I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

What’s going to happen when you launch? Am I supposed to be feeling something?


See you soon!


High load…

Might be a little inefficient until we figure out why the server load is so incredibly high. Sorry.

Bored last night in Grand Central.


Long day. Going home soon. Very happy with v3.

Thanks, Larchmont!

My car was ticketed today for having an expired state inspection.

I honestly forgot. Looking at that little sticker on the windshield and trying to decipher the date represented by the little punch-holes is the last thing on my mind when I get into the car.

But I wasn’t driving it. It was parked in the city-owned lot across from my building, for which I have purchased an expensive annual permit.

Why is it illegal for a car to have an expired inspection if it’s not being operated?

Give ‘Em An Inch Dept


Am I a bad person because I’m already working on my Tumblr v4 wish list? I feel like such a user.

How else would we know what to do? 

Unless the drive contains a billion digit prime number or all of your Swiss banking information or something, any attempt to repair it is unlikely to be a worthwhile investment. These kinds of events are the universe telling you that you should have been making backups.

Dan’s Data on attempted failed-hard-drive recovery

Wallstrip’s interview with Dan Lyons (Fake Steve Jobs)

The laser dance from Ocean’s Twelve. Downloaded legally from the band’s website: it’s Thé à la menthe by Nikkfurie de La Caution.

Went to see The Darjeeling Limited. Long yellow movie.


Being a web app developer myself, I’ve been there, and I know how it is to deploy a much-anticipated update and have it go bad. What the users are currently feeling is NOTHING to what the developers are currently feeling. Calm down, people. Give the devs some time to straighten things out. I, for one, applaud their desire to improve tumblr, and I have full confidence in them. Yeah, in the meantime, my blog is down. I can live with that. I’ve got RL hobbies I can fall back on until things are working again. Life goes on!

Jamis Buck (37signals) here (thanks!)


I think we finally got it… the site’s never been so fast.

Re: Anxious

You’ve got a good chunk of weekend left, too. — toldorknown

Great! I have 3 nights of sleep and countless Fake Steve and Dilbert Blog posts to catch up on.

I love random emails from catch-all addresses.

The CentOS license agreement.

I think I’d pick out the most delicious looking person, relatively speaking, and have a conversation until I heard a reason to hate. That wouldn’t take more than a few minutes. For example, if someone washes dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, that would be enough to get on my short list. I could tell myself I wasn’t eating a person so much as saving water.

The Dilbert Blog: Good Eatin’

Tip for PHP developers and server admins:

Extending what David quoted: Don’t use APC. It’s a bit buggy.

[notice] child pid 29555 exit signal Segmentation fault (11)
[notice] child pid 29556 exit signal Segmentation fault (11)
[notice] child pid 29557 exit signal Segmentation fault (11)
[error] [client] PHP Warning: Illegal offset type in Utils.php on line 1869491827
[error] [client] PHP Warning: Illegal offset type in Utils.php on line 1869491827
[error] [client] PHP Warning: Illegal offset type in Utils.php on line 1869491827

OK, I know our Utils.php file is long, but I don’t think I’ve ever written a 1.8-billion-line file.

(file path removed because everyone else does it in some sort of vague attempt at security through obscurity, like blurring out license-plate numbers when posting photos on the internet)


Whoah, it’s 1 AM again.

I bet he wishes he could just make a couple of snide remarks, play that Law and Order sound, and have it be Sam Waterston’s problem.

Told or Known (or Tumbled) - Fred Thompson’s on Meet The Press

It’s good to be back.

What has been defeated is the idea that we can reshape the world to our liking with military hardware. What has been defeated is the naive assumption that there are no limits to the use of force. What has been defeated is the notion that war, a tool of destruction, can be used to construct a nation. We expected more from the use of force than the use of force could deliver. That is why we are desperately looking for a “way forward.

Andrew Murrayazspotmontoya

The Mind of a Web Developer — thanks, montoya


I enjoy the short-lived post-vacuum pattern in the rug.

After seeing so many Vimeo videos in the last few months, YouTube’s players and video look incredibly crappy.

PC hardware is even cheaper than I remember

I just placed my first Newegg order in a very long time to get some external SATA drive enclosures and try to revive my two dead PCs as cheaply as possible.

PC 1 needs a new hard drive. I have a surplus of SATA drives, but this is a 2001 motherboard with IDE only. SATA PCI controllers cost about $40, while an entirely new hard drive was only $44, so I went with that.

PC 2 needs a new video card, I think. It could be a dead motherboard instead, so I don’t want to take much of a risk, but I also want it to be a somewhat capable backup gaming machine so Tiff and I can play LAN games of Half-Life 2 and Moonbase Commander. I got a fanless 8400 GS for $53, and while it’s an incredibly weak card by today’s standards, it’s still a pretty damn good performer for its price. If I was really into gaming, I would have gone for the much more powerful 8600 GT, which is also amazingly cheap ($109) for its abilities. (Even the new $270 8800 GT is incredible for its price.

This is a great time to need a PC. Too bad I’m waiting for the Mac Pro refresh before I get something truly awesome.

And there you have it! Macs running OSX are clearly no more secure than PC’s running Windows. Simply by visiting an obscure pornography website, selecting a video, choosing to download the “codec”, opening it, running it, and providing it with your root password that you are only supposed to use when installing trustworthy software—it can take over your computer!

Trojan Devastationcrispyteriyaki

The great APC issue

APC was actually showing us two significant problems:

  1. We were using it as a general data cache, like Memcache. It’s MUCH faster than Memcache when working properly because it’s process-local to PHP. But it seems to have some sort of resource leak (never pinpointed it). Over time, Apache processes would bloat and generally slow down until they became unresponsive, maxing out the CPUs (but not disks, and not enough RAM to be fatal). This was particularly painful to debug because we assumed our v3 code was just being incredibly slow somewhere, so we spent most of our time profiling and optimizing it, but the problem kept happening. (Fortunately, we get to keep all of those optimizations, so it wasn’t a waste.)
  2. Like eAccelerator, MMCache, and XCache, APC also does PHP compiled-opcode caching. It did this well enough, but over time, an otherwise healthy and fast server would have its httpd child processes start segfaulting. Over a few minutes, the segfaults would cascade to all child PIDs and kill Apache, requiring a hard httpd restart (not a graceful).

So I switched to eAccelerator. We had problems with its PHP 5.2 compatibility a while ago, but they seem to have fixed that. So far, it’s fine, and neither of those problems have cropped up again.

Las Vegas is a pathetic city, if one can even call it a city. It’s more of a hub of stupidity designed to house lots of people for no specific reason.

Ian Jenkins, who I think should take advantage of Thrill of the Road and be a travel writer

Tiff hates The Daily Puppy

All over America, the membrane between adulthood and childhood had been eroding, the fantastic and the personal melting into one, adult worries receding into a pink childhood haze. I’ve been to parties in Brooklyn where men and women in their mid-thirties would passionately discuss the fine points of The Little Mermaid or the travails of their favorite superhero.

Absurdistan, p. 230 — yourmonkeycalled

Let’s face it. Network TV blows. The system blows. The business model blows. The consumer experience blows. But worst of all the content blows. What’s more, the system is set up in such a way that it pretty much requires the content to blow.

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobsjohnbrissenden

Isn’t it possible that the iPhone is, in fact, a subsidized device? What if it costs close to or more than $399 to produce, and it’s in the monthly revenue sharing from the carriers that Apple makes its profit? For one thing, it would explain why Apple seems so determined to foil unlockers, including their decision to no longer accept cash and limit you to two iPhones per purchase.

John Gruber

Some things just go together

zefrank: strike day — thanks, John

Is it just me, or has Google forgotten what making software means? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for big companies taking on big problems, but maybe they should balance all these utopian announcements with some actual, you know, product releases.

Derek Powazek: Google Now in Vaporware Business?

Does it not occur to anyone that Google is desperately grasping at straws lately? Nothing they’ve ever done outside of search has ever worked. Then, despite their big brains and IQ tests, they get totally blindsided by Facebook and have to gin up this ridiculous OpenSocial thing. So what do they do? Just like with this phone thing, they round up all the losers in that space to form some kind of alliance. You know how it looks? It looks weak. Companies don’t form alliances and consortia when they’re winning. And whenever you see companies start talking about being “open” you know it means they’re getting their ass kicked. You think Google will be forming an OpenSearch alliance any time soon, to help also-rans in search get a share of the spoils? Me neither.

Fake Steve Jobs

Tumblr has reinvigorated my love for having my own website. And having my own website is like being a homeowner. If your website is a MyFace profile, it’s like you live in a housing project.


why does this feel like the best social networking ever? it’s like myspace for independent minds. we’re not messaging each other, we’re bearing witness to each other’s lives.

sam reich

What happens at a dentist’s office is bad conversation. Conversation when you are tilted back on a Star Trek death chair, have an alien autopsy light shining in your eyes, and your mouth is wide open being filled with goop and/or sharp instruments being wielded by a dentist who is asking you something like, “So, did you do anything fun for Halloween?” This may sound like an open-ended question, but chances are your response is going to be very similar to: “Aaaahhhhuuuaaaaahhnnnnnnoaaa.

Seth Brown - Making conversation — thanks, Dan

I should be getting paid for this

If you need an unmanaged dedicated server, ServerBeach is awesome. They’re a spin-off of Rackspace with great engineers and a high-quality datacenter.

My experiences with their customer service so far:

Highly recommend.

If you sign up with my referral code (U8Y4ZYB6UY), you’ll get $100 and I’ll get $250.

Just read a great quote in a magazine and my first impulse was to select it and hit the bookmarklet. I’ve got me one serious Tumblr habit.

Told or Known (or Tumbled) (I do that too)

An enterprising developer reads these articles and thinks “I want to write an app that gets half a million users in 10 weeks. I’m going to do what they did!” So she spends a week in her basement and cranks out a Facebook application. When she uploads it she finds a few thousand users and not enough monthly ad revenue to buy a Frappuccino. Why is that? Because the vast majority of the traffic (87%) goes to 84 of the 5,000 apps currently on the platform. That’s less than 2%. Not one of the articles I’ve read has mentioned this ratio, or the enormous luck factor involved in creating a “successful” Facebook application.

Software by Rob

Sprint is far less awesome than ServerBeach

Sprint Picture Mail returns a 500 Internal Server Error if you fetch its images with a user-agent string that isn’t one of the common browsers.

It’s sad how much of our email importer’s complexity is the special case section for Sprint.

People don’t want FEATURES. They’ll tell you they do until they’re blue in the face. But what they actually want is ease-of-use, and solutions to real-world problems — looking at a map, finding nearby restaurants, sending a photo to a friend without going through 6 submenus, not to mention making phone calls.

Steven Frank. (thanks, Cameron)

Any platform that makes ads a distraction or a cost is always going to fail compared to a site where the ads are a welcome part of the deal.

Seth Godin (thanks, azspot)

David presenting Tumblr at tonight’s NY Tech Meetup.

Macs are always full of viruses


IS THAT A PC!? everything on the web looks shitty on a PC.

Yes, the IAC presentation hall wouldn’t allow other people to hook up their laptops. We had to use their PC.

The tech guy mentioned how they’ve had some problems with Macs.

I dryly said, “Yeah, they’re always full of viruses.”

He barely flinched. “Yeah, all of the viruses, and they have different resolutions, and…” He kept going as I stopped listening and mentally cracked up.

Before the NY Tech Meetup presentations last night, Mareen and Jakob were yelled at by the security guard. “No spinning! We can’t have you spinning in here.”

David preparing for his presentation on Tumblr.

Jakob presenting Vimeo and their new HD feature

A bunch of Tumblrs. Left-to-right: Marc Goldberg, David Karp, Mareen Fischinger, Eric Lodwick, and Jakob Lodwick.

My apologies for the technical flaws of these Meetup photos. There was hardly any room lighting, the speakers’ faces were completely dark, and and they were backlit by a giant bright projection screen. I had to be wide open at f/2.8 and ISO 1600 to get a reasonable speed, and I often had to overexpose by +1 or +2 EV just to get the speakers’ faces to have any definition at all. And I was sitting right in front of them.

Any advice from pro photographers, besides using flashes or expensive f/1.2 primes?

Scott Heiferman made us dump all of our gadgets on the table after dinner because we were being ridiculous with them. Not pictured: my giant SLR.

I actually don’t mind Leopard’s non-glass dock with the stupid white blob indicators. Like the stupidly translucent menu bar, it just only works with non-busy, low-contrast desktop backgrounds and clutter-free desktops. Maybe this is the push I need to keep my desktop clean. - He found her!

If we have a three way race between Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, and Lou Dobbs? Canada. I’m not even going to wait to see who wins.


And if he fails, Mr Thompson is still waiting to pounce….

Who will take on Hillary? from Dan: “This one must have slipped by the proof-readers. Fred Thompson does not pounce. He is much to sedentary. I could see him falling asleep and tipping over on Giuliani, perhaps.”

All we know about the update content for now is that it will definitely fix…something.

Mac OS X 10.5.1 on the way, everyone dies of shock - I love when reporters need to make news out of nothing.

Patrick Moberg’s Crush is BlackBook’s Camille Hayton! (the subway girl of his dreams)

The Office is Closed


This is so mean… but awesome:

@freeside: we totally xkcd‘ed someone tonight
@freeside: so we were out with the very pretty rene
@freeside: and we were walking around downtown mountain view, which is where the googlers hang out
@freeside: and we walked past the Red Rock Cafe, where they have free wifi.
@freeside: there was a guy sitting in the window with his 17” macbook pro with textmate open and syntax highlighting going gangbusters onscreen
@freeside: and robrt and i looked at it and we were like, “is that java? no… python? no… it’s ruby!”
@freeside: and we said to rene, “okay, listen carefully. we want you to do this:”
@freeside: rene, you understand, is wearing a very girlie-girl outfit, with green hat, and great big eyes
@freeside: so she goes in to the cafe and goes up to the guy and says
@freeside: “excuse me, but are you programming in ruby?”
@freeside: and the guy goes, “huh? what? yes, i am.”
@freeside: and rene says, “right answer!”
@freeside: and she winks at him
@freeside: and turns around
@freeside: and walks out of his life forever.


p>(tumbled Mengwong from Labnotes to Fyoop to HelloSzabi to owenj23)

Free hardware

The new video card didn’t rescue my gaming PC. All signs point to a dead motherboard.

Anyone want some free 2004-era hardware in the NYC or Westchester area? Up for grabs:

Seriously, it’s all free. It’s not worth the cost and hassle of selling it and shipping it out. If someone doesn’t take it, it goes to the dumpster.

Want it? Email me,, or reblog this.

I think I’m finally done with PC hardware. Give me my updated Mac Pro already!

Tumblr, … a hybrid between a social networking site and a traditional blob….

The New York Sun - Wow. If I only I’d realized that what the Internet was craving was a hybrid blob. — Dan

Yes, Pownce is also built on Django, but you don’t see the Disqus founders posting on blogs, asking how to round floating point numbers.

uncov (thanks, johan)

I collect many cups on my desk by the end of the day.

dedicated to ian jenkins. (thanks, Lindsey)


I collect many cups on my desk by the end of the day.


Do we need to buy you a nalgene or a travel mug or a plain office mug?

They’re mostly not disposables, and they serve different purposes:

  1. Morning coffee mug.
  2. Lunch/general water glass.
  3. Afternoon tea mug sometimes.
  4. Afternoon Starbucks cup most of the time.
  5. Yesterday’s coffee mug sometimes when I forget to wash it.

dalasverdugo: “Not quite sure what happened here.”

Sorry, that was my fault. Tumblr v3 broke some Google Analytics embed codes if they were in your theme’s Description field instead of the HTML in a Custom Theme. I fixed it yesterday.

MySpace is a spam operation that became a social network. And now Facebook is a social network that’s turning into a spam operation.

Valleywag (thanks, Ted Roden)

Could we please get a new icon for Cocoa? I’m referring to the logo image that always seems to show up in WWDC presentations on the subject. Java gets a nicely rendered coffee cup that always makes me want pie. Carbon has the cell from the periodic table, which has a simplicity and old school charm. We get a sad looking mug of cheap diner cocoa with a paltry sprinkling of mini marshmallows that looks simultaneously unprofessional and unappetizing.

Making Better Cocoa - I just tried unsuccessfully to find the Cocoa logo, but can’t. Anyone have it?

Tumblr 3 gripe


here’s an idea for 3.1: when you’re logged in and viewing your own tumblr site, every post has an additional link to the editable version in your Dashboard.

There’s an “Edit” button in the upper-right corner iframe on your permalink pages when you’re logged in.

From jstn. Anyone have video of this?

StupidFilter’s moderator application

Windows Mobile 6 is a mess. Common features require an infinitude of taps and clicks, and the ones you need most are buried in menus. Apparently the Windows Mobile 6 team learned absolutely nothing from Windows Mobile 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Reaching for Apple, Falling Short - New York Times

I love my new 70-200 lens.

David Karp

Paul Blakey

Todd Morningstar

Dan Meth

Don’t get bought by Yahoo

I can’t believe the hoops I just had to jump through to upgrade my Flickr account to Pro.

Yahoo: I’m trying to give you money. Why would you want to slow me down to create a Yahoo Account and answer a million security questions and reset my password and confirm my email… then after that, redirect me to the Yahoo homepage instead of the Flickr pro-account checkout page where I was trying to give you money?

This is an idiotic way to meet another person.

Ian Jenkins on socializing with strangers in bars

What a great theme by Cameron. (thanks, AATW)

How to handle annoying Bluetooth guys — yum9meinky

I’m just gonna stay in tonight. You know - relax, check out whatever’s on Joost.

no one, ever

(from Lonely Sandwich)

Random Acts:

Extravagent gift congratulating myself on a good year: My New Espresso/Coffee Machine

Congratulations! That’s an awesome self-gift.

In the end the iPhone is like some glorious early-60s sports car. Not as practical, reliable, economical, sensible or roomy as a family saloon but oh, the joy. The jouissance as Roland Barthes liked to say. What it does, it does supremely well, that what it does not do seems laughably irrelevant.

Stephen Fry (thanks, AZspot)

You might suspect that given a world where context is constantly shifting, your nerd can’t focus, and you’d be partially correct. All that multi-tasking isn’t efficient. Your nerd knows very little about a lot. For many topics, his knowledge is an inch deep and four miles wide. He’s comfortable with this fact because he knows that deep knowledge about any topic is a clever keystroke away.

Rands In Repose: The Nerd Handbook (thanks inky). I haven’t read the entire article yet, but I can already tell that I’ll be quoting it a lot. If you like Rands, you should support him by buying his book.


How to go to the gym

Tiff didn’t want to pay for a gym membership and I have no motivation, so we made a deal:

I pay for both memberships, but she’s responsible for making us go. If we ever go 1 week without going, she has to pay for both memberships for the month ($140).

So far, we haven’t missed a week. We’ve gone almost exactly 3 times a week, right on schedule.

Basic Instructions: How to Camouflage an Unsightly Facial Blemish

For any given piece of incoming information, your nerd is making a lightning fast assessment: relevant or not relevant? Relevance means that the incoming information fits into the system of things your nerd currently cares about. Expect active involvement from your nerd when you trip the relevance flag. If you trip the irrelevance flag, look for verbal punctuation announcing his judgment of irrelevance. It’s the word your nerd says when he’s not listening and it’s always the same. My word is “Cool”, and when you hear “Cool”, I’m not listening.

Rands In Repose: The Nerd Handbook. Damn, I was using that. Now I have to change my word.

Small talk is the bane of the nerd’s existence because small talk is a combination of aspects of the world that your nerd hates.

Rands In Repose: The Nerd Handbook

He previously cataloged body parts

Keeping up with the camera kits

Congratulations to Paul, who copied my lens pick again and had to outdo me by getting a hood and grip. (And he’s always had a 430EX flash, too.)

Damn him. I’m still one significant lens ahead, but he’s beating me on other accessories. Just wait until I get a cable release…


Whoever designed the 4-pin Molex drive-power connectors in computers should be subject to an eternal hell of having to unplug them from stubborn drives.

The most critical component, of course, will be the modem that connects your machine to the phone system. Look for a system that comes with an internal 28.8 kilobit-per-second modem. It will cost more, but it will reduce phone charges and save you the annoyance of waiting for graphics-rich Web pages to slowly materialize on your screen.

11/06/95: In Search of the Perfect System

You would think a single-platter 80 GB drive by Seagate in 2007 would be quiet.


I don’t really care about the numbers that much. I like Mac OS X, and I do Mac software because I enjoy it tremendously. I work very hard because I like the work. Were I doing Windows software, I wouldn’t like the work, so I wouldn’t work hard, so I’d probably never ship any software at all.

Rands In Repose: Interview: Brent Simmons

While free speech is encouraged at Rands in Repose, there is a comment policy because there are a lot of idiots on the planet and there is a finite probability that you might be one.

Rands In Repose: About

In 1998, I thought my next computer would be a 64-bit Merced.

Now, 9 years later: The Merced became the Itanium, one of the biggest flops in recent computing history, I’ve had five more computers, I finished high school and college, I’ve lived in two cities and had two “real” jobs, I’ve had three cars, and I’m still not using anything 64-bit.

soxiam: “hey did you know that if you stack the tumblr dashboard icons, their ripped edges line up?” (thanks, kiyo)

I actually had no idea. Hopefully David did. That’s pretty cool.



Okay okay, I get it, as long as I own no umbrella in the shape of a sphere (which would require 4πr² with r=170cm of fabric), my life will be similar to that of a sponge.

I hate umbrellas. They just keep your top half partially dry most of the time. But then you have to avoid poking people in the eye while walking, and carry around a giant wet umbrella all day.

I’ve heard that good raincoat is far better, but I haven’t yet taken the plunge to try it. Any positive raincoat testimonials?

Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Macazspotmontoya

I ended this post with this:

I’m still not using anything 64-bit.

perelson responded:

Did Marco really say this? All the Intel Macs are using 64bit chips and MacOS X Leopard is fully 64bit

Not all Intel Macs are 64-bit. The original Core Duo is 32-bit only. Intel re-added 64-bit support with the Core 2 Duo.

And while Leopard has 64-bit libraries, I don’t think any of my applications actually use them yet. Hell, I’ve been using Leopard for less than a week.

There is a difference between showing off your point of view (Tumblr) and showing off your detailed activities (Twitter).


I hardly ever drop a subscription because of lack of posting. I would prefer that you wait until you have the time and energy to write something good and funky than write lots of bland nothings.

Shawn Blanc on RSS burnout

I don’t have enough Flickr contacts or comments yet so I’m going to spam you with my Flickr profile again.

Wikipedia was revolutionary in that it managed to harness the creative drive of millions of amateur and professional scholars. Now Wikipedia is trying to become part of the establishment. It wants to be “encyclopedic”. In order to do this, it seems to have co-opted the pettiness and self-aggrandizement of a thousands of amateur bureaucrats.

Dan. I had to look up “aggrandizement”. To save you the trouble: “aggrandize: to enhance the reputation of someone beyond what is justified by the facts”. Thanks, OS X!

I want to say “sorry” to our customers who were affected by our downtime. We promised you no downtime and we failed you. We will make it right. We are determined to restore your faith in us.

Graham Weston, Rackspace Chairman. Every web host has occasional problems, and there’s still nobody else who even comes close to competing with Rackspace for professional, managed hosting. I still recommend them, and my sympathies go out to their employees who need to handle this.

The Apple “iPhone” will be announced under a different name. It will not, however, be announced at MacWorld in January. It will resemble a larger iPod Nano in the “candy bar” form factor (not a slider or flip-phone), and will serve all Nano functionality but with less memory (probably a 2 GB cap). It will only be available for GSM carriers (not Verizon Wireless or Sprint), and will probably launch as a Cingular exclusive. It will support Bluetooth, but will not support any streaming video or have any video playback capabilities at all. Like iPods, music must be purchased and downloaded with a computer, not directly from the phone. There will not be any short-range sharing technology like the Zune’s WiFi. The phone will cost between $199 and $299 with a 2-year contract.

My predictions for 2007. It’s hilarious how I was dead wrong on nearly everything except the carrier and the presence of Bluetooth.

What do you call your Time Machine drive?

Sorry, but right now I’m only donating directly to candidates. You can tell Nancy that I’ll only donate money to the DCCC again when the Democrats in Congress show some damn backbone and actually stand up to Bush and his cronies, and stand up for the Constitution.

Tom Negrino (thanks, AZspot)

Password limits and storing hashes


Ok, so this has been bugging the hell out of me lately, how some websites and services have really unsatisfactory password security policies.

For example, Plaxo, which only allows you to create a password that is between 6 and 10 characters long. Um, Hello??!! That is bloody ridiculous! I’m sorry Plaxo, but I just don’t feel safe storing my whole freggin’ address book on your site with a password policy like that. Why bother?

This annoys me, too, and there’s no good technical justification for it.

Proper web applications should never store your password. Ever. Anywhere. It should only exist when being transmitted from the login form in the browser to the server (and if you’re really serious, that should be done with SSL).

The correct way to validate a password is to store a salted hash of it, then hash whatever you’re given on the login form, and see if the hashes match.

Non-geek tutorial: A good hash function converts arbitrary-length input to randomly distributed output of a fixed size, with three important properties: it’s one-way only, it’s always the same result for the same input, and slight changes in the input make the hash look very different.

Example: SHA1 generates 40-character hashes from any input. The SHA1 of “Hello” is “f7ff9e8b7bb2e09b70935a5d785e0cc5d9d0abf0”. The SHA1 of “Hello!” (with the exclamation point) is “69342c5c39e5ae5f0077aecc32c0f81811fb8193”.

Hashes make short password-length limits unnecessary. You can hash entire paragraphs to that same 40-character output length.

Salted-hash password storage also has big security gains, most of which I’m barely qualified to discuss. One example: If your service is hacked and the database gets stolen, the password-hashes are useless to the attacker. If passwords were stored in their regular, plain-text forms, the attacker could not only log into that site with your account, but could also log into any other sites you’re a member of with the same email address and password. (I know you use the same password for everything.)

You can tell if a website stores plain-text passwords by testing the “I forgot my password” feature. If it emails you your existing password, they’re storing it. (Bad.) If it emails you a link with a giant hash that you have to click to reset your password to something else, they’re probably storing hashes only. (Good.)

Like SQL injection, storing plain-text passwords is a newbie mistake.

confessions regarding this and this:

Obviously neither of you have an American Express because while I don’t think they store your password, they have a very weak password requirement, especially for a credit card company: “Your Password should contain 6 to 8 characters . at least one letter and one number (not case sensitive), contain no spaces or special characters (e.g. &, >, *, $, @) and be different from your User ID.”

I have an American Express card, and this drives me nuts. I have to use a different password that I don’t use anywhere else and (in my opinion) isn’t very secure at all.

Paul: “Holy crap!!”

The 32-bit unsigned integer limit is 4,294,967,295 - only 3,451 more than that. My guess is it’s a bug that set the value to negative 3,451, and it wrapped around via negative overflow in the unsigned value.

Either that, or your site’s been crashing a lot.

I’m going for a geek-level record today.

I’ve attempted Grand Central photos many times, but this is the only one for which I’m happy about the lighting.

No Mac Pro update today

This is annoying. Despite Penryn’s launch this week, Apple still hasn’t updated the 18-month-old Mac Pro line.

Some possible explanations, collected from the internet:

When will the Mac Pro finally be updated?

Not that I’ve been reading too many rumors

I held onto a coffeemaker that regularly spewed coffee all over the counter for a few months. The coffee that actually made it into the pot tasted great. But I wouldn’t “recommend it thoroughly.

Dan in The Macintosh Fringe

The incredible quality of online advertising.

Too much IT

The details are a bit hazy, but I think I was dreaming about MySQL replication last night.

When television finally passes on, there will still be entertainment; there will still be shows and films and videos, right there on a screen in your living room. And just as the owners of vaudeville theaters broke down and bought hand-crank movie cameras, the studios will figure out a way to make absurd amounts of money off of whatever is beaming onto whichever sort of screen. And we’ll still be writing every word.

Damon Lindelof, co-creator and head writer of Lost

My version of Ghostvirus’ IRC promo. (Background photo by wickenden, CC-licensed)

Steve Chen just told a conference that he thinks HD isn’t a high priority because video on YouTube is “good enough.

Steve Chen: YouTube founder thinks this is good enough (thanks, Soxiam)

Don’t Forget To Lock Your Computer. I had no idea this app existed. It almost makes me want to be in an office full of Windows PCs again so I could spread it.

The new Foo Fighters album is excellent. Hard-rockin’.

“When I grow up, I want to work in advertising.”

Thanks, Bill.


Marc’s awesome mug.

24: The Unaired 1994 Pilot. If 24 had to use 1994 technology. Hilarious.

I downloaded 10.5.1 and rebooted, and everything appears to be fine. Unfortunately, my menubar is still translucent.

Check Software Update: 10.5.1 is upon us

IndyMogul’s $25 jib in use in the office.

Tired. Either that, or he just killed a bunch of people.

What if the gov’t gave Apple $300 for each iPod they manufactured. They would make one billion iPods a month. What would happen next? They would sell them to other companies for $20 each, who would dissassemble them and make new consumer electronics out of the scavenged iPod parts. You would have telephones with scroll wheels and pink medicine cabinets made from Nano shells. The Sharper Image would sell The iPod Wall. This is a grid of 1,200 iPod screens coordinated to look like one massive iPod and costs a hundred dollars.<br/><br/>Replace iPods with corn kernels and you have the model for our federal food program.

Jakob Lodwick on the U.S. farm subsidies (read the whole thing)

Talk Clock of last night’s debate, courtesy of Chris Dodd’s site. — topherchris

So here’s my public apology to the Iraqi civilians who did nothing to deserve their current situation: I’m sorry I trusted my idiot government to handle things correctly. I should have been watching more closely. To be honest, I never once thought to even ask if there was a post-war plan. That was clearly a mistake on my part. For that, I am sorry.

The Dilbert Blog: I’m Sorry I Destroyed Your Country (thanks, fuddmain) #tumblrs

Don’t trust the hotel on this. We were careful to ask every hotel if the screen was going to be visible throughout the room. They always told us it would. They were almost always lying. Just ask for the ceiling height of the room. They’re not smart enough to lie about that.

How to demo software - Joel on Software

Serve coffee. Coffee contains caffeine, which makes people cheerful. If you’re lucky, they’ll attribute their cheeriness to your software instead of the caffeine.

How to demo software - Joel on Software

This made me nervous.

Grownup Puppy of the Day: Caboo the Akita — Congratulations, Carolyn and Dan, for having your dog be today’s Grown-Up Puppy of the Day! (I scanned that picture. I’ll tell myself that I helped.)

Re: Dear Tumblrs


…so-called “txt speak” (see also: leet speak, game speak, 1337 5p34k, online speak, and so on) is somehow degrading, or destroying, the english language. What I would like is two things, (1) links pertaining to this subject, and (2) your own insights, if you have any.

You might be able to compare it to Newspeak in 1984. “txt speak” is a reduction in the language. Small vocabularies make complex ideas difficult to convey and the expression of simple ideas less precise.

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

Now the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder tells us that “Maria Luisa, the UNLV student who asked Hillary Clinton whether she preferred ‘diamonds or pearls’ at last night’s debate wrote on her MySpace page this morning that CNN forced her to ask the frilly question instead of a pre-approved query about the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

CNN Accused of Rigging Debate Questions (thanks friends) - It’s like that episode of Freaks and Geeks, except real.

Tip: image-stabilized telephoto lenses absolutely kill battery life. I might need to get the dual-battery grip.

Tiff made “Pistachio Praline Bars” from a Martha Stewart magazine. As far as I can tell, they’re pistachio brittle — and they’re good.

Masculine Shuffles

Tiff and I decided to get iPod Shuffles for the gym. She picked the “red” one (it’s definitely magenta, or “light red”).

But there isn’t a single masculine color except the default silver. See for yourself. And the previous generation refurbs aren’t any better.

I reluctantly went with silver. Why couldn’t the “PRODUCT (RED)” be red? Why isn’t there a black one?

Everybody has to have a dream, but if you’re doing new media as a path to get on old media you’re missing the point of new media.

Leo Laporte, via BEN GOLD’s Phrase of the Day

You’d think

…that in 2007, after figuring out how to do nearly everything else far better than similar sites, Amazon would have implemented a decent search.


xkcd blag: “I was thinking of getting a couch or something for my room, somewhere for guests to lounge around.”

Beehive In A Jar. It’s a jar of bees. My life now has a purpose.

Mood bottle openers via swissmissmappealszymon

I’ve got hundreds of wireless, portable reading devices in my home. They’re called “books.

Kaylow – I don’t get eBook Readers

Cameron on Flickr: “You can now filter posts on the Tumblr Dashboard with a couple options. Handy. But I think the text size should be bigger.”

Medical stories in the media are always wrong.

The Dilbert Blog: What If?

Ping-pong pipeszymon

The device simply failed to catch on.

on the CueCat, a gross understatement from Worst Venture Capital Investments of All Time

Not trying anymore

This season of Beauty and the Geek is pretty miserable. The challenges are all stupid and don’t have any social or educational value whatsoever.

Tonight was the second-to-last episode, and one of the geeks remarked that he didn’t know what exactly a date was or how to ask a woman out… that’s because, unlike every previous season, there hasn’t been a single geek challenge involving dating.

Do you think any of these geeky guys are going to have any use for “flair bartending”? Will they get to use their “massage skills” on anyone without knowing how to ask for a phone number or go on a first date?


Apple ad on CNET’s Vista page — yum9me

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe

This is a great [Tiff hates] The Daily Puppy for allergy sufferers.

“Now all your great ideas can look like you just made them up at a bar and wrote them down on a cocktail napkin!” bullshit (thanks, Mareen)

Wow, I can finally quote somebody else!

Todd, as previously quoted here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

Ban non-lethal weapons

I don’t follow most of the controversy about non-lethal weapons (such as the Taser) being overused by police, but this is completely unreasonable. It’s not even an extreme case - it’s just the first one I’ve actually bothered to watch. And it makes me sick.

Police officers have weapons for defense, not punishment. There’s rarely any justifiable reason for a police officer to use a weapon without intending deadly force.

Police shootings are highly investigated and could bring murder or manslaughter charges against the officers if the shooting was negligent or unnecessary. Therefore, except relatively rare mistakes, officers only fire their guns when their lives are in immediate danger (or someone else’s is). They use the same restraint that regular people would use, because they face the same consequences if they get too trigger-happy.

The guy from that video arguing over a speeding ticket was being a difficult smartass. But the officer used extreme physical force against him, a Taser shot, when he had displayed absolutely no threat to the officer whatsoever. (It’s also disturbing that the guy requested to be read his Miranda rights repeatedly during and after his arrest, but the officer seemed to be avoiding it at best. I don’t think the officer knew them.)

This happens all the time.

What criminal charge would I receive for shooting someone with a Taser for being annoying, without having been physically threatened or fearing for my life? Assault? (How about assault with a deadly weapon? After all, Tasers can be deadly.)

When a police officer unnecessarily assaults someone, why isn’t he responsible for his criminal action?

Are police officers charged if they unnecessarily punch someone in the face?

I’m going to tell myself that Mareen got the inspiration for this photo from my superwide glass photos. (I know she’s a pro and has probably taken 180 similar shots before. Don’t ruin it for me.)

I was just reminded that dogs and cell phone alarms don’t know about holidays.

Told or Known (or Tumbled) - But I’ll Never Learn

I never knew these existed.

In a world where you can never be too rich or too thin, we take one day out to gorge ourselves on one big-ass fattening meal. Then you wake up early the next day and spend all your money on things you don’t really need.

Dawn on Thanksgiving

Black Friday

I’m taking advantage of Black Friday by staying inside, enjoying delicious Thanksgiving leftovers, drinking excellent coffee, and possibly buying stuff online later if I feel like it.

Taiwan’s Brilliant “Recycle” IconJacobaatw. Wait for it… there!

Dessert was best. Can’t argue with coffee and pie.

Driving in the fog - It was very foggy on Wednesday night, so Tiff and I went out to shoot. Taking photos at night in heavy fog is a huge technical challenge.

Where did I leave that acorn?” I actually hit the minimum focus distance of my lens with this one. Couldn’t believe he let me get that close.

Fall - My picture of the day, with some clever editing by Tiff.

All you Brooklyn people at work want to know why I live in the suburbs? This is why. My entire town looks like this.

Jared on this photo (and maybe these from the same shoot):

hey marco, if you see this, let me know what settings you used or post ‘em on your flickr for others to see. those turned out lookin’ pretty good. back in college i used the late-night fog thing for a series of images and found the best way to get decent exposures was using a tripod and cabled shutter release while shooting on 400 iso filmstock (didn’t want to use highspeed, the best part of fog is its subtle gradations. 1600 is just too grainy and noisy) with the aperature closed down halfway to lengthen the depth of field with the shutterspeed on “b” (or bulb, where the shutter remains open for as long as you hold it down) and exposing the film for anywhere around 3 to 20+ seconds.

That was shot using the 70-200 f/4 at 70mm, f/4, digital ISO 100 in aperture priority mode at -2/3 EV, for which the camera selected a 1-second exposure. Exposing properly was very difficult. Straight from the camera, it was too red and the black point was too high, but the final picture is simply the product of iPhoto’s “Enhance” button. I usually Command-Z it, but in this case, it worked very well.

The playground pictures (with Tiff in them) were mostly hand-held because they were more spontaneous, so I swapped the telephoto for the 50 1.4 wide open at ISO 800 and barely managed.

Tiff posted her photos from this weekend. Many, like this, are better than mine, but I couldn’t post them on my Flickr account because she took them (our rules).

Rooibos with Tiff in Mamaroneck

Handbrake’s latest update claims “Impressive performance enhancements”.

They’re not kidding. This is more than double what I was getting before.

The WordPress source code is hideous.

Passing a law that requires 15 million Americans to purchase health insurance is not the same thing as universal health care. The “mandate” is not something that benefits Americans, it’s something that benefits big health insurers by guaranteeing them more business even if they do a bad job of keeping rates down.



so, lately i’ve just been buying 6-packs of fruit-of-the-loom black and brown crew socks from the dollar store around the corner for $3.99 instead of taking my socks down to the laundromat with my regular clothes. this weekend i decided to take care of a hamper full of socks. turns out that i now own 120 pairs of socks, most of which have only been worn once. that’s four moths before i have to wash socks again! wah-hoo! i will now do sock-related laundry trimesterly and my socks will only be worn three times per year. these puppies are gonna last for FOREVER.

The Bush administration has been a catastrophe. Its failures are unprecedented. Energy prices are at all time highs. The US is deeply in debt and dependent on foreign creditors. The dollar has lost 60% of its value against other tradable currencies, and its reserve currency status, the basis of American power, is in doubt. The US has lost millions of middle class jobs which have been replaced with low paid domestic service jobs. Except for the very rich, Americans have experienced no gains in real income in the 21st century.

Paul Craig Roberts (thanks AZspot)

The Onion: Real Boxes. Fake Products. This is fantastic. Check out the assortment of fake gift boxes.

“Confuse, disappoint and possibly anger someone you care about. Wrap an otherwise forgettable gift in an Onion Gotcha Box…”

Making money by blogging is like getting nourishment from free samples at the grocery store. It’s technically possible—but it won’t go very well.

Dan on this

10,000 sperm, and you were the fastest?


Bloggers have no credibility - we are just a bunch of assholes who write this stuff from our living rooms. Once we leave the internet, we come to the stark realization that nobody cares.

uncov, OK, just go read it



If you use Tumblr, please consider reblogging this post and updating it with the people you FollowOnTumblr.

Great idea. My list is too huge to be in list format (I follow 143 people right now), so here it is in crowded form:

david, Aneilia, lee, moth, justin, ian, webmarc, thechickendeli, merlin, ben, szymon, contrivedchaos, shadowfirebird, azspot, perelson, jnunemaker, dailymeh, jake, johan, necrodome, tiffany, yum9me, ideas, lindsey, pikamookie, cubicle17, internhack, topherchris, jaschu, bandw, j, drmoldawer, gina, mayde, toldorknown, squashed, carolyn, nickdouglas, nevyn, sarahlane, owenj23, adora, incidentalthinking, sisterpearl, cowboyo, gondaba, sillywalks, sublevel3, confessions, nikography, nicklog, christmasgorilla, soxiam, travors, kiyo, justbrowsing, stumblng, ryandeussing, friends, delee928, blogish, mistermeth, yourmonkeycalled, aatw, deplorableword, nostrich, bullshit, cultrvultr, bell, dirtymodern, migzboi, blogspotter, anmar, jakoblodwick, kevinrose, samreich, jstn, rickyv, phlegon, jlog, fat, topofthedesk, cameronio, dirtyglass, inadequate, johnbrissenden, andreaallen, jacobbijani, dalasverdugo, 1daydown, dawnowar, oats, ericlodwick, martoq, danarbaugh, superdoofus-stratodrive, randomacts, farfaraway, jakeandamir, skidder, visual, airtight, jrtasel, talby, crispyteriyaki, insertname, solentdreams, huge, gtmcknight, montoya, inky, noisediary, jessta, larkspur, greenshinobi, juddalovin, patlutz, meghanasha, mareen, rodmitch, zetahydrae, fred-wilson, creepy, inkscar, kruyskamp, robgo, travelerica, tmorningstar, fledglingdesign, damnedthing, fuddmain, falconieri, vivia, totr, dearinternet, fvp, fascinated, cbeth, ohboy, ontheotherhand, gknauss, jakobandjulia, ghostvirus

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks: slightly wet. My submission made it!

Great DUI video (thanks, cultrvultr)

Re: Nervous About Following Too Many Tumblers

Fred Wilson:

But what if my dashboard gets too clogged? What if I can’t get through all of it anymore? […] This party called Tumblr is getting wild and crazy. I don’t want it to end up like Facebook. There has to be a better way.

I’ve found it to be very manageable following 143 people. (Not every person posts every day.) Every morning, I have to scan through about 8-12 Dashboard pages of new posts before I’m completely caught up.

It’ll be interesting to see what we come up with.

That said, there are definitely worse things in the world for Tumblr’s investors than for Tumblr to “end up like Facebook.”

The Voyager is a rehash of an existing product with touch screen added on as a gimmicky feature.

Montoya. Like every Verizon phone… new shape, same crappy software and limitations.

Initially, I liked the idea of tumblr as a way to aggregate all the different presences I have across the web. Then when I saw that Marco was following 140+ people, I felt somewhat guilty about forcing him to page through my feed.

christmasgorilla - { chris muscarella }

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, “Make it look good!” That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Steve Jobs (thanks John)

Night Tree, by J Maxfield

Tal Atlas:

[…] People look at these games and are like: “oh my god, look at how intensive this is. It must look beautiful.” I’ve even seen screens of Crysis. It looks nice but not that great.

My theory is that all these games are just poorly coded. Look at HL2, every Blizzard game ever made, Supreme Commander, and some others. These games can be gorgeous at high resolutions and still look great at lower resolutions. These companies take pride in their product and it shows. I wonder if this has anything to do with the decline in PC gaming.

That’s definitely part of it. Console gaming competes with PC gaming more now that consoles have advanced so far, especially with Xbox Live.

To play cutting-edge PC games, you need to have a gaming computer, which generally requires a continuous upgrade cycle with an average cost of $500-1000 every year (depending on whether you want to play on “high” settings).

When you want to play a game, you have to spend a bit of time installing it, then (usually) a lot of time downloading and installing patches and updates. Then, eventually, you launch the game and sit through the ridiculously long disc-copy-protection checker that masquerades as a “Loading” box (to penalize people who legally buy the game), then the game actually starts loading, then you sit through a million company logo screens that you can’t skip quickly, then you configure everything, possibly screwing with drivers if necessary, then you finally start a game… after sitting through the intro sequence that you can’t skip. Oh, and all of this has to happen on Windows, with all of the wonderful annoyances that go with that.

The entire gaming industry is dysfunctional, but PC gaming shows the worst of it.

Spending $300 every 3-5 years on consoles with far less hassle involved is much more attractive for most people.

(Except me, since the only types of games I like are RTS, FPS, and SimCity-type construction games… all of which suck on consoles.)

Sometimes I wish I liked stupid sports games and RPGs more.



The Charmin bathroom store in Times Square


More evidence that Web 2.0 people think the world is made of the 50,000 people who care about Web 2.0…

Scott Heiferman

I can order a shirt today and have it waiting at my door tomorrow afternoon, but it takes 10 days to remove my email address from a database? That doesn’t seem like a genuine effort.

Redonkulous unsubscribe delays

David just made me watch Cherry Chocolate Rain.

Let’s delete the internet and start over.

This was a beautiful transaction right up until it involved human contact.

An Entirely Other Day about selling a stroller on Craigslist

He was seeing a Dashboard post from a followed user.

March 17ths, by Jakob Lodwick (thanks, soxiam). Creepy, provocative… almost cute, but too sad.

My confusing rent bill (see the top-right edge). This bothers me every month.

(left arrow) “Please detach and return this portion.”

Which portion? The one the text is printed on, or the one that the arrow is pointing to?

I’ve returned the right-side portion each month and haven’t heard anything about it, so I guess that’s the correct one.