Interesting Project – SSL on Digital Ocean

The advent of Let’s Encrypt means that there is no real excuse to not have SSL/TLS encryption enabled on your website. Now I do on my Ghost properties As someone who has long run his own websites, first with managed hosting, and now with VPS instantiations, I have wanted to take the SSL/TLS plunge. But, as a hobbyist, the cost to go HTTPS has just been a burden that I couldn’t justify. Sure, I can handle a half dozen VPS’s on Digital Ocean, as the bandwidth is modest, and I have yet to make a big splash (hit wise), it is truly a hobby. Registering a certificate with a top tier authority, for a simple website, was $120+ per year. So I lived with the unencrypted http protocol. Continue reading →

Russian Intervention in the 2016 US election

Yep, the Russians interfered with the election. Of course, the US has done this for over a century, so we shouldn’t be upset. Unlike many opinions flying around about how much outrage that the Russians (and Vladimir Putin) have interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, by hacking both the DNC and RNC servers and email. Of course they only released the goods on the Democrats, thereby putting a finger on the scale for the victor, Donald Trump.

However, this outrage is a bit mislaid. Of course, a little googling will identify a long history of the US interfering in the affairs of other countries. From interventions to protect the US Fruit Company in Honduras in 1903, to the overthrow and coup d’état that installed the Shah of Iran in 1953, to repeated and long term intervention in Nicaragua, there is plenty of instances of the US government and CIA having their hand in the cookie jar. Continue reading →

Customer Success – Key Role

The role of Customer Success Manager is a key part of the digital transformation of business, driving both ARR and Lifetime Customer Value up Digital Transformation, it’s all the rage, and doing a simple Google search yields a plethora of hits, from training to consultants, to the big market research companies, all weighing in. This wave of disruption continues to grow, and brings with it myriad opportunities to completely change the business.

In a nutshell, in the late ‘oughts, with the introduction of the Apple iPhone, the convergence of ubiquitous network connectivity, and the rise of the “cloud,” the stage was set for yet another transformation of business. Suddenly, the paradigm of where you work, and what tasks you perform were being disrupted. From the simple: an app on your smartphone to approve purchase requisitions, to the complex: integration of the CRM, the Marketing systems, and the ERP system to provide deep insight into the function and flow of business, and much more were realized every day. Continue reading →

The Death of the (insert name here) Party

In the run up to the 2016 Presidential election, I heard pundit after pundit, and commenter after commenter bleating about how Trump’s candidacy was going to be the end of the Republican party. The fact that they nominated (with a full throated roar) such a terrible candidate, a narcissistic, racial pandering, xenophobic, serial sexual harassing, and in general boorish candidate, surely, this would destroy the Republican party.

As tempting as it was (being a fairly liberal, mostly Democrat voting person) to back in the impending demise, and hapless wandering in the dark of the Republicans, daring to hope that even gaining the 20 or so seats in the house for a complete Democrat rout, I had to step back. Continue reading →

How Gullible are the Progressives

With all the recent focus on “fake” news and how much reinforcement happens in the echo chamber on Facebook, with the heavy bias for the conservative point of view, one would think that the progressives would be a bit more cautious, but alas, that appears to not be the case.

The past few days, my Facebook timeline has been loaded with bogus stories about how two computer scientists claim that the results in Wisconsin, Michigan (which hasn’t certified yet) and Pennsylvania look anomalous, and that we should inundate the US DoJ to initiate a review, with a phone number. Continue reading →

A first brush with Time Machine

As a long time Apple user, (one could say fanatic) I have just used TimeMachine as a set-it-and-forget-it technology. Buy a big external disk, plug it in, and point TimeMachine at it, and let it do its magic.

Once, I had deleted a file, and I recovered it, pretty painlessly, but apart from that one incident, it has been in the background.

Until recently.

New iMac for Barbara

Continue reading →

Upgrade Shenanigans – 16.04 LTS

For a few months, every time I log into my droplets I get a banner advising me to upgrade to the new ubuntu 16.04LTS. I had hesitated as I worried that there would be repercussions.

My first attempt, on a very simple droplet with an nginx webserver with a simple Ghost blog installed. It was a flipping disaster. nodes.js failed, the install broke the nginx, and after 4 hours of messing with it, I punted and restored the snapshot I took.

Before the second attempt, I created a new droplet and built a fresh Ghost instantiation, and installed it from scratch. This time, I learned the proper install and setup. How to configure nginx properly, how to setup and install the Ghost package, and the big change in linux, the systemd.  Continue reading →

Backtracking on Campaign Promises

In my 51 years on this planet, in the US of A, I have become used to the sight of politicians walking back their campaign promises. Hell, it is expected regardless of your ideology, politicians make promises that we know they can’t keep.

Here we are, 4 days post 2016 presidential election, and the backtracking has begun in earnest. Continue reading →

Thoughts on Healthcare in the USA

Very few people believe that the USA’s healthcare system is good. Of course, the wealthy have access to the best diagnostics and care in the world, and most people get their healthcare as part of their benefits package from their employers (albeit with a lot more restrictions than the truly wealthy), and therein lies the problem.

This is the first in a series that I will write to describe the current state, and my humble thoughts on how to move forward.

We will begin with the rise of employer sponsored health insurance, as it is a significant factor in the problems. Continue reading →

Protests and consequences

In the aftermath of the 2016 US Presidential Election, as I watch these protests across the country against the election of Trump.

I can’t deny the passions and emotions that have driven these protests. A lot of people are upset, and justifiably so. But, having read a lot recently about the rise of the hard right conservatives, I worry that the protests will backfire.

Alas, the protests that swept across the country in 1968, in the run up to that year’s presidential election, the public sentiment against the war was running high, as the deployments, and casualties were rising rapidly. Continue reading →