My Favorite Articles of 2013

Teaching our Children to Code

It is Computer Science Education Week and many of the other blogs and people I follow on twitter have been linking to the Code.org video and resources. Codecademy released a neat iOS application as well. However despite all this hoopla I was surprised to learn how far there is to go.

I looked up the statistics for the AP Computer Science A exam in Connecticut for 2013 and discovered that only 413 students took the exam. Among those students only 89 were women. In spite of the hoopla inside the entreprenuerial circles about coding and code education, it does not seem to be reaching outside the bubble.

When I was in high school I got together with a few friends and convinced a science teacher to teach us AP Computer Science so we could take the exam. We gave-up a study hall session to be able to take the class since it was outside the normal class blocks. Sometimes grassroots energy works.

However students are not going to ask for it if they are not familiar with coding. Students need exposure to it through after-school programs or other projects. Schools need to make sure it is an option for them. Otherwise we will conitnue to have a shortage of people with these skills.

Jonathan Mann Writes a Song a Day

If you are an Apple fan you have probably heard Jonathan Mann’s work. His song about the iPhone 4 antenna problems was featured in an Apple press conference. I did not know that he also wrote a song about Paul Krugmen. In fact he writes a song a day. I embedded the Krugman song below:

House Passes Patent Innovation Act

Over the past week or so I have been seeing people I follow on twitter tweet up a storm about the Patent Innovation Act. Fred Wilson wrote a good post on it at his blog yesterday. As always the discussion was worth reading as well. Gigaom also has a summary.

As someone who has listented to many podcasts I was happy to see the provision that would allow technology manufacturers to engage in litigation while litigation against users would be halted. Many of the blogs and tweets I have read from podcasters and mobile developers have lamented the threat of patent trolls and now this would allow Apple to step-in and defend them. Unfortunately for entrepeneurs, patent litigation is expensive and the threat of a lawsuit can cause them to have to pack their bags.

We still have some ways to go before the problem that patent trolls cause is tamed. However this is a good step and it appears that with the support of the White House and hopefully a passing vote in the Senate this will make the lives of entrepreneurs a little easier.

Kevin Lembo's Big Win

Press Release from Gov. Malloy’s Office:

Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by State Comptroller Kevin Lembo and Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith, today signed Executive Order (EO) No. 38 to make information regarding certain economic assistance and tax credits used to recruit or retain businesses more accessible to Connecticut residents.

This is a big victory for Kevin Lembo who has been working to make state government more transparent. Kudos to the Governor for getting onboard with this. If you want to learn more about open government I suggest dropping by next month’s Civic Hack Night Meetup in New Haven.

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