By now, everyone has heard the term “Fake News”. If you haven’t, you’ve either been living under a rock or spent the last two years in a coma. Arguably one of the biggest terms of 2017, it is a moniker that President Trump has given largely to the left-leaning media, which he calls the “Mainstream Media”.
While talking to my mom on the phone yesterday, we came to the subject of taxes. I had been musing about moving to and/or buying a place in any location other than New York City, where I currently live. My last tax bill from the state of New York made me strongly reconsider residing in the Empire State. With each potential place I listed, my mom noted the high taxes. Somewhat frustrated, I said “At some point, I’m going to die. And until then, I’m going to have to pay taxes.”
As I wrote about last week, I deleted my Facebook profile on Monday. That date, April 23rd, marked fourteen years I had been on the platform. Guess what? I lasted two whole days before I reactivated it. (Cue Nelson Muntz and his famous “Ha ha!”)
About a month ago, the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. I found out about it via the linked Guardian article, which I read while at a dinner with friends. I couldn’t put down my phone, and barely touched my wine for the first twenty minutes of the dinner, as friends began to tease me for being antisocial.
A very good friend told me I should write about dating. This is my first attempt. Be nice.
As I wrote last week, I have been looking at some of my past writing. I resurfaced eight articles I had written in the past and had a few cringes and laughs looking at other pieces. I’ve revived four more articles which I liked. Two hail from my fast food writing days, while the other two are tech and humor infused pieces.
In March, I caught a bad case of writer’s block. I couldn’t think of anything useful or entertaining to write, so I went to some older attempts to blog and write for inspiration. It was fun to read my old writing. At times, it was cringeworthy. At times, I was impressed with my younger self.
On March 29th, I switched my personal blog from Hugo to Jekyll. This was the first post generated when I first installed and ran Jekyll, so I kept it for timekeeping and posterity’s sake.
Some time ago, an enticing link on a news website caught my eye. I can’t remember the subject matter, but I remember having resolved to spend the next 10–15 minutes of my life reading and absorbing the text. And so I clicked.
The following is an excerpt from a book I’m working on about cybersecurity. It’s a short passage on password managers, and what they do. You really should be using a password manager.
Growing up, I watched a lot of professional wrestling. In that time, wrestling was in a sort of renaissance: Stone Cold Steve Austin reigned supreme, The Rock was growing in popularity, and Degeneration X told everyone to “Suck it!”. There were high flying acrobatics, lavish introductions, and plenty of in-ring drama. But one of the unforgettable elements for me was the ringside commentary.
I made a New Year’s Resolution to blog. Instead of a vague resolution, though, I set a concrete goal: 150 posts by the end of 2018. I read somewhere that vague goals are less helpful than concrete tasks. That may have been GTD, it may have been Tim Ferriss. I’ll have to research where I found that.
Imagine the following situation: you’re talking to a small group of people. All of a sudden, one person has the floor.
My degree in grad school was in computer science, but my focus was cybersecurity. I’m going to try to give out some tips on how to be safer online.
TL;DR: My name is John Edwards (no relation). Six years ago, I was bumped up to first class on a flight from California to Boston, and sat behind Senator John Kerry. He watched two Kate Hudson movies, didn’t pee for four hours, and forgot to lock the bathroom door when he finally did. I introduced myself at the end of the flight, and he said something funny.
Today, I’m seventeen days into my second ‘Dry January’. For those of you who don’t know, Dry January means abstaining from alcohol for the whole first month of the year. It’s become a small phenomenon among people I know. It has health benefits, in particular weight loss, at a time when many are making and attempting to stick to their New Year’s resolutions.
When I was in High School, I enrolled in the only Computer Science course that we were offered. I loved it: coding, learning languages, solving problems. I was in my element. That year, we read a book about famous computer scientists. The first story remains etched into my mind to this day: a biography of and interview with John Backus, the developer of the language Fortran.
Cosmo Kramer is one of the zanier characters ever to appear on television. In one Seinfeld episode, “The Visa”, he attends a baseball fantasy camp, and ends up punching Mickey Mantle. George Costanza notes the hilarity of the situation:
I love the news. But lately, the clickbait has driven me toward madness. Scanning CNN.com recently, which may have been mistake number one, I saw a promising headline: “Deion Sanders calls out son.” Click on the above link if you want. I’m going to sum the article up anyway, so you don’t really need to.
Edward Snowden captured America’s attention this past month. The media followed him for most of June in a DiCaprian journey from Hawaii to Moscow. Live Muppet Julian Assange joined the fray as well, turning the NSA leak into the story of the summer. Putin wanted to stick a finger in our eye, hoping to then uncross his long enough for a photo op.
The Meatloaf turned two months old recently. I’m still a beginner, but already some of the particularities of blogging are starting to make me laugh. I feel I must share the delight of spam comments.
Yesterday, The Guardian broke the news that the National Security Administration has ordered Verizon to hand over a tremendous amount of customer data for a three-month period this spring. Documents about this program, titled PRISM, appeared on the sites of the Washington Post, Business Insider, and the Guardian. Even the Atlantic entered the mix, publishing a great opinion piece by security expert Bruce Schneier about why what we don’t know about this program is scarier than what we do know. Foreign Policy posted some interesting stats about the program. Here’s a short selection of them:
You feel like a disorganized piece of slovenly monkey shit when you walk through Muji. You experience a utopian domicile, with a drawer, tray, or freestanding organizer for every imaginable object. Every item has been synthesized into the same aesthetic. You think back to your own apartment, with stacks of magazines, piles of clothing, and coffee tables littered with DVDs. You feel shame, downright awful shame, for how long you’ve lived in the greatest society the world has ever seen without a closet-mounted shoe-rack. I don’t even cook, but I stand in the kitchen area, admiring the strainers.
I’ve worked in software and information technology for a few years now. I’ve done tech support, which in the software context means “solving people’s problems”. In the athletic context, support means “holding one’s balls in place”. Frankly, 90% of tech support amounts to little more than scratching your cojones and regurgitating the same few support tips. The software and athletic versions of support aren’t that different after all.
Addiction is a serious matter. It can cause physical harm and mental anguish, destroy lives, and tear families apart. Many people around the world struggle with addiction on a daily basis. Though support networks exist for addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, and a host of other problems, the fastest growing group of addicts is of a very nascent substance: Candy Crush.
I love New Mexico. My parents have been taking me there since I was a child, and it always feels like home. Everything about it agrees with me: hot days and cool evenings, dry air, and New Mexican Green Chile. This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend there with my dad visiting family.
“Nothing makes you feel creepy like walking into a Chuck E. Cheese’s alone, with an SLR camera.”
Today, SeriousEats.com launched SeriousEats: Sweets. Congratulations! To christen the new blog, yours truly went to the Cheesecake Factory and sampled all 33 of their cheesecakes. It is a truly epic piece, so I wrote it with a Dantean style, after my favorite epic poet. (At least, I did until I actually started writing about cheesecake. Dante didn’t do cheesecake.) I hope you enjoy it, and you can read it here.
For those of you who haven’t seen the strange pied-piper-style ads, Burger King has a revitalized breakfast menu. In the fall, I had the chance to preview the new breakfast at a PR event in New York.