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NYT: Healthcare.gov Project Chaos Due Partly To Unorthodox Database Choice

MyDixieWrecked Re: MarkLogic = NoSQL (334 comments)

Marklogic, afaik, is the only acid compliant nosql solution that exists.

about a year ago

NYT: Healthcare.gov Project Chaos Due Partly To Unorthodox Database Choice

MyDixieWrecked Re: follow the money (334 comments)

I used marklogic when I worked at a previous job and after learning how it worked and understanding it better, it made our jobs incredibly easy. It just had a serious learning curve.

Marklogic is a nosql db, that uses XML for its object format and xquery for its query language. This thing is NOT mongodb. It actually works really well and allows for complex data modeling with the ability to do joins and have transactional isolation in making changes to the data as well as a really solid content processing framework with pipelining and all that jazz.

Now, I can't imagine a reason for using marklogic, or any non-relational db for a project like this. The only clue is that marklogic has a lot of government contracts; mostly for the military. So maybe that's why it was used. But the fact that they chose a database system that they weren't experts in for a project that had so much visibility speaks volumes on how mismanaged this whole project was.

about a year ago

How Early Should Kids Learn To Code?

MyDixieWrecked the earlier the better (299 comments)

When I was in 4th grade, we had those Atari workstations where we'd pop in a cartridge and do typing tutors. We also learned Logo, which at the time, I didn't equate with programming. In 6th grade, I had a class where we'd write BASIC on PCjrs and that's where I became totally enamored with the fact that I could have the computer do what I wanted. Even though the extent of the class was just drawing graphics to the screen, we learned a little about `for` loops and I was able to do some basic colour-cycling animations. Years later, I moved on to QBasic, then x-basic (which became REALBasic), then C, perl, and other more modern languages.

I wish there was something as simple as BASIC, but as accessible as HTML/Javascript for today's generation. I think C would make a better first language, but being able to build things with graphics is far more engaging than just commandline apps that need to be compiled. Something with low-levelish access (like BASIC's peek and poke, etc) and access to files, but also able to be publicly displayed would be a huge win.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Node.js vs. JEE/C/C++/.NET In the Enterprise?

MyDixieWrecked Re:node.js has a very serious issue (304 comments)

the thing with node is that it can handle things that your server can't necessarily handle. Things like websockets and server sent events. If you were to build a site that needed websockets for real-time feeds using traditional technologies (like php + apache), you'd wind up with apache having n open connections with n instances of your application loaded into memory. The power of node.js is the fact that a single instance of the app will stream content to an arbitrary number of clients with a single instance. It does this through the reactor pattern (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactor_pattern) and an event loop; the same mechanism that nginx uses to outperform apache (newer versions of apache have been adding support for this, I believe).

It's funny because people seem to have a lot of hate for node (myself included), yet don't have the same level of hate for similar technologies like python's Twisted or Ruby's EventMachine. Personally, I'm a bigger fan of Erlang/Elixir for this type of thing as it scales a lot better and takes better advantage of hardware. An 8-CPU system doesn't require 8 instances of node to take full advantage of the hardware.

disclaimer: I haven't had coffee yet and I hate node.

about a year and a half ago

My view of touchscreen laptops:

MyDixieWrecked Re:Thought... (359 comments)

I think for day-to-day use, the touchscreen is pointless, but I have found myself wishing for touchscreen on a couple of occasions.

When I was demoing something to a coworker a couple months back, I was pointing to the screen and since I was used to using my phone to tap things, for a split second, my instinct was to touch the screen to click a button. At that moment, I thought to myself "this wouldnt' be the worst feature as long as it wasn't a requirement for interaction."

I couldn't see myself using it and I consider it more of a novelty, but besides a slight bump in total price of the device, what's the disadvantage of having the touchscreen available? If somehow, there was smudge-proof glass, would it be that much of a burden? I mean, my screen is already smudged because the occasional beard hair sticks to it from the keyboard when I close it, and I have to wipe it away, or because I pointed at something an inadvertently touched the screen.

about a year and a half ago

Texas Declares War On Robots

MyDixieWrecked amateur photography (387 comments)

So, it appears that this is outlawing attaching a camera to your kite, to a model rocket, to an arrow... many forms of amateur photography are basically becoming misdemeanor offenses. so if one decides to start their iphone recording and throw it up into the air to see what they can see, or throw their recording ipad like a frisbee in the park, if either captures images of a place or person who didn't give express permission to photograph, you could be charged.

that's all nutso to me.

about 2 years ago

The U.S. minimum wage should be

MyDixieWrecked Re:Thank you! (1106 comments)

That's the most realistic description of the modern definition of credit. When it comes to credit cards, you're pressured into using them to cover things that you should have been able to afford to begin with, enticing you with low monthly payments. The problem is that you get a couple things that you *need* for a while, then you get one or two things that you want and next thing you know you're stuck with no way out.

10 years ago, it was easy to get a new card with a low interest rate (typically 0% for a year) on balance transfers, so if you planned it properly and you got into a hole, you could consolidate to a 0% card and be able to pay off a significant portion (if not all) within that time period. Obviously this is assuming semi-responsible spending habits with the occasional lapse in judgement, not the spend thrifts that will blow their entire wad on clothing, a flatscreen TV and an home theatre system the day they get the card.

Today, those 0% cards are pretty much non-existent. The only way out of the hole once you're in is to either get help with it (many people don't have a friend or relative willing to loan that kind of money), go to a debt consolidation agency (also a racket, but if you can get a good deal can actually work) or completely change your way of life (move closer to work, sell your car for a more fuel efficient one, move to a state with cheaper gas, move to a cheaper household, etc), but that isn't necessarily an option for many people either.

about 2 years ago

Free Wi-Fi: the Movement To Give Away Your Internet For the Good of Humanity

MyDixieWrecked but my LAN security! (505 comments)

If I decided to do this, I would need to operate my LAN like every node was bare on the internet. I've got fileservers with guest access (for, you know... houseguests), web services, my invoicing system, and a whole slew of other personal services. The thought of open wifi on the LAN kinda scares me from a security perspective.

Given that the majority of people out there aren't security conscious, there are all kinds of implications for keeping default router settings/passwords.

When I was staying in the Oakwoods in Burbank, CA for work (long-term housing, like... for months), I could see every machine on the LAN and all of the windows machines had read-only filesharing on, so I was able to loot up on all kinds of raunchy porn that people downloaded from limewire. One guy even had a bunch of tax documents in a shared folder. This included a PDF of the lease on his lexus, and some credit card statements. Another guy had 8GB of photos of his kids and family.

Shit can be dangerous out there if you're not careful.

about 2 years ago

Adobe's Strange Software Giveaway: Goof, Or Clever Marketing?

MyDixieWrecked Re:The latter. (385 comments)

When it comes to the Creative Suite (especially Photoshop and Illustrator), Adobe has been really good about actually giving you value for your money. Sure they break compatibility, but that's because they give you new features that you actually use all the time. The bad thing about these features is that techniques that retouchers used to charge $100/hour for and work on a photo for 14 hours now takes someone who has zero experience 20 minutes to accomplish, so it's ruining the industry... but at the same time, the quality of work and amount of work you can accomplish in a given amount of time has increased dramatically.

Some examples of valid compatibility-breaking features:

  * gradient mesh (illustrator)
  * transparency (illustrator)
  * support for more than 99 layers (photoshop)
  * layer groups/ folders (photoshop)
  * embedding fonts (photoshop/illustrator)
  * effects (photoshop/illustrator)
  * artboard size (illustrator)

Many of these features are older. I haven't used the suite extensively since CS3 when I was a certified expert in photoshop and illustrator. I'd been using photoshop since version 2.5 and illustrator since version 7, so I've seen the evolution of the products and they are incredibly impressive. I'm constantly amazed at what they've been able to do with these programs.

Things like Office are a different story. I'm not aware of any specific features that they've added in any recent versions. MS changes their file formats with every new version of their package and doesn't seem to be adding any additional features beyond user interface (which is no excuse for breaking compatibility).

about 2 years ago

The Web We Lost

MyDixieWrecked this guy is hitting the nail on the head (255 comments)

From what I see, though, one of the big issues is that when you get to be the size of Facebook or Twitter, it HAS to be about making money. Who is going to pay for your servers and who is going to pay your employees who work on the site full-time? Once you hit critical mass, in order not collapse under your own weight, you need to protect your monetary interests and that means closing off access to competing services.

Now, in the past, this wasn't as much of an issue because people actually paid for things and/or the advertisements covered costs. Today, the bottom has fallen out of the advertising market and no one wants to pay for anything anymore. I have friends that think Flickr's $25/year pro account is a rip-off. I think that's a *steal*.

The ecosystem of the web today is full of freeloaders and "entrepreneurs" who are trying to make a quick buck (via VC or getting bought, primarily) rather than trying to build awesome new products that people would actually want to pay for. No one wants to build companies anymore, they just want to build windfalls.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Could We Deal With the End of Time Zones?

MyDixieWrecked Re:It's Internet Time all over again... (990 comments)

I really liked internet time. It was great because I had a widget in my menubar that showed the @time and when I met people in chat rooms, it was easy to synchronize...

for those of you not in the know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatch_Internet_Time

I've spent the better part of the last year trying to bring this back. Not to use as a primary time-telling device, but as a way of easily synchronizing across timezones, mostly for IRC/IM and teleconference meetings.

I also think we need to completely kill daylight savings (as many people are suggesting). It is definitely time to do that worldwide.

more than 3 years ago

Fake Names On Social Networks, a Fake Problem

MyDixieWrecked Re:You Are The Product (283 comments)

A very large problem with this forcing of real names is when the sites in question have blacklists for certain names. I have a friend who's real, birth certificate name is "Aragorn" (his parents are HUGE LOTR geeks) and facebook does not allow that name, so he goes by Aragor. It's incredibly annoying to me, but he doesn't really care that much. facebook wants him to send a copy of his driver's license as proof so they'll allow him to use the name.

I'm just glad that they let me use Spike. I mean, it may not be on my birth certificate, but it's the only name I use. It's on my bank accounts (BofA doesn't seem to care), credit cards, cell phone, work ID, everything. My parents have called me that since before I was born and it's all anyone calls me.

more than 3 years ago

Brazilian Spider Bite May Become the Next Viagra

MyDixieWrecked Reminds me of a palahniuk book (144 comments)

In "Rant," there's a character who purposely gets bitten by spiders in order to get the proper erection. Life imitating art, again?

more than 3 years ago

Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' Developer Preview Available

MyDixieWrecked Re:What is the point of OSX server? (365 comments)

docs were read. mass-googling was done. I'm talking about apple's utilities... `networksetup` in the instance of the LOM and the network port bonding. There's no consistency in the docs about what they mean by "Service Name" which is what they call the "interface." However, there are 2 names for the interface... the user-specified one ("Ethernet 2") and the bsd name ("en1"), but the docs call them both the servicename. The only way I was able to figure out which gets used where is by trial and error.

in many cases, apple has provided their own tools that completely replace the standard toolset. hdiutil and networksetup are 2 prime examples.

another thing I forgot to bring up is ipmitool which mostly works unless you try to do serial-over-lan (sol) connections; it's completely unusable and you have to go to sourceforge and build your own ipmitool to do that stuff.

I mean, I'm not an OSX n00b. Typically I'm a linux engineer, but I've been OSX on the desktop since the developer previews and the server I've had running at home for a while and I've done contract server set up on versions going back to jaguar... the thing is that this is the first time that I've had to do seriously low-level shit (building a large xserve infrastructure with customized management and deployment tools) and it's like running into a concrete wall headfirst every time a new task comes down the pipe.

more than 3 years ago

Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' Developer Preview Available

MyDixieWrecked Re:What is the point of OSX server? (365 comments)

Apple has no real interest in the enterprise market.

And this is terrible news.

Content providers for apple MUST provide video files in Apple ProRes fileformat which is ONLY able to be encoded using apple's tools which only run in OSX. I don't know how apple expects large content producers to encode high-volumes of videos for them without the xserves. MacPros are not an option as they are not enterprise ready (single PSU, no management port, they're HUGE and must be de-"racked" in order to swap drives, etc). MacMinis are not suitable for this as they don't have enough CPU/RAM. The xserves weren't even that great, but they were the right form factor.

Apple's been seriously fucking up with regard to the enterprise lately. I've been running into issues with their commandline admin utilities --they don't give access to everything that you can do with the GUI. You can't configure which port to use for management from the CLI (the docs say you can, but it doesn't work), it renames your interface when you bond network interfaces by appending " Configuration" to the name, which doesn't happen in the gui... and now, 10.6.6 doesn't properly image using System Image Utility (http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3665)

Now, they're bundling OSX Server into OSX Lion. Who knows whether they'll continue to support ALL of the non-home user features of server like OpenDirectory. WTF.

more than 3 years ago

Hotmail Launches Accounts You Can Throw Away

MyDixieWrecked Re:Cool idea (286 comments)

apple's mobileme has had this since at least 2003. It was the one feature (but not the only reason) that has kept me from migrating my email over to gmail or other provider. They have an email aliasing feature which allows you to not only create new aliases for your main account, but you can choose what address is in the reply-to field in Mail.app or through the web app.

This has been great since I signed up for MobileMe (then, .Mac) in 2000 when I was 19 and used spike666 as my moniker, and was able to use a more professional name when the time came without needing to create a separate account.

I really wish gmail would add that. There's no way to change my google account's login (according to their faq) and I'm not about to get a new account and lose my entire search history and everything else that's tied to that account.

I would use an email address on one of my domains, but after having the same email address for 11 years, it's kinda hard to switch.

more than 3 years ago

Cracking Passwords With Amazon EC2 GPU Instances

MyDixieWrecked proper use of hashing algorithms (217 comments)

So this also proves that, ultimately, this list of passwords was not properly hashed.

People jump up and down and scream that SHA1 and MD5 are broken, but if properly used, they still offer significant password security. One trick is to use salts when storing passwords in the database.

password: 'foo'
salt: '2010-11-16T08:39:05Z - some_random_string$#@!'
password-hash (md5): 14e80778512f578a5fe263abe4b58e9c

that increased the amount of time required to brute-force the password significantly. Also, the use of a database of hashes is largely worthless since each password in the list would have a completely unique hash. for the sake of brute-forcing the data, short passwords don't matter (on the other hand, brute-forcing login to the application is not affected). Having a different salt for each password makes the time spent on each other password completely worthless once the cracker gets to the next item in the list.

to improve that, we can say... hash the result 1000 times in a row. For someone trying to brute force the hash, they would spend 1000x the CPU resources creating the hash. It's mostly not a big deal to run that hash 1000 times when creating the information for the database or authenticating the user.

of course, SHA1 and MD5 are still broken when it comes to file integrity checking (when it comes to tampering) since there are documented collisions. For this case, cryptographic signatures are where it's at. You can guarantee that not only was the file not tampered with, but also that the person who supplied the signature was who they say they were. Gotta love public key encryption.

more than 4 years ago

Taco Bell Programming

MyDixieWrecked I write all my code in brainfuck (394 comments)

...you insensitive clod!

8 commands. period. no more, no less. Super maintainable, cross platform and...

bah, who am I kidding?

more than 4 years ago

I Wish My Car Had A...

MyDixieWrecked Re:First things first... (789 comments)

cars are lame.

friends from out of town don't understand my love affair with being carless. living in NYC, public transportation is spectacular... I just wish it was better outside of the city.

more than 4 years ago

My Automobile Gets __ MPG

MyDixieWrecked Re:What automobile ? (1141 comments)

hooray for public transportation!

since moving to NYC in 04, I haven't had a car and it's AWESOME. no more insurance, worrying about people breaking in, parking, oil changes, cleaning it, gas, etc etc etc.

plus I walk like 10x more than I used to. it's great.

I'd get a bike, but I've been hit by a car on my bike in the past and I don't want to deal with that again. I value my safety too much.

more than 4 years ago


MyDixieWrecked hasn't submitted any stories.



Vonage and their predicament...

MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So, the other day when I got on the train, there was the business section of the New York Times sitting on the seat.

The front page story? How Vonage went public with a very nicely high-priced IPO @ 17$/share.

The problem is that after only a couple days, the price plummeted 13% on its first day, and after only a couple of days, dipped below $12/share. Explanations for this include poor management of the shares (poor selection for customers who bought the initial offering of shares), customers who never intended to keep the shares (they hoped the price would rise, and they'd sell them off for a quick profit), and uneasiness among shareholders due to Vonage's competition and this whole net neutrality issue.

Now, this all got me thinking... You see, I worked on Vonage's banners which were used to market their IPO and the whole going public event at the New York Stock Exchange, so I feel a little attachment to them. Also, they're, to me, pioneers in the VoIP market and they're from my home state of New Jersey. My roommate is even a customer of theirs and uses them for his fax line for his business.

So what can save vonage?

their main problem seems to be that their primary competitors are the same people who provide the service that Vonage runs over. The cable/DSL companies. Why pay for vonage when you can get the exact same service, with less equipment (combined modem/router/phonejack), on one bill, for the same amount of $?

Vonage needs to come up with new services to offer. They need to leverage their technology and innovate (I hate that buzzword).

Personally, I think vonage could have alternative services. Services that don't require hardware leases. Services similar to skype. An all-software VoIP solution. maybe Vonage could supply a headset with the price of the service?

How about fax-over-email or web-based faxing? Vonage could save $ and increase their customer base by providing fax services without needing to supply extra hardware. They could also have a pay as you go service for sending faxes though the web.

Speaking of faxing, what about a vonage-branded fax machine with an ethernet hook up?

Although faxing is going the way of the dinosaurs, it's not dead yet, and many business depend on that old technology, still. Sometimes, it's the only way to send documents; especially contracts.

Unless vonage wakes up (and wakes up soon), they'll get destroyed by the competition who can offer more reliable service (since it's their own lines; although I'm not saying that verizon offers good DSL service by any stretch of the imagination), and, right now, seems to have the capability to limit the quality and access to vonage's service.

VoIP is the future of real-time communication.

that's just my rant.

*gets off soapbox*



PSP from think geek

MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I just noticed in the banner for ThinkGeek.com's PSP contest that the pictured unit has a yellow desktop...

I got my PSP back in january and it had a graphite-colored desktop, yet all the screenshots I had see up until that point had a red desktop. I realized once February rolled around, that every month the desktop changes, which makes for an interesting feature. February's color is yellow. I don't remember what march's is, since my battery died this morning as I was about to finally win a race in Ridge Racers that I've been trying to win for about a week, now.

Anyway, my point is that ThinkGeek must have taken the picture themselves and not used some stock photo...

Yeah, that's a pointless point. Sorry.


Gamecube madness

MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 10 years ago As you may or may not know, I am currently working on an OSX (and linux, POSIX, etc) utility for hax0ring gamecube games, and I must say that I've found a couple of very interesting things out.

Namely, I just discovered a secret video in the Prince of Persia: Sands of time game, named "VIS_622.int." In PoP, the .int video files are really bink video files, so I downloaded the OSX carbon bink player and viewed it only to find that it's a very interesting spoof on prince of persia entitled "Monk of Perlia." In the animation, there's this monk who gets locked up while his princess is being danced to death by some vile fiend. The story progresses through the monk finding the O'Reilly PERL book, coding up

$transport =~ /palace/;

and rescuing his princess.

i damn near died laughing, and this is the only place I could post such a find and actually have it appreciated. My roommates think I'm an idiot... What do you think? ;)



MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 11 years ago So, yeah, I've been wasting my life for the past couple weeks.

NESRomTool has become stagnant (I really need to get back to work on that). Living in the city is fun, though. Full of distractions. Eating too much. Enjoying everything too much.

I'm currently looking for a job, as the commute is killing me for this job. My last day is on wednesday, so SOMEONE, GET ME A JOB! Somewhere in manhatten would be great!

I'm a graphic artist and hobbiest programmer. I'm a master photoshop and illustrator user. Production artist by trade. Self taught. I can also code in Java, C, C++, and objC. Get me a job, eh?


MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Built my new computer:


now what? I'm gonna build a nice athlon system. I don't have a PC and this'll be something to do. fun fun. ok, me sleep now.


what!? fuck. I'm at work. oh well.


Something interesting

MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 12 years ago Yeah, my Titanium rocks. I love it with every part of my body (even my pee pee).

Got XFree86 installed and practactly every fucking app for it, along with shitloads of windowmanagers... Although stupid KDE decided that KNotify wants to crash ALL THE FUCKING TIME (we're talking, ohhhh... once every 10 seconds...).

Oh well. If you know of a fix, post it here... Googling for an answer didn't help. it's KDE 3.something. I dunno. I'm too tired to look.



Brag time... =)

MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Well, I finally ordered a Titanium!

ATI Radeon 9000 mobility

Everything is maxed out! oh yeah!


Holy shit

MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 12 years ago I am so depressed. Depressed depressed depressed.

I think absinthe lowers yer saratonin [sp?]. I'm practactly suicidal, methinks. I just wanna curlupanddie.

That's the only thing I can think of that would explain this. I have nothing else to worry about. I have plenty of $, working on this chick (got her hooked and realing her in), and a steady job as well as doing lots of productive stuff. What the fuck?

I think I'm gonna do another shot of flaming absinthe now.


Ug, my head hurts

MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Just got back from seeing Mindless Self Indulgence.

The Fucker drank his own pee. It was cool, though. Awesome show.

Show ended early for some reason. Something happened and they left the stage right in the middle of something (not a song, just talking to the audience and whatnot). Dunno if someone got hurt or a light fell or something failed or what... oh well.

Ok, time for bed. It's 2am.


tattoo error averted, luckily. whew!

MyDixieWrecked MyDixieWrecked writes  |  more than 12 years ago Oh, god damn I'm lucky. it's a good thing I didn't get 1010010100 tattoo'd on me...

Fuck my memory. I can't remember shit. That's how I memorized 666 in the ol' binary. Good thing... oh man...

1010011010 is what it should be. Thanks to the user by the same name (I ran across his name and recognized the pattern but wondered why it was different).

Maybe I memorized it right, it's just that the java applet that I used was erroneous? Probibly the latter, although my memory is shot due to excessive use of various flavours of methlenedioxymethamphetamine... (Did I spell that right).

Oh well... I'm just relieved.

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