[NYTIMES] The Secret Life of Passwords

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://nyti.ms/1xrDxxa

For some people, these rituals are motivational. Fiona Moriarty, a competitive runner, told me that she often used “16:59” — her target time for the 5,000 meters in track. Mauricio Estrella, a designer who emailed me from Shanghai, described how his passwords function like homemade versions of popular apps like Narrato or 1 Second Everyday, which automatically provide its user with a daily reminder to pause and reflect momentarily on personal ambitions or values. To help quell his anger at his ex-wife soon after their divorce, Estrella had reset his password to “Forgive@h3r.” “It worked,” he said. Because his office computer demanded that he change his password every 30 days, he moved on to other goals: “Quit@smoking4ever” (successful); “Save4trip@thailand” (successful); “Eat2@day” (“it never worked, I’m still fat,” Estrella wrote); “Facetime2mom@sunday” (“it worked,” he said, “I’ve started talking with my mom every week now”).



The Pixar Theory

Jon Negroni

Every Pixar movie is connected. I explain how, and possibly why.

Several months ago, I watched a fun-filled video on Cracked.com that introduced the idea (at least to me) that all of the Pixar movies actually exist within the same universe. Since then, I’ve obsessed over this concept, working to complete what I call “The Pixar Theory,” a working narrative that ties all of the Pixar movies into one cohesive timeline with a main theme.

This theory covers every Pixar production since Toy Story. That includes:

  • A Bug’s Life
  • Toy Story 2
  • Monsters Inc.
  • Finding Nemo
  • The Incredibles
  • Cars
  • Ratatouille
  • Wall-E
  • Up
  • Toy Story 3
  • Cars 2
  • Brave
  • Monsters University

The point of this theory is to have fun and exercise your imagination while simultaneously finding interesting connections between these fantastic movies. If you hate fun and/or imagination, you probably won’t like this theory.

[SIDE NOTE: All text in…

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[Hollywood Ending] LIFE AFTER PI (Official)

Harsh reality. If we can’t start being paid for how we worked, we’ll only be able to work for how it’ll be paid. How much creativity can we get from this? Having almost identical problem in software development, I cried watching this video.

“Life After Pi” is a short documentary about Rhythm & Hues Studios, the L.A. based Visual Effects company that won an Academy Award for its groundbreaking work on “Life of Pi”– just two weeks after declaring bankruptcy. The film explores rapidly changing forces impacting the global VFX community, and the Film Industry as a whole.

This is only the first chapter of an upcoming feature-length documentary “Hollywood Ending,” that delves into the larger, complex challenges facing the US Film Industry and the many professionals working within it, whose fates and livelihood are intertwined.


The Wonderful World of Computer Graphic User Interface

As WWDC 2013 is over, some of the respectable opinion leaders share their thoughts on iOS 7’s new look. I would like to share links to their posts:

I admit, I’m quite biased in selecting these posts, having positive perspectives.

Surprisingly, there are some common understandings I could find, and have come up with myself, about iOS 7’s new look. Though I’m not a professional designer, or an influential leader like the ones above, I think it won’t be too bad to write one more post about iOS’ User Interface.

Representation by Animation: Until recently, objects or ideas have been represented by visualization. However, instead of bringing full detail from the looks of the objects shown in the real world, iOS 7 chose to use subtle or obvious animations of the objects, or about the ideas as the essential representation method. Please watch the video about Apple’s Design Intention, and recognize how different animations have been used to identical circular dots, to represent many different objects and ideas. This shift can be a great opportunity to those who believe in the apps to be more dynamic and alive, and a great challenge to those who are so used to draw beautiful but only static images.

Content Supremacy: iOS 7’s extremely minimal buttons and labels remind us what we’ve been forgotten; that the app’s main content must have full attention. If pixels or focus inside the device’s screen cannot be shared, so fighting between the main content and user interface controls cannot be avoided, iOS 7 voluntarily yield user’s attention to the main content, by making the controls so thin, translucent & borderless. Because they occupy so little area or look so simple, they can help the main content to be stood out automatically. However, what should not be misunderstood is that, the limitation on the controls can be ignored if they are parts of the main content.

Space Telescope: It’s not that easy to bring fluid transitions between views, but iOS 7 provides new methods to help the developer to implement them as easy as possible. I think it is to encourage the device’s screen to be utilized like a telescope showing one area of much bigger space, which includes more contents yet to be shown, until the device’s screen is looking toward them. The concept of panning & zooming from scrollable views have become more adoptable into view transitioning. Personally, I really like this. (Don’t know how to express in clearer form but…) This is to motivate the apps to bend more space and time, which is no real world medium will ever be able to do.

Still, it is Beta 1. I wonder how the end result will be for the look of iOS 7. But, at least for now, the heading of this exploration is showing the glimpse of the wonderful world of computer graphic user interface.

Fully informed and experienced decision

My comment for “Why I Don’t Use Interface Builder”: http://blog.teamtreehouse.com/why-i-dont-use-interface-builder

IB is about Organizing, not about Replacing. IB is a tool, not a regulation.
Once you know the limits of IB and developed good programming habits, IB can be extremely useful.

I saw too much terrible spaghetti codes, which could have been helped by adopting MVC principles and knowing the life cycles of UIViewController & UIView instances.
As a way to help those developers to learn about the principles, I show them how to complete a project using IB and later replace it using only codes, to help them to realize the limits of XIB files and see how whole structure is preserved, to show the real reason for using IB: Separating codes.

And once VIEW components are separated from others, I point out patterns or repetition, which are just configurations at loading of the instances.
Other than iteration, they are not so easy to be solved creatively and quickly, without taking precious seconds, minutes, or hours.
Also, there are more important tasks for fulfilling the requirements of the app, than tasks for calculating frames for labels.

Unless you like it (I saw some people who like it), it’s smart or even necessary to use a tool which was developed to avoid working mechanically. Fortunately in Xcode, we have Interface Builder.

Depending on the characteristic of the projects, the decision to use or not to use IB is totally up to the developers. When they decide not to, I hope it’s fully informed and experienced one, instead of one caused by estranged or uncomfortable feeling toward IB.

Free Applications for the Developers using Mac

Mac and Windows togatherA few weeks ago, I reinstalled Mac OS X Leopard after one year of experiencing my first non-Windows environment. Not that I needed to fix something, but simply I wanted to set the optimal environment which I’ve learned by trials.

So far, it has been very satisfying, and owning a machine which allows me to have both Mac and Windows worlds for development is purely exhilarating.

To be honest, I don’t have anything against Windows environment. Rather, it’s because I still can have Windows in a Mac machine, I decided to get one, so I can obtain the privilege to use Mac OS X(Unix) and Windows together. For acquiring this environment, I figured Mac could be the only machine, unless I hack something.

It has been great joy to find more about Mac and useful equipments for the developers and to train myself to become better at them.

This is the list of applications I was recommended by great blog posts, and would strongly recommend to other Mac users, especially to the new developers who has experienced Mac for no more than a year like myself. I personally use these, some are available also in Windows, and of course, they are free.


There is no other IDE for developing an application for Mac OS and iPhone. Unlike Microsoft’s expensive Visual Studio, you can get it for free, as included in Mac machine you purchased. You may have to pay for iPhone Developer’s Program if you want to use an actual device for testing and deployment, but to use only simulator you can get Xcode with iPhone SDK for free. Currently, I am enjoying so much time to master this great tool.


I cannot say much about this, but it seems like this IDE is a must for Java or other popular language developers, almost in every environment. Though I’ve been using it less then I expected because of using Xcode and Aptana more, I think nobody can ignore the importance of its presence in a developer’s machine.


Using almost identical user interface as Eclipse, this tool is specialized in web development. Whenever I need to write a web program, rather than using Eclipse, I use Aptana. So I designated Aptana for web development, and Eclipse for Java.


I just can’t find any other editor better than this for Mac environment. This one has almost every feature a developer can ask for. My use of an editor is to modify codes already written, while IDEs are for writing new codes, because they provide code suggestions while typing. Together with TextWrangler, I can have a mini and quick IDE for anything.


If you are in the situation of using more than one computer in many places, DropBox folder is a must. Though it gives only 2GB to be used for free, it’s sufficient to synchronize your working files to be shared among your office computer and home computer. This synchronization is very powerful if you save your workspace of Eclipse or Aptana in DropBox folder, you can have same coding environment shared among the computers accessing the same DropBox folder.


So far I’ve been using only this one, because it seems to be the simplest and the fastest. I strongly recommend this for its bookmark and folder synchronization features.


This is a great tool for building a beautiful mind map of your own. To me, the user interface and icon are simple and pretty.

NTFS-3G for Mac:

Since I use Windows also, it’s necessary to be able to access NTFS-3G formatted disk. You may use FAT32 format to be used in both Mac OS X and Windows, but it’s doesn’t allow a single file to be bigger than 4GB. Using this, you can stay in Mac OS X mainly while accessing Windows file system freely.


I use more than one computers. If I want to use all of them on the same desk, it’s necessary to use only one keyboard and mouse to be free from annoyance of interchanging between different keyboards and mouses. This app allows to share keyboard and mouse with multiple computers using different OSes. As long as the computers are in the same network, knowing the IP address or the computer name of the main(server) computer which will share its keyboard and mouse is suffice.

Can anyone recommend more apps, or the better alternatives to these, especially for the developers using Mac? I would love to get some comment. Thank you!

[CopyBlogger] Confessions of a Comment Addict by Johnny Truant


It’s interesting to run into an article about the deeper mindset, truth shared by a bloggger him or herself. Usually the established bloggers don’t show their inner thoughts, while focusing on professional, educational contributions through their posts. But in my case, for being a developer yet to be grown to become truly professional who can contribute significantly, it’s not easy to make regular posts. I wrote about Why it’s hard for me to blog frequently previously and this article by Mr. Truant seems to recognize the beneficial effect of opening up oneself to the readers.

The problem with most blogs and most bloggers is that they’re playing it safe. They’re just “reporting” on things, playing by the rules of what a person should and shouldn’t say in public. If you can buck that trend and talk about what others are feeling but won’t admit, you’ll draw a reaction. Opening up, especially when it’s uncomfortable, will get you more comments.

I guess people often feel difficult to comment on the superior post which may not need any addition or editing. But if the post is about inadequacy of incompleteness of the author or the subject matters, it becomes much easier to add to or edit the inferior post by commenting. Identifying this idea, Mr. Truant listed how to get more comments:

  1. Think of something that you feel or that is bothering/affecting you, but which you are reluctant to talk about.
  2. Ask yourself if other people are likely to identify with it or to feel the same thing, but are similarly reluctant to admit it. There’s little point to confessing to something that only you feel. (So for instance, perhaps you have a deep desire to rub yourself with rats. It seems unlikely that others will share this desire. But maybe that’s me. Maybe I’m out of touch.)
  3. Make your confession, showing yourself in full, naked glory.
  4. Watch the comments roll in.

This works because everyone has foibles, but most people are too preoccupied with looking “correct” or “professional” to discuss them. By finding and talking about these “elephant in the room” topics, you’re being brave on behalf of your readers. You’re being the first person to say what everyone is thinking, but which everyone is afraid to admit. You’re giving them permission to feel the same way, to discuss it, to admit it in kind.

While it’s important in blogging to be able to guide and contribute by sharing special knowledge or providing better solutions to the problems, sometimes it’s meaningful to connect with the readers by having the vulnerable communication, making oneself seemingly weaker. Amazingly, people don’t easily attack or slander the humble and  sincere blogger.

But what people really want, I think, is a friend. Not some know-it-all who pretends to like you just so he can make a sale, but a living, breathing human being who is just as screwed up as you are and isn’t afraid to admit it.

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