1. A current TV ad for Wachovia, for instance, features a female entrepreneur talking on a cellphone in the back of a chauffeured car as the voiceover describes how Wachovia advised her on a new-equipment lease as well as managed her personal finances for a trip to Aruba.

    — this quote is from a 2005 wsj article (2005!)

  2. The value in the world isn’t created by trolls. It just gets trolled.

    — RT-worthy tweet (was it ever a tweet?) from ben milne

  3. Laisin now accepts bitcoin!

    It’s no secret I like books, so when I wanted to learn to code last year, the first thing I made was a site that tracked the books my friends and I were reading.

    Laisin was mostly a novelty, but its sleeper hit was its subscriptions: once a month, I’d pick out a book just for you and send it to your door or Kindle. You’d pay the book’s list price – what you’d pay at a bookstore – and I’d make sure you always had another, great “next book.”

    In the spring, I experimented with a few recommendation algorithms,
    trying to hack my way to decent book suggestions. It didn’t really work. A friend deployed a version of PageRank on Laisin’s data, but those recommendations were sterile, sorta the one-degree-removed, right-I-knew-about-that-already that Amazon gives. Sometime this summer I realized: I really really like recommending books, and I do it often for friends. I should do it for Laisin subscribers, too.

    Though hand-picking books isn’t the most scalable, Laisin’s problem has never been too many users. So for the past few months, I’ve been choosing and sending books to my boyfriend, two friends, and a friend-of-a-friend. It’s gone really well: my boyfriend was a softball (it’s easy to pick books for your partner, right?), and the friends were great, but the friend-of-friend’s been the biggest surprise; I still haven’t met her, but after reading her tweets and mulling through potential books, I feel like I know her. (I’ve also realized: having someone’s Twitter account, more than their 5 favorite books, is the quickest route to solid book recommendations.)

    Over the holidays, Laisin began accepting bitcoin in addition to credit cards. Though I doubt it was a lack of payment instruments that held up Laisin Subscriptions’ adoption, I’m still pretty excited to have found a decently-practical application of bitcoin.

  4. 2013 books →

    Trying my hand at a round-up of my 2013 reading.

    Have a list like this one? I’d be super curious to see it if so! (There’s little better than combing through what someone else has read.)

  5. A very Midwestern Christmas 

(Published in 1973! And only available through box top mail-in.)

    A very Midwestern Christmas

    (Published in 1973! And only available through box top mail-in.)

  6. What we need are programs to teach this way of thinking, working, and creating. Call it “view source-ism.” View source-ism is about learning by doing, remix, and recombination. It’s what happens when you Google for the answer for a solution problem and land on Stack Overflow or MDN. It’s forking millions of GitHub repos and using shared code like Lego bricks.

    — yes!

  7. A blog post!

    Drafted this post on equity crowdfunding awhile ago, but finally got it to a place where it seemed publish-able. (My definition of “minimal viable blogging” def includes the “several thoughts” troupe!)

  8. Remembering a warmer(ish) time on this first snowy day in New York.

    Remembering a warmer(ish) time on this first snowy day in New York.

  9. The Ohio State University

    The Ohio State University

  10. Building Android First →

    I’ve spent the past 6ish months building an Android app with Matt. The first version’s out in the wild, and it seemed about time to write up a few things we’ve learned … and, of course, weigh in on the never-ending Android-versus-iPhone debate.