During this insane quarantine time we are all stuck in the middle of, I started working on a new album that, unlike my last one, won’t be in the electronica realm. Now that I’ve finally built somewhat of a home studio where I can play instruments and be loud without the need to channel everything through headphones, my options are much more inspiring.
That, coupled with this deep, intense angst that many of us are feeling as we are trapped at home under this new but hopefully temporary way of living, led to the following track that I hope you enjoy.
It is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and all the usual places, but you can also listen to it here:
I just updated my My Music page, which was long overdue. There’s not a lot of new stuff to report just yet, but I am in a ska band that is practicing and trying to determine a name. Stay tuned for more about that.
Here is a Spotify playlist featuring my songs, or songs I played on over the years:
And here’s an open directory from which you can download a lot of these goodies:
Just over a year ago, Rachael and I decided that we’d like to combine our love of escaping the house sans-children with our love of writing. Being fans of fine food and environments that enable us to focus on each other during rare, precious date nights, we thought it might be fun to share our experiences in Asheville with other couples who might be looking for a great spot to escape to, if only for an hour, or if for a whole evening. Plus, it would be a team effort that would allow us to collaborate on something we both love: writing and geeking out.
Thus, Date Night Appetite was born and officially launched back in September. To date, we’ve reviewed four local spots, but we also have some Instagram and Facebook posts to help share smaller delights that we find between date nights.
Check it out, and help add your ratings to what we have posted. And let us know if you have any questions or suggestions!
With the start of a new year about to happen, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on where I’ve been focusing my attention, and what I’ve been getting out of those things. My conclusions led me to discover that I have been putting a lot of time and energy into things that don’t necessarily help me, my family, and everything surrounding those primary things (career, creativity, cashflow, etc).
So, I have decided to give up the following:
Caring about sports. I may watch some bigger Louisville basketball games, but overall, this has become more of a chore than anything, and I spend way too much time wrapped up in the emotions surrounding games. This is particularly unproductive when they lose.
Facebook. I’ve given it up before, but it serves absolutely no purpose for me. If people want to keep in touch, they know how to find me.
Clash of Clans. I’ve led a very successful clan for almost 2 years, and been a part of the game for almost 3. I helped start the Reddit Alliance Clans system, and all of this has been a large time sink. I did have a lot of fun, and I met a lot of great people along the way, but ultimately, it’s been entirely unproductive towards helping any of the primary things in life I mentioned above.
Reddit. One thing I’ve noticed is that by deleting apps off my phone, I waste a lot less time. So I am removing the Reddit app that I use, and will instead only check in on occasion when at my computer, at home. I tend to get wrapped up in drawn-out conversations (or arguments) on Reddit far too often. While some of these interactions can have positive outcomes (discussing network security, for example), most of the time I am arguing with people who will never change their minds. Why? I have no idea.
I hope to start using all the freed up time and energy (in no particular order) towards continuing my newfound interest in working out, continuing to educate myself, investing more time and energy with my family, making more music, and focusing on the things that support all of the above — the primary things in life.
I will report back more in a few months to let you know how it all goes!
This is really bugging me: Two nights in a row, on major news outlets reporting on the horrific attack on Paris, I have heard the reporters say things like, “the terrorists used encryption technology to ‘go dark’.”
I heard that on CBS evening news tonight (slightly paraphrased).
Last night on CNN, Poppy Sanchez (or whatever her name is) said that encryption was used to hide all of their communications, and that it was very concerning.
They are alluding to encryption as a bad thing because the terrorists used it to coordinate their attacks. They may have used automobiles too, but they didn’t seem concerned about that.
Why this attention to encryption irks me is because there has been a concerted effort by governments of the world (ours in the forefront) to get major tech companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook, more) to build so-called “backdoors” into encryption technology.
That means that if you send an encrypted message to someone, otherwise unreadable by anyone except the person you sent it to, it can still be read through this “backdoor” by the governments who are in cahoots with the tech companies, allegedly to be able to monitor communications amongst the bad guys.
You’d think that’s a good idea, right? Well, it’s been proven over and over again that backdoors get found and exploited by people who are not supposed to find them.
That is what hackers do, for better or for worse, and it’s usually for the better. You heard me correctly. Hackers find exploits and tell people about them so that they get fixed, and make everyone safer.
That is what my day job involves, actually. Sure, there are evil hackers who like to exploit these things for nefarious purposes, but that’s why we continue to find vulnerabilities and fix them.
The news outlets are pushing this idea that encryption is some dark arts majik that terrorists are using, while no one else would ever dare need such a thing. I worry that this will give the general public the wrong idea: that encryption = terrorism, so we need to do something about it.
What better time to push this idea than after a terrible tragedy?
Today, we are seeing government pushback against encryption. Many countries, from States like China and Russia to more democratic governments like the United States and the United Kingdom, are either talking about or implementing policies that limit strong encryption. This is dangerous, because it’s technically impossible, and the attempt will cause incredible damage to the security of the Internet.