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My New Year’s Resolutions

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I like the beginning of a new year because it provides the perfect place to consider what happened last year and what I can do this year. In evaluating 2012, I’ve come to the realization that as a software developer, I need to “up my game” somewhat. Though I consider myself to be a great developer, I want to be even better, work even ahrder and share even more with the communities that care about the topics I care about. Software development is an art form, and I want to perfect it in 2013.

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Flight Time Tracking In The 21st Century

Every pilot works hard to maintain good records of their flight time. Besides being expensive to obtain, the FAA requires that flight time of a certain nature be logged and available for inspection, should it ever be required or questioned. The pertinent regulation gives a description of what information must be logged, but leaves the method up to the individual pilot.

Being a bit of a technologist, I wanted a system for logging flight data that would give me maximum flexibility for manipulating the statistics. And so, my own version of an online flight log was born. I built it using Playdoh, Mozilla’s Django-Plus framework. The application is a very simple CRUD application, but it’s not the input of data that’s interesting; it’s the way it’s displayed.

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Working From Home: Eighteen Months

It’s been a little over a year and a half since I left the daily grind of a commute and began working from my home office. It’s been an amazing year filled with challenges, adventures, struggles and blessings. I’m like most developers: I relished the idea of having a quiet place to work, of getting more done, and of getting back 2 hours a day that I previously spent on commuting to and from my job.

I’ve learned a lot in my year of working from home. There have been some great moments, and some low ones. Overall it was a great move. So what is working from home really like?

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Working To Defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act

In the past few days, the alarm has been sounded in the technology community for us to help defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). This legislation, while well-intentioned, is crafted in such a way that it would give private companies the power to shut down other private companies, and require the government and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to initiate a system for DNS blocking and domain seizure. The law’s vague language and powerful provisions combine to create a law that has the power to shut down sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – or more realistically, the next generation of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This isn’t hyperbole, it’s real.

A number of technology companies are banding together to defeat this legislation. Mozilla is one of those companies. Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on SOPA, which I had the privilege of attending along with James Socol and Alex Fowler. Following the hearing, James and I paid visits to several members of the Judiciary Committee, meeting with a number of staffers and talking about Mozilla’s (and our personal) opposition to this bill. It was a great experience in hands-on involvement in the government, and I’m proud of our efforts.

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