Chat with Turk

How ChatWithTurk used to work: A user says a phrase A to Turk Turk remembers phrase A for later. Turk thinks of some ‘similar’ things that Turk has previously said that resemble A. (These are potential phrases B) For each of B, Turk checks to see what responses he has received when Turk said those. Turk picks one […]

Stop not Linking

Frequently, blogs copy a news article, reword it, and repost it wholesale, without adding any new research. They very often lose information or veracity in the transliteration of the post. This is a useless practice that needs to stop. Marco Arment, the instapaper developer, says that you should cite your sources visibly – not only does it make you more […]


I was told this story by a friend years ago, at my first full time software gig: New College, Oxford is of rather late foundation, hence the name. It was probably founded around the late 14th Century. It has, like other colleges, a large dining hall with big oak beams across the ceiling, yes? These […]


Man, do I like writing code. The most rewarding part, in my opinion, isn’t the ‘solving problems’ part (though that’s cool) or the ‘clean, inarguable efficiency’ part. For me, it’s the notion that software, like ideas, isn’t scarce. One brilliant work of software (like WordPress or Linux or Mozilla) can, like a great idea, spread […]

E-Learning is Tough

It really is! You know who’s making it better, though? Moodle is making it better. In the software industry, selling to large organizations means sales, not product refinement. Software written for the healthcare, education, and government sectors is especially bad, because they’re especially large customers. A better approach? Build e-classroom software from the ground up, let […]