Stuff Yaron Finds Interesting

Technology, Politics, Food, Finance, etc.

Reviews of well, everything and anything

A frustrating attempt to improve on GitHub code review

Thali uses GitHub’s PRs for code reviews and the UX is not up to the job. There is no good way to track which comments are and are not resolved. There is no good way to see comments when the file they are on has changed. I don’t need much, but I really need that. To solve this problem we want a GitHub based code review tool that is hosted. To this end I reviewed five possibilities, none where great and none really solves the problem. But we’ll at least try out codereviewhub.com.
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Three weeks of walking

Three weeks ago I got my sit-stand-walking desk put together (see here for the gory details of how I picked the equipment). In this article I examine my experience. Over all I would say it’s pretty positive. I absolutely can code and walk without serious problem. Typing is actually a genuine joy while walking thanks to iMovR’s Omega keyboard tray. Seriously, it rocks! Mousing is still a bit tricky but it’s honestly not that big of deal. Motion sickness was a bit of a problem early on but I found a way to deal with it. The biggest problem is probably moving my monitors around, the Ergotron arms, especially the one with the iMac, are not fully up to the job. But all things considered the whole setup works and I’m happy.
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Buying a sit-stand-walking desk

My job has increasingly become almost completely coding focused which means I’m sitting, a lot. I need to get up and move. Knowing my personality I decided the right way to do this is with a sit/stand desk using a treadmill. But I also need to be able to sit and I don’t have the room to move the treadmill around. So I’m buying the 72 inch iMovR Omega EVEREST desk which has enough room to put the treadmill and my chair next to each other. I’m picking the TR1200-DT3 treadmill. I’m adding an ERGOTRON LX HD Sit-Stand Desk Mount LCD Arm and it’s lighter non-HD sibling. I’ll also need to pick up two VESA mounts for my Apple hardware. Apparently being healthy requires breaking the bank. See below for the absurdly painful process by which I figured this all out.
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I think T-Mobile ripped me off

I was pretty excited about T-Mobile because it's much cheaper than my current AT&T account and they have free data roaming in a bunch of countries including Canada. So I went to the T-Mobile store, gave them my home address and they claimed to have excellent coverage of my house. So I put down $80 to get a prepaid SIM and took it home. I have to wonder what they think 'excellent' connectivity means since I was barely able to get an edge connection while sitting at my kitchen table much less a 3G or LTE connection. My AT&T SIM card, in the same phone, got a (weak) LTE signal. Of course it's a pre-paid SIM so there is no refund. So even though I believe T-Mobile was misleading I'm out the $80. Oh well, better to find out now on a throw away SIM then have transfered my phone number and canceled my AT&T account. Live and learn.

11/4/2014 – General and Special Election, Seattle, King County, Washington State

There are quite a few meaty issues on our ballot this year. There is State Initiative 1351 which would force the state to fund our schools at something like a reasonable level. An easy yes. There is Initiative Measure No. 591 which would further reduce rules on the ability to transfer killing machines (known as guns) without any form of safety check. Bad idea. No. And of course Initiative Measure 594 which would require that nobody can just hand out a killing machine without a background check, an easy Yes! We can return Jim McDermott to Washington, always a good idea. There is an infinite number of judicial races, most of which I’m not going to vote in because I believe the candidates have tainted themselves by raising money that puts them in hock to the people they are supposed to oversee and in many cases candidates couldn’t even be bothered to put up websites to fully inform voters. If a judicial candidate can’t spend the time to talk to the voters then don’t expect the voters to vote for them. For those in Seattle there is a metro bill we really need to support. For those who haven’t read one of my ballot cheat sheets before you should probably know that with the exception of Jim McDermott I generally don't vote for Democrats or Republicans.
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Sygic Sucks (and so does Google)

In this article I explain the multiple issues I've had with Sygic that make me strongly recommend that people avoid it if at all possible. I actually wanted to post this as a review on Google's app store but you can't do that if you don't have a Google+ account. Apparently having a Google App store account with both a credit card and mobile phone associated with it isn't good enough. Well screw that! So I'm posting my review here.
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11/5/2013 – General and Special Election, Seattle, King County, Washington State

It’s voting time again. As I have explained previously I don’t vote for Republicans or Democrats, including those running for nonpartisan offices (with the exception of Jim McDermott). I did loosen the rule a little for the school board. The good news is that there are some really juicy things to vote for! On the position side there is 522 to label genetically modified foods, Kshama Sawant for Seattle City Council, Sue Peters for Seattle School District and Seattle Proposition No. 1 to give us public campaign financing! There are even good things to vote no for like Initiative No. 517 (the Tim Eyman employment act) and Seattle Charter Amendment 19 (the Gerrymandering act).
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Vanguard claims it’s not screwing its customers but have you read their online fraud policy?

Vanguard has sent out an ’Updated Bank Authorization Agreement’ that I thought made any form of telephone or Internet fraud the responsibility of the user. According to the Vanguard account representative I talked to however Vanguard's online fraud policy takes precedence. As I discuss below this is some comfort, but not as much as one might imagine. Vanguard’s online fraud policy is more of a wish list than a reality of how most users live.
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