Categories ArchivesDiversions

Aviation Apps I Use standard

A friend of mine suggested this as a blog post, the top aviation apps that I use on my phone. Now, keep in mind, I’m a pilot. So some of the apps I use, such as ForeFlight, wouldn’t make much sense unless you are a pilot (or have had some kind of pilot training). I’m not including pricing on these simply because they could change, but some have both a free and paid tier. Another disclaimer, the links below are to the iOS versions. Most of these are also available in the Google Play store, so you can search there to find them if you are on Android. So, here’s the list! FlightRadar24: Ever wonder which plane just rattled the ...

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Sellers Buying 5-Star Amazon Reviews standard

tl;dr: A seller who sold a terrible product is offering me $50 to change my review from 2 stars to 4 or 5. March 9 Update: Updated review is live that talks about the $50 offer. I’m not even sure where to start with this one. It’s a scenario that I’ve never experienced before even as one of the earliest of early adopters of Amazon (like, when they only sold books and this Unix nerd was deep into the O’Reilly series). I shop on Amazon for the convenience. They don’t always have the best selection or price, so I still shop around. In some cases, the selection is superior so I’ll browse through and choose based on the reviews. Now, ...

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Introducing Where To Now standard

When I want to learn a new programming language, my typical method of doing this is to either take an existing small project and port it over to the new language, or come up with a small, yet practical problem to solve. I’m kinda like Johnny Five, in that I need input! I’ve been playing with Go for a little bit, but nothing very serious. I’ve also been playing around with Docker and Kubernetes, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone by building an application in Go as well as learning how to package it up in a Docker container. Introducing Where To Now. It’s designed to vary the webpage that might show up when a user ...

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Brando’s Rules for Success standard

I’ve had a few folks ask me if I could attribute any big life lessons that have helped me get to where I am. Things like the Golden Rule or an extremely healthy amount of respect for karma (both of which would be true for me) came to mind, but I was able to distill my guiding principles into this: Show up. Don’t be a dick. End of list. Let’s dive deeper. Show up. This rule can mean a lot of things, which is why I love it. It’s extremely versatile. Be physically present and on time to appointments when required. Don’t be a flake. Fulfill your commitments (and communicate EARLY if you need to adjust them, bad news does ...

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So You Want to Gong-Fu? standard

The Gong-fu Tea Ceremony is a celebrated method for brewing and enjoying tea (here’s another instructional video, and here are two posts with awesome info). When you start to spend money on higher quality leaf, the gong-fu tea ceremony will yield better results for a more immersive and enjoyable tea experience. Even lower quality tea can taste much better using the gong-fu method! Full disclosure: I’m just as lazy as the next guy some days. There are times where I can barely be bothered to rip open a single serve teabag of Queen Anne and throw it into a mug with hot water. I also have a few different ways I make loose leaf tea that are simple and get ...

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Updated Tea Journey post standard

It’s been over a year since I blogged about my tea journey so far, and a LOT has happened in the past year. I’ve learned so much more and expanded my tea tastes substantially. I hope that my crazy love for tea rubs off on you guys and you can enjoy some with me! Go check out the update here! Possibly Related Posts: Aviation Apps I Use Sellers Buying 5-Star Amazon Reviews Introducing Where To Now Brando’s Rules for Success So You Want to Gong-Fu?

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Blockchain Fun standard

Two posts in one week? What is this, 2009? I’ve always been interested in payment and commerce. Blockchain and crypto-currencies have really captured my attention lately as the business applications are many and game-changing. I just published an article on the topic in this month’s Tactics & Preparedness that reviews some of the basics for folks who are not familiar with the technology. When people talk about the future of payments, you can’t leave the topic out. It’s certainly more exciting than anything PCI DSS can throw out there! For those looking for more, check out this great literature review by Peter Bailis, Arvind Narayanan, Andrew Miller, and Song Han. Blockchain isn’t just for Bitcoin! Possibly Related Posts: Aviation Apps I Use ...

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Did you pre-order a Plastc? You might be able to recover your money! standard

Anyone who participates in a pre-order situation like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo is playing a little bit of a game of chance with their money. The most recent example is from a company called Plastc, which I have written about here in this blog before. Unfortunately, it appears they have run out of money and vanished with $9M of pre-orders and no product to deliver. Depending on how you paid for this order, you may be able to recover the $135 to $155 you put in as a deposit. Companies like American Express stand behind their consumers and I know of one person who was able to get his deposit back. Other companies may have different policies. Regardless, I hope that ...

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Is All Good News REALLY Good News? standard

Have you noticed that there has not been too much (well, really any) bad press around the PCI ecosystem lately? Perhaps everything is great! Doesn’t seem like we’ve had the same string of retail breaches that we saw in 2014 (which lead to this piece of research), even though 2016 was bad (good?) in general for cybercrime. A quick data dump from PrivacyRights.org says there are around 100 related to cards since 2016, but some appear to be duplicates (Wendy’s is reported multiple times). Of course, we found out about more problems at IHG last week. Seems like big security bloggers still talk about breaches, but we don’t see the same questions around PCI DSS that we did in 2014-2015. Individuals certified or ...

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The PCI Council’s Revenue Generation Capability standard

The other day I was thinking about all the programs that the Council currently maintains and I wondered if it was possible to see how much money the Council actually brings in every year. I mean, every year seems to see more programs with more fee collection opportunities for the Council, but had anyone ever added all that up? So I got to researching. I started with the usual sources: LexisNexis, Hoovers, Dun & Bradstreet, and found very little information. Only one report by Dun & Bradstreet, who is notoriously inaccurate when dealing with privately held firms, of around $3.7M in 2016. Then I headed over to the IRS’s website to see if the Council had ever filed a form ...

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