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The fight to preserve Net Neutrality

The fight to preserve Net Neutrality is a big one, and is in full swing.  Stakeholders on all sides are making their arguments and petitioning their case to the government. On one side you have advocacy groups, content publishers, and other supporters. These groups are attempting to preserve, and even strengthen, Net Neutrality rules. The … Read more

Track Hurricanes and Tropical Storms with these online tools

The time period from 1 June to November 30 is known to the Atlantic Coast and the Caribbean as Hurricane Season. The Pacific coast of the US has a similar season, but starting in May as opposed to June.  This is not to say Hurricanes don’t happen outside the season, this is just the most likely time frame. 2017 has been quite the active year. There have been 13 named storms at the time of this writing, and he US has been hit with several major storms this season. Hurricane Harvey, A category 4 storm, at its strongest point, pummeled Texas and Louisiana. Hurricane Irma a category 5 ravaged the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Then it set its sights on Florida. Irma Was billed as the strongest storm ever recorded. These storms were devastating, in terms of loss of property and loss of life.  As I am writing this Hurricane Maria, now a category 4 Hurricane, is barreling down on the Caribbean Islands (again), and lining up for a strike on Puerto Rico.

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Setup a server, with WordPress, in 15 minutes or less!

 

( Skip to Steps )

Great so you have weighed the pros and cons of hosting your project on your own servers, and decided it is the right option. So, the next step  is to decide how to go about getting setup. You could go with setting up your server(s) on premises, or co-location of your hardware could be an option. These methods will get you online, but create extra expenses and overhead. If you don’t have a need to control your hardware, the best way to get going is to build  your servers in the cloud.

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Shared hosting vs running your own server (pros and cons).

Shared vs Server

Many people who build Websites and applications have been at a point where they have to consider the best place for their project to live. Do they want to use a shared webhost? Or, do they need (or want) to run on their own servers. The majority of simple websites, blogs, and whatnot can run perfectly fine on a shared host. Millions of websites run on shared hosting, and for most it is the correct choice.

Other projects may rely heavily on custom software stacks, or non-standard modules, or just not function properly on a shared host. These folks typically need to run in their own servers. Sometimes,

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Pixel 2 announcement expected Oct. 4th, Google says “Ask More”

Stay Tuned - Google

Tech sites and blogs have reported that on October 4th Google will announce the newest version of their “made by Google” phone, the Pixel 2, and more importantly the Pixel 2 XL. There have been sightings of billboards, and press invites received.  Google posted a video (below) to its Youtube channel confirming the October 4th date, and setup a landing page.  Google’s video doesn’t say a lot, but much like the billboard, and landing page, it encourages you to “Ask More”. The news, which comes on the heels of Apple’s big announcement about the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, is generating quite the bit of excitement.

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Social media companies fight against fake news

Mockup of fake news on social media

As I wrote about last year, social media and search companies were blamed for the perpetuation of fake news. Many Americans, some of whom disliked the election result, believe this was a major contributor to Hillary Clinton’s loss.  Many of the social media companies deflected blame, and were hesitant to interfere.  As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg put it, he did not want his company to become “Arbiters of truth”.

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Apple iPhone announcement lackluster at best

Photo Credit: Apple

 

Today Apple made their big announcement about several products including the much-anticipated (and much leaked), iPhone 8/Plus and iPhone X. The event took place today at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, CA, and was streamed online.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am an Android user. I tried the iPhone 7, overall it is a great product, but it still wasn’t quite there for me.  It felt like it was missing features compared to my S7. It also doesn’t help that I love customization, and “unapproved” software, still something Apple seems to frown on.  With that said Apple is moving in the right direction with today’s announcements, and maybe one day they will make a believer out of me. Here are my takeaways from today’s event, and various Apple press propaganda.

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Apple expected to make big announcement September 12

If you read tech blogs regularly, you are undoubtedly aware that Apple is set to make major announcement today. The reports indicate that today’s event will make multiple product announcements, including the Apple TV, Apple Watch, and more.  The big announcement that is expected today is the iPhone 8. While some details have leaked, Apple … Read more

Equifax breach response, inept and slow

As has been widely reported, credit reporting and financial data power house Equifax announced early last that a data breach occurred. The breach affected a potential 143 million people, with credit, financial, and personal information stolen.

As an outside observer I have to say that the company’s response has been lackluster at best. They setup a website this week for people to find out they’re affected. I ran my info and it says that I am one of the people who the breach affected. They offered me their in-house identity protection service and insurance for free, but only for a year. When the website first launched they had a clause where by accepting the free offer you surrender your rights to sue. This decision was later reversed amidst pressure, but a serious fax pas none the less. Another problem with the monitoring service offer is that it is not immediately available. That’s right when you click to enroll you get a later date to come back to finish your enrollment. Again not a great look for Equifax. To have users data possibly floating around, but not having an immediate solution is rather aggravating.

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AWS outage hobbling major sites and services

 

Amazon’s AWS S3 service is having some technical issues that are causing major websites and services throughout the internet to have errors, or to be completely unusable. According to the latest update from Amazon they are “continuing to work to remediate the availability issues for Amazon S3”  and that “AWS services and customer applications depending on S3 will continue to experience high error rates”. The issues seem are connected with Amazon’s “US-EAST-1” data center, located in Northern Virginia. Amazon has not yet stated what may have caused the issues.

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