Asking for ideas is the wrong question. Ideas are cheap. I can think of half a dozen off the top of my head, which could all make lots of money if they were executed perfectly. I mean, if you want an idea, do something like MetaFilter: Be absolutely awesome at serving a particular community in a thoughtful way. Struggle for half a decade with no rewards and lots of abuse. Put up with all kinds of crap while still working your day job. Eventually, after the better part of a decade, see some... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 3:56 PM on January 11, 2010
Kerasia's advice is excellent. I basically used that method a few years ago at Christmas, when (despite my being happily married and succeeding in the industry I care about) my father reminded me I could still go back to school and become a doctor. The answer was easy:
"Okay, I will. If you pay for it."
Turns out he's proud of my current career. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 9:32 PM on January 6, 2010
Hell, I just assumed your parents were Indian. It's also worth pointing out that they likely disobeyed their parents by coming to this country in the first place. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 3:00 PM on January 7, 2010
This is heartbreaking. Brad was one of the first people to knit together the early personal web (around the time when he christened it the blogosphere) with face-to-face gatherings. He wasn't just a great friend, he helped me meet many of my best friends.
I checked with the Post-Dispatch reporter who did the piece Judith linked to, and she doesn't have any other information yet. So this thread is probably the most info we'll have for those of us who knew him primarily online. posted to MetaTalk by anildashat 3:18 PM on January 4, 2010
Seconding mathowie -- I know a number of folks (me3dia, bluishorange, me) had wanted to throw a Break Bread For Brad, as Matt's kindly volunteered to sponsor. I think it makes sense to wait a few days until we know more about the circumstances, as well as any family, etc. that we might want to be in touch with, but I'm certain we'll have a remembrance for our friend at SXSW, and hopefully can use it to help one of his favorite charities as well. For now I just miss my friend and hope we can... [more] posted to MetaTalk by anildashat 3:40 PM on January 4, 2010
As ever, Jeb and Kathryn nail it but I would mention one small thing in Les Halles' favor is that it's a nice fit if your folks are red staters and your dad loves steak and mom loves Anthony Bourdain, which is a not-uncommon parental trait. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 3:36 PM on December 30, 2009
Small companies managed and owned by real humans tend to treat their employees well - that should be the environment you seek. Also, make sure you're looking in an industry that's got potential for growth; I suspect there are going to be a lot of really bitter auto maker employees who won't concede that their entire industry is in for a radical change, and instead will want to blame their (former) company, which may also be evil, but is still subject to... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 6:51 PM on December 22, 2009
She's an adult. Let her figure out a plan for solving her problem, and then she can ask you for help if she needs it. A parent's job is to take care of their kids, not the other way around (unless/until there's an agreement otherwise or circumstances render the parent unable) and frankly, a story that centers around someone not realizing that hot soup is hot indicates that the problem has almost nothing to do with the job or workplace circumstance, but tons of other larger issues.... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 3:33 PM on December 22, 2009
One car has to count the lights at each house, another has to make a painting (in watercolors!) of each house's lights display, another has to take photos of themselves as judges holding up a "score" for the house's lighting display. And each has one minute per house to do it. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 3:23 PM on December 22, 2009
Michael Jackson's "Butterflies", off of his otherwise-reviled 2001 release Invincible is among the best work he'd ever done, long after his insanity had put most casual fans off. Well worth a listen. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 2:19 PM on December 21, 2009
Nathan Myhrvold is very smart in a very narrow set of areas, and climate science isn't one of them. Some part of the reason the answer isn't getting amplified is because he may very well not know what the fuck he's talking about. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 2:43 PM on December 20, 2009
sharkfish, the tech industry's definitely prone to strong ageism and even stronger sexism. You've probably already got really good chops for dealing with those realities, especially since this question demonstrates you've got a knack for anticipating what troubles might arise in the future.
That being said, the best strategy long-term may be to become a world-class expert in a specialized area. For example, C# and C++ development for most applications have become... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 12:17 AM on December 20, 2009
The-Dream's two albums are excellent, with his "Love Hate" being my favorite record of 2009. Kayne West's 808s & Heartbreak is obviously both enormously commercially successful and a serious artistic work that won't get you sneered at by judgmental indie kids. Beyonce's record is actually really strong, especially the uptempo "Sasha Fierce" part.
And yes, don't be afraid to go to classics that underpin and influence both contemporary pop and a lot... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 1:51 PM on December 17, 2009 marked best answer
And maniactown, "If she's like some people I know who 'like' radio R&B, they like that they can sing along and understand the words. They don't care enough to realize it's lowest common denominator trash." Really? You think people who like popular music are just dumb or uncaring? Let me guess, you don't think the classic Motown singles are lowest common denominator trash, right? Or Stax Volt? I suspect, like a lot of snobs, you'll say in 30 years that you... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 2:00 PM on December 17, 2009
dickass: Fair enough on the MJ -- hadn't quite realized you're in the UK. Here in the States, MJ has been completely off radar for more than a decade until his passing, so it's not nearly so bad. In his stead, I might suggest more Stevie Wonder. And for contemporary pop, I'd also chase down things produced by Stargate, and the Ne-Yo suggestion above is excellent. Mary J. Blige is also very popular as a leading light of R&B, and while her records can be uneven, her best work is almost... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 2:51 PM on December 17, 2009
Print out this question (minus the answers). Present it to them upon arrival, saying "my inclination was to just avoid this whole stressful situation, but you both really wanted me here, and we're all adults, so how are you going to resolve this problem? If you don't work with me to fix these issues, I'm not coming home next Christmas." Then, listen. Really listen to what they say, and try to work with them. If they refuse to solve the problem, remind them that... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 3:51 PM on December 16, 2009
"Actually, Mom, the marriage is consummated when we have sex. Do you really want to be involved in the details of making sure our marriage is consummated, or do you just want me to help me be blissfully happy on my wedding day?" posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 2:17 PM on December 6, 2009
It doesn't make much sense, and will have to evolve pretty significantly until it has any use. Just because it says "Google" in the name doesn't mean it's going to be of any use, and the idea that people are going to foist it upon students or coworkers just because it's novel seems insane to me. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 10:41 PM on December 5, 2009
1. Turning 30
2. Being bald
4. Being in a long relationship and unable to commit to marriage.
Hmm, given constraints numbers 1 through 4:
"It's really very moving to be here today to celebrate the fact that one third of [friend]'s life is over. The best third. But of course, you have it good... there are a lot of people who, when confronted with that fact, would tear their hair out. And... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 12:39 AM on December 4, 2009
By far the best gadget I got this year was, of all things, a knife sharpener. It's magical! Only ten bucks and super satisfying to use. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 12:36 AM on December 2, 2009
fixedgear, the basic idea is that policy makers would ask a broader array of experts (scientists, academics, ordinary citizens) for their input into policy instead of just the usual bunch of lobbyists and insiders, if they had the right tech to do so. So, we're working at Expert Labs to see if we can provide them with those tools. We'll do that by working sort of as a tech incubator (for the geeks in the crowd, think "GCombinator") and by advocating the tools across the various... [more] posted to MetaFilter by anildashat 5:31 PM on November 19, 2009
I'm a bit slammed, so I'm just gonna answer @justkevin's questions here, because I think they get to the heart of the issue:
1) What are some examples of the kinds of questions that a policy maker might ask of Expert Labs?
We'll solicit questions specifically from the policy makers, using a process I'm working on right now, but let's throw out a few straw men as useful examples:
* "The First Lady has made childhood nutrition a... [more] posted to MetaFilter by anildashat 4:50 PM on November 20, 2009
Deathalicious, your point is well taken. But there's kind of an infinite number of problems to solve, and I'm deliberately scoping out stuff that's, well, not a problem of government. However, fortunately, there's no shortage of problems that are handled by government, and those are the ones I think we can assist with.
I find lots of people have objections to this project that fall into a few categories:
* I don't think government can... [more] posted to MetaFilter by anildashat 10:47 AM on November 23, 2009
I guess an important part of the question here is: Do you want to be academically correct, or do you want her to come out of this loving hip hop like a true fan? Because I'd eschew chronological purity in a nanosecond to double-up on some Lauryn Hill tracks, a lot of Pete Rock/C.L. Smooth "T.R.O.Y.", a healthy heap of Method Man & Mary J. Blige on "You're All I Need". Because those songs are both enormously popular and credible as hip hop, and they're... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 8:59 PM on November 10, 2009
Great question. We were number two in suburban/rural Pennsylvania because of our proximity to the Army's Fort Indiantown Gap. After moving to NYC and being here for 9/11, it became very, very obvious that rural/suburban Pennsylvania was not on anybody's list of targets. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 4:48 PM on October 27, 2009
(Clearly, locations with porn in the woods were bumped up the nuclear target list until they were tied for second place.) posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 4:50 PM on October 27, 2009
Your uncle is doing you a favor. By moving on to a more appropriate job, you'll be ending your reliance on his generosity, which is a good thing for both of you. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 11:33 AM on October 23, 2009
Thanks for the feedback - most of the examples I've seen so far have either been survey-type questions ("what's the best [whatever]?") or general customer service issues like Dooce's washing machine or whatever. I'll keep looking, though. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 10:15 AM on October 23, 2009
My wife got tired of me being too nice for our first few dates, and made the first move. Our 4th anniversary is in a week. Who cares whether he even knows if he likes you or not? Just make the move. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 9:58 PM on October 22, 2009
Check out SeatGuru - many airlines and flights have planes that have unusual configurations that you could work with. United's cross-country "P.S." service has some 757s that have a few rows with extraordinarily long legroom in certain seats (like, 3 feet of legroom, no exaggeration) and while I don't recall if those were exit rows or not (which obviously wouldn't work with your little ones) there will almost definitely be some seats it'd be impossible to kick from.... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 4:48 PM on October 8, 2009 marked best answer
Find good references, and pay a little bit more than bottom-dollar. If you have a friend in one of the areas you're thinking of shopping from, that's a great place to start. A family friend got me hooked up with his tailor in Kolkata (Calcutta) earlier this year, and I got my favorite suit for about $60, perfectly tailored. And arnicae is right -- get a pro to take your measurements. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 10:16 AM on September 16, 2009
Seconding wongcorgi — I had resisted doing any super geeky things like installing Cyanogen Mod because, well, the name is insanely dorky and I figured "this is the kind of thing an Ubuntu user would do". But it turns out it's just a process of downloading a file, putting it onto an SD card, and then holding a button down while I booted up the phone. After I was done, the difference in the experience of using the phone was night and day, and it comes bundled with a bunch of nice... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 9:20 PM on August 30, 2009
The grandparents aren't going to like what you guys do on your wedding night, either — you gonna let them decide what happens then as well? posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 12:54 PM on August 28, 2009
They should learn concepts that will help them form a mental model of how a computer works. More than specific applications, the idea that there's a computer that runs software, an operating system that controls the machine, applications that run on top of that operating system -- those are ideas most people never really understand. Similarly, a bit of background about how the web works (items are stored on remote computers, and sent over your connection to be rendered by a... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 1:10 PM on August 27, 2009
Admittedly, this was about 2 in the morning when we were riffing on how ridiculous a process interviewing people for a job can be. But it really was part of my job interview. There are nice things about working with friends — it was followed with "There's no wrong answer!" posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 3:23 PM on August 25, 2009
A Dr. Fink outfit would definitely be easiest -- lots of costume shops will have a cheap set of doctor's scrubs. Alternately, there's a character named "Billy" in the movie who really has as his only distinguishing trait a giant pair of sunglasses, which are quite similar to a lot of the ones that are back in style today. Five bucks on some knockoff shades, you offer up some great dialogue like "Aw, buddy, just like your old man", and you're done. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 8:01 AM on August 14, 2009
Who do you see out there that's good at this? Good mentors can be exceptionally valuable. As far as getting better at stories and relating to people: Practice, practice, practice. In general, AskMe loves to recommend Toastmasters for getting comfortable with public speaking (haven't tried it myself, but seems like a good suggestion) but I'd also recommend trying out some smaller local events and working to be an active participant. If the company you're working for has customer or user-group... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 8:09 PM on August 11, 2009
Your best bet would be to join forces with the many, many experienced organizations that are doing advocacy around health care reform online. You're certainly not the first to have this idea, and in fact there are professionals who do this sort of thing for a living. You may do best to contact some of those organizations and ask how you can volunteer to help. posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildashat 8:19 PM on July 28, 2009