Launching BetterDistricts Today

BetterDistricts is a personal project that I’ve been working on for awhile.

I think that there is something fundamentally broken about how our government is working. I believe that a lot of the symptoms that we see:

  • Feeling that no one is actually listening
  • Inability to get anything done
  • Shouting past each other
  • No real debate
  • Creating caricatures of those we disagree with

have at their root the inability to hold our elected officials accountable. We send officials to D.C. to represent the people of their district. But how can we ever tell if they’re doing that? There is no mechanism to compare what the individuals in a community believe and how their elected officials vote.

I created BetterDistricts to try and do something about this. You can either vote on the bills that are in Congress, sending a signal as to how you would like to be represented or you can create a proposal to put forward.

Let me know what you think.

Terminal hack to make logging into a cluster easier

I’ve been looking for a way to make it simpler to quickly login to all nodes of a cluster from a mac terminal. Discovered a small npm module that helped me do it called ttab. With this npm module I can then write a bash script:

#!/bin/bash

TYPE=$1

rs6 () {
ttab -w ssh bryan@example1.com
ttab ssh bryan@example2.com
ttab ssh bryan@example3.com
ttab ssh bryan@example4.com
ttab ssh bryan@example5.com
ttab ssh bryan@example6.com
}

if [ “rs6” = $TYPE ]
then
rs6
fi

This will open one new terminal window with 6 tabs all logged into the different servers.

Macbook Quibble

I really don’t understand the decision in the Mac Settings to link together the scroll direction of the trackpad and mouse. There are two different check boxes for whether you want natural scroll direction or not for each of these inputs.

On the trackpad, I definitely want natural scroll direction. However, the so called “natural” direction on the mouse is the opposite of every other computer that I use. Since there are two check boxes, one for each of these settings, I would REALLY like to be able to have them set opposite of each other. The problem is that if you check one, it checks the other and vice versa.

Otherwise the macbook pro is the state of the art when it comes to laptops. Especially when paired with a thunderbolt display in the office.

iPad Kindle Update

This is just a quick post for any of the Amazon iPad Kindle Reader developers out there that might be listening. As someone that has purchased and read hundreds of kindle books, the latest update is a step backwards.

Instapaper has better reading options and that’s a done by a single developer. The margins change is really bugging me. I realize that you just cant pick a single setting that is going to make 100% of the people happy, so there should just be a slider for margins. Then everyone can choose what they’re comfortable with. A slider for brightness and a slider for font size. Then you could let people choose their favorite font and you’d have the perfect reader.

I know that some of these changes are difficult. How would you calculate page numbers with infinite variations in the text? But making difficult things look easy is why Amazon is great.