When I heard about the attacks in Paris, I was deeply saddened, and appalled in a manner very similar to a sunny Tuesday way back in September 2001. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be in Paris, or to have family or close friends in France right now. My heart goes out to anyone who hasn’t yet heard from one of the unaccounted for. And to those who won’t ever hear the voice of a loved one again.

As terrible as this attack is, when I woke up this morning there was a seed of hope in my mind, amidst all the chaos and confusion. Yes, Syria is a complete shitshow. Yes, ISIS is major player in said shitshow and yes, even with the recent victory in Sinjar, ISIS is still more dangerous than Al-Queda ever was. Until yesterday, their campaign of terror was largely contained to the Mideast and social media. Because of this, for a large part of the world, ISIS seemed like a hurricane viewed from space, that is, a big problem, but a problem that didn’t really have a direct effect on the observer (unless of course you actually lived in Iraq, Syria, etc… but I digress).

Much like 9/11, what happened yesterday made “somebody else’s problem” a “first world problem”. Going forward from here, I hope that we’ll see a change in global attitudes regarding both the civil war in Syria and more broadly, how ISIS at large should be dealt with. Remember all the international goodwill the United States had in the years following September 11th?  That same sentiment is now pouring into Paris. Perhaps this time world leaders will build genuine consensus to fight ISIS instead of using half-truths and outright lies to manufacture a false consensus a la Iraq circa 2003.

For now, pray for the people of France, pray for Paris, pray for healing, pray for the dead and injured. There will be plenty of time for war later, now is the time for compassion.

Peace for Paris
by @jean_jullien

Get up, stand up!

I got a standing desk @ work on Wednesday. Unfortunately, as far as construction goes, it’s a piece of shit.  Additionally, I neglected to consider the height of the trackpad and keyboard when standing…

At the moment, the “desk” itself is supported by such classics as Design Patterns (gang of four),  and Applied Cryptography (Schneier), as well as two foo dog bookends. Elevating the trackpad are The Pragmatic Programmer (Hunt/Thomas) and a box of business cards left behind by the previous occupant of my cube.  Last, but not least is the keyboard stand, which is composed of two O’Riley books that will remain nameless, an upside-down desk organizer, topped off by the original box for the MBP that I am writing this very post on.

Let the 30-day standing challenge begin!

Goodbye Go Daddy, Hello Namecheap

I’m proud to say that as of today, I have moved all of my domains form Go Daddy over to Namecheap.  Why change, you might be asking? Well, first of all, there’s cost.

A .com on Go Dady will cost you $12.17 a year. Granted, Namecheap is normally $10.16 a year, but due to yesterday’s ‘Move Your Domain Day’ special, I was able to transfer each of my domains at a low, low price of $4.16/domain.

On top of that, by transferring my domains yesterday, Namecheap donated $0.50 to the EFF per domain.  According to this article, MYDD has raised nearly $250,000 for the EFF since 2011.

If you’re not already familiar with the EFF and the work they do, and you care even a tiny bit about your digital rights, you owe it to yourself to check them out (https://www.eff.org).




My new hobby…

I realized recently that I needed to find something that I enjoyed, but had nothing to do with computers. Don’t get me wrong, I love programming, but sometimes I just feel the need to turn off that part of my brain.

So, about two weeks ago, whilst cleaning up the ‘ol homestead, I cam across a watch that my sister had given me several years ago for Christmas. Said watch was not in good shape… it’s battery had given up the ghost a while back, the wristband was worn and near breaking, and the condition of the case was what you might expect from daily-wear from a much filthier man than myself.

Naturally, I documented the condition of said watch with a few pictures:

Detail of watch body.
Detail of watch body,

With a trip to a store that will remain unnamed, I procured a new 22mm band, the correct battery, and a cleaning agent.  The new band was nearly identical to the original, just a hair thinner at the watch-end.  The cleaner did wonders for the face/case (you can see just how dirty it was in the lower right corner of the top picture). Somewhat surprisingly, the reassembly went without a hitch.

Next up… adding a link or two to the wristband of a nice timepiece I gave my wife years ago, but as of now has remained in the box…



Hello and welcome!

Welcome to kws.io, my very own personal soapbox.

If you came here for the geekery, you might not find much currently, but I promise that over the coming weeks and months, there will be plenty of posts about everything from Ruby on Rails vs. Node.js battles, to gadgetry galore, to my thoughts on the most recent Dr. Who episode, and everything in between.