Monday, December 20, 2010

More than a "minor upgrade" - What's the deal with PCWorld?

In the PCWorld article, How the Grinch Stole the iPad, they make mention of a "very minor upgrade" to the iPad. Below is their write up. I have to assume this is their prediction for what will be included in the update. I changed this to a bullet list, but the words remain the same. 

If the rumors hold up, we're looking at a very minor upgrade to the iPad. Expect a 
• thinner body, 
• front-facing camera for FaceTime video chat, 
• back-facing camera, 
• USB port and maybe the 
• iPhone 4's Retina display. 

I'm not sure what the writers at PCWorld are smoking these days, but how is that a "very minor upgrade"?  Two cameras and a USB port, plus a Retina Display?  Seems pretty substantial to me. 

Didn't the addition of just 1 camera and the Retina display make the iPhone 4 the hottest phone around?

Just Sayin'

The original article:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Proposal - Where it all started

This is the gem that started us all on this little WWW thingy.

It's a good read and there are some pointers to ideas that still haven't been successfully developed.

Information Management: A Proposal
Tim Berners-Lee, CERN March 1989, May 1990
Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format

Monday, September 20, 2010

Potentially massive hole in 'good' ASP.NET sites

 This is not just a simple patch fix, and even well managed sites can have this issue.
This is driven by ASP.NET giving up too much information in error codes.

The big takeaway:

Important: It is not  enough to simply turn on CustomErrors or have it set to RemoteOnly. You also need to make sure that all errors are configured to return the same error page.  This requires you to explicitly set the “defaultRedirect” attribute on the section and ensure that no per-status codes are set.

Here's the Scott Gu post

Get busy out there.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Apple media event Today -

Best prediction from the TUAW comments:

macfan406 said

Alright Here's the Rundown:
  • Jobs walks on stage
  • Talks about amazing iPad and iPhone 4 success
  • Announces they have ramped production of both
  • Three Things for today. iLife, iOS (and iPods), and AppleTV
  • Announces iLife '11.
  • Garageband gets revamped
  • "Mystery application" an iOS app builder like Android's App Inventor. "App Innovator"
  •  iLife goes on sale today for $79
  • iOS 4 devices can download iLife for iOS as a suite for $40 or apps for $10 (iMovie, Garageband, iWeb, and iPhoto)
  • iOS: iPad gets iOS 4 friday. Expose runs the multi-tasking show here, and you can run Retina Display apps without pixel doubling
  • "iPod touch is a great device, but we decided to redesign it all"
  • Announces new iPod touch (almost indistinguishable from iP4)
  • Front Facetime cam as well as 5MP Camera in the rear with LED Flash
  • still 8.5mm
  • Retina Display, A4, FM/HD Radio with Tagging.
  •  3G model using the same pricing scheme as iPad
  • Capacity up to 128GB. 32GB starts $199, Add $130 for 3G
  • All models get compass and GPS
  • Ships in a week
  • Nano gets still camera, WiFi for Video and Photo uploads
  • Classic gets no moving parts.
  • Shuffle utilitzes rumored 1.3" screen
  • iPhone gets an antenna fix. White iPhone ships at the end of the month
  • AppleTV--> iTV
  • 16GB $99, 32GB $199
  • Runs iOS and can access the App Store.
  • One More Thing:
  • Streaming from your Library: Free
  • Stream from the store: $9.99/month
  • Early 2011.
  • Any iOS device. Any Mac/PC Web browser can get to it.
  • (Insert special guest artist here..)

There you have it. A Full rundown of next Wednesday. Enjoy and continue to speculate!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hay baling fun

 Wow, just wow...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

HHS Breach notification data presented in a useful (maybe) way...

I know you can get the HHS Breach Notification information here:

It is great that HHS put's this out, but...
using the data is pretty painful.  It's just an HTML page, with no good way to make sense of the data.

Because I wanted to dig deeper, I tossed all the data into a Google Docs spreadsheet.

It's not pretty, but maybe someone will find it helpful.

I did this in just a few minutes, I believe it is accurate... but I'm not perfect.
I'd love to keep this up to date as HHS releases new data, but I'm not sure that will happen...
Use at your own risk.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Phoneix businesses are apparently getting hammered by the "Papers Please Law"


Phoenix is getting hit so hard by the "Papers Please Law" that the hotels have started using unsolicited emails asking folks to plan events there.

It is so sad  that stupid, racist politics are impacting real businesses in such a bad way...

Actual text of the email I just received:

I am with the Abcdefg Ijklmno Phoenix Airport Hotel.  I want to see if you ever schedule any meetings or events in the Phoenix area?

We are conveniently located less than a mile from Sky Harbor International Airport (with complimentary Airport shuttle). We are the only hotel with a Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx at our front door. You will experience the ease and convenience of the Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx which connects you to professional and collegiate sporting venues, as well as great dining and shopping. Just minutes from downtown Phoenix, the Convention Center and Tempe, home of Arizona State University. Other nearby attractions include spring training venues for the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants.

I may be reached directly at or 602-999-9999.  Please visit our website at or feel free to call me if I can be of any further assistance.

Make it a great day!

Sales Person
Sales Manager

Time for an update maybe?

 Information Week has this post up about lame government web sites.

The one for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces is especially outdated.

This is the site today (scrolled up, for comparison)

This is how it looked on 12/12/1998, almost 12 years ago...

In that time, it appears someone has learned:
style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 153);"

Compare for yourself:

Today vs.12/12/1998

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"NextGen Gallery" No GD support!

 This one tried to make me crazy...

While setting up the very awesome NextGEN Gallery WorPress plugin.
I ran in to problems with the GD Library. The Gallery Overview page happily reported:

Graphic Library
No GD Support!

Wow. Not very helpful.

I finally found the answer (at least for Red Hat Linux)

Run this command:

root@myhost:/ # yum install gd-devel php-gd

Note: You should, run this as a single command, not as 2 separate install commands.
root@myhost:/ # yum install gd-devel
root@myhost:/ # yum install php-gd
I'm not sure, but it didn't solve the issue until I ran the command correctly...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BP Fail Whale

 - In case you need one...

Cloud still has a life cycle, we still need to follow it

Interesting article in FCW today about data ownership in the cloud. Good points made, but one thing about it stuck in my craw.

From the article:
Agencies and the public need to be confident that government data is properly secured within the U.S. and can be, if needed, properly destroyed.
 Wait, why are they using the phrase "and can be, if needed, properly destroyed." 

Using a public cloud will require that when you finish using a server, you ensure the data is no longer on the server.  It's the Disposal phase of the life cycle.

You don't simply turn off old servers and set them on the curb.  You ensure the drives are removed, destroyed or wiped clean first, right? The Cloud speeds up the life cycle but doesn't free us from the required steps. We still need to follow it all the way through. Disposal is an important step.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

FF mention -

Doubtful many beyond us will even find this interesting, but it makes me happy.
I run a twitter account, @USAID_info.
As the profile states, it is an: Unofficial Feed of RSS news
I set it up back before USAID had a twitter presence in Dec 2008.
I set it up to tweet info from the various USAID RSS feeds, etc. via
Kind of a set it and forget it method, although I have to check it once in a while…

I was checking in on the account today and discovered this gem.
On Friday, whoever runs the @BarackObama twitter account mentioned 5 federal agencies in a Follow Friday tweet.
(I am not so naïve to think that the president is involved, although I can dream)
My Unofficial @USAID_info account was one of those mentioned.
Not too shabby.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

IE8 - Move Refresh and Stop buttons

 I don't usually use IE, and I actively avoid IE8, but I end up having to use it to get a good view of Outlook Web Access (OWA).  Of course it is also the default in Windows7. 

Just to make me (more) crazy, the good folks at Microsoft decided to move the Refresh and Stop to right of the address bar in IE8.  Most other browsers place them to the left, as did previous versions of IE.

You can move the Refresh and Stop buttons to the "correct place" by doing this:
  • Right-click on an empty area in the toolbars
  • Select --> Customize
  • Select --> Show Stop and Refresh Buttons before Address Bar
Now the Stop and Refresh buttons back to their normal location.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Urban Spoon getting all racy and whatnot

Hey Developers at Urban Spoon,

Nice captcha.

We all know sex sells.
You don't have to be so obvious.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Some folks on Facebook lack common sense...

 I just stuck this on my Facebook wall.  I hope a few people get it...

Today’s Game–GIVE UP YOUR PRIVACY! Everyone please play! You will find it interesting to know everything about your FB friends. Copy & paste this to your profile status, then put your answers at the end: date of birth, birthplace, mother’s maiden name, favorite color, favorite pet’s name, wedding anniversary, high sch...ool name. HAVE FUN! –Mine: 01/02/72, Madison, WI, Smith, blue, Scruffy, 12/24/96, East High!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I pick up your discarded ATM receipts.

I admit it. I pick up discarded ATM receipts. Kinda creepy, I know, but I can't stop.

It started as an attempt to keep down the random blowing trash.  As trash goes, these little slips of white paper are relatively clean and there always is a trash can nearby... But then I started actually looking at them.

Big mistake.

Here is what I have learned.

1) Nobody discards an ATM receipt if they have more than $500.00 in their account. Nobody.  I have never found one with more than $500.  Either folks who have cash keep their receipts or NO ONE that uses an ATM has more than $500 in their bank account.  I seriously doubt the latter.

2) People that only have a little money, waste it.

Case in point,  this receipt:

This person had $334.73 in their account.  They withdrew $200.  They paid $3 to BB&T to get the cash.  They probably also paid a fee to their own bank.

So they wasted nearly 1% of their wealth to withdraw $200.  Probably more.

There may be good reason for this.  I certainly don't know their situation from just a discard ATM receipt.
  • Maybe their bank doesn't have a local ATM.  
  • Maybe they really needed to get $200 at 4:55pm. 
  • Maybe they have a larger bank account and don't care about wasting a measly $3.
  • Or maybe, just maybe, they aren't paying attention to how much money they are wasting...
Which might help explain why they only had 334.73 in their account..

Does anybody else pick these up?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This dude needs better friends

 So you are sitting at work and an email comes in from a buddy. Images attached. What are they? Latest Data Center pictures? New iPad schematics?

Let's just take a look.

Fast forward to 1:00. Watch the screen of the guy in the background, middle left...