Monday, October 16, 2017

Want to see something crazy? Open this link on your phone with WiFi turned off.

It seems like everyone is selling any and all data they collect on us.

But what these services show us is even more alarming: US telcos appear to be selling direct, non-anonymized, real-time access to consumer telephone data to third party services — not just federal law enforcement officials — who are then selling access to that data.

I thought FCC regulations didn’t allow telecom companies to do this, but clearly that isn’t the case. Regulation is needed here. Sadly I don’t expect it to happen since the money and politics are all on the other side of the argument.

How Apple put an end to iOS jailbreaking | BetaNews

Interesting read with some peeks into the elaborate security infrastructure in a modern iPhone. The article is about how hard jailbreaking is as a result, but it’s also a good overview of general security in the device.


Load graphs in ascii for your terminal windows.

iPad Diaries: Clipboard Management with Copied and Workflow – MacStories

I recently decided to take the plunge and get Copied on all of my iOS and macOS devices. Viticci’s endorsed this software for a long time and I’ve been hesitant. Right away I found it really handy to have access to everything I’ve copied on my Mac available on my iPad as well and searching that history is fabulous.

Sunday, October 15, 2017 Validator

If you find yourself writing an ICS or iCalendar feed by hand this will come in handy to make sure it works right. This one seemed to detect timezone shenanigans well.

iCalendar Validator - Based on iCal4j

If you find yourself writing an ICS or iCalendar feed by hand this will come in handy. This one did well detecting required elements.

Friday, October 13, 2017

High Sierra - Terminal lags if background opacity is set - Ask Different

This bug in High Sierra is really bad for terminal. I have a MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012) and with opacity set to 90% on terminal windows they are unusably slow. If I don’t use transparency it works fine. Oddly enough when the window is in the background it seems to go faster. 😞

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Cool Javascript library to do network / graph visualization. This could be used to do some fun data visualization in the browser. It would be really cool to build a network visualization of all my links. 🤔

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Changes in Password Best Practices - Schneier on Security

Password expiration and special character requirements should go away in favor of long pass phrases. Any guess on how many years it will take security certification and audit functions to catch up to this wisdom? My guess is 5 years.

Perl turns 30 |

I like to give Perl code a hard time because so much of it is so sloppy. However, truth be told some of the very first coding I did on the web was all Perl CGI code doing really goofy things on the web. The block of Perl that I wrote for BigCharts was some of my favorite. It’s amazing that Perl is now 30 years old. These days I definitely prefer Python but Perl does deserve some respect at least for it’s regular expression capabilities.

The Importance of Thinking Time — MyProductiveMac

In the realm of actively managing your schedule this is an important aspect to consider scheduling.

That’s it, nothing else. Make sure you know when you’re going to take the opportunity to down tools, take a break and just - think. Just - be. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Replacing our search with Algolia | Netlify

Netlify shares how they moved from Lunr.js search using JavaScript to Algolia using their hosted service and JavaScript library. I used Lunr.js to put search in Link Thing but searching 8,000+ documents is far too much for a client-side search solution.

The Absurdly Underestimated Dangers of CSV Injection

Interesting writeup on injecting formulas into CSV data to affect the behavior of the software that is reading the CSV. This example uses the preference that spreadsheets have to interpret formulas embedded in CSV files. Security risks like this can be surprising, even to very technical people, since the data isn’t an executable itself.

What Sephora Knows About Women in Tech That Silicon Valley Doesn’t - WSJ

Highlighting how Sephora has defied technology trends regarding gender diversity in technology. This reference to EEOC data is sobering:

Women hold 23% of roles in the technical ranks at the top 75 Silicon Valley companies, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A report from the commission attributes the scarcity of women in those roles to inhospitable work cultures, isolation, a “firefighting” work style, long hours and a lack of advancement.

Take a look at the ‘Industry Pipeline’ graphs and note that the only industries with lower representation of women than tech is ‘automative and industrial manufacturing’ and ‘energy and basic materials’. There is a lot of room to improve! Thanks @anna_picchetti for the link!

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Value of Optimizing for Resilience - DZone Performance

Good read and I like this term resilience better than survivability, which is what I typically use to describe these qualities. I also like the concept that this is built into the services but also the teams behind them.

If the checkout team adopted Defensive Architecture techniques they could combine a Circuit Breaker, a Bulkhead, and a Feature Toggle in anticipation of registration errors. If the registration service struggled under load the Circuit Breaker would regulate registration requests to allow a percentage to succeed, and the Bulkhead would warn the checkout frontend to skip registration for some customers.

Great terms and concepts to consider in system and team design! 👍


An entire OS written in x86 assembly? 🤦🏼‍♂️ That sounds like a task you would give some CSci students in college to drive them slowly insane. You can boot it on a USB drive if you want to be an operating system tourist and take a peek. Notably this is one of those real-time operating systems that is likely behind the navigation system in your car.

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