Very Scary

OK, call me a Luddite, call me an anti-MS partisan (neither of which, I think, are true), but it’s just getting too freakin’ scary to use IE.

Or is it just me?

Hey, as I type this, a Symantec virus scan is running in the background; over the weekend this program caught three attempted exploits on IE.

Between the security issues and Spam, I can understand why Joe Six-Pack doesn’t really care about the Web. It’s a bit unsettling.

Integration Issues

By integration issues, I’m of course not getting all political on you.

I refer to meshing data – imports, exports and all that.

With the possible exception of collecting cash over the Web (and all the proxies and so on that requires), integration is the issue that, well, is the biggest issue for any tech operation.

And just about anyone runs into this to some degree:

  • Merging EDI data (such as payroll) with in-house data (think Excel spread sheets) so reports can be run.
  • Third-party data, such as feeds of tax rates, loan rates, recent news stories
  • Legacy data (VAX, AS400) to Web-based platforms.

Yeah, I could go on forever.

But it’s always a pain – which is why RSS and XML (especially) has made such a splash (though the adoption rate of both – especially for enterprise apps – is surprisingly low).

So it’s one-off parsers, most written with the parser’s helper: Perl and the Perl DBI.

Amazing stuff.

Someone buy Larry Wall a beer or two…

OK, It’s Now Officially Bloomsday

A good day to read Ulysses (OK, it’ll take more than a day, that’s for sure), wouldn’t it be?

OK, that’s never going to happen for most of us, so how about another Joyce quote, this time from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man?

Sure, I knew you’d like that….

Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.

The man could write…must have been all the Guinness.

Happy Bloomsday

In my time zone – CDT – it’s about two hours early – late in the day/night June 15th here – but better early than forgetting, ja?

Happy Bloomsday – June 16th.

It’s the 100th anniversary of that fateful (fictional) day when Leopold Bloom boogied around Dublin, and his wife Molly, well, boogied around something else.

Tough book. Worth it.

…and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geramiums and catuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

— [Partial] closing line, Ulysses

Liquid poetry in so many dimensions.

Google to Support RSS?

Here’s the story.

This would be a good thing, in my mind. Let the standards (RSS and Atom) compete in the same spaces, and let the best standard(s) win.

And it makes Google a neutral party again. By electing to go with Atom and not support RSS, it definitely was a choice. It’s not like not supporting Netscape v1.1 anymore or anything like that.

Let’s hope this works out.

Needless to say, Dave seems happy about this development…

E-Mail IS Broken

Yes, the message “e-mail is broken” has been bandied about for some time with the rise of spam and other almost-spam messages.

E-mail has fundamentally changed over the last few years. You really can’t argue about that. E-mail used to primarily be for communication between known parties. This is not the case anymore.

While e-mail is still – in my mind – the killer app of the Internet, it is getting less and less useful every day.

For example, I used to use the “leave messages on server for X days” very liberally, just in case I accidently deleted something. Then I could get it back via a different client/Web-based e-mail tool. I used to leave stuff on for 10 days. Now I’m doing either 1 or 2 days. The volume is just to high to do it more than that. It nukes my site space allowance.

I did a (very rough) calculation of e-mail I’ve gotten over the past couple of weeks, and I am getting roughtly 96% spam. It all goes in a spam bucket which is so well trained I haven’t had a false positive for weeks, but still…that’s nutty.

Ninety-six percent.

E-mail is broken.

Hell of a Weekend

Actually, it was a good weekend. Went to the first art fair of the season, and the weather cooperated perfectly. Was a good show; I got some stuff. Most of it is hanging already.

On the tech side, made some progress with the Perl Image::Magick module. While the documentation for this PM is poor, I was able to do what I wanted (finally). Thank god for folks on the Internet who post code samples. Saved my butt!