This week's Actuator comes to you fireside, as I am able to start enjoying the results of three weeks worth of hard work building an outdoor living area. We had planned to hire someone to do this work, but they never got back to us so we decided we could do it ourselves. It's been exhausting, but rewarding. There's something to be said for building things yourself. But not databases. Let a professional help you, please.


As always, here are some links from the Intertubz that I hope will hold your interest. Enjoy!


Python has brought computer programming to a vast new audience

People are using Google to search for Python more than they are searching for a Kardashian. Also warrants mentioning – Python gets its name from Monty Python.


Netflix Cloud Security SIRT releases Diffy: A Differencing Engine for Digital Forensics in the Cloud

Another great example of Netflix being awesome. I love how they are taking their internal tools and making them available for others to use and, in theory, improve upon over time for the benefit of everyone.


Surprise! Top sites still fail at encouraging non-terrible passwords

In related news, I am spending up to 30 minutes of my day logging into websites and having to retrieve passwords from 1Password or using two-factor authentication. Security has a cost, and part of that cost is time spent logging into websites, apparently.


Hackers account for 90% of login attempts at online retailers

This is why we can’t have nice things.


Why health insurers track when you buy plus-size clothes or binge-watch TV

As someone that has had difficulty with Optum, this article drives home how healthcare decisions are being made. What should be in the hands of the doctors is often in the hands of a computer program and a person that has no idea about you, your health, or your needs.


Colleges ask for a share of future salary in lieu of loans

At first I thought this idea was horrible, but after reading it a few times and thinking about it a bit more, I now think this is a terrible idea. Schools are a business, diploma mills mostly, and this financial arrangement has the potential for abuse.


The mistake that almost got me fired but transformed my career

If you haven’t hit this point in your career, I hope you do soon. Or keep an updated resume handy.


One of the joys of summer - carnival food! Here's a sausage, topped with pulled pork, topped with bacon: