Dec 6 2019

Export Your Data From Google, Twitter, and Instagram

It feels like every year we rely more on online services, from Google, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and others. Each of these online services stores a lot of your personal data, not just meta data, but actual data like contacts, posts, photos, chats. Data is more than just personal and private, it is often our work and livelihood.

Unfortunately, to drive user engagement on their own platforms, these services don’t make it easy to interoperate with others, in essence locking you in. Much the personal and private data that we pour into these services is locked into the one service you posted, uploaded, or commented on.

It is a good idea to export all your personal and private data you consider valuable, at least once a year, from any online platform or services. Be sure to backup this data accordingly, using both physical and cloud backup solutions.

For example, with Google Takeout you can export your Blogger posts and pages, GMail email and contacts, Drive documents, YouTube videos and comments, and much more.

Google Takeout

I don’t backup my data off of Google because they would lose it, but because it has been documented a number of times that Google can suspend any account, even for what would be considered normal behavior and usage by the account holder. In the case of services like Twitter and Instagram, there are cases that accounts have been hijacked by hackers or even former friends. Additionally, these services can be bought up by other companies and can change their terms of service in a way that impacts your data and work, like when Flickr got acquired by SmugMug in 2018.


Nov 23 2019

Apple’s Pricing Genius

Laptops are designed to travel with. We taken home, to the coffee shop, to the library, when we travel, everywhere. It is not uncommon to misplace your power adapter when travel, or equally as bad forget it at home after you left for a trip. And of course, the cable used by the power adapter does wear and tear and would need to be replaced.
I must have been about 3 years when I last needed to replace the power adapter to a MacBook Pro. I remember the sticker shock when I picked up a replacement power adapter and found it cost $69, but I needed it so I paid the Apple tax and bought it.
Recently I had left behind at the office the power adapter for current MacBook Pro, 2016 model. I haven’t been in the office since and I needed charge my laptop. Luckily, so I thought, I have an Apple Store two blocks away from home. This time around, the full cost of a power adapter was $79, but Thunderbolt cable or batteries not included, I needed to shell out an additional $39 for a 0.8M USB-C cable.

Apple Store Receipt for MBP Power Adapter
Apple Store Receipt for MBP Power Adapter

This is truly Apple’s genius. To take a technology, like electricity, that was invented over a hundred years ago. A commodity technology that is found in products priced at $10 and below, like power cords. Change the connectors in such a way that others can’t legally copy your design. Break a product down to their essential components, the actual power adapter from the cable. Charge as much as possible for each component that is sold as a product.


Oct 18 2019

Favorite How I Built This Episodes

I’ve been listening to podcasts before every comedian had one. Back in 2007 I listed my favorite technology podcasts. One of my favorite podcast now is How I Built This with Guy Raz. Guy talks with established founders and entrepreneurs on how they got their business off the ground. The following are my favorite episodes of How I Built This because of the perseverance, determination, and humility described by the guest to launch their successful business.


Oct 12 2019

Digital Inheritance and Data Donor

Software companies like Facebook, Apple, Google, and the like are collecting and amassing large amounts of personal information about each of us.  A large portion of this information is posts, tweets, texts, pictures we’ve taken and published.  Additionally, there is a large about of derived and meta data such as our search history and geo-location data as we go throughout our day.

Much of the public discussions around personal information is around privacy.  But as of late, I’ve been concerned about being able to leave our digital footprint onto our descendants or in the public domain.  For example, I’ve taken over 500,000 photographs in the last 10 years, admittedly I’m sure most of them are not great, but this data set of images can be useful in a historical context.

Companies like Facebook and Apple should enable features to allow their users to designate how their data can be used, and ultimately shared, after death.  It should be possible to build the means to determine what type of data to either share with our descendants or public domain at a specified time after we’ve passed.

Of course, a feature that allows for data, and even accounts, to be inherited is not trivial.  This task is made even more difficult because there is some data we would not like to reveal even after we’ve been dead and gone.  And of course, no one wants to manually sort thousands of posts, hundreds of thousands of photos, millions of text messages for potentially embarrassing or possibly misunderstood items.  Such system needs to work effortlessly behind the scenes.

 


Sep 25 2019

Oracle OpenWorld 2019 Overview

The following is a short list of tools, libraries, and projects that I found interesting at Oracle OpenWorld 2019.

  • Oracle APEX – Rapid Application Development framework built on top of Oracle’s database.  With little code, build CRUD application around database tables or even excel documents.
  • Oracle Jet – Oracle’s JavaScript Extension Toolkit (JET) for building mobile and desktop web applications.
  • WeaveWorks Sock Shop – Microservice sample app, like Java Pet Store.
  • Micronaut – Full-stack polyglot framework for building microservice and serverless applications.
  • Helidon – Collection of Java libraries for developing microservices.
  • JHipster – Generate, develop, and deploy Spring Boot + Angular/React/Veue web applications and microservices
  • OpenAPI – API description format for REST APIs. Formerly known as Swagger, used to help to design, build, document, and consume REST APIs.
  • Moby Project – Open framework to assemble specialized container systems.
  • Eclipse Vert.x – Reactive tool-kit
  • Eclipse Theia – Cloud IDE platform, runs on Docker
  • Eclipse Che – Kubernetes native IDE, allowing you to code, build, test and run applications exactly as they run on production from any machine.
  • Eclipse MicroProfile – Specification to define a microservice application platform that is portable across multiple runtimes and vendors.
  • Eclipse CodeWind – Container support in Eclipse IDE, Eclipse Che, and VS Code.
  • Docker Kitematic – GUI application to run Docker containers.

Sep 22 2019

Oracle OpenWorld 2019

Oracle OpenWorld

This way to endless possibilities.

Micronaut and GraalVM

Graeme Rocher, creator of Micronaut and Grails.

Design Principles for Microservices

Design Principles for Microservices