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Showing posts from 2021

Eco Cycle Planning Resources, Toastmasters & Unicorns

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  The week just before Christmas, I had the opportunity to complete my last speech for the dynamic leadership level 1 of Toastmasters . The speech was a mix of a collection of research both on Eco-Cycle Planning, and practice opportunity from the U.N.I.C.O.R.N.S.  Some important resources to go with the video can be found here: a) The original start of unicorns which can be found on this apolitical.co post: Let's save the unicorns in government b) EcoCycle Planning from the book Liberating Structures , as well as the related image/worksheet as used in the video c) Much thanks to the excellent 4 part series Bountiful Harvest by TadZo Consulting, without which I would not have nearly as much content for the video.                 Part 1 - Creative Destruction                Part 2 - Sowing                Part 3 - Birth                Part 4 - Maturity    To learn more about UNICORNS and details on how to start one in your own company/team check out: my post Unicorns My Personal Stor

Verifying Digital Signatures with GitHub

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It's never too late to learn something new This is something I tend to forget once in a while.  Today I was reminded of this fact by an email from a key Dogecoin contributor Ross Nichol .  A while back I wrote an article on #askageek on how you can send secure/secret message to your friends and family members using 'GPG' . These steps include how you can then submit a copy of your public key to a key server so that other people can verify and decrypt your messages. Well today I learned, that you can also put a copy of your public key on GitHub , and use it as another method of verifying users. What is interesting about this, is that I have had my GPG key in GitHub for a while as a method of digitally signing my code. You can find a great step by step tutorial (with video) on how to do this over at dev.to What I did not realize, however, is that you can also view the public keys of GitHub users simply by adding the text ".gpg" to the user profile name: For example

Programming & Security Vulnerabilities & Logging

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It's not always easy to be a programmer! - Ask any coder what one of the most annoying things is to do and it is "debugging".  Trying to figure out why the nice, beautiful code you just wrote, does not do exactly what you expected it to do! One of the main difficulties in writing software is the inability to imagine all of the possibilities a user might intend to use it for, which often is far greater then what the programmer had intended. To do this we need to use our imagination to think questions like "what happens if a user types "X"?' or what should happen when the user enters letters in a number only field?. What if the user hits both the return key and the escape key at the same time? Often even the user doesn't even know why they 'did' it the way they did it..from their point of view that just seemed the 'obvious' thing to do ! In programming tech-talk we call this "Defensive Programming"  and while the reality is w

Lessons from my father

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 This is a picture of my dad He's the guy in the middle with his tongue sticking out My dad was (one of the) youngest of 14 siblings. One interesting tidbit is that his last name (and my last name 'Detchevery' is spelt within one "R". Almost all of this siblings (my uncles, cousins, aunts) spell their name with 2 "R" DETCHEVERRY. So my dad started his life already unique and passed this on to his children. Maybe it was the last name, or maybe it was something else, but my dad marched to the beat of his own drum, he did what made him happy, not necessarily with what his family, groups, or society in general thought he 'had to do' Today I'm going to share with you just three of the lessons I learned from my father. There were likely hundreds to pick up over his lifetime, but these are the three that rang most true and helpful to me, and I hope that you maybe able to relate to them as well. 1) Perseverance (stick-to-it-ness) My father, built the

Was the lightbulb over engineered?

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I recently posted a question over on reddit - "Personality Types and Agile" . An interesting discussion emerged about 'over-engineering' code. I find people use the label 'over-engineering' too frequently, and I don't even think the 'great Wikipedia' gets the definition quite right. Overengineering  (or  over-engineering , or  over-kill ) is the act of designing a product to be more robust or have more features than often necessary for its intended use, or for a process to be unnecessarily complex or inefficient. - Wikipedia Let us take for example the 'lightbulb'.  What is 'too robust?' for a lightbulb. - A bulb that lasts too long ?, A bulb that is energy efficient ? A bulb that doesn't suddenly explode when exposed to various environmental conditions ? The lightbulb in the picture above is known as the "Centennial Light" , it has this name because it is the worlds longest lasting lightbulb, burning since 1901 and ha

IT Security Myths & Legends

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  Misinformation, 'fake news', rumors, and propaganda - surround us.  Even worse, we freely share this information with others, often without even knowing the harm it causes. No one is oblivious to this, no one is immune. The only cure is to educate ourselves, to apply logic and reasoning, and think before we share. Today I am going to countdown some of the top statements you may have heard around IT Security, and provide some facts for you to digest. Ultimately it is up to you decide what you want to do with this information. 5 ) IT Security is the 'IT Departments' responsibility You may have heard this, or something like it, particularly when something goes horribly wrong, "Hey Brad, I thought you were taking care of that security thing?". Let's imagine for a minute that you head into the emergency room with a pain in your side.  After an examination the Doctor tells you that your appendix is about to rupture at any moment, and if you don't get emerg

SQL Server - Collation - Scalability & Portability

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   Mo st people (including Developers) if asked about database "collation", will likely look at as if you had two heads. There is a good reason for this - For the most part, no one 'worries' about it, until of course they have a need to migrate data from one server to another, then suddenly it becomes 'one of the most important things in the world' ! Collation governs the set of rules a computer applies when comparing and sorting data. In databases, this means for example when you return a list of items in alphabetical order, what does 'Alphabetical really mean?' For example is "Donut", "DONUT", and "donut" sorted the same way ? - If so you want a case-insensitive  collation . How about "├ęclair" vs "eclair" -If so you want an accent-insensitive  collation. Hmm, I suddenly feel a big hungry for a sweet now for some reason ? For the most part we do not have to worry about these things because collation is

The Magic Lamp

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One day a programmer was feeling a bit down in the dumps! Gee Whiz - I can't seem to get anything right, no matter what I do or say. Nothing seems to be working out for me, what's the use of being motivated to do anything ??.. EVER!! UGGG !!! So one day (s)he started nosing around in various folders in the company directory and happened to come across this strange zip file called "magiclamp". Still feeling down but now a little curious, our semi-adventurous programmer decided, what the heck, I'll open it and see what is inside! So (s)he decided to extract the contents to his hard drive and came across this very README file that you are reading at this very moment !! After carefully exampling the contents and the code and declaring them safe our programmer decided to go ahead and very carefully RIGHT CLICKED ON the INSTALL.BAT file and choose "RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR" ..and from that moment forward his (or her?) life changed forever. Or at

Web Services - Over Promise and Under Deliver

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Every time a 'new' technology is released, it tends to come with a super amazing promise. Somewhat reminiscent of the 'Amazing Discoveries' infomercial from the early 90's It's NEW - It promises to save the world!, reduce our work week, give us more time, make us lot's of money etc. etc. Web Services was no different. Web Services promised the ability for applications from different vendors to actually SHARE information easily. By having a common interface, you could now let your generic hotel ordering app to book you rooms in any hotel you want!...Well I guess that does work 'sort of' What these technologies fail to anticipate, is that just because technology allows for a 'cool new thing'. Doesn't mean people (in a particular business) will actually use it. Particularly if their is any kind of cost investment and the return on that investment just doesn't seem obvious. Generally speaking, companies are not interested in maki

Blockchain, Etherium..and dApps

As a huge proponent of de-centralization, and as I was learning about blockchain technology, Ethereum definitely caught my eye.  Like all other blockchains , it is a "public ledger". Specifically, anyone with sufficient hard disk space can have the entire ledger on their own machine and can view all transactions as much as they please. And this is where the beauty of decentralization arrives. With crypto-currencies you write transactions to the ledger and retrieve receipts. This posting requires a fee, and with the transaction you can write some text. One of the most important lessons we developers understand is their is really no difference between "data" and "code".  The machine does not care, you point it to data and tell it here is some code it will 'execute it'.  Which is why buffer overruns are huge security vulnerabilities . Put 'code' in the 'data' area, overflow the buffer and viola, you gain control of the system . Build

Online Busking - Can you 'chip in' ??

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TLDR; ? - Watch the video instead Have you ever been to see a street performer? - Otherwise known as a busker, these performers travel around the world, taking their act with them. Some cities even specially host a 'buskers' festival in the 'downtown' part of the city  At the end of a show, the entertainer performs the 'passing of the hat'. Often an actual hat, the idea is for people to put some money in it, not unlike the way a musician may leave his guitar case open and people will drop in change (also a form of busking by the way) What you might not also realize - is that 'busking' has a format online as well! But WAIT - Isn't that why I have to look at / watch ads's online? - Doesn't that help support their work? The sad fact is, many online advertising sites, only share a small percentage of the ad revenue with the content creators.  Some are as low as 1cent for every 1 dollar the advertisement earns, other sites, won't even let yo

The story of Dexter - Part 1

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Well no not that Dexter, exactly. Dexter our dog that we got back in 2013. Though to be fair we were watching a lot of Dexter TV series at the time and that is where our dog got it's name. The decision to bring a new dog into our family, was not an easy one, but when we finally did decide to make the move, we posted a Kijiji ad   " Nice Family Looking to Give Good  Dog  New Home "  In order to even get a dog, I said we would have to have at least 25 members join our FB group where we would document the "good" and "bad" things about dog ownership. We got several responses, we posted polls to the facebook page asking about what types of dogs would be best, and what we should name our new family pet (and the name Dexter won. Just around thanksgiving in 2013, we responded to an ad from Cynthia Ann Rubec who had some dogs to give away. We looked at three small pups and we decided on the golden colored one. Little did we know at the time that Ms. Rub

A Brief History of Spam

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While, perhaps, not as good as Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time . Today's post is a bit of a history lesson in SPAM. Back in the early days of the Internet, even before the "World Wide Web", cell phones, and Instagram, one of the first ways of communicating was electronic mail.  E-Mail was the new and exciting kid on the block (Imagine That!). University students would email their professors their reports using command line interfaces, and share thoughts and ideas with students in other universities around the world, and life was good. Remember this young ones - the key magic about the internet was that it allowed for discourse, the connection of people all around the world together, quickly and easily (and almost for free!) (Disclaimer:SPAM is a trademark of Hormel foods ). This article is un-related to the luncheon meat, though if reading this makes you hungry for some, feel free to go out and enjoy some). The word 'spam' here in lower case refer

What is Multi Factor Authentication (MFA / 2FA)?? and Why does it matter??

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 TLDR; Don't have time to read this? - Here is a good video that gives an overview of what MFA is Why is it important ? - Watch this video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGRii5f_uSc Multifactor Authentication (MFA) or Two Factor Authentication (2FA)  You may have already seen this recently with your banking, or in your company, more and more online applications are requiring an additional verification option when you try to login. For example, if you try to log into your gmail from a remote computer, you may have seen a pop up on your phone asking you to confirm the login   Usernames and passwords are inherently 'broken' to 'prove' who you are - Why?  Well if you forget your password, or you give your password to someone else, or someone else steals your password, the app, machine, phone, cannot tell the difference between the 'real' you and the 'fake' you that has your password. To further complicate matters, as computer grow increasing faster, it