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Why I'm Boycotting Mozilla Products
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Brendan Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla this week. Normally, I don't pay attention when corporate executive roles are filled, but this one caught my attention. You see, Eich donated $1,000 in support of Prop 8 back in 2008. Since then, he has not, to my knowledge, mentioned anything new about his views on gay marriage, so it's safe to presume they are the same as they were in 2008.

Eich doesn't believe that gay people should be afforded the right to marry. I've decided I'm not comfortable using the products of the company of such a CEO. Intentional or not, his appointment sends the message: "Mozilla is against gay marriage at its highest levels." As such, I'm boycotting all Mozilla products until Eich steps down or is removed as CEO.

We are at a critical juncture in the fight for the basic rights of the LGBT community. Though there is a long way to go, one can feel the tide turning (thank goodness). This post is not to pat myself on the back for taking a relatively safe stance. Rather, it's to inform others of the situation. Only through awareness can this type of bigotry be brought to light.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, this post may seem a great departure from my normal content. It is. This stuff matters. It matters enough that I ask you, the reader, to boycott Mozilla products as long as Eich is CEO. It matters enough that I encourage you to take to the computer, the phone, or the pen to help right a wrong.

I am not gay. I have no gay family members and only a handful of gay friends. But this is not an issue of gay rights. It's an issue of human rights. And the right to marry the person of your choice must be considered a basic human right. Indeed, any right withheld from any group of people must be rallied against. It just so happens that, in this case, the issue is gay marriage.

I've been supporting gay rights too passively for too long. The time for action, from all of us, is long overdue. I hope you'll join me in taking a stand. You have to start somewhere, and now is as good a time as any.

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Straphost Prices Reduced
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After reconsidering the numbers, I've decided to drastically reduce the price of straphost. You still get one-on-one tutoring sessions where you learn to deploy your Python application on a Linux server. Now, however, extra tutoring sessions are free, and the initial setup cost has been reduced to $500. For $40 per month, you get free hosting plus unlimited tutoring sessions if you need to install new software for your application (like, say, memcached) or have a bug you need help tracking down.

Seeing as the cost of a reasonably-sized (2nd smallest) Linode is $40, the addition of free deployment tutoring should be a draw. If you agree, email me and let me know that you'd like to be considered for straphost's initial cohort of clients. As a reminder, the first group will be very small to ensure enough one-on-one tutoring time for everyone.

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Writing Idiomatic Python: The Video Series
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On Friday, I launched a kickstarter campaign to turn my book, Writing Idiomatic Python, into a series of instructional videos. How would that work? I would find real-world code in need of some love and narrate the process of refactoring it using principles from the book.

After launching the campaign, I threw up a quick blog post, sent out an email and a tweet, and went home. When I woke up the next morning, over $1000 had already been raised. As of this morning, over $2,400 has been raised of the $5,000 goal. With 27 days left, we're almost half way there.

But there's another, perhaps more important, goal: if I raise $10,000, I'll make the videos free to view for everyone, forever. I'll release the videos under the Creative Commons license, allowing them to be used for just about anything. Heck, you could use them to run your own course if you wanted to. That's why the $10,000 goal is the one I really hope we hit.

Make no mistake, I am amazed at the generosity of you guys and the entire Python community. $2,400 in a weekend is jaw-dropping. I want to keep the momentum up, though, to ensure we hit $10,000 so that these videos will be free to view. How awesome a resource would they be?

If you've already contributed: Thanks a ton! You can still help by getting the word out to friends and colleagues. All of the funding is raised through word-of-mouth, so spreading the word is akin to backing the project. Ditto for those who would like to contribute but aren't in the financial situation to do so. You can still help by spreading the word!

While I encourage everyone to get the word out, I want to briefly caution against spamming any communication channel. It's quite easy to find yourself flooding Twitter, Reddit, etc with messages for a cause you support. Ultimately, however, it does more harm than good as people turn resentful for being spammed. And if you ever feel like I'm spamming you, please let me know! I'd rather the campaign fail than lose whatever goodwill I've built up with all of you.

Thanks again for being amazing, and thanks in advance for helping spread the word. When it comes to human nature, I tend to be optimistic almost to the point of naivete. Thanks for proving me right ;)

Here's a link to the campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1219760486/a-writing-idiomatic-python-video-series-watch-and.

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