Category Archives: Personal

Defending Liberal Arts

Campus (aerial view), Hamilton College

Andrew Bennett, the CEO of Havas has a great piece in Fast Company that I fully agree with based on my own direct experiences. His thesis is essentially that while we place such enormous attention on STEM education we might be losing sight of the value in a proper liberal arts degree.

At my college there was just a single degree to earn, a Bachelor of Arts. I could have chosen to major in Chemistry, Physics or Computer Science and still left with a BA. Instead I chose Comparative Literature and while that might seem limiting if you can only draw linear conclusions, the foundation my education provided is something I use all day, every day. My job involves continuous critical thinking, synthesis and analysis and clear communication whether written or through public speaking. It’s hard to say whether I would have had a similar exposure or rigueur had I focused on business or marketing or even engineering (at a different school) but I believe and would advise my kids to think broadly to ensure they are comfortable with the pretty steady change that life offers.

There’s always time to specialize and go deep in a particular area. I still feel like I’ve managed to be a bit of a generalist and consume an intense information diet to ensure my continued relevance and importantly interest in learning so I can continue to grow.

Hangouts’ Missed Opportunity

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Generally speaking I really like the Google Hangouts application. It’s a great way to chat and even make calls between parties. The update for Kit Kat is even stronger with SMS integration making it a universal messaging app. One app to rule them all!

The one thing I was really hoping would arrive along with the update was a universal conduit for multiple SMS addresses. Running hangouts across devices works great and my perhaps optimistic hope was that SMS would also be relayed. Today I tested things using the leaked version of Hangouts and whole things might be slightly different with an updated OS I didn’t see any SMS connectivity across phones. I realize I’m an edge case here but having one base for messages across multiple phones would be a huge win. Apparently just not now.

sharing links

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so a week in and I’ve shared a pretty large number of links as daily reads.  It’s not everything I’m reading daily, but the shares I’d typically just blast out via social.  I’ve got a pretty solid system courtesy of Pocket and a WordPress plugin called WP Stacker.  While I haven’t seen any comments or direct responses per se, I do see some traffic coming in to check out what I’m sharing … plenty more coming.

 

 

Forced Desktop Activation for Mobile?

Setting up mobile via desktop?  Really??

 

Popped a SIM into a Galaxy Note and found this lovely message.  There’s no way around the activation process on the desktop which makes little sense to me.  I’m not a new or novice user and this is far from the first device I’ve even activated on AT&T.  Having gone through the desktop process now I see they want to make it theoretically easier for a user to add their account credentials and tweak some basic home screen settings, but that’s really not hard in your hand.  It would be nice to see a choice.

I can’t even use the Note until a code gets sent back to the handset.

Actually … with a few extra taps back you can apparently exit out and start with a Google Account, but that’s not exactly obvious.