Trends of 2018

Distributed ledgers. We’ll eventually see a scalable , extensible, ledger that will allow people to own their own data. People will stop associating that ledger with p2p payment mechanisms and start seeing it for what it really is – an audit trail.

NEM/BTC/ETH is attempting to track every transaction in the entire history of the currency. This is a good POC but may be overkill. Immutable paper trails are good for many other things – attention, reputation, identity.

We need to augment existing internet protocols to free us from the giants and the information they alone hold about us. What if we held our own information and set permission on who/when/what sections could be accessed. The power belongs to the people, not the ubers, googles, or facebooks.

Trends of 2018

These are personal themes in my life so I’m not trying to predict the direction of mainstream tech – I am not a futurist. I’ll probably do a series of posts on 2018 trends that are meaningful to me. This first one is probably the most interesting:

Kubernetes, Helm Charts, and Open Service Broker

This is the next step in the microservices trend. All starting from a namespace concept in the Linux kernel which led to LXC/LXD which spawned simplifying technologies like Docker and rkt which finally led to standardization in OCI. Once we learned what images were, we needed a management tool to define and integrate (or orchestrate) them. Kubernetes blazed this path and Docker followed with Docker Compose. Though there are tools like kompose, Helm stepped in to fully integrate concepts of Compose into Kubernetes. A Chart is a diagram of your microservice network. This let’s you do all kinds of interesting things like test, harden, distribute your byzantine systems in a simple way.

We now have a single tool that lets developers do proper integration testing, SREs to stand up the same version as the developer to smoke test or happy path the system, and DevOps can just do a `helm upgrade x` to deploy. Helm charts are published to a repository (central or local) and can be combined to form a larger system. Many of the same hooks (and in most cases, more hooks) provided to Compose are also provided to Charts. Meaning I can specify in my requirements.yaml I want to use the rabbitMQ chart version 0.6.3. I set up a rabbitmq namespace and send environment variables down the hole to the required chart.

A lot of people thought I was mad to use Vagrant with Docker. Why not just use Compose and simplify everything. My argument was twofold – 1) I want a scripting language to make and run dynamic containers and 2) Compose will force me to use Docker for Mac, which is like staring at the eclipse. DfM sucks so bad I’ll write a whole separate post on it soon. Anyway, Helm Charts gives me Go so I can now make dynamic Kubernetes configurations.

What OSB brings to this is the potential fulfillment of the InterOp dream – plug in SSO with LDAP via that microservice, websockets with this microservice, recommendation engine with this other microservice. I can slap together a bunch of microservices and create a monolith in no time.

Not a surprise Microsoft is all-in on OSB, they would do anything to realize InterOp.

Thank You Consumerist

I’ve been a long time reader of The Consumerist (long before its acquisition by Consumer Reports) as I find bit of schadenfreudian satisfaction from reading consumer stories.

I found myself in the victim role with AT&T over a billing issue that resulted in a personal loss of over $9,000.00. I spent weeks getting a case opened with AT&T and then waited many weeks just to be told no, they could only refund me $200.00 or so.

I was looking into the TOS paperwork and what would be necessary if I had to contact a lawyer. Since I had kept meticulous records, I put everything into a timeline and prepared to post it here. Before doing that I sent it to The Consumerist because I’ve read many a story on AT&T victims over there (they even have secret phone numbers for AT&T executive customer support). Within hours, they got back to me and said they would speak with their AT&T contacts. Within a day, the office of the president had reached out and apologized for how poorly I’d been treated the past few months. The short of it is they re-opened the investigation and found no fault on my part and agreed to provide a full refund.

Last week I received the full amount owed (after they inexplicably sent my first check to the wrong address).

Again, thank you and yes, corporate behemoths do have a soul, you just need the right contacts.

Who Gives a Fuck

This is a trending story on feedly. Really?

MacOS High Sierra Changes

So far the impact of the installation has been minimal. I haven’t noticed the (perceived) dramatic file system speed increase with APFS. I also haven’t seen the size benefits of HEIF or HEVC, but did get a prompt on my iOS device immediately after MacOS installation telling me the formats were going to change.

I guess the biggest difference so far is the totally hidden xcode cli tools and OpenSSL being replaced by LibreSSL.

You can install the dev tools by running `xcode-select` from the cli after getting Xcode from the App Store.

You can deal with the missing OpenSSL by installing your own version and adding `–with-openssl-dir=` to any ./configures you do.

If you’re using brew, you can slap this in your .bashrc: `CONFIGURE_OPTS=”–with-openssl-dir=`brew –prefix openssl`”`

These days I run most things in containers so the underlying OS is going to matter less and less, but I’d like a new shell at some point:

18:15 ~/vagrant/projects/dd-service (master)$ bash –version
GNU bash, version 3.2.57(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin17)
Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc.