Monthly Archives: February 2012

An All Year Sport

TBS - Soccer Some of my sports fan friends are a single game fan.When the season is over, they have nothing else about which to talk until recruits are chosen for the next. Over the past week, I saw a couple countdowns for certain baseball players to report to spring training. Since October they waited for this. Football, basketball, and hockey do not cut it for them.

Something I like about soccer, football elsewhere in the world, is there is something going on all year round. The two leagues I mainly follow are:

  • English Premier League starts mid August and ends mid May
  • Major League Soccer starts mid March and ends early December

Then there are the various special events like the World Cup, Champions League, Euro, CONCACAF, and FA Cup to name a few.

There is always something happening. No time to catch a breath.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Weekly Roundup for Feb 17, 2012

  • Making this easy: LMS Evaluations — Laura makes a good point that a product selection is more about identifying something that fits your institution’s culture. If it does not fit, then somethinge has to bend or break: a corporation who has other clients who picked the company who fit, a open source group whose members voluntarily joined, or the college who made the mistake of picking the wrong product.
  • — new site where you vouch for others by tagging them for their skills, knowledge, or experience.
  • Soulpancacke: Heart Attack
  • Science, Software Carpentry, and the Discipline to Hack — how can regular people become developers?
  • Why we pick bad leaders, and how to spot the good ones — “These seven leadership attributes — integrity, vision, judgment, passion, courage, empathy and emotional intelligence– are all the hallmarks of great leaders, regardless of industry or geography. By gearing any candidate assessment towards these traits — and away from false predictors of success, like a sparkling personality, a polished resume, or good interview skills — you will be one big step ahead of the rest of the crowd who are still scratching their heads wondering why they are so bad at picking good leaders.”

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Paste Formatting

Ideally every email I send would be plain text. Many of the people I email send to me HTML-based email

For a decade an annoyance I had with Outlook was when pasting text from the clipboard, it would include source formatting. So, if I copied the title of a blog post to make it “Paste Formatting”, instead it would look like:

Paste Formatting

The workaround was to choose Paste Special from a menu or button and Plain Text.

Outlook 2010 has options for how pasting works for several places: same email, other email, between emails with conflicting styles, and other programs. Not only do I get to pick keep the text only, but I get to pick where it happens. Perhaps others had the same concerns and made Microsoft address it. Finally.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Project Gutenberg Lorem Ipsum

There is a Java vulnerability where an attacker can exploit the hash predictability. The exploit is apparently easier when the content is larger. So the workaround is to limit the size of HTTP POST requests. Weblogic’s 10.3 config.xml has a max-post-size which does this. The handling of when the condition is reached is pathetic. It closes the connection.

In the case a legitimate user encounters this max POST size, their web browser will say our web server closed the connection. Which is perfectly true. I would prefer the web server to respond with some kind of error message to let the user know it was because the too much data was sent in the form submission.

My idea for where to get enough text was for the analysts to pick something from Project Gutenberg. Next to any file is an indicator of the size. This makes it easy for them to pick one large or small enough. The plain text version of A Princess of Mars is 390KB.

After the fact, I suspected I should have just sent them to Lorem Ipsum Generator. Unfortunately it maxed out at 71KB without an obvious warning it did not give me my 200KB I requested. Procato Publishing’s Lorem Ipsum Generator maxed out at 54KB. Blindtext’s Lorem Ipsum Generator maxed out at 100KB. Looks like if I had suggested this route, then I would have had to do more research to figure out what generator would work for them. Or suggest they paste multiple times which requires trust an unexpected result was correctly done.

From these results, I think Project Gutenberg will remain my go to resource for extremely large test texts.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Weekly Roundup for Feb 10, 2012

  • Why I believe in technology – Chronicle for Higher Education: Casting Out Nines
    Years ago, my cousin and her husband brought her first born to my grandmother’s house. They took photos and uploaded them to be printed in an hour at Walgreens. These photos would center in my grandmother’s conversations for years. Dozens of other photos were sent in the years after, but these photos triggered something special. Technology has the opportunity to do great and special things.
  • The Truth About Tablets: Educators are getting iPads and ereaders into students’ hands—but it’s not easy – The Digital Shift
    “These are the top five issues libraries face when it comes to using ereaders and tablets in school.
    1) Platform lock-in and lack of interoperability
    2) Administering devices
    3) Availability of the titles students and teachers want
    4) Integration of the ebook catalog with the library catalog
    5) Cost of both devices and ebook”
  • Do Students Have Copyright to Their Own Notes? – MindShift
    Apparently some professors believe their lectures are their intellectual property, so students can only use the notes from them for personal use. Sharing and especially selling those notes violates that IP.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Want to Work With Me?

There are a bunch of new positions which were just posted. We need analysts, database administrators, and an operating system / hardware specialist.

The list:

We have a great team. So you should come work with us.

Contact me if you are interested or want to know more. (Staff directory and search for ezra)

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Square Peg, Round Hole Outlook

Requirement: Boss wants an email on the 14th of the month and day before last weekday of the month with a status update. This is so the boss can combine and submit the information on the 15th and last weekday of the month.

Reoccurring Outlook calendar entries can apparently take only one pattern. There is no way to make one calendar entry for multiple patterns. I cannot make one for say both the 14th and 28th or even worst the 14th and last weekday.

There is no concept of day before last weekday or day. At first, I looked at setting the reminder for the 28th, which could be the day before the last day of February in a leap year and last day of a non-leap year. However, it would be as many as 2 days too early for most other months.

Reluctant Solution: Set the entry for the last weekday and the reminder for 2 days prior. I get the reminder in time even if the date is not ideal.


from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Off the Wagon

Definition for interesting.


Just a month into a year of wanting to blog more, I missed a whole week. Like most resolution failures, I just got busy. Thankfully this was not a daily or weekly resolution. I have time to catch up. Maybe like my reading goals, I should push to get ahead so I can not worry about missing a week.

Desire2Learn swooped in to go over administration with us. We are learning a new culture from them very different than we are used to with Blackboard. Desire2Learn is also learning a new culture from us, because we are not the same as their other clients. We have strange preferences that make things more difficult thanks to auditors, aka more secure.

It will be interesting two years.

Guess I better go ahead and buy this teeshirt.

Last year we picked this product. It took over seven months just to negotiate and sign the contract. My head feels about to explode over learning a new product, new database, new operating system, and new company’s idiosycracies.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4