Amazon AI: Rekognition, Lex, Polly

Amazon launched AWS over 11 years ago, and it’s fair to say they’ve been the leader in Infrastructure as a Service for nearly all of the time since then. However when it comes to higher, application level services, they’ve lagged a bit behind the competition. However with the recent launch of several new offerings, they’re beginning to close that gap. At Amazon re:Invent 2016 in November, they launched a suite of services focused around Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. Continue reading

WordPress Security Breach

WorePress logoWe’re seeing reports this morning that a massive security breach associated with WordPress 4.7.0 and 4.7.1 has apparently led to the defacement of up to 1.9 million pages across almost 40,000 domains.

Upgrading to version 4.7.2 should fix the issue and WordPress urges anyone who hasn’t already updated to do so immediately. WordPress actually announced the security issue in a blog post at the beginning of February, but apparently there are still many sites that either weren’t aware or didn’t realize how serious the issue really is.

If you or anyone you know is running a WordPress site, please make sure it is updated to 4.7.2 as quickly as possible.

SQL Databases in Node.js

Node.js is one of the best current platforms available for creating back-end applications that expose REST APIs. Often such applications are backed with a database. Nowadays, many NoSQL databases are available that integrate easily with the platform and operate using JSON data format and associated principles – so they’re natural to both a JavaScript platform such as Node.js and the modern REST APIs. These databases usually offer speed, conceptual simplicity, as well as massive horizontal scalability and parallelism – all great when the application, like many modern social media platforms and other services exposed to the end users on the Internet, works with large numbers of users. At the same time, the structural complexity of the data in the context of a single user is usually relatively simple and therefore can be handled perfectly by a NoSQL database.

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End Times for Net Neutrality?

Ajit Pai - FCC ChairmanBack in December we began wondering about what a Donald Trump presidency would mean for Net Neutrality. Well, after the inauguration it took just a couple of days for the rubber to begin accosting the proverbial road. Last week President Trump announced the appointment of Ajit Pai as our new Federal Communications Commission Chairman, and he nestles in snugly with the anti-regulation/roll-it-back swagger of the new administration. Also, as a currently seated Republican FCC commissioner, he does not even need Senate approval to ascend to the Chairman’s role. (BUT: Due to the time left in his current commissioner term, Pai will have to be renominated and reconfirmed sometime this year.)

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The Return of Lavabit

Lavabit logoThis past Friday, when most of the world was watching (or actively not-watching) the events in Washington, D.C., the formerly shuttered, Snowden-affiliated webmail service Lavabit announced it was re-launching with a new generation of email privacy and security.

If you’re unfamiliar with the history, here’s the gist: Lavabit formed in 2004, in part because of privacy concerns around email. They launched as an email service with significant protection and encryption capabilities and served a relatively small group of folk for almost a decade.

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LiquidSky Revealed at CES 2017

LiquidSky at CES 2017

During CES 2017, LiquidSky officially announced their service which will bring PC Gaming to any device. LiquidSky’s SkyComputer delivers the power of an ultra gaming PC with the convenience of console and mobile gaming to any device. Gamers across the world can connect to any of LiquidSky’s 13 data centers and play any game at ultra quality settings on a Mac, Android, Linux, or Windows device.

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Floating (and coding) on Cloud9

Cloud9 logoI was always a bit skeptical of the whole Cloud IDE thing, that was until recently when I gave Cloud9 a shot. I must admit, I was surprised when I read the Engineering Orientation wiki page for one of our clients, Vroom.com, as it suggested I create a Cloud9 IDE account as part of my project setup. What??

I figured I’d give it a try…

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Pokémon Go – It Caught Us All

I’m exaggerating here, but not much apparently, because Pokémon Go, based on a little-known video game series (kidding),  was the most downloaded iPhone app worldwide in 2016.

Despite early days of frequent crashes and server outages, not to mention the whole tracking feature disaster, the game was a monster (pun intended) hit from day 1. Remember the Vaporeon stampede?

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