Posts in Category "tech"

Pebble Steel First Impressions

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. All of the …

read more

A Rant on Redis

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 faster. Redis looks an awful lot like memcache, but …

read more

GPG (2013 Update)

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, my GPG …

read more

<3 sed

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)

read more

Link: PHP sucks

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)

My Storage Problem

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.

read more