Emacsen's Blog

Why Imports in OpenStreetMap Are Controversial

OpenStreetMap's goal is to map the entire world, so one might assume that anything that would help give the project a leg up would be welcome, but what many potential importers find is that the OSM community, in particular the more senior members, are hostile to imports. Understanding their ...

Fearing French and Embracing Esperanto

This post is about why I fear French, and what my attempt at taking this problem on has taught me. This is one of the most personal blog posts I've made in several years, but in it are lessons for nearly everyone, especially if you are considering learning a ...

The Role of the Fringe

I'm in the process of reading In The Land of Invented Languages- an excellent book I will write more about. For this post, I want to focus on how Esperanto's community is like our Free Software/Free Culture community and the role of the fringe element.

Reading about ...

The Scoop on Cat Litter

It's time to take a break from the high minded to the mundane. Today I'm doing a review of cat litter!

I have two wonderful cats, one male and one female, both about one year old, both about 7lbs, and both adopted from the ASPCA.Since I've ...

How Sirius/XM mis-handles customers

I had a recent experience with Sirius/XM that I think is a great lesson in how not to handle your customers.

Let's face it, Sirius/XM has an uphill battle in terms of entertainment. They have dozens of music channels, but a subscription to Pandora or Spotify will ...

You don't need to worry about GPS

GPS is virtually synonymous with navigation, but GPS exists at the whim of the US government, so shouldn't I be concerned? The answer is that I am somewhat concerned, but that I also do my part in trying to reduce our dependence on that system.

I'll venture to ...

Why the world needs OpenStreetMap

Every time I tell someone about OpenStreetMap, they inevitably ask "Why not use Google Maps?". From a practical standpoint, it's a reasonable question, but ultimately this is not just a matter of practicality, but of what kind of society we want to live in. I discussed this topic in ...

Learning Math Earlier With Computers

Writing the previous post got me thinking about the nature of how programmers use programs and how it relates to teaching in general.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a little prototype address book that accounted for my misspellings. The idea was that if someone had a name like ...