Category Archives: Personal

LinkedIn’s Endorsement System is Broken

There is a flaw in LinkedIn‘s skill endorsement system, at least in so far as how mine has evolved. The result of which is that my endorsements do not match my actual relative levels of expertise. The key issue with my LinkedIn profile is the disproportionately high endorsements for MySQL, more than twice that of my next highest skill, PostgreSQL. The reality is I know much more about PostgreSQL than MySQL and anyone I have worked with I hope would know that. For some reason this has bothered me, so here is my explanation as to why I think it is happening and how I think it could be fixed.

My sample size of endorsements is really small so it’s not very statistically significant on its own, but I see a pattern emerging that is likely the result of flawed logic in the way LinkedIn promotes making endorsements. When you view someones profile on LinkedIn it may show you a box at the top of that user’s profile with a few of their skills, asking you to endorse them. How does LinkedIn come up with that short list from the possibly large list of available skills?

I assume as a user gains endorsements, those for which they have been endorsed will be more likely to be presented to new users to endorse. But what happens when a user has no or few endorsements? I can’t say for sure but I can bet they are using potentially many indicators from the ecosystem of LinkedIn’s available data such as number of users having that skill or total endorsements for that skill. They may also be using factors such as that skill’s relevance (i.e. occurrences) in job listings or job searches. The idea being that when having no user-specific indicators for which skills are important for that user, skills considered more important or relevant across the community at large or those most likely to lead to targetable skill sets for job searches should be favored for promotion for endorsements. The problem with that assumption, however, is that what the crowd is good at or what most recruiters are looking for isn’t necessarily what you are good at. If endorsements are meant as a way for recruiters or others to gauge your level of expertise or proficiency in a skill, then LinkedIn’s logic for promoting endorsements is flawed.

What I think would be more valuable is for users to first rate their own expertise in their skills, then let other users endorse those skills. When promoting other users to endorse them, the short list of skills to present should be based on a combination of your own rating, the endorsements from others, as well as indicators from the LinkedIn ecosystem as to what skills are important to the community. If others organically endorse skills in a disproportionate way to how they were rated by the user, that is ok and potentially interesting information. At least a user has some influence on how that process evolves.


Maker Faire NYC 2013

Had an awesome time at Maker Faire NYC 2013!! Tons of cool projects and cool tech.

I posted my photos on my Google+ page:

Maker Faire NYC 2013 Google+ Album

Here is a few samples


Guitar Rebuild part 2

So far I’ve gotten through the sanding and wood prep phase and just about to start eh painting phase. Here is a list of steps I have completed:

  1. Disassemble down to the bare wood body. Here I removed the neck, bridge, and pickguard with pickups and electronics assembly. I wish I had taken a picture of this part, but I didn’t, so sorry.
  2. Sand off existing finish down to bare wood with palm sander and by hand where needed. This step I used a combination of 80 and 120 grit sandpaper.
  3. I was then left with a trouble spot on the top of the body near the neck where the heat caused some minor damaged. It seemed as if the veneer had pulled away from the body creating a pocket, or a bubble, about the size of a penny. To fix this I cut a small slit and tried to get thinned out wood glue to fill the gap and clamped it down. This seemed to work well and I just had to use some wood filler to fix a few bad spots.
  4. I then block sanded and hand sanded the body with 120, then 220, grit sandpaper to smooth out the harshness from the palm sanding and get the contours smooth.
  5. Next I used an Elmers solvent-based wood filler to fill the trouble spot I mentioned and some dings, divits, and low spots.
  6. After the wood filler dried I sanded the filled areas with 120 grit sandpaper.
  7. The final sanding was with a 400 grit sandpaper.
  8. After sanding and before painting I applied a sanding sealer to fill the grain and smaller imperfections and, duh, seal the wood. I have applied one coat, sanded, and applied a final coat and am letting that dry until I work on it again.

That is it for now. Next steps are to sand the final sanding sealer coat and start the actual painting process. I’ll try and post the details of the exact products I used for the wood filler and sanding sealer.

Here is a picture of the latest state of the guitar.


Guitar Rebuild part 1

So, the thing I lost in the fire that I miss most is my Fender Standard Stratocaster. As you can see below, it is toast. There was significant fire damage on the neck, but the body only sustained heat and surface damage. It wasn’t an expensive guitar, but it has a lot of sentimental and personal value, so I decided to rebuild it. Rebuilding it will consist of sanding and refinishing the body, and buying the rest of the parts needed like neck, bridge, pickups, etc. I will try and post info and pictures as I progress through the rebuild process. For now, here is a shot post-fire and pre-rebuild.


Erin and I purchased the domain to keep our friends and family updated on all the exciting events leading up to our big day.


I’m a Fonero

I recently joined FON, the largest WiFi community in the world. FON provides social WiFi routers for $5 (+shipping); all you have to do is keep it plugged into an Internet connection. Or if you already have a compatible router you can become a fonero for free. With this you also get free access to any of the thousands of other FON routers found around the world.


eBay-ing my RC Racing stuff Pt.2: Truck

I’ve got another eBay auction up for my Team Losi XXX-T. We’ll see how this one does.

The eBay auction can be found here.


eBay-ing my RC Racing stuff Pt.1: Charger

This is the first of maybe 4-5 eBay auctions in an effort to offload my RC car racing gear. I stopped racing almost 2 years ago when I moved to Dalton and never got back into it. I kept thinking I would, but I just don’t have the time or extra money to dedicate to the hobby (that and my Friday nights are spoken for now).

This auction is for my Novak Millennium Pro charger, Trinity discharger, and power supply (converted from PC power supply). The power supply has some special meaning, since I’m pretty proud of what I was able to do with it, but I now have no need for it and I think it would help the auction.

I’ll keep you appraised as I offer more of my RC collection.

The eBay auction can be found here.


I’m Engaged!!!! :) :) :)

As of 3/11/06 @ ~7pm I am officially engaged to marry Erin Bonacquisti. 😀 This is somewhat old news; we just wanted time to tell people before announcing it on my website/blog. Erin and I are very excited and have a lot of work ahead of us. I don’t usually post too much about my personal life here, but I just couldn’t let this one get by.


St. Pattys Day / Iron Horse / Big Bad Bollocks

Another St. Patricks day at the Iron Horse w/ The Big Bad Bollocks. It has become a bit of a tradition, as this was our 4th year seeing the Bollocks at the Iron Horse on St. Pattys day. It was a great time as always; good music, good company, and lots and lots of Guinness. Here are the pics to prove it.