Saturday, October 27, 2007

First Live Site

After more than a year of work this last friday, we turned the first paysite (Not safe for work) live on the new architecture. Of course we purposely choose the site that gets the least traffic so that we can make mistakes and not lose money. This is a huge milestone for us because it means that we can now quickly convert the other 13 higher traffic sites over to the new system and start adding new features.

I know what you are thinking... a year of work? It took you that long? Well, when we first started, we really walked into a big mess that needed to be cleaned up first. Nothing was documented so making changes almost always caused something to break, the network was a mess, we were only using the CDN to distribute our promo (free) content, our servers were getting hacked left and right, we needed to hire more people to help us get the work done, we replaced our entire affiliate system with an off the self product (twice... the first one didn't work out) and on and on.

It has been a long road, but I feel like there is some light at the end of the tunnel and I'm happy and proud to have contributed to it. The whole team worked really well together to accomplished quite a bit. I've also learned quite a bit about this industry as well as my own. I've gained a lot of experience with the latest Java technologies (JBoss4, EJB3, Hibernate), deploying secured content to CDN's, affiliate systems and single signon (SSO) systems across second level domains.

SubEtha SMTP 2.0 Released

Thanks to a contribution from Edouard De Oliveira, SubEtha SMTP now has support for new IO (NIO). This was done by redoing the networking layer to use Apache Mina. This makes SubEtha SMTP the easiest to use and fastest receptive SMTP components ever developed.

If you ever have a need to unit test the emails you send out from a web app or even have a web app receive emails, this is the right solution for you. I can also envision building a far better implementation of spamassassin on top of this product.

This is a proud day for me. This a really cool piece of software that I helped develop. In addition, it really shows that open source development models work. Receiving a wonderful contribution of code from someone I have never met is simply amazing. It is really neat that I can put something out for the world to enjoy and other people come and help improve it as a team effort.

Monday, October 22, 2007

BlogRush: stupid business model

I had been trying out the BlogRush widget on my blog until today when I got an email from them saying that my blog was not good enough for them and they made my account inactive.

What they do not realize is that the internet is not based on exclusivity. Sure, I can understand that they do not want their system used by spammers or porn pushers. But in my case, I'm just a regular blogger who talks about whatever is on my mind now. That should be the perfect blog for them which makes me think that their review process is severely broken. If their review process is broken, then their entire business model is broken.

That said, now you get a negative blog posting from me. Hopefully others will read this and decide that they should ignore BlogRush as well. It is not worth trying to fit into anyones popularity contest.

Update: No surprise here, a number of people have already written similar articles deploring the abysmal state of this service. #1. #2.
#3. #4.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Google Notebook

Google recently released a new product called Google Notebook. The functionality is much like a personal wiki of things you find interesting on the net. You can easily put anything on a web page into one or more notebooks. This includes links, bits of text and even images!

For me, this is one of the more useful applications that Google has released because I'm constantly feeling a bit overloaded by information. It really has become too difficult (and unnecessary) to remember everything I come across on a daily basis. A native client for my iPhone would be great, but for now, I can get at the information in Safari.

iPhone 1.1.1: hacked again

I upgraded my previously hacked 1.0.2 iPhone to the latest 1.1.1 OS release... and hacked it again. Go hacker community. Thank you so much for making my phone useful.

The tools out there (iNdependence) are not perfect in that they are not easy for grandma to do it. I also had to manually clear out the settings because it still thought that I had apps installed when I didn't.

In the end, I was able to get everything up and running with minimal problems. Yea!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Interesting Idea

Read the interview. Its hilarious.
Sept. 21, 2007 - After A. J. Jacobs spent a year reading the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica for his book “The Know-It-All,” he figured he had the yearlong experiment thing down. How much harder could it be to follow every rule in the Bible? Much, much harder, he soon discovered, as he found himself growing his beard, struggling not to curse and asking strangers for permission to stone them for adultery.

Wish I was there.

I used to own a night club that was at 11th and Folsom. The Folsom Street Fair was always a good time. One year, we had a giant 20 foot penis shaped out of balloons attached to the front of the club. Too bad the insanely boring and prudish people who wrote this article weren't there to see it. I wonder how many young boys Peter LaBarbera has slept with. You know there has to be a scandal there somewhere.
The following were witnessed and filmed by these Americans For Truth observers at the Folsom Street Fair yesterday — with no arrests or police action taken despite their occurrence on crowded public city streets:

* (Mostly older) men walking down the street completely naked, and posing for photos;
* Men masturbating themselves in public, sometimes with a crowd gathering to watch;
* Male group orgies in which men masturbated other men, or stimulated them orally (fellatio) on the streets as hundreds of people either watched or passed by;
* Men and women whipping and beating each other with floggers, causing red welts;
* “Master-slave” couples, both heterosexual and homosexual;
* Women walking with their breasts exposed;
* Fetishists such as “pony-play” (people dressed as horses) and “puppy play” (people dressed as dogs);
* People posing for pictures with public exhibitionists
Here is the other article the AFT published... with pictures!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kaptcha 2.0

I recently updated one of the Java open source projects that I started. Its called Kaptcha. This project is used to create those images that you have to type in the code in order to create accounts, post to blogs, and whatnot. Its a very useful bit of code and Kaptcha makes it easy to integrate into your web application. This update cleans up the code a bit and adds a bunch of documentation.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dead Reverend's Rubber Fetish

Yea, it can't get better than this article from the smoking gun:

Autopsy: Pastor found in wet suits after autoerotic mishap
OCTOBER 8--An Alabama minister who died in June of "accidental mechanical asphyxia" was found hogtied and wearing two complete wet suits, including a face mask, diving gloves and slippers, rubberized underwear, and a head mask, according to an autopsy report. Investigators determined that Rev. Gary Aldridge's death was not caused by foul play and that the 51-year-old pastor of Montgomery's Thorington Road Baptist Church was alone in his home at the time he died (while apparently in the midst of some autoerotic undertaking). While the Montgomery Advertiser, which first obtained the autopsy records, reported on Aldridge's two wet suits, the family newspaper chose not to mention what police discovered inside the minister's rubber briefs. Aldridge served as the church's pastor for 16 years. Immediately following his death, church officials issued a press release asking community members to "please refrain from speculation" about what led to Aldridge's demise, adding that, "we will begin the healing process under the strong arm of our Savior, Jesus Christ."

With more in-depth details in the police report:
"The decedent is clothed in a diving wet suit, a face mask which has a single vent for breathing, a rubberized head mask having an opening for the mouth and eyes, a second rubberized suit with suspenders, rubberized male underwear, hands and feet have diving gloves and slippers. There are numerous straps and cords restraining the decedent. There is a leather belt around the midriff. There is a series of ligatures extending from the hands to the feet. The hands are bound behind the back. The feet are tied to the hands. There are nylon ligatures holding these in place with leather straps about the wrists and ankles. There are plastic cords also tied about the hands and feet with a single plastic cord extending up to the head and surrounding the lower neck. There is a dildo in the anus covered with a condom."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Gear Review: New England Glider Bi-Pattern 10.2mm x 60m Dry Rope

I recently purchased this New England Glider 10.2mm rope. It was purchased to replace my first rope that after about two years of climbing on it was starting to look a bit frayed. Over the last few years, I have developed a better sense for the type of rope I was looking for. After a lot of research, I had narrowed down my choices to this rope and another rope. I was looking for a rope which was lightweight (3.96 kilograms), decent number of UIAA falls (10), 60m, 10.2mm, dry treated and bi-color. This rope fit the match perfectly except that it has a higher impact force (9.8kN) than I thought I wanted. I generally like soft landings.

Now, after using the rope for about a month now, I realize that I really like having a low dynamic elongation. The rope almost feels like it is not very springy at all when belaying someone. However, taking falls on it are still comfortable and not jarring at all. The sheath is comfortable to use and lowering someone off belay does not result in quickly burnt hands.

I give this rope a two thumbs up recommendation.