“The biggest problem with bitcoins, however, is conceptual: if they succeed, they fail.” –Felix Salmon, gearing up for a deflationary argument in The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency
When the number of incoming stimuli is reduced, the mind gradually perceives finer details in the ones that remain. This is famously true of blind people, but you can consciously narrow your attention to the same effect. The depth of detail revealed is likely to be surprising, since the generalist day-to-day mind imagines itself to be very capable.
Modern web apps need a fat client. But moving everything to the client, with the server as a thin API, doesn't usually work in practice. The backend needs business logic to enforce data integrity, that means you need your models server-side as well, and you often end up wanting server-side HTML rendering for one reason or another. That leaves you fighting against having both a fat client and a fat server.
Larry Page has made it clear that focus will be the core virtue of his reign as Google CEO. I'm bothered, though, by what he decided to focus on: social, design, and product.  Google has spent a decade hiring almost purely for engineering ability. The upside of this fitness function is that they can solve some of the world's hardest engineering problems. But as a side effect, they've never been good at the more human problems that Page wants to focus on. 
The story of a project, recorded mostly for my own benefit.
I'm a Joanna Newsom fan, so on a road trip last month, I made my friends take a detour to a town she named a song after.
I have Turing's famous paper listed as one of my favorite books on Facebook. I love theoretical computer science, but since college I've mostly worked "in industry" and been pretty distant from anything resembling serious math. That recently changed, though, when I started working through a textbook on computational complexity, problem by problem .
Of the music I listened to ten years ago, only one album is still in rotation. The rest of it fell away as, piece by piece, it started to seem shallow. In high school, I probably thought my parents didn't understand my music, since it wasn't from their era. Instead, it's possible they understood it better than I did.
Bitcoins are not anonymous, but they can be made more so. All existing "laundries" are ineffective. These are my thoughts on why, and how an ideal anonymity-strengthening relay (ASR) might work. I'd been waiting to post this until I reached more definitive conclusions, but Kaminsky's announcement of BlitCoin made me think it was better to get a discussion started earlier. A more secure Bitcoin is a more useful Bitcoin. There are just a couple ideas here, mostly obvious, taken to their logical conclusion.
Bitcoin is the name of a new digital currency. You have a file on your computer that says how much money you have, and you can send amounts of your money to other people using the Bitcoin client. Bitcoin has no central authority, but thanks to some advanced math, the files saying how much money you have can't be forged, nor can the transfers be faked or revoked. 
Here's my Django Fabfile. With it, you can deploy a new project with just a minute or two of configuration. It's been developed and tested over the course of several real-world projects.
The source code to Flowgram.com, a startup that lived from 2007 to 2009, is now available on GitHub. Flowgram was my first full-time employer, and I'm happy to be able to keep alive some part of what we did.
When you're choosing between opportunities to pursue, and there is any uncertainty in their outcomes, be sure to consider how long each possible outcome would take. Opportunities that would fail fast are more likely to be worth doing. People often neglect this effect, perhaps because its magnitude can be surprising.
On the events of the morning of November 14th, 2010.
Sometimes when making a web form, you want an input to be open-ended, but still have suggested values that are easy to select. This is useful when some values for the field are very common.
A high-schooler emailed me asking about getting into programming. This is my response, slightly edited. I decided to post it here not because it's particularly good, but because I can't find enough material like it already online.
What led me to try my hand at domain name speculation was curiousity about a particular angle on the market. Domaining had always seemed boring in practice, despite my theoretical interest in it as kind of a stock market for words. This angle that I'd thought of was to focus on domains composed of two three-letter words: names like Zipcar, GitHub, and HeyZap.