Blog

From What Does Advice Originate

JULY 7, 2020

Do not believe that he who seeks to comfort you lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life has much difficulty and sadness…Were it otherwise he would never have been able to find those words. – Rainer Maria Rilke

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Spot the Difference: Leaking Metadata Awareness

JULY 5, 2020

I took a picture of a pretty flower on my walk. When I got home, I logged on to my email via a web browser and sent the picture (original_flower.heic) to a privacy-focused friend along with a poem that I hoped they would enjoy. They responded with a puzzle: Your photo (original_flower.heic) is attached along with another photo (updated_flower.heic) that’s nearly identical. Spot the difference! :) Visually the photos looked identical.

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Where Am I?

JULY 3, 2020

Take a look at the below screenshot from Safari for iOS. What website am I on? Based on the contents of the page, I think I’m on The New York Times’ site. However, based on the domain visible in the address bar, I think I’m on google.com. If I click in the address bar I see https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/05/22/technology/google-antitrust.amp.html. So, where am I? What am I looking at? What’s up with the mix of Google and New York Times’ branding?

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Remember to Backup Your Computer at Your Office, at Home, or in a Startup

MAY 23, 2020

Life happens. Someone breaks into your car and steals your laptop. Or you get so excited while on a Zoom call, you accidentally knock over a glass of water rendering your computer inoperable. Maybe you went to update your computer, and it didn’t go well leaving you with an unbootable computer or a computer that can’t run mission critical software you need for your job1. So, REGURLY BACKUP YOUR COMPUTER!

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Experiment: Investigating Zoom Feedback

MAY 19, 2020

Zoom, the popular video conferencing software, fails to filter speaker audio which causes feedback when using an iPad Pro that is on a desk near a wall (i.e. many desks). If the iPad Pro is upright and in the Magic Keyboard case, the feedback is especilly noticeable and disruptive. The following is a brief writeup of an unofficial (and mostly unscientific) experiment I did to confirm and reproduce the issue.

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Avoiding Bit Rot in Your Build Pipeline

MAY 17, 2020

Background You go to make a quick fix on a service that’s been stable and otherwise unchanged for months. It takes you minutes to complete. However, when you go to deploy the fix, your super fancy Continuous Integration Build and Deployment (CI/CD) Pipeline that’s supposed to compile and push your code out fails. And it fails hard blocking you from building and deploying your code in a production-ready manner.

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Supernaturally Living

MAY 7, 2020

Several weeks into San Francisco’s shelter in place order1, I observed a supermoon2 from Corona Heights in San Francisco. Below, you’ll find a poem I wrote while reflecting on the experience. Enjoy! Suddenly the city was alive, awake. Through the hills and SF-trademarked fog, You could hear its soul breath. The clink of a pot, The clack of a pan, Claps. But above else, you could feel the hollering “woooops” and “whippees”, The cheers of the people below.

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