Using server alerts to generate Todoist tasks

I manage a few different servers (including this one) for several different friends and clients. As part of managing each server and site hosted on it, I’ll typically receive alerts for errors, common tasks or downtime. For a while I had settled on filing these alerts into a separate mailbox to keep them from overwhelming my inbox.

This works for a while, but I’d occasionally miss an important alert or message from one of the servers. In an effort to manage my responsibilities I had started using Todoist to track my responsibilities. I set up an alias pointing to my email to inbox Todoist address, tuned the server alerts for volume and importance and routed them to this new alias. Now, if I get an actionable alert for, say, server downtime, it’s routed to my inbox with all the relevant details to resolve the issue.

Why do we keep using Facebook? »

Dylan Tweney:

Facebook offers a terrible bargain: It gives you the connectedness you crave, but it’s unfulfilling and leaves you wanting more. It’s like drinking Coke, or eating McDonald’s, except you don’t even have to pay for it. No wonder we guzzle it down, when all the evidence, and even our own eyes and hearts, show us how bad it is for us.

RSS still beats social media for tracking news »

David Nield, Gizmodo:

Whether you’ve never heard of it before or you’ve abandoned it for pastures new, here’s why you should be using RSS for your news instead of social media.

Gizmodo has a simple explainer on why RSS still beats social media for news. If you don’t currently use an RSS reader, check out the post and the services it recommends.

The Equifax breach is a disaster »

Mike Masnick, Techdirt:

At some point, we need to rethink why we’ve given Equifax, Experian and TransUnion so much power over so much of our everyday lives. You can’t opt-out. They collect most of their data without us knowing and in secret. You can’t avoid them. And now we know that at least one of them doesn’t know how to secure that data.

Data is a toxic asset »

Bruce Schneier:

We can be smarter than this. We need to regulate what corporations can do with our data at every stage: collection, storage, use, resale and disposal. We can make corporate executives personally liable so they know there’s a downside to taking chances. We can make the business models that involve massively surveilling people the less compelling ones, simply by making certain business practices illegal.

Data is a toxic asset. We need to start thinking about it as such, and treat it as we would any other source of toxicity. To do anything else is to risk our security and privacy.

This piece by Bruce Schneier is worth revisiting in light of yesterday’s Equifax breach. We’re in the middle of a fresh wave of outrage over it but, as that fades, we should remember that we can do better than this. Companies and organizations that hold and collect our personal information can do better than this1.

There will be more breaches and we’ll have to deal with the fallout, but we shouldn’t be apathetic about it. Any company that collects that much data about the public should be held to higher standards when storing it (or, better yet, shouldn’t store it at all). An insincere apology and a free year of some service provided by the company that failed to protect our data in the first place isn’t good enough.

  1. They might consider starting by patching nine year old vulnerabilities before they’re exploited