Data Is Not An Asset, It’s A Liability

Marko Karppinen has written an interesting an blog post debunking one of the myths of the 'Big Data' movement: that insights are not spontaneously generated once you gather enough data. His post, titled Data is not an asset, it’s a liability, argues that increased amounts of data present nothing but higher operational and maintenance costs unless you have a clear plan on how to use it.

Mismanagement at Yellowstone

I found an interesting story about the mismanagement of Yellowstone National Park that Michael Crichton shared at a 2005 talk. It's an interesting tale that speaks to the power of political interests in conservation, our woefully incomplete knowledge of ecosystems, and the power of hindsight. The road to a barren landscape is paved with good intentions.

A Potential Provincial Pension

NDP leadership candidate Theresa Oswald recently introduced an interesting and controversial idea to implement a provincial pension plan. Her rationale was that a provincial pension has the potential to supplement the Canada Pension Plan and provide some protection for workers who employers do not currently offer a pension plan. I'm just happy to see a NDP candidate going back to the NDP's populist roots and not simply advancing the usual centrist policies.

Secret Santa Cinema

Each year at work my co-workers hold a secret Santa gift exchange. We each provide a few gift ideas for ourselves and then a randomly assigned co-worker purchase one of the suggested gifts. It's fun, but I feel that providing gift ideas limits us from getting really creative with our gifts. Consequently, I like to add items to my list that are open-ended in nature and encourage a bit more thought.


It's Sunday morning and you don't have any plans. What do you do? Make some pancakes, of course. Making pancakes is so simple and requires so few ingredients, I am amazed that anyone buys instant pancake mix. Here is my favourite recipe; I love the flavours of vanilla and butter, and the pancakes turn out nice and fluffy.

The Disruption Machine

In the New Yorker, Jill Lepore has penned an interesting and controversial article entitled The Disruption Machine, a response to Clayton Christensen's book The Innovator’s Dilemma. Much of her criticism has already been raised by other people and isn't always well directed, but it shows the growing unease towards a culture narrowly defined in terms of innovation and disruption.

Deception on the Internet - Its Not Just for Spies

Today on the Intercept, Glenn Greenwald has published a list of the 'tools' that UK spooks can use to spread disinformation online. The list is pretty impressive but generally nothing new from a technology standpoint: rigging polls, inflating page views, getting content withdrawn by publishers, sending spam, and launching denial of service attacks. The one that really stuck out to me was code-named Changeling: ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity.

Cable Management is Next to Godliness

As part of moving into the new house I've needed to run a bunch of network cables for everything from antique clocks to liquor serving robots. Considering the fact that I needed a bunch of cables, and they needed to be fairly long, I finally broke down and learned how to crimp my own network cables. One issue that emerged from this was a growing rats nest of cables in my basement.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival: How Times Have Changed

This year, for the first time in recent memory, I have reservations regarding my attendance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. I love the folk festival and have attended it for many years, but a confluence of factors this year have left me very hesitant. Here is a brief exploration around the issues that have caused my support to waver and the challenges which the folk festival may be facing.

My Approach to House Hunting

At a little over one month into 2014, I am pleased to announce that I have accomplished one of my most significant new years resolutions - purchasing a house. While the purchase of the house and all the prerequisites came together incredibly quickly, this isn't something I rushed into. In fact, I've been contemplating what I wanted in a house for a long time.