Setting up Nginx with LetsEncrypt certificates

If you're setting up a web application (or even a testing/staging server for one), sooner or later you're going to have to bite the bullet and do it properly. Assuming that you're deploying a non-PHP type application (Ruby, Node.js, Smalltalk, Go, and the like), you will need to…

Joining the Solid team

Shortly after New Year's, I said goodbye to my colleagues at Basho, and joined the Solid project MIT CSAIL (specifically, the DIG / IPRI groups). I loved working at Basho, learned a mind-boggling amount, liked and respected my colleagues, and still remain a huge fan of Riak. And am also really…

Reification In Social Media: More Please

reification: The consideration of an abstract thing as if it were concrete, or of an inanimate object as if it were living. The consideration of a human being as an impersonal object. (programming) Process that makes out of a non-computable/addressable object a computable/addressable one. (see also the Wikipedia…

Standards and Protocols are Holy

In biology, the individual organism is ephemeral. Each individual is incredibly fragile, and has a built-in limited lifespans, not to mention a good chance of meeting with accidental death at any moment. The only things that matter, that have at least a shot at longevity, are genes (and species, really)…

Github Page Views / Analytics

Something I didn't know about, and was excited to find out yesterday. Github finally has traffic analytics built-in! (Well, finally as in this past January. But still, I didn't realize!) And all thanks to Ilya Grigorik and his excellent ga-beacon repo. See, for the longest time, if you had a…

The Flattening of Design

I'm still not sure how I feel about the "All the things must be flat" design trend. (Well, that's not true, I certainly hate Windows 8's Xbox-like desktop, the way that the Xbox UI was changed to match it, and the iOS 7 UI update.) Also, I did notice, the…

Explaining MapReduce to My Distant Relatives

You need to understand what MapReduce is. If you've never heard the term and you don't work in the tech sector, stick around. It's easy to understand, and it's important. A one-line answer Q: What is MapReduce? A: MapReduce is a counter-intuitive but very powerful way to answer questions and…

Three Unrelated Thoughts on Tech Schools

A few months ago, I came across a mention of a CS high school opening in NYC: New York City gets a Software Engineering High School. I think this is a brilliant idea. High school (and, honestly, even earlier, in middle school) is the ideal time to learn programming. (I…