September 27, 2009

Lending Pythonistas

Too often I hear people bemoaning their inability to change the world, so I wanted to bring Kiva, and specifically the Pythonistas team, to your attention because if you have even a modest amount of money to spare you can put it to use again and again to help worthy enterprises, typically closely allied with their local community.

I started lending money through Kiva a while ago, and more recently joined its Pythonistas team. I suggested starting such a team shortly after I joined Kiva, but it took Anna Martelli's energy to actually get it off the ground, and I received my invitation a couple of months ago - thanks, Anna! If you decide you want to become a "Kiva Pythonista" all you have to do is follow this link.

Even as a Kiva Pythonista you still decide to whom you want to lend money, you simply say you want your loans to be counted as a part of the Pythonista effort. The enterprises you will fund are typically far from hi-tech: here are some of the groups I am currently funding to give you some idea of the kinds of activity you can support.

Secretarial Services in Uganda
Second-Hand Clothing in Guatemala
Fish Retailing in Senegal
Cattle Farming in Azerbaijan
A Grocery Store in Cambodia
Animal Rearing in Tajikistan
A General Store in Togo
A Cooperative Bank in Bolivia

This came to mind because I got an email this morning reminding me that I had received repayments of $150, and so I am just about to use the Kiva site to lend those repaid funds to new borrowers, keeping my money actively at work. And now I can do it as a Pythonista!

September 23, 2009

Last Week to Submit Your PyCon Papers

PyCon is a little earlier next year, and the organizers are trying to prepare earlier too. So this is a reminder that there is one week remaining to submit your PyCon talk proposals. PyCon 2010, in Atlanta, is a must-attend event. It's a great event to speak at, too, so don't delay!

September 16, 2009

PyCon Talk Submissions Closing Soon

Please note that if you would like to present a talk at next year's PyCon, time is rapidly running out. The call for papers was issued some time ago, and closes on October 1. So get your writing hat on, and put that proposal in now!

September 15, 2009

Apple's Cynical Approach

It turns out that for a long time now Apple iPhones have been lying to Exchange Server mail hosts, telling the mail servers that on-device encryption is supported. It now transpires that only the recently-added 3G S model supports encryption through hardware, and this came to light when a recent upgrade made the phones tell the truth.

The unfortunate consequence for any business that has standardized on iPhones for remote mail access is that if they have required on-device encryption the iPhone has been breaking their security guidelines since it was installed. According to Apple their only alternatives are to change their security policies to allow iPhones to store plain text emails or upgrade everyone to the new 3G S device.

What a crock. Not only that, the iPhone users apparently had to wait until after they'd been upgraded to even learn that this issue existed. I am so glad I'm not a corporate Apple user.

September 9, 2009

Community Spirit

If the Python community (or the whole open source community, for that matter) could learn to work together for a common goal there's almost nothing it couldn't achieve. Here's an example of what single-minded determination can do.