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So What You're Saying...

Saw this article mentioned today, and found this section very interesting:

The most hopeful thing that could happen is health-care reform. If insurers were not able to pick and choose their clients and were responsible for everybody’s health, they’d have a strong interest in preventing every new case of type 2 diabetes. It costs $174 billion annually in the U.S. to treat diabetes.

So what you're saying is if we take freedom away from people (who, believe it or not make up insurance companies) we can control what they do.

Brilliant, glad we're on the same page.

Tim Lytle [01/27/10 23:55:06] | 0 Comments | Point

Release Something

One (of the seemingly many) things I do for, you know, work is web development. From time to time I'm asked for a portfolio of what I do. Here's a little sampling:

  • Web Scraping/Data Mining (Technical sounding, it just means a computer program that collects data from websites by 'reading' the page.)
  • eCommerce Order System (Did you know you can order from pizza hut online? I had nothing to do with that eCommerce site.)
  • Product/Inventory Management Back-end (Let's say you had a site your company used to track costs, markup prices, and generate reports. And let's say I fixed it.)

You see the problem with that list? It's hard to show off that stuff. There are some clients I can't even say I worked for (gasp, maybe I can't even say I can't say that), other stuff is just never going to be publicly visible (yeah, you're not going to be able to play around with some in-house inventory control system, sorry).

So what's a developer to do?

Release something.

Call it a slightly late new year's resolution. Or don't.

Here's the deal. I'm gonna try to release some kind of technology thingy (usually some kind of internet technology thingy) every week.

So there.

No, it may not be something new each week. Maybe just rolling out a new feature to an existing thingy, but I'll try to make it at least interesting. And maybe even useful. And we'll just see how many weeks I miss. 'cause I will miss some. 

Beat you to that one Naysayers. Yeah, you know who you are.

So what's going to kick off this little party? If you'd been paying attention on Twitter you would know. But you were Facebooking weren't you? See, that's what happens.

Speaking of Twitter, you should check out GroupCall. Just a little app that lets you host a conference call with your friends. The host and unmute/mute people, so when someone gets out of hand... Really, it's setup as less of a mob conversation, and more of a 'broadcast' tool. One speaker many listeners. An ideal use would be Q&A or instructional sessions - questions asked via Twitter and answered over the call by one or two people.

It's still in the 'alpha' stages. Or is it 'preview'? Not sure anymore. Either way it's defintly not beta. Because beta just means "we haven't figured out how or if we're going to charge for this yet". And I've already figured that out. There will be a charge. 

But in the rush to release something I didn't have a chance to implement a payment system. So it's free now, until my money runs out. Or I start charging. We'll see which happens first.

Bet you can't wait until next week now.

Tim Lytle [01/27/10 23:37:32] | 7 Comments | Point

Lost in the Code

While reading up on schema-less databases I ran across this example code:

$jack = Dbo::findOne('LostPerson', array('name' => 'Jack'));
$jack->{"skills.surgery"} = 8;
$jack->{"skills.leadership"} = 3;
echo "Jack is a " . $jack->{"skills.surgery"} . 
     " at surgery...\n";
echo "... but a " . $jack->skills['leadership'] . 
     " at leadership.\n";  

If my code were more like that, maybe some people would actually read the 'boring' posts.

Tim Lytle [01/03/10 15:29:29] | 0 Comments | Point

When An Angel Speaks

Now that we've reached January, here's one look at three people central to the Christmas story, and how they responded to God's plan. Something to think about as a new year rolls around.

Reputation

Zacharias - Righteous Before God (Luke 1:5-6)

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Mary - Highly Favoured (Luke 1:28)

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Joseph - A Just Man (Matt 1:19)

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily

All three believe that God was able to save them from the eternal consequences of sin. The were righteous, favoured, and just - certainly they were Old Testament saints trusting in the promised Messiah for Salvation. But each had a different reaction to the message the Angel brought.

Reaction

Zacharias - Disbelief (Luke 1:18)

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

While Zacharias believed that God could save him in a miraculous way, he doubted God could use him in a miraculous way. He also doubted God could use those around him to accomplish His will.

Mary - Request (Luke 1:34)

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Unlike Zacharias' response, Mary's question is 'how will this be' not 'how can I believe you'. She believed that God could use her in a miraculous way - she just wanted to be sure she understood it all correctly. 

Acceptance (Luke 1:38)

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Once her question was answered, she shows her belief that God would use her to accomplish something great.

Joseph - Belief (Matt 1:38)

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

Joseph's response was belief. Not just that God could use his life to accomplish His will, but that God could use the lives of those he knew closely, in spite of how things may appear, in a miraculous way.

As we face a new year, remember that the same God that saved us is most certainly able to use us. And that those around us - who we know so well, who do things differently then we would, with flaws we are so very aware of - can, and will, be used by God. Regardless of how the circumstances may seem to us. 

Tim Lytle [01/01/10 10:45:11] | 0 Comments | Point