Determining Intent Pt 1

Cortana, Alexa, Siri, and then some. Digital assistants are invading our lives, and I’m loving every minute of it.

As a kid I loved Digimon. I thought it would be cool to get sucked into the internet and hang out with my digital partner. It’s pretty much the reason I got into computers. I started poking around at computer vision and machine learning in hopes of one day getting sucked into the internet making computer interaction more natural.

Some people have been working on the problem a lot longer than me, but I thought it’d be fun to share some approaches on the subject. This is part one… There’s a lot of content to cover.

Acorn Squash Chili

I think we’ve started to hit the rain season. At least, it was raining the past week or so. Today it stopped.

I was starting to feel melancholy and was thinking of some rain-warming meals I could make. I had an Acorn Squash for decoration, and though something soupy and spicy would be delicious for a rainy day. It didn’t rain, but I still made my acorn squash chili.

It’s Not the Tools

Do you ever enjoy doing something because you don’t understand it? I think the results from jumping in and trying something are sometimes more enjoyable than planning something out. Lately though, I’ve noticed I’ve become more hesitant about sharing the results.

People consume what I create, and it’s actually kind of terrifying. We want people to see and respond to our “Art,” but the reality of it is overly awkward.

Pickled Peppers

I’m not sure if you have ever had Pickled Peppers, but they are delicious. I’m not talking about banana peppers or salad peppers; I’m talking about fresh, sweet, delicious bell peppers pickled.

The sweetness of the bell pepper contrasts with the vinegar mixture providing a flavor explosion. They’re crunchy, flavorful, and a breeze to make.

New Design

I hope things look nice and fresh and so clean clean around here1. I was trying to come up with something that looked modern and promoted readability. The goal with the home page was to have something that looked like the center column of a newspaper–headers and images to catch your attention. Individual posts are like the rest of the story, focus is on the text.

Not that the default Octopress theme is bad, it’s just bulky. I knew I wanted to redesign my blog, but I didn’t know what I wanted it to look like. I looked at the blogs I enjoy reading, like Shawn Blanc, Daring Fireball, Zach Holman, Matt Gemmell, and many others. Matt Gemmell recently wrote on blog design and made several good points.

It made me think, which blogs do I read on their site, and which ones do I read in my RSS reader? The list shrunk rather quickly. My RSS reader is subscribed to about 80 sites. Site I go to instead of reading from my RSS feed are the GitHub Blog, Shawn Blanc, Panic Blog, John August, and Zach Holman (sorry Matt).

But what made me prefer them over my RSS reader?