Louis CK, I think flying is pretty amazing. This year I’m on track to take about 75 flights, mainly in the United States, but a few flights to Europe and Asia. For the last two years every one of my flights has been on a SkyTeam carrier.
About a year ago I ditched Ubuntu and MythTV on my media center box for Windows 7 Ultimate. To be honest one of the main reasons I did this was for NetFlix, but also because I got tired of having to tweak my media center all the time and Windows 7 Media Center just works. Also Windows 7 is smart enough to know how to sleep and wake up from sleep, saving my lots of money over the course of a year.

Mon, Apr 18, 2011

I’m 32, married, a professional scientist, and I have a confession to make. I play video games. Worse, I feel guilty about playing games. I often feel so guilty that it saps much of the guy from the game, turning it into some perverse drudgery where I feel obligated to keep on playing so I can say I actually beat the game. In other words, the guilt that I get from playing video games is so great that it turns every game into an obligation game like Farmville.