After reading Dear Nintendo…, a friend today asked me “How do you feel about the Switch?” Well, let's go down the list. Nintendo Account I can log into my account online, yes. Apparently, Nintendo Network ID is simply an OAuth provider for the rest of the Nintendo website. But you can also have a standalone Nintendo.com login. I deal with this stuff every day, and I still get confused on Nintendo’s website.
I have a Switch, a Wii U, the original 3DS, the original 3DS XL, and now the new clamshell 2DS XL.
TL;DR: How I improved the performance of case-insensitive XPath queries by 30–35%, reducing an 8× performance hit to only 4.5–5×. This was originally posted to the SimplePie NG blog.
Parse-at-all-costs Most feeds are a mess. The old SimplePie “OG” took a parse-at-all-costs philosophy, and could handle many of the most broken feeds you could find — at a cost. While the early versions of SimplePie supported the letter of the RSS 2.0 specification, there were a surprising number of feeds which didn’t.
I’ve been a life-long Nintendo console owner. I have the NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii and Wii U. I’ve also owned the GameBoy Advance, GameBoy Advance SP, multiple Nintendo DS lites, and a regular and XL-sized 3DS. I have invested so much time and energy into your products over the years that I feel a certain qualification to be able to talk about them as an expert-level consumer.
This was originally posted to Facebook Notes.
Let’s go back to the GameCube With the GameCube, you very nearly achieved perfection.
This was originally posted to Facebook Notes.
A heart problem. Earlier today, someone I know posted this image on Facebook.
“TRUTH!!!”, my friend exclaimed.
As a rational person who values evidence and critical thinking, this photo misses the point by grossly oversimplifying a very complex issue. And while it maybe be technically true, that’s only in the most ideal sociological conditions.
The real world is far more complex.
(Instead of being flippant and dismissive toward people you disagree with, challenge the things that you think you know.
In response to “I moved to the US 7 years ago from Finland — here's what Americans don't understand about Nordic countries”, and why I support Bernie Sanders. This was originally posted to Facebook Notes.
Here’s what Americans don’t understand about Nordic countries Anu Partanen, writing for The Atlantic:
Commentators repeat endlessly the mantra that Sanders’s Nordic-style policies might sound nice, but they’d never work in the U.S. The upshot is that Sanders, and his supporters, are being treated a bit like children—good-hearted, but hopelessly naive.
As a political moderate who values sanity and evidence over emotional rage in politics, I really tried to keep an open mind about the various candidates from across the political spectrum. I wanted to listen to what they had to say, watch how respectfully they treated the other candidates — across party lines — and dissect and challenge their empty rhetoric.
This was originally posted to Facebook Notes.
Things I believe in We live in a digital world, that will continue to become more digital as time passes.
If you've known me for more than 5 minutes, you’ll know that I’m interested in politics, thoughtful discussion of the issues, and educating the kinds of people who only get their political information from Facebook. You’ll also know that I support moving beyond the petty, drive-by politics of today by changing the way that I — and hopefully others — think about the issues that affect us. In America today, your vote doesn’t matter. Your vote has a 0% impact on whether or not a piece of legislation passes in Congress.
I take password security very seriously. I’ve already written about how people can improve their password habits to keep themselves safe. This piece, however, is for those of you who build websites which provide password-related functionality. This is a list of password crimes that some websites commit. I’ve described these crimes, then point out some criminals (a.k.a., websites) which commit these crimes.
(This list is not guaranteed to continue to be up-to-date. This post represents a snapshot in time, and is accurate as of early June 2014 when the first draft of this post was written.
I’ve been paying quite a bit of attention to the story of Edward Snowden — the former CIA contractor who leaked classified information to the American public about how the government is spying on us through acronym-laden programs known as “PRISM” and “MUSCULAR”. Allow me to be your tour guide as we uncover just a few of the ways in which the NSA has broken the law and spied on American citizens.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (1978) It all started in 1978 with the passage of FISA:
My friend Michelle recently explained to me that password is a perfectly valid password to use. Her reason? “People always say not to use it. So now that nobody uses it anymore, it’s totally secure again!” How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords In this case, Michelle made a fatal assumption. She assumed that human beings would be manually typing in guessed passwords. What she failed to understand is that it’s really, really easy for any off-the-shelf computer to chew through possible passwords at an incredible pace.
I recently wrote about the work I did to change every single password I had into ones that were unique for every site, and far more difficult to brute-force due to their long and randomized nature. As part of this exercise, I was essentially trying to change 250 passwords on 250 websites as quickly as possible. When you do this, you end up seeing trends and patterns across unrelated sites that you might not have noticed otherwise.
Observations Here are some of the patterns I observed about how websites manage passwords:
I learned at a relatively young age what makes a good password versus a bad password, and I’ve tried to always use these qualities in the passwords that I choose. The Problem Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, you inevitably end up re-using one or a few passwords across every single website you log into. Some people do things as dumb as using the name of their significant other. Or their pet. Or a birthdate. Or something else equally guessable by one of the many supercomputers that exist (whereby “supercomputer”, I mean pretty much any computer invented in the past 5–7 years).
In 2011, I wrote about Apple vs. Android and how “It’s all about the ecosystem, stupid!”. The more time I spend with my iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, the more of a believer I become in the power of the ecosystem. The Digital Hub Apple spent the first decade of this century focusing on the idea of The Digital Hub. It started with Mac + music, then they added photos, movies, TV shows, books, and all sorts of things.
I didn’t know Aaron personally, so there’s no insight I can provide into the person who I’ve read people describe as “a brilliant soul”.
The world is now a worse place The tech world is abuzz with the news that, at only 26 years old, Aaron Swartz decided to take his own life. I heard about it last night when I opened up Tweetbot, and saw two tweets back-to-back in my timeline:
We lost @aaronsw. — Alex Payne (@al3x) January 12, 2013.
A recent editorial on Business Insider layer out a number of reasons why the author, Ed Conway, was “leaving Apple”. This is my response.
Self-Indulgent Weiner In his editorial, Ed Conway wrote:
There’s no easy way to put this so I’ll just come right out with it. I’m leaving you. It’s been great (mostly) but it’s over.
I figured the least I could do is to explain my decision in full – I like to think it might help protect you from nasty break-ups like this in the future.
I’ve been accused of not knowing how to do a Technical Recruiter’s job, so I have no business telling them how to do it. That’s a fair assertion. What I do know, however, are all of the things that Technical Recruiters do that drive me absolutely crazy.
Not all recruiters do these things so I don’t hate them all, but generally speaking, the entire technical recruiting industry has made a very bad name for itself amongst the people they’re trying to recruit.
Reed Hastings seems like a bright guy. He handily trounced the incumbent DVD rental giants (e.g., Blockbuster, Hollywood Video), and currently has a commanding lead in the movie streaming market. So why on earth is he destroying what he’s built?
What’s happening to Netflix? Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, recently wrote a blog post to customers about some upcoming changes to the Netflix we know today:
It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes.
If updating your web browser is something that you typically put off, now is the time to break that habit. A recently-discovered attack by an Iranian hacker has thwarted the industry-standard approach to online security, causing browser makers and security firms to scramble to restore balance.
What is a web browser? Not sure what a web browser is? Check out WhatBrowser.org, watch the video, then come back here.
Let me tell you a story… Let’s say you’re visit a new place, and you have this really cool cab driver driving you around so that you can go site-seeing.
Wayne Gretzky is often credited as being the single greatest hockey player of all time. It is said that his father, Walter Gretzky, taught him the most important thing to learn in hockey:
“Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
This quote in particular is one that Steve Jobs has brought up on numerous occasions, and is far more revealing about Apple’s internal culture than I think most of us realize.
I currently own and love my iPad 2, but with HP slashing the prices on the new TouchPads this weekend, I decided to pick one up after calling around and finding some at my local Best Buy. Preface I feel that I should start by saying that I’m an Apple guy; or more specifically that I’ve always been an Apple guy. I was converted to the Mac platform back in the early 90’s when my Junior High school’s library got a new shipment of Apple Macintosh LC IIs.
Over my career, my job title has typically fallen into one of two baskets: Front-End Web Developer or Software Engineer. I’ve done a lot of interviewing over the past several years to try and find the right people to join the teams I’ve worked on, and I thought it might be helpful to share part of my process.
(I want to start by stating that what is written here are my own thoughts, and not representative of any past or current employer.
In July 2006, I co-founded a startup along with three of the smartest guys I’ve ever met. Four and a half years later, the company has just recently launched something that I’d consider pre-alpha.
Although I’m no longer with the company, I truly wish the remaining team the absolute best. We had some groundbreaking and innovative ideas, and I hope that a real, viable product will emerge soon. Thomas Edison — inventor of the lightbulb — once said “I’ve never failed.
The Last Airbender is an abomination to film making. It makes Matrix Revolutions look like The Godfather. Don’t go see it, tell your friends not to see it — don’t even wait until it comes out on DVD. Don’t waste a moment of your life on this film; you’ll thank me later. I love Avatar I am a huge fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. When I was out of work for a few weeks in 2005, I happened to land on this Nickelodeon cartoon while channel surfing.
Historically, I’ve always preferred to use Apple’s built-in Apache 2.2 and PHP 5.x that comes with Leopard. However, after trying to compile PHP 5.3 from scratch and connect it with Apache, I decided to just use the MacPorts installer instead. That did mean giving up control of a finely-tuned Apache installation, but in the end, I think I’ve ended up with a better localhost system.
Prerequisites Install MacPorts Also, make sure that your MacPorts install is completely up-to-date with:
This was a question that was recently asked on LinkedIn that I felt compelled to answer.
What are the characteristics (perceptible and imperceptible) that you look for in a sales person? What keeps you coming back to him / her more often? I’m a sales professional (trying to gain perspective on consumer buying behavior) — really trying hard to overcome my shortcomings. As a background I’ve been into consultative sales of e-Learning (products / services) and managed offshore services in the IT Industry for approx.
Update: See images of Digg’s homepage at WordDissociation.com.
I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to think of a good opening line, and I can’t. I’m speechless. Something very intriguing is happening this very moment: The users of Digg are outright revolting. This is the digital equivalent of the Los Angeles riots. But what’s more interesting is the fact that as of 9:00pm PST, Digg is letting them. (As I was writing this, Digg went down. This is getting more interesting by the minute…)