Pebble Steel First Impressions

Posted Tue 04 February 2014 22:37 under category tech

I've had an article sitting in Draft status since June 2013 about the Pebble smartwatch which I bought during their Kickstarter campaign. The article essentially said that the Pebble has awesome features, but feels like a toy and scuffs if you look at it askance. I was planning on going into detail about how apps like httpebble and smartwatch+ feel immensely hackish.

Well, as of today, I'm confident reporting that Pebble has resolved all of these issues with the Pebble Steel and Pebble OS 2.0.

Pebble Steel on table

I'm going to talk (briefly!) about both of these new releases ...

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A Rant on Redis

Posted Sat 14 December 2013 14:53 under category tech

It's been a while since I posted, and I've been spending a lot of time fighting with Redis, one of the darling databases of the NoSQL era, at work, so I thought I'd grace y'all with a brief rant on Redis, what it's good at, what it's bad at, and so on.

What is Redis?

Redis is an open-source moderately-structured in-memory key-value store. This means that, unlike full relational databases, it doesn't have a fixed schema, and it can't perform server-side operations like joining and filtering data1, and theoretically it's ...

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GPG (2013 Update)

Posted Fri 14 June 2013 09:30 under category tech

In light of all of the hullabaloo about PRISM and other spying technology, I thought it'd be good to remind all of your dear readers that we've had the technology to ensure private communications on the Internet for 22 years in the form of Pretty Good Privacy (and the much-more-commonly-used implementation, GnuPG). Ars Technica had an okay article about e-mail encryption with PGP which I recommend reading, although you should keep in mind that most security professionals would consider infrastructural PKI like SSL and S/MIME to be compromised by nation-state-level adversaries (and all associated MIC contractors).

Anyhow ...

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<3 sed

Posted Fri 27 April 2012 17:41 under category tech

I wrote a fun sed script today:

sed -E -n -e ':t ; s/(.{21})(.*)/\\bf\{\1\}\n\2/ ; p ; s/\\bf\{(.*)\}\n.*/\1/ ; h ; :q { n ; G ; s/(.{21})(.*)\n\1/\2/ ; tp ; s/(.+)\n.*/\1/ ; bt} ; :p { P ; bq }'

Short, but effective. Can you figure out what it does?

(solution after the break)

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Link: PHP sucks

Posted Tue 10 April 2012 08:29 under category tech

One of my co-workers wrote up this gem on why PHP sucks. I don't agree with his points (having a "development server" isn't an important or even particularly useful feature of a framework, much less a language; prepared statements aren't the pinnacle of SQL), but he does do a good job of showing off some of PHP's more spectacular failings.

I'm naming all of my PHP functions __lambda_object now.

(yes; I do appreciate the irony of linking to his post from a formerly PHP site)

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My Storage Problem

Posted Sat 28 January 2012 19:07 under category tech

Storage is cheap, or so we're told. Amazon will sell me storage for $0.055/GB/month in “the cloud”; 3.5" hard drives are hovering around $0.06/GB. However, my laptop has a little 250GB SATA drive that is (a) slow and (b) getting full. So I desire to replace it with a fast little SSD. But that raises the question of what to do with my stuff. I'm asking you, Internet. Details below the fold.

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