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My Ruby Gems
I'm very pleased to see that the Ruby gems that I released into the wild are doing very well. Active Breadcrumbs has almost 11K downloads and Domain Name Validator has almost 5K downloads.
David Keener June 11, 2014
My Slideshare Presentations
To date, my presentations on Slideshare.net have generated more than 82K page views. Check out the link, or go to this site's Presentations page to find out more about my online content.
David Keener May 23, 2014
Titanic Presentation
This is totally non-technical, but the slides for my short talk on the Titanic are now online. A transcript of the talk content is also available.
David Keener September 12, 2013
Back In Business
Woohoo! I've got Photoshop up and running again! So I'm back in business when it comes to graphics again.
David Keener September 11, 2013

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

Douglas Adams, Author of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
RubyNation 2014 Logo Preview
Here's a preview of the new RubyNation 2014 logo. This year's challenge was to integrate an iconic Washington DC landmark with the ubiquitous ruby gemstone motif that's so prevalent in the Ruby language community.

A more line-oriented version of this logo is going to look awesome on the conference T-shirts next week.
In the SlideShare Top 2% for 2013
I was just notified that I was one of the Top 2% Most Viewed for 2013 on SlideShare. I have a total of 19 presentations posted online, and they've been generating some great traffic all year.

About the Target Attack
For those who might be interested in what really happened during the recent Target retail attack, where information about 40 million credit cards was stolen (including mine), here’s a really interesting article from Security Week:

http://www.securityweek.com/target-confirms-point-sale-malware-was-used-attack

In a nutshell, the attackers used a RAM scraper to pull credit card information that was stored “in the clear” within memory.

And yes, I was issued a new card because of this whole fiasco.
Domain Names Made Easy for Non-Techies
One of my non-technical friends, a writer and motivational speaker, bought a new domain name recently, then asked me how to get it pointed to her soon-to-be-rebranded website. The ensuing discussion revealed that she, like most non-techies, knew next to nothing about domain names, other than that "she needed one."

Since I suspect there are many other people around just like her, I thought it might be a good idea to demystify domain names. So, let's go on a tour through the wild, wild badlands of the Internet.
The Magic Incantation
If you're a system administrator, please don't read this article. It contains highly sensitive and technical information of general use only to software engineers. Also, please note that when I say "software engineer," I mean individuals who actually develop software.

Um, and by "developing software," I mean individuals who actually write code. So, basically, this article is for the roughly 10% of software engineers and system engineers that actually build things (I'm not actually being snarky; this is the rough percentage that I'm seeing in government consulting).

If you're still with me, read on...
Using Social Networking to Fight Bad Actors
Check out my cyber security presentation from GFIRST 2012...

GFIRST was a 1500-person conference hosted by the Department of Homeland Security. I conducted this presentation in round-robin fashion with my two partners in crime, Dave Roberts and Jonathan Quigg.

My Presentations on SlideShare
I regularly release all of my presentations on SlideShare.net. To date, my presentations have been viewed over 74,046 times. Today, I thought I'd share my Top 5 list with you.
NationJS Speakers Selected
The speakers for NationJS, a new regional JavaScript conference, have been selected. I was part of the Selection Committee that met last night to consider all of the proposed talks that we received from our Call for Papers.

There were a lot of great proposals from speakers across the country. This was gratifying because it's always a challenge starting up a new regional conference. We were pleased to discover that so many top-notch speakers were interested in head-lining our event.

It's going to be a one-day, double-track event. It will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Center, where we last hosted RubyNation 2013.

We're expecting quite a few attendees, as well. I hope to see you there...

Domain Name Validator
I just released the domain_name_validator gem, which is a simple Ruby gem that provides the capability to validate domain names. There are a number of other gems that provide features for dealing with domain names, but none of them provided, in an easy-to-use form, the particular capability that I needed.

Put simply, I needed to know for any given domain name, whether that domain name was valid. I work with clients who often pass around extensive lists of domain names encountered while anlayzing malware. I needed to be able to process a list of domain names, and tell my clients which ones were valid, and which were not.

Accordingly, the scope of this gem is deliberately focused on validating domain names. It simply answers the question: "Is this a real domain name?"

Find out more about this new gem or check it out at GitHub.
Everything That's Wrong With Java
Here's everything that's wrong with Java, embodied in one class...

http://static.springsource.org/spring/docs/2.5.x/api/org/springframework/
aop/framework/AbstractSingletonProxyFactoryBean.html


Yes, that is indeed a link to the AbstractSingletonProxyFactoryBean class of Java's Spring framework. I couldn't even begin to tell you what this class does, but I think it scares me.
Thoughts on the GFIRST 2013 Cancellation
GFIRST 2013 - 9th Annual Cyber Security Conference

Citing sequestration and the need for financial tightening, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just canceled GFIRST 2013, a major cyber security conference that I was scheduled to speak at. Frankly, DHS may also have had some concerns about the scrutiny to which the IRS is currently being subjected for it's expenditures.

You see, DHS hosts GFIRST for free. As someone who runs and organizes events myself, this boggles my mind.

Find out more about GFIRST...
Thoughts on RubyNation 2013
RubyNation 2013 at the Silver Spring Civic Center

We changed things up a little bit for RubyNation 2013, the 6th year that we've organized and run this conference. For the first time ever, we held it in Maryland, more specifically in the Silver Spring Civic Center in downtown Silver Spring.

There were some reasons that we did this. We weren't sure how well it was going to go over with our audience of Rubyists, so we were extremely gratified that there was almost unanimous praise for the new venue.

Find out more about my thoughts on RubyNation 2013...