Emotional disconnection and ‘shields down’

Empty officeWhen you last resigned from a job, when did you decide to leave? Can you identify a point in time, whether it was a flash of realisation or a slow dawning, when your relationship with your employer shifted from ‘attached’ to ‘it’s complicated’?

Shields Down‘, an excellent piece from Michael Lopp’s blog Rands in Repose, suggests that this often happens when an unexpected opportunity presents itself: you agree to go and have a chat at another outfit, and in that instant your shields are down. In the moments that follow, you weigh your current job with an envisioned alternative future, and ultimately make a calculated decision: should I stay or should I go?
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Forcing poor parents to vaccinate isn’t the answer

Hypodermic needleVaccinating children against horrible diseases is as self-evidently beneficial—both to individuals and to society—as it’s possible to be. It is one of the greatest achievements of humankind that we can spare entire generations from disfigurement, paralysis, and horrific death due to illnesses which sound medieval to modern ears. So let me be clear before I go any further:

Please have your child vaccinated unless your family doctor advises otherwise.
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How to block Windows 10 telemetry with your local resolver

CCTV camerasThere’s been a lot of talk about the data sent by a Windows 10 machine back to Microsoft. Some researchers have even found evidence of data being sent even when all available privacy settings are enabled. There is an emerging market for tools that will nobble Windows 10’s data collection, but who knows whether they work, or even if they’re malicious. Thankfully there is another way: if you run a local resolver, you can configure it such that DNS queries for domains linked to telemetry will always fail. Here’s how it’s done.
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We need to talk: well-being in the tech sector

A circle of chairsIn 2013 I attended the wonderful DevOpsDays in London. On the first day there were a series of Ignite talks: a terrifying ordeal where the speaker gets five minutes to talk about something while their slides advance tyrannically every 15 seconds. I always watch them with a mixture of awe, angst, and terror that someone will eventually force me to do one. They range from the mundane through the muddled via the baffling to the fascinating. On that day, Mike Preston gave a talk called ‘Burnout—the elephant in the room’. The audience was silent and in thrall.
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On ‘Freemen’, common law, and unintended consequences

A man sitting at a desk looking frustratedI’ve written about self-styled ‘sovereign citizens’ and ‘freemen on the land’ before: products of selective reading through a Vaseline-smeared lens, they believe that the right combination of arcane language and red ink casts a spell over the legal landscape that opens a portal through which they can escape the effects of the law. They throw around high-minded principles of democracy and government, but the law they’re actually trying to evade is invariably one of taxation or debt. Funny that.
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Just take my money and walk away

Some coinsJust before Christmas, I made a modest donation to a large UK charity in response to an online campaign. The charity does remarkable and important work, and I intended to make a one-off contribution at a critical time of year for them. Donation made, thank-you email received, a few warm fuzzies experienced, and then I got on with my life. Sadly, the charity didn’t do what it’s supposed to do: just take my money and walk away.
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Are you hitting MaxClients without even knowing it?

640px-Brick_WallUnless you run a busy website, Apache‘s MaxClients setting probably isn’t something you think about very often. If not, then look in your Apache 2.2 config and you’ll find a block like this1


    StartServers              5
    MinSpareServers          10
    MaxSpareServers          30
    MaxClients              150
    MaxRequestsPerChild   10000

This setting, along with ServerLimit, controls the number of simultaneous connections that Apache can handle. Above this limit, connections are queued until slots become free. Apache will tell you about this with a message in its error log that looks like—

[Sun Dec 21 01:35:59 2014] [error] server reached MaxClients setting, consider raising the MaxClients setting

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