Friday, March 28, 2008

My first LinkedIn spam friend request

Looks like Joy Adams was able to hack their account creation system (looks like that account has now been removed so the link is bad now) and start sending friend requests to random people. The real problem with this is that there is no way to "report this user." If I start receiving a ton of invitation requests from clearly fake users I will have to stop using LinkedIn. It will have gone the way of pretty much every other social network out there.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I recently started receiving calls from this phone number. Today I decided to answer it and the guy said his name was Marcus. Unfortunately, I was in bad cell reception at the time and could not understand anything else he said. He eventually hung up the phone on me. My gf also mentioned that she noticed getting calls from this same number as well. Doing a quick google search turned up the fact that this is a telemarketer slime shitball company called Trendwest. If you go to that site, you get redirected to WorldMark by Wyndham. Needless to say, I won't be staying at any of their properties. Please join me in boycotting that company.

So far, this is the log of calls I've received:
3/18/2008 12:58PM
3/24/2008 6:46PM
3/25/2008 8:33PM
3/26/2008 5:25PM
By the way, I also reported each of those calls to the National Do Not Call Registry which I've been a member of for several years now.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Hands

I've recently added myself to and as a result, I have been reading it as well. It has been fun catching up on what all my peers are talking about. I've been so out of the loop for a while and I think that instead of spending time flaming each other on mailing lists, we have all started blogging a lot more interesting content.

During my catching up, I just saw that my old friend James Duncan Davidson took this most excellent picture of a crowd of people responding to a speakers question at a Ruby conference.

For me, it is an interesting picture because of the way that perspective changes peoples opinion. For example, James sees an excellently executed photograph, which I can't disagree with at all. James takes great pictures. However, for myself, I see a bunch of guys raising their hands when a speaker asks them "Who all here thinks Rails is no better than Java 1997?"


I bought 10 shares of V today with my IRA just for the hell of it. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Slap Apache In The Face

Chucky Babcock (he's been around for a while now) says...

"In seeking to keep Java standardized, Sun Microsystems has turned to an open source project led by Oracle (NSDQ: ORCL) for its standard for mapping software objects into relational databases. The process of mapping is a key one to Java programmers because objects are not easily translated into relational data, the way transactions are. Instead, they must be mapped into a table of rows and columns so that both the functionality of the object and its data may be reassembled. [Ed: I love how Chucky 'gets it'.]
Sun had the option of choosing a similar project at the Apache Foundation, the OpenJPA, based on a donation of code from BEA Systems. BEA is now owned by Oracle."

I read into that article in my own special way... how do you read into it?

I'm pretty happy with Hibernate, but I have to admit, I know Gavin personally. What are your feelings with Hibernate?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

iPhone ideas

I want an iPhone where both sides have a screen on it. When I'm on a call, the second side could have a one click button to display my Contacts so I can quickly look up contacts or a map if I'm trying to give directions. It could also display a video while I'm on the phone. I think that would appeal to the hipsters. Maybe a picture of a bullseye target would be good. =) There could also be games which played on both sides of the device making you flip the phone over quickly. Any other good ideas?


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Seek - Firefox Extension

Seek 1.0 extension to Mozilla Thunderbird from David Huynh on Vimeo

This is seriously something I have been wanting for ages! I always feel like I want to search my email like this. Sadly, I've moved away from the fat client email approach towards using Gmail instead. So, I guess I will have to wait for Gmail to add this feature in the future or see if I (or someone else) can implement a web based version of it with their API's.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The joys of being a kid...

"I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger's scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said "that's the worst security ever!". But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital. The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I've heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I'll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush)."

Sunday, March 9, 2008


It is widely believed that the most evolutionarily conserved DNA sequences in the human genome have been preserved because of their functional importance and that their removal would thus have a devastating effect on the organism. To ascertain this we removed from the mouse genome four ultraconserved elements—sequences of 200 base pairs or longer that are 100% identical among human, mouse, and rat. To our surprise, we found that the mice lacking these elements are viable, fertile, and show no apparent abnormalities. This completely unexpected finding indicates that extreme levels of DNA sequence conservation are not necessarily indicative of an indispensable functional nature.

This quote is fascinating.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Those Silly French

Bringing Internet to the masses with cheap prices and high speeds. Oh, and Dinner in the Sky... feeding people while hoisted 50 meters in the air.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I've finally decided to take a motorcycle class and learn how to ride! I'm signed up for the beginning of April. This is something that I have wanted to do for many years now, but for whatever reason, I just haven't made the effort to do it. I spent many years racing bicycles so I know that I feel really comfortable on two wheels, but for some reason having an engine between my legs really scares the shit out of me (and excites me at the same time). It is probably good that I have waited till I mellowed out a bit and gained more of a respect for speed.

What sort of bike do I want? Well, it turns out that I'm not very tall (5'7") so unfortunately my options are pretty limited. So far, I'm leaning towards a Ducati Monster 695. Being a first bike that, I'll probably try to get a used one. Also, I just don't like the styling of the 696 as much. Ideally, I would get the Hypermotard 1100 S, but I don't have the $15k to spend on something that nice. Plus, as a first bike, I think I would probably end up killing myself pretty quickly on that thing. It looks so much fun to ride!

I also just got my rollers back so I'm going to practice my balance skills again before I take the class. Plus, they are a great form of exercise and will probably help a bit with my current passion, rock climbing.

Monday, March 3, 2008


One of the few social networking sites that I still use is LinkedIn. This decision basically came down to one simple concept... if I needed to network with people who could help me, what site would I use? Needless to say, I'm still not sure if it would help me, but it is still fun to follow along with how they change their system over time. So, today I logged in and found a whole new interface and a new feature called "Status". This feature is pretty pointless, you can update your homepage with a short description of what you are doing right now. Can you say "I wanna be twitter?" Heading over to their engineering blog, there is a posting which talks briefly about the implementation of this grand new feature. Let me quote:
We've converted our back end to use this new service, and late last year we used the new Network Updates Service to create a time-based feed of the events in your network. We are currently processing over 40 million updates posted daily, which will continue to increase as the network grows. For someone like myself who has recently graduated from university, this is a daunting number, and yet, it's why I continue to enjoy working at LinkedIn.

To handle this capacity, we use a cluster of ActiveMQ machines for distributed JMS processing, EHCache for fast in-process caching, and an efficient update procedure for when new updates are persisted. We've designed the system to be scalable right from the start, horizontally partitioning across multiple databases as growth demands.

We will continue to provide new updates into your feed, and for those of you who do not visit the site regularly, you will be receiving these updates in a bi-weekly email so you can be kept up to date with the latest activity in your network. I would like to thank the team that worked on the Status feature, particularly Scott Schlegel (Web Development), James Lau (Engineering), and Qian Su (Engineering).

I'm simply astounded. It took 3 people, who knows how long, to implement one of the simplest possible features ever. 40 million updates a day? That is only 463 updates a second! A 2 cpu server could handle that without even breaking a sweat. I'm glad that you all are thinking about scalability, but these days it isn't rocket science and getting so excited over the ability to post a sticky isn't all that great.