October 2015

Making DNS work when your ISP blocks port 53

As I was curious about the methods and approaches of so-called “Smart DNS” services to get around geo-blocking, I wanted to experiment with a variety of them to see how they functioned. Frustratingly, I couldn’t get any of them to work. I could change my DNS servers (on my router, on my Windows machine, on […]

October 2012

Facebook’s core problem: customers vs. users

Facebook’s massive growth came because they gave users what they wanted: connect with your friends, see what their doing, conveniently share with them, and so on — and do it for free. But now they’re publicly traded, and satisfying users has become secondary to profit growth.

February 2012

The irrelevance of blog advertisements: a publisher’s lament

After running a (horribly unscientific) poll on my law & technology blog for several months, I discovered that less than 15% of people voting found any of the Google-served advertisements to be relevant (not unwanted… irrelevant). This is a problem. Google has always claimed their ads are contextual and targeted to the content of your […]

November 2011

WordPress under Nginx and Varnish with W3TC

I decided to switch to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) so that I could have more flexibility and control over my server environment. I selected VM Storm based on a review of “low-end” VPS providers (since this is my personal tinkering platform I don’t need to pay extra for a high-end name). I then added Nginx as my Web server, Varnish as a front-end cache, WordPress for blogging, and W3TC as a WordPress performance enhancer.

How I use a blog in my research and writing

As someone who does not blog to earn money (I like to pay my hosting fees, but that’s only because I’m a poor grad student), I thought I’d run through how and why I blog, and why I find it a critical part of my “real” work of academic research and writing.