Ashley Madison in perspective

Monday 2015-08-24

lady justiceHowever I disagree with sites like Ashley Madison and the way its owners scam people, last week I have noticed something far more disturbing. As I understand, Ashley Madison was charging people for their profiles to be deleted, and then did not (promptly) delete them. I guess some of it’s “hackers” got caught up in this and decided to attack Ashley Madison for that. Up to this point, merely a quarrel between two parties which may have better been solved by legal procedure.

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Hand me a napkin

Saturday 2014-08-16

wheelchair jokeIt’s not until you or someone very close to you becomes dependant on a wheelchair until you notice that the world is not as wheelchair friendly as you might think. Hotel rooms are wheelchair accessable, but the lobby can only be reached by stairs. People with kids can take strollers all the way up to the airplane seat, but people in wheelchairs need to magically heal themselves and leave the wheelchair at the gate.

But this is not a rant about inconsiderate travel company employees. This is about helping people with “a challenge”, as our funny American neighbours tend to call it. And no, this is also not a rant about helping in a big way, raising a million for a cause, getting all the local supermarkets to give away groceries to people in wheelchairs, or TV shows selling tear-jerking advertisement minutes while building a house for a familiy who really needs it.

No, this is about the little things. Things that make you and me different. Things that require only a little twitch of a muscle for healthy people. Quirky things like aligning the napkin to the edge of the table, or petting a cat, or getting a different color straw because it doesn’t match the color of your shirt.

Imagine you had to ask somebody to align your napkin to the edge of the table. That person would find you demanding, and because he doesn’t see what’s solved by doing that, it’s very likely that the napkin will never move. Soon, you will stop asking people to do the little things that used to make you who you were.

It’s a tough choice. Loose friends because they think you’re too much of a demanding prinsess, or loose friends because you stop being you.

When you see or know somebody in a wheelchair, remember that their mind still wants to do those quirky things that make them who they are. It’s okay to say no, but please consider this little blogpost when somebody asks you to straighten their bracelet or clean their glasses.

The world does not need one-time big-mouthed Facebook-selfie heroes. The world needs polite people who can discretely hand over a napkin without asking what’s it for.


Replace Evernote with Spidernote

Sunday 2014-03-02

Resistance is futile

In the past I have used Evernote extensively, it really helped me in my research for this blog and keeping track of meeting notes, todo lists and even making pictures of whiteboards at work searchable. As a product, there is no note taking app that can beat Evernote. But there is a little problem that has become a deal breaker for me, and that is basically the NSA and the way Americans, and particularly the American government seems to think about people’s privacy and online security.

Evernote is an American company, which sadly has to comply with whatever ridiculous request by the U.S. government to turn over data of innocent people all over the world (yes, even outside the U.S. border, I know, it’s amazing). This, combined with the fact that Evernote clearly can not use zero-knowledge encryption because of the services it provides, makes that all the data you and I put into Evernote are at NSA’s fingertips at all times. If you find that as scary as I do, and you have a Mac, there is a way to solve this. Read the rest of this entry »


iOS7 hidden features

Saturday 2013-09-28

ios-7-logoIf you’ve just installed iOS7 and like it as much as I do, you are probably interested in all the new features of it, and where to find them. On behalf of Apple, I’ll be happy to point out where all those neat new features are, and share my happiness about this wonderful new magical market-leading mobile OS.

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How big is 5 Zettabyte?

Sunday 2013-06-23

Spy vs SpySince the interview of Edward Snowden with the Guardian, the discussion about privacy and companies storing and sharing unencrypted private data is picking up. Particularly Americans are worried about what it does for their National security and their private data. But that’s actually a naive thought, given the NSA stores worldwide data.

In a recent coverage on theblaze.com (a rather tabloid-looking news station in the U.S.), the interviewers are shocked to see that the NSA spies on “every American”.

This is a limited view of the world and failing to see the importance of spying on people outside the U.S., but lets start with technical side of things first. What data are they storing and how big is their hard-disk?

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Open letter to Keith Lang about Skitch

Thursday 2013-01-03

Skitch 1.0.2Dear Keith,

I read your letter about Skitch and would like to respond to all that has happened from my end-user perspective.

I am a long-time Evernote user and fan. Evernote changed note taking by being truly searchable. I can confidently drop all the websites, receipts, todos and ideas in there, and clear my mind of the “I must remember that” burden. The OCR of Evernote works beautifully on photos of whiteboards, making even my whiteboard notes searchable.

In 2010, I discovered Skitch. The simplicity and razor sharp focus on anotating a screencapture and share the anotated image by dragging it anywhere was sheer brilliance. My daily work includes making annotated screenhots and mailing them to team members to discuss improvements. Skitch changed this ugly capture-save-edit-save-attach-send cycle to pure poetry in motion. Dragging images into Evernote even made my screenshots searchable. It instantly became second nature and my go-to image tool.

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Why you should not use SOAP Headers

Monday 2012-12-24

container

In the project I am working on right now we use apache XCF and Spring to provide a SOAP service to our customers. As part of the messages, there is a userid/password combo telling the application which user sent the request. I struggled with that today because I think that userid/password info should actually be in the SOAP Header, cleaning up my API, enable me to implement different authentication techniques in the future and generally be more “compliant” to the SOAP standard. Boy was I wrong.

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