Random Thoughts on Drone Package Delivery

By now most people have seen or at least heard about Amazon’s Prime Air service. Supposedly, still in the R&D phase Amazon unveiled its drone delivery plans on 60 Minutes back in December. I heard many people dismiss Prime Air as a publicity stunt with no real chance of ever… ahem, getting off the ground. While I do think announcing it at this point is almost certainly a way to garner publicity, I don’t think that there is any reason it can’t be done.

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Encrypt the Web

This somewhat goes against my self-imposed rule to keep things here non-political and non-controversial but this is something that really matters to me. It should matter to anyone interested in living in a free society.

The back-end of this site (and its many iterations over the years) has generally used a secure connection (HTTPS) for the administrative login and such. But the front-end, or public facing side — the side you’re on now — has always been plain old, unencrypted, HTTP. On the surface this is not a big deal since I do not ask for, process or collect personal information (ex phone numbers, credit cards, SSN, etc.) from site visitors.

However, with the revelations about the NSA’s unchecked, unconstitutional, and illegal spying program, I can no longer bury my head in the sand. In 2009 the EFF started their Encrypting the Web mission. The goal is to get the entire web under HTTPS. It’s a lofty goal — to convince every website owner/operator in the world to change their setup — especially when you have to deal with misconceptions (ex using HTTPS increases burden on the infrastructure) and yahoos like me who as why?

Indeed Why? What does the NSA care about me or the dozen or so people who visit this site every year? Answer, they probably don’t but that’s not the point. The point is that we should not be subject to the spying of our government. Make no mistake that this problem requires solutions from multiple fronts but one of the ways we can combat this illegal spying, and make the web a safer place in general, is to make it impossible (or at least more difficult) for the spies to spy. While it’s not perfect, HTTPS is a vetted method for securing the communications between a website and the end-user. The upshot is that the spy will see the digital equivalent of static.

Make no mistake. The government’s spying program is tyranny, it is not the most in-your-face overt kind of tyranny but it is tyranny. We need to stand against it, we need to take the Internet back. From major sites to the little ones like mine, we need to encrypt the web.

So, from this point forward, if for no other reason than to show the government my fully extended middle finger, adambyers.com will be served via a secure connection. You, the end-user do not need to do anything. Any bookmarks or links to http://adambyers.com will automatically be directed to https://adambyers.com.

Finally, Edward Snowden is a true patriot and a hero. The people people who perpetuate the NSA’s unchecked, unconstitutional, and illegal spying are criminals and traitors of the highest order and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

On Life

In my 26 years of existence I’ve learned that life is hardly ever fair. In fact a lot of times it can feel like life is kicking you in the face, when you’re already on the ground from it punching you in the stomach. In all the times that life was punching or kicking me, I learned some things:

  • Even though life is hardly ever fair, it’s still worth living.
  • Life is worth living because of other people, and the experiences both good and bad that we share.
  • Life should not be lived alone, it should be shared with friends, family and even those you can’t stand.
  • Don’t over analyze, life isn’t that complicated – just live.
  • Don’t let the punching and kicking make you bitter, let yourself be happy.
  • Be yourself, always.
  • Every now and then life stops the punching and the kicking and hands you a gift, and when it does you should grab on to that gift and never let go.
  • The single most precious gift that life can give you is people that accept and love you for who you are because being you is really what your life is meant for.

Sandi is beautiful, smart, funny, and caring. She is someone who makes it worth going though the kicks and punches of life. She is one of those gifts that life gives you. In order to grab hold of that gift and never let it go I have asked her to marry me.

She said yes.

Date is set for April 1st (Yeah, I know April 1st! w00t)

-I love you Sandi and Boys-

Me & Sandi

Me & Boys

Me & Boys

White Elephant Gift

Going to a Christmas party tonight and there is a white elephant gift exchange – someone is going to get 6 8GB IBM SCSI hard drives with their covers removed. Interestingly all the hard drives (same model) have an X mark (looks to be sharpie) on the top plater. The only information I could find in my (brief) research as to why, was this Ask MetaFilter thread.

Is it me or would it look cool to mount the drives to a backing board like they are shown in the picture and hang them on the wall?

How does one defrag their computer?

A friend sent me an e-mail, in it he asked:

How does one defrag their computer?

My reply back:

Well…

You remove the hard drive from the system and using an electron microscope you need to examine each individual hard drive cluster (there are 180,000 of them) and using a special de-fragment tool (looks like a kitchen knife but it’s not; it’s special) you have to re-organize the clusters in the proper order; which in and of itself is pretty easy. Just don’t put them in the wrong order otherwise you could cause the drive to go nuclear. Really pretty easy stuff. I do it all the time.

Or…

You could:

Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools –> Disk Defragmenter –> window pops up make sure the C: drive is selected and click on Defragment.

Depending on how fragmented the drive is it could take a bit.

And, sorry I can’t resist:

Q: How does one defrag their computer?

A: You don’t, you defrag your hard drive.

Unless you mean “frag” in the sense of the video game or military use of the word, which is to “kill.” If that’s the case then when you ask “how does one defrag their computer?” you mean “how does one un-kill their computer?”

That, depends on how you killed it.