Stalk me on the internet

Archive: Uncategorized

Well, it sure has been a while since I’ve posted. I have that terrible habit, of course – I get so involved in Doing Other Things that I neglect the ol’ blog in-between. Apologies. Won’t happen again. (Yes it will.)

Now while I love doing what I’m good at, I wanted to take a break from not posting to share what I’ve been working on:

PanicPress – A WordPress plugin that adds a critical extra layer of security on top of your blog. The moment an attacker tries to access your WordPress administration section, you get a warning text.

But let’s take that one step further – reply to that text with one of your own reading “panic”, and the entire administration section will shut down with a convincing-looking PHP error, giving you the time necessary to find out and fix what’s broken. Once you’ve solved your problem, texting “safe” will restore the administration section and let you get back to posting uninterrupted.

I’m nearly ready to launch the site – about 90% or so. But as they say, the first 90% takes 90% of the time. The last 10% takes the other 90% of the time. I expect to launch with a Minimum Viable Product within a week or two.

If you’re interested in hearing about the launch on Day One, hit the Sign Up page anyway! I’m collecting email addresses from interested parties, and the moment I finish putting the site live for real, I’ll send an email out to everyone on that list. (And after that, I’ll discard that list forever, so please don’t worry about spam on my behalf!)

In the meantime, if you wouldn’t mind visiting the site and clicking the little “Like” button up in the corner, oh and if you could go and like this Facebook page too, that would be a real help. Anything you can do to spread the word!

Nope.

Posted by on 16.10.2011 in Uncategorized

Alternate title: “Welp”.

Alternate, actually informative title: “Indie Stone Still Doesn’t Get It”

Or at the very least, Lemmy still doesn’t get it.

Barely hours after I posted, hoping that Indie Stone would learn from this latest disaster, developer Lemmy has posted an apology, and announced that he’s removing himself from further community involvement.

But while that may or may not represent a good idea, the big news in the article is the following excerpt:

No one put ‘must have thick skin’ (or ‘must make nightly off-site backups, for that matter) in my game programmer job description.

Really? Really?

First, I mean, you went indie. You made your own job description, so you can’t really complain that you’re required to do more than you were told – it was your job in the first place to find out what was required, and if it was acceptable.

Second – and this is the killer – it’s pretty obvious that “nightly off-site backups” are still a distasteful, onerous thing to him, that the entirety of the development has been a hack job from the start, and will continue to be so until yet another slapdash solution fails catastrophically. And when that happens, all the people who supported him and supported PZ’s development can expect is more hand-wringing, and more “in hindsight, it’s obvious I shouldn’t have stored credit cards unencrypted on our web server” responses.

If they ever finish Project Zomboid, I might buy it (if I’m convinced my payment information isn’t being handled by them) because it looks like it’ll be a really cool game on completion. But I’m certainly not going to invest in a pre-order, given that they can’t be arsed to exhibit a bare minimum level of professionalism.

Hell, my college homework was in source control.

I’ve been following this election pretty closely, and honestly, it’s pretty scary. The Conservatives are within spitting distance of a majority, and with that comes massive change for Canada. Change I’m not comfortable with.

A few quick examples of things Harper’s Conservatives have done while they’ve held a minority position:

  • He created an Agency for Crime Victims that was only used to support a “tough-on-crime” position to get superprisons funded, doing nothing for victims at all. Canada’s crime rate is falling, why do we need more prisons? http://bit.ly/iqP47m
  • In 2007, Harper cut $1.2 Billion in spending for the establishment of quality national childcare. However, he never kept his promise to cut the $1.4 billion in tax breaks he gives to oil companies (the wealthiest corporations in history). http://bit.ly/mdj61J
  • At the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto – a summit to discuss what to do about the terrible economic hardships befalling the world – Harper spent $1.9 million building a fake lake and nearly $1 Billion on security for the 3 day event. 1,105 arrests were made – the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. Only 99 criminal charges were laid. http://bit.ly/mPxqBo
  • And let’s not forget the fact that he prorogued parliament early to prevent threats to his government. http://bit.ly/jZp251

With that happening while he only holds a minority government, I honestly fear what might happen if he got the majority mandate he’s seeking.

What does this have to do with you though? Well, for the first time that I can remember, a whole hell of a lot might be resting on the shoulders of Kingston and the Islands.

Peter Milliken stepped down this election, deciding not to run again after a long and successful career in Federal politics. The Liberal who replaced him is not faring as well this election. In 2008, Milliken won by 7% of the vote. In 2011, Ted Hsu is projected to be ahead by 0.1%.

0.1% is an INCREDIBLY small number. There’s only 97,000 registered electors in Kingston and the Islands, which means 0.1% is only 97 people. But it’s smaller than that. In 2008, only 58,000 electors turned out, which means 0.1% is only 58 people. But it’s smaller than that. Voter turnout has been falling year-over-year.

Which means that Kingston and the Islands hinges on maybe 50 people. Maybe less.

With Harper within spitting distance of a majority government, that could mean that the fate of Canada hinges on maybe 50 people.

Or less.

So if you haven’t voted yet, please, PLEASE get out there on May 2 and cast your vote. If you’re considering voting NDP or Green, please consider Liberal candidate Ted Hsu. If you’re considering voting Conservative, please consider anybody else.

There’s a website set up to educate people about everything the Harper government has done during its term. All the slimy, inconsiderate, nasty things done in our name. It’s called “ShitHarperDid.com“. Reading it is informative, so please go give it a look before you head out to the polls. Hopefully it will only be an historical record going forward, not a breaking news source.

If you’re still not convinced, please humour me by reading this incredibly poignant article, published in The Star in 2010: “Changing Canada, One Backward Step At A Time“. This was written back when there was no immediate election on the horizon, and nobody had an axe to grind, except to point out the terrible things being done to Canada.

Thanks for listening.

Membase is truly an awesome piece of software – a really cool noSQL solution, if you’re looking for one.

Where it really shines (for me, anyhow), is that it’s the easiest way to install Memcache on Windows 7. Membase’s programming interface is the same as Memcache’s, and indeed it’ll even function directly as a Memcache server with no DB backup.

However, I kept running into one awkward problem – it bound itself to my external IP, and as soon as I swapped my laptop to another network where I was assigned a different IP address, it stopped working.

Thankfully, after copious Googling, I found the answer. Reproduced here, just in case the other link dies:

service_stop.bat
service_unregister.bat
service_register.bat ns_1@127.0.0.1
service_start.bat

Now Membase is bound to the loopback IP address and it doesn’t matter what network you’re on – it just works!

This one is more of just a reminder for myself, but also a bit of help to the community.

If you want to run Memcache on Windows 7 using the latest version of xampp (1.7.3, with PHP 5.3), you’ll need the following extension:

php_memcache-cvs-20090703-5.3-VC6-x86.zip

It’s surprisingly difficult to find, too. The first page of Google is useless, and I had to follow through comments on blog posts that I arrived at through comments on Stack Overflow.

Many thanks to my source:

Installing Memcached for PHP 5.3 on Windows 7

No, it’s not the numerous privacy issues, though those don’t help. It comes down to one thing: being able to say “no”.

They’re both basically the same thing, in terms of information consumption: You and all your friends and acquaintances post small updates about your life that are aggregated into a larger list that makes it easy to keep up-to-date on what’s going on. But because of how those lists are built, there’s a huge difference in quality.

Twitter is a public feed of information. Anyone can “follow” a Twitter feed, and there’s no big value judgement in doing or not doing so. You may follow a Twitter feed because it’s a company that gives out hints on upcoming games or deals, or because it’s your best friend’s Twitter feed and you want to keep up to date on their life. Or heck, maybe you don’t follow your best friend’s Twitter feed, because all they post is pictures of their dog, and you’re not into that. And that’s no biggie. Nobody really gets offended here.

But on Facebook, if you don’t want to see that constant stream of dog pictures, you’re SOL. If you want to get rid of that stream, or avoid seeing it at all, you have to “de-friend” that person, or never “friend” them at all. And that’s a value judgement. That causes hurt feelings.

As a result, I have on my Facebook a bunch of people I barely remember or barely get along with, or can barely understand (my francophone cousin, for example). I have no desire to upset these people by “de-friending” them, but my Facebook feed is awash with bad poetry, advertisements for games and bands I care nothing about, and foreign language. To me, it’s almost entirely useless, because I can’t say “no” without making a social judgement call on people.

Also, the ability to say “yes”

The other benefit of Twitter is that since it is a public feed of information that anyone can follow, I can keep up with some genuinely cool people that would never add me as a “friend” on Facebook. People like:

  • John Romero @theromero (Creative genius behind ID studios during Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake.)
  • Markus Persson @notch (Creator of Minecraft.)
  • Edward James Olmos @edwardjolmos (Admiral Frakkin’ Adama. Also, he followed me back!)
  • Adam Savage @donttrythis (From Mythbusters.)
  • John Carmack @ID_AA_Carmack (Technical genius behind ID studios to this day.)
  • Sean Plott @day9tv (Day9 – does nightly live webcasts about Starcraft 2.)
  • Yahtzee Croshaw @YahtzeeCroshaw (Author and Zero Punctuation creator.)
  • Faye Whitaker @fayewhitaker (Fictional character from one of my fave webcomics.)
  • Wil Wheaton @wilw (If you do not know this man, you are on the wrong weblog.)

And more!

My Twitter feed is so much more useful than my Facebook feed, it’s embarrassing.

Edit:

Also, apparently Facebook filters your friends feed, in an attempt to get you “more relevant” information.

Well,

a) It freaking fails. My Facebook feed is about the least relevant thing on the internet, and
b) I don’t *want* my feeds automatically and magically filtered by some third-party algorithm. I want to manually ensure that I have high-quality content in there in the first place. You know, like I can do on Twitter.

I’m playing with the recently-released Komodo IDE 6.0 beta 2, and already I’ve run into a problem – the project browser and code explorer tools BOTH are in the left pane, which means I have to choose between one or the other. The code explorer is useful, but the project browser is a NECESSITY.

Anyway, I’m digging around in the source, figuring there’s maybe an .ini or .xul file or something I can play with, and check out what I find in “helpOverlay.xml”:

< !DOCTYPE overlay PUBLIC "-//MOZILLA//DTD XUL V1.0//EN" "http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul">

I don’t do this often, but I LOLd.

Now, back to trying to figure out how to change this damn pane location…