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How to Secure Your Website Part I: Communication
First published: 16th of Dec 2013 for Orbit Media Studios Security is about risk management. Online, security is about reducing the risk of exposing information to the general Internet. Consider the two actions occurring on any device connected to the Internet: Communication Storage Communication Communication is the heart of the…
Cleaning House
Over on Facebook a few days ago I commented about a personal "new year" project of reorganizing (first the home office, next this website): "Phase one of reorganizing home office desk completed. Most useless item: note to self to clean desk (near the bottom no less) Single largest source of…
PHP, Nagios and MySQL Replication
Overview MySQL replication is a handy way to distribue database processes across several servers. For example, a simple "master-slave" step up allows for a continuous backup of data from a primary database server, the master to a secondary backup server, the slave. But what if the slave server stops…
WWDC 2012 Predictions
Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference starts this week, which means it is time for everyone under the sun to make predictions about what will be announced in the conference's keynote tomorrow.Macbook UpdateFirst off the completely given, new Macbook Airs. Seems a given that Apple's laptop line will get an update that…
So weird, Connecting HavenCo and Red Hat
It's a bit weird to be reading about Red Hat posting $1 billion in revenue in a year for the first time or this Ars article by James Grimmelmann about HavenCo since, to me personally that's part of my past. See, as Grimmelmann notes, HavenCo's chairman of the board was…
Chicago Open Data at Work
A few years ago Blagica Bottigliero started the website Gals' Guide as an online forum for young women moving out on their own an into the "big city". Recently, I've been working with her on taking the site to the next step; building a web application utilizing the growing sets…
The Power of mod_proxy
The Power of mod_proxy: An Introduction to Proxy Servers and Load Balancers with Apache HTTP Server Presentations slides from my mod_proxy presentation at ApacheCon NA 2011 earlier this month. In addition to this slideshow, the presentation can be downloaded in PPT and MP3…
Adding SQL Server Support in PHP on Linux
Back in July I outlined a method for establishing a SSH tunnel between Linux and Windows machines. The goal of the connection was to enable a PHP script on a front-end Linux web server access to information stored on the back-end private Windows server running SQL Server. What I didn't…
Accessing Chicago, Cook and Illinois Open Data via PHP
In Accessing the CTA's API with PHP I outlined a class file I created1 for querying the Chicago Transit Authority's three web-based application programming interfaces (APIs). However, that isn't the only open data development I've been working on recently, I've also been working on a class file for accessing the…
Accessing the CTA's API with PHP
Overview Last month the City of Chicago arranged for a Open Data Hackaton in which a collection of programmers gathered together to develop and write programs that utilize a new resource, open access to city information. For my part, I spent the data writing a PHP class file that wraps…
Chicago's Technology Scene, circa 2011
Roughly this time two years ago, I attended an entrepreneur and startup event in D.C. called Social Matchbox which I noted in a subsequent blog post of the same name. While I know organizations and companies like those exists in many places I have yet to find a loose confederation…
Establish and Maintain an SSH Tunnel between Linux and Windows
The Situation Over the years, I've worked in numerous computing environments and have come to appreciate heterogeneous systems. In my mind, all system administrators should experience how different platforms solve similar problems, just as all programmers should be exposed to different programming languages. Of course this means being able to…
Speaking at ApacheCon NA 2011
At the moment November, and another hockey season, seems a long way off. But I'm already making plans to be in Vancouver from the 9th to the 11th for the North American edition of ApacheCon. That is because, at present, I am schedule to present at ApacheCon on The Power…
16 of 20: Personal Artifacts from the Early Years of Linux
As the story goes, in 1991 Linus Torvalds, then a student at the University of Helsinki, began work on the core component, the kernel, of his own operating system based off of Andrew S. Tanenbaum's teaching operating system MINIX. Since releasing the source code 20 years ago, and under…
The Beginning of the End of the Ballmer Era at Microsoft?
Something has been puzzling me for awhile now. I've been wondering, where is the outrage, the angst and the out right hostility toward Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer? I mean where are the industry pundits, Wall Street analysts, shareholders and Microsoft insiders calling for his head? And then I saw Ben…
Saying No to Transparency Budget Cuts
In the past few years we have seen an explosion in our ability to access information at anytime and from just about anywhere. The Internet in general has a lot to do with this explosion. Being able to access the Internet from just about anywhere has simply reinforced its importance.…
Let's Play Two (or Web Analytics for Fun and Profit)
Back in October it occurred to me that it had been 5 years since the White Sox beat the Astros to win the World Series. As I result of that realization, I dug into my video collection and quickly put together and posted this video: To say that this video…
Remembering Challenger
I was walking down the hallway. It was lunchtime and I was heading toward the gymnasium. The hallway was empty, always a minor thrill of independence for a grade-schooler. No classmates, no teachers and certainly no parents. I don't recall exactly where I was coming from, but I hadn't yet…
Where Software Methodology and Business Strategy Meet?
Image by pdweinstein via Flickr When I initially envisioned the article Web Development: Before and After the Client (local copy), my initial idea was to draw a line connecting Orbit Media Studio's overall business strategy, through the implementation of specific development methodologies, to the end result of the type…
Web Development: Before and After the Client
First published: 17th of Dec 2010 for Orbit Media Studios For someone looking for a web design firm, how a website is developed might seem meaningless. Who cares, so long as it works? Yet how well a website works can be measured in part by the costs associated with…
College Humor: Five Sci-Fi Children's Books
Not something I usually post here, but this was too good to pass up for the holidays...from College Humor (and via the Wife) Five Sci-Fi Children's Books…
Old (High) School Apple Computer Club
Brand loyalty is the marketing term used to describe a customer's attitude toward a brand (or company) which is exhibited through the consumer's behavior. The most desired behavior being turning a customer into a repeat consumer, but brand loyalty can also be exhibited in other ways as well. For my…
2005 White Sox Win
Tonight the 106th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series, the World Series, gets underway and I have a minor stake in the game, having once been a resident of San Francisco. But my major stake in the World Series happen five years ago when the Chicago White Sox…
Apple and the Changing Personal Computing Landscape
Shortly after the iPad was released, I started wondering about the future of Apple's laptop line. Specifically, I was wondering if the MacBook Air would be discontinued in an effort to consolidate Apple's overall mobile lineup1. After the laptop updates in April, it seemed more likely to me that the…
Chicago's Tech Scene: A Study in Contradiction?
Image by pdweinstein via FlickrOne of the things that I have yet to get a handle on is the technology scene in Chicago. How can the country's third largest city, home to companies from Motorola to Threadless not have a thriving, engaging tech populous?  Why don't tech people think of…

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