Seven years and six-hundred-thousand words, all contained within 1,488 posts. If you had asked me back when I first started blogging what I would be doing today, that younger version of me would have probably said something that would have been proven wrong less than six months later. That said, here we are, and I've decided to take a completely different track with this site; more specifically, it's time for a reboot. New software, new content and all that jazz.
Today I received an email from family that would usually be considered good news for most people but, in my case, is a stark reminder of failure. My recently married brother is now a father. His wife gave birth just a few hours ago to a healthy and happy baby girl. This is, of course, good news. I wish them all well. That said, this makes me the last person in the family over the age of 17 that does not yet have any children.
Earlier this week my development web server went down for the first time in a while, though the underlying problem was essentially the same issue that I've been having for years. My personal website is hosted on the development server, and it's running the most recent version of WordPress. WordPress received a rather large spike in traffic around 5:05PM, which caused it to freak out, consume all of the memory, choke memcached, and start swapping. All of this activity starved MySQL of resources, and the whole thing came crashing down.
Over the last few months, Google has been rolling out a +1-style redesign across a number of its web properties. As with any change, this has resulted in a number of people to take to their soap box and scream bloody murder1. I don't blame anyone for complaining about the new layouts, as many Google properties have gone from being data-packed screens of ill-design to content-light screens of blocks and white space, but there are always options available.
Until recently, I was a heavy Google Reader user. I'd be on the site for several hours a day, consuming RSS feeds like there's no tomorrow. The site was densely packed, Java-heavy, and allowed me to quickly move from article to article, starring the ones I wanted to read more in depth later, or write a blog response about later. The old Google Reader wasn't beautiful by any stretch of the imagination, but it worked very well on just about every screen resolution … which is not something we can say about the current design. Now, instead of using the website, I do everything through Byline for iOS. The only time I load the web page itself when I want to add or remove a feed from the list (which is maybe once a month at most).
Forty years ago today Intel made available the world's first commercially available microprocessor, a 4-bit slice of silicon that ran slower than most of the digital components found inside the cheapest of dollar-store digital watches. With this, the 4004, the world was forever changed and we have all the technology that we see today.
The amount of technological advancement experienced across many of the wealthier nations over the last century has been nothing short of astonishing, with the rate of advancement and adoption increasing exponentially towards the seemingly-impossible vertical line. Thanks to this incredible level of prowess people are doing more, learning more, and living longer. Every year systems, both digital and analog, are getting better and faster. Organizations are far more efficient than ever before. People are far more entertained than ever before. Manufacturing is far more streamlined than ever before. This is truly a golden age. But have we progressed too far, too quickly?
Canada is a nation known around the world for it’s insanely polite inhabitants, endless supply of coffee shops, and incredibly clean wilderness. However, aside from the retail beverage chains, the rest of these preconceptions are completely false1. Despite the country’s 224,466 square kilometers2 of protected park space, enough virgin territory to house each and every one of the planet’s 7-billion inhabitants in Tokyo-like skyscrapers should the need arise, the leaders have done more to destroy Canada’s environmentally-friendly image than anyone before them.
Software companies around the world have been incredibly busy creating new ways for regular people to work with information, pass time while commuting, or keeping in touch with people all over the world. For the average person who is looking for simple programs to help them keep track of expenses or record thoughts, there has never been a better time. Not only has the software market started to mature, but so have people’s tastes and expectations. That said, there is one specific market that seems to have been forgotten over the last few years: business software.
Facebook seems to have multiple domains for their "friendly reminder" spam, as yet another one has bypassed the Inbox rules and landed alongside more important messages from the Nokia Developer Community and LinkedIn. What's interesting, though, is that these guys are so persistent despite what they already know about me.