Bad Idea Fridays: An App for Talking to Myself

DeepMind’s WaveNet: A Generative Model for Raw Audio paper was one of the most interesting papers last year. It describes a new approach that dramatically increases the accuracy of generating audio, including individual voices. Read more here.

So what are people going to do with this? It’s easy to imagine high-quality voice output from Amazon Echo or Siri, or even scary applications, like scam phone calls that sound like they are coming from your own friends or family members (explored here).

And that brings us to today’s bad idea. Let’s build an app that allows you to have a conversation with yourself… in your own voice. You can share all of your half-baked ideas and arguments, and have your own voice cheering you on and repeating things back to you!

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Bad Idea Fridays: Cold Storage

I’m a fan of having lots of ideas, and that means you have to be open to the ones that, on the surface, are ridiculous. The best ideas often start as a bad idea. When you’re willing to push the boundaries, you’re more likely to stumble onto something really interesting.

Every Friday, I’m going to share a ridiculously bad idea. This should be very easy for me (I have a ton of them), it’ll keep me posting on a regular cadence, and it should also motivate me to write more, since I don’t just want this blog full of bad ideas.

Today’s bad idea is for storage of immutable historical data. When you have data you need to put in cold storage that won’t ever change, why not build a giant XY carving robot, install it against a blank wall in your office lobby, and have the data chiseled into the wall? You can even come up with a design scheme that makes it beautiful. You solve your storage and interior decoration problems at the same time!

Need to retrieve the data? Just take a photo, and decode it. The idea of storing digital data on old media isn’t new. I’ve just yet to see it on a grand scale.

Note to self: Managing SSH Keys in OS X

I recently acquired a new 13″ Macbook Pro. My last machine was from 2012, so I’ve been having fun catching up on how you actually set up a functional developer environment today (it’s basically the same as in 2012).

I had to look up how to get OS X Sierra (10.12) to remember my SSH keys. This behavior has changed to mimic standard OpenSSH behavior, which is a good thing!

First, add the key to your OS X keychain:

ssh-add -k [key_file]

Then, when you start a shell, run this:

ssh-add -A

I added it to my .bash_profile and it’s working quite nicely.