if ( knowledge ) {

A place for thought, progress, and dissent.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Final Post

After 2 years of procrastinating I've finally setup a new blog at http://daniel.collectiveidea.com.

It will be a work-in-progress for a while, but please join me.

I won't be posting here anymore. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Programmer Humor

From Brandon:
>> "SOA".succ
=> "SOB"

Inspired by: SOA Facts

Friday, October 06, 2006

Written in Ruby

XMPP4R is written in Ruby. If you don't know this language yet, continue to ignore it. Learning it will make you realize what you missed until now, and you might run into severe problems (depression, etc).

From: XMPP4R's Docs.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Playing .mp4 files via QuickTime in the Browser

Documenting an hour's worth of frustration.

No video? Just a big blue Q icon? Add mime types to your server (assumes Apache). You can do it in an .htaccess to make it easy.

Contrary to expectations, the following will not work.
AddType video/quicktime .mp4

Use this instead:
AddType video/mp4 .mp4

Of course.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What are they thinking?

From MasSlash:
Needless to say, HTML email is NOT EVER an enhancement. - AcaBen


Update: AcaBen's mini-editorial.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sign Up?

Hash: SHA1

My email box is constantly plagued by spam, phishing, and other random junk. Banks, PayPal, and other merchants have spent a lot of time educating the public on how to recognize "spoofed" emails, and not believe (or click) everything they get in their inbox.

Wouldn't it be great if I could know that email came from PayPal?

We have the tools--we have for years. Public Key Encryption (PGP, GPG, and the like), in addition to allowing for top-notch privacy also can allow for nearly-perfect sender identification.

With Encryption, I can send an email to a colleague and know that only he can open it (at Collective Idea, we do this as a matter of habit--even if we're just sending a funny link). The other side, Signing, allows for me to send an email to anyone and have them *know* that I am the only person who could possibly have sent it.

To know that the sender is who they say they are, I do need to have PGP installed, and be smart about accepting keys. If I do both of these things, I have a greater level of assurance. If I don't, I see a message that looks exactly like this one.

I'm starting to think that all web applications should sign emails without exception. Do I care if my account notice from Bascamp is real? Probably not, but I would like to know I can. I'd also like to see PGP more widely used... this could help, if only in a small way.

I'm considering adding signed messages to some apps I'm working on. Is it worth it? Would people respond well, or get confused?

Version: GnuPG v1.4.3 (Darwin)


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Coded Message

Aaron: 200 I'm 410
Daniel: 406!
Aaron: Jodi says 405
Daniel: 200.

We're leveraging our knowledge of HTTP.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

On Rails

Some brief notes:

RailsConf was fantastic. I expect next year to be much crazier, but we'll hope it keeps its class. The current community is so bright as a collective whole.

Chicago's "L" system is really good. People who live there often don't realize how easy it is to get around the city.

Chicagoland's Metra trains are also very nice. No complaints there, though I wonder if they could add wi-fi...

I took an Amtrak train from Chicago to Washington, D.C. which arrived 7 hours late. I do love Amtrak, but they don't make it easy. We really need to make rails service more of a priority in this country.

D.C.'s Metro system is surprisingly nice. Very clean and few advertisements. July 4th found it body-to-body after the fireworks, but it could have been much worse.

The airline industry, while much quicker, is completely backwards. I should be able to pick and choose flights (find a cheap one from D.C. to chicago, then find one to Grand Rapids) but instead, am forced to pick one airline for the entire trip, limiting my options. It is ridiculous that a ticket from D.C. through Chicago to Grand Rapids is cheaper than a ticket from Chicago to Grand Rapids (on the same flight) alone.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Excitement from RailsConf

Sunday, June 18, 2006

HOWTO: Build and Instant Indie Music Collection

You're getting ready for a sweet dinner party. You have some foreign cheeses, a bottle of wine, and a fruit salad, but you really need some good hip music. Don't let on that that last CD you bought was Avril Lavigne (its ok that you enjoyed it when it came out, but now its a bit passé) grab an eclectic playlist of free music.

KEXP (90.3 FM) in Seattle, besides being a fantastic radio station with a great internet stream, provides just the podcast for you. I know, you don't think a podcast is a viable option. This one is just songs. One per day, with a good backlog.

Grab the podcast, preferably using iTunes. Not because you have to use iTunes, but because that's what I'm using.

Click their handly link to subscribe via iTunes. There, that was easy. At this point, iTunes will ask you for confirmation, and will begin to download the current day's song. This is great, but your dinner party is in half an hour. How will you get a full playlist?

Notice the little Get icons next to each previous song? Get 'em all. Every single one. You can delete them later if they suck.

In a matter of minutes, you'll have a great set of songs. Even better, they show up in your Library and will also sync to your iPod (depending on your settings). I'd recommend making a playlist (smart playlists are great) for them, maybe throwing in the few cool songs you already own. Then throw it on shuffle, and see what happens!

All your friends will think you're cool, and you saved yourself a ton of time actually learning about Indie Music.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Dan: one guess why Eventful is better than Upcoming
Slack: atom?
Dan: yep.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

& I rest my case.

Via Tim Bray, James Holderness describes why RSS is broken beyond the point of fixing.
Clearly if you want to support Firefox or Internet Explorer you’ve got no choice but to use the single encoding option. For certain strings, though, that would mean losing support for at least twenty other aggregators. No matter what you do, you can’t win.

I agree with Tim that this is a decisive argument for Atom. I rest my case.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Flickr makes my day.

Flickr, the online photo community which I have formed a minor addiction to, just went 1.0. No, the site isn't out of beta (or gamma), but they have an Atom 1.0 feed.

I haven't seen it advertised (probably because it doesn't quite validate), but I was able to hack the URL from ?atom_03 to ?atom_100 and it worked!

They've made some great progress, and the validation error will be easy to fix. What I'm really excited about is how they correctly mark up tags in the feed:
<category term="up" scheme="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/" />
<category term="kayak" scheme="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/" />
<category term="memorialdayweekend" scheme="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/" />

I hope more tag-happy apps follow suit!

Monday, May 15, 2006

New Book

Aaron: i've already started my Agile Bullshitting book
Dan: haha
Aaron: that's the beauty of the book
Aaron: i totally bullshited you just now
Dan: nice.