Thursday, October 29

Next Leg of the MSDN NE Roadshow is on!

THE MSDN Northeast Roadshow team of Jim O’Neil and Chris Bowen will be making another stop in Albany, NY:

MSDN Events Presents >
The MSDN Northeast Roadshow - "Don't Fear the Coder" Tour

Thursday, November 12, 2009
9:30 AM - 3:30 PM Eastern Time
Welcome Time: 9:00 AM

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
1623 15th St
Biotech Building
Albany, New York 12180

Lunch Included

The Agenda: Clever Hacking, Slashed Efforts, and Killer Applications
Topics Include:
• Something WCF This Way Comes
• RIA Window – Expression, Silverlight, and MVVM
• "Help!" – Grasping at Lifelines
• LINQ De-crypted
• Tales from the Webside - ASP.NET WebForms, AJAX, and More

Register today for the Roadshow (seating is limited), and we’ll see you soon! http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9693448

/MSFT announcement

A quick .02: seating's really not that limited at this event. Not once, not ever. But that's mostly thanks to the use of RPI's biotech auditorium, which can seat a good number of people.

Wednesday, October 28

Pipin' hot Google Wave Invites

So I happen to be up at 3:27am Eastern, and I happen to open Wave, and much to my delight, in pops an update (blip?) to my invite nomination wave, informing me I have 12 fresh invite nominations to pass on.

So ... friends & family & anyone I promised after I ran out the last time -- please get in touch! (I know a lot of you have invites already -- if so, please let me know that's the case, so I can pass these on to others.)

Tuesday, October 27

A look at the new Apple iTab



I kid! But check out Silicon Alley Insider/Business Insider's take on what the real Apple tablet might look like.

Mac fans are apparently willing to lay it on the line for this as-yet-vapor device:

Monday, October 26

TimesUnion.com == porn

At least according to Kaspersky Internet Security 2010:



When I clicked the link to indicate miscategorization, I was taken to a 404 page on Kaspersky's site. I've been able to flag other miscategorizations without difficulty. #fail

Grading Google's Acquisitions

via Silicon Alley Insider

Saturday, October 24

Important Thought For The Day

Disappointing: Stargate Universe

A looooooongtime Stargate addict, (since the movie went to video when I was a kid and we rented it from Blockbuster, or perhaps the pre-Blockbuster mom 'n' pop video store that no longer exists in my hometown) I have been doing my best to give the newest rendition - Stargate Universe - a fair shake. I didn't really appreciate Stargate Atlantis immediately, and though I never came to love it like the original Stargate: SG-1, it was watchable.

I'm afraid I can't say the same for SGU. While I like the new, darker take on and style of the atmosphere, ambience and lighting, the storyline has been a litany of, "Oh no, we can't control the ship!" and, "Yay, the ship is doing what's best for us," mixed with a side of, "Oh no, are we going to make it back in time?" and a bit of "Doctor Evil" (Rush) paranoia thrown in. Bleh. Give me those four hours of my life back.

SGU's launch has failed on take-off. Too much drama involving characters we are not (yet?) invested in. Too slow to unfold -- not enough action, not enough people-making-choices. I have not yet entirely given up, but, sadly, I'm about willing to concede this one. :(

Thursday, October 22

Bureaucracy

SlideShare lead generation #fail

I woke this morning to find an email from SlideShare in my inbox titled, "How To Capture Customer Leads with your Presentations."



Ever since their lame-as-hell, obnoxious and in some ways offensive (in their lack of respect for their users) April Fools #fail I have assumed all SlideShare email to be fake or spammy, which was my first thought here. However generating leads is one of my great weaknesses as a technically-centered consultant, so as someone who posts his 2x-3x/yearly technical presentations to SlideShare, I put aside my reservations and dug in further.

While the lead-generation offering isn't exactly super-robust, it does seem like a decent first-take effort to generate revenue in a fashion that represents wins all around. Cost-per-lead is one of my favorite advertising cost models. There's not a lot of room for BS, overcharging or general clickfraud there.

End users don't appear overly impeded in their use of your material. You can set a per-day budget cap (leads start a $1/ea. with a la carte offerings around navigation flow alteration and data collection intended to improve the quality of the lead) which is one of the things I love about advertising through Google.

Unfortunately when you wrap up the process and save the campaign and are prompted to add funds to your account, it appears that the only offering for payment is ... PayPal.

Wait, what? How massively un-businesslike is THAT? SlideShare #massivelyembarassingfail #2.

I've had a PayPal account for years of course ... 2000 or 2001 maybe. I don't have a PayPal account linked to my business or business cards/accounts however, and if I'm putting any kind of money into advertising, you better bet that's coming out of business accounts and getting written off.

What business in their right mind offers a PayPal payment option but no standalone credit card option in what is by all rights a B2B offering?

Tuesday, October 20

There are days ...

... when this is the scariest sight in the world, and others, when it's the rarest pleasure:

Monday, October 19

Worth living by

You have to pay the price. You will find that everything in life exacts a price, and you will have to decide whether the price is worth the prize.
Sam Nunn

Worth thinking about

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.
John Lennon

Saturday, October 17

It's On! Tech Valley Code Camp 2009

Tech Valley Code Camp 2009 is slated for November 7th at SUNY Albany. Thanks to Griff Townsend for getting the site updated after it languished in my overly-busy hands.

Friday, October 16

A Twitter Mass Follow Movement I Can Get Behind

via Mashable

Drew Carey will pay $1M USD for Drew Olanoff's "Drew" Twitter name if he reaches 1M followers at his current Twitter account by the end of 2009.

This is part of Olanoff's effort to raise money for LIVESTRONG after his own personal fight with cancer over this past year. All money will go to LIVESTRONG. Olanoff has created an OAuth Twitter application as part of this effort.

I've followed @drewfromtv, and you should too!

Wednesday, October 14

Need attendees! Capital Region Business Council meetup

A new Meetup.com group, the Capital Region Business Council, is a bit light on attendees for an event this Saturday:

I wanted to get some feedback. I was hoping for a few more attendees and I will be soliciting new memebers aggresively this week. I have been traveling on Business last week and into this week so I apologize for the slow start. The event might need to be rescheduled to have a maximum amount of attendees. I did plan to have it at The Desmond and it is quite costly to go there. I am going to have the event Catered by My Favorite Caterer out of Albany. This event will be great. Please send me feedback of an Establishment or Location anyone might know of. I am looking for additional people as well who might want to be involved with the group planning. There are so many wonderful people with amazing talents within our group already. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.

Sincerely,

Michael Velardi
President and Founder
Capital Region Business Council

Job: High Availability Linux/Python Guru

Email me and I can put you in touch: ...@badera.us

Description: SOFTWARE ENGINEER
Our Client is seeking a Software Engineer responsible for creating complex data processing and presentation tools that integrate tightly with some of the industry's biggest game franchises. You would function as a member of our team of backend and application engineers and business specialists to expand our game service platform.

Requirements:

• Experience delivering large, complex, highly available software systems

• Ninja skills in Python

• Knowledge of design patterns, SOA, refactoring and unit testing

• Experience with web application servers, web development frameworks, proxy servers and relational databases

• Experience with Linux

• Interest in working on-site at our office in Troy, NY

The ideal candidate will have:

• Experience with MySQL or Postgres

• Experience with other web technologies (Ruby, CSS, Javascript, HTML)

• Experience with NGINX and HAProxy

• Exposure to ESB technologies (MSMQ, RabbitMQ, HornetQ, etc.)

• Experience working with Agile development methodologies (XP, Scrum)

• An understanding of system optimization issues

• Familiarity with system monitoring tools (Monit preferred)

• A detail-oriented, organized thought process and be able to act decisively under stressful conditions.

• A proactive mindset and be able to multitask and prioritize requirements.

• A self-motivated work process and posses excellent communication skills
Benefits:

• Work with an experienced, successful, intelligent team

• Competitive salary, health benefits, and retirement plan

• Be an integral part of a growing, fast-paced company where your work will make a true impact

Tuesday, October 13

Twitter API & OAuth 101 - TVUG October 2009

Apparently I'm not the only one

You heard it here first: the dwindling of Friendfeed. And I called it pre-FB acquisition!


Is anyone still using Friendfeed?



Google Groups Spammed & Spoofed

Someone used a paid relay service to send a blast of spam mail to Google Groups today, including an email to DotNetDevelopment forged to look like it was from me, and one to the Twitter development list from Abraham Williams. I wonder if I can tighten up my SPF records further ...

Note:

"node67-rs.smtp.com is a paid relay service. We do not tolerate UCE of any kind. Please report it ASAP to abuse@smtp.com"

Reported! Too bad they're sloppy enough to either take on a paying scammer, or allow their server(s) to be compromised.

Entire original header below:

Received: by 10.204.57.197 with SMTP id d5cs159454bkh;
Tue, 13 Oct 2009 05:46:41 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by 10.224.36.161 with SMTP id t33mr5712657qad.346.1255437999331;
Tue, 13 Oct 2009 05:46:39 -0700 (PDT)
Return-Path:

Received: from mail-yw0-f143.google.com (mail-yw0-f143.google.com [209.85.211.143])
by mx.google.com with ESMTP id 16si5931388qyk.49.2009.10.13.05.46.37;
Tue, 13 Oct 2009 05:46:38 -0700 (PDT)
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Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=pass (google.com: domain of grbounce-CXXeHAUAAABT6iFcnV0tp2J8uwopwMrD=[name]=[mydomain]@googlegroups.com designates 209.85.211.143 as permitted sender) smtp.mail=grbounce-CXXeHAUAAABT6iFcnV0tp2J8uwopwMrD=[name]=[mydomain]@googlegroups.com; dkim=pass (test mode) header.i=@googlegroups.com
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h=domainkey-signature:received:received:x-sender:x-apparently-to
:received:received:received:received-spf:received
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:list-unsubscribe:x-beenthere-env:x-beenthere;
bh=v/3cjxr9yNnnn8YzYMWt3Zb3yFtZ6fg/QPjQ6F00xzU=;
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DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; c=nofws;
d=googlegroups.com; s=beta;
h=x-sender:x-apparently-to:received-spf:authentication-results
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:mime-version:from:reply-to:to:subject:content-type
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:precedence:x-google-loop:mailing-list:list-id:list-post:list-help
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b=OdKVMgfgp0pSRBItb7s3AarQySGe3257BGdagGxmJ32sNCqC0EX3btfyBksKm3CKzB
+5rU+D4gFe8kxK7g3JvgJ3JHoimWFXHOL2c47ftI9iHPwjsHErQysprNE05keLcSovWo
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Monday, October 12

This could be the portable device I've been waiting for

The Asus Eee Keyboard

(via Engadget)

Asus Eee Keyboard

Atom N270 processor. 800x480 touch panel screen. SSD with 16 or 32 GB storage. b/g/n WiFi. A metric poo-tonne of IO ports for audio, video, external storage, docking, etc. etc.

Yeah, the screen res is still on the low side to be truly useful for portable software development, but I'd imagine it would work GREAT in a pinch, and UWB video transfer or docking ports would allow easy connection to a fullsize monitor for non-emergency scenarios.

Still awaiting a price and release date ... eagerly! (Christmas present to self perhaps? :)

Friday, October 9

Great Footprint Convo

Great carbon footprint conversation from NYTM:

Does anyone at Meetup or here have an idea of what the carbon footprint is for Meetup.
As Programmers do you try and make your clients aware about the carbon footprint of their websites and what options they have to lower it. I would say that if programmers design their code effectively they could make an impact on lowering the energy consumed by the servers in terms of lowering CPU cycles and spin cycles on the hard drives.Do any of the many developers get questions around such issues from their clients?
I was made aware of these questions at a lecture I attended recently.
In 2006 in the U.S. data centers and servers excluding client machines consumed 61Billion kWh and 55% of that energy consumed came from coal fired power plants http://is.gd/44RJF
Wonder if anyone here thinks along these lines in terms of web design and it's impact on the Environment.
Would welcome your thoughts...
Regards
baba



Baba –

Today power consumption inefficiencies is largely a hardware design problem at the data centers. Most of the gains to be had can be realized in areas outside of software. What people discuss on the internet is all new best of breed technologies that only a few large players are doing. I don’t necessarily agree with Steve that you need massive scale of Google/Microsoft to gain some efficiency (even today). As in any industry, scale will always let you exploit market efficiencies and this is the case for those big players. If you do not have massive scale there are still some things that can be done. I do agree that if you are a small shop it is mainly a hardware problem for you but even there you can do interesting things. Think shutting down VMs and client machines during night and powering on in the morning – everyone can do this today – but hey, where would the cool screensaver aquarium fish swim?

Long term we will see some shifts in programming paradigms that address energy efficiency. The game will most likely play out as a bigger part of distributing components of a program and smarter interaction among those components. The more the system executing your workload can know about it the better it can exploit efficiencies. The push to new programming paradigms is already happening today but it is not really being positioned as energy efficient but the focus today is on scaling, dealing with failure, operations and flexibility. I think multi-core is forcing a lot of changes in this direction and the pure-virtual talk from all the cloud providers, think AWS, Azures and AppEngines are also similar in some aspects. I like to think of the DOD as an early indicator of technology shifts and you can already see their field technologies being distributed and dynamic in the direction some of the changes are going. A soldier’s backpack does some processing, a tank does some relaying, drones gather data and coordinate components. All components dynamic and tolerant of failure, working smarter together. Here the scarcity of resources has forced them to create new techniques and sooner or later everyone will realize the scarcity of some resources (cost!!).

Smarter software drives smarter workloads, and there are many companies that are taking advantage of distributed components to optimize their workload processing. Shifting a workload from one data center to another based on time of day can have a large impact on cooling required during night time. Different parts of the world have different energy costs at different times and there are efficiencies to be exploited there that can be done based on smarter software. This is reality today and people are doing this. Hadoop is another example of workload optimization, moving the processing closer to the data – no longer are you wasting time on transport and waiting for data to arrive. A lot of networking infrastructure will need to keep up with the software changes and globally this is taking too long. Look at IPv6 adoption (and IPv4 is a scarce resource!!) as a real problem, support for internalization for addressing or countless other problems. We live in a globalized internet based world but the network protocols have failed to keep for many years – this must change!

The problem today with software only approaches is the margins are too small to make any significant and measurable impact on the energy footprint. If you are a small shop, you are not really worrying about power consumption too much. If you are a developer working on a custom application it is really hard to get any kind of gauge on your power consumption, but this will change. Hardware based usage monitors are not used or understood by most programmers today (it requires fixed hardware configurations) but as things move into virtualized environments it becomes much easier to estimate the power consumption (even if it’s theoretical) of a workload (even across networks and multiple systems). If you can completely shift your programming models you can certainly gain some efficiencies today (even though AWS, Azure, AppEngine are more expensive than the alternatives) but at the expense of cost – what you may gain today is the added flexibility that these models provide (and some of the pitfalls!). The cost benefits for now are mainly for the big players.

Today certainly some programmers think about being “green” but it is not the driving factor choosing a programming paradigm. Today the value added services drive this (operational mainly), but maybe long term we will see power cost become a bigger factor. The reality is somewhere in between, my thinking today is that until the entire software industry as a whole gets some measurable data and begins practicing it (rather than the few big players) we won’t be seeing power consumption being the significant driver of changes in programming paradigms. What you can sell today is better SLA guarantees, then try to squeeze out efficiencies from the process. The big guys and most of the education system is also doing a poor job in distributing some of the lessons learned from operating infrastructure for many years. Certainly, our own DOD can and should be augmenting our education system in a more significant way but that is not it’s primary purpose.

Most of the software industry is not really practicing anything PROFESSIONAL nor ethical - that’s what the industry really needs. This is the really sad state of affairs that we should be discussing on this list (rather than all the other noise that we did not sign up for).

Alex


Alex Osipov

Thursday, October 8

Hrmmm, that's not good ...




(I know, I said dark ... )

Wednesday, October 7

Going dark for a few days

Probably won't be blogging much for the next couple weeks. A lot of deliverables and other obligations.

Tuesday the 13th I'll be presenting "Twitter API & OAuth 101 - What's this twit all about?" at TVUG @ VersaTrans in Latham.

Twitter -- it's all over the place, from mainstream media to grade school classrooms. We can't escape it if we tried. A large part of the success and popularity of Twitter is thanks to its open APIs and rich ecosystem of third-party applications. Learn how you too can take advantage of Twitter's APIs for fun and profit, while getting a look at OAuth, an evolving authorization protocol that's come to dominate the Web 2.0 and open API world.

Andrew Badera, CEO of Higher Efficiency, Inc., CTO of multiple startups, is a lifelong geek and longtime technology consultant with 13 years experience on Microsoft platforms. With a focus on
integration, enterprise service bus (ESB) technology and service-oriented architectures (SOA), Andrew finds Twitter and its APIs to be a rewarding distraction.


Tuesday-Friday of next week, I'll also be doing a training class on ActiveVOS (a BPM/workflow product). I haven't done a vendor training class since training on an IBM ECommerce product back in 1999 down in the Research Triangle area in North Carolina. (Incidentally that's also the trip where a gay gentleman became my best friend, plied my underaged-self with liquor, and spent his time, in and out of class, hitting on me. Gross. Is that what it feels like to be female?)

Monday, October 5

From the VC Handbook

When a person has no need to borrow they find multitudes willing to lend.
Oliver Goldsmith

Sunday, October 4

Apparently Women Rule the Tubes

Or, "Digg is not the place to pick up women."

Via Mashable:

(No big surprise on Digg, eh?)

Thursday, October 1

Got my Google Wave invite!

W000t! After many months of waiting, I finally got a Google Wave invite. I signed up to request an invite the first 24 hours they were available ... unlike some of Google's other recent invite offerings, like GAE, I apparently ran out of luck, and had to sit and wait for an invite like the other 99,999 people who got them from Google in the past day.

For my friends and readers: I have 5 "invite nominations" left to give out. Ping me via email or Twitter if you'd like an invite.

Some people think Wave will change our communication landscape ... frankly, though impressive, what I've seen so far makes me think it's just another great tool in the toolbox of real-time web awesomeness. Remains to be seen if Wave becomes the most conversation-centric of these offerings, or if conversation-centricity is even relevant in the long run.

UPDATE: Less than 45 minutes later, I am now out of invite nominations. I will post a new post if/when I am granted more opportunities to pass these out.

Worth thinking about

I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.
Carl Sandburg, Incidentals (1907)

US biographer & poet (1878 - 1967)