Programmer's Mindset

Using OpenGPG to Encrypt/Sign Email

I used this over a decade ago, when I worked for doing consulting in a doctor’s office.  We tried to get them to understand encrypting their emails.

After I left TradeWeb, I let go of using GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) out of laziness and the lack of adoption.  While attending #tek12 this year, my interest was again piqued by a presentation on security.

GPG or PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) are easy tools that help you sign/encrypt email.  If each one of us could convert a few people to using the tools, eventually it would spread to everyone.

Signing Emails

Signing emails is a way to let people confirm you are the author of a message.  It does not encrypt the email at all.  Since most people assume that when they receive an email addressed from you is from you, they don’t take the time to check the signature.  However, if they took the time to install the tools to check the signature, they would also have the tools that would allow me to encrypt my email to them.

Encrypting Email

For me to encrypt an email to you, I need you to already have a public key.  The email would automatically decrypt on your end, so it’s not like it takes any extra work.

Do us all a favor, help spread the word…

Programmer's Mindset

The Birth Of San Diego PHP Users Group

I am moving to San Diego, CA in one week. I have been a member of OrlandoPHP for about 18 months, so after I sold my house, I started looking for a user group to join. I searched and was shocked to find that there wasn’t an active PHP User’s Group. And as Cal Evans always says, if you look around for a user group leader and don’t find one, you’re it.

So I took the opportunity at #tek12 in Chicago to talk to a few user group leaders from around the country. I absorbed as much information as I could and recently opened San Diego PHP on It turns out there was a huge demand for this group in the area. We are already over 40 members with 15 confirmed for our first meetup.

The kicker is that I had two different members offer us conference room space to host the group, and also offered to buy pizza and drinks.

I am soooo looking forward to our first meetup and meeting the members. Looking for some fun and geekery, come check us out.

Personal Opinion


It’s sad what people go through and are ultimately driven too, just because of who they are. Hate is unnecessary! We could all be so much happier if we all got along.

Programmer's Mindset

CraigsList / Trading Scam

I listed a bunch of things on CraigsList recently and started receiving a bunch of people asking me if I wanted to trade for crazy things.  Do I want to trade my $300 item for a $25 camera?  Of course not, so I just didn’t reply.

After the third or fourth one, I really wanted to know why they were asking me for these ridiculous trades.  I brainstormed for awhile, initially thinking they were trying to get my email address to sell it.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks!  They have an Amazon Associate Account (AKA affiliate account).  They don’t want the trade, they just want me to click the link and forget about it.  Now if I buy from Amazon any time in the next month, they will get a percentage of the sale.

It’s ingenious and yet so deceptive.  Part of me wants to do this.  But the honest part of me can’t.  🙁   Should I participate in this type of scam?