Setting env variables in /bin/bash
If you want to set an env variable in bash for only 1 command, here’s some bad ways to do it:read more
All I Do Is Play With Strings
A poem I wrote earlier this year.read more
Who Builds The H-Bomb? Not I!
- “Who Builds The H-Bomb?”
- Mark Levy, December ‘81
How Biden can win like Obama
I have a theory that 3 things lead to Obama’s win. He surprised the GOP three ways.read more
Google Meets and Sneezes
Dear Google Meets,
We need to talk about your product.read more
A Good Sign
Working at home with dogs
Most of my company works remote, and with C-19 we are now all working remotely.read more
Terms and conditionsSection 1 Cookies: We reserve the right to set cookies and use use services that set cookies. Hell if we know what happens after that. Even if we had legal agreements with those external services, we wouldn’t trust those third parties to abide by the agreements. Nether should you. Section 2 Log retention: The web server we use logs all incoming requests (“traffic logs”) just like any reasonable web server software. read more
Wouldn’t it make more sense if the early primary states were picked from the battleground states of the previous election instead of being a fixed set of states? For example, the top 5 battleground states go first.read more
On requiring experienced presenters to rehearse
There’s a small controversy brewing behind the scenes at conferences because of this trend to require speakers to rehearse their talk via video conference prior to the event.read more
Clayton Christensen has died
Clayton Christensen died on Jan 23, 2020 at the age of 67.
You may know him from his 1997 best selling book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail.”
He was incredibly influential, well beyond the typical author.read more
How to spell the word "Bisexual"
I wrote this in Oct 1999. I’ve fixed up some typos but otherwise this is unchanged.read more
Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr and technology
My Martin Luther King, Jr. day tradition is to listen to the speech he made at my alma mater, Drew University, in Madison, New Jersey, on Feb 5, 1964 (nearly a quarter century before I attend).read more
The President Has Been Impeached
This is a sad day for our country. Impeachment is a “last resort”. The fact that it has come to this shows what a sorry state our democracy has become.read more
A Star Wars Episode I memory
With the 9th and finalchapter of Star Wars arriving, here’s a memory from when I saw the premier of Star Wars: Episode I, the Phantom Menace.read more
Communicating Using the Numbers 1, 2, 3, and more
The human brain reacts differently to lists of different sizes. When we align what we say with what the human brain expects, we are more effective communicators.read more
How to encourage people to ask questions
One cool trick to get an audience to ask more questions: Silence inspires questions.
When you ask “Any questions?” be silent for least 10 seconds for someone to speak up. 15 seconds is better.read more
Those Two Dozen Republicans Should Be Arrested
When the two-dozen GOP senators disrupted Laura Cooper’s deposition, they didn’t just create a publicity stunt… they created a security hole that every spy agency in the world could take advantage of.read more
Comcast's concern is that they can't fuck you hard enough
Comcast’s #1 concern is that if they can’t fuck you hard enough.
Or, as Vice reported it, Comcast Is Lobbying Against Encryption That Could Prevent it From Learning Your Browsing History.read more
Tom's Rules for Conference Organizing
These opinions have been developed from 3 decades of attending and organizing conferences. This advice applies whether a conference non-profit or for-profit, all-volunteer or professionally run, community-driven or commercial.
Time is precious. A bad conference wastes people’s time. As as conference organizers you owe it to the attendees to make sure their time was well-spent.read more
How to fix a conference? Rehearse Your Speakers
(Are you a speaker? Read this instead.)
The single biggest thing you can do to improve your conference’s content is to require all speakers rehearse their presentation two weeks prior to the conference, via video conference, with someone that has not seen the talk before. Everything else is spinning your wheels.read more
Million Dollar Computer-Controlled Drilling Machines
When I was in 8th grade I got a job working for a small company that was a reseller of electronic drilling and measuring equipment. I was just the office boy… mostly doing paperwork, shipping, and occasional data-entry.read more
It's time for Chocolately
Increasingly, vendors understand that the inability to rapidly deploy their products affects the customers’ ability to rapidly purchase their products.
(quoted from Page 152 of The Practice of System and Network Administration, Third Edition)
I believe I first wrote that quote in 1999 when the first edition was still in draft form. That was 20 years ago. I’m embarrassed to say that in the last month I’ve had to remind two different vendors of this fact.
Any vendor that thinks automated installation is a new concept… sigh.
So what does that have to do with Chocolately?read more
Reduce the maximum validity period for TLS/SSL server certificates
Question: What would be the impact on your organization if the CA/Browser Forum approves a ballot reducing the maximum validity period for SSL/TLS server certificates from the current 825 days (27 months) at present to 397 days (13 months), effective for new certificates issued on or after March 1, 2020? (Existing certificates will remain valid for their full term).read more
When you think about Google, what disappoints you the most?
When did the word “Ask” become a noun and how do we stop this butchering of language?read more
Daylight Savings Time is a socialist plot!
Did you know that DST was first proposed by socialists?read more