Hypertextuality

I recently took some of my writing time to create a makefile (Novel Makefile) to manage work I hope to be doing on a new novel project. I've started outlining and researching the story in earnest after having spent the past few couple of years talking about it, and I think writing will commence soon. In another post I'd like to write up some thoughts on the tooling and technology of writing non-technical/non-manual long-form.…

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Denormalize Access Control

Access control is both immensely useful and incredibly broken. Access control, or the ability to constrain access to data and programs in a shared system is the only way that we, as users of shared systems, can maintain our identities, personal security, and privacy. Shared systems include: databases, file servers, social networking sites, virtualized computing systems, vendor accounts, control panels, management tools, and so forth all need robust, flexible, granular, and scalable access control tools.…

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Taxonomic Failure

I tell people that I'm a professional writer, but this is a bit misleading, because what I really do is figure out how to organize information so that it's useful and usable. Anyone, with sufficient training and practice, can figure out how to convey simple facts in plain language, but figuring out how to organize simple facts in plain language into a coherent text is the more important part of my job and work.…

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Work Logging

Joey Hess' blog of his work on git-annex-assitant has been a great inspiration to me. Basically, Joey had a very successful Kickstarter campaign to fund his work on a very cool tool of his that he wants to expand to be a kind of drop-box replacement. As part of the project, he's been blogging nearly every day about the work, his progress, and the problems he's faced. I really admire this kind of note taking, and think it's really interesting to see how people progress on cool projects.…

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In Favor of PDF

This is really a short rant, and should come as a surprise to no one. I hate DOC files, and RTF files, to say nothing of ODF, DOCX, and their ilk because they have two necessarily conflicting properties: 1. They're oriented at producing documents on paper. Which is crazy. Paper is an output, but it's not the only output in common use, so it's nuts that generic document representation formats would be so tightly coupled with paper.…

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Announcement Cycle

Things you should know about, dear readers: I published a book and released a mess under the banner of the new Cyborg Institute. These projects are: Systems Administration for Cyborgs This is a high level guide that introduces key systems administration knowledge domains and concepts. Possible subtitles include: "How to think like a systems administrator," or "Just add man pages." Read it now. Tell your friends. And please, send feedback and comments.…

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Free the Work

There's a folk song with the line "let the toast go free," to which an assembled crowd of singers will often stand up and cry "free the toast!" in response. I've been spending the morning going through email, reading feeds, tweaking some of the issues raised in the site improvements page, and trying to rock getting things done. In the mean time I have a few links to share. The Everyday Lives Of Video Game Developers The Price of Free This article, and the one before, are both open on my "things to read list.…

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