Software Sagacity

Digital Privacy: Your Emails Are Naked Online

nakedDespite many of the recent high-profile security breaches – from Target’s credit cards, to Edwards Snowden’s extravaganza, to further leaks of the NSA’s spying capabilities, major changes still have not taken place in most individuals’ digital habits.

While the average person implicitly understands the difference between sending a postcard and an envelope, most eyes gloss over at the thought of encrypting their email or web traffic.  Just like a letter without an envelope can be read by everyone in between, an email or web page that is not encrypted can, and will, be read by everyone who gets their hands on it.  In addition, each person who handles that email doesn’t just read it, but copies it several times into various archives.  The email archives and logs are often stored for years or decades.
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JavaScript Anonymous Functions – Blessing or a Curse?

Anonymous FunctionsThe growing popularity of AJAX and jQuery has significantly increased the use of anonymous functions in client-side JavaScript code.  Although anonymous functions provide a very convenient way to decrease the amount of code necessary in an app, their prevalence and necessity may portend to structural deficiencies in either the language or development tools.
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Search Engine Challenges – Scanning the Deep Web

deepwebDuring undergrad at Urbana-Champaign, one of the hot topics for search engine scientists was the “Deep Web”.  While most of the web was easily accessible through HTML, a large portion of the dynamically generated content, such as PHP and ASP pages, could not be indexed by search engines.
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Four software lessons from the notorious Robert d’Artois

lionThe notoriously successful political schemer of 14th century France has, for most Americans, been reduced to the distant annals of history, visited tepidly by liberal arts grad students. Yet with the recent remake of the Maurice Druon’s Accursed Kings series, his vivid tale is brought back to life. In between the pages and stories of murdered kings, sex, and violence, lies a bounty of wisdom for software developers.
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Pop-Science, IBM’s OS/2, and the Slow Death of Software Innovation

OS2 Warp 4 I remember it as yesterday – the excitement when IBM’s OS/2 Warp 4 first arrived. Released in 1996 – it was several generations ahead of Windows. It included Speech Recognition, Java support, and was more stable, fun, and friendly than Windows 95. A few years later and the entire operating system was basically dead, Microsoft Windows had defeated OS/2 and IBM gave up on the personal computer business. Why did the technically superior operating system lose?
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WordPress Development Tricks – Independent Blogs per Category

WordPress Tips and TricksWith its extreme flexibility and proven prowess as a publishing platform, WordPress has become an invaluable tool in the arsenal of most web developers. However, advanced customization is often cumbersome and can be difficult to achieve.

Having spent several hours the past two days fighting against WordPress’ limited support for splitting blogs by category, I’m sharing a few of the insights gained during the arduous process.
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