Wil Wade

Ideas && Code && Projects && Life – The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of anyone else.

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Disconnecting Time and Effort

Most of the western working world gets paid for their time. 9-5, shifts, hourly, you have to put in some effort or you would get fired, but for the most part the effort one puts into the time is because you enjoy it, are a hard worker, or perhaps want to ask for a raise.
School also tends to be time based. Sure there are tests and effort to pass tests, but most of “school” is just time. Time and effort are connected in some instances. Learning a first musical instrument takes time and effort together or one will never learn to play even at a mediocre fashion.

The way of the future is in disconnecting time and effort. There is much to say about “The 1099 Economy,” but at the core it disconnects employees’ time from the effort they put in.

Managers of salaried employees could learn from this as well. Try setting a list of things that need done by the end of the day for a team. Let the...

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How I Read: Blind Elephant Reading

I have recently see some “How I Read” posts (such as this one on Marginal Revolution). I thought I would offer a different option over the “deep reading” ideas. I think there is a time and place for all types of reading, so here is what I shall christen Blind Elephant Reading.

  1. Read a book on a new topic. Read lightly. Think about the big ideas not the nuances.

  2. Read another book on the topic or connected to the topic. Perhaps one of the referenced books in the first book. The connection does not need to be strong but it should be something related to the big ideas of the first book.

  3. Read another book following a chain of big ideas. This time if at all possible from a different perspective, field, or culture. Look for the connections to the previous perspectives.

  4. Continue reading more to grasp the multidimensional aspects of the topic and ideas. Try out a book or article on an extreme...

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Problem Whiteboard Count

So problems are simple, you are figure them out in your head. Other problems require a place to offload some of the information so you can solve it.

Some problems can be solved on the back of an envelope, and others requiring a lot more.

I propose that difficult problems be measured in whiteboards. How many whiteboards will/did it take to solve? One whiteboard is difficult, but simple once written out. Two whiteboards is getting more complex1.

How hard are the problems your company is solving? Here the numbers start to get much higher. Companies may in the end be able to show their problem in one whiteboard, but likely the implementation of that is many more whiteboards.

What is your current problem’s whiteboard count?

  1. I think that for the most part erasing the whiteboard should increment the whiteboard count. ↩

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As Seen on Kickstarter

There are entire stores dedicated to “As Seen on TV” products. Most of these are in tourist traps such as this one near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. However, I it could be cool to have an “As Seen on Kickstarter” store.

  • The store would participate in crowdfunding stuff projects such as books, gadgets, and art, then resell those items in the store.
  • The store owner would choose which projects to buy from as well as how much to buy.
  • For some projects, just one thing would be requested, while others that are more popular buy lots. (But not so popular that they would later be picked up by other retailers)
  • The goal of the store would be to become a store of unique projects. Things not possible to be purchased anymore.
  • The secondary goal of the store would be to help crowdfunding to succeed even more. Perhaps try to help push a lot of projects over the last hump to become funded.

Of course the...

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I Setup Tor on My Home Server

What is Tor

Tor is a network you can access the Internet through with some level of safety that you cannot be tracked back to your computer. This is critical to dissidents and others in dangerous situations. So critical that it is worth those who choose to use it for evil instead of good. See Tor on Wikipedia for more info on good vs. bad.

Why I Setup Tor

I believe that the world is safer for all when the option to remain anonymous is available. For many Tor is the only way they have to remain safe as reporters, dissidents, and whistle-blowers. Running a Tor relay is my way to help.

My Setup

I have a Fedora 20 box that I use as a home server. It stores media that streams to my Roku box via Plex, remote access, backups, etc… Running a Tor Relay is easy and safe on this sort of setup. I also have fiber Internet here in the GigCity of Chattanooga.

The Short How To

I followed the...

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Slides from Getting Started with PHP

I gave a talk last week to the local Chattanooga PHP Meetup group on getting started with PHP. It was mostly aimed at people who are already programmers, but not familiar with PHP.

My slides are here, if anyone wants them.

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IDEA: History of the Fear of Technology Museum - Luddites throughout History

Recently the group National Nurses United put out a press release and advertisement campaign that was focused on stirring up fear of the use of computers in diagnosis (in order to play up the importances of nurses).

The ads were a modern example of Luddite propaganda. I say propaganda because the ads gave faulty examples for the express purpose of generating a fear based response. However, it made me thing about how it would be great to see a historical perspective on how people feared technology in the past, and how it turned out.

Outside of just the real Luddites of Britain, the museum could include examples both (older)[http://lenwilson.us/11-examples-of-fear-and-suspicion-of-new-technology/] and new such as the National Nurses United Campaign. I would even like to see interviews with those behind the NNU ads.

Perhaps one day, but until then, I suggest just laughing at the ads, and...

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Startup Idea: Employee Handbook Generator

While there are a lot of employee handbooks out there that you can copy from, it takes some time to put together and proof read one that is good and consistent.

I suggest that there be a site with a “wizard” like interface to build a handbook. Asks which sections you want to include, and then details on each of those sections. For example, want a vacation policy? How many weeks/days? Does it roll over? Gained annually or throughout the year?

Simple, but there are a ton of HR questions to ask. Building the data and the dynamic sections out would be quite the lengthy task.

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