All posts in “Technology”

Changing All My Passwords

Safari now supports favicons in tabs so has become my new default browser (actually using the Safari Technology Preview) and it is much faster than anything else I’ve come across. Especially impressive is the credentials system.

I was surprised to learn I had a similar password on 50+ sites – GitHub went so far as to tell me my password had been compromised and is now in all the rainbow tables.

So I started changing my passwords and using the iCloud Keychain. I’m wondering what’s going to happen the next time my Nintendo Switch wants me to log in.

Facebook Using 2FA To Better Target Users

This is probably the last straw for me with Facebook. I’ve actively avoided the platform for probably the last year, only logging in to delete old posts.

If so many third-party apps did not rely on this criminal enterprise, as other’s have called it, I would ditch Facebook in a heartbeat.

Funny thing, I have a recruiter letter from them sitting in my inbox as I type this. Why would anyone want to be affiliated with such brazen greed, recklessness, disregard for user safety, non-existent morals, etc.?

I wouldn’t.

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.