Fundamentally, I agree. Particularly when it comes to writing or anything that requires building a social media following. I built one social media account out to about 35,000 followers - but it was a three-year effort. And even then, it didn't necessarily translate to riches.

That said, I think a dual strategy can yield fruit in a shorter period of time. I love the idea of coupling writing along with consulting. You can write every week and slowly build up your portfolio of content and your social following. But your writing can also serve as a springboard to attract 1:1 clients.

It’s a smartphone charger AND a back workout!

Meet The Brick.

According to my Amazon order history, I’ve been a fan of Anker products for at least six years. My first foray was buying their Lightning cables. Not only were they cheaper than Apple’s, but they seemed to last longer and charge faster. I then discovered their five-port USB charger, of which I now have several scattered around my home.

The unusual story of HTTP error 418.

Picture: Takumi.K / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

Recently I was doing some testing for a client. The task involved using Fiddler to capture and replay requests against a certain site’s REST API. Our goal was to determine what HTTP errors might be produced that would help us with a code analysis we were expected to perform.

For the most part, the errors were what I expected. Lots of 403 Forbidden errors when I changed parameters. I even saw a few 410 (Gone) errors come my way.

But then something unexpected happened. I received an HTTP error I’d…never seen before.

Why Amazon Sidewalk is a bad idea.

Photo by Lazar Gugleta on Unsplash

As a former Amazon employee, I tend to cut the company slack. Not that I think there aren’t severe problems with how it treats its warehouse workers. (And I certainly don’t think Jeff Bezos should ever receive a Child Tax Credit.) But I know a lot of the people who work there are honest and are doing their best to produce innovative solutions.

But some new products and features leave me scratching my head. Or banging it against the wall. Amazon Sidewalk has me doing both.

It’s like if someone rented out your…

Delve into an app’s internals without writing a lick of code.

Picture: Vegorus / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

As I’ve discussed before, Frida is “GreaseMonkey for native apps” — a Javascript-based instrumentation framework that lets you intercept native application calls on a variety of platforms including Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS. I’ve been using Frida for several months now on a project for a client and have found it extremely useful as an alternative to standard network tracing.

However, it can sometimes be hard to know where to start with Frida. Fortunately, the Frida community has developed a crazy amount of code that can give you quick insight into how an app works without developing your own…

THANK YOU so much for these articles! I'm doing some analysis on Android apps for a client and was weirded out by what I considered obviously missing functionality. A system I/O trace led me to suspect that functionality is locked up in native methods. These articles are proving quite helpful in exploring that avenue of investigation.

Those calories just snuck up on me. Like ninjas!

Picture: EKAKI / PIXTA

The past couple of times I’ve wanted to drop weight, I didn’t really think about my diet. In my early 30s, when I ate vegan, the weight seemed to disappear no matter what I ate. Even in my early 40s, it felt like I didn’t have to worry about measuring out my chicken by the ounce. I just ate “pretty healthy” (lean protein, veggies & fruit, limited bread/pasta, little sugar). And everything just seemed to work. Somehow.

I’m in my late 40s now and it’s a far different story.

Despite exercising…

I love to go for "slack walks" multiple times during the work day. It gives me a chance to get some physical exercise as well as a good mental break. I've actually come up with solutions to some pretty tough problems during this "down time"!

First, color me skeptical on the notion of NFTs for writing until the environmental issues around NFT generation and blockchain in general are solved.

Second, I've seen these promises of a decentralized platform before. Twitter was also supposed to be decentralized and democratic. Instead, it became a hub of disinformation peddled by dishonest actors.

A recent article about when programmers “retire” contains a harmful, ageist myth.

Photo: That’s Her Business / Unsplash

Recently, Abrar Masum published an article in Better Programming wondering why programmers are generally so young. The statistics he produced show a pretty sharp age distribution, with the people claiming programming as a profession dropping in the age 30–34 bracket and falling even more sharply after that.

In his article, Masum speculates on several reasons why this might be. One of them is, frankly, infuriating:

Technology, programming languages, and frameworks are changing so fast that many older (and even young) developers can’t keep up with it. The younger generation can learn faster. …

Jay Allen

Owner, Technical Writer and Trainer specializing in Cloud and DevOps. Tech, programming, technical writing, gadget reviews, and geek humor.

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