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Showing posts from August, 2009

Has the Web Made Us Better Readers?

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In the recent past, when writers used expressions like "Procrustean bed" or "Sisyphean task", they might have been considered rather 'snobby', even if those expressions might have been appropriate.

Today, of course, we can link to the definitions or have the reader search for the definition easily. It think, as long as the article isn't full of these types of references, it isn't too much work for the percentage of readers that may not remember their greek mythology.

Today, writers don't even need to go back to ancient Greece for their archetypes:

"Jumped the Shark" is a great expression for when something has become passé (follow the link if you don't know this one).

"Streisand Effect" is when the attempt to suppress information backfires and just makes it even more widely publicized.

"Take the redpill" when you need to leave your fantasy world and meet reality.

"Dialed Up to Eleven" for when something e…

What I'm working On

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At Google we have lots of internal tools, many for the command line. On occasion some googler will take one of these tools and make it into an internal web site.
Usually, when this happens I think "Why? The command line tool is much more convenient!". At first, the web site isn't all that useful, but week by week, features get added until the web version is faster, and has more useful features than the command line version. I started thinking that I have some old programs that I wrote, years ago, which could be better off on the web.
One program I did this to is mm2notes which takes FreeMind MindMap and creates meeting notes. The original version was only for the command line. Already I can see the web version could be far more useful than running from the command line. For instance, I can e-mail the action items to the people that have something to act upon.
Another program that I wrote, even longer ago, was a program to help me learn Portuguese. It had two parts, one…