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Don MacVittie

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Top Stories by Don MacVittie

There are many things in the history of high technology that are downright conundrums. One of the obvious ones is: given the formats and media currently used to distribute text, music, and video, for example, how do we protect the rights of both legal users and the creators of content? Of course we want people to be able to make a living of creating content, which does imply it is not given away at the whim of anyone with a copy, but we also (at least in most modern countries) want to protect the rights of people who have purchased (oh fine, licensed if you prefer) the software/book/music/movie to use their purchase/license freely. There isn’t an easy answer to this problem, because people disagree on the nature of the problem, and existing technology doesn’t support a reasonably sound mechanism for determining on-the-fly if the usage is legal. We suffer a similar ... (more)

Advanced Load Balancing For Developers. The Network Dev Tool

It has been a while since I wrote an installment of Load Balancing for Developers, and now I think it has been too long, but never fear, this is the grad-daddy of Load Balancing for Developers blogs, covering a useful bit of information about Application Delivery Controllers that you might want to take advantage of. For those who have joined us since my last installment, feel free to check out the entire list of blog entries (along with related blog entries) here, though I assure you that this installment, like most of the others, does not require you to have read those that went... (more)

Cloud Database – Are You Prepared?

The ongoing saga of everything cloud is entertaining, if nothing else. I have a couple of areas of interest that aren’t really burning up the electrons, one of them is cloud databases. Let’s face it, while “the cloud” is interesting in an application sense, for IT it is relatively useless without the ability to access databases. Normally databases housed in your internal IT department. Of course internal “private” clouds will address much  of this issue, until they are readily available, we are faced with the reality that we have to find a solution we can trust to house data that... (more)

The Storage Future Is Cloudy, and It's About Time

One of the things I have talked about quite a bit in the last couple of months is the disjoint between the needs of enterprise IT and the offerings of a wide swath of the cloud marketplace. Some times it seems like many cloud vendors are telling customers “here’s what we choose to offer you, deal with it”. Problem is, oftentimes what they’re offering is not what the enterprise needs. There are of course some great examples of how to do cloud for the enterprise, Rackspace (among others) has done a smashing job of offering users a server with added services to install a database o... (more)

Making Android SSL Work Correctly

Connecting via SSL in Android. Correctly and securely. Mimic browser functionality with untrusted certs and hostname mismatches Okay, for those of you who’ve been waiting, this is the blog. For those who haven’t, welcome, we’re going to talk about https connections (specifically) on Android (TM) from within a native app and connecting to sites that Android views as possible security risks. Easy like learning to drive if your face was in your navel. But I’ve tried to make the issues and the code as clean and clear as possible for you. Hope it is of some assistance. I’m going to ... (more)