Run Linux In A Window On A Chromebook

Screenshot 2014-12-29 at 11.09.09 AM
This is a handy new development that allows you to run Linux (Crouton) in a window on a Chromebook. It also addresses some of the difficulties of copy and paste from ChromeOS and Crouton which is something I have been missing very much.

Obviously, you can run Crouton without this plugin by switching between full screen Crouton and full screen ChromeOS, but these just feels more seemless and integrated.

Why SOAP Lost? or Why software engineering is hard and lazy is good

I chuckled my way through this post on ‘Why SOAP lost’ because it seems to be missing some fundamental observations.

SOAP (like Java) was designed for structured use in well designed systems. most developers shy away from anything structured. It gets in the way of just writing code (or more frequently, downloading code and pasting into the editor). Much better to use JSON and write a bunch of validation code than to use SOAP/XML and re-use existing robust, well tested parsers and validators. I know, I am making a big assumption there – that a developer would actually write validation code. The more ad hoc the development process, the more ‘agile’ it is and that is good, right? Ask your friendly neighborhood QA and operations people about the value of optimizing for slap-dash development versus designing for sustainability, consistency, uptime and performance.

XML is ‘much harder to read’ than JSON? Right. Give someone a JSON document with 2-3 levels of nesting and an array or two and see how much easier they think JSON is. XML can be verbose, but that is for the purpose of clarity. Oh, and kudos for adding the line breaks in front of the namespace declarations to make your example XML look more ‘verbose’.

I’m not sure I understand the comment about SOAP usage of HTTP POST being a hardship because it can’t be tested in a browser. Easily solved by using something like the POSTman plugin in your browser. And I suppose the author is one of the service designers who doesn’t use anything but HTTP GET and returns everything (including errors) with an HTTP status of 200. Because, you know, that is easier – especially when your production environment is a browser and not a server or something exotic like that.

The last set of bullet items in the post is missing a little something as well:

Laziness, when it is the primary decision criteria, optimizes for development and sacrifices everything else. That is like optimizing for 5% or less of the lifecycle of that code. Just dumb. Be a nice person and drink your steaming cup of STFU when your YAGNI snark causes 20 hours of production downtime a month because the code has no design rigor behind it and certainly doesn’t take supportability concerns into consideration.

Using Two-Factor (yubikey) with Mac OS X

YubiKey Neo
YubiKey Neo
Outstanding detailed article on using two-factor authentication with the Mac OS X operating system. Note that there is a lot of good follow up in the comments section as well.

I bought a yubikey neo back in October and have been using it with Google’s U2F implementation. I think that this is a smart way to go security-wise and I am glad to see that Google is making it easier to take advantage of. You can also opt for the less expensive yubikey standard if you don’t have a need for the Near Field Communications (NFC) capability on the yubikey.

Happy New Year

2014-12-13 13.16.52
Happy New Year! 2014 was filled with ups and downs (as to be expected). Hopefully, 2015 will see projects successfully completed and new directions explored. Coming into the new year with a bit of flu has been kind of a drag, but things should start picking up again in a few days.

Happy New Year

It seems like only yesterday it was 2013.

2013 ended in a bittersweet way for my family. Here is hoping for more positive events in the coming year.

And maybe an element of #reboot.

Reliable Bias

You can count on the Guardian Tech Weekly podcast to reliably slag off anything Google and shower sycophantic praise on anything Apple. This week’s podcast is no exception:

Numbers show that Android is the most popular tablet format in the world. Guardian Tech’s take ‘well most of those sales are in Asia so they don’t really matter’. Yeah, right, a market that represents roughly 2/3rds of the worlds population doesn’t mean anything. Got it.

Next up, the Google Chromecast gets written off (sight unseen) because, well, it isn’t Apple TV. Heaven forbid that someone actually innovate rather than follow (which seems to be the Apple mode of late). Apple will likely come out with something in this form factor and it will be proclaimed by GTW as the most innovative thing ever.

And recently, Apple’s attempted injunction against Samsung selling the Galaxy line of smartphones is a righteous protection of their (sic) innovations. However, Samsung’s injunction against Apple for patent violation is a gross overstep/abuse of patten laws.

Do you guys get better swag from Apple than Google? Certainly objectivity is lacking.

Springpad App – Deleted

The Springpad mobile app is the latest to get deleted due to application security overreach. You are (or were) a list making application – you do not, for any legitimate reason, need to be able to read (and remotely store, no doubt) my contact information. Deleted.

I hope you are working to make your web site accessible to mobile devices because that is what I will use from now on (if at all). Learn from your mistakes.

Happy New Year

Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2012.

Oh, and hopefully we can silence the world ending this year nonsense once and for all. I am sure there are some who won’t be convinced until January 2013.