Do I Smell Burning?

Mostly technical things, by Kristian Glass

Let Toys Be Toys

This is one of my favourite flow charts:

Image by Kristen Myers Design/Paranoid Shiksa Feminista.

In case you can’t see that, it says: “How to tell if a toy is for boys or girls: a guide. Do you operate the toy with your genitalia? If yes, this toy is not for children. If no, this toy is for either girls or boys”.

Och Spelar Lite DotA

I’ve struggled to enjoy most computer games for a while. Valve’s Dota 2 is one of the few that I can. It’s most enjoyable when played with friends, so here’s my shameless attempt to convince you to join me.

Pipeline 2015

Pipeline is a one-day not-for-profit ‘unconference’ event focused on Continuous Delivery”

I was at Pipeline 2015 and it was excellent. Great talks, great people. My particular favourites (taken from the Pipeline Vimeo channel):

Go Read All the Stross

Ok I haven’t read everything by Charles Stross but everything I have read has been awesome and I’d recommend it highly.

I guess I’d describe a lot of it as “accessible hard sci-fi”, where the technology isn’t just “magic science” (like much of Star Wars and Star Trek), but its consequences and impact are considered and explored.

Twelve-Factor Config: Misunderstandings and Advice

At PyCon UK 2014 I gave a talk about The Twelve-Factor App, “a methodology for building software-as-a-service apps”. The Twelve-Factor stance on config – “store [it] in the environment” – is probably the most misunderstood.

I want those misunderstandings to stop. If you feel you disagree with 12factor, or you feel you don’t quite see the benefit or how to do it, then please keep reading. If you’re still not sure afterwards, drop me an email, or find me on IRC; I’d love to talk more.

If you take just one thing away from here, please make it this: 12factor says your applications should read their config from the environment; it has very little to say about how you populate the environment – use whatever works for you

It Hurts With Every Heartbleed

Imagine you’re walking out of the front door when you see the postman carrying a bundle of letters. He gives you the top letter because it has your address. You then tell him that the next five are yours too. Without looking to check the address on them, he hands you the next five letters too.

This pretty much describes the action at the core of The Heartbleed Bug. This bug was in the OpenSSL library, which is used for all kinds of encryption, but most noticeably right now: HTTPS, which approximates to “everything secure on the web”.

If you want to understand it more from an in-depth technical perspective, Troy Hunt has written an excellent and detailed article about the bug. I want to explain things to people who didn’t lose yesterday to testing and patching (or to put it another way “this is why I was looking sad and went to the pub at lunchtime”).