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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 TechCorridor.io, ICRuby, OpenHack Iowa City, and previously organized NewHaven.rb. I have an amazing wife named Danielle Oakes.

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All empty boats

by Ben

If a man is crossing a river
and an empty boat
collides with his own boat,
he won’t get offended or angry,
however hot-tempered he may be.
But if the boat is manned,
he may flare up, shouting and cursing,
just because there’s a rower.

Realize that all boats are empty
as you cross the river of the world,
and nothing can possibly offend you.

From chapter 43 of Stephen Mitchell’s The Second Book of the Tao (via tinyapps.org)

Registration open!  Iowa Code Camp is July 23rd

by Ben

You might be asking, what’s a code camp? Well, here are some of the basic ideas:

Community driven
Its for and by developers
No cost for attendees
Developer relevant content
Never during work hours – usually on a Saturday
We are looking for developers who want to tell other developers about cool things they are doing. Topics they really care about. If you are working with .Net, Ruby, PHP, Java, Rails, Python, SQL, <fill in the blank> and you want to tell other people about it, then consider submitting a speaking proposal.

Source: Iowa Code Camp

Sunsetting Parse

by Ben

Beginning today we’re winding down the Parse service, and Parse will be fully retired after a year-long period ending on January 28, 2017.

[…]

First, we’re releasing a database migration tool that lets you migrate data from your Parse app to any MongoDB database. During this migration, the Parse API will continue to operate as usual based on your new database, so this can happen without downtime. Second, we’re releasing the open source Parse Server, which lets you run most of the Parse API from your own Node.js server. Once you have your data in your own database, Parse Server lets you keep your application running without major changes in the client-side code.

Source: Michael Tsai – Blog – Sunsetting Parse

Doctor Who gets lengthy sabbatical as showrunner Steven Moffat quits

by Ben

Broadchurch creator and regular Torchwood writer tapped for top timey-wimey job.

Source: Doctor Who gets lengthy sabbatical as showrunner Steven Moffat quits

Hypnosis replaces anesthetic in brain surgery—and there’s video

by Ben

Patients under “hypnosedation” go to their happy place while skull is opened.

Just imagine that the whirring noise — from drills and saws cutting into your skull — is the gentle engine-hum of a motorboat, gliding past your canoe as you float in a tranquil lake.

Source: Hypnosis replaces anesthetic in brain surgery—and there’s video

The Big Bang Theory sued for using “soft kitty” lyrics in hit TV show

by Ben

Alleged infringement contributed “to the program’s enormous success,” suit says.

Source: The Big Bang Theory sued for using “soft kitty” lyrics in hit TV show | Ars Technica

I feel like a poem from 1937 is old enough that it should probably be out of copyright, but it’s not because of our current copyright laws.

Ian Murdock, father of Debian Linux, dead at 42

by Ben

Former Sun VP and Linux Foundation CTO died under suspicious circumstances.

Source: Ian Murdock, father of Debian, dead at 42

Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass ‘Go’

by Ben

Magie filed a legal claim for her Landlord’s Game in 1903, more than three decades before Parker Brothers began manufacturing Monopoly. She actually designed the game as a protest against the big monopolists of her time — people like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.

She created two sets of rules for her game: an anti-monopolist set in which all were rewarded when wealth was created, and a monopolist set in which the goal was to create monopolies and crush opponents. Her dualistic approach was a teaching tool meant to demonstrate that the first set of rules was morally superior.

Source: Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass ‘Go’ – The New York Times

Android 6.0 Marshmallow, thoroughly reviewed

by Ben

Marshmallow brings a lot of user-requested features but still has no update solution.

Source: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, thoroughly reviewed

Amazon to ban sales of Apple TV, Google Chromecast to boost Prime Video

by Ben

Report: Prime Video compatible devices like the Xbox One, PS4 will remain on sale.

Source: Amazon to ban sales of Apple TV, Google Chromecast to boost Prime Video