...composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries...

© 1994-2017. David Sklar. All rights reserved.

Wrangling CoLinux Networking

As much I wanted my Windows Re-Education Camp efforts to succeed completely, my brain and my fingers have Unix idioms too deeply ingrained in them to make the increasing amount of adjustment effort worth it.

Instead of firing up my long-dormant VMWare installation, I thought I’d give CoLinux a try.

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Shipping Water Around The World

Ever wonder how much it costs to ship a liter of water from the South Pacific to New England? Wonder no more.

RSS: The Ultimate Opt-In Solution

I want to receive marketing, billing, and other corporate communications via RSS instead of e-mail.

When a company sends me an e-mail message, it is subject to all of the annoyingness of e-mail: spam filtering, drowning in my inbox (unless I spend the time to filter it somewhere), etc. Plus, I either have to send my e-mail address off into the wilderness, hoping it doesn’t become spambait or go to the trouble to set up a new alias for each commercial purpose.

If, instead, I could just add a personalized feed into my feed reader, we (me and the company) would both be better off: I can trust the source of the message, so I don’t need to do any spam filtering. I can retrieve the feed over an SSL connection, so it’s a feasible way to provide sensitive data like a bank statement or monthly bill. The company I’m getting the feed from knows when my feed is retrieved so it has some rough metrics for determining that I’ve actually received the data in the feed.

A nice bonus would be if there was a way for the feed publisher to provide advisory information to my feed reader on how often to check for updates – the hypothetical feed for my monthly phone bill doesn’t need to be refreshed every few hours. Once a day is ample.

So, how about it, airlines, banks, utility companies, credit card companies, and all other corporate behemoths that are, I’m sure, exemplary custodians of my personal and financial data? Instead of (ok, in addition to, I’ll be realistic) asking for my e-mail address, give me a URL like:

to plug into my feed reader. I promise I’ll read everything you send me!

Poker's Popularity

Everybody seems to want to play poker these days. I have been wondering what has caused this explosion in the past few years. There’s a feedback loop between movies, all of the poker TV shows, and individual interest in the game, I suppose, but what got that loop going?

A NYT article about the topic today provides a clue:<blockquote>Poker became television fodder when the toy mogul Henry Orenstein invented a camera technology that allowed viewers to see a poker player’s cards through a window in the table. Mr. Orenstein is the creator and executive producer of “Poker Superstars.”

“Before, you never knew who had what cards,” he said in a telephone interview. “Now you can actually see the strategy in the middle of the game.”</blockquote>And also:<blockquote>It was the Internet, however, that changed the odds in big-money tournaments. Last year an Internet player named Christopher Moneymaker - his actual name, by the way - won the World Series of Poker and $2.5 million. He had never played in a live tournament in his life … There are no faces in Web card rooms, only players and lots of them. Last year … Internet gambling revenue totaled almost $6.35 billion.</blockquote>

Virtual Market Software

I am looking for virtual market software – along the lines of Blogshares or Hollywood Stock Exchange, but for trading arbitrary “securities”.

This could be a neat project to build (whilst tiptoeing around relevant patents), but if something customizeable already exists, I’d like to take a look at it.

Any thoughts?

PHP Form Handling Tips

I have a new article up on about PHP Form Handling Tips.

XUL and MySQL Cluster at NYPHP

Last night’s NYPHP meeting featured two talks: Jayesh Sheth on XUL and Johan Andersson on MySQL cluster. Both were a little less PHP-specific than many NYPHP talks but they have their relevancy in the PHP ecosphere.

Continue reading “XUL and MySQL Cluster at NYPHP”

Treat Windows like Unix with

For a variety of reasons, some having to do with expanding my technical horizons, some having to do with laziness, I’ve been spending more time with Windows XP these days and less time with Linux.

Things like Cygwin have made my sojourn in the Land of Windows smoother. Another source of incredibly helpful utilities has been Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell of Sysinternals. Thanks, guys!

In particular, programs like Process Explorer and TCPView have filled the grey, jagged hole created by the absence of lsof and netstat. (Yes, Cygwin comes with netstat, but TCPView is nicer.)

Any other Unix natives spending lots of time with Windows? What programs do you use to keep you sane?

PHP Debugging Basics

I have a new article up at PHP Debugging Basics. It’s a gently edited version of some of what’s in Chapter 12 of Learning PHP 5.

PHP Cookbook, 2nd Edition

Adam and I are working on a new edition of PHP Cookbook.

What was left out of the first edition that you want to see in the second edition? What cool hacks do you use all the time that should be in the Cookbook? What was in the first edition that should go away?