Since I originally moved my blog to the Jekyll platform, I've been looking for several ways to push the performance of my website further.
Over the last couple of months, I've been exploring several content distribution networks for my new web course Extreme Website Performance, such as CloudFlare and Amazon's CloudFront, as well as forgoing a CDN altogether and focusing on reducing the number of network requests used (and therefore taking the bottleneck away from the distribution servers).
Google Now is an assistant that is able to learn from your habits and predict your future actions. If you believe this sounds creepy, you're not alone. Many individuals have serious concerns with Google's privacy practices in general, and Google Now is evidence that they are willing to leverage the masses of data available on each of its users.
As long as I can remember, I have used some form of MAMP/WAMP stack for development. I'd download the entire stack pre-packaged with some sort of control console, and develop web applications straight out of my Dropbox folder (with Git as version control), changing the web root of the *AMP configuration depending on which project I am working on.
Conceptually, Facebook Home seems like a fantastic idea-- it places bright, large photos on your lock screen that can be swiped through when you have a free moment, and focuses on your friends. But, there's a fundamental issue with placing user generated content on your home screen.
After a couple of long years using 1&1 Shared Hosting and Virtual Private Servers, I've completely migrated all of my hosting to Digital Ocean and Heroku, and my domains to Namecheap. And after trying to cancel my 1&1 account, I now have complete justification for doing so.
1&1's experience has always been similar to that of a larger company, with over complicated systems and procedures to do simple things. Contacting their support means waiting through a phone queue, domains sometimes can take forever to switch name servers (though the process in itself takes a while on any provider, 1&1 seems particularly slow), and the various FTP and database account management systems are nightmares.
Almost a year ago, a new and innovative project was published on Kickstarter. Expecting to make only a couple thousand watches at most, Pebble was completely unaware of the impact their product would make in the coming months.
Ten million dollars later, the Pebble smart watch shattered Kickstarter's record for the most money funded for a project and had the task of coordinating the design and manufacturing of over 80,000 watches to some 65,000 Kickstarter backers around the world. Despite selling out of the watch on the crowd funding website, Pebble's success was reinforced when they continued to sell pre-orders on their website.
There have been numerous high profile hacking attempts (and successes) in recent months and years. In 2012 alone, millions of accounts' hashed passwords and other sensitive information was stolen across tens of different websites:
By now, I'm sure you get the point-- your information is never safe. When you input your credit card number or password into to a website, you're trusting they've taken the necessary precautions to safeguard this data. The reality is, there's a lot of business that do not implement decent security practices.
In fact, the worst offenders not only store your password insecurely, but they prevent you from protecting yourself properly. In the event of a leak in which password hashes are made public, having an extremely secure password is the only way to keep yourself protected. A secure password can be composed of random letters, numbers, symbols, or even a long sentence that you remember. The issue is, not all sites let you use these kinds of secure passwords.
Email is something most working people deal with every day, and have been dealing with for a long time. It's never fun to open your email inbox at the beginning of a work day and see a mix of help requests, advertisements, and the truly important stuff all mixed into a big list of words and colors.
In my room, my bed is lofted above my desk. While I like the setup, it becomes a little difficult to see and study because the only source of light in the room is obscured slightly. Unfortunately, because I'm in Seattle and we have rain and overcast weather from September to July, sunlight isn't an option.
I could always buy a lamp, but why do that when I can have a little fun tinkering with technology? I also had a Raspberry Pi sitting on my desk, so I decided I would put it to use. The completed project, which I call PiFX, can be recreated with the steps below.