OPM Background Check Hack – A Different Angle

Last week, the Office of Personnel Management announced that the security clearance background information (the dreaded SF-86 form) was compromised. I wrote about it in “Why this security breach is worse than all the others combined” and considered the implications of it. But this snippet from Arstechnica made me think of something else: A consultant who […]


Don’t Attend a Hackathon

This past weekend was our third annual ATX Hack for Change. It was still hosted at St Edwards University, but this time it was organized by the City of Austin’s Innovation Office. While Kerry O’Connor is the Chief Innovation Officer, her staff ran much of the show over the weekend. I was lucky enough to be invited […]


Broken Heart Grunge by Nicolas Raymond

Working for a Dating Website

Over this past weekend, I came across a Wired called “Write the Perfect Email to Anyone with this Creepy Site” on using machine learning and natural language processing to analyze a person’s social media profiles and offer tips on how to communicate with them effectively. Most people immediately thought about sales, but one thread of the conversation […]


Practical Approach to API Design

Operation Buy It Now

My first book – “A Practical Approach to API Design” – shipped this past Friday. As a result, I’m activating Operation Buy It Now today. To sweeten the deal, if you order it by 11:59pm  ET on Sunday the 23rd, you will be entered into a random drawing for four hours of API consulting. All […]


PHP5.5 and JSON Licensing or Licenses and You

Everything noted below is professional advice not legal advice. I’m not a lawyer, so check with your legal department or similar before you use open source software, regardless of the license. In terms of software licensing, I have a simple principle: Don’t make things unnecessarily complicated. Let’s face it, most developers don’t understand licensing. They […]


Provided by the Marvel API

Marvel API – Helper Library

It’s a dark and stormy night. You’ve been working on that last bit of code and an explosion rocks your living room. In walks Doctor Doom with a simple demand: How many other “doctors” are in the Marvel universe? Unless you’re Comic Book Guy and know this off the top of your head, you’re going […]