Preventing S3 + Cloudfront Hotlinking w/ a WAF Firewall


Hotlinking is obnoxious. Hotlinking is theft. Hotlinking is getting harder and harder to prevent. Any web developer worth their salt has run into this problem - What do you do when shady people are willing to steal your work? Keep in mind, we're not talking about open source projects or contributing to a cause - we're basically talking about a jack move. While most developers have decent options with htaccess or server config files, when it comes to using a CDN options are pretty limited. Since Cloudfront hotlinking is a battle I've put some time into, I'll let you guys know the preventative options I've come up with so hopefully you can avoid this annoyance on your future projects.Cloudfront…

Continue Reading

The Top Benefits of Google Fiber


Excitement around the Triangle is palatable. This is one improvement that even our embarrassingly regressive politicians won't be able to exploit or undermine. Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel-Hill are on the vanguard of a nationwide change. Not quite as early as the lucky folks of Kansas City, but on the second wave nonetheless. As Google's infrastructure begins to take form, it's a great opportunity for residents to do a little spring cleaning and become familiar with all the benefits that Google Fiber allows and the competitive advantages it will bring to our region. Advantages Of A Fiber Optic LifeGoogle Fiber Map - SE United StatesFor those rock dwellers, lets start by quickly familiarizing you with the concept. In the macro view,…

Continue Reading

Hunting the Pea Island Outer Banks Coast Guard Station


After spending the week in a tiny beach town called Duck, Kaeli and I decided to adventure out on the fourth to find some incredible ruins I'd stumbled on a few months back. A friend of mine from college had posted an article on Facebook under the title "The 11 Strangest Abandoned Places in North Carolina" [1]. After falling for the obvious click bait, I found a gem which is never seen before - an Outer Banks building just drowning in sand. Sand so high you needed to dig like a dog on a fence to pass through the doorways. I had a little trouble chasing down the original link, but after a little feed stalking we found our target.…

Continue Reading

New Favorite Thing… Smart Car Body Kits


It’s not a Micro-Machine. It’s not a Golf Cart w/ a grill. It’s a Smart Car, with a Body Kit, and it's kinda amazing. Smart car body kits are a clever way to make those eco-friendly cars (that we all love) look just a bit cooler. The upside of smart cars has always been obvious, but the drawbacks lurk right beneath the surface. The largest drag on the potential growth of smart cars is their look. Not all of these are real, obviously - Forced perspective, a little photoshop cropping, a motion blur, etc. The point to me is that this is an idea with demand, that could be done, and should be done. A few killer…

Continue Reading

Random Awesome Pictures


Like everyone else with a iPhone, I've started to collect a few pictures that may not be suited for a social media site... but that I love nonetheless. To avoid the potential buildup of random awesome pictures sent to me from friends and family, I've decided to drop a few of them off here. They may seem dumb, but I'd just point out that you did visit a page clearly titled "random awesome pictures", so I think some of the responsibility falls back on you. I’ll periodically post updates and certainly drop a citation link if it's something particularly fun. Boylan Bridge - Raleigh, NC La Strange - Hilarious Lead GuitaristGR Store - KozyndanKozyroom - KozyndanUSA Chan - Kozyndan…

Continue Reading

Dear America – Letters to America


Like a lot of people who work remotely, I keep the news on in the background when working most of the time. Although the freedom is always appreciated, by the end of the day I often find myself making a fair amount of snarky comments towards the tv. Since that really doesn't accomplish much, I think I'll start making “Dear America” pictures when I get annoyed with the news. This may not achieve much more, but I think it's a healthier way to vent my frustration at the crazy path the masses seem to take sometimes. I’ll be sure to update this list over time, but to start with… These are just a few that have been bothering me…

Continue Reading

Fred Rogers is an American Hero


When I was growing up I could only really remember three people who seemed at peace. Bob Ross and Shel Silverstein certainly brought there own talents to the table, but the one guy who always just seemed like a normal happy person was Fred Rogers (aka Mr Rogers). A childhood hero that spoke with absolute authenticity. If he were my preacher I would probably still go to church every Sunday. The other great aspect of Fred Rogers was his passive stance on violence. Like every other American child, I read plenty of stories about having a pacifist approach (…mostly Gandhi and MLK stories), but to see a truly peaceful heart in live video was an amazing gift. Seeing an adult…

Continue Reading

Meet Axiron (aka Drugs with Funny Side Effects)


Funniest side effects? Lets give Axiron a shot. If any of you have seen the commercial for Axiron, then you already know the answer to that question. If you haven't, here's a quick recap... So, to start with Axiron cures "Low-T" (which is a clever way to say low testosterone). Apparently Hypoandrogenism actually is a disorder afflicting less then 3% of our population, but that's not the market Eli Lilly is shooting for. Their advertisements in fact suggest that 7 out of 10 men suffer from "Low-T". But I suppose the legitimacy of the disorder is besides the point (even though I'd suggest checking it out for yourself)... The real gift here though are the funniest side effects you could…

Continue Reading

Data Visualization Births / Deaths


Dealing with large scale data is one aspect of web development that has seen a meteoric rise lately. It leaves devs with a problem they rarely encounter - having too much content. Most designers and developers I know spend quite a bit of time prying information out of clients and utilizing a few layout tricks to make it look good. Dealing with "big data" leaves you in quite the opposite situation. While doing some research on a recent project I ran into an interesting subset of data. Researcher Brad Lyon created a beta project titled Data Visualization Births / Deaths in Real-Time that displays a simulated, real-time graph of births and deaths in the US. While this information might come off…

Continue Reading

Fresh off the Boat - Aka Who is Eddie Huang?


Who is Eddie Huang? After some research I've come to the decision that Eddie Huang is one of my favorite characters in the entire world. I could watch the man read a phonebook... But luckily Vice has him going on much more exciting adventures. Check out his video with vice (http://www.vice.com/tag/Eddie+Huang), read his book “Fresh off the Boat” (http://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Off-Boat-A-Memoir/dp/0679644881), or at bare minimum check out his latest video and see what you think. In this episode of Fresh Off the Boat, Eddie heads to Mongolia to take part in the Naadam festival, which celebrates the “three manly sports”—archery, horse racing, and Mongolian wrestling. Then he discusses the…

Continue Reading