This year (2018) was my third Electric Daisy Carnival, AKA the largest electronic music festival in the US. But as someone who’s usually more at home on Burning Man’s playa than a garbage encrusted NASCAR racetrack, I wanted to do something more than just go.

I’ve always found the former’s participatory nature far more creatively inspiring than the latter’s spectator sport. To borrow the words of a wise fellow burner:

“Everything at Burning Man is there because someone thought it would be cool to bring it to Burning Man.”

Update (5/23/2018): while the video recording issues seem to have been resolved, there is still no USB audio dongle that works well with this phone, according to the long-running xda-developers dongle testing thread, full of people who are still tirelessly searching for one that does.

Original post (12/1/2017):

I returned a phone for the first time today. And I’ve had every Nexus and Pixel phone since the Galaxy Nexus.

I abided Google’s usual launch issues. The screen complaints, with reports of burn in and significant blue shifting when you look at the phone at an angle.

But two issues took…

I recently talked to Thorn — a nonprofit that uses technology and data science to find and rescue sexually abused children. It turns out over 75% of child prostitution is advertised online — mostly on (essentially, a seedier Craiglist).

Their Innovation Lab here in San Francisco is hiring engineers to help in that mission. Incredibly, thanks to their work, and in collaboration with worldwide enforcement agencies, they’ve brought down the amount of time it takes to rescue children from a period of years to a matter of days.

At our first meeting, I nearly broke down in tears.


I’ve been a very happy Dashlane Android user for many months now — I’m ecstatic to have a password manager that just works between all my devices, encrypts my passwords in transit and at rest, and has a responsive dev team. First, some background on In-App Login.

The killer feature

When I first migrated from Lastpass, I noticed that Dashlane was missing one critical feature: In-App Login. If you’re unfamiliar, when you are at a login screen in any app, Lastpass will pop up a dialog (using an Accessibility Services plugin) to fill in the username/password for you. …

As I reported on the GMaps-API tracker here, there’s a critical issue affecting apps that use more than one map fragment. Lollipop devices seem to be the only ones affected. Other devs are now commenting, verifying my analysis — my goal is for this to gain more visibility internally at Google.

I first noticed this when demoing my app, One Warm Coat, on my new Nexus 6 and saw it was repeatedly crashing on load. We use multiple map fragments in a tabbed interface; after examining the stack traces I had a hunch that running more than one map was…




These are truisms by Jenny Holzer. I was introduced to Holzer and her prolific works through my friend and fellow Android hacker Ari’s post from last month. Lydia Laurenson, writing at…/ got me intrigued enough to build this: (follow it!)

I wanted:

  • to see these on my twitter feed
  • to contribute to Holzer’s ongoing mission to display her texts in public space
  • to build shit with Scala+akka actors

So I did. Repo here (PRs welcome!):

Originally published at on December 10, 2014.

Sure, you’d love to do this, who wouldn’t? Word and PDF are awful file formats, but they’re still widespread and if you’re housing your important documents in them, and you’re like me, then you want them version controlled. Git can handle any binary file of course, but where’s the fun in seeing this?

$ git diff 
diff --git a/chapter1.doc b/chapter1.doc
index 88839c4..4afcb7c 100644
Binary files a/chapter1.doc and b/chapter1.doc differ

Enter .gitattributes.

Step by Step setup

Stick the following line in a .gitattributes file in your repo:

*.doc diff=word

I’ll let them explain:

This tells Git that any file that matches this pattern (.doc)…

For the first time ever, I’m now using a Mac as my main work machine. Work just got me a brand spanking new 2013 Retina Macbook Pro, fully loaded, go-to-apple-dot-com-choose-the-15-inch-drag-all-the-hardware-sliders-to-the-right monstrosity with 500GB of SSD and 16GB of RAM. What a machine. Too bad it’s running OSX.

Yep, I’ve been using Windows my whole life. …

Afik Cohen


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