For anyone who may not have heard, I have accepted a position with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, and will be starting On April 7. I’m pretty excited about it, I’ll be working with a very talented team on some interesting web sites that are aimed at the international medical community. For the past few months, I’ve been doing some work with them on the side and have really enjoyed it (though I’ve found that “on the side” is not my favorite way to work, I enjoy having evenings work-free).
I’ve enjoyed my almost four years with D2 Interactive/US Networx, but this is a great opportunity and will lead me to greater things. For the time being, Janna and I will be staying in Oxford and I’ll commute to Memphis (Here’s hoping Bernanke stops devaluing the dollar so I can afford the gas).
On top of that exciting news, We’re leaving for the Bahamas next week for my cousin’s wedding. Let’s just say that my motivation to get anything done is less than spectacular right now, which you can tell because I wrote this post on the clock
The last week of August, Dr. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign set a goal to raise half a million dollars before the end of the month and the third quarter. After about 3 days, that goal was reached and double to one million dollars. When the quarter ended, the online donations for that last week was $1.2 million and the quarter total was over $5 million! That’s really awesome, but the real interesting part is the unprecedented transparency of the funds raised.
For that challenge, they put up a flash app with a thermometer that showed the progress of the fund raising that updated in (near) real time, showing the exact total and the name and location of recent donors. Paul fans web wide were glued to their browser that week watching the amazing speed of the mercury rising.
This quarter, the campaign is continuing the openness by “letting everyone track our progress throughout the quarter – the first campaign in history to disclose immediately every cent that is raised.” But not only can you see the current total on Ron Paul’s site, in the form of “Lighting Up Lady Liberty”, but a few people are aggregating this data and making it available in the form of some neato graphs.
Update: I’ve made a Live Title generator that will display the total raised for the quarter as the bookmark title.
My fairly recent newfound interest in politics has led me to read up on and follow things that has always either bored or saddened me (much of it still does). In the course of keeping up with the latest goings on, I ran across this little blog post noting the differences between a democracy and a republic. The line between them has been blurred into invisibility in today’s culture, but the founders understood the contrast very well and warned against a democratic government.
So, I’ll have to learn more about this: It’s nice to have a good, simple, definition-based way to express some of the things that have been swimming aimlessly in my head. It’s also funny to juxtapose these terms with our political parties that claim them as namesakes. I’m finding it hard to figure out exactly how they justify calling themselves either.
I’m not trying to jump on the Ron Paul web traffic wave… No really, I promise.
Ron Paul caught my attention after the last Republican debate. I started reading up on him and watching videos of some of his speeches. Basically, he believes in the things that make this a great country, specifically the Constitution. To be honest, there are things that the government has been doing that I didn’t know went against the Constitution: the Federal Reserve, income tax, going to war without it passing both houses of Congress, etc. Why didn’t the media alert me to these things?!
But really, if we don’t have and uphold the Constitution, what do we have? Not much. I urge you to watch the debate tonight (8 pm Central on Fox News, I think) and pay attention to Dr. Paul. Until then, go to his campaign site, and search Google Video, Blog Search and Technorati for more info.
For the two next hours and a little bit (until 5 PM Eastern, 5/8/07), the Department of Homeland Security is accepting comments from the public about REAL ID. The Privacy Coalition has a page detailing how you can contact them and let your voice be heard. So please go and submit your comment to crush this silliness once and for all (What are the chances?).
Edit: Bruce Schneier is smarter than me.
Ever since my wife and I started using USAA for banking and auto insurance, we’ve been nothing but pleased. Their website is very user-friendly and feature-packed, and their customer service is literally the best I’ve ever dealt with. The one drawback was that, since they didn’t have any branches in my area, we had to mail in all our checks to be deposited. They did provide postage-paid envelopes with deposit slips to make the process easy, but it took about a week for the money to show up in our account after we sent it off…. until recently.
Around the beginning of this year, USAA released a feature they call “Deposit@Home” (admittedly not the most original name). This service allows you to deposit checks by scanning them using an applet on their website. You sign your check and scan in the front and back and the money is instantly available in your account…. Amazing.
If you’re eligible for USAA membership, I highly recommend them for any service they offer. What other banks have a service like this (I’m sure there are others)?
If you haven’t, you really should go listen to Simon Willison’s talk on OpenID. He does a very good job of explaining what it does and how it can be used. With the slew of big names announcing support for openid, it’s clear to see that it is ready to take off. So go watch the presentation, especially if you’re confused or skeptical