August 29th, 2014
It’s almost a year since my last blog post. I’ve had a busy and interesting year, and wanted to take the time to talk about a few different things. One of the reasons I haven’t blogged as much as I wanted is that I’ve been working on several things that aren’t exactly public at the moment. Moving to Ecuador has also involved a whole bunch of work and lead to less time.
Computer and cloud
Some of my last blog posts had to do with me wanting to change what hardware and cloud providers I used. I went through a few different laptops until I settled on a Thinkpad X1 Carbon (2nd gen). It’s got the right weight to power ratio, larger screen, nice keyboard and works quite well with Linux. I ended up moving to Fedora for my main operating system which has served me pretty well.
When it comes to password managers, I’ve ended up with KeePass2 for Linux. It works satisfactorily even though it was a bit of a pain to get running, what with Mono dependencies etc.
I have also been hosting my own email infrastructure for the last year or so. It’s worked out quite well.
For hosting my server infrastructure I ended up with a Swedish provider called moln.is – I am now happily far away from Rackspace and the other American hosting providers.
The last few years haven’t really seen much change in the programming language scene. There are new interesting experiments coming out now and again, while Clojure and Scala are gaining more ground. The biggest difference I’ve seen lately is that Go is moving to becoming a really useful tool, especially for scalable systems where the low-level nature of Go works well, but the security properties of the language is also a plus. Many of the security oriented systems I’ve seen the last year is moving towards Go. And of course, being able to create a binary that runs anywhere is extremely powerful.
I have a new language rattling around in the back of my brain. I kinda wish I had 6 months to sit down and get it out. I think it could be quite nice. However, at the moment there doesn’t seem to be that much time for language experiments.
Most of my work the last 18 months have been focused on research around anonymity, privacy, security and cryptography. It’s an extremely interesting place to be, and ThoughtWorks is actively working on several different angles in this space. The security field is seeing a lot of sea change after the Snowden revelations. Lots of snake-oil coming out, but also lots of interesting new approaches.
E-mail is pretty high up on the list for a lot of people and organizations to fix in one way or another. This is also a space where we are working to create something. We will open source what we have quite soon – it’s something pragmatic that we think can make real change. I’m excited about it.
Meanwhile, here in Ecuador I’m doing research and thinking about the problems with transport security, specifically DNS and TLS. Hopefully I’ll have something more substantial to write about that soon.
Some might wonder where I’ve disappeared, since I haven’t been to many of the conferences I used to go to. I’ve missed the JVM Language Summit, QCon in many cities, StrangeLoop and others. I’m very sad about all that, but I haven’t been able. However, if you happen to be at Goto Aarhus, do say hi.