My Laravel 5.4 Cheat Sheet

The following is a list of some helpful Laravel related information that can potentially save you a bunch of time. Instead of covering all of the common information, I've listed some of the primary problems that can arise when using Laravel 5.4 with MAMP Pro (as opposed to Vagrant).InstallationSteps for getting Laravel up and running with [...]

July 12, 2017 at 7:17pm PT | 2 minutes, 50 seconds

All else equal: I would rather not get hit in the face with a tennis ball

There are times when a lot of things can simultaneously go wrong, and a person can quickly find themselves in a veritable shitstorm of worry. There are also times when we can see certain problems approaching on the horizon, which appear blurry at first, but viciously clear once they are too close to outrun. Other problems drop down on us out of thin air, and [...]

February 15, 2017 at 4:51pm PT | 4 minutes, 6 seconds

The top three ways you can improve your personal cybersecurity hygiene

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a Cybersecurity Town Hall with Congressman Mike Honda, as well as members of the FBI and U.S. Secret Service. The overarching theme of this event was how we, as citizens, can improve our personal cybersecurity hygiene. While this topic is broad, and this particular event was hours long, at the end, the presenters [...]

October 18, 2016 at 12:45pm PT | 9 minutes, 9 seconds

Popular post algorithms are a self-fulfilling prophecy

Let's say I wanted to create a module to display my blog's "popular posts." No harm in that, right? Wrong! The sheer act of creating a system to display popular posts creates a further gap between new content and content that was already deemed, popular. Sure, this many seem like common sense to many of you (I would hope), but many algorithms fail [...]

October 09, 2016 at 3:06pm PT | 5 minutes, 15 seconds

Creating content for mass distribution can be an energy vampire

I have noticed a very interesting occurrence when it comes to the act of creation—regardless of if you're recording a podcast, creating a new vlog, or just writing a simple blog. There is an almost fractal like amount of time that is required by each creative work, and as one creates more and more thought products, the amount of time invested grows enormously.For [...]

October 09, 2016 at 2:06pm PT | 6 minutes, 20 seconds

Does your company have data recovery fire drills?

In any company, a member of the leadership should be able to randomly ask a senior member of the tech staff to run a failure simulation. This simulation is a process where the tech team would then work to restore a system (in this case, a website) from their backups as if it had catastrophically failed for an unknown reason (or been compromised by a really [...]

October 08, 2016 at 2:01pm PT | 8 minutes, 45 seconds

Intro to the Immutable Log

The Immutable Log, which is a term I first came across while reading an article about Palantir in Forbes many years ago, is such an amazing concept—yet virtually nobody (statistically speaking) knows about it! An Immutable Log is a complete record of each and every interaction with any data within a data store. [...]

October 06, 2016 at 8:42pm PT | 5 minutes, 30 seconds

The easiest way to set up a local development copy of your Grav blog

You should almost never download individual files via FTP, edit them, and then upload them—overwriting the older copies on a server. This is a generally outdated practice and something I still see used frequently when people don't know of a better option, are too lazy to change, or maybe just in a hurry. It's also very prone to errors, and if you [...]

October 04, 2016 at 1:50pm PT | 3 minutes, 59 seconds

Stop asking me to join your mailing list

I will preface this by saying—if you like to engage with the Internet via email only, signing up for every mailing list you come across might be a great way to bypass having to read news websites, or find things with search engines. Just kick back in a dark room with a nice 9600 baud modem and read through the recent happenings while each progressive JPEG [...]

October 03, 2016 at 9:06pm PT | 8 minutes, 6 seconds

Creating half-formed content is superior to creating nothing at all

Evergreen content is a term I first heard while working at a newspaper. It means content that can (or will) evolve or change over time, making it continuously useful, as opposed to content about specific events or stories that once read, aren't typically worth revisiting—and are more static in nature.I had a specific tag for evergreen [...]

October 02, 2016 at 3:27pm PT | 4 minutes, 3 seconds

Latent problems with Universal Basic Income

Universal Basic Income (UBI), in a nutshell, is the idea that everyone should receive a guaranteed income—and in the case of "technological unemployment," is critical to offset the awesome and earth-shattering crater that artificial [...]

October 01, 2016 at 1:37pm PT | 7 minutes, 24 seconds

Tips for using a standing desk without losing your mind

As someone who has tried using a standing desk setup and stopped, and now does so successfully, I’ve come to realize a couple of tips that really help with the long term strategy for making this habit work.My first experience with a proper standing desk at work was with an Ergotron [...]

September 30, 2016 at 12:42pm PT | 5 minutes, 17 seconds

The dangers of an open stack

A fairly recent trend for startups is to describe the technology stack they’re using via a site like StackShare, StartupStack, or even AngelList. While at first glance, this can be helpful for potential engineering talent, I feel that overall it can be very [...]

September 29, 2016 at 11:16am PT | 3 minutes, 25 seconds

The difficulties of developing a custom theme for Grav

My strategy for designing my blog’s layout/theme was to start with a decent and minimalist theme that would tide me over until I had the time to develop a skeleton theme I could periodically upgrade over time. Eventually that day came, and the theme I designed is the one you are using. My primary focus was creating a theme people could use to easily consume [...]

September 28, 2016 at 9:14pm PT | 5 minutes, 34 seconds

Why asking a job candidate for their GitHub profile is shortsighted

I want to further emphasize the importance of having technically savvy people interview tech candidates at an organization (or startup). Here’s why, in a nutshell. . . .Of course you want someone who is a “tech” person, wherein we define “tech” to mean deeply comfortable with evaluating technologies—regardless of their own ability to let’s say, program [...]

September 26, 2016 at 4:57pm PT | 5 minutes, 33 seconds

The current Twitter ecosystem

A long while back, I implemented a Twitter experiment—I wanted to grow my following from zero to 1,000 followers, and I wanted to do so scientifically, to understand how the process works in a repeatable way. I ended up writing an extensive breakdown of how I did this, which I plan to post in the near future as I move my post archive from my previous blog [...]

September 18, 2016 at 10:36am PT | 5 minutes, 6 seconds

Ethical implications of companies selling leaked data

I use myFICO from time to time to monitor my credit scores, etc. I recently noticed that they began offering a rather new service, designed to notify me when my personal information or “identity” had been compromised, in an effort to help me stay ahead of the curve—or secure myself against hackers.What fascinated me in particular, was that they were [...]

September 17, 2016 at 4:56pm PT | 4 minutes, 35 seconds

Stoic indifference and its place in everyday life

On Mondays I volunteer for a few hours at the Stanford Cancer Center, and my formal title there is "Ambassador." I decided to pursue this position because of some very personal experiences I had in various hospital settings where I was close to people who received news that they would be dying soon, and was able to witness the intense overflow of emotions [...]

September 12, 2016 at 10:01am PT | 4 minutes, 21 seconds

A case against allowing commenting on posts

Many years ago I worked at a large newspaper. My role was to design, develop, and run their entire online presence, which was a huge learning opportunity for me. It was my first real exposure to how a news organization was run, and since I sat on the same floor as the editorial staff, I was able to learn quite a bit about the nuance of the decision making [...]

September 12, 2016 at 9:32am PT | 1 minute, 58 seconds

The universe revealed in a cup of coffee

During my normal morning routine, I make myself a cup of coffee. It's not usually worth mentioning, but I observed an interesting effect that got my mind racing with today's Cup O’ Joe.I poured some half-and-half into my cup, and noticed the appearance of some minute chunks of curdled or "turning" half-and-half remained on the surface of the coffee. [...]

September 09, 2016 at 9:23am PT | 2 minutes, 20 seconds