Monday, August 29, 2005

Word Verification

Oh so this is a neat feature. Word verification. Sure it's another step that people have to overcome, but still it tends to cut down on scoms. Oh, not that I would know overmuch. Sometimes I feel like it's more a Lion Trap.

Oh the other neat thing of note? Apparently part of the blogger action is done in dynamic python. I wonder how they keep the server load low enough. I had always thought that python uncompiled-ly was going to take a performance hit until it was byte code.

Granted, I don't program python anymore. I tend to write ruby.

Other Neat RIP features

* It uses Xpath
* It can use regular expressions (more or less) to filter out sets of pages on a site
* It can filter simular items on a page

So what does this buy you? Well the first two points are more hard core than some people think about. They are presented in an easy form to you but they are really quite powerful and let the browser do all sorts of neat tricks. And the last one? Well remember that most of the ads on a site are all of one size or another. So when you get rid of an element and say all simular elements, they are all gone.

Oh and it has a "Undo last RIP" feature. So that if you go ahead and rip the entire page away, it'll let you get it all back.

So, do I advocate ditching all the ads, the very lifeblood of the internet today, the thing that lets us use all these services for free?

Not really. Esp when they are Google text ads. Quick to download, wordy ads that let me know what the business does or purports to. I click a heck of a lot more google-y ads than I do any of the other "Shoot the Monkey" Ads. In fact I've never shot the monkey.

Friday, August 26, 2005


So apparently splogs are spam-blogs. At least accourding to some authors. Whoops. I guess the spam-comments on my site should be called scoms. Or maybe spomments or spom.

Lazy for Programmers, sure but Dumb?

This is in reply for this article.

Ok it's kind of compelling the reasons to keep things easy. Don't overthink items. Never assume. But the poster keeps using the words "stupid" and "dumb" to convey this attitude.

I disagree, and would suggest a different set of words: rustic and simple.

Being rustic isn't a bad thing. It's keeping things simple and taking the straightest path to the solution. Don't worry about fixing the barn doors when the barn's on fire. Simplicity is the act and art of not trying to show-off that you're greater than anyone else and how cool you can make things.

Look at quaker furniture. It's not sought after because it's got so many new-fangled features. It's simple, solidly made work. It does what it does and can't be also used as a cappucino machine. Sure they are put cleverly together, but people easily overlook that (kind of like how cleverly the start page is put together).

The rest of article makes sense. Go for the low hanging fruit and when there aren't anymore, maybe you shouldn't start straining for the higher ones. But I imagine people trying to get "dumber" in programming and I just don't feel it can be a good thing when people really should trying to solve something simply and cleverly.

Monday, August 22, 2005

RIP - addenda

Oh, looking at boingboing, I think it's interpreting on the fly as the page loads. SO there were various items that hadn't loaded yet that just got dropped before the end of the page. So it's kind of like some of the other adblockers where it stops the spam before it gets to you.

RIP - Remove Items Permanently

Go here. Get this. Seriously, install it and go to town.

I hadn't realized that there was something out there that could internally be so powerful but still let people do things like "right-click an item and say RemovePermanently".

It's holy hot-damn sweet. Anything that lets you do things like remove banners based on their size is just the ticket for the sites you go to.

The only drawback is that it's a after-the-fact removal. Meaning that there are times that you'll load a page and then items will disappear. But still that's not a big issue when you really think about it.

Oh and it lets you do things like export the various things you've "ripped" and save them on a disk or hand to a friend so they don't ever have to put up with some of the ads that we all have had to for a long time.

Yahoo Mail vs Gmail

Ok, the only real thing I can think to easily compare is the total space they give out for free.

* Gmail: 2.5GB
* Yahoo: 1.0GB

While I'll never approach either in the near future, it's definitely something that I wonder about for both companies. Given the current state of technology and the funds that are going into both, is it really the case that every single user could have the full quota? Or is this like the time I was in Computer Science as a student and they gave all of us something like 120% of the total, so when 90% of the people almost hit quota no one could spawn files or make new entries into existing files.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

CSS changing

So, I *might* be changing bits and pieces of the css that makes up the layout of this blog. Why, you may ask, when it has been so easy to read and so pretty to look at.

Well I like it too. The only problems I have is that it doesn't take up a lot of the screen (just the middle) and as such it tends to make it so that people have to scroll down a lot just to get a little bit of the article I've posted read. Which, frankly, reduces reader count. I like reader count.

Any suggestions on good CSS sites/templates will always be appreciated.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Blog Spam

Ok, that's just funny. Sad, but funny. I post to the blog, and voila I get a comment saying "Geez you've done such a good job setting up your blog, come see this Payday Loan site". What sort of wretch goes about writing software to post to blogs. Can't they at least do something like "If there are words about a heart attack don't post"?

Granted I could see consumer targetted splogs based on what was written in the blog and in the comments that go before them. But then again that would take effort, and intelligence, and I'm starting to think all they want is a cheap buck.


So, I had a family member's heart stop beating and stop breathing while in surgery. Now that was scary. If I'm a bit frazzled, that's the main reason why. Amazing how fragile the human body is.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Nice quote

"The only difference between a dripping faucet and a Japanese water garden is perspective".
--Kevin Kling

Ruby on Windows

If you are looking for a Ruby for Windows, click here. It's got an IDE and an Fox installation so you can do gui progs.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Could this be true? Browser based peer to peer? That would make it so much handier I can't begin to tell you. Granted I'll have to peak into how they are doing this. It's almost "too easy"...

Ruby Links links for ruby. Now seriously, go out and get ruby. It's got tons of libraries and a decent community.

Start Here

And any language that spawns comparisons of it's internals to mayonnaise can't be all that bad.

Lisp links

Norseman's Lisp Links off Oh yeah. Feel the love.

Perl Jobs from Monster or Why Some people shouldn't write Job placement Copy

Ok, I have a bot on monster that searches for jobs. The two categories that I search for:

1. Perl
2. Ruby

If I could I'd say something like "Please Jesus, no jobs as a sysadmin for windows boxes or sysadmin in general" but sadly this option just isn't there.

However I got this email today with the following "job". My favourite line from this "Perl Job":

"Mid-level to Sr. Level JAVA (3+ years) development professionals need only apply."

Ok, seriously, on what planet did Java experience get equated with Perl experience? Oh I see:
"Professional working knowledge of internet protocols and techniques (Perl, HTML,

Perl is not an internet protocol or technique. It's a language. This copy doesn't induce me to apply, it makes me want to avoid the business both as a candidate and a customer. How technical can a business be if the people they are looking for wouldn't know what Perl is? The incredible irony is that it's a Tech Job Placement company.

Podcast & Spam

Wow, I posted about podcasts and *bam* I get comment spam. By anonymous folks. Shoot, that was amazing. I hadn't really thought that I would have had something like that come up on my blog but you know, I might have hit the main page for just long enough to be hit by the bots.

Wow, the price of fame. I just have to say thanks for why for the comment. I am so going to incorporate that into my daily routime. Always good to hear from ruby folks and especially those that know the architecture.

Podcast thoughts

Podcasts are neat now that iTunes does them so easily. The only problem is that now that I've subscribed to tons of podcasts, including Leo Laporte's casts, I've noticed that if I was sit down and just started to listen to them all it would be 4.8 days of non stop listening. That's like 13 days of 8hour workdays to listen to it all.

No wonder people just listen to a few that they enjoy. Granted from what I heard over at's blog there are some that are only like 5-10 minute segments. I just seemed to be getting the ones that are 1+ hours per cast.

Wow, Podcast neatness

So this is something that is kind of neat. The podcasts that I can get off the iTunes stuff sometimes have video and pictures. Now I never thought this was that big of a deal but as the description said I can see that sort of stuff if I had an ipod that did color. That's awesome. Really really awesome. And with the oscon information that I heard from the apple folks that ipods are all going to be color from now on, I'm so thinking of a new ipod.

Speech recognition and Blogging

Ok, here's an experiment in concentration. Start a blog post. Now plug in something like your ipod into your ears. Turn it on to something that's like talk radio (like a podcast). Try and listen the podcast and blog at the same time. Come back two or more days later and see what sort of blog entries do you make.

So far I've noticed that I've written things like "it seamed like an important result" or "rankin is important". I really do thing it's true that there are parts of our brain that can't really multitask out. Language centers are something that are devoted to one stream at a time and doing two language tasks are the same time (constructing speech and understanding it) is something that makes a person blog less impressively and still not really understand what was spoken to him.

Think of it as the "Hey Honey" effect. Every husband has encountered this. The wife can be telling you about her day and you are reading the paper and when a question is posed you go "Huh?" to one of them. And we all know which one had the priority.....

And we know who is the dog house now. Maybe some meditation can mitigate this or if you kept listening to podcasts and blogged you'd learn to mitigate the symptoms slightly.

Bookmarks is the greatest thing ever. You should should go to it, try it out and marvel at it's genious. Nowadays I don't have any of my bookmarks on my machine, it's all up on It's really is something that more people should use.

For example, when I blew away my old hard drive (which I still need to get the RMA for and return) I didn't even think about my bookmarks. It's getting to the point where things are never really living on my machine except for a few easy config files. So when it's time to blow something away, it's not the tear jerking, hair pulling situation it used to be.

News Services

So, I just found out that possibly Marylin Monroe spent some with women in a sexual way. Yeah I'm behind the times, but that's not what this entry is about. This entry is about newsfeeds in the modern era.

In my view, the things that journalism talks about are independently discovered by three or four different people and reported from the various angles. So when I hear something there are going to be three or more seperate stories, all thought out and verified by various people. Different takes or approaches to stories.

This wasn't the case with the Marylin story. I think that Reuters LA released this story and it was picked up by all the rest of the services. No one then spent really any leg work to see what else was part of the story. All the various stories so far were rehashed versions of the first story. It wasn't original and meant that the person that had the highest ranking in the search engine really seemed to be the only one that really mattered.

That's sad. And I can't begin to tell you how often I hate hearing "left her cold". I mean sure it was a paraphrased sentence of Marylin, but shoot, English is full of language to deal with dissapointment. Left her cold, felt nothing for it, was a big dissapointment, was a let down, wasn't interesting, etc. Granted some of the phrases are the kind that are fire-able for writing. Saying something like "left a bad taste" wouldn't be too good when referring to sexual content or cooking.


How many times do you exclaim to yourself, "I'm going to blog this"? Anymore I say it once about every two days. The main reason is due to watching things and hearing things via various news services. Or sometimes I think that I'm going to blog something when the thing I just saw or thought was particulary importantant or insigtful.

Yeah, that's selfish. But still it's what I tend to think.

I wonder if there have been any studies of people and what sorts of subjects they tend to blog on. I think the random sampling would be a right pain and involve a lot of man hours to do so.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Matrix Fixes

1. Make it so I can see my factionmates as easily as my crewmates.
2. Let me button mash in an advanced combat interface
3. Let me email crewmates with materials and information
4. Put in some scripting language to make plugins.

Sure (4) is the most weird request. I just want the same thing that I have in WoW. Trackers of xp, loot, easy ways to reskin the interface, inventory at a glance, maps of the area I'm in with overlays of things (like bad guys and what they drop). There are a hundred different little UI type changes that I would like, but that's no guarantee that there are others that would like that. So, give me a language to plug in my changes and then if I call and ask for help the first thing tech support says is "Have you turned off your plugins" or "We have a signature to the server saying you are using plugins, we don't support that".

It's not too much to ask. Although, to date, WoW is the only game that has had this kick ass feature.

Oh and speaking of features, blogger arbitrarily cuts off posts after a certain character count is reached (I think it's actually line based). Not cool. Give me a popup saying that this post is longer than X lines and may be truncated. Don't just let the thing post and let me think I'm ok.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


A test


Well, whaddya know. It worked out just fine. Granted it's not something that replaces being able to make a REST call or something but still, this is pretty sweet.


You know what I *really* need?

Some emacs loving that does blogger entries. I had something like it at one time, but it wasn't quite what I wanted (barrier to learning was a tad too esoteric). I've tried the mail-in option and that doesn't seem to work at all.

Anyone have any suggestions?


So yeah came across this while browsing why's site. Very cool. I hadn't been put into a situation where I needed to match the same thing on multiple lines (what with the nature of directory based information). But still this is damn cool. Give a regular expression to a string#scan and get back all the matching elements.

Means I can slurp in an entire file and pick out the bits I want. Memory overhead goes down the drain, but still for quick snatch-and-grabs, that has be the coolest thing.

re = /pattern./

too cool.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

And the addenda.... The Virtual Internship: Take Control of Your Future by Becoming an Open Source Developer: "The Virtual Internship: Take Control of Your Future by Becoming an Open Source Developer"

Oh the thing he should have added on the end: Stop making products that are simple in scope and simple in aspirations. No one wants to hear that "Well I've finished with this product" unless you follow it up with a "And I'm adding to this suite of new utilities that will also be great".

Seriously, end the open source heartache of "I've closed the doors on this project"-itis.

Yeah - politics comment

So I keep getting this email from various Christian fellows of mine saying "God Bless the United States". Frequently it goes on to request a prayer for this nation for the Almighty to bless it and keep it.

Uh, you know I have a problem with that. Prayers are often for 'please keep the status quo' or 'make people go back to the right way of doing things'. In a country that uses the most gasoline products, that doesn't sign the Kyoto treaty, that wants credits for the trees it has to make up for the coal it burns, and the policies it asks others to follow by gunpoint, I find it hard to want God, Allah, the Godhead, or whomever you subscribe to as the divine super-god to keep things the way they are.

I'd rather pray for clean air, responsible politicians, and intelligent designs by people who not only have to make the decisions but have to live with them for the next 50 years. I want politicians to pretend like they have to be the ones that back up their statements personally. I want the government to admit failures. And any failures they make they follow it up with a new solution.

Leadership isn't claiming a mandate by the people, it's going with something that when you look into the eyes of the baby you kissed 15 years ago you can honestly not have to say, inwardly, "Sorry kid."

Leadership isn't sending people to die over and over again hoping that the variation in people that do the killing will make one sacrifice the pivotal one that changes the course.

Leadership is making people forget the bad old ways of doing things in exchange for something new and better structured.

Leadership is making phone calls to people to say you are sorry for their son's death even when you aren't the leader of the armed forces and you didn't sign off on what they are doing currently. Oh, and then going and making sure that the sacrifice isn't forgotten and policies are changed. Each person counts. No life is squandered and noone in the news service or in the public can be allowed to forget it. And the you can't forget it either.

Leadership is saying something difficult, achieving the impossible, and fighting the ignorance. Do everything in the open, and do everything like it was going to be in the open and you won't have to squelch the requests for information. Publish the bad advice, the moronic policy suggestions, the underhanded offers. If everyone knows that someone wants to buy you off, and they didn't, there will be a great deal more respect for you. And the institution you embody.

The Voters may have put you in an office, but their children will pay the price of the decision. Stop letting every child inherit a world full of bad air, bad attitudes, and bad decisions.

Wishful thinking? Maybe. But the US didn't start out with a ton of special interests being the ones listened to, where people thought twice about drinking from the river, and citizens were thinking "Let's move to Canada".