time is not money

Tue 16 January 2018

Many people like to claim “my time is worth the $/hour I could have earned”. It’s usually bull.

If you are paid hourly, it is 95% likely that your hours are set by your employer, not you. You can’t spend a random extra hour working to get another …


books at year end

Wed 27 December 2017

  • Melissa Olson, Nightshades
  • Harry Connolly, The Twisted Path
  • Ryk Spoor, Princess Holy Aura
  • Faith Hunter, Flame in the Dark
  • Mira Grant, Into The Drowning Deep
  • Brandon Sanderson, Oathbound
  • Jim Hines, Terminal Alliance
  • James Allan Gardner, All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault
  • Sebastian de Castell, Spellslinger

I liked all …


a most important job

Thu 21 December 2017

Your company probably needs a librarian. Maybe more than one.

A modern librarian selects, installs, configures and administrates knowledge management software. They are experts in organizational methods and search techniques.

A librarian may take in paper documents and convert them to electronic formats. Everything gets stored, indexed, and made searchable …


do not drink and sysadmin

Tue 12 December 2017


neutral restructuring

Thu 23 November 2017

It’s not enough that Net Neutrality be enforced. That’s just a basic requirement to keep corporations from completely exploiting their customers.

What would a good long-term solution look like?

We can look at history. In 1982, the eight-year antitrust suit against AT&T was ended by the breakup …


wireguard setup

Sun 12 November 2017

Wireguard is a new open source VPN system being initially developed on Linux. I have two major use cases for such a thing: site-to-site protection, and backhauling traffic from a laptop or phone to my house.

Wireguard’s differentiators:

  • Small codebase, because there are very few options. For example, there …

Mac OS X DNS prefers IPv6

Sat 28 October 2017

If you have a Mac and DNS resolution seems really, really slow — like, five seconds or more per lookup — check to see if you have an IPv6 address. You probably do.

Then check to see if you have an IPv6 DNS server listed. I bet you don’t, or it …


switching ISPs

Wed 04 October 2017

I was a customer of RCN for seven years. The service was fine, in the really boring way that you want commodity services to be. There were occasional glitches, and a few months where the internet service was particularly bad due to our house being at the end of a …


technology maturity

Thu 07 September 2017

For any given technology, there will exist at least one point in time in which people are simultaneously not trusting it for being too new and unproven, and other people are depending on it in production.”

( — me )

Every decision involves a cost/benefit analysis. Sometimes they are formal; often they …


resiliency

Wed 06 September 2017

The resiliency of a system is proven by its behavior in an emergency.

The design of a system is proven by its daily usability.


naming knives

Thu 10 August 2017

I collect pocket knives. It’s rare for me to be dressed and not have a knife in my pocket. Knives are useful tools. I usually find a use for one three or a dozen times a day.

Modern production knife makers (the sort of designer/producer/ manufacturer who turns …


the courage of convictions: competition

Thu 10 August 2017

Ken MacLeod writes science fiction. His job to write stories that entertain us while, perhaps, presenting some interesting ideas. He doesn’t have to be a prognosticator. Nobody really thinks that the future of humanity will be to separate into fast-thinking, fast-evolving AIs in Jovian orbit versus nanotech-equipped paranoid biological …


interpretations

Fri 21 July 2017

“Great question” means “I have a prepared answer.”

“Good question” means “I have an ambivalent answer.”

“Interesting question” means “That’s controversial, and I may not want to commit.”

“What an interesting question”, though, means “I didn’t expect to be asked that and I have no idea.”


you cannot outsource your core competency

Thu 13 July 2017

Let’s suppose you have a really good idea for a business.

Not just “we’re going to be an easy-to-use centralized middleman for a previously unorganized and possibly unrecognized market” which has been done enough times that half of your success will be in getting customers to recognize you …


a general solution to a general problem

Mon 10 July 2017

We have a general problem in this country, and I think we could use a general solution to solve it.

Health care, Internet carriers (and the wired and wireless telecom which is a smaller part of it), electrical and water utilities, banks - possibly others — should not be for-profit corporations. They …

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