Monthly Archives: October 2011

Reader Mail – 10/23/2011 To 10/29/2011

Anonymous Coward commented on More Interview Stupidity.

FSK, you opinion of testing for software development positions is similar to mine.
I think there is a need for some testing, but the problems with the way it is done are as follows:
1) Some companies take 1 – 2 days of your time for testing. This is excessive. Then after wasting 2 days of your time with their oral and written tests, you are rejected because of something on your resume that they knew at the beginning i.e. you only have 3 years of Java experience instead of 3.5 years or that you have used Buzzword 1.30 when they need Buzzword 1.35.
2) Even if you score highly in their tests you are still rejected.
3) The best way to do things is have a normal interview first and then if you pass that, then do the tests. This way you don’t waste 2 days on tests to get rejected for a “soft” reason.
4) It is extremely tiring to have to spend 0.5 – 2 days in testing for each job you interview for. After 10 such interviews you will just give up. With high unemployment it is now commonplace to have to interview at 10 – 30 jobs before you get one job offer. More so if you are an older software developer.
I spent two whole days with a barrage of written and oral tests. At the beginning of the interview process the chief manager said the company wants its employees to learn about all the underlying maths and finance the software uses and wants them to take part-time courses. Then in a later interview I said that in one previous job I was solely doing user-interface work and felt that I should have had the chance to do other types of programming which I have aptitude for as well. Immediately the interviewer said I was rejected as they wanted me for user-interface work.
So I had wasted 2 days of my time on tests. Plus it contradicted what the chief manager had said about them wanting well rounded employees that knew things at many different levels.

There has to be some way to week out people who are unqualified and fakers. However, you should be able to do this with a 15 minute phone screen.

Most of the tests are defective. It is offensive the people are asking me basic linked list questions, when I have a CS degree and 10 years of experience. It is silly, that all the C++ tests ask about obscure points of multiple inheritance and casting. I’ve never seen or written production code that uses multiple inheritance.

Anonymous Coward commented on More Interview Stupidity.

I went for an interview with a company that writes software for airline booking, near Heathrow Airport.
In the interview the interviewer was talking about threads and locks. He then started to say thread locks are expensive in terms of time and that there should be better ways to do it.
I then gave him my solution and he said it was too expensive. I told him straight that my method was guaranteed to work and if he tried to do something “clever” it would fail.
He then went on to describe a stupid way to access shared resources using different threads. No built-in thread locking methods were used. It looked horrible.
When I got home I asked a friend who directed me to a university paper saying that the interview’s solution was completely stupid and would fail for many different ways.
So I was right in the interview. My method was simple and works. His method was incorrect. I told him so in the interview.
However I did not get the job.
Surely if you are writing software to book airline seats you don’t have to write with the same efficiency as games software. You just want the correct results. When writing airline booking software you should not write dodgy code just to save a fraction of a fraction of a second!

Anonymous Coward commented on More Interview Stupidity.

In the United Kingdom it seems most jobs are obtained via recruitment consultants. Typically they don’t bother to read CV/resumes. They just look at the very first sentence of your very last job. They understand little or nothing.
The vast majority of my programming experience is in C/C++, C# and Java. I have years and years of experience programming these languages. Even right at the top of my CV I state these are my main skills. However as I listed the work I have done in date order, the first sentence of my last job listed another type of work. Immediately below it said I was doing C/C++ work.
The result was that recruitment consultants never bothered to read my CV/resume and I only got put forward for the wrong jobs. This combined with the fact I am getting a little older, meant that I totally missed out on getting hired.
I now work for myself.

Esse commented on node.js Is VB6 – Does node.js Suck?.

One co-founder had a Harvard MBA, which translates into English as “I’m a retard.”

Thanks a lot for getting coffee sprayed all over my monitor!

commented on Phones And Tablets Aren’t Replacing Desktop PCs.

There will come a point where you can direct computers with thought (mouse, keyboard and all), and get a nice big screen with some VR-esque glasses. . Then I see desktops going away.

That isn’t as close as it sounds. There still aren’t computers that can parse voice properly.

Anonymous Coward commented on Employer Job Interview Best Practices.

Another spot on post.
I’ve interviewed at Microsoft and have had several interviewers say that I’m extremely competent and that they are very impressed with my experience. However I got rejected due to what the manager said, despite having his employees say good things about me.
I now work for myself. However it is a pity that my vast experience can’t be used in a corporate environment now. It would be nice to work with other people.

South Park Fnords – Blowjob Subtext

There was an interesting bit in this week’s South Park.  They mentioned the possibility of subliminal messages or fnords, in Broadway musicals.  That was an interesting way to disclose a bit of the hidden truth.

They did mention that in another episode, where they mentioned sexual subliminal messages in the Jonas Brothers, as a way to sell sex to teenage girls in an acceptable way.

Sexuality is used to sell many products.  People are pro-State brainwashed to be uneasy about sex.  That makes it easier to use sex to sell things.

There was another interesting bit on the Daily Show on Tuesday. He was making fun of Republican candidates saying crazy things. For Ron Paul’s “crazy statement”, he was proposing repealing the 16th Amendment. Eliminating the IRS is actually a good idea, even though it contradicts what most people are brainwashed to believe.

Also, it isn’t necessary to repeal the 16th Amendment to eliminate the income tax.  A Constitutional Amendment requires a 3/4 vote in Congress.  Congress could repeal the income tax by a simple majority vote, if the President also signs the law.  The 16th Amendment allows Congress to impose an income tax, but doesn’t require Congress to impose an income tax.

Only Unemployed People Watch The World Series

Normally, I don’t bother watching the World Series.  The games always end after my normal bedtime.  There’s no point in watching the game if I know I can’t see the end.  It’s very annoying.

That’s one “perk” of being unemployed.  I can stay up and watch the entire game.

Consider Thursday night’s Game 6.  It ended at 12:40pm..  There’s no way I could have watched the end, if I had a job.

Contrast that with an NBA game, which almost always ends in 2 hours, or the Super Bowl, which is on a Sunday evening ending by 11pm.

That’s a very stupid MLB policy.  The World Series games don’t normally end until 11pm or later.  That maximizes short-term ad revenue.  That alienates potential fans.

Employer Job Interview Best Practices

I went on another job interview.  This time, I was shocked by the competence of the interviewers.

For a typical job interview, you meet with three people, A, then B, then C.  All interviews are separate, in a room with just you and the interviewer.  Then, you get hired only if A, B, and C all vote “hire”.

This system caters to parasites and psychopaths.  A parasite or psychopath will never hire someone smarter than him.  An evil person will vote “no hire”, when the candidate is smarter than him.  “Only hire if all vote ‘yes’.” gives the psychopath veto power, ensuring that people who threaten the psychopath are never hired.  The evil person can edit the memories of the other interviewers, making them falsely believe that the candidate was unqualified.

Suppose that interviewers A and B are honest and intelligent and “abused productive”, but C is a psychopath.  I interview for the job.  A and B will really like me.  The psychopath C will be scared and threatened, because I’m skilled and can see through him.  Even if I’m super-friendly and super-polite, the psychopath will be threatened by my competence and alertness.  C will vote “Don’t hire FSK.”  A and B may initially resist.  The power of the psychopath C is that he will edit A’s and B’s memories, making them think I was a bad candidate.  I’m not there to defend myself, so there’s nothing I can do about it; I’m SOL.  A and B were not a witness, when C interviewed me, so they won’t know that the psychopath is lying, giving a false negative review.

Something interesting happened at another job interview, the one I mentioned in my node.js post.  They had a studio office with no private rooms.  When the psychopath-in-training interviewed me, the two “abused productive” nontechnical co-founders were watching.  They might have noticed that the psychopath-in-training was evil, based on how I interacted with him.  They were acting a little weird.  However, I’m not sure.

That would be a very interesting Matrix power to have.  When I talk to a psychopath, it’s obvious to a 3rd party observer that he’s a psychopath!  I wonder if I really can do that?  It’s like I can give a Voight-Kampff test, to detect psychopaths!?  It’s usually nearly immediately obvious to me, but it’d be really neat if I can also convince an impartial 3rd party observer.

The “interview separately” trick prevents people from noticing that their coworker is evil and unfairly giving negative reviews.

What’s the solution?  At the competent interview, all three interviewers met me simultaneously!  That’s a solution to the “psychopath interviewers give false negative reviews” problem.  Even more shocking, none of the interviewers were evil!  (One guy had high emotional intelligence and lower logical intelligence, but wasn’t evil.  It is possible for someone to be mildly parasitic and not evil.  Unfortunately, most State leaders are strongly parasitic or a psychopath.)

This is an important point for interviewer best practices.  All interviewers should meet the candidate simultaneously.  That prevents a parasite or psychopath from giving a false negative review.  The standard practice is flawed, “interview one at a time separately”.  A psychopath will give a false negative review and use his emotional manipulation power to edit the other interviewers’ memories.  “Interview one at a time separately” makes it easier for psychopaths to manipulate the hiring process.  If all interviewers meet the candidate simultaneously, then it’s harder for someone evil to give a false negative review.

Phones And Tablets Aren’t Replacing Desktop PCs

I hear people say this over and over again.  Phones and tablets are going to replace desktop PCs.

That is silly.

A lot of people might prefer a tablet or phone.  If you have a good tablet, you don’t need a desktop PC.

For people with lower computer literacy, they may get a tablet instead of a desktop.

However, for serious work, you need a real keyboard and a nice big monitor.

I suspect that most people will have both a phone and a desktop PC.  Then, when you travel, you use your phone.  At home, you use your desktop.

I really like my new phone, but I’m not giving up my PC and using it exclusively.

Qaddafi Killed

As you probably heard, Qaddafi was killed.

It is sort of offensive, that people are celebrating his death.  It’s wrong to celebrate someone’s death, even for someone who deserves it.

Qaddafi’s was leader of Libya for a long time.  Why did he suddenly become public enemy #1?

This story is probably the real reason for Qaddafi’s death.

The Libyan leader proposed the nationalisation of U.S. oil companies, as well as those of UK, Germany, Spain, Norway, Canada and Italy in 2009.

Qaddafi proposed nationalizing US oil wells.  Shortly after, he was killed.  What a coincidence?

Before Iraq was invaded in 2003, Saddam Hussein was planning to sell oil for Euros, instead of US dollars.  That threatened the US oil dollar monopoly.  For a long time, the international oil markets were 100% oil-denominated, forcing other countries to acquire dollars if they wanted to buy oil.

Iran also has plans to sell oil for something other than US dollars.  Is that the real reason Iran’s government is being targeted now?

Are the people in Libya free now?  Of course not.  They’re still going to have to pay taxes/tribute to their owners.  They may get “democracy”, giving them the illusion that they’re picking their ruler from a list of pre-screened candidates.

Are the same group of people still ruling Libya?  Yes, mostly.  Many of Qaddafi’s advisers saw the way things were going, and decided to side with the rebels.  They’re in good shape now, to continue looting the Libyan people.

Even in a dictatorship, Qaddafi isn’t sole absolute ruler.  He’s dependent on his advisors and police and military.

Qaddafi was killed.  People in Libya still aren’t free.  The same group of insiders still control Libya.  In Egypt, people are starting to realize that, even though they ousted the figurehead ruler, they still weren’t free.

node.js Is VB6 – Does node.js Suck?

I went on another job interview.  This was another startup.  Surprisingly, they were less clueless than the others.

One co-founder had a Harvard MBA, which translates into English as “I’m a retard.”  However, he was intelligent and had the “abused productive” personality type.  Actually, that’s a bad sign.  If the non-technical cofounders have the “abused productive” personality type, then they almost definitely hired parasites and psychopaths to implement the website for them.

They had a short domain name, a common English word.  That shows what big amateurs they are.  They probably paid a ton of money for that domain.  Every dollar you spend on a domain name is a dollar you don’t spend building your website.  It’s much more important to have a good website than a good domain name.  You should never pay more than the minimum registration fee for a new domain.  However, clueless VCs will disagree, and their opinion is the one that counts, when it comes to raising capital for startups.

They said “We’re building our website in node.js.”

I briefly researched node.js.  I was not impressed.  Some of the stuff I write here may be wrong, but it was my first impression.

Node.js is an extension of Javascript, enabling Javascript to be used server-side.

Javascript is incredibly ugly.  Why would anyone extend it to a full server-side language?

Node.js is single-threaded only.  You use non-blocking calls and callback functions.  In these days of multicore servers, why would anyone design a language to be only single-threaded?  Plus, it’s a PITA to manage all those callback functions and debug.

With Apache, a new thread/process is spawned for each request.  The PHP code then runs in that thread.  The database calls are blocking calls; the thread sleeps until the call returns.  If one thread is waiting for the database, that thread cedes the CPU via UNIX multitasking, and the other threads work.

The drawback is that spawning a thread/process is CPU expensive.  (Actually, doesn’t Apache keep a pool of idle threads, only spawning new ones when necessary?  If that is true, then the node.js criticism is completely wrong.  Node.js’ “single thread model” is based on a criticism of Apache that’s outright false.)

However, unless your website is super-popular, it doesn’t make a difference.  I doubt I’ll ever get enough traffic to push the limits of my Linode, even without any WordPress caching extensions.

With node.js, it’s only one thread.  Instead of spawning a new thread, you have non-blocking database calls.  Then, there’s a callback function when the database call returns.  Internally, node.js processes all the callbacks, in order.

There’s another language that uses non-blocking calls and callback functions.  It’s VB6 (Microsoft Visual Basic 6).  My preliminary analysis of node.js is that it uses advanced VB6-like technology.

Node.js does have a lot of built-in libraries.  If you want a basic node.js http server, you just include the http library, listen, and handle the request.

If you want to set up Apache/LAMP, that’s a full day of work.  If you write an http server in C++, that’s a lot of code.  With node.js’ libraries, you can get a basic http server running quickly.

Do you see the fallacy?

Yes, it’s nice that node.js gets a basic http server running quickly, via nice libraries.  However, you still have to write the code for your application.

Clueless people get obsessed with languages and frameworks.  No matter what language and framework you use, you have to write your application code.  If you use a fancy framework, then you have to write framework-compliant code in addition to your program’s code.  With node.js, you’re fiddling around with callback functions and manually managing timing, instead of letting Apache and the OS do it for you.

I wonder if a clueless person prefers to install and run node.js, rather than set up a full LAMP installation?  It’s a lot more work to properly install and configure LAMP, than to install node.js and run that.

I suspect that the founders hired a parasite/psychopath to build their product.  He’s focusing on hype instead of content, and picked the latest trend, node.js.  However, unless I meet their CTO, I don’t know if he’s sane or a psychopath.  Given that the non-technical co-founders were intelligent, I’m pretty sure they hired a psychopath.

The “beauty” of node.js is that it only spawns one thread that does everything.  However, what if your website is super-popular?  What happens once one thread isn’t enough?  Then you have to add code to juggle requests between threads and servers.  Now, all the advantages of node.js are flushed down the toilet, once one thread can’t handle everything.  With Apache, I can upgrade from a 4-core server to an 8-core server and get double the power.  You can’t do that with node.js, unless you write code to handle it, which defeats the benefit of using node.js in the first place.  Yes, I can write my own thread pooling algorithm, but why not use Apache, which was already super-tuned by others?  If I’m balancing my load among several servers, I can directly configure Apache to do that for me.  With node.js, wouldn’t I have to manually add all the code for that?  (There are some libraries planned but not finished, to address some of my concerns.  However, they probably will eliminate any advantages of node.js in the first place.)

Node.js seems like exactly the opposite of the language I’d write.  In these days of multi-cores, you need a language that handles multiple cores/threads/processes well.  Node.js will only use one core, no matter what you do, unless you spawn multiple node.js instances.

I’m not ready to go all-out and say “node.js sucks”.  The slogan for node.js is “It’s like Ruby on Rails, but it doesn’t suck like Ruby on Rails.”  Is it true?  Is it hype?  Until I spend a lot of time working in node.js, I won’t be sure.  However, based on what I read, I’m not sufficiently impressed with node.js to make me learn it on my own for my personal website.  I’m sticking with LAMP, for personal projects, for now.  I’ll only learn node.js if they wind up hiring me.

There was another amusing moment from the interview.  There’s always a parasite/psychopath on the interview team.  That’s a universal rule of The Matrix.  This parasite was their “technical advisor, an idea guy”, i.e. someone who spouts buzzwords but can’t actually implement anything.  This guy was a parasite, a psychopath-in-training.  He’ll be a full-on psychopath once he gets another 10 years of experience manipulating people. He was sufficiently inexperienced that he didn’t notice that I was a potential threat to his gravy train.  I’m sure I gave him some tips on improving his lying skills.  If you’re the “idea guy”, it’s never your fault when the project ends in disaster, but you get credit for any success.

Amusingly, the “idea guy” had a CS PhD from MIT.  I guess that proves one point.  Even if you have a degree from a top school, that doesn’t mean you can actually write working code.  However, this psychopath would never risk taking a job where he’d actually have to write code.  He’ll always take a job as “idea guy” or “architect”, without having to actually code or do real work.

He compared node.js to Rails.  I said that I was involved in a Rails disaster.  (It definitely was a disaster.  They did fire me for “not being a team player”, because I pointed out the disaster-in-progress, but went bankrupt anyway.)  He said “WTF?  Rails projects never end in disaster!  You’re kidding me!”  I didn’t mention that I wrote the #1 search result in Google for “Ruby on Rails Sucks!

His reasoning was “A lot of VC money is spent on Rails.  Therefore, Rails must be awesome.”  When it’s a hype-based economy and not a value-based economy, a lot of capital can be squandered on stupid things.  If you throw enough capital at a project, you might get it to work, even if you use Rails.  Also, the psychopaths give each other positive feedback, when they all decide to use Rails.

That’s parasite logic.  If you evaluate solely by hype, Rails is awesome.  If you evaluate by content, Rails sucks.  I’m so confident in my analysis “Rails sucks!”, that I can nearly conclusively say that you’re a parasite or psychopath, if you like Rails.  It was amusing to look at the comments on my “Rails sucks!” post.  Half strongly agreed with me and half strongly disagreed with me.  That’s the divide of productive versus parasitic personality type.

I don’t know if node.js is awesome or a POS, because I haven’t used it yet.  However, they were working on their website for 3+ months and had no working alpha yet.  That sounds like a disaster-in-progress to me.  If they hired a skilled psychopath, he’ll be able to keep making excuses until they’ve burned through their seed funding.  They promised to show me their alpha during the interview, but they didn’t, probably because it isn’t ready yet.

I’m 99%+ sure that the “idea guy” advised against hiring me, but that the other two “abused productive” cofounders were interested.  Those cofounders probably aren’t aware that their “idea guy” is faking it, so I’m SOL.  They’d probably be completely insulted by the idea that he was conning them.

The “idea guy” will build a great reputation for himself.  People will think “We’re lucky to have him!”, when he’s really an unqualified twit.  That is the power of psychopaths.  If everyone else is saying “X is a super-genius!”, then you’ll doubt yourself when you think that maybe X isn’t so smart.  In the hands of a psychopath, an MIT PhD is very powerful.  Most people would assume that MIT’s faculty is smart enough to not hand out PhDs to psychopaths, and would automatically assume that the psychopath is a super-genius.  (I wonder if the top schools and their faculty are completely controlled by psychopaths?  In that case, a psychopath will fit in perfectly, while competent people get frustrated and quit.)

I always evaluate someone independently, and have enough experience to know that credentials are meaningless.  I have enough experience now to trust my own judgment, no matter what a piece of paper says.  That’s also why, as an employer, I’d never use a screening test.  I’d need to evaluate the personality type of the candidate, and you can only do that by seeing them or with a phone screen.

If the psychopath senses that you can see through him and are starting to question him, then he’ll fire you or make sure you don’t get hired in the first place.  Therefore, there must be a parasite or psychopath on every hiring committee.  That’s one of the rules of The Matrix.  Unfortunately, that makes it hard for someone unplugged like me to find a job.

That’s one of the main reasons the system is falling apart.  Almost everyone lacks the ability to tell the difference between a really skilled worker, and a really good faker.  The psychopaths have set up the legal system and political system and financial system to be *EXTREMELY* psychopath-friendly.  Most intelligent people are pro-State brainwashed to be susceptible to psychopath manipulation.  However, by maximizing their theft, the psychopaths are causing the whole system to fall apart.  You can’t make a psychopath understand “You shouldn’t steal so much.  The whole system will collapse if this keeps up.”  Even worse, by having nearly perfect psychopath control, it becomes very hard for intelligent people to find a job.  “Grow your way out of a recession!” is impossible if psychopaths control everything.

Is node.js the next great thing?  Is it another hype bubble like Rails?  I’m leaning towards “hype bubble”, but I’m not making a full-on commitment to that statement, because I haven’t tried node.js yet.

In the days of multicore servers, it seems stupid to design a language that uses one core max.  I’d be much more impressed with a language that promoted efficient easy use of multiple cores.  That’s the biggest lacking feature of modern programming languages, support for multiple cores and multiple threads.  For that reason, node.js seems like a bad idea.  It’s the exact opposite of what I want, easy muticore support.  With non-blocking I/O and callback functions, node.js shares all the worst features of VB6.

This bit was funny.  According to that document, it’s illegal to say anything negative about node.js, because that’s misusing the node.js trademark!  It’s like they knew they were designing a turd, when they said that you’re not allowed to say anything negative about node.js.  Only an evil person would say “You’re not allowed to publicly say anything negative about my project, or I’ll sue you.”  (However, they later say that certain types of criticism are allowed.  Self-contradictory legal documents are amusing.)

Reader Mail – 10/16/2011 To 10/22/2011

I decided to start doing “Reader Mail” posts again.  Some people said that they missed them.

I liked doing it, because interesting discussions sometimes get buried in the comments.  If you don’t read the comment feed and don’t go back to the post, you may miss some interesting comments.

On Blogger, I stopped doing “Reader Mail” posts.  It was a PITA to cut+paste and make the posts.

On my own WordPress, I have no such problem!  I wrote a PHP script that reads the WordPress comment table and generates the post template for me!  I left the non-FSK comments as-is, but I enhanced some of my responses.

Right now, it’s in beta.  It’s still not fully done.  For example, I have to manually edit the PHP source to fill in the date range.

I’m thinking of making it into a WordPress plugin.  Is anyone interested in my “Generate Reader Mail” script for their own blog?

Anonymous 2274 commented on Editorial Decision – I’m Not Importing My Old Archive.

Also, I might suggest doing a 304 redirect when you rewrite those posts in order to get the linkjuice to this site. Also, when someone then goes to the original post, they’ll actually be transferred to the new one. That usually works to transfer all the PageRank to the new site.

Anonymous 2274 commented on Editorial Decision – I’m Not Importing My Old Archive.

I apologize; it is known as a 301 redirect, not 304.

Unfortunately, Blogger does not support 304/301 redirects when you move your blog. It’s annoying. It’s one of the ways that Google attempts to lock in their users.

I’m forced to restart from scratch when I move, PageRank wise.

That might be one of the reasons AdBrite banned my new blog (see below).  It has zero PageRank.  Their admin system couldn’t tell the difference between this and a spam blog, and their customer support was too lazy to notice that I was a real publisher and not a scammer.

That’s what really annoys me about AdBrite.  I’ve been publishing their ads for more than 2 years, and someone didn’t actually read my customer support E-Mails.  Why don’t any businesses have customer support anymore?

Anonymous 2274 commented on FSK Asks – Good Free WordPress Themes?.

There are some good paid themes, but as far as a free theme, there are many good options; not one that comes to mind immediately. Desingpile seems like it might be a good fit (the blue or green version, of course). You might want to check out MagZine and The Hybrid, too. Since you don’t use photos in your posts, your options may be somewhat limited. If you are interested in a paid theme, Thesis and StudioPress are two best to my knowledge.

I looked at those, and wasn’t impressed.  “The Hybrid” didn’t have a clear list of features.  I don’t need a 100% customizable theme, when I can edit the PHP/CSS myself.

I’m going to go with an unpaid theme, and then edit it. “Simplemarket” seems OK so far. I’ll look around for others later.  I’ll probably just use simplemarket, and add my own custom enhancements.

I’m not concerned too much with my theme choice.  I’m going to edit it later.

My theme requirements are:

  1. left sidebar – I never understood why anyone would want a right sidebar.
  2. variable-width – I want the page to expand and contract based on window size.
  3. header doesn’t take up too much space – Some themes had a header that took up half the window!

Toni commented on About FSK.

I like yr blog a lot. just obe suggestion: delete the degrading “just another WP blog” in yr header. You’re better than that:-)

I was going to do that. I was trying to write a PHP script that displayed a random phrase phrase, but couldn’t get it to work.

One interesting rule for working on your blog/website is “Do one thing every day.”

Esse commented on FSK Glossary.

I love the idea of a glossary for this blog.

I’ll work on filling that in. I’m doing a little bit of setup every day.

I did add some more stuff, but it isn’t done yet.

Anonymous 2274 commented on Initial Impressions – WordPress vs. Blogger.

I haven’t had any performance problems with the new site (yet). There’s no question that WordPress is years ahead of Blogger. However, some of the thing is that you’re using the self-hosted WordPress, versus the free WordPress. The free WordPress is better than Blogger, but still restrictive. A self-hosted WordPress blog is definitely the way to go.

This is 100% self-hosted WordPress.  I have my own Linode.  It’s amazing.  It was a great idea.

I learned a lot, just setting up the LInode!  I learned more in a few days of setting up my Linode, than in my last couple years of jobs.  I was surprised how many hackers try to grab phpymadmin, which I never installed.

The best thing is that I can write my own code.  I wrote a PHP script that generated this post.  I can make my own Analytics from the raw Apache logs.  I may expand to other things later.

There’s practically no way I’ll use up the disk and bandwidth allocation of a $20/month Linode.

Anonymous 2274 commented on AdBrite Rejected My New Blog!.

I’ve also not liked Google Analytics. The best alternative I’ve found is Get Clicky. It’s also free (although they have a paid level, too), and I’ve found it to be better and more accurate. I’d definitely recommend it.

Why would I need a 3rd party tracking service? I have the full apache server logs.

If necessary, I’ll write something that parses out the logfiles myself.

Also, 3rd party tracking codes don’t work 100%, if people use NoScript and block it. For example, Google Analytics is still showing 0 actual readers.

Anonymous 2274 commented on AdBrite Rejected My New Blog!.

That may be because Google Analytics has a few hours delay. It takes a while for it start tracking. Google Analytics seems to have suspiciously low numbers. That’s probably largely because it’s the most used service, so it’s more widely blocked.

Definitely a third party service isn’t necessary. You just mentioned you were going “to try other WordPress analytics alternatives” so I thought you might like to check it out.
I suspect that a lot of people block Google Analytics.

That’s another advantage of my own site. I can see how many people are blocking Google Analytics.

I don’t mind if you block Analytics or ads.

Anonymous commented on BlackBerry Outage – What Really Happened.

“Suppose you’re a middle manager at RIMM, and you’re ordered to fire a subordinate. Do you fire your friend? Do you fire the guy who actually gets the work done? Obviously, you fire the competent guy before your fire your friend.”

Why would this be different in an Agorist society? I read an article where you said we shouldn’t go back to the Constitution, because it’s breed the current environment. Why should we go back to a society without a government, considering it breed the current society? What would prevent middle managers from being inefficient and firing good workers as opposed to their good friends?

There are several reasons that would not happen in an agorist/free society.

First, large mega-corporations are only possible in collusion with government. In the present, a highly skilled manager can’t easily start his own business. In a really free market, the skilled middle manager would be managing his own business.

It would be hard to organize a business bigger than the leader’s “monkey number” (200 workers), without support from the State. It would split into smaller businesses working together.

Second, suppose that in business A, management only hires their friends, but in business B, management hires the best workers available. Obviously, business B will rapidly bankrupt business A. In the present, State restriction of the market prevents a group of skilled workers from getting together and starting business B.  If you have a monopoly, you can afford the inefficiency of hiring based on connections rather than ability.

In a really free market, corruption is punished by the market. In the present, corrupt middle managers don’t matter, because the corporation has a State-backed monopoly.

Of course, if all your friends are highly skilled and hardworking, it’ll work out well if you only hire them. You’re severely restricting your worker pool, if you only hire friends.

Anonymous Coward commented on BlackBerry Outage – What Really Happened.

>Therefore, middle managers will fire competent workers before their friends, if >they’re
>ordered to fire someone.

I’ve seen this happen in a few different companies.

Additionally the workers doing the most work may get fired first.

I once worked for a famous tech company. About 10 of us were moved from one division to another. There was a huge scramble for everybody to get onto long term projects or easy jobs. A few people just had to add 1 line of code to every URL handler so a manager could compile statistics of which were the most popular pages. A far more through implementation of this was already available on a whole company level, rather than just for our group. The managers either ignored this or didn’t care.

Of the transferred people I was the only one that got stuck doing “hard” front-line work. Whereas some people only did 1 project over the space of 1 year, I did about 6 different projects and had fix old bugs in the code or bugs caused by other people and groups. For months at a time I had to work weekends and evenings.

It is very easy to get imaginary “dirt” on someone if they are doing loads of important work. It is difficult to get dirt on someone that hardly does anything or who only does work managed by friends or people in on the same game.

The “dirt” they got on me was simply because a manager and his reporting employee wanted to get credit for a project they weren’t entitled to.

Because I did so much work in so many different areas, the chances of encountering bad people were much higher. The fact that I had done 5 projects perfectly well before encountering these clowns was discarded. The fact that I had done 4 projects perfectly well after encountering these clowns was discarded.

Do nothing ===> No dirt can be found on you

Do lots and work hard ==> People want credit for your work or are worried that you have done work they should have done

This explains why a couple of do-little people were left behind but three very competent workers were fired.

Just to make things worse two fired, incompetent workers managed to get other jobs in the same company 1 – 2 years later!

I wonder how serious a problem that is.  Are the more competent workers always fired before the people with political connections?  That certainly would explain why layoffs tend to cripple a corporation.  That always would explain why the economy is collapsing.

Also, when you’re unfairly fired, it leads you to thinking “I need to be smarter and work harder!”, rather than what’s actually happening.  If you’re fired due to excessive competence, working better isn’t going to help!

Argh!  I just noticed that my “Reader Mail” script is messing up sometimes.  I can’t figure out why.  I think it has something to do with WordPress trying to reformat the post after I enter the “raw html”.

I see now.  If you put more than one line in your post, I wasn’t properly replacing the 0x0d and 0x0d 0x0a (damn Windows) with <br>s.

Anonymous 2274 commented on FSK Asks – Good WordPress Plugins?.

Here are the plug-ins I’ve found to be the best:

All In One SEO Pack. This plugin lets you easily enter in the meta title, meta description, and meta tags, without having to code it manually.

Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin sends your site and updates to Google. This is an absolute *MUST*. It will really help with Google ranking.

GrowMap Anti Spam Plugin. Most people use Askimet, but it has a lot of bugs, often spamming non-spam comments, and has become an overall mess. GrowMap adds a checkbox at the bottom of the comment box (undetectable to spam bots) to prove that someone is a human. Since I’ve added this on my site, my spam went down from several a day to zero.

Broken Link Checker. Broken links really hurt your SEO. A commentor’s site might go down, or a site that you’ve previously linked to. This also really helps with SEO.

Sharebar. Lets people easily share your post to Twitter and FaceBook.

WordPress Database Backup. This can be extremely useful in some cases. If your blog is hacked, or somehow goes down, you can easily restore it, as this plugin emails you a backup of your website once daily. The only problem is having your email account hacked, so you might want to create a separate email account for this plugi.n

W3 Total Cache. This will help improve load times.

Contact Form 7. An simple contact form so people can easily get in touch with you.

WordPress Editorial Calendar. Lets you easily see all the posts that you have scheduled in order (on an interactive picture of a calendar). WordPress doesn’t let you easily see your editorial calendar by default.

These are all free, by the way. Let me know what you think.

Anonymous 2274 commented on FSK Asks – Good WordPress Plugins?.

In terms of an archives plugin, Collapsing Archives looks good to me. I haven’t used it personally, though.

It’s going to take me awhile to go through those.

Collapsing archives is definitely what I wanted for archives.  I put in that.

I don’t need any type of caching (yet).  A Linode is overkill for a simple WordPress blog.  I doubt I’ll every get enough readers to be slashdotted or otherwise overloaded.

I’m still angry at Google for unfairly banning me from AdSense.  They are #1 in search and search traffic helps a lot.  I put in the XML sitemap.  I should set up Google Webmaster Tools, so I can see if the sitemap feature is working.

Surpisingly, I haven’t had a spam problem yet.  I refuse to publish spam comments and don’t auto-approve comments.  Maybe that’s why things don’t get out of hand.  I look at some blogs, and the comment section is almost all spam.

I don’t need a contact form.  You can E-Mail me or leave a comment.  I’m going to set up the ad-supported free gmail on your domain.

I also considered “popular posts” plugin.  It was a PITA to manually generate “Best of FSK” on my other blog.  I’ll write a script that manually parses my Apache logs.

I’m not going to clutter things up with “share on Twitter/Facebook/etc” widgets.  You can always cut and paste the link yourself.

I’m going to write some custom PHP.  I’m not adverse to writing custom PHP to get the features I want.

I’m going to write something that parses my Apache logs and creates Analytics and a “Best of FSK” (already did the latter).

I’m going to write something that generates a template for a “Reader Mail” post. (On Blogger, I had to manually cut+paste from the comment notification E-Mails, making me give up.)

Erin Leland (LadyPhoenix) commented on FSK Asks – Good WordPress Plugins?.

What kind of functionality are you looking for? I have installed a few, but don’t want to list them all until I know what you’re looking for, specifically. :) If anything.

First, I’m looking for a Google Analytics equivalent. I don’t want any 3rd party cookie or tracking code, like Google Analytics uses. I decided to parse out my raw Apache logs.

Second, I’m looking for a post archive widget that’s sort of like what I had on Blogger.

Third, I’m looking for something that will compile a list of my most popular posts. I may also do that myself.

Otherwise, I’m looking for stuff that’s generally interesting.

Anonymous 2274 commented on WordPress Admin Panel Hangs?.

I still haven’t experienced any performance problems. I’ve also never had that problem with WordPress. Did the problem you identify solve it?

I think that was the problem. I misconfigured “rotatelogs”, causing Apache to hang.

It hasn’t occurred again since.

So you’re “Anonymous 2274″ now? Do you have a static IP address? Is there some way I can configure WordPress to auto-approve your comments?

One nice thing about WordPress vs. Blogger is that I get to see the IP address of all comments, even Anonymous ones. If you’re always using the same IP address, then I know it’s almost definitely the same person.

Sadly, Verizon DSL gives me a dynamic address. That shouldn’t be too big a problem with my own Analytics, because I’m going to filter out duplicates (multiple visits to the same page from the same IP).

Erin Leland (LadyPhoenix) commented on WordPress Admin Panel Hangs?.

Hey there. Been running WordPress since before the advent of the admin panel. I’ve never had a problem with it. :(

Esse commented on Verizon And The State.

This is really interesting about the politician. I had a huge problem with Sprint screwing things up many years ago and was totally getting the run around. Finally they went one step too far and triggered my thermonuclear detonation switch, which is a state i very rarely can be provoked into where I drop absolutely everything I am doing and focus all my efforts on destroying the other party that has wronged me. Normally I am an easy going guy, but once I get to this point it is all over. I had tons of documentation, organized in extremely well, and it got copied and went to three state attorney generals, both federal US senators in each of my state and Sprint’s headquarters in Kansas, US representatives, better business bureaus, and state senators and representatives in my state and in kansas. Of all of them, my own state representative and senator seem to have had the most free time and nothing better to do to devote to reading my material and a massive shitstorm ensued. At one point there was a phone call from the CEO of Sprint on my answering machine personally apologizing.

Esse commented on No AdBrite For FSK!.

Thanks for the warning, clearly they are yet another company run by idiots.

Hm, do I have to give a real email address.

No. I configured WordPress so you can leave all 3 blank and comment completely Anonymously. However, I do get to see your IP address. That should work. You also can give a name, but not an E-Mail. That should work.

If you do put in an E-Mail, it’s probably doing a regexp match to see if it’s of the form

I thought I set WordPress to auto-approve comments by someone who had a previously-approved comment.

The thing that annoys me about AdBrite is that I’ve been using their service for 2+ years, making about $5/month (and presumably some money for them). I put the ad widget on my new blog when I was first building it, and they flagged my blog as a spammer blog. Their customer support said “Sorry! You’re a spammer! Blog not approved! Ticket closed!”, and they didn’t even read what I wrote.

Their filtering software rejected my blog initially due to “insufficent content”.  I asked AdBrite customer support how much content I needed – 1 month, 2 months, whatever.  They refused to answer.  They merely responded with “Blog rejected!  Ticket closed!  Get lost you spammer!”

Esse commented on More Interview Stupidity.

I’m sorry, but the correct answer was “B”.

That’s one part of those tech screenings I really find offensive. Even if I do give the wrong answer, they never tell me what the expected answer was. I guess that prevents anyone from challenging them later.

When the tech screening test is obviously flawed, I wonder if preferred candidates are given the answers ahead of time?

Google “Analytics” Still Shows Zero Visitors

I’ve had the Google Analytics code on my website for almost a full week.  It’s still showing zero visitors.

Google Analytics even showed people following links back to my old blog!  (I linked to a few old posts.  I didn’t have a chance to update or rewrite them yet.)

I know that’s false.  I intentionally visited my blog in IE (no NoScript).  It should show some traffic.

I finally got Apache logrotate to work.  I’m going to parse out the logs and make my own analytics.

Most of the WordPress Analytics plugins require a 3rd party cookie or tracking code.  I don’t want anything like that.

I’m probably going to ditch Google Analytics once I get my own Analytics working.

Ironically, my old Blogger blog is still showing a lot of Google Analytics traffic.  I wonder if all my regular readers use NoScript, so that GA won’t show the decline?  I’m going to parse out my server log and see what my real traffic statistics are.

I also decided to re-introduce “Reader Mail”.  I wrote a PHP script that parses the WordPress database and automatically generates the post for me.  Back on Blogger, I was manually copying and pasting.

If someone is interested, I might make it a plugin.

WIth my own Linode and WordPress, there’s *SO MUCH MORE* I can do.  It really is amazing.  I’m so glad I ditched Blogger.

No Mail!

I had enabled WordPress’ feature “E-Mail me when there’s a comment”.  I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working.  Then, I realized the problem.  “Duh!  I never installed a mailserver on my LInode!”  I disabled that feature.  I don’t need it anyway.

I’m planning to set up gmail ad-supported on my domain.  Then, I’ll have an E-Mail address.

I’m just keeping the minimum stuff I need running.  For example, if I do need to FTP something, I start the FTP server, do my FTPing, and then close the server.  That minimizes security risks.