Learning Go as a PHP Developer: The Journey Begins

This is part 1 of a multi-part series about my experience learning Go. I’ve been writing software almost exclusively in PHP since I first started to program. In the early to mid 2000s, before the advent of cheap cloud computing, shared hosting was the most viable option for somebody with a small (read: non-existent) budget, which meant PHP was the language to learn if I wanted to write software for the web. Continue reading »

WordPress Needs to Take PHP Upgrades Seriously

Charge ahead WordPress powers 25% of the web. It is arguably the most influential open source PHP project, and claims a massive community and developer base. It’s not handling PHP upgrades responsibly. This is not a new issue. The push from the community for WordPress to raise the minimum required version of PHP has been happening for years. It was brought up again with Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp US 2015. Take a look. Continue reading »

No, Fingerprint Login Isn't "Better than Nothing"

No more fingerprints This week we learned that 5.6 million people’s fingerprints were part of the stolen data from OPM earlier this year. Samsung and HTC have come under fire for their (atrocious) implementation of fingerprint authentication that left fingerprint data unprotected on users’ devices. Apple’s Touch ID is arguably the most secure (and widely used) consumer fingerprint authentication system, but even it has flaws that have been exploited. There’s no such thing as bugless or unhackable software. Continue reading »

225 Years

HH-65 Dolphin and USCGC Eagle Today, August 4, 2015, marks the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard. On this day in 1790, Congress created the Revenue Cutter Service on the recommendation of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. In 1915, the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to form the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard today has 11 missions spanning search and rescue, law enforcement, aids to navigation, and more. With fewer personnel than the New York Police Department, the Coast Guard does a lot in the average day. Continue reading »

30 Day Challenge: From Chrome to Firefox

Firefox on Ubuntu I’ve been a died-in-the-wool Chrome fan pretty much since it was released. When it came out it was a breath of fresh air compared to the nightmare of Internet Explorer and the increasingly slow and bloated Firefox. Everything was so fast. The UI was so sparse and clean. It was such a departure from the way browsers had been set up. In the years since, Chrome has grown in size and reach to a point where it’s starting to feel a little heavy and, in some ways, losing its direction. Continue reading »

Patriotism and Free Speech

Rally I read an article this week about a group of high school students in Portland, Maine questioning the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in school. The TL;DR is that the senior class president, responsible for the morning announcements, has added the phrase “if you’d like to” after her request for students to rise and recite the Pledge. The students taking up this cause have a better understanding of patriotism, free speech and their rights as Americans than any of their detractors, including the school’s faculty and staff. Continue reading »

Google, Get Your Act Together with Apps Accounts

If you’re not a geek like me, you may have missed Google’s announcement of their new email management tool, Inbox. As soon as I heard about it I signed up for an invite, and eagerly awaited my chance to try it. A way to manage my email that works like Google Now? Sign me up! A few days later, I got the email telling me it was my turn. Hooray! I downloaded the app, chose the account I wanted to use when it opened, and got slapped in the face with this message: Continue reading »

I'm Going to Defense Entrepreneurs Forum 2014

DEF 2014 banner On Thursday I’m headed to Chicago for this year’s Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. It’s an opportunity for people, military and civilian alike, to come together to present and discuss ideas about how to improve the operations of the nation’s military through innovation. Okay, that sounds like a lot of PR and jargon. Basically, think of DEF as TED for the military. It’s a chance for smart people to share their good ideas about how to make our armed forces work better. Continue reading »

Short Blogging

Gina Trapani posted yesterday about the concept of short-form blogging, in conjunction with Andy Baio’s post on “middling”. Their conclusion (that short, to-the-point blog posts can be better) is one that I came to a while back as well, but I’ve done a poor job implementing it. I still get hung up on the need for blog posts to have lasting meaning, or make an impactful statement, or have measurable value to others. Continue reading »

What I'm Reading

Mall at University of Maryland It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so I figured I’d have another go. 15 Lessons from 15 Years of Blogging Anil Dash, one of my favorite bloggers and all-around brilliant Internet statesman on the practicalities of blogging he’s learned over the years. Taken The insidious, and largely unknown, policy of civil forfeiture allows police departments to strip people of their property without due process. The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking Is Healthy Continue reading »
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