What end-to-end encryption is, why it matters for you, and how you can use it to protect your privacy online.

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The digital economy has been built on principles of unilateral trust. As a consumer, when you use an online software service, you have to trust the service provider to be responsible with your personal data, while the service provider has no need or expectation to trust you. Furthermore, there is no clear definition of what can be considered ‘responsible’ use. When your favourite chat application promises to ‘protect your privacy’, what does that even mean? Does it mean they won’t…

Understand how seemingly free sites and applications make money, and how to avoid their common pitfalls.

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Monetization on the internet has become such a confusing subject that it’s not trivial to understand how any of it works. Things seem especially bizarre when we try to apply real world logic to the internet. How is it that bottled water costs more than a magical search bar that can answer all my questions faster than I can sneeze? Most things online seem free, some are genuinely free, some are free for just long enough to suck you in, others yet you pay…

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We live in a strange time when critical technological decisions are driven by marketing propaganda. There is arguably no industry more afflicted with this syndrome than ‘big data’. In this article, I will address one very peculiar manifestation of this phenomenon in the big data industry that has crippled data engineers across the board — a resolute and methodical undermining of the sanctity of strictly-typed schemas.

Let me give you some context. Approximately speaking, in the decade leading up to the big data era, we saw a meteoric rise in the popularity of dynamically-typed languages like Ruby, Python, and JavaScript…

Published by XKCD

Freefolk of the interwebs, put your tin-foil hats on and indulge my paranoia for the length of this article, for what I am about to share with you might matter. A close friend of mine recently bought a $100 dollar bike lock for his $400 dollar bike, which he never leaves in un-surveilled public spaces. The irony is that to get a good deal on this bike lock, he used an ‘indie’ website, where he signed up with his usual all-purpose password. Of course this was done with the free wifi provided by the local coffee shop, from where he…

The second of a two part series exploring the fundamental themes of architecting and governing a data lake.

*Click here for Part I

The fundamental mandate of a data engineer is to deliver clean, accurate, and meticulously supervised data. Herein lies the difference between a data and software engineer — for the latter, their product is the software, whereas for us, our product is the data, and any software we build is auxiliary to the data. In other words, it is the responsibility of a data engineer to treat data (rather than software), as a ‘first-class entity’. …

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A select few professional domains in the modern world retain the luxury of having a somewhat predictable future. Software development is certainly not one of them. In-demand tech stacks change faster than the Canadian weather. In this context, being a software developer in 2018 is much like being an investor on the stock market. Every skill you decide to pick up is an investment of your time. And with every investment comes risk. If you spend your entire youth mastering MongoDB, you might find yourself out of luck when the next anti-Mongo successor captures the imagination of our ADHD-ridden zeitgeist.

Prateek Sanyal

Senior ML Ops at Unity, ex Data Eng Tech Lead at SSENSE.

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