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My first quality time with Aaron Swartz was at the last Comdex, in the Fall of 2002. He had just turned 16, but looked about 10. His old Mac laptop featured a screen with no working backlight. Only he could read it, which he rationalized, with a smile, as a "security precaution." When I asked him about school, he said he had moved on. more>>
Pick up most items, from the soup can, to the library book, and you will find a data tag. In most cases, that tag is the simple, ubiquitous bar code that seems to have been around forever. more>>
Big data. The concept has been ubiquitous lately. It seems everyone has been talking about the use of big data to advance scientific research, perform complex number crunching, and predict presidential elections. There’s little doubt that the chatter around big data has reached a fever pitch. more>>
I have a new day job, and as part of the hiring package, I was issued a smartphone. I'm a little bitter that it doesn't include a tethering plan, but that doesn't upset me nearly as much as the lack of Wi-Fi analysis apps. See, my new job issued me an iPhone. I really like the iPhone (it's true, I can't lie), but in order to scan Wi-Fi, I'd have to jailbreak my phone! more>>
I have to give Kyle Rankin all the credit for my Raspberry Pi collection. I never really felt geeky enough to do anything with an Arduino, and for some reason I mentally lumped the RPi into the same world. Boy was I short-sighted! Thankfully Kyle showed me the light, and I managed to snag some of the new 512MB model B units. more>>
Everybody loves the Raspberry Pi, and there are so many things it can do, filling an issue with Raspberry Pi goodness should be a piece of cake! To do that, however, we need your help. more>>
Are you a Python programmer who wishes your storage could do more for you? Here's an easy way to add functionality to a real distributed filesystem, in your favorite language. more>>
For Linux users, the command line is a celebrated part of our entire experience. Unlike other popular operating systems, where the command line is a scary proposition for all but the most experienced veterans, in the Linux community, command-line use is encouraged. more>>
Two things happened in 1993: I attended my first year of college, and I played a lot of Scorched Earth. more>>
I was proudly wearing one of my Salt Stack shirts the other day when my daughter asked me, "What is Salt Stack?" I began by explaining the problem it solved. If you have multiple servers and want to do things to those servers, you would need to log in to each one and do those things one at a time on each one. They could be fairly simple tasks like restarting them or checking how long they have been running. Or, you might want to do more complicated things like installing software and then configuring that software based upon your own specific criteria. You also might want to add users and configure permissions for them. more>>
Turns out maps matter.
That's always been the case for me. I'm a map freak. I own hundreds of paper maps in various specialties, plus many atlases, books on geography, geology and other geo-obsessions. But I'm no longer an edge case, because maps are proving to be essential on smartphones, which today approaches a billion or more people. Digital maps on phones are now among the core portfolio of smartphone apps, alongside voice, text, calendar and contacts. What could be more mobile about a phone than a map to help the user look things up and get around? more>>
Every year for our Readers' Choice survey, the venerable tool rsync gets votes for favorite backup tool. That never surprises us, because every time I need to copy a group of files and folders, rsync is the tool I use by default. more>>
Years ago, I had the brilliant idea that all my users in the finance department should have complex passwords. This made perfect sense to everyone, since dealing with millions of dollars of revenue is something that should be secured. So, the passwords were changed with complexity requirements enforced. I slept better that night knowing our paychecks were no longer secured by passwords like "mustang" or "mrwhiskers".
One amazing thing about Linux is that the same code base is used for a different range of computing systems, from supercomputers to very tiny embedded devices. If you stop for a second and think about it, Linux is probably the only OS that has a unified code base. more>>
I have a huge collection of NASA photos taken from the Astronomy Pic of the Day Web site (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html) stored in a folder in my Dropbox. No matter what computer system I'm using, I rotate those images on my background, getting a virtual tour of the universe on every screen. more>>