My Review of Duolingo for TidBITS (Plus my First Podcast Appearance!)

Speaking of TidBITS, I'm proud to announce my first article for this respected operation has been published. It's a review of Duolingo:

Learning a new language from scratch is a massive undertaking: getting started with basic words and phrases is a common approach, but leaping beyond these ordinary words to a solid understanding of grammar and pronunciation requires dedication and a lot of practice, particularly for adults. This is often so much to ask that the new language is quickly set aside, turning something that should be a fun and rewarding challenge into a boring chore that’s easy to put off.

Duolingo is a free Web site and app designed to solve this problem.

Bonus points for my first podcast appearance, too! (Big week.)

Microsoft’s Struggle: No compromises equals bad design

In my most recent article for The Industry, I write about why I think Microsoft made some poor design choices with Windows RT on the new Surface:

So, is the Microsoft Surface for Windows RT a “no compromises” OS? In some ways, yes. But this brings with it even more problems than a device which has a healthy dose of compromises.

I go on to explain how I think the device could be improved. I'm quite proud of this piece.

I was interviewed by James Brooks

Here's my interview from earlier this week with James Brooks. This is one of my first ever interview experiences and it was great: really fun to do and I'm proud of the result. I'm glad it wasn't too long-winded — I felt the questions were just the right length for me to answer fully, without rambling.

Read on to see what my desk looks like after it's been tidied (it's normally awful) and learn how I feel about flying.