Blogging Again

Readers of this blog will not be surprised when I say that I've neglected it recently--partly because I've been busy, partly because I've got other opportunities to give volume to my voice through the back-cover editorial in CoDe Magazine. But I feel a little guilty about it, and yes, I've noticed that my readership numbers have gone down, which, I must admit, bothers me. Fortunately, there is an easy remedy--blog more.

Microsoft is to Monopolist as Apple is to...

Remember the SAT test and their ridiculous analogy questions? “Apple : Banana as Steak : ???”, where you have to figure out the relationship between the first pair in order to guess what the relationship in the second pair should be? (Of course, the SAT guys give you a multiple-choice answer, whereas I’m leaving it open to your interpretation.) What triggers today’s blog post is this article that showed up in GeekWire, about how Firefox is accusing Microsoft of anti-competitive behaviors by claiming IE will have an unfair advantage on their new ARM-based machines.

Unlearn, young programmer

Twitter led me to an interesting blog post—go read it before you continue. Or you can read the reproduction of it here, for those of you too lazy to click the link. I was having coffee with my friend Simone the other day. We were sort of chatting about work stuff, and we’re both at the point now where we’re being put in charge of other people. She came up with a really good metaphor for explaining the various issues in tasking junior staff.

Just Say No to SSNs

Two things conspire to bring you this blog post. Of Contracts and Contracts First, a few months ago, I was asked to participate in an architectural review for a project being done for one of the states here in the US. It was a project dealing with some sensitive information (Child Welfare Services), and I was required to sign a document basically promising not to do anything bad with the data.

Want Security? Get Quality

This CNET report tells us what we’ve probably known for a few years now: in the hacker/securist cyberwar, the hackers are winning. Or at the very least, making it pretty apparent that the cybersecurity companies aren’t making much headway. Notable quotes from the article: Art Coviello, executive chairman of RSA, at least had the presence of mind to be humble, acknowledging in his keynote that current "security models" are inadequate. Yet he couldn't help but lapse into rah-rah boosterism by the end of his speech.

Leveling up “DDD”

Eric Evans, a number of years ago, wrote a book on “Domain Driven Design”. Around the same time, Martin Fowler coined the “Rich Domain Model” pattern. Ever since then, people have been going bat-shit nutso over building these large domain object models, then twisting and contorting them in all these various ways to make them work across different contexts—across tiers, for example, and into databases, and so on. It created a cottage industry of infrastructure tools, toolkits, libraries and frameworks, all designed somehow to make your objects less twisted and more usable and less tightly-coupled to infrastructure (I’ll pause for a moment to let you think about the absurdity of that—infrastructure designed to reduce coupling to other infrastructure—before we go on), and so on.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Do you ever long for the days when they just called them “Betas” and only a select few could get at them? Anyway, like most of the Microsoft Geek world, I pulled down the Windows 8 Consumer Preview that became available yesterday, and since I had one of those spiffy Samsung Slates that Microsoft handed out at the //build conference last year, I decided to update my Win8 build there with the new one.

Can we pronounce “The Cloud” hype over yet?

Yesterday, Feb 29th, the leap day in a leap year, saw not only the third day in Microsoft’s MVP 2012 Summit, not to mention the fifth iteration of my personal MVP Summit party, #ChezNeward, but also one of the most embarrassing outages in cloud history. Specifically, Microsoft’s Azure cloud service went down, and it went down hard. My understanding (entirely anecdotal descriptions, I have no insider information here) was that the security certificates were the source of the problem: specifically, they were set to expire on Feb 28th, and not to renew until March 1st.

Top Developer Resources?

While going through some spam email (well, technically not spam, since I willingly signed up for the ads/product-centric-newsletters, but that is just a mouthful to say), I ran across the App Design Vault 32 Top Resources Mobile App Developers Should Know About list, and had a look. I was somewhat disappointed at the fact that they were all iOS resources, leaving the Android and Windows Phone crowd out in the cold, not to mention Java, .NET, Ruby, and others shivering on the back porch as well.

When are servers not servers?

In his Dr Dobb’s overview, Andrew Binstock talks about the prevalence of low-cost, low-powers and suggest in the title of the piece that they have begun their steady ascent over more traditional servers. His concluding statement, in fact, suggests that they will replace the “pizza box” servers we have come to know and love. Ironically, to me, the notion of a “server” still conjures up images of row upon row of full-tower machines, whirring away.