A blog of rants, screeds, and other nonsense

…hastily written with love…

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • How Not to Unit Test

    Dave Cheney started a Twitter discussion about when a unit test is not a unit test.

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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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  • This is crap: Trump Economic Advisers Dismiss Fears of a Brewing Recession

    Today’s CNN headline is “Trump economic advisers dismiss fears of a brewing recession” (link).

    What crap.

    If they were honest they’d be saying:

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  • 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).

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  • When you think about Google, what disappoints you the most?

    My reply to:

    wrote:

    My answer was a 17-part megatweet. I’ve collected them here and done a little editing.

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  • The Ask

    When did the word “Ask” become a noun and how do we stop this butchering of language?

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  • Daylight Savings Time is a socialist plot!

    Did you know that DST was first proposed by socialists?

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  • My offer to Jeff Bezos to bring HQ2 back to NYC

    Reporters say that NY Gov Cuomo is calling Jeff Bezos begging him to reconsider.

    I’m sure he’s offering even MORE concessions.

    Here’s what I would do as governor:

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  • Demo Data as Code

    Have you been asked to generate data for a demo system? Here’s some advice.

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  • Creating The Demo Disk

    Creating a software demo is like creating a TV commercial. You should structure the project that way.

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  • The Slightly Broken Door Problem

    When I worked at Bell Labs, there was a door that slammed really loudly when it closed. This wouldn’t be a big deal except that it was right near me. Oh, and it was in the middle of my team’s offices so when it slammed, nearly everyone on the team would jump.

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  • AT&T Fails At Internet

    Let’s put this “AT&T could have owned the entire internet” idea to rest. No f—ing way it could have happened.

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  • What Should Executives Know About Software?

    As “software eats the world” executives need to “understand software”. If you were an executive that was old-school and wanted to “understand software”, what would you teach them?

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  • A template for sending letters to Congress

    I just made it a LOT easier to write letters to my representatives.

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  • Fax Machines Arent Magic

    I can’t believe my health insurance makes me fax certain forms. What year is this?

    Well, anyway… that reminds me of something that happened to me many years ago back when fax machines were more common.

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  • Tom's Finance Guide Part 8: More soon!

    This was a draft. The final version is now available as a pay-what-you-want self-published book called Tom’s Finance Guide: Retire Rich!

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  • Tom's Finance Guide Part 7: Retire rich!

    This was a draft. The final version is now available as a pay-what-you-want self-published book called Tom’s Finance Guide: Retire Rich!

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  • Tom's Finance Guide Part 6: Interlude about 401(k)

    This was a draft. The final version is now available as a pay-what-you-want self-published book called Tom’s Finance Guide: Retire Rich!

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  • Tom's Finance Guide Part 5: Bonus material: Loan sharks

    This was a draft. The final version is now available as a pay-what-you-want self-published book called Tom’s Finance Guide: Retire Rich!

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  • Tom's Finance Guide Part 4: Get Out of Debt

    This was a draft. The final version is now available as a pay-what-you-want self-published book called Tom’s Finance Guide: Retire Rich!

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  • Tom's Finance Guide Part 3: The Destination

    This was a draft. The final version is now available as a pay-what-you-want self-published book called Tom’s Finance Guide: Retire Rich!

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  • Tom's Finance Guide Part 2: The principles

    This was a draft. The final version is now available as a pay-what-you-want self-published book called Tom’s Finance Guide: Retire Rich!

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  • Tom's Finance Guide Part 1: The Plan

    This was a draft. The final version is now available as a pay-what-you-want self-published book called Tom’s Finance Guide: Retire Rich!

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Tom Limoncelli

Tom Limoncelli

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