Friday, 8 December 2017

Cute Cat Friday 2017-12-08: Joni

Hanging out in the back garden. For once, I made it out there in daylight to see her.

Data Security: Just Read The Instructions

Basic internet security isn't that hard, but people who should know better still contrive to foul it up.

Image: Blue Devil Hub / Creative Commons

I'm a professional software developer with some grounding in the mathematics of cryptography, but not an Internet security expert. In this context, I don't need to be. I know wretched carelessness when I see it.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Cute Cat Friday 2012-12-01: Linton Lion

Majestic. Intimidating. But big cats can be cute too. It'd be great to scratch his ears, if I wasn't worried about being eaten.

I didn't catch this handsome fellow's name -- he lives at Linton Zoo near Cambridge, and was standing all of ten feet from me when this photo was taken. My son was rather scared by him, which is understandable. We humans are descended from many generations of ancestors who had good reason to be afraid of lions.

12 Years of Cambridge Nanowrimo

I've been doing Nanowrimo for a while, and feel it's a good time to share some observations. 

First of all, congratulations to all those who have just finished! No matter how many words you've written, it's more than you had in October, so well done.

For those who don't know, Nanowrimo is a worldwide event in which people attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Reaching the target is known as "winning", but it's a contest only with yourself; nobody checks on the words you've written. Your fellow Nanowrimo participants are there for solidarity and moral support.

The novel will almost certainly be largely rubbish, and that's the point. The idea is to put aside all the angst, self-doubt and perfectionism that plague us, and get on with the act of creating something. You can edit later (and it will need a lot of editing, if you want it in a fit state for publication).

I've been a part of the Cambridge Nanowrimo group since 2006, so this is my 12th season here. Next spring I'm moving to Toronto, Canada; I may remain part of the group in spirit, but in body I'm going to be elsewhere. So it seems like a good time to look back, and see if I can share any wisdom from along the way.