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Benjamin Oakes

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Hi, I'm Ben Oakes and this is my geek blog. Currently, I'm a Ruby/JavaScript Developer at Liaison. Previously, I was a Developer at Continuity and Hedgeye, a Research Assistant in the Early Social Cognition Lab at Yale University and a student at the University of Iowa. I also organize, ICRuby, OpenHack Iowa City, and previously organized NewHaven.rb. I have an amazing wife named Danielle Oakes.

Filtering for the month June, 2014. Clear

Componentize the Web

by Ben

Componentize the Web – YouTube.

Polymer tabs tutorial with Addy Osmani.

The Value of Repetition in Personal Finance

by Ben

The Value of RepetitionSee Debt Run.

I feel the need for repetition in the lessons of personal finance in the same way I feel the need to hear my partner say, “I love you”. While I already know it to be true, I need to hear it regularly. Similarly, I need to hear those familiar money lessons often. Even though I know them, it takes that reminder, that moment of checking in, to make sure I’m actually implementing them.

Filter a list of paths to those that exist

by Ben

If you have a file containing paths, but only some of them exist, you can filter them down to only the ones that exist using this command:

ls -1 $(cat list-of-files.txt) > list-of-files.txt

For example, this is useful for comparing branches in git. You could run all the specs that changed between two branches, ignoring the spec files that were removed.

Driven by necessity, Mozilla to enable HTML5 DRM in Firefox

by Ben

Driven by necessity, Mozilla to enable HTML5 DRM in Firefox | Ars Technica.

From the comments:

Funny how psychology works. I have no problem with Netflix using DRM, because it’s very clear that their offering is like a “channel”, to which you have unlimited access during the time you pay for the subscription.

On the other hand, I highly resent DRM in things like ebooks that I’ve paid for, because I’ve bought them and they should be MINE, perpetually.

My thoughts, exactly.


by Ben

ISEE-3 | xkcd.

A bunch of people rescued an abandoned spacecraft and can now control it remotely. All because NASA said it would cost too much for them to do it themselves. So cool.

A first-person engine in 265 lines

by Ben

A first-person engine in 265 lines.

Kind of mind blowing how little code went into such an impressive demo. It’s even pretty readable for someone who doesn’t know much about ray tracing.

What Android 4.4.3 could mean about the future of Android updates

by Ben

What Android 4.4.3 could mean about the future of Android updates | Ars Technica.

Android’s support and update schedule is being taken seriously, which is a great sign.

Every Single Doctor Who Story, Ranked from Best to Worst

by Ben

Every Single Doctor Who Story, Ranked from Best to Worst.

Seems like a good list. Makes me want to find a copy of Caves of Androzani. We watched #2 just tonight:

2) Blink – You could argue that it deserves the top spot. This insanely inventive story about stone statues that can get you when you’re not looking, and a DVD extra showing a missing time traveler dispensing cryptic advice, is still unrivaled, even after years of copies.

Very well written, especially in the way the story was exposed. Anyway, on to the rest of the list. :)

iOS 8 wish-list: pre-WWDC edition

by Ben

iOS 8 changes we’d like to see: The OS and Home screen | Macworld.

iOS 8 wish-list: What we'd love to see at WWDC 2014! | iMore.

Why Apple should relax its App Store rules | Macworld.

Just a collection of posts I read leading up to the start of Apple’s WWDC tomorrow.

I previously posted my own list of feature requests back in March. All the posts above were definitely written by people who have used iOS for a while. Since even Macworld is asking for some of the same changes as me, who knows, maybe some of them will happen (especially some form of better inter-app communication). But then again, many of the changes have been on wish-lists for years, so it’s hard to say. Regardless, 80% or more of the requested features already exist in Android. With that in mind, I feel it’s becoming harder and harder to justify the higher price of iOS devices. Back in 2008-2011, the benefits were much clearer. Makes one wonder what the mobile space will look like 5 years out…