Kyle Maxwell

Just me.

Archive for the tag “data science”

New toys!

A little over a week ago, I finally got my first tablet. And rather than follow through (for now) on my desires for a Honeycomb tablet, like the Motorola Xoom, I bought a refurbished low-end iPad 1. It came with 16GB storage and a Wifi-only network connection, but for me that does the job quite well since I can just set my Droid Incredible as a wifi hotspot. The Twitter app for iPad really rocks, unlike their Android app. And reading news (New York Times, The Economist, Flipboard, etc.) has become the pleasurable experience it ought to be. My primary complaints, so to speak, have to do with apps with minor issues (e.g. feedly) or the lack of a coherent way to manage settings (e.g. the browser).

Just as importantly – actually, more so – my new desktop finally came to life. Built from scratch, godel runs Ubuntu 10.10 on a 6-core AMD Phenom II and 16GB of RAM, with a pair of linked Radeon HD 5770 graphics card each holding 1GB of on-board memory, all wrapped in a black monolith Antec Three Hundred case. Yeah, it runs like lightning, although today I need to get audio working properly and perhaps find a way to cut the fan noise. (Plus this monster deserves a new monitor.)

Of course this machine can and will run games (think EVE Online), I didn’t build it like this principally for that purpose. Rather, I want to spend significant time delving back into development, perhaps including Android development or data science projects.

Working on stuff that doesn’t matter

Do I work on stuff that matters? Sometimes, I really don’t think so. My work (which I enjoy on a day-to-day basis) generally has an operational bent to it, even if that’s not the official label for it. That means that I don’t leave a product behind, which means that I have to look at the effect of my work on other people. Protecting people’s financial lives from fraud does matter, but that doesn’t feel particularly concrete. My work doesn’t not matter, I suppose, but it also doesn’t inspire me in a long-term sense.

I don’t know what stuff will end up really mattering. Maybe it’s data science, especially in the service of something that benefits all of us. Maybe it’s something non-technical, like dispute resolution or just helping out new dads and fatherless boys. Maybe it’s as “simple” as just focusing more of my time and energy on my family and community.

But I do know that I feel like the financial services industry probably won’t provide it, at least not for me. And just playing games definitely doesn’t, though that doesn’t mean that virtual worlds don’t matter (nor that I won’t find stuff that matters working on related topics).

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