The Internet in Space is boring

This is part of a series of working at Kepler Communications. As usual, all opinions and views expressed on this blog are my own.

I’ve just crossed the four-year mark of being at Kepler Communications. In that time, our software team has

  • grown from two people to over twenty;
  • we’ve gone from operating two satellites to nearly twenty (we are now the largest satellite operator in Canada);
  • and humans have gone from being a one-planet species to a… well, we’re still a one-planet species.

The biggest change within the company is where our development resources are focused. Kepler’s mission has always been to deliver the Internet in Space (more on what that means below). As a startup, we’ve had to take a less direct route while as we built expertise, reputation, and capital.

Continue reading “The Internet in Space is boring”

Electrical grids of the near-future

This blog post is around seven or eight years overdue. Anyway, I had been musing about energy grids at the time and thinking about things like long-distance alternating current (AC) power transmission, the rise of solar panels, and electronics. I figured in 15-20 years (so about 7-12 years from now), we’d start seeing direct current (DC) power being more available from the wall. Before that can happen, people need a supply of DC power and devices that use DC power.

Continue reading “Electrical grids of the near-future”

Secure Docker ambassador

As part of my work at Sojourn Labs (more about this at a later time), I’ve recently been working with creating a secure private cloud based on CoreOS, Docker (basically, a lightweight virtualization system), and some decade-old (or older) hardware. Different applications within the cloud need to communicate with each other securely. For example, our wiki needs to communicate with our database server. To link two Docker containers on the same machine together, one need only instruct Docker to create a link between the two. Things get more interesting when the communicating containers reside on different machines.

Continue reading “Secure Docker ambassador”

The Proprietary Ties that Bind: Part I — Instagram, not the last straw

In yesterday’s New York Times, there was an article about people getting angry over changes to Instagram’s privacy policies under Facebook rule. Rebecca Lieb of the Altimeter Group was quoted as saying

There are always Facebook users who say ‘This is the last straw,’ [but] there’s not a lot of portability. Where would you go?”

Continue reading “The Proprietary Ties that Bind: Part I — Instagram, not the last straw”

Testing is sexy

HACK ALL THE THINGS! vs. test all the things?
Test all the things? With apologies to Allie (who is awesome and I hope leaves the depressive spiral)

Writing a slick iPhone app is exciting. Building a communication tool that changes how people communicate is stimulating. Hacking ((cracking)) into a bank’s security system to pull of a heist is the stuff of Hollywood. “Liberating” information from classified sources can lead one to be hailed a hero. Writing test cases for code is sexy. Wait… what?
Continue reading “Testing is sexy”

Star Light, Star Bright

Star light, star bright,
The first start I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might…
Hey, that’s no star…
It’s a satellite!

Looking up into space as a kid was so much simpler. Camping in the woods is no escape.

No more Rob

Maybe she was right; I am obsessed with Rob — I was clicking refresh over and over for this one. But he’s gone, now: Rob Ford removed from office. As you might have noticed, now that the Globe and Mail has gone behind a paywall, I’m reading the Toronto Star for my local news.

Let's Ask the Internet: Dropping a course

How do you suggest to a student that you think he/she should drop a course? Let’s ask the Internet!

“How to tell someone” … autocomplete suggestions “you love them” or “you have herpes”.
Nope. These questions might be related — just not to my question.

“How to tell someone you think” … “they have borderline personality disorder”.

“how to tell someone you think they should drop” … “a class”. Bingo.
No relevant results. Why did you suggest that autocompletion?

Open letter to the Internet:

Dear Internet,

I thought you knew everything. When I was three, I used to think my parents knew everything, too. Now, I see that I am wrong again. How many times can one face disillusionment in life?

Twice Burned

Edit: Internet’s response:

Subject: Re: How many times can one face disillusionment in life?

Dear user 7138620,

You can activate your Microsoft Office Home Edition product key up to three times.

Digitally yours,
The Internet