vanderwal / Thomas Vander Wal

A guy who questions most everything with a first impression of, ‘this can’t be right’

There are twenty-one people in vanderwal’s collective.

Huffduffed (219)

  1. A Countdown to Zero

    Episode one of Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

    What’s 2 minus 2? The answer is obvious, right? But not if you wore a tunic, no socks and lived in Ancient Greece. For strange as it sounds, ‘nothing’ had to be invented, and then it took thousands of years to catch on.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  2. 1729 — The First Taxicab Number

    Episode five of A Further Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

    Curious properties sometimes lurk within seemingly undistinguished numbers. 1729 sparked one of maths most famous anecdotes: a young Indian, Srinivasa Ramanujan, lay dying of TB in a London hospital. G.H. Hardy, the leading mathematician in England, visited him there. "I came over in cab number 1729," Hardy told Ramanujan. "That seems a rather dull number to me."

    "Oh, no!" Ramanujan exclaimed. "1729 is the smallest number you can write as the sum of two cubes, in two different ways." Most of us would use a computer to figure out that 1³ 12³ = 9³ 10³ = 1729. Ramanujan did it from his sickbed without blinking.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  3. Chris Maury on Voice-First Design

    In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with designer Chris Maury. Maury is the founder of Conversant Labs, working on projects intended to help improve the lives of the blind. We talk about designing for the blind (as he loses his sight), how chatbots might just make us better listeners, and principles for designing the best conversational UIs.

    Original video:
    Downloaded by

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  4. Material #46: Live From The Plex - Relay FM

    Russell and Yasmine brave the heat at Google I/O to bring you the latest news from the ground. Meanwhile Andy (to ensure no one can take out the entire Material Crew in one go) remains steadfastly at home in air conditioned comfort.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  5. 86: Guttural Thinking Sounds

    The Rebound

    A technology podcast from Apple geeks Dan Moren, John Moltz, and Lex Friedman

    Available wherever fine podcasts are sold.Subscribe via RSS in your podcast app of choice.


    @moltz, and


    Extreme gratitude to Chris Breen for composing our theme music.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  6. The Yammer Roadmap in an Office 365 World… with Pavan Tapadia and Lindsay Matthews from the Yammer Product team | The Yaminade

    There have been a lot of questions recently about the future of Yammer. With further integration of Yammer into the Office 365 platform, and what on the

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  7. How WordPress Creator Matt Mullenweg Writes - Write With Impact Play in new window | DownloadI was recently in Hong Kong for a tech conference where I had the chance to meet Matt Mullenweg. For those of you who don’t know who Matt is, Matt took a piece of open source blogging software 12 years ago and started modifying it and improving it, and eventually turned it into WordPress, the content management software which powers 24% of all websites on the internet today.

    Matt is the CEO of Automattic, which is the company that manages and offers a range of products and services that are part of the WordPress ecosystem.  Automattic today is valued at over a billion dollars.

    Matt runs a very different company, and that’s something I go into with him in this conversation. For the most part, noone needs to go into an office. Their 400 employees work at home or in shared offices in dozens of countries around the world. Matt hopes to scale that up to 4,000 someday.

    They also rarely use email and instead use an internal blogging platform they created called P2 which they use to communicate.

    In the first half of the conversation we talk a lot about WordPress and Matt’s vision and plans for WordPress, and for his company, Automattic.

    In the second half of our conversation we talk about writing. Matt talks about a bunch of things, like:

    Why writing is one of the most important skills he looks for in the people that he hires

    He talks about the importance of writing to his work as the CEO of a company that is now valued at a billion dollars

    He goes through his own writing process and shares some of the books that have inspired him to become a better writer

    And he explains why he believes that “an ugly blog with incredible content will win over a beautiful blog with crappy content”.

    A couple quick announcements

    The first is the music. This is the first time I’m playing this piece on my podcast.  It’s composed and performed by the Grammy award-winning jazz pianist and composer Gonzalo Rubalcaba.  My wife and I met Gonzalo at his studio in Miami Florida last year, where he played this piece for us. I created a video of him playing the piece which you can find on Youtube here.  That link will take you to Youtube where you can watch him perform the piece, which he dedicated to his son, Joao.

    The second thing I wanted to mention is about me. I got a nice little shout out last week from a fellow writer: Justin Bariso, a columnist for, included me as one of the six writers who he says “can make you smart, more productive and make you laugh”. He had some kind things to say about my writing and I was humbled to be one of the writers on his shortlist.

    If you want to check out his article just go to and that’ll take you to his article on

    If you’d like to follow Justin’s writing head over to Twitter where he’s @justinjbariso, or find him on LinkedIn.


    Matt’s blog:

    Open source book on WordPress



    Glenn Leibowitz

    Glenn Leibowitz is the editor of Write With Impact and host of the Write With Impact podcast. Email Glenn at Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennleibowitz, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  8. #197: The Future of WordPress and Calypso with Matt Mullenweg - The Changelog

    This week we’re joined by Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic. We discussed the past, present, and future of WordPress. We talked about the role of JavaScript for WordPress, their new REST API, Calypso, and more.

    Download: MP3 Audio

    Show sponsors

    Subscribe to Changelog Weekly and Changelog Nightly to keep up!

    DigitalOcean – Use the code CHANGELOG to get a $10 hosting credit when you create a new DigitalOcean account

    Rollbar – Put errors in their place! Full-stack error tracking for all apps in any language. Get the Bootstrap Plan free for 90 days (300,000 errors).

    Pulse – Realtime cloud and infrastructure monitoring with visualization and alerting so you can monitor your blind spots.

    Show notes and links

    Dance to Calypso

    Introducing the New


    The Story Behind the New

    State of the Word 2015


    The Year Without Pants by Scott Berkun

    Beautiful Code

    The Pragmatic Programmer

    Steve Krug – Advanced Common Sense

    Dave Winer – Scripting News

    Joel Spolsky on Software

    Scott Berkun

    George Orwell – Politics and the English Language (1946)

    Have comments? Send a tweet to @Changelog on Twitter.Subscribe to Changelog Weekly – our weekly email covering everything that hits our open source radar.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  9. 1 — Deb Chachra – Looking Sideways

    We talk about the work of the pioneering scientist, feminist and educator, Ursula Franklin, whose book, The Real World of Technology, helps us understand how things are made in modern systems of manufacturing, and how the technology of manufacturing has changed relations in the workplace.

    We also talk about what motivates people to make; mundane work and craftwork; and what’s the difference between making a chair and raising a child.

    Deb Chachra is an associate professor at the Olin College of Engineering, in Massachusetts.

    Links for this episode

    Deb’s excellent weekly newsletter, Metafoundry

    Deb on Twitter

    Ursula Franklin

    The Real World of Technology

    The Massey Lectures, on which the book is based

    An introduction to Franklin’s idea of holistic and prescriptive technologies

    Deb Chachra in the Atlantic: Why I am not a maker

    Educating the Reflective Practitioner by Donald A. Schon

    Edward L. Deci’s self-determination theory

    Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink

    Baumol’s cost disease

    Leah Buechley’s talk at Eyeo 2014 – who gets to be a ‘maker’ Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

    This episode will be broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM on Sunday 21 February. To listen on Resonance, check out the show page.

    This series of Looking Sideways is a Lighthouse production for Resonance 104.4 FM

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  10. Minitel, the “French Internet” That Came Before the Web | Internet History Podcast

    From Netscape To The iPad

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

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