Monday, September 26, 2011

Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute

Waterloo’s Perimeter Institute had a very public celebration of the opening of its new Stephen Hawking Centre on September 16, 17, and 18. I’m only getting around to marking that celebration now, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t floored by the experience of attending many of the events over those three days.

My family and I, in various combinations, enjoyed a tour of the new facility, the Physica Phantastica exhibit, three different pubic lectures (George Dyson, Hod Lipson, and Julie Payette), and a Science in the Pub session on creativity. Wow.

The highlight for me, though, was to be in the audience for the introduction of Xiao-Gang Wen as the first holder of PI’s Isaac Newton Chair. That was a moment that was striking for any number of reasons, not least being the presence of the Perimeter Institute’s founding benefactor Mike Lazeridis, who clearly has a  real interest in its mission and success.

The variety of events was amazing, and the crowds that turned out to mark the occasion and celebrate science are a great indication of the pride and support in the community for PI. In turn, the visible and ongoing commitment by PI to its Public Outreach program makes for an thoroughly engaging community experience.

What an extraordinary institution to have in this community.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Karos Health goes to a career fair


I’ve written several times here about working at Karos Health, most recently about our co-op recruiting event at the University of Waterloo. Only a week after that event, Karos Health will be present at the Partnerships for Employment Career Fair on Wednesday, September 28, from 10:00am until 3:30pm at RIM Park in Waterloo.

Partnerships for Employment provides an opportunity for students and alumni from the University of GuelphUniversity of WaterlooWilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College to meet with employers and to learn more about the employment opportunities available. Karos Health happens to have several software-related positions open, and we’re looking forward to meeting with potential candidates at the fair.

If you’re planning on being at the event, and are interested in working at Karos Health, please drop by and see us at booth 77 and say hello. We’d love to meet you.  For that matter, please feel free to talk to me any time about career opportunities at Karos Health.

This post originally appeared on the Karos Health blog in a slightly different form.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Karos Health co-op recruiting event at UW

Some of you may know that I work at a Waterloo-based software company called Karos Health. As I’ve written about in the past, Karos Health recruits students from the University of Waterloo for co-op work terms. It’s only September, but we’re already looking ahead to the Winter 2012 term and we’re actively looking for software developers and software testers.

To that end, on September 21, from 11:30am to 1:00pm, Karos Health will hold a recruiting event at the Davis Centre on the University of Waterloo campus. We’ll be in The Fishbowl, happily chatting with anyone who wants to learn more about of working at Karos.

You can read more about our co-op jobs now, or just plan on coming out to the event and learning about us there.

We’re a small startup with a terrific team that already has products in the market and customers who are excited by what we’re doing. We’re collaborative, smart, and committed to creating great products while having fun doing it. At Karos you’ll have a chance to try different things, get your code into shipping products, test new product releases and make a meaningful difference to health care providers and patients. And, once a month, you’ll be fed the best waffles you’ve ever eaten.

If you’re at all curious about working at Karos, this will be an opportunity to talk to many of the people, including current and past co-op students, who are creating the software that powers our products. Want to know what tools we use? Or how we manage our source code? Or how we practice Scrum and other Agile techniques? This is the place to find out, and to hear about why your next great co-op job might well be here at Karos.

No RSVP required. Just come by the Davis Centre, enjoy some free food that we’ll provide, and learn about working at a terrific software startup right here in Waterloo.

This post originally appeared on the Karos Health blog in a slightly different form.

Some Apple products are imperfect by design

I’ve been using an Apple iPad 2 for a few months now, and have enjoyed it tremendously. One aspect of it that stands out is the deliberate imperfection that Apple has introduced into the design of the Smart Cover accessory. I’d go as far as to say that Apple has embraced Wabi Sabi, the Japanese aesthetic which accepts, and even demands, imperfection and transience as an important aspect of beauty.

The Smart Cover that I have on my iPad is leather. Out of the box, it wasn’t quite pristine, but had a lovely texture. In the last several months, though, it has acquired an uneven patina through daily use, along with more noticeable scuffs and marks. It’s no longer perfect, if it ever was, and it now provides a striking contrast to the aluminum and glass ‘perfection’ of the iPad. It completes the iPad, providing a visual warmth and a organic feel that the cover-less iPad lacks.

The unique imperfections have marked the iPad as ‘mine’ — distinct from an iPad that someone else might own — as effectively as the combination of apps, books, music, games, and other bits of data that I’ve installed/assembled/created on it.

Apple is, of course, aware of the inevitability of these ‘imperfections’. The packaging for the smart cover includes a notice: “The leather Smart Cover is crafted from high-quality, naturally treated material that gets its color from a rich aniline dye. Some color may rub off during use.” (Emphasis mine.)

Beautifully done.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A new post, written on an iPad

For some time now, Google has been in the midst of a major refresh and consolidation of the design (and implementation) of its products. As of Wednesday this week, that design work has now extended to Blogger, the platform that I happen to use for this blog. At first glance, the new Blogger looks and works great. One major benefit of the revamp is that I can now write and edit posts on my iPad. That wasn't possible on the previous version — or, at least, I wasn’t able to do so. The update doesn’t appear to be optimized for mobile — in fact, it’s a little flakey — but it does work. Maybe there’s more to come?

This post is about about little more than creating a test post on my iPad, while also taking the opportunity to express my admiration for what they've been releasing these past months. Google+ has been getting the bulk of the attention, but there’s great work being done on their other products as well.