Nobody Listens Anyway

Life is an optimization issue

Cancun Mexico

Three weeks ago we finished booking a last minute trip to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. Two weeks ago there was shooting at a night club in Play Del Carmen. Then there was an attack on a police station in Cancun involving grenades. The next day I sent an email to Delta checking on the flight cancellation policy when your vacation involves risking life and limb.

They took 3 days to respond with an email saying that I needed to call them.

Thank goodness for crappy customer service. After several days the initial worry had worn off. The poor Utah air quality, 3 feet of snow and 8 degree temperatures forced us to finalized travel plans for the Hyatt Zilara and Mayakoba Andaz.

The Hyatt Zilara

Hyatt Zilara

Over our past few hotel stays I've fallen in love with the Hyatt brand of hotels. Their higher level of customer service combined With 2 free nights expiring at any hotel in the world meant the all-inclusive Zilara was an easy choice. The Andaz was a more difficult find. Both proved to be incred...

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OER in the LMS via LTI

Resources from my presentation at Open Ed 2016:

Example LTI configuration

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <cartridge_basiclti_link xmlns="" xmlns:blti="" xmlns:lticm="" xmlns:lticp="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schema...

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Docker for Mac debugging

The Problem:

While trying to setup Docker for Mac I kept getting the following error anytime I tried to spin up a Docker image:
Couldn't connect to Docker daemon. You might need to start Docker for Mac.

All the fixes said do this:

eval "docker-machine env default"

I tried but kept getting

Host does not exist: "default"

The fix for me

I had to run this:

docker-machine create --driver virtualbox default

and then this:

eval "docker-machine env default"

Also, anytime you open a new terminal you'll have to run

eval "docker-machine env default"

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Canvas install error

If you get an error that looks like this when you try to setup Instructure Canvas:

 API Documentation successfully generated in public/doc/api See public/doc/api/index.html --> Finished: 'Generate documentation [yardoc]' in 57.496207991000006 --> Compiling React JSX finished in 46.748775163999994 rake aborted! Undumpable Exception -- # /Users/jbasdf/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.3.1/gems/parallel-1.4.1/lib/parallel.rb:63:in work' /Users/jbasdf/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.3.1/gems/parallel-1.4.1/lib/parallel.rb:280:inblock (4 levels) in work_in_processes' /Users/jbasdf/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.3.1/gems/parallel-1.4.1/lib/parallel.rb:447:in with_instrumentation' /Users/jbasdf/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.3.1/gems/parallel-1.4.1/lib/parallel.rb:279:inblock (3 levels) in work_in_processes' /Users/jbasdf/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.3.1/gems/parallel-1.4.1/lib/parallel.rb:273:in loop' /Users/jbasdf/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.3.1/gems/parallel-1.4.1/lib/parallel.rb:273:inblock (2 levels) in work_in_processes' /Users/jb...

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Maker Faire

After a week with the Google tech elite today was a day dedicated to fun, curiosity and fascination. Callie brought Devin down Yesterday so we could spend today experiencing the inventions of the Bay Area's eccentric, creative, technology minds.

I'm not sure how to describe Maker Faire. There are vendors selling everything from small CNC machines to youth groups with kits. There were more 3D printers than I could count including one about 20 feet tall that could print some truely monumental sculptures.

giant 3D printer

There were classes on how to grow from mushrooms and a truck converted into a mobile green house. There were sculptures that spewed fire, a Tesla with panels that lit up like a zebra and a giant forest of lit up inflatable astro-flower things. It was pretty cool.

justin and callieforest

There was a StrandBeest which is amazing to see in person:

The R2D2 club was on hand to show off the droids we've all been looking for:

Speaking of droids here's the guts of a BB8 Sphero:

Dalekbb8 disassembled

How abo...

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Google IO Day 3

ATAP - future science fiction awesomeness

The last day of Google I/O. I go directly to the ATAP line and I'm lucky enough to get in.

Trust API

The project formerly known as Abacus becomes the Trust API. The purpose is to eliminate the hassles of passwords an mult-factor authentication. It will be available to developers in the Fall if I remember right. It's a subtle but complex project that if it works will change the way we deal with authentication. That's a good thing. There's a reason every login form has a "forgot your password" link. A lot also have a "forgot your username" link. We need something better.


Last year they introduced project Jacquard and project Soli. This year they showed them off again with the promise of getting the technology into the hands of customers. Jacquard will find its way into a Levi commuter jacket in spring 2017. That's cool, but I'm hopeful Google will expand its partnerships. I don't bike with a Levi ...

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Google IO Day 2

Commuted to Google IO via the Bay Area Bike share program again. Since there's only one bike share station near my hotel and only one near Google and there are 7000 developers here I was worried there wouldn't be any bikes. Nothing to worry about. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one using the bike share. Getting a bike isn't a problem. They are garabage, but they are a bike. I'm guessing no one uses it because there are Google bikes everywhere. If I was a bit braver I would have just 'borrowed' one got get around, but old guys obey the rules so Bike Share it is.

Firebase Security

Jacob Wenger (@_jwngr)


I made it to the Firebase Security talk. Not a lot of people here but so far this is one of my favorite presentation because it is code heavy and because Firebase security can be a bit complicated. Everyone using Firebase needs this. The best way to learn a complex development topic is through lots of examples and this presentation is filled with th...

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Google IO Day 1

google io crowdgoogle io at nightscratch working with legos

Google IO day one is over and my feet are killing me. Here are my key take aways for the day:


Firebase has become a key component in the Google ecosystem. What was once a real time database is now a platform for your entire infrastructure and application business development needs. Today there were plenty of comparisons to Parse, Facebook's ill-fated application platform. Since I'm at Google IO I didn't hear many comparisons to Amazon's ecosystem of products, but I'm sure others will make the comparison. Amazon does offer more in technical functionality but at the cost of complexity. Though AWS offers an inexpensive and powerful compute platform they won't be winning any awards for developer experience. Google has done a great job considering not just the technical but also the business requirements for the entire application lifecycle. Developers still have the same powerful real time database as a service that they've had for a long time, but ...

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Viva Las Vegas

Day 1. The Dam Day. - March 29

Our first day we leave Las Vegas (doesn't everyone?) and head out to Hoover Dam to take the Dam tour. It's a really big dam. We pay our dam money, ask a few dam questions and wait in a dam line to watch a dam movie. We know this will be a dam fun time. We watch an old dam movie about building the dam, carving giant tunnels, and cooling dam concrete. We finish the dam movie and wait in another dam line while we wait to take the dam elevator. We descend in the heart of the dam and visit one of the massive dam tunnels carrying a lot of dam water. We behold a marvel of engineering and the fruits of the labor of a generation a hundred years old. Next we visit the dam building and view the dam turbines that provide power to the southwest United States. The floors are marble with intricate designs by master craftsman. We don't build industrial facilities like this anymore. We exit the dam and walk the road that caps millions of tons of concrete. The ...

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Oasis of the Seas

Both I and my wife reached a certain life milestone this last year that involved the number 4 and determined that it was time we started acting our age. Of the options available we chose a cruise and so it would seem we are at "that" age.

I have been known at times to require Dramamine and a vomit bag when riding in the rear seat of a car. To mimimize the threat of spending a week unable to stand up and wanting to die I pushed for us to sail on the largest ship in the world - The Oasis of the Seas. As it turns out even the largest of man-made objects are subject to the whims of enourmous bodies of water, but the worst side effect we experienced was the inability to walk a straight line a few times. Most people on board exhibited the same symptom most of the vacation whether the sea was upset or smooth. 21 bars in a contained location has that effect.

##Day 1 at sea. On any normal voyage a day at sea might involve reading a book or, staring at the water, or picking your nose. ...

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