Site slightly wonky

The site is a bit busted at the moment. I’ve added SSL as part of https://www.resetthenet.org/ however I still need to tweak some configs. Can’t spend a lot of time on the keys right now, thanks to psoriatic arthritis. Should have this fixed in a couple days.

By the way, I got my cert from NameCheap for $1.99 as part of their support for Reset the Net day. If you’re thinking about it, now’s a great time to grab one.

Kiva Country Collector – Now storing loan IDs.

I had to archive everyone’s cached data, because I’ve made a major change to the data model and it wasn’t fully backwards compatible.

The upside, is that it’ll be less API intensive about pulling in updated data and won’t start from scratch each time.

The downside, though, is that I’m storing loan IDs now. So, that’s something you should consider if you want to use the app. If you don’t select the “Privacy Mode”, then I’ll be storing your lender id, loan IDs and countries you’ve loaned to in a file that looks like this:

$ head lenders/bswopes.csv 
"DO","[519186, 453620, 414509, 253513]"
"BF","[561459, 455699, 406311, 346733]"
"KH","[271711, 295024, 238144, 265943]"
"XK","[508414, 518939, 482881, 443775]"
"BO","[518671, 290774, 232177, 196661]"
"YE","[510083, 412907, 425078, 391416]"
"LR","[434516, 404925, 297545, 203097]"
"BJ","[561715, 404260, 361734, 227187]"
"JO","[480732, 443313, 380336, 310151]"
"AZ","[483852, 337269, 355439, 295106, 234743]"

Here’s what it had looked like before:

$ head old-format/bswopes.csv 
"DO",4
"BF",4
"KH",4
"XK",4
"BO",4
"YE",4
"BI",4
"BJ",4
"JO",4
"HN",4

EDIT 20130921: I’ve converted to json format and also include the total lender_count to clean up the re-import.

Running some tor nodes.

I’ve been running some tor relays for a while now. One runs on my linode box with a reduced exit policy and has been basically trouble-free. The second runs on a machine in my kitchen and has produced some issues.

I recently rebuilt that system as an ubuntu box to run tor, boinc, squid > apache > mod_pagespeed. Overall, I’ve been happy with it, but it seems like my network just dies out at times. It could just need some tuning love, but I’m about out of weekend.

So, I’m just going to switch it over to acting as a tor bridge for now. Should be safer from complaints by my ISP, at least.

Quoted in an article about Facebook

I was quoted in an article on digitaltrends.com:

WE ASKED, YOU ANSWERED: WOULD YOU ACTUALLY PAY FOR FACEBOOK?

“There is no way I would pay for Facebook. I’m already uncomfortable being on the network, but I have an account because it’s what everyone uses to share what is going on. I had actually deleted my account, but after hearing that a friend was in the hospital from someone else who saw it on Facebook, I gave in and opened up a new account … [and] an ad-free Facebook is not enough of a selling point to get people to pay. If someone wants to eliminate ads, they can easily do it with browser extensions like AdBlock, Social Fixer, Greasemonkey scripts, etc.” – Blake Swopes, BhodiSoft

It also looks like my quora answer about the craziest thing I ever said in a job interview also got quoted over on the Jobberman blog:

What’s the Craziest Thing You Ever Said (or Did) in an Interview and Still Got The Job?

iTunes Repeated Password Prompts

I’ve recently been struggling with an issue where iTunes repeatedly prompts for the iTunes store password. There are some forum threads out there that address the issue, but in my case it went beyond the common solutions. I wanted to call out the steps to look for.

This was particularly troubling to me, since I have arthritis; typing any more than I need to can be very painful at times. Also, secure passwords can be a bit awkward to type, since they aren’t normal words.

    • Cookies
    • Keychain
  • Multiple Accounts

So, one of the first things to check is your cookie preferences in Safari. iTunes shares the same cookie storage as Safari and the same restrictions, so if you don’t accept cookies, then you’re going to have trouble. Open up Preferences > Privacy and make sure that your cookie preferences are set to anything other than Always.

Your keychain could be corrupt. Open up Keychain Access, then bring up preferences and “Reset my default keychain”. This will blow away a bunch of saved passwords, so you might want to think about this one first.

Finally, the issue that was causing my trouble. I had purchases under multiple iTunes account. I used Doug’s “Track Down Purchases” applescript to identify what was under my old account and see if it was worth really hanging on to. In my case, it wasn’t, so I purged the files from my old account. Depending on what you have, you can also see about using iTunes match to switch files you own over to your other account. Get iTunes match under your current account, make sure the files from your old account are matched, delete them then download them from iCloud. Bonus is that you’ll probably get better quality copies without DRM.

Good luck!

Shame!

IBM’s CEO delivered what is being described as a company-wide reprimand following its earnings statement. What I’ve seen wasn’t that bad, but the news coverage made me think of something I once heard from an executive.

I had my company president tell a room full of technologists “Shame on you!” for not spending the day riding along with the people using our product. Now, I can totally see the reasoning behind wanting to see how its used, but the delivery left me on the verge of walking out. Considering I was 3 feet away from the guy I elected to not do that.

However, all I could think was, no, shame on YOU! Shame on you for not understanding what our day to day struggles are. Shame on you for not providing us with what we need to get the job done, and then reprimanding us for the effects of your decisions. Shame on you for not focusing efforts on a stable product over new features, for not addressing the technical debt that is preventing full focus on real innovation.

I love the idea of shows like Undercover Boss, but they just won’t work for my industry. How many CEOs could step in as an admin, developer, qa engineer, release engineer? Even so, they should see what its like. They should watch streams of error logs from production servers, hear the regular chime of alerts from the on call phone, read the number of hours burned on issues that have been around for years but that the business considers lower importance than the new wizzbang spinny whatever.

If you want to move fast, you can’t be standing on a foundation of crap.