Ben Ward

Hello! This is the website of Ben Ward. It was started in 2004, and this what it looks like right now. Read more about Ben, see his CV, or search this site.

Recent Posts

  1. There can only be Uno

    I regularly host games nights. Sometimes we play intricate, grown up games like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne (with expansions), Ticket to Ride, and the like. Recently we've been taken to playing …Uno. Here are some notes on why, and the large extended ruleset we built up to wonderful effect.

  2. Silicon Valley through a PRISM

    This week's events surrounding NSA surveillance triggered some cynicism in the tech industry, but also carelessness and even hypothetical enthusiasm for the massive, untargeted collection of data by a government, and I find that quite weird. Along with the ever-present privilege bias of the place, it set me thinking about how desensitised we as developers are to the entire practice.

  3. Building the Great Libraries of the Internet with a DNS time machine

    We need to concede that though we can maintain the paths of URIs over the lifetime of a service, most domain names are unavoidably ephemeral. A two year registration to host a joke, a fifteen year registration to build a company. All will eventually be resold. We need to not fight the ephemerality. We need to look at the very heart of the web and apply the concept of the Wayback Machine to it.

  4. Unsettling

    Compliance means establishing routine. Settling in. Living in London, as I otherwise might under other circumstances. Not fretting over events outside of my control. It means finding comfort in these surroundings, and shedding the playful idea that you can go for weeks pretending to be a Londoner. After Christmas I needed my space, I needed to decompress. This year I did that in London.

  5. Cold Comfort

    I rather like the cold. I don't like being cold, but I find great comfort in being warm whilst the world is cold around me. Scarves and woollen jumpers and thick pea coats and open fires. Watching your breath in the air while feeling snug all at the same time.

  6. Free! Ben Ward

    So it is that I find myself starting 2013 in London, rather than my regular location of San Francisco. Back on December 19th I stopped by the US embassy for a routine update to the H1-B stamp in my passport, but now I'm still here, having been held up in some additional processing with no specified duration, and very little information upon which to estimate the delay. Here are my thoughts on coping with the simultaneous upset of missing San Francisco, and excitement of being stranded in one of the greatest cities in the world.

  7. On Writing

    Throughout 2012 I got to enjoy writing regularly for The Pastry Box. In illustrious company I got to join in the great pleasure of writing for an audience, writing to a deadline, and having people give me feedback on my drafts. I had a really really good time doing it, so here's a short reflection on the work now the year is done and Pastry Box is handing off to new authors.

  8. The Pastry Box: Thinking Local

    I think that it is a natural desire to contribute positively to our local community, and to do so through our work. We want to build things that make a difference to people whose faces we see; those whom we interact with in the course of our daily life. The web can seem like a difficult medium through which to do that, everything is so broad and so big intrinsically.