The Fergusons

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Month: August 2013

Initial Web Site Updates

I’m work on consolidating some stuff and am moving away from fergfam.org/net. It has always been a confusing domain name (what’s on .net, what’s on .org) and was a solution to a short domain name that was supposed to be easy to communicate. As you can see, I’ve been able to pick up an awesome new domain name (I currently own 15 domain names…I may have a problem): ferguson.pw

I tried for a while to get ferguson.us, but the owner (who interestingly enough lives in Broomfield, Colorado) was not willing to sell nor do have reason to believe he would be willing to sell it anytime in the near future for an amount I’m willing to pay (let’s just say it was north of $10,000…and I believe him).

At this point, there are no plans to divest from the fergfam domain. It will just point to ferguson.pw for now.

For those that have blogs (or want a blog), I’m also revamping how the blogs are run to make it easier for each of you and me to manage and run. Effective immediately:

Brian’s old blog (http://brian.fergfam.net) has been setup to redirect to http://brian.ferguson.pw.

The backend more or less remains the same, but the blogs are now part of the federated Ferguson Enterprise System (FES). In short, while the blogs are everyone’s own to run, there are actually part of a single installation and I can manage all of them from a unified location. You’ll need to trust me when I says that this makes my life easier.

Rachel also will be at rachelferguson.org (for those who care: it’s a domain mapping of rachel.ferguson.pw).

The next step is move AndrewAndRachel.com into the federated system, as well as AndrewFergusonDOTnet. These changes should be transparent to the end consumer and mostly transparent to the users (i.e. Rachel and Andrew).

If any one else would like their own blog or domain name (I have 15 of them!), it’s a pretty easy thing to setup now (See! The Federation is a good thing!)

If you have questions, please let me know!

Some upcoming changes to the Ferguson Enterprise System

Hello Family!

This is Andrew, your friendly sysadmin (as well as son, brother, husband, etc). I just wanted to let you know that I am working on a plan to consolidate and harden (security-wise) some of the technical assets that I manage for the Ferguson Enterprise System (FES).

These changes are driven by several things, including a desire to have a centralized family photo/video management location. However, the largest driver is the recent issues concerning the NSA’s use of what I believe to be unconstitutional searches.

There is 0.0000001% chance (rough guess) that this these searches would ever affect anyone using the FES, however sysadmins (such as myself) take this very seriously and, in my opinion, I have a duty to protect the infrastructure I oversee from such threats.

Honestly, this was a longtime coming. The Internet isn’t a safe place and many of its protocols are based on trust. Several prominent sites have been surreptitiously infiltrated (including Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft) using National Security Letters that prevent anyone from disclosing the activities that are transpiring. These letters are typically overbroad and have heretofore been unchallengeable in the court system. These companies have struggled to defend against such threats and have fallen short (in many peoples opinion, including myself) of doing all they can to prevent such incidents from occurring.

Additionally, many services, such as Google Apps, which provides email, calendar, contact, and many other infrastructure elements, have been provided as free. And as they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. If the service is free, you are the product…not the client.

These changes will be carefully thought out to balance ease of use, cost, maintainability, and security. Furthermore, some of the technology is not quite ready for deployment yet, so it will likely take several months (perhaps even a year or more) for everything to transition. Any comments and suggestions you have are welcome.

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