The Terminator on Goals, Failure, Success, and Joy

May 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

I was always a fan of what Arnold has accomplished, but I never heard his vision and perspective before.

We’re Moving!

February 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

We’ve moved!  Find us now at http://www.basecampbeans.com

All our archived content has been moved, but we’re still working on a few features and design.  see you there!

How Soccer (Football) Match-Fixing Scandal Goes Down (in the Big Leagues)

February 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

I love how Boing Boing titles their post on this: “Soccer match-rigging, straight out of a Gibson novel”.  William Gibson is certainly one of my favorite authors working today.  If you haven’t read any of his work, pick up Neuromancer – one of his earlier works and certainly his most culturally significant and very science fiction-y – and Spook Country – very recent and more subtle blend of science fiction interwoven with a real-world setting.  He’s an excellent and entertaining writer and one of my favorites.

So how does William Gibson relate to global match-fixing of soccer games?  The description of how it’s done at the highest levels, as captured here by Brian Phillips at Grantland who’s post is summarized at Boing Boing, is so fantastical it seems to slip into an exotic, dark science fiction world that none of us plebes see because of the soothing veneer of the culture in which we experience our day-to-day lives.  Here’s clip:

Right now, Dan Tan’s programmers are busy reverse-engineering the safeguards of online betting houses. About $3 billion is wagered on sports every day, most of it on soccer, most of it in Asia. That’s a lot of noise on the big exchanges. We can exploit the fluctuations, rig the bets in a way that won’t trip the houses’ alarms. And there are so many moments in a soccer game that could swing either way. All you have to do is see an Ilves tackle in the box where maybe the Viikingit forward took a dive. It happens all the time. It would happen anyway. So while you’re running around the pitch in Finland, the syndicate will have computers placing high-volume max bets on whatever outcome the bosses decided on, using markets in Manila that take bets during games, timing the surges so the security bots don’t spot anything suspicious. The exchanges don’t care, not really. They get a cut of all the action anyway. The system is stacked so it’s gamblers further down the chain who bear all the risks.

You’ve got to read the rest.  It’s an enlightening and somewhat scary piece that elucidates some of the challenges of a broadly technologically integrated world.

Seven Tips from Ernest Hemingway on How to Write Fiction

February 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

How could I NOT post this?  I’d actually come across it before but I was reminded of it by Boing Boing today.

In brief:

  1. To get started, write one true sentence.
  2. Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next.
  3. Never think about the story when you’re not working.
  4. When it’s time to work again, always start by reading what you’ve written so far.
  5. Don’t describe an emotion – make it.
  6. Use a pencil.
  7. Be brief.

You must read the details here at Open Culture!

35 Life Lessons I Learned before Turning 35 – via Rob Complains About Things

February 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’m (surprisingly) impressed by Rob’s list.  I’m especially a fan of the following:

6. Stop being scared. If there’s something you want to do but aren’t doing because you’re scared, suck it up and do it. The only things in life to truly fear are (a) stepping in dog shit, and (b) asking the one question that makes a public speaker take back the claim that “there’s no such thing as a dumb question.”

16. After two weeks of pure torture, exercise becomes amazing. If you don’t exercise now, commit for two weeks. Suck it up. Force yourself to do it. Whatever it takes. If at the end of two weeks, you don’t feel the pull to keep it up, then you can stop. But after one day of stopping, at least try to force yourself to do another two weeks. Keep repeating this until you realize how amazing you feel. If you don’t feel amazing after three tries, then stop eating all that fast food, idiot.

26. Say ‘yes’ to pretty much any request, especially when it’s something easy like seeing a movie, attending a wedding, or supporting a friend. Your friends will appreciate you, your life experience will increase, and your comfort zone will continue to expand.

31. People older than you don’t have it all figured out. They may speak with authority, but they mostly make it up just like you do. Most of them are full of shit. That said, listen to their advice. There’s a lot of wisdom in that shit.

33. Ignore the instructions on everything except crazy glue, hot sauce, and power tools.

34. If you can run three miles, you can run six miles. You may not think you can, and it may be painful and miserable, but you can 100 percent do it.

Full list here: 35 Life Lessons I Learned before Turning 35

[GeekPost] Zend Framework 2 (vs. Symfony)

February 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

A bit of a geek interlude here.  If you’re not a PHP dev, disregard the rest of this post!  Otherwise…

I came across a well-written comparison of Zend Framework and Symfony (disclaimer – it’s ZF-leaning) by Evan Coury and I wanted to give it a bump.  It actually clarified a few questions I had, having never done anything with Symfony and having some ZF experience under my belt.  I very much like his perspective/philosophy on the debate as a whole.  As he sums up:

In closing, I’d like to re-iterate that Symfony 2 and Zend Framework 2 are both fantastic frameworks with a ton of brilliant people behind them. While Fabien makes some realistic points about things that make Symfony a great framework, he failed to point out that the same can be said about not only Zend Framework, but a handful of other high-quality PHP frameworks as well. Let me be clear that this is not meant to be a Zend Framework vs Symfony post, and as such, I’m not going to include an additional list of selling points that actually do set Zend Framework apart from Symfony. In fact, I encourage challenge you to go spend an hour or so to learn about the opposite framework that you’re comfortable with.

Great perspective, applicable to things far beyond evaluating PHP frameworks!!  Read the rest here.

“If ever there was a case of mind over matter it was tried yesterday”

February 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

The title of this post was penned by Dick Fishback on February 19, 1978, one day after the very first Ironman triathlon in Hawaii.  35 years ago yesterday 15 competitors set out to push the bounds of their body and mind to “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!”.  The finishers times ranged from 11:46:40 to 21:00:38.  Impressive, to say the least!  Read about the event here.

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