February 22, 2003

Missing the boat again?

So I just read about AOL and Microsoft teaming up against SPAM in the Washington Post. And I have to wonder where we are on the matter at work.

There's a lot of talk about anti-spam stuff. And we have assloads of anti-spam tech and the hardware to make it all work. But I don't have a clue what our official position on legally prevening, punishing, and otherwise banishing those who spam really is.

And that bothers me a bit.

Posted by jzawodn at 01:48 AM

The Real Message?

When I look at an advertisement, I try to find the real message it holds.

Take, for example, this page. I guess that hot women use the phone, so it must be good. And, wow, they sure are having fun!

For some reason, that image just seemed rather out of place on a page about a cell phone and its specs. Maybe we're supposed to focus on her specs instead?

I dunno... You be the judge.

Posted by jzawodn at 01:37 AM

Old School

I just got back from seeing Old School.

Damn, that was one funny movie. Much better than I expected. The critics may not like it and the plot is pretty thin, but I don't care. I laughed my ass off.

If you're into that genre, go see it.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:50 AM

February 21, 2003

AOL "security"

As reported in Wired:

Using a combination of trade tricks and clever programming, hackers have thoroughly compromised security at America Online, potentially exposing the personal information of AOL's 35 million users.

Yet another reason to love AOL!

Posted by jzawodn at 04:34 PM

The 10 Habits of Highly Annoying Bloggers

For a long time I've known that some things have bugged me about certain blogs and/or bloggers. This is my attempt to collect them in a top-10 list. I was going to write a paragraph for each one, but I think most of the annoyances are obvious. Plus I really don't have the time right now.

(And, no, I'm not naming names here. And, yes, I know that I'm guilty of some of these from time to time.)

  1. Bloggers who don't enable comments on their blogs.
  2. Bloggers who rarely produce original content, instead simply aggregating links to other blogs that I already read.
  3. Bloggers who spend more time blogging about blogging than anything else.
  4. Bloggers who are FontBitches and don't care.
  5. Bloggers who don't provide any "about me" info on their blog, or pointers to it elsewhere on their site. I like to know more about the people I'm reading.
  6. Bloggers who don't provide a blogroll.
  7. Bloggers who post excuses for not posting. I don't care if you're busy today. If you're not posting, fine. I'll just assume you had other things to do.
  8. Bloggers who react but rarely act. Commenting on what other people say or do is interesting, but I'm annoyed by folks who never seem to have original material. (Yes, this is like #2 but it's not quite the same.)
  9. Bloggers who don't provide obvious RSS links for their blog. Yes, I know that RSS auto-discovery is great, but not all tools do it.
  10. Bloggers who have TrackBack but don't use it.

Feel free to add your own in the comments. And, of course, tell me what annoys you about my blogging. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 12:46 PM

February 20, 2003

Lindows sub-notebook


I'm very impressed. The just-announced Lindows sub-notebook looks quite impressive and the price is right.

I smell a review coming for Linux Magazine...

Posted by jzawodn at 09:38 PM

SpamAssassin 2.50 is out!

Yeay! Lots of cool updates, bug fixes, and other goodies to help keep the spam out of my mailbox. Excellent!

Real all about it

Hats off to the SA developers.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:35 PM

Binary Search

Programmers can be so damned stupid sometimes.

Take me for example.

I've been working to optimize and adjust some code at work. I can't tell you what it does but I can tell you that it's too slow and uses too much memory. It's Perl. I know Perl. I'd like to think I'd know it pretty well, having used it for around nine years now.

In tracking down this memory problem, I've learned a lot about what a memory pig Perl can be. But that's a topic for another blog entry. The reall issue is how I've been tracking the problem. I'd get a hunch that the %foo hash was way too big and causing the process to die. So I'd convert it to a tied hash backed by Berkeley DB. And I'd run it again. It would again die.

Of course, this never happens in my small and quick to test data. It only happens with the full load (between 6 and 17 million, uhm, phrases). And it takes anywhere from 35 to 60 minutes for it to die. So you can guess how productive this makes me with an average 45 minute test cycle.


I've finally decided to just resort to a classic debugging technique: the binary search. Well, with a twist. Thanks to Ray, I'm using Devel::Size to periodically dump the memory use (or some approximation of it--that's another story) out to a log.

Why I didn't start this a few days ago is beyond me.

No, wait. It's not. It's because every time I tried something new, followed a new hunch, I was convinced that it was the solution.


Someone slap me next time I do this.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:29 PM

February 19, 2003

I should have stayed home today...

Or at least for a while.

My body woke up without a clock at 7:45am. That's odd, since I was up until about 2:00am, but you never know. However, after I arrived at work (around 10am) it became abundantly clear that I really was not awake.

It wasn't until I had lunch and wasted a lot of time looking right past bugs in my code that I finally "woke up" around 3pm and became a useful person again.


I wish my body would just sleep until it had enough sleep insetad of tricking me like this. How evil.

And don't even get me started on what a waste last night was.


And now there's some sorta problem with the Google API and MT. I can't get this entry to post.


This is not my day. Not at all.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:57 PM

Note to joshw

If your blog requires registration to comment, most people will not.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:18 AM

February 18, 2003

Overture buying Altavista

A co-worker just pointed it out. I'm not sure why, but I'm amused.

I guess it's just more of the same--consolidation in the search and paid listings businesses.

Anyone wanna guess who's gonna be next?

Posted by jzawodn at 10:26 PM

In the Zone

Wow. For the past 10 hours I've been in the zone. I managed to get caught up on a ton of stuff that I've been meaning to get around to. It feels great!

Of course, I still have lots more to do, but this feels like the first real progress I've made in about three weeks. I hope I can squeeze a few more hours out before I go to bed.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:12 AM

February 16, 2003

Simple Reasoning on Google/Blogger

Kevin Lynch has managed to say in one paragraph what I've struggled to explain to people:

The two main ways I find information on the internet today is by searching and reading blogs--blogs are another view into the world's information and we're just starting to understand how we can best visualize the connections across blogs and track relevant information as it's happening, whether it's through DayPop, Technorati, blogdex, or maybe something along the lines of power curves. Blogs provide the serendipity that is largely missing from search, while also providing the consistency of a single, current stream of thinking from a variety of points of view.

He's not alone. A growing number of folks operate that way.

Read the rest of his post, too. It's good stuff.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:33 PM

iDVD Nightmare

It seems that jwz is having a hell of a time with iDVD. Then again, he manages to break nearly every piece of computer technology he touches.

Well, he doesn't actually break it. He merely points out the built-in brokeness that the rest of us have been [wrongfully] conditioned to just deal with.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:18 AM