Dec 31

Google in 2007

Google, Tech No Comments »

People are talking about a sour note on Google as we end the year.

When I look at the items that people are talking about, many of them do not seem like a huge deal to me. Granted, I wouldn’t want to lose my email.

As I see things as a new Google guy joining the game, I get excited to see integration, and true mashups happen.

With integration we are finally seeing the myriad of services work together more and more.

With mashups not only Google engineers get into the game. This is truly exciting. There will always be MANY more coders outside of the googleplex than within, and we get to see their great work as they come up with great ideas.

Here is to some fantastic product launches from Google and beyond in 2007.

Dec 28

a->properties are special in Java 7

Java, Ruby, Tech 20 Comments »

I am not sure how I feel about a->foo = b->foo, having a magic -> operator for properties.

In theory I actually like syntactic sugar. It can be a pain to learn, but once you do you have more power in your own hands. On the other hand I really hate having > as part of an operator (which bugged me about generics). The peeve? Working with HTML (blog posts, html docs, etc) make it a royal pain. How many entries have you seen that make no sense and then you realise the the generic stuff wasn’t escaped. Grr.

I also prefer to think of sending messages to objects. If the message happens to correspond to a property, that is great. in Ruby could mean many things hidden behind various implementations, and there is no need to call out THIS IS A PROPERTY.

And then of course we like being able to method_missing and more, so may not even exist yet.

Dec 28

Embarrasing myself

Personal 2 Comments »

It is good to make fun of yourself. When cleaning up shop, in the digital sense, I ran across some of my original .sig files. Wow, I can’t believe I was that geeky, or that into ASCII art.

(o o)
|   |               FREE TIBET *                  |
| | * with any tibet of equal or greater value  |
|   /\ /\  | M e m b e r  S e r v i c e s  I n t e r n a t i o n a l  |
+ /\\ \\ \ +    Dion Almaer       o   Technical Director              +
| \/ \/ \/ |     o     |
Dec 27

Denial of Service Comment Spam and the Maxthon Browser

Tech 304 Comments »

Ah spam bots, how I loathe thee. Yesterday we had an attack of spam bots hitting “POST /wp-comments-post.php” which doesn’t exist.

It doesn’t exist on our WP install as we renamed it (not that it is hard for the spam bots to grok the HTML and start using the new name).

In its place we have a redirect of /wp-comments-post.php to http://localhost, to try to do the LEAST possible work on our servers to deal with these beasts.

The attack was distributed with no repeat IP addresses, so we couldn’t ban the sucker.

The strange similarity on all requests was the user agent:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; Maxthon)

That has me wondering if the Maxthon IE extension has anything naughty/corrupted in it, or if the spammers just put that in as the user agent.

Dec 26

I am now a Noogler

Google, Tech 15 Comments »

I am really pleased to be able to post that I am soon to be a Noogler.

I am taking up a new position with Google’s Open Source program, and will be working with a growing open source community.

This is exciting to me as I love developers, and I have a passion for community. Being able to help out developers is going to be a dream.

It is interesting to accept this position at this time of year, as one of my tasks will be helping to see useful code and products within Google, and open sourcing that work for the world at large to use. That feels very much like being Santa to me!

I will be leaving a fantastic company in Seeking Alpha, and will truly miss working with Rob Sanheim and Jim Halberg.

If you want to work on a great Rails platform that needs to scale, maybe you want to give them a ping.

Dec 26

Christmas Deal or No Deal

Tech 15 Comments »

Part of a gift to my sister-in-law required some cash. Giving someone cash is so boring, so I tried to spice it up.

Now, my sister-in-law, is known as a fairly undeceive person, so making her play Deal, or No Deal made total sense.

I quickly wrote some JavaScript code to automate the banker, and randomized amounts to be places in ‘briefcases’ for her to pick.

On the day, she ended up maxing out with the best amount she could. Well played Madeline!


Dec 25

Gmail for Desktop: Come on Romain

Google, Tech 1 Comment »

I really like Gmail. The last piece of the pie for me is offline mode.

Since Romain will be heading to Google after his done with school, maybe he can work on beautiful wrapper in Swing? (Come on Romain! :)

Or maybe someone will do the wrapper with Adobe Apollo?

I don’t think that Google will be buying Jetbrains, although you never know.

Dec 22

Constant chatter on the plane

Travel 2 Comments »

We are seeing the start of airlines letting you chat on the phone whilst airborne.

I wish they would go the other way. Kinda.

It is almost humorous to see people go nuts to get their phone turned on as soon as the wheels touch the ground. What is SO important that you need to be in touch immediately, versus stepping onto terra firma?

A woman next to me on a resent flight held her phone the entire time, and sat there looking at it again, and again, and again.

Wouldn’t it be nicer to go back to “no phone calls at all” on a plane? Do we really need to hear that woman shouting to her hubby when we land?

How about if we only allow silent communication? mobile browsing / texting is OK as it doesn’t irritate people… but even then. Just freaking wait a minute.

Dec 20

Been Juxtaviewed

Tech 1 Comment »

Ajaxian got juxtaviewed today (Thanks Kevin).

On the heels of the #1 voted talk at JavaOne.

Kudos goes to Ben, and the term ‘Ajax’. Both of them together are how these things happen :)

Dec 18

Holy Diggbait

Tech 2 Comments »

I wish you could -1 on digg when I see bait such as this (which I am reluctant to even link to, or talk about).

Yakov is spot on I am sure. The Google engineers are working on taking out the Ajax features as we speak, and we will all be forced to use the base HTML version. Everyone will rejoice.

And, if Yakov isn’t going to switch to Rails, then it surely “won’t make it” (whatever that means).