Your Email Communication Is Not Secure


A random tile in front of a house in the Inner Sunset in San Francisco


All of us have a key that enters our front door.   We believe that no one else can get in without a key and we entrust this front door key only to people we absolutely trust. The security of your front door is an illusion.   The door can be easily broken down.   The windows are easier to enter from via a broken glass.

We should assume the same about our passwords to login to our email systems and our PIN codes to unlock our phones.   The recent hacking of the DNC emails only serves to remind us that email communication is not secure.   Anything written and sent via email can be hijacked in various ways.

Your email communication is not secure, understanding this is the first step.   The second step is understanding why it is not secure.

  • The receiver of the email can forward,  save and disclose to anyone they choose
  • The email service provider (Hotmail,  Outlook, Gmail,  Yahoo)  can be hacked,  or more likely hand over the email to the government.
  • Careless handling of passwords by the owner of the email account,  not turning on 2 factor authentication
  • A phone using IMAP which downloads all of your emails and stored locally on the phone gets stolen without encryption and without a strong PIN to protect it.
  • Various conviniences like cloud backup storage (I Cloud,  Dropbox,  Box,   Google Drive)  that you store email backups and password files that are unencrypted can compromise your emails
  • IT departments underfunded,  with not enough security measures, hosting machines that emails are downloaded for their employees also could get hacked.
  • A co-worker or family members installs malware on their devices can comprise everyone
  • State sponsored hacking is impossible to stop.

Just a friendly reminder to myself and others that email is not secure,  did I say that already?

No one needs 256GB of storage on their iPhones

Source: Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus expected to come with 256GB of storage – Business Insider

After reading this headline, I ask myself why we need 256 GB of storage?  Most phones I’ve looked at from my family has these top 3 types of data that consumes the storage on their phones

  1. Apps
  2. Photos
  3. Videos

If Apple were not a hardware company and wanted to sell you expensive memory upgrades that probably net them > 50% gross margins, then Apple will offer a cloud offering that will backup your photos and videos and auto delete them on your phone (like Google Photos)

But alas.. Apple wants you to buy more memory on your phones and load them up with videos and photos and never delete them.


Dear LinkedIn, Make Diversity Data Transparent For All Companies?


Dear LinkedIn,

You are the only service out there to discover data about companies both private and public, what type of employees work there, which universities the employees graduated from and lots of other useful data about the professional lives of the workers.

LinkedIn is a fantastic service for professionals.

There have been many articles in recent years published about the lack of diversity in technology.  Even the Federal regulators call on tech companies to improve diversity.  (sfgate article May 18th, 2016)

Many top technology companies voluntarily publish annual reports on diversity. For example in 2016 Google has 19% women, 1% Black, 3% Hispanic in tech roles.  (2016 data from Google on diversity). Pinterest (2015) has 21% women, 1% Black, 2% Hispanic in tech roles.  Twitter (2015) has 13% women, 1% Black, 3% Hispanic in tech roles).  Facebook (2015) has 16% women, 1% Black, 3% Hispanic.

While voluntary data from companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter is great. This data is not available from all companies and the data is not consistently published to make it easy to compare data across companies.

What if LinkedIn actually made diversity data transparent and real time to the public?

Would this encourage different long term behaviors for tech companies now that the data is no longer just voluntary?

Would this transparent diversity data lead to a much interesting interaction between job seekers and employers since this data could be extra dimension for job seekers to judge the type of companies they want to work for?

Tony T.

Readers:  What do you think?  Would you like to see diversity data published by LinkedIn?   Share and tag on LinkedIn please.


Latte Art w/ Homemade Almond Milk


This morning I was lucky to have some homemade almond milk left over and decided pull a shot of espresso and foam some milk.  Usually almond milk doesn’t foam up enough micro foam to allow my amateur skills to be able to do any sort of latter art.  This morning, I was able to finally make something that resemble a leaf.  Yay!

Thanks to my wife who made a special blend of homemade almond milk.

  • Soak a cup of almonds overnight or even better 2 nights with a pitted date
  • Drain and put the almonds into a blender with 2 cups of water
  • Strain with a cheese cloth and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
  • Optionally add 1/2 cup of coconut cream to thicken

Head of Open Source at Facebook Interviewed on Changelog Podcast

This is worth listening to learn about how Facebook thinks about software and expecially how they are trying to push software developer forward for the entire industry. 

React and React Native are being called out as very successful open source projects from Facebook.   Cassandra has also been a huge winner.   The interesting take away for me is that Facebook thinks that if a project thinks about open source from the start,  then the right abstraction and design will be done correctly from the start.

Give it a listen with your favorite podcast app.  Subscribe to ‘Changelog’

This week we’ve got a big show with James Pearce, Head of Open Source at Facebook to talk about that very subject — open source at Facebook. We talked about his path to software development, why he’s the person to lead open source at Facebook, their view on open source, their culture of open source, how they choose what to open source, and more importantly — how they focus on, support, and nurture the community.