What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, April 18th 2015 edition

Here are most of my tweets from the past week


This is how you stop Messi.....

Fantastic run and tackle which resulted in winning the ball back from Barcelona


Stack Overflow user survey: 92% male, 41.8% self-taught, 54.5% use Javascript, 32.4% are full-stack web developers..


Every year we run a survey. This year, more developers answered more questions than ever before.

26,086 people from 157 countries participated in our 45-question survey. 6,800 identified as full-stack developers, 1,900 as mobile developers, 1,200 as front-end developers, 2 as farmers, and 12,000 as something else.

Code is everywhere, and just about every coder uses Stack Overflow. Every day more coders are finding great jobs on Stack Overflow Careers.

We conducted this survey to help us better understand our community and to help our community better understand itself. For 2 weeks in early February we ran ads for the survey on Stack Overflow, posted it on Meta Stack Overflow, and shared it across social media.

These results are not unbiased. Like the results of any survey, they are skewed by selection bias, language bias, and probably a few other biases. So take this for what it is: the most comprehensive developer survey ever conducted. Or at least the only one that asks devs about tabs vs. spaces.


Could we reboot a modern civilisation without fossil fuels?

Imagine that the world as we know it ends tomorrow. There’s a global catastrophe: a pandemic virus, an asteroid strike, or perhaps a nuclear holocaust. The vast majority of the human race perishes. Our civilisation collapses. The post-apocalyptic survivors find themselves in a devastated world of decaying, deserted cities and roving gangs of bandits looting and taking by force.

Bad as things sound, that’s not the end for humanity. We bounce back. Sooner or later, peace and order emerge again, just as they have time and again through history. Stable communities take shape. They begin the agonising process of rebuilding their technological base from scratch. But here’s the question: how far could such a society rebuild? Is there any chance, for instance, that a post-apocalyptic society could reboot a technological civilisation?


First 26 pages of Neal Stephenson's new novel Seveneves

I have read all Neal Stephenson's book and will check out this one as well when it is released


The so-called king of shrugs

Also known as pigeon man. This is obviously not how you do shrugs


RethinkDB 2.0 is now production ready

RethinkDB 2.0 inverts the traditional database model. Instead of polling for changes, the developer can tell RethinkDB to continuously push live query updates to the application. Propagating updates from the persistence layer simplifies realtime application architecture by eliminating the need for external message queues and other extraneous plumbing. You can also take advantage of RethinkDB’s distributed architecture to effortlessly scale your realtime app.


Apple bans selfie sticks, monopods from WWDC 2015

Good, I am not a fan of those stupid sticks

In an update to the rules for Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple is banning 2015 attendees from using selfie sticks or any other kind of photo monopod within the bounds of either Moscone West or Yerba Buena Gardens.


Czech declares new nation Republic of Liberland in no man's land between Croatia and Serbia

Ha ha ha, I had to look if this was posted by the Onion

A Czech national has declared a new tiny country in a disputed no man's land between Croatia and Serbia naming it Republic of Liberland.

Vít Jedlička, a leading member of a libertarian political party in the Czech Republic, has also proclaimed himself the president of the area which is about seven square kilometres.

Jedlička has invited applications from people across the world to acquire citizenship from the"Republic of Liberland", which he says, is the smallest sovereign state in Europe after the Vatican and Monaco.

The area lies along the Danube, technically a no man's land, which is sometimes referred to as Gornjua Siga.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2

This stuff is looking good.

Two roommates stabbed each other during a heated iPhone vs. Android debate

One man refused to acknowledge the iPhone's superiority while the other refused to admit that the new Samsung smartphone was better. 

When they couldn't reach an agreement they proceeded to stab each other repeatedly with smashed beer bottles.

What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, April 11th 2015 edition

Here are all the tweets for this past week


Wow someone is a king at multitasking and getting things done.......

I don't even know how this is possible, this man is a multitasking genius....

A Chinese man was caught out when 17 of his girlfriends turned up to see him in hospital after a car accident, it's reported.

The man, identified as Mr Yuan from the city of Changsha, in Hunan province, had apparently been dating all the women at the same time, and even has a child with one of them, the South China Morning Post reports. While he managed to string the women along for months, or in some cases years, the game was up when doctors contacted his loved ones after the accident.


Informatica Announces Agreement to be Acquired by the Permira Funds and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

I have used Informatica a little, I used the ETL tool primarily, if you have ever used DTS or SSIS, you will find it somewhat similar.

Informatica Corporation (Nasdaq:INFA) (the "Company"), the world's number one independent provider of enterprise data integration software and services, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a company controlled by the Permira funds and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for approximately $5.3 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Informatica shareholders will receive $48.75 in cash for each share of Informatica common stock.


Shell Will Buy BG Group for $70 Billion in Cash and Shares

Some more M&A activity this week

Royal Dutch Shell Plc agreed to buy BG Group Plc for about 47 billion pounds ($70 billion), making Europe’s largest oil company the pre-eminent player in global natural gas and adding fields in Brazil.

The deal, the industry’s biggest in at least a decade, will push Shell further into producing, shipping and selling gas as the company bets China and other emerging economies switch from coal and oil to cut pollution.


The ‘Netflix for Books’ Just Invaded Amazon’s Turf

I am not sure that I agree with this, after all Amazon can offer this service as well and perhaps even roll it into their Amazon Prime service

OYSTER, THE E-BOOK subscription service that offers more than 1 million books to digital-age bibilophiles for a flat monthly fee, is going retail.

On Wednesday, the company announced that it is launching an e-book store on its platform. Oyster says it has corralled all of the Big Five publishers to contribute their book offerings to the service, including Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. That means users can buy and read virtually any book from those publishers on their smartphones or tablets, including new releases and pre-orders. It’s also opening up the store to non-subscribers.

3 announcements from Microsoft in 1 day

Microsoft made 3 Azure related announcements, these are listed below 

Microsoft announces Hyper-V Containers

Last October, Microsoft and Docker, Inc. jointly announced plans to bring containers to developers across the Docker and Windows ecosystems via Windows Server Containers, available in the next version of Windows Server. We will be unveiling the first live demonstration in a few weeks, starting at the BUILD conference. Today, we are taking containerization one step further by expanding the scenarios and workloads developers can address with containers:

  • Hyper-V Containers, a new container deployment option with enhanced isolation powered by Hyper-V virtualization.
  • Nano Server, a minimal footprint installation of Windows Server that is highly optimized for the cloud, and ideal for containers.


Microsoft Announces Nano Server for Modern Apps and Cloud

Nano Server is a deeply refactored version of Windows Server with a small footprint and remotely managed installation, optimized for the cloud and a DevOps workflow.  It is designed for fewer patch and update events, faster restarts, better resource utilization and tighter security. Informed directly by our learnings from building and managing some of the world’s largest hyperscale cloud environments, and available in the next version of Windows Server, Nano Server focuses on two scenarios:

  1. Born-in-the-cloud applications – support for multiple programming languages and runtimes. (e.g. C#, Java, Node.js, Python, etc.) running in containers, virtual machines, or on physical servers.
  2. Microsoft Cloud Platform infrastructure – support for compute clusters running Hyper-V and storage clusters running Scale-out File Server.


NoSQL database service Azure DocumentDB now Generally Available

We are pleased to announce that Azure DocumentDB is now generally available. DocumentDB is a fully managed NoSQL document database service that allows applications to query and process JSON data at scale. With general availability, DocumentDB is now offered in three purchase options; each with reserved performance, hourly billing and 99.95% availability. Today we are also releasing a new open source data migration tool to ease the movement of existing data from other database systems to DocumentDB.


I Quit: What Really Goes on at Apple

Some of this stuff is really despicable

Sickness, family emergencies, and even weddings are given no respect at Apple. When I started my role I missed one business trip as my wife was pregnant, fell down the stairs and had to be hospitalised – this was listed as a ‘performance issue’ on my record and brought up during a one on one with management as a major ‘miss’ on my behalf. Meetings at midnight were also common place where I was always asked to present something menial (again to be seen), however even then I wasn’t allowed to simply speak to my topic but instead I was fed scripts by management through instant message with countdowns included about how long I had left to speak (“1 min 30 secs left”… “too long…”, “wrap it up”…).


Food Babe

Two posts that caught my attention, they both deal with Vani Hari AKA food babe.

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

Vani Hari, AKA the Food Babe, has amassed a loyal following in her Food Babe Army. The recent subject of profiles and interviews in the New York Times, the New York Post and New York Magazine, Hari implores her soldiers to petition food companies to change their formulas. She's also written a bestselling book telling you that you can change your life in 21 days by "breaking free of the hidden toxins in your life." She and her army are out to change the world.

She's also utterly full of shit.

Why the "Food Babe" enrages scientists

Hari then harnesses the power of her massive audience (known as the Food Babe Army) and online petitions to get food chains and manufacturers to stop using the ingredients she deems harmful, based on her pseudoscientific analyses. It doesn't matter that what she says usually isn't backed by research evidence, or that the chemicals she singles out pose no real danger to human health.

Hari has already gotten Kraft to remove a dye from its macaroni and Subway to stop using a chemical in its bread production, among her other wins. For this activism, the public adores her.


Videogame Publishers: No Preserving Abandoned Games, Even for Museums and Archives, Because All "Hacking" is Illegal

The Entertainment Software Association doesn’t want anyone to restore the functionality of older videogames that are no longer supported by their publisher, because, says ESA, this is “hacking,” and all hacking is “associated with piracy.”

EFF, along with law student Kendra Albert, is asking the Copyright Office to give some legal protection to game enthusiasts, museums, and academics who preserve older video games and keep them playable. We’re asking for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions (Section 1201) for those who modify games to keep them working after the servers they need are shut down. Many player communities, along with museums, archives, and researchers, want to keep the games they own playable after publishers shut down the servers the games depend on. Section 1201 creates legal difficulty for these communities, which is why we’ve asked the Copyright Office to give them an exemption.


LinkedIn To Buy Online Education Site Lynda.com  For $1.5 Billion

It makes sense for LinkedIn to do this, they can encourage job seekers to take course or even offer some of these as part of the premium LinkedIn service. Maybe you can even get certificates that you can display on your profile for each course that you complete. We have to wait and see how they will integrate this

Professional network LinkedIn is getting into the professional skills education market in a big way: The social company purchased Lynda.com, the online learning company founded in 1995 by technical skill instructional book author Lynda Weinman and co-founder Bruce Heavin. Lynda.com has long been the go-to resource for online learning on subjects like Photoshop, basic HTML, CSS, management practices and many more, offering instructional videos and tutorials from industry experts and vets long before e-learning was at anywhere near the level of interest it enjoys today.

The acquisition is valued at $1.5 billion total, combining 52 percent cash payout and 48 percent stock, with an expected close date sometime in the second quarter of this year. “Most” Lynda.com employees will join LinkedIn as part of the deal, according to a release from the companies.


Amazon sues to block fake reviews on its site

About time they did this. In my opinion only verified buyers should be allowed to post reviews, you can easily tell most of the 1 star, 1 line reviews are fake, especially when thy pimp a competing product.

Amazon.com sued three websites it accuses of purveying fake reviews, demanding that they stop the practice.

The suit alleges that the glowing product evaluations they provide deceive consumers and harm the sellers on Amazon’s site who don’t game the system.

The suit, filed Wednesday in King County Superior Court, accuses Jay Gentile of California and websites that operate as buyamazonreviews.com and buyazonreviews.com, among others, of trademark infringement, false advertising and violations of the Anticyber­squatting Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Consumer Protection Act.


Reading a short post named Re-Inventing the Recursive CTE

Adam Machanic with a brilliant post about recursive Common Table Expressions in SQL Server

Several months ago on a mailing list I subscribe to, there was a long thread on hierarchies and hierarchical modeling. The thread was initially about HierarchyId but eventually morphed into a discussion on various other hierarchy techniques. Much of the thread was devoted to how annoying HierarchyId is to work with, and how annoying it is that adjacency lists can’t perform well.

This thread sparked a set of questions in my mind: What’s wrong with a simple adjacency list? Why are recursive CTEs not better at doing their job? And is there any way to improve the situation?

After giving the issue some thought I decided to try to apply some of the techniques I’ve been developing for optimizing parallel query plans. The result? Well, read on…


Darth Vader review of Star Wars: The Digital Movie Collection [HD]

This made me laugh  :-)

This review is going to be principally about the changes you made to scenes with me in it.

For instance, in the original cut, when I throw Emperor Palpatine down the death star's reactor shaft, there is a moment of silent deliberation where, oscillating my expressionless masked face back and forth, I decide whether or not to sacrifice my life for the life of my son. The lack of dialogue allows the viewer to read more subtlety and indecisiveness into this act, and the silence is truer to my character's previous dialogue in films IV-VI.

In this release, you decided to have me scream "NO! NOOOOO!" at the very beginning of the scene, removing any of the subtlety or conflict, inserting a goofy, lamely comic line not befitting of my badassness, and consequently dulling the emotional significance of a father's redemptive sacrifice of his son.

What's worse, you replace Sebsastian Shaw's peaceful and redeemed ghostly image on endor with Hayden Christiansen's garish, creepy, pedefile-like smirk.


EFF Busts Podcasting Patent, Invalidating Key Claims at Patent Office

I agree with this, if you are a company and you don't use the the stuff that you have the patents for yourself, then how are you impacted at all...trolls be gone!!!

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invalidated key claims in the so-called “podcasting patent” today after a petition for review from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)—a decision that significantly curtails the ability of a patent troll to threaten podcasters big and small.


Introduction to Linux, free course from the Linux Foundation

Even if you are a Windows user, you should take this course, even if it is just to see what Linux looks like

If you’re a beginner gnu/Linux user who just started using the OS or you’re a more advanced user that wants to review or refresh your Linux skills, then this course is for you. If you’re interested in Linux Foundation Certification, there is also an option to get a certificate of completion for an additional $99 fee.

The course consists of 18 chapters and the final exam. The topics covered include:

  • Linux philosophy and concepts
  • System configuration from the graphical interface
  • command line operations
  • file operations
  • local security principles
  • network operations
  • bash shell scripting

One of the pics I posted on Instagram

Top of wtc covered by clouds #manhattan #WTC #NYC

A photo posted by Denis Gobo (@denisgobo) on

What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, April 4th 2015 edition

Another week, another set of tweets. Here is all the stuff I tweeted the past week


Notes from Facebook's Developer Infrastructure at Scale F8 Talk

The Facebook F8 developer conference was this past week. All the talks are now available onlineI encourage you to glimpse through the list of talks and watch whatever is relevant to you. There's really a little bit for everyone.

Of particular interest to me is the Big Code: Developer Infrastructure at Facebook's Scale talk. This is highly relevant to my job role as Developer Productivity Engineer at Mozilla.

My notes for this talk follow.


Why mow the lawn when you can get Amazon Goat Grazer?

I though this was an April 1st joke, it looks like it's not


29 Books That Will Enrich Your Inner Literati

I only read 9 of the books on this list...what about you?

For anyone who wants to attain the vaunted title of “being well-read,” it’s more about breadth than depth. (As for feeling well-read, read the postscript.)

To “feel” well-read in literature, it’s all about the categories, not the books themselves. Read a few books in a few different genres, time periods, points of views. I’ve thrown in a few controversial books, just so you know what all of the fuss is about.


Vincent Kompany..what were you thinking?

No sure what he was thinking but it didn't turn out as he imagined it

Sriracha beer?? #beer #sriracha #hot #spicy #stout #alcohol #ale

A photo posted by Denis Gobo (@denisgobo) on

Meteor 1.1: now supporting Microsoft Windows and MongoDB 3.0

We are pleased to announce Meteor 1.1 today, the latest release of the open source Meteor platform. Meteor, which lets developers build modern web and mobile apps on a single JavaScript codebase in a fraction of the time and cost previously possible, is for the first time now available as an official distribution on the Windows operating system. Meteor 1.1 also includes support for MongoDB's new 3.0 database engine and adds many improvements throughout the stack.

The Meteor 1.1 release is fully compatible with Meteor 1.0 and newer; we encourage all Meteor developers to try it out and update your apps. On each of Windows, OS X, and Linux, the Meteor installation comes with everything you need to get started.

Sentences To My Younger Selves

Cool post by Brent Ozar where he reflects on the past

I don’t have regrets – everything that’s happened to me so far has led to a life that I wouldn’t trade – but if I had the chance, I’d probably like to say a few sentences to past versions of myself.

Dear 1988 Brent – Keep playing the piano no matter how boring it seems.

Dear 1990 Brent – Instead of drinking protein shakes to gain weight, enjoy your temporary skinniness.


George R. R. Martin Released a Chapter of the Next Game of Thrones Book

A teaser chapter of the winds of winter book, when oh when will it be done? At least season 5 is coming to HBO in a week.


What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, March 28 2015 edition

Here are the tweets from the past week


Attack of the Algorithms! Funds Run by Robots Now Account for $400 Billion

“Once a quarter, we press a button,’’ Dorsey says. The Focus 5 algorithm then generates a list of investments, and First Trust Portfolios, his partner company, executes them. Otherwise, they don’t meddle with the robot. “We just need someone to press the button.’’

That, for Dorsey, is the essence of smart beta, or strategic beta, or scientific beta, or factor-based investing, or fundamental indexing, depending on which Ph.D. is talking. (Many smart-beta funds are designed by finance geeks.) It’s index investing with key twists, all of them rules-based, with no active management required. Most smart-beta funds track custom indexes. Some are simple variants of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and do what they say on the box. Others are hand-crafted and small batch, made by people with little more than a stock-filtering system and a dream.

Node.js Tools 1.0 for Visual Studio released

Node.js Tools 1.0 for Visual Studio (NTVS) is now available for download! NTVS is a free, open source extension for Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013 that turns Visual Studio into a Node.js IDE. NTVS 1.0 supports the free Visual Studio Community and Visual Studio Express for Web editions, as well as Visual Studio Professional and higher.

Node.js is a platform for building fast, scalable applications using JavaScript. It’s making its way just about everywhere – from servers, to Internet of Things devices, to desktop applications, to who knows what next? And now, with Node.js support in Visual Studio, it’s easier than ever before to develop Node.js applications.


Do Larger Breasts Equal Bigger Tips? | MythBusters

I think so..

Apple is Hitler, says Chinese CEO

Jia Yueting, the billionaire founder and CEO of Chinese internet video site Leshi TV (LeTV), has compared Apple to the Nazis in a poster teasing the launch of LeTV's new smartphone. The image was posted to Jia's verified Weibo page (with more than 5 million followers) and shows a cartoon Adolf Hitler wearing a red armband with the Apple logo in place of the Nazi swastika.



I also tweeted about the fact that Mike Stonebreaker has won the Turing award for all his database work, this link doesn't work anymore, two other links are not working anymore either, one was a youtube video, the other a vine clip.

What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, March 21 2015 edition

It's spring finally, and we just had 4 to 6 inches of snow fall here yesterday in the Princeton area. Here is what I tweeted last week:

2 thumbs up from Daenerys Targaryen

It doesn't matter if you are a Game Of Thrones fan or not..you gotta love that image.


26 Offensive ads from the 1900s wow... WTF??

All I can think of is...WTF were they thinking...some of those are really crazy


The Escalating Scale of Drunkenness, Explained

One drink, two drink, three drink, four. Don't say we didn't warn you, but don't feel too bad about your evening either


Khan Academy: Algorithms

Khan Academy has partnered with Dartmouth college professors Tom Cormen and Devin Balkcom to teach introductory computer science algorithms, including searching, sorting, recursion, and graph theory. Learn with a combination of articles, visualizations, quizzes, and coding challenges.


Why children need chores

Today’s demands for measurable childhood success—from the Common Core to college placement—have chased household chores from the to-do lists of many young people. In a survey of 1,001 U.S. adults released last fall by Braun Research, 82% reported having regular chores growing up, but only 28% said that they require their own children to do them. With students under pressure to learn Mandarin, run the chess club or get a varsity letter, chores have fallen victim to the imperatives of resume-building—though it is hardly clear that such activities are a better use of their time


Scrum seems to be mostly about having better alibis

Do I believe in the Agile Manifesto?

Of course I do. It's primarily about values and who wouldn't value people over tools, anyway?

With that out of the way, I won't reference the 14 years old page for the remainder of this article, as it is mostly common sense and does not address any of the problems we face in developing digital products.


Microsoft Band now available at Amazon

Microsoft Band helps you achieve your wellness goals by tracking your heart rate, steps, calorie burn and sleep quality, and makes you more productive with email previews and calendar alerts at a glance. Maximize your fitness with Guided Workouts, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, automatic activity counting, and run mapping. Take notes and set reminders with your voice using Cortana personal assistant on Windows Phone. See incoming calls, texts, social updates, weather and more on your wrist. Works with Windows Phone, Android and iPhone

It's available now on Amazon. I have a fitbit and love it...but if it ever breaks I might consider the Microsoft Band


7 things every kid should master

In the past few years, parents, teachers, and policy makers have furiously debated whether standardized tests should be used to promote or hold back children, fire teachers, and withhold funds from schools. The debate has focused for the most part on whether the tests are being used in unfair ways. But almost no one has publicly questioned a fundamental assumption — that the tests measure something meaningful or predict something significant beyond themselves.

I have reviewed more than 300 studies of K–12 academic tests. What I have discovered is startling. Most tests used to evaluate students, teachers, and school districts predict almost nothing except the likelihood of achieving similar scores on subsequent tests. I have found virtually no research demonstrating a relationship between those tests and measures of thinking or life outcomes.


Google Makani – Wind Energy Kites

The energy kite simulates the tip of a wind turbine blade, which is the part of a turbine that makes most of the energy. The kite is launched from the ground station by the rotors, which act like propellers on a helicopter. Once in the air, the kite generates power by flying in large circles where the wind is strong and consistent. Air moving across rotors mounted on the kite forces them to rotate, driving a generator to produce electricity, which travels down the tether to the grid.


MSBuild Engine is now Open Source on GitHub

Microsoft is open sourcing more and more stuff lately, MSBuild is the latest

Today we are pleased to announce that MSBuild is now available on GitHub and we are contributing it to the .NET Foundation! The Microsoft Build Engine (MSBuild) is a platform for building applications. By invoking msbuild.exe on your project or solution file, you can orchestrate and build products in environments where Visual Studio isn't installed. For instance, MSBuild is used to build the .NET Core Libraries and .NET Core Runtime open source projects.


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Legalizes Tesla Direct Sales

Finally..hopefully car dealers will go the way of the dodo...cut out the middleman!

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has just signed a bill allowing Tesla Motors to operate its company-owned direct-sale stores in that state.

The bill, whose full text you can read here, counteracts a statewide ban on direct-to-consumer sales that was enacted in April 2014.

The new bill passed the state’s General Assembly on Monday, from which point Gov. Christie had a 45-day window to decide whether to sign the bill into law.

Importantly, the bill is not just a one-brand exemption for Tesla. In a statement, Christie’s office describes the new law as “giving manufacturers of zero emission cars, including Tesla, the ability to sell directly to New Jersey consumers at up to four locations in the state.”


48 Things Every Man Should Know

I know almost all of these except for a handful, how many things do YOU know?

Dudes. Guys. MEN. When it comes to the male gender, there are certain things all guys simply must know. Whether its for your own personal safety, in case of emergencies (that may or may not be bear attack related), to not look like an idiot in public, for the benefit of the people in your life, or just for your own betterment, taking a moment to learn the secrets on this list of things all men should know is essential.

So you've got a Y chromosome. Now what? What should every guy know how to do? What are the things every man should know? From building fires to tying your tie, if you're a man, the things on this list are essentials for being the best, most manly man you can be. But it's not all beer and sports. Men should also know how to hold a baby and sew on a button


Big Data - A Google Data Center Tour

A collection of 23 images showing the Google data center. Real neat images, below you can see one of those.







U.S. federal government now has a public dashboard and dataset for its web traffic

This data provides a window into how people are interacting with the government online. The data comes from a unified Google Analytics account for U.S. federal government agencies known as the Digital Analytics Program. This program helps government agencies understand how people find, access, and use government services online. The program does not track individuals, and anonymizes the IP addresses of visitors


How we built analytics.usa.gov

This site explains what technologies were used to build the analytics.usa.gov site I mentioned above.

The analytics.usa.gov dashboard is a static website, stored in Amazon S3 and served via Amazon CloudFront. The dashboard loads empty, uses JavaScript to download JSON data, and renders it client-side into tables and charts.

All the details can be found at the site.

That's all for this week...see you next week

What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, March 14 2015 edition

Happy Pi day all. Here are all the links I tweeted the past week


Fixes for Mono Vulnerability to FREAK and SKIP TLS have been posted

A TLS impersonation attack was discovered in Mono’s TLS stack by researchers at Inria (SKIP-TLS. During checks on our TLS stack, we have discovered two further issues which we have fixed - SSLv2 support, and vulnerability to FREAK. These vulnerabilities affect basically every Mono version ever released.

All three issues should be addressed in the following patches:

These patches should apply to all Mono versions from 3.4.0 or so onwards


Windows 93 which was never released to the public has been found, you can see it in action here

Windows 93 implemented in JavaScript. looks cool, open up a command window and you will see that you can execute JavaScript


A website that irrevocably deletes itself once indexed by Google

The site is constantly searching for itself in Google, over and over and over, 24 hours a day. The instant it finds itself in Google search results, the site will instantaneously and irrevocably securely delete itself. Visitors can contribute to the public content of the site, these contributions will also be destroyed when the site deletes itself.

Why would you do such a thing? My full explanation was in the content of the site. (edit: ...which is now gone)


Apple’s patent: a method that allows to make 18k gold that has, on volume basis, less gold than regular 18k gold

 Apple’s patent application is for a method that allows them to make 18k gold that has, on a volume basis, less gold than regular 18k gold.

How can this be? It’s because Apple’s gold is a metal matrix composite, not a standard alloy. Instead of mixing the gold with silver, copper, or other metals to make it harder, Apple is mixing it with low-density ceramic particles. The ceramic makes Apple’s gold harder and more scratch-resistant—which Tim Cook touted during the September announcement—and it also makes it less dense overall.


Neurostimulation: Hacking your brain

“IT’S like coffee times ten,” raves one enthusiast. “I use it a couple of times a week and problems solve themselves. At the end of the day, I haven’t wasted hours on frivolous websites. At the end of the week, my apartment is clean.” This marvel of productivity is not a new energy drink or an experimental wonder drug but a simple electrical device that he built at home for less than $10. Whenever this physicist feels like an extra burst of motivation, he places electrodes on his skull and sends a jolt of electricity into his brain.


Squats are dangerous..I will use the leg press machines instead

I feel sorry for this girl...and it hurts me watching this..but using a machine still means that you have to watch your form



Soon You’ll Be Able to Turn Your Brown Eyes Blue for $5,000

A new treatment has successfully changed the color of people's eyes in Latin America, but the procedure isn't approved in the U.S. yet.

For years, a California-based company called Stroma Medical has been publicizing a laser procedure that turns brown eyes blue. Theoretically, this would give brown-eyed individuals the choice to change the tint of their irises, not unlike the way many decide to use surgery to alter the noses or chests they were born with


DevOps Is Bullshit: Why One Programmer Doesn't Do It Anymore

And then something happened. As my career progressed, I took on more responsibilities and did more and more systems work. This was partly because of the divide widening to some extent at one particular job, but mostly because, I could. Right around this time the “DevOps Revolution” was beginning.

Much like when I was a teenager and everyone needed a web site, suddenly everyoneneeded DevOps.

I didn’t really know what it was. I was aware of the term, but being a smart person, I tend to ignore radical claims of great cultural shifts, especially in technology. In this stance, I find myself feeling a step or two behind at times, but it helps keep things in perspective. Over time, technology changes, but true radicalism is rare. Most often, a reinvention or revisiting of past ideas forms the basis for such claims. This “DevOps” thing was no different. Honestly, at the time it seemed like a smoke screen; a flashy way to save money for startups.


First run of the year along the East River...Manhattan Bridge sunrise

I run in the financial district in New York City along the East River when the weather is not too bad. This year was pretty cold, the first run I did was this past week, I took some pictures of the sunrise, here is one of those pictures


Notes on 416 Days of Treadmill Desk Usage

I have been using a treadmill desk for a few years, but in mid-January of 2014 I began keeping track of my daily mileage on a spreadsheet. As of early March 2015 I have enough data (416 days’ worth) to amass some simple statistics.

While its beneficial effects certainly outweigh its downside, it would be less than honest to claim that use of a treadmill while working is completely benign. During the first half of 2014 I began to experience discomfort in my left leg, typically in the buttock and thigh but sometimes extending down to the knee and ankle. This was clearly associated with walking on the treadmill. Interestingly, however, it was completely absent when walking out of doors. I could walk in a normal stride outdoors for many miles without having any trace of this problem, but even a short stint on the treadmill brought it back. I began to curtail my treadmill mileage by reducing the speed, typically to the minimum value of 0.5 miles per hour.


DBMS Comparison

This comparison focuses on features that can be used in SQL statements or self-contained SQL scripts that don't require additional software (e.g. a compiler) to be usable.


Goodbye MongoDB, Hello PostgreSQL

I am seeing this more and more, shops are ditching MongoDB for PostgreSQL

While this setup served us well initially we began experiencing various problems as we grew, in particular with MongoDB. Some of these problems were due to the way applications interacted with the database, some were due to the database itself.

For example, at some point in time we had to remove about a million documents from MongoDB and then re-insert them later on. The result of this process was that the database went in a near total lockdown for several hours, resulting in degraded performance. It wasn’t until we performed a database repair (using MongoDB’s repairDatabase command). This repair itself also took hours to complete due to the size of the database.

In another instance we noticed degraded performance of our applications and managed to trace it to our MongoDB cluster. However, upon further inspection we were unable to find the actual cause of the problem. No matter what metrics we installed, tools we used or commands we ran we couldn’t find the cause. It wasn’t until we replaced the primaries of the cluster that performance returned back to normal.

These are just two examples, we’ve had numerous cases like this over time


Due to unexpected demand, NYCFC will open every seat in Yankee Stadium for home opener

Demand for seats for this historic game has been tremendous and momentum is growing by the day. It was only 10 days ago that we announced that the 300 level will be open. Now with more than 30,000 sold, we have decided to open even more seats. New Yorkers clearly want to be part of this landmark moment for our club and for soccer and we are giving them every opportunity to come and support their new team.


How to Tell if You Have a Development Environment

I guess I should consider myself lucky 

We have the following environments besides production

  • Dev
  • Dev-Integration (this is for the other apps that connect to dev but we don’t push changes to this ad-hoc but twice a week)
  • 2 Test environment (1 is always live..this way if restores are being done..test is not down at any time)
  • Staging

Except for Dev..everything else is built from SVN by an automated process


How long would this barrel of Jack Daniels last you? For sale at Sams club

Did 200 floors today...More than the Burj Khalifa and almost twice the World Trade Center

Today I decided to do a little challenge, I wanted to see if I could better my previous floor record of 125 floors. I did, I ended up doing 200 floors


Indian bride ditches groom after he flubs math test at their wedding

At her wedding ceremony in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh Wednesday, the bride posed the following math problem to the man she was due to wed: 15 + 6 = ?

The groom answered 17, and the bride fled. The groom’s family tried to get her back, but she refused to marry someone who couldn’t add


That's all the stuff for this week.... don't eat too many pies

Did 200 floors today...More than the Burj Khalifa and almost twice the World Trade Center

Today I decided to do a little challenge, I wanted to see if I could better my previous floor record of 125 floors. I did, I ended up doing 200 floors. Here is what the fitbit dashboard looks like.

As a reference here are the top 8 completed buildings with the most floors in the world

Burj Khalifa Dubai 1632010
Shanghai Tower China 1212015
Abraj Al-Bait Clock TowerSaudi Arabia1202012
International Commerce CentreChina 1182010
CTF Finance Centre China 1112016
Willis Tower†USA 1081973
Ryugyong Hotel North Korea 1051992
One World Trade Center USA 1042014


As you can see I almost did twice the floors that are in the World Trade Center, I also did 37 more floors than what the Burj Khalifa has. Here is a pic of the Burj Khalifa to see how tall this building really is

Burj Khalifa by Night @ Dubai

So how did I do the 200 floors?

It was not complicated... I walked to the gym, that was 12 floors. At the gym between each set I did 3 floors (walking up and down the stairs). By the time the workout was done I already did 72 floors.  I walked home and by the time I got home, the tally was 81 floors.

I had a couple of conference calls, during each call I just walked up and down the stairs.. By the time it was 6:30 PM I completed 200 floors

When you do 200 floors in 1 day you get the Castle badge

You're a knight in shining steppage! With this kind of stronghold on the stairs, we proclaim the Castle badge to be all yours!

I also received the Russian Railway badge today

This badge represents a lifetime distance of 5,772 miles—the same length as the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia! With an achievement this big, it looks like you're en route to destination fitness.

The next floor badge is the 300 floor badge...I am not doing that any time soon..my calves are already killing me...