projects

These are some of the things I’ve worked on or developed. I’m always on the lookout for fun projects that I can sink some energy into, and I think a good project is the best way to learn a new skill.

    • FOIA The Dead is a long-term transparency project that uses the Freedom of Information Act to request the FBI files of recently deceased people who are the subjects of obituaries in the New York Times. The code that requests the files, as well as the code that generates the website, is available on Github.
    • I have built a few Twitter bots. Just about every time I launch one I post about it here, but a full list of their recent posts is on Twitter.
    • The Pomological Watercolor Collection is a set of 7,500 painted images housed in the US Department of Agriculture and painted between the 1880s and 1930s. I’ve worked to get high-resolution images of the paintings released online, developed bots to upload the entire collection to Wikimedia and to post images to Twitter and Mastodon, and for an exhibition created a visual viewer.
    • Five Useful Articles is a weekly newsletter about copyright, trademark, patents, and related news. I write it together with Sarah Jeong and we aim to be funny. That’s a pretty easy job, given how absurd a lot of the laws already are.
    • @drones is a frequently updated stream of news and views on drone tech and policy, both domestically and around the globe. It’s jointly operated with Trevor Timm.
    • CryptoParty SF is the San Francisco branch of the CryptoParty series of events. For the most part they consist of workshops and demos of crypto tools and concepts, targeted mostly at beginners and novices. Anyway, I organized the events in San Francisco (with a ton of help). The first was in November 2012.
    • Iron Blogger SF is about blogging and beer. Participants must post something to their blogs each week; if they fail, they have to pay $5 into the pot. When the pot’s full, everybody goes out and drinks. There have been a few Iron Bloggers before in other cities, and I started organizing the San Francisco chapter in January 2012. It’s now run by Ben Gleitzman.