I was poking around the logs today, and saw that of the 500 comments that were attempted on the blog yesterday 0 of them were actual people, and the blog successfully marked all of them as spam, and didn't bother asking me to verify that.  I wonder how long that will last.

I regularly see spammers hiring programmers on some job websites that I use, and some of the code that the spammer's use is quite good, so I always need to stay on top of what they are doing.

There have been 112,572 attempted comments on this blog in the last 30 days.  And I suppose that doesn't even count the one that were blocked by the firewall that repeatedly made comments.  I don't have separated logs for those blocks, but just on a server basis.  42,837 IP addresses were blocked in the last month for making frequent comments on the blogs.

Those numbers are pretty incredible, if you think about it - they are just for one blog and server out of the millions of blogs and servers on the internet.

Posted by Jon Daley on September 21, 2012, 8:09 am | Read 6747 times | Comments (1)
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The Google Maps Blog shared this fun use of the maps API - see what the votes look like if different states vote different ways.  Also, see historical data.

Posted by Jon Daley on September 12, 2012, 10:42 pm | Read 28042 times | Comments (0)
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Here's a cool thing: a homemade roller coaster.  Though it seems like it was probably a lot of work and not quite as exciting as it could have been...

Posted by Jon Daley on August 26, 2012, 5:12 pm | Read 9580 times | Comments (0)
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Posted by Jon Daley on August 25, 2012, 5:05 pm | Read 9942 times | Comments (3)
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I like knowing when my software updates, but I do like the software to automatically check, and I generally update as soon as possible.  For this specific example, my answer would be to disable javascript, and avoid the entire exploit altogether.

ZScalar: PDF Exploits

Posted by Jon Daley on April 10, 2012, 10:24 am | Read 15405 times | Comments (0)
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This is pretty neat.

(Thanks Stephen for finding it)

Posted by Jon Daley on February 9, 2012, 5:56 pm | Read 18993 times | Comments (1)
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Here are the last ones to share, I'll try to be more careful in the future to link to posts properly when I "share" things, so you can actually see the content regardless of whether facebook or google or the original poster make it difficult...

Statistics in science: I don't quite understand the difference between statistically significant and practical importance, or rather, how does one make a study that accounts for this problem.

Statistics was one of my two worst courses in college.  In both cases, I went to the professor during office hours when I didn't have a shot of completing the homework and said, "I'm really not getting it," and the professor, assuming I couldn't really mean that asked what parts I wasn't getting.  I pulled out lecture number 1 and said, let's start here...)  I did manage to pull off a B in both courses, which convinced me that grading on a curve is horrible, particularly when I could have pulled off an A in the statistics class had a worked a little harder on the final, but I hadn't realized how far the course was going to be curved, so didn't think it mattered, and I wouldn't have remembered anything after the final anyway, so I wasn't studying for learning, but just a grade.  If anyone got lower than a B in my statistics course, you must now know less about statistics than when you entered the course.


And lastly, an interesting disparity between what members of churches want (or at least say they want in a poll) and what pastors think is a good idea to preach about.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 14, 2011, 8:59 am | Read 5565 times | Comments (2)
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I was going to have Jonathan read this article about the status and progression of fiction, as he sometimes questions why we don't let him read or watch certain things, but then I decided the article itself was more than he needs to know right now.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 11, 2011, 8:55 am | Read 4739 times | Comments (1)
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I came across yet another version of a distributed social network, this one with hardware.  FreedomBox Foundation is working on figuring out how to make tons of tiny little web servers that take out the centralized model.  The New York Times has a decent article on explaining why Mark Zuckerburg having all of your information is a bad thing.

The introduction video on FreedomBox's site was a good non-technical description, and with graphics, for all of you who don't like to read that much...  :)

It mentions diaspora, friendica and buddycloud.  I'd heard of diaspora, and I have an account, but it doesn't interact with me very well.  I glanced through buddycloud this morning, and didn't see anything particularly interesting.  friendica emphasizes being able to interact with other current social networks, which is a good thing, since it is a hard thing to get people to switch.

I guess I should spend some time in figuring out how to install one of them and see if it is worth using.  I've not been clear on how much you can customize the installations, and how hard it is to add features, etc.  And how open the development really is, in terms of them wanting features from outside people, etc.

Mostly, I think the problem is that I want it just to work, and so I don't want to spend lots of my own time developing a system.  Maybe I could work on figuring out if I could add plugins into LifeType to make it do some interesting things with the new social networks.  LifeType 2.0 (if it ever comes out) started a couple years ago adding some social networking features, and so it might fit in well; I don' t know.

But, as facebook and google are increasingly unfriendly (Facebook announced they would no longer import notes, such as this one, starting in a couple weeks)  I suppose their theory is that people will manually double post, or move to facebook only, or something like that.  But, that is a pain, so I'll probably just stop posting to facebook.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 10, 2011, 6:00 pm | Read 132313 times | Comments (5)
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And in case you think I'm getting too serious with all my political posts, here's another one for Wall Street.

And be careful in apple orchards...

(thanks Dawn for keeping me up-to-date with the important news)

Posted by Jon Daley on November 10, 2011, 8:53 am | Read 4762 times | Comments (0)
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Pretty eerie, how similar these situations are.  I understand that being a police officer in a high stress situation is hard, and I am happy that there are people that are willing to step up to that job.  I also know that in some cases, the videos being played are designed to start right after a guy throws something at an officer, but if you look around on youtube, you will find plenty of videos that are showing the entire thing, and in many cases, the officers are overreacting, in my opinion.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 9, 2011, 8:49 am | Read 4025 times | Comments (0)
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This video is somewhat out of date by now, but the "conspiracy theory" that Ron Paul is being ignored doesn't seem like too much of a conspiracy when you see these videos.

<youtube account was deleted, so can't see the video any more>

Posted by Jon Daley on November 9, 2011, 8:46 am | Read 4468 times | Comments (0)
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I recently discovered that due to changes by Facebook and Google, quickly sharing items is harder than it used to be.  There are a couple things I shared recently that I thought good enough to actually type up a post here.  (you may agree or disagree about my choices of "good enough")

Here is a video of a candidate, Herman Cain, who's political and business history looks interesting (though his personal history doesn't look quite as good, assuming the various allegations are true).

So - I'm thinking that perhaps a better way of deciding the next president is to have a sing-off. :)
Posted by Jon Daley on November 9, 2011, 8:29 am | Read 3097 times | Comments (0)
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Hrm.  This guy's logic seems alright to me.  A friend recently said it is the time to go buy a really, really expensive house, since once inflation goes way up, the house loan will be the same as a loaf of bread at the new rates...  :)

Posted by Jon Daley on August 28, 2011, 10:17 pm | Read 6321 times | Comments (4)
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I am not sure of the original source, but I received this via Jack Ganssle in his Embedded Muse.

Mother taught the IF ... THEN ... ELSE structure: "If it's snowing, then put your boots on before you go to school; otherwise just wear your shoes."

For years I badgered my mother with questions about whether Santa Claus is a real person or not. Her answer was always "Well, you asked for the presents and they came, didn't they?" I finally understood the full meaning  of her reply when I heard the definition of a virtual device: "A software or  hardware entity which responds to commands in a manner indistinguishable from the real device." Mother was telling me that Santa Claus is a virtual  person (simulated by loving parents) who responds to requests from children  in a manner indistinguishable from the real saint.

Mother explained the difference between batch and transaction processing: "We'll wash the white clothes when we get enough of them to make a load, but we'll wash these socks out right now by hand because you'll need them this afternoon."

Mother taught me about linked lists. Once, for a birthday party, she laid  out a treasure hunt of ten hidden clues, with each clue telling where to find the next one, and the last one leading to the treasure. She then gave us  the first clue.

Mother understood about parity errors. When she counted socks after doing  the laundry, she expected to find an even number and groaned when only one sock of a pair emerged from the washing machine. Later she applied the principles of redundancy engineering to this problem by buying our socks three identical pairs at a time. This greatly increased the odds of being  able to come up with at least one matching pair.

Mother had all of us children write mail in a single envelope with a single stamp. This was obviously an instance of blocking records in order to save
money by reducing the number  of physical I/O operations.

Mother used flags to help her manage the housework. Whenever she turned on the stove, she put a potholder on top of her purse to reminder herself to turn it off again before leaving the house.

Mother knew about devices which raise an interrupt signal to be serviced when they have completed any operation. She had a whistling teakettle.

Mother understood about LIFO ordering. In my lunch bag she put the dessert on the bottom, the sandwich in the middle, and the napkin on top   so that hings would come out in the right order at lunchtime.

There is an old story that God knew He couldn't be physically present everywhere at once, to show His love for His people, and so He created mothers. That is the difference between centralized and distributed processing. As any kid who's ever misbehaved at a neighbor's house finds out, all the mothers in the neighborhood talk to each other. That's a local area network of distributed processors that can't be beat.

Mom, you were the best computer teacher I ever had.

(too bad Mom probably doesn't understand most of these.  And also apologies to Klaus Sutner, who was the best computer science teacher I ever had)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 5, 2010, 10:41 am | Read 55997 times | Comments (0)
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