“Objects in System.Reflection are closer than they appear.”
by Greg McCoy

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

“To hell with them…”

It’s a troubling ordeal we’re all in here with the Oracle/Google problem. If you’ve not yet heard, Google is being sued by Oracle over their use of Java with regard to their Android Java VM. Here is a well written article on the situation. Reading this is quite disturbing, but is something that I think people should know about who are at all involved with Google, Android, or Java development. ChrisDev55, a commenter over at ZDNet put it better than I ever could have:

Larry Ellison and his legal lapdogs have breathed a chill down the backs of the entire Java development community. What a shameful business practice: plain and pure extortion via licensing fees! Oracle (and Sun in particular) did not lead advancements, the platform or novel implementations in Java over the past few years. Others did, Google being one of the most recognizable. For all of those innovative, up-start Java development houses out there… watch your back! If your product/service is successful in the marketplace, you could get a letter from Redwood Shores, CA asking for a cut. As a key decision maker within my organization, I plan on skewing all future Oracle technology feasibility assessments and licensing renewals in favor of OSS. Oracle’s move has completely eroded any residual customer loyalty I had. To hell with them…

Low-carb Geek…

Okay, so for those that do not see me regularly, you may not know that I’ve changed my life a little bit. I’ve decided it’s finally time to lose some weight.

I know, I know… I’m sure those of you that know me are saying “Yeah… tried to tell you that!”, but I also know that in order to make life-altering changes you have to want to do it.

So I’ve started with my diet. Life would be so much easier if I said that I was “dieting”, but that’s not the case, as “dieting” is almost always a slingshot effect, and I don’t want this stuff coming back.

I’ve also found that many of my experiences along this path are things that, going into it, I never knew. It’s very much a learning experience, but I find every day that there are ways to make it closer and closer to what my previous diet was. I think this is the reason that it’s easy to look at this as a life change more than a diet – it can be sustained.

So I saw, through many a bewildered eye at the things that I could eat, that there was a need to explain my findings for others to possibly benefit from. I started lowcarbgeek.com to hopefully help out with that a bit.

If you’re looking to lose some weight and don’t already have a plan, give it some consideration. After all, I’ve lost 52 pounds so far, and I’m not even remotely miserable. ;Þ

Tools import underway…

As of now, I’ve re-created three of the tools that were being used on the recently deceased version of lancemay.com.

There are a couple I still need to pull in, and more still that I have yet to write, but that process is currently underway.

If you have any (primarily development) tool ideas that you’d like me to write up, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

StackOverflow.com advertisers, beware…

I’ve gotten a fair bit of irritation from corporate internet blocking (Websense and the like), so this was almost overlooked entirely.

Just about every developer in my division’s department has been scanning Google trying to fix issues and stumbled across half of the results being on SO (http://www.stackoverflow.com).

Much to our dismay, however, when their pages load they’re completely blank. Upon further investigation we noticed that we’re actually getting 403’d! A simple email to SO (team@stackoverflow.com) went out from a co-worker…

Hi,

Pretty much everyone on my dev team has noted that any attempt to access StackOverflow.com winds up with just a blank page for a few months now. Firebug indicates I’m getting a 403 error. Google pointed me to this post (which in itself is rather meta):

http://74.125.113.132/search?q=cache:2YXVwUIBnTgJ:meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/8596/403-forbidden-returned-for-any-so-related-page+%22403+Forbidden+returned+for+any+SO+related+page%22&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Our public IP appears to be ??.???.??.?? as reported by whatismyip.com.

So, I’m curious… have we been somehow banned?

Thanks.

Amazingly enough, from a company as seemingly awesome as SO, the response comes back (in its entirety)…

<add ipAddress="??.???.??.??" allowed="false" />    <!– 6k hits multiple hours –>

Wow. Thanks for the professionalism, respect, and general acknowledgement that our company’s IT professionals are important enough to speak to.

I, myself, sent the following email as a response to this news (and have yet to be graced with a response)…

SO,

I received a rather vexing email from a co-worker of mine about why our (very large) company cannot access SO. Apparently we have been banned. The response to a standard email explaining our situation and asking if we were banned resulted in a cold response of:

"<add ipAddress="??.???.??.??" allowed="false" />    <!– 6k hits multiple hours –>"

That was all. No explanation of what that was supposed to mean (other than the obviousness that we had been banned), how or why it happened, or what (if anything) we could do to resolve the issue. Again, this is a very old, very large company with many developers whom I’m sure your advertisers would love to market to, and would quite probably be assisting your users with industry knowledge as well.

I would like to ask that a response be given addressing the questions that, from any other company, would have been offered freely as a professional courtesy. Thanks much in advance.

All-in-all, I guess what I want here is for SO to know that the people they are blocking are very knowledgeable and contributing in most cases. Instead of taking a professional approach to this, you’ve alienated hundreds of IT personnel.

Most importantly, however, I would like for the advertisers of SO to read this and know that instead of being marketed to developers with corporate budgets, they are getting spun to primarily the average hobbyist who doesn’t have a Fortune 500 company’s budget to work with.

*** UPDATE ***

A response came from SO, finally. Not to me, but to another developer in our department. Here it is…

I manually removed the ban.

Be aware that 6k hits per hour is highly anomalous, and the daily scripts will flag and auto-ban IPs with that kind of traffic pattern.

So I guess we’re back in with SO. That being the case, I have nothing more to speak about on the topic.

All is well that ends okay, so I’ll end thi— meh… you probably know what comes next anyway.

A while, yes…

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. That’s only because I started trying to use my own site for things. Not that that is a bad thing; I just felt it was time to come back to Blogger.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately over at my other Blogger home working on a personal project (Snippets on Steroids) with all of my free time. Aside from that, just work alone is enough to put a damper on a solid blogging moment.

Updates…

  • I’ve pretty much sworn-off gaming again.
  • Skinning is not my constant side-work anymore.
  • Kristin and I are now engaged.
  • I took a permanent position with iPay Technologies.
  • Kristin and I moved to Elizabethtown, KY.
  • Kristin took a position at iPay, as well.

I’m sure there are more, but I wanted to give the overview. That is all that comes to mind at the moment.

MSU/iPay (more headlines)…

Again!

Payment Processing: Michigan State University Federal Credit

iPay Technologies, a leading online bill pay provider for community financial institutions, was selected by Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSU FCU) to provide its 145,000 membership base online bill pay services.

iPay/MSU in the news…

I was looking over a few things in my LinkedIn account and some random piece of news jumped out at me. Check this little blurb out. ;)

MSU FCU Goes with iPay for Bill Pay – Credit Union Times

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University Federal Credit Union will be offering its 144,000 members online bill pay services through the iPay Technologies platform.

The $1.4 billion CU had been using an internal system.

“iPay’s sole focus is online bill pay, so being able to access their award-winning graphical user interface expansive functionality and impressive electronic rate will greatly improve our members’ online experience,” says Jeffrey Jackson, vice president of member services at MSU FCU, the nation’s largest university-based credit union.

Headquartered in Elizabethtown, Ky., iPay Technologies provides online bill pay solutions to more than 1,400 community financial institutions nationwide.

We’re off to see the Blizzard…

I guess in starting off my new “official” blog, this bit of news is just as good as any.

In less than a week, I’m flying out to California. I’ve never been to the west coast, but I hear it’s nice. The kicker is that I’ve never really wanted to go. Now, however, I can’t avoid going. Wouldn’t want to if I could, really. After all, it’s all payed for. It’s a mini-getaway. Most importantly, however, it’s for an interview with Blizzard Entertainment.

I’d say that really sums it up. For over a decade now, I’ve admired the work to come from their hands. Of course, I’ve always thought how great it would be to code or design for them. I just never thought seriously about having that opportunity. Now granted, I’m not going in for a game development position, but a tools developer instead. So I’m sure it will be a lot like the other work that I’ve done, but c’mon… it’s for Blizzard! Who knows, perhaps I can find a way to slip in my designs somewhere and get a prototype going. Oh well… pipe-dreams, you know?

I will obviously be posting about this in the days to come, but for now… I’m done.

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