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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.

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Star Trek movies (ships only)

by Ben

jwz: Star Trek movies (ships only).
Star Trek movie supercuts: just the spaceships – Boing Boing.

Star Trek movies recut to only have the ships. I’d agree that they’re soothing. But I wonder where the 2009 and later films are…

Watch ’em now; this seems like something that Paramount would issue a DMCA takedown notice for.

Is an iPad Mini or a Nexus 7 Better for a Geek?

by Ben

Some people have recently asked me about switching from an iPad to a Nexus 7. Did I have to give anything up? Am I still happy with the choice?

My conclusion: Nexus 7 is the better choice for geeks over an iPad. Of course, I think it’s a good choice for non-geeks too. :)

I like my Nexus 7 a lot. In most ways, it seems comparable to an iPad Mini (I had an iPad 2). There are some gotchas, especially if you’ve already invested in the iOS ecosystem. In my case, I felt the difference in price ($429 for a 32GB iPad Mini vs $249 for a 32GB Nexus 7) and features I wanted made up for that. Having used both, I would definitely still choose the Nexus 7 over an iPad. Whether it makes sense for you will depend on your use case. I’ve also read that Android devices are quickly becoming the better choice for anyone under 35 or so. I don’t know if that’s true, but my argument fits in with that pattern.

The Nexus 7 isn’t perfect. Most of the reviews (e.g., CNET’s) are pretty spot on, but these are some observations I’ve had that you might not hear elsewhere. They’re coming from a geek’s perspective with about 2 months worth of Android usage. I’ve been using iOS since 2008.



I hope this list helps out another geek who’s considering making the switch, especially if you’re the kind of person who cares about the types of things I noted. Like I said, I’ve been happy with my choice so far.

How the Internet will (one day) transform government

by Ben

I’ve seen some of the experimenting that people have done with bringing legal code (i.e., laws) to GitHub. As an open source developer, I think Clay has it right when he says that transparency is only one side of openness and that citizen created bills are (hopefully) inevitable. After all, our government is too important to leave exclusively to politicians.

Or, you know, the Internet will just be a place we go to see funny pictures of cats. It’s what we make of it.

Update: Just as an experiment, I made a repository for the laws of Iowa because I couldn’t find an existing one. I’m experimenting to see if any others are interesed as well, based on star count or contributions.

Video: Clay Shirky: How the Internet will (one day) transform government