Monthly Archives: July 2013

“Single Page App” Website Style Sucks!

There’s a disturbing trend in website development, the “Single Page App”. It’s trendy, popular, and awful.

In a “single page app”, instead of a separate url for each screen, it’s one big page and Javascript is used to mutilate the html document object model (DOM) as the user navigates.

I’ve seen two styles of Single Page Apps. In “type 1″, it’s one giant document and Javascript shows/hides page elements as the user navigates. In “type 2″, AJAX calls fetch Javascript from the server, which is then jammed into or deleted from the HTML DOM. For my current project, I’m maintaining a “type 2 single page app” that someone else wrote.

Gmail is an example of single page app style done correctly. Your stupid website isn’t gmail. If your website has 10 or more screens, make each of them a separate URL.

My criticism is not directed at projects with a high degree of complexity, where a single page app style might be appropriate. Even for those, code should be carefully organized for easier debugging. If your website is a bunch of static screens or forms, then each screen should be its own url. The single page app style adds unnecessary complexity and difficulty debugging.

For a “traditional” or “multi-page” website, the user can link to any specific page. For the single page app, it’s the same URL for everything, so you can’t link to a specific screen. The single page app breaks the way normal websites work, preventing users from linking to specific page elements.

A fool says “With a single page app, you can preload images on optimize the experiece for the user!” For the “type 1″ single page apps I’ve seen, you couldn’t navigate at all until all the images finished loading, probably because it was written incorrectly. For a “type 2″ single page app, you’re still making an AJAX call for each request.

For my current project, it’s a single page app that makes AJAX calls to mutilate the html DOM. There was no handover from the previous programmer, just “Here’s the code, it’s your problem now.” It’s a standard “CRUD” app, a bunch of forms that move data in and out of the database. The single page app style is totally inappropriate. Each form really should be a separate page.

If each screen were a separate page, troubleshooting problems would be easy. I would look at the url, look at the short bit of code for that page, and fix it quickly. Instead, I’m wading through a huge mess of Javascript. To troubleshoot a problem, I have to use Firebug to identify the page element, figure out what AJAX call on the server generated that Javascript fragment, and figure out what different AJAX call is used for form submit. Then, I can start fixing the problem, but my solution has to follow the same twisted style as the existing code. It’s all clumsily mixed together, making a gradual refactoring impossible.

Even worse, I suspect that some compile-to-Javascript tool was used to generate the site. Even if I could figure out what tool was used, I only have the compiled Javascript and not the true source code. My only option is to edit the generated Javascript directly.

The “single page app style” is a disturbing trend in web development. As usual, popularity is inversely correlated to merit. I’ve heard many insults directed at building a website in the “traditional” or “non-retarded” style. It makes a clueless programmer feel good, when he adds a lot of unnecessary complexity to his project. The worst part of the single page app style comes when maintaining someone else’s code. Then, you’re dealing with one giant Javascript file or code that loads itself in bits and pieces via AJAX calls.

Verizon Annoying Amber Alert Weds 3:51am

The new cell phones have an interesting feature. The police can use them to send out emergency messages.

Previously, I had only received them for severe weather alerts, and only during the day. I was wondering “When will police use this alert feature frivolously?” A week ago on Wednesday, the police sent out an “emergency” message at 3:51am, an “Amber Alert” for license plate #GEX1377.

What’s the problem? The message was at 3:51am! It woke me up. That didn’t help with the “emergency”, but it inconvenienced a LOT of people.

An “Amber Alert” is not a true emergency. Usually, it’s the result of a child custody dispute. It’s a frivolous use of the emergency alert phone system.

Fortunately, the Android phones have a feature that lets you disable the alert alarm. I’m going to do that. It’s on the settings page for the text messaging app. However, “presidential alerts” cannot be disabled without rooting.

Reader Mail – 07/21/2013 To 07/27/2013

Paul commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
Ryan, you are my hero.

I got sick and tired of the hipster-douchbags in web development and and got a real programming job writing software for astronomy simulations last year. Now my co-workers wear lab coats :-)


daniele_dll commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

I didn't readed all the comments here, too long, but i want to clarify some points.

But, before that, i want to say that I am a C/PHP progremmer, on Linux/Mac OS X and C# progremmer on Windows and i know javascript quite well.

I've seen a LOT of religious wars about the best language BLA BLA BLA, but the main point is the it's you that use the language, and not the language that uses you ... so you can use the head and use the appropriate tool for the job.

Ok, now:

- nodejs isn't single threaded, it uses more than one thread but they are internal stuff, all the user code runs in the same thread

- to "distribuite" the load on multiple cpus/cores you can spawn process, today almost any framework support this and it is very easy to do (few lines of code)

- if you need long running task you can do it on another process, spawining it

Is this the best solution? I've no idea, but i like it.

Why do i like it? The reason is simple: do you have never developed heavy multithreaded applications? Have you any idea of how much time the CPU will spent on context switching? Let me to answer ... A LOT!

All modern efficent network servers uses thread pool to avoid to spent too much time on context switching, but this means that you can't spent 10 seconds on a request because if all the thread in the thread pool are used the successive request will stucks.

Apache, for instance, doesn't care at all and spawns a process (or a thread, on windows) for every request ... this has a lot of drawbacks, but let the developer to don't care too much about blocking/long-time-running calls.

For i work, i developed a C# network server able to "eat" up to 4gib of data per second on my test machine (i7 3770 + 8gb memory), my code ported on nodejs is able to do a bit better.

On my C# version i was using (mainly) the following:

- thread pool, to avoid the necessary time on creating/destroing threads and to reduce the context switching as much as possible

- object pool, to preallocate all much stuff as possible to reduce at minimium the pressure on the virtual machine (the garbage collector works less and this means less pauses and more speed)

- iocp, IO Completition Ports are a mechanism that let you to ask for an IO and let to windows to notify when it's ready, so you avoid to pool to check if there are data to read or to check if a new connection is incoming (on linux there is a system that has the same purpuose but works in a different way called epool, on *bsd it is kqueue/kpool)

- compare&swap, called compare and exchange or CAS too, to avoid locks on data structures (but usually you need to write up to 50 lines of code instead of 4/5 to handle the CAS)

- spinlocks, for some stuff it is impossible to avoids locks but instead of using mutex, that causes the context swithing, the spinlock avoid it if the locked resources is helded by a thread handled by another core/cpu (basically the spinlock doesn't suspend the thread immediately, it waits for some ms before doing it and it helps a lot)

On node.js, my code needed only;

- object pool

- iocp (but that are used natively, so basically i did nothing to use them)

The difference? less than 15kb of javascript code vs more than 100kb of C# code for the base libraries and the server ... oh ... yes ... two days to do this with node.js and 1.5 months to do this in C# on windows ^^

The CPU Consumption was about the same, near zero (thanks to the IOCP)

And, we should consider that a system like this is less bug-prone ... debugging multhread stuff is the hell!

Regarding the comparison IIS vs node, search better ... that article was comparing iis towards iisnode, that is node started inside iis where iis was proxing the requests (that means that iis was parsing the request to understand how to handle it)

Check this (more updated) comparison instead

IIS is not involved directly, but .NET HttpListener uses HTTP.SYS, the same used by IIS, to handle and parse requests.

So, yes, may be that you don't like

Dan commented on MF Global And Repo-To-Maturity.
According to Wikipedia, civil charges were laid just last month against Corzine for failure to maintain segregation at MF Global.

It's long enough after the fact that you could argue it won't be a show trial. My fingers are crossed.

Insiders like Jon Corzine have their assets well-protected in trusts. Even if he loses the civil lawsuit, there won't be any assets to seize. Also, even if he's "barred from the financial industry", there are plenty of other lucrative jobs available for insiders like him.

Dan commented on Broken Windows.
I had to replace the roof on my home. I have a "difficult" roof because there is no way to park a truck by my house so that roofers can tear off and throw waste directly off of the roof. They have to cart it down ladders and to the street.

I did my research before hiring a company, and figured an expensive price tag for my roof might be $5000. The only company I could get to even bid on the work quoted me $10000. My roof is 8 or 9 "squares" at best!

It's obvious that this company didn't care if I said yes or no. They were giving me what I call a "F*ck you" bid. I can take it or leave it. The fact that no other roofing companies even bothered to send me quotes means I had little choice but to accept the bid (I knew my roof was at the end of its life when I bought the house).

Contractors know when they have you by the balls, and they are not afraid to squeeze. There is so much easy roofing work in my city that there is effectively zero competition. Companies will either ignore difficult jobs or bid so high that they are a windfall.

This is exacerbated by government regulation of construction, decreasing competition.

Dan commented on TV Shows That End At :01.
What are you going to miss, the ending credits?

Some shows, such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, sometimes include interesting content in the final minute. Also, my Time-Warner cable box auto-channel-change service won't work if the timers overlap.

Dan commented on Climategate Dismissed.
Since you basically dismiss all of science, because you dismiss the peer review process (and for better or worse that is how the body of literature is grown), what would you accept as proof of, well, anything?

Science is not the same as the peer review process. The proof is something that works. I trust the science behind computers, because it works. I don't trust the "science" behind mainstream economics, because I know it's a fraud. I don't trust the "science" behind "global warming", due to many flaws.

Brian commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.
You might just try building a product for a niche industry, and concentrating more on learning about that market, than a new language. In the end it doen't matter what language its written in. The front end is very important, its what people see, so biting the bullet and learning how to make things look not jus good, but glitzy. Personally I think if you look into things like real estate, or retail, understand how these niche markets work, and their language, and you also try to get more experience in platforms like Wordpress and Drupal.

Brad commented on New Android Boneheaded Design Decision - MTP Transfer Mode Instead Of USB/UMS/MSC Mode.
Do you know if this is an Android issue or a Samsung issue? Maybe switching to the Google version of Android would fix this?

It's a "feature" of the new Android OS.

MP commented on Reader Mail - 07/14/2013 To 07/20/2013.
I'm convinced now that every single critic of the Zimmerman verdict is just making shit up. You did by claiming that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation. Yet Zimmerman claimed that he was blindsided by Martin while trying to maintain visual contact until police arrived. No evidence supports your claim. All of the evidence supports Zimmerman's account of events.

Ironically, Zimmerman should have shot Martin sooner, after he received the first punch. How many blows to the head would you take before defending yourself? And don't bother repeating the lie that "Zimmerman started it" or making up any other baloney the anti-Zimmerman crowd circle-jerks to. The evidence doesn't support anything other than Zimmerman's story.

And the government can't incarcerate someone by just making shit up (at least not yet).

MP commented on Reader Mail - 07/14/2013 To 07/20/2013.

And now you're bagging on Prop 13 instead of bagging on the other problems. Hint: how does CA's tax burden (per taxpayer, not per illegal alien) compare to other states without a comparable prop? Did you know that as weak as the R party is in CA right now the D's have a supermajority? Prop 13 doesn't matter right now but Jerry Brown is still pushing his craptacular 'bullet train', raises for his union buddies, and pensions that will kill the state just like Detroit. Prop 13 bought us 30 years, but apparently the populace is too damn stupid to keep from squandering the finest natural or human resources in the world. It just delayed it.

In answer to your point, why did George Zimmerman get out of his car? George Zimmerman deserves partial responsibility, because Trayvon Martin would have made it home without incident if he wasn't there. I prefer compensation-based justice. There's no point sending George Zimmerman to jail, because there's not much risk of him being a repeat offender. He should owe damages to his heirs.

Prop 13 is a nice law, but it has some flaws.

People who owned their house for a long time get a much favorable property tax rate than new homeowners, which is somewhat unfair.

Also, corporations get a tax break due to Prop 13, and corporations are immortal. For property owned by individuals, the tax basis resets when ownership changes. For corporation-owned property, I believe the tax basis NEVER changes.

California makes up the property tax deficit via higher sales taxes and income taxes. It's just replacing one tax with another taxc.

The ridiculous part is that Prop 13 limits taxation power (a good thing), while other laws require a certain spending rate on various things.

MP commented on Reader Mail - 07/14/2013 To 07/20/2013.

Martin was moving between houses where Zimmerman could no longer observe him from the car. That's why he told the 911 operator that he was leaving his csr, which is when the operator told him "we don't need you to do that."

Zimmerman was walking through his neighborhood, as he had a right to do. Martin was walking as he had a right. Then Martin attacked Zimmerman who had a right to self-defense. Even Trayvon's friendgirl said she thought it was Trayvon who confronted Zimmerman.

Your logic is nonsensical. If out of nowhere someone tries to kill me, I have the natural right to kill him in self-defense. Asserting "well if you hadn't been walking down the street all nice and warm-bodied he wouldn't be dead" is worthy of the harshestridicule. The Zimmerman case is almost that clear (but only if you give a damn about the actual evidence).

MP commented on Reader Mail - 07/14/2013 To 07/20/2013.

So you haven't done the most basic googling of the tax burden? Even with Prop 13 we're in the middle of the list for individual property tax. The volatility of the housing market means that enough homes are traded on that pesky free market to keep tax receipts going up, but without forcing people out of their homes.

The corporation holdings are a red herring. Enough businesses are fleeing the state that plenty of those are changing hands too.

I agree that the structural spending would be a problem...except in our one party state, the corruptocrats just keep stealing from the dedicated funds (seriously, check out the sordid history of the highway fund). Furthermore, the required spending is zimed at the things the gov't is supposed to do (with education being one exception). And yet they even fail to do that.

The education system is in shambles. We're doing my part by homeschooling our kids. They're getting better math, history, grammar and science than I ever did at a fraction of the cost.

Now that Janet Incompetano is running UC my kids won't even be able to get a Cal education like my wie and I did. Those schools (paid for by taxpayers) will only be for illegals and foreign studentz shortly. No Californian need apply.

So please don't sit there and complain about Prop 13. It's the least of our problems. But hey, SCOTUS just handed the state a way to get rid of that too, so maybe it'll be gone soon as well.

When corporations own property, they usually do it through a shell holding company. So, the effective owner of the property can change while the "legal" owner does not change. Prop 13 should not apply to corporate-owned property.

One day, California may declare bankruptcy, and overturn Prop 13.

The correct answer is that "All taxation is theft." Arguing about tax policy is essentially arguing about the best way to steal. (How did SCOTUS just give California a way to get rid of Prop 13? Apply eminent domain to seize property with a low tax basis?)

MP commented on Reader Mail - 07/14/2013 To 07/20/2013.

CA cannot declare bankruptcy. Personally I think it should be dissolved into a federal territory until it (or pieces of it ) can prove governable. Prop 13 has nothing to do with it.

Oh, and no, not all taxation is theft. Government has a very limited set of tasks to do, and taxes for those purposes aren't theft.

Reader Mail – 07/14/2013 To 07/20/2013

Dan commented on UK Coinage Stupidity.
Speaking of taking low-denomination coins out of circulation, Canada killed off the penny last year.

Here we go!

Dan commented on Facebook IPO - Pump And Dump.
I don't say this to be confrontational, but why don't you "have the balls" to follow your own advice, especially when you advocate for it so strongly in so many of your blog posts?

It seems really weird to me that you would hold GLD/SLV given the fact that you think the funds are deliberately exposing themselves to default risk.

Due to my present living arrangements, I'm not allowed to buy physical. My parents said they don't want me holding physical, due to the robbery risk. Until I get my own apartment, I'm stuck. (I moved back in with them when I got sick.)

Dan commented on PHYS/PSLV Underwriters Steal $3M+ From Shareholders.
According to this, the trust can't even visit its own gold while in possession of a sub-custodian (or sub-subcustodian... or sub-sub-subcostodian).

To be honest, I can't understand how anyone in their right mind would buy shares in a fund that had its hands bound in such a fashion.

That's just legal weasel words. In effect, the GLD and SLV funds are a variation of the classical fractional reserve banking scam.

Even for a fund like PHYS, which claims to have full reserves, you don't know if the fund manager will cheat you.

A pro-State troll says "Those funds are audited!" Enron was audited. MF Global was audited. Lehman was audited. Being audited does not prevent fraud, especially when the CEO gets to choose the auditor!

I predict that, sometime in the next 10-20 years, there will be a default on one of the big PM funds. If you read the fine print of the prospectus, the fund shareholders are stuck with the loss in the event of the loss. However, as long as the fund has more buyers than sellers, they can Ponzi it, and delay the default for awhile.

Dan commented on George Zimmerman Charged With 2nd Degree Murder.
Zimmerman was acquitted. It blows my mind how many people think justice was served.

The trial seemed to focus on whether Zimmerman was acting in self-defense in shooting Martin, when a proper examination of the incident should first have ascertained whether Martin was acting in self-defense in response to being stalked by Zimmerman.

It amazes me what a great litmus test this case is for flushing out pro-state trolls. Even people who you would think are more to the libertarian end of the spectrum are not the least bit flustered by the fact that you can be accosted by a fellow citizen on the street, made to feel threatened and then shot to death when you respond to that threat.

It is doubly interesting because I tend to be more liberal in my politics, but in this matter I find myself putting on the shoes of people I used to dismiss as being psychotic constitutionalists.

Life is funny like that.

I favor compensation-based justice and not punishment-based justice. There's no point in sending George Zimmerman to prison, if you're sure he won't make that stupid mistake again. However, he should be required to make restitution to Trayvon Martin's heirs (relatives). Instead, most of Geroge Zimmerman's money went to his lawyers.

I was expecting a manslaughter conviction, because George Zimmerman did initiate the confrontation with Trayvon Martin. Trayvon Martin's relatives may file a civil lawsuit, but that's pointless because George Zimmerman has no assets.

The mainstream media spin is interesting, given with a tone of inciting more racial hatred. They simultaneously said "This verdict is offensive! You should riot!" and "Don't riot!"

dm commented on American Greed Fnord - Robert McLean.
I've been watching this show lately and decided to google this one a bit...found your site and read your article. Several of the points you make resonate with what I find myself mulling about after these shows as well(and will have to check some of you other articles).

My thinking is that the show is mistitled. "Human Greed" would be more appropriate...

I do not fully agree with your use of "evil". Thus, I don't really agree that the post mortem comment(s) were excuses for Robert (at all). Yes, I think I understand where you are trying to go with this, but in my opinion, there is a difference between evil, greed and stupidity - perhaps not come to think of it...I just would not lump human empathy into an excuse category.

Well, I suppose I teeter totter on who really deserves ruthless punishment... I think this show is just another sad testament to an abstraction about "what we've inherited", so I can not simply equate these con men with evil. I may mull about that further though....ughhh, I've inherited evilness...

Show is certainly making the cars, the watches and the boats seem less savory to me...

Interesting points in your article.

Dan commented on North Dakota Voters Considered Repealing Property Tax.
I'm not arguing the basic principle that taxation is theft.

But the existence of the current system complicates undoing that error. The nature of infrastructure at present is such that if half the people on Elm Street vote to stop paying property tax, they can't just "unhook" from utilities while the other half continues to rely on the city for their provision.

What I am arguing is that a vote to repeal property taxes entails a lot more than just amending a piece of the constitution because a tax-driven infrastructure already exists. And the same argument (99.9% of people can't vote themselves permission to steal from me via taxes) can be turned on its head to argue that 0.1% of people can't vote to sponge off of tax-supported infrastructure.

So in effect, a unanimous vote seems required, because otherwise the "Bob can't use voting to force Peter to live a certain way" argument -- which I totally agree with you about -- becomes hypocritical.

I'm a little offended that you call me brainwashed, when in reality I am simply indicating that the transition to a totally libertarian society isn't going to magically happen with one vote. It entails a lot of nitty gritty complications that will pose some interesting philosophical problems for someone who is truly all about personal choice and personal freedom without trampling on the rights and choices of others.

But once we get there, I agree, it'll be great.

I thought you were making the other argument, "It's impossible to provide for roads/water/garbage collection/utilities without a State-backed monopoly."

Getting freedom is more work than voting.

I say that bootstrapping agorist businesses is the best solution, and solve problems as they arise. The biggest problem for agorists is dealing with theft/kidnapping by the State.

For another example, California's Proposition 13 is a disaster. It severely limits the government's taxation power, while other laws require spending at a certain rate.

commented on Do Disabled Veterans Deserve Respect?.
you have no clue about the military. a lot of soldiers are in there 30s, 40s, and 50s. the military does not brainwash anyone. they train you to do a job and make you a better person.

Robert commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.
Are you okay FSK? Back in the late 2000's to 2010 you were on fire. I couldn't wait until noon est to check your latest post. You talked about economics with an insight that everyone needs to see, current events from a pro-liberty point of view. I have followed your blog since 2007, back when Fritz and I were posting and interacting with you. Is it the medication? Has it numbed your senses? Your compound interest paradox theory send Keynesians running for the hills!! I hope you are doing alright. You had a strong voice in free market and anarcho-capitalism. Can we hear it again?

I'll work on it. I've been distracted by other things.

Reader Mail – 07/07/2013 To 07/13/2013

MP commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
Had to show you this job description found on craigslist:

Node.js Software Engineer

San Francisco, California, United States

Are you considered “the man” with Node.js and Ruby on Rails? Do you create apps for fun?

My favorite part of most typical job ads is something like (from that ad):

Our client is one of the most sought after employers among startup focused developers. Not only will you be among some of the most elite developers and engineers

Nobody ever says "We're looking for mediocre performers who won't threaten their boos with their competence." Everyone always says that they only hire the best.

My new part-time job is interesting. After 50+ interviews of being treated like a clueless loser, at this job, they're saying "OMFG! I can't believe FSK is fixing all these problems and making it look easy!" For example, one critical bug that had the other programmer stumped was a 5 line fix. The other junior programmer is more interested in getting the opportunity to learn a lot from me, rather than backstabbing me.

Dan commented on North Dakota Voters Considered Repealing Property Tax.
I am not a fan of property taxes either. But it seems to me that you can't just have a vote on whether or not to pay property taxes, without having a corollary vote on whether or not to totally privatize non-legislative municipal operations.

What if this vote had passed? Then the constitution would permit people not to pay their taxes, but these people would still avail themselves of roads, sewers, parks, water treatment facilities, police, fire brigades and so on. Without a new organizational structure through which these same people who are no longer paying property tax could be charged for their use of these services, there would be no funding and therefore no services. Imagine if the city Fire Department ran out of money -- home insurance rates are dependent on the distance of a home to fire hydrants and to stations. I wonder if the money saved on no longer paying property taxes would end up being gobbled up in premium increases?

Of course you might argue, "The state does not apply every tax dollar collected to the building and maintenance of infrastructure anyway", and that is almost certainly true. But we are talking about taking the money applied from X% of taxes collected, to $0. And here more than many things, the law of unintended consequences absolutely applies.

A majority vote does not authorize theft via taxes. Even if 99.9% of the people favor taxes, taxation is still theft.

"Taxation is theft!" is a universal truth, like gravity. Just because it isn't the majority opinion right down, doesn't mean I'm wrong!

There are alternative structures for handling roads, sewers, parks, water, etc. You've been brainwashed to only see the pro-State viewpoint. These alternative methods are only theoretical right now, due to the State violence monopoly. Just because something hasn't been tried before doesn't mean it won't work!

That's one big problem with taxes. Once politicians have your money, they can spend it on whatever they want, including wasteful things. If you tried to steal $1 from everyone, it's impossible. With taxes and government, you can easily steal $1 from everyone, by lobbying politicians for favor. Each individual act of theft is "just $1 or $0.50 from everyone", but when you add them all up it's a lot of money.

Dan commented on GlaxoSmithKline Gets A Slap On The Wrist.
I hope you don't mind me going back and resurrecting some of your old posts. You have a direct and penetrating way of looking at things that I really enjoy.

Anyway, this is exactly what I thought should happen back during the DWH disasters, as well. Corporate death penalty. BP should not have been allowed to continue being an oil company after that.

"Too big to fail" applies to many sectors of capitalism, not just the banking industry.

No, I don't mind comments on old posts. That's why the "Reader Mail" posts let people see comments, even on old posts. I've been busy with my new job, with less blogging time.

If executives at corporations get caught committing fraud or hurting people, then there should be a "death penalty". In the case of pollution or drug fraud, then the plaintiffs become the new shareholders.

That's one of the worst principles of the "justice" system, namely "Fines and lawsuit damages should never be so big that a large corporation is bankrupted." Why not? If the crime is flagrant enough, then the shareholders and bondholders deserve to lose, for investing in a dishonest corporation. More importantly, the executives should lose their jobs.

At one time, if a corporation went bankrupt due to gross incompetence, then the executives would never get a good job ever again. At one time, if executives committed crimes, they were prosecuted. Now, insiders have nearly absolute immunity. Jon Corzine gets to start a new hedge fund after stealing $1.6B from customers.

Dan commented on Gold-Plated 10 oz Tungsten Bar.
Thing is, if you look at the example photographs accompanying these stories, there are two kinds: one of them has a gold bar filled with rods of tungsten, while the other has gold being peeled off of a tungsten wafer like the wrapper off of a candy bar.

The latter may have been produced the way you describe, using a pressed tungsten wafer, although I am inclined to wonder what the "Caramilk secret" is for this method. How do they position the bar in a mold so that a relatively uniform thickness of gold can coat it without leaving seams?

For the method with the bars -- and I can only judge with my eyes based on a photograph -- it seems like the bars fit a little too snugly into their holes. They may have been hammered into somewhat undersized holes. But then the counterfeiter would have to heal the gold bar after inserting the rods, and doing that without leaving a trace on what used to be an unblemished gold bar is also non-trivial. I won't say it's impossible but I can't think of a way to cover up any sign of tampering.

It seems to me it is enough to "debase" gold by word-of-mouth by simply floating the rumour that something like this is happening. Whether it really is, or not, hardly matters, because how many people are going to go drilling into their gold hoard to find out?

Allegedly, if you have a lot of experience dealing with physical gold, tungsten fakes are obvious.

There are other solutions, such as laminated gold coins where the laminating party gives assurance to the quality.

In large bars, fakes are more likely. For small denominations, faking isn't as profitable.

Anonymous commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.
Due to getting stung with click fraud on the display network some years ago, I turned it off in Google Adwords. I got a series of emails, perhaps automated, from Google screaming on how I should turn the display network back on. The display network is a third party collection of websites that Google uses to display advertisers' adverts on.

So I turned the display network back on as the cost per click is lower than on Google search pages i.e., etc.

Over the past year, my cost per click has risen to eye-watering rates and in the absence of direct competition. Unfortunately Google uses synonyms, where one word can substitute for another. If another advertiser uses broad matching (i.e. only 1 of the keywords in say a phrase of 4 keywords) then even if they are in an entirely different niche, Google will say they are competing with you and as such raise the cost of your clicks due to its auction process (ha!).

I've seen absurd outcomes. Companies with nothing to do with my goods come up when one of my phrases of 3 - 5 words is searched for. This may be a factor pushing up my costs to silly levels.

I contacted the Google clowns about their absurd pricing. I was told to turn off the display network as its typically low click rates was pushing up the price of my clicks. Worse than that the Google clowns said it will take a while for things to get back to normal i.e. I need to get a history of a better click rate. It seems if your keywords don't make enough revenue fast enough for the Google clowns, Google - the greedy pig - will then raise your costs per click. I was told the typically lower click rates on the display network was raising my costs on Google's front page. It is a pity all these bright people at ClownLand could not have separated these things out.

Google have been adding code over the years to maximize revenue. Every little thing is used to punish advertisers with higher costs. Google is not your partner in business in the sense if you do well, they in turn will make more money out of you. Google wishes to screw you out of as much money as fast as they can.

Beware of the Google clowns for they will make a desert of your business.

At my new part-time job, the owner is a Google ads addict. He says it's a great lead for customers in his niche.

Robert commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.

You need to change medication or get off of it or something. I remember back in the late 2000's to 2010 your blog was awesome and you were on fire. I used to wait for 12 noon every day for your next post, back when you talked about economics and freedom. The quality has gone down. What happened my friend??

I don't know. Maybe it is the medication? I'm taking a low dose now.

I did start taking my current medication in November 2010, so that could be it.

The problem is that, I can't stop taking it, because my parents would freakout if I refused.

Maybe I lost interest temporarily. I've been playing more computer games and I started working. Also, they took away the local train on the subway, so I don't get a seat to work on posts there.

Also, when I first discovered the freedom stuff, it was very exciting and interesting. Now, that's an old topic and it feels like I'm rehashing the same stuff over and over again.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.

How well can he trace a click on his advert to a sale?

How many visitors does he get from natural search results compared to paid adverts?

How much does he pay for one click?

I found that I was paying 10 - 15% of my monthly revenue to Google Adwords, but that was for 5 - 8 clicks per day, when my natural search results were giving me 200 visitors a day.

I'm a not saying Google Adwords doesn't work for everyone, but my opinion of them is of a greedy company and they still owe me several hundreds dollars from click fraud. I can't see how a decent company would keep money the owe to a long-term customer. It was just so obvious. I sell business software, but all my daily budget was getting used up in an instance at the start of every day and all the money was going to an Indian screensaver website. Strangely enough when I checked my webserver logs, no real visitors could be found.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.

Bing adverts cost $0.05 to $0.07 per click.

The greedy Google clowns charge me $0.75 to $5, although obviously I turn off the multiple dollar clicks. All this stupidity comes from a large company with nothing to do with me, using broad match keywords and Google's use of synonyms. For more of the time there is no competition on for adverts in my niche, which isn't surprising given the absurdly high cost compared to the cheap price of software in my niche.

You need to man-up and use a proper search engine that doesn't employ a bunch of baby clowns.

Try the search engines below, which will respect your privacy and not pass on what you are searching on to nice Uncle ODumber.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.

I saw one comment on the Daily Mail's website which sums up what I think of Google as well.

To paraphrase the commenter said that a number of businesses have been paying Google good money for years and yet Google screwed them all over with the "Panda" update to their search algorithm. A Google forum was full of posts from businesses screwed over by Google and yet the forum was also full of sycophantic posts. Eventually for some reason the forum developed bugs and nothing could be found there anymore easily.

Reader Mail – 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013

Dan commented on Gold-Plated 10 oz Tungsten Bar.
I had trouble swallowing this story about the 10oz debased bar (electroplated tungsten coins on the other hand, could be plausible).

The thing about drilling into a gold bar and filling it with tungsten is this: the melting point of tungsten is 3422C while that of gold is 1064C. That is over a 2000 degree difference, and given the thermal and electrical conductive properties of gold (in a nutshell, it conducts both very well), I am supposed to believe that people are pouring molten tungsten into hollow gold bars without said bars melting long before the tungsten has solidified?

Yeah, ok. Sure.

Regarding gold-plated tungesten, I thought the way you do it is make a tunsten core first, and then plate/pour the gold core around it. The gold plating is soft and easy to work with, making it easy to add things like serial #, fake mint name, etc.

During the silver bubble in the 80's, drilled-out 1000oz bars were common. People would take a 1000oz silver bar, drill holes in it, fill it with a metal alloy cheaper than silver but with the same density, and then cover it with silver.

Dan commented on Government-Funded Arenas And The NHL Lockout.
The owner of the Oilers, Daryl Katz, recently strong-armed Edmonton council into agreeing to a new arena deal. The original proposal was blatantly one-sided and struck down by council, but the one that succeeded was barely better.

The Oilers have been catastrophic losers for the last several consecutive years. Yet the current arena sells every seat in the house at every Oilers game. We have one of the most dedicated fanbases in the league. Katz levied thinly-veiled threats that without a new arena with higher capacity, he might take the team elsewhere.

It is obvious that threat had no teeth, but it made council jump. Now, property taxes will go up in order to subsidize a billionaire's hobby enterprise. The city is on the hook for the majority of construction expenses, while Katz' portion of the cost will be paid out over the course of 35 years. It is effectively an interest-free loan made with my money at zero interest without my consent.

The ability of sports team owners to bend entire cities to their whim is frightening.

Just ask the people of Glendale, Arizona.

It's mostly lobbying and the Principal-Agent problem. Sports league owners are already billionaires and insiders. It's very easy for them to lobby for a State-paid stadium. That's a government subsidy of their business.

If I wanted to start my own entertainment business, I wouldn't get the same State subsidy that sports leagues get. I'm paying higher taxes to subsidize their business. Even if I had a successful small entertainment business, the taxes I pay subsidize my competitors, larger sports leagues.

Vanessa Bheem commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.
Any programming language is worth learning because they are all related in some kind of way, if you know one, you get to learn the others relatively easily. The following are ten free resources that can help you learn programming .

Jerome commented on Small Fixed-Bid Software Contracts Are A Bad Idea.
I think if you did help write the specification with no pay you should reasonably be able to insist it is your intellectual property and if he wanted to use it for a different contractor's bid he would have to compensate you.

I know you will find pitfalls with that solution but it might be worth considering.

If he uses my specification with someone else, how can I prove it? It isn't practical to sue and collect.

The best defense against a shady employer is refusing to deal with them.

not_PC commented on Reader Mail - 06/23/2013 To 06/29/2013.
You were told to go to college, keep your head down and work. Now, you look up and see that you were screwed by those that led you there... now what?

There are two lies. One lie is the "broken social contact". That's the lie "Go to college, learn useful skills, work hard, and you'll always have a job." That turned out to be a lie for me.

There's the bigger lie, that the political and economic system is one big scam. For that, agorism is the only strategy I can think of that works. However, that requires some competent partners, to get an underground economy started.

Anonymous Coward commented on Partially Employed!.
> Fixing someone else’s code is a lot harder than writing new code from scratch.

You are absolutely right. I had one job that was a complete car crash.

There was one idiot in a senior position that wrote the most badly designed, rubbish, buggy code.

Despite having decades of experience and a list of successful, brilliant pieces of work launched, he just used me to debug his awful code - one bug at a time.

It was a complete waste of my time. The months rolled into years and I found myself achieving nothing. It was a slow motion car crash. You can't fix a stupid silly design by fixing one bug at a time.

So I wrote a lot of software from scratch in my own time and on my own equipment. The results were a big improvement.

I wrote high quality code in a fraction of time devoted to fixing his buggy mess.

For doing that work, I just got knifed and slagged off. No good deed goes unpunished.

For this project, the website 95% works, and only needs some bugfixes. A complete rewrite is beyond the scope of hiring me part-time. Based on my estimate, it would take me somewhat less time to just fix the bugs, than rewrite it cleanly. Due to the "single page app" style, a gradual refactoring is not possible. (A proper cleanup would make each screen in the website a separate URL.)

I know that I'm only there part-time on a short-term basis. It is good to get some Javascript/jQuery experience. It isn't hard. I don't see why people make a big deal out of requiring people to already have experience in Javascript, jQuery, and whatever stupid framework they're using.

Anonymous Coward commented on Partially Employed!.

It is great news that you are working again.

You have already tried to get full-time employment for a single employer. I am not fit to give advice as I gave up on this route several years ago. I do miss working with other people, but like you, I was disheartened by the long interview process, doing technically well, but not getting jobs for no good reason.

I you can hook up with more employers needing occasional work (maybe one month per year) and there ends up enough of them, you could eventually get full-time work spread across many different people. Think of it as an early start to running your own consultancy business.

Partially Employed!

I’m now partially employed. I found 2 separate part-time contracts, for 1-2 days of work per week each. It’s better than nothing, but it isn’t the same as full-time employment.

The contracts are interesting. One is doing financial calculations on a consulting basis. The other is doing maintenance and bugfixes on lousy PHP/Javascript/jQuery code someone else wrote. I’m also providing mentoring and training for a junior programmer who works there full-time. There was no handover from the previous programmer, just “Here’s the source code. It’s your problem now.” We had to get the hosting vendor to reset the Linux root password, so we could get full access to the server. We’re probably going to manually reset the mySQL database root account, because the logins+passwords in the code don’t have DBA permission.

It is interesting that almost all employers treat me as a clueless unemployable loser, and now I’m showing a junior programmer how to work. I’m assigned all the problems he couldn’t fix himself. He appreciates the help and education, rather than feeling threatened by me and the need to backstab me. I couldn’t get a job involving Javascript or jQuery because I haven’t used them before, but I’m fixing bugs in Javascript and jQuery code at my new job. (The owner thought his website was PHP, but actually it’s mostly Javascript, with a little PHP. It’s written in “single page app” style. (Yuck! More on that later.)) Even though I haven’t used Javscript and jQuery before, I haven’t had any problem learning enough to troubleshoot bugs. Fixing someone else’s code is a lot harder than writing new code from scratch. I’ve spent much more time digging through the code, than looking up how Javascript or jQuery work.

Now I have a problem for what to do. Do I look for a 3rd contract for 1-2 days of work per week, or look for something full-time? If I find something full-time, I’ll have to drop the part-time contracts. However, both part-time contracts are likely to last only a few months maximum. Given that it took me so long just to find anything, I’ll keep looking and I’ll worry about that problem if I find something.

Reader Mail – 06/23/2013 To 06/29/2013

commented on Offensive Interview Programming Tests And Assignments.
Just found this blog, and as an entrepreneur (read -- someone who hires programmers and employees) I must say I agree with your philosophy to avoid intensive and offensive interviews and tests, especially obvious attempts to extort free code.

My employment process is/was simple -- Where did you work, what projects have you done, either on your own or for others, can you answer a few questions, do you have references, etc... but here's the kicker -- When I did ask for code to check competency, I ALWAYS asked for something generic and unrelated to my business (so it was pretty obvious I wasn't trying to squeeze free work out of people).

My interviews were no longer than two hours and I barely looked at resumes (as most of them are pure BS). Let me see that you know how to think and solve problems, you can work on a team (we had 12 developers at one point) AND by yourself (cause let's face it, sometimes tasks are handed off and you just need coffee, cigarettes, and a closet to solve them).

I'm no Microsoft (very far from it) but have been in business (several of them) for decades. I deduce more in 15 minute by chatting informally with you than I could from a resume or test. Most successful business owners are also intuitive, so we know if you're capable or full of shit (ie -- worked on a team where someone else did 99% of the work). It's ashamed these same owners don't look for those traits when hiring recruiters.

To me, school means nothing when it comes to fast-paced technology. I've hired an 18 year old kid with no resume and no experience other than his own personal projects and a real-estate site he did locally. I liked him and saw tremendous potential. Was one of the best employees, stayed for 5 years until the company died, then started his own design firm and is still doing really well.

FYI -- I have programming experience (had to learn by necessity as I was too damn broke to pay anyone to implement my ideas years ago) which is why I'm on your site. Trying to decide what language to use for a re-write on an ancient Classic ASP site that's starting to pick up steam (Appears node.JS will not be a contender, although I really wasn't considering it to begin with). Heck, I still dabble in code and design and will probably play with .NET MVC , PHP, and a few others before leaning toward one direction.

Way too much is royally screwed up in this world, both from my perspective as an entrepreneur and yours as a job applicant. Kudos for taking a stand on what's right and only allowing yourself to be aligned with ethical entrepreneurs and prospective employers, even in a tough market. We need more people like you on both sides of the equation to make real progress.

PS -- If you haven't read it already, you might enjoy the book "LynchPin" by Seth Godin. You have the attitude he describes is necessary to climb the ladder in today's marketplace.

If it were me looking for a job, I would walk in there with no resume and refuse to take any test, discuss what they are looking for, and (assuming you could code what they asked for) state you can start ASAP. Tell them you're a perfect fit for the job, you'll prove it to them, and if things don't work out in two weeks they have the option of letting you go.

As an employer who WANTS my company to grow, I want employees who know more than I do for the task I am hiring them to do (except low-end jobs) and people with BALLS who can step up to the plate, produce, and give feedback, not be a cog in a wheel. If they say no, give em a card, leave, and say "you have my number if you decide otherwise".

Obviously this isn't going to work at Microsoft.

I've got another good story (draft queued for Tuesday) about someone who wanted to hire me for a small fixed-bid project.

Even for small simple programming assignments, I do them, know I did well, and still I don't get an interview.

Also, I learned programming on my own on my 8-bit Atari, and then got a CS degree. Theoretically, that's the best of both aspects, the ability to learn on my own and a formal CS degree. However, I'm not having any success looking for a job.

Holiday Rental Lorgues commented on Aaron Swartz Suicide - Was He Murdered?.
Aaron Swartz was an extraordinary guy and what happened to Aaron was shockingly bad.

The prosecutor went way overboard.

His contribution to society will be remembered for long time.

He will be missed by all his regular readers and friends. RIP.

XC3N commented on Will GCW Zero Deliver Their Kickstarter Handhelds?.
While it is true that some openpandora preorder are still not received (myself included) it's not true that Craig's company declared bankruptcy. Most openpandoras have been delivered now and, having kept a close eye on the whole story, a lot of the shit that happened truly wasn't their fault. It's also not fair to Evildragon who has been working like crazy to fix shit to be labeled as a cheat, which he isn't. m2c

Emery Figueroa commented on Offshorng Software Development Does Not Save Money.
An offshore team, there happens to be lot of potential problems. The offshore team will not have English as a first terminology, resulting in connections problems.

Mark Flowers commented on Reader Mail - 06/09/2013 To 06/15/2013.
1. Mark Flowers is a true dedicated Christian but a non denominational and non church going Christian, a praying man upon his knees and he gives all credit to his survival to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his savoir and protector of him and his loved ones. Mark has to continually break all curses in Jesus Christ’s name, sent by witch craft and the Satanic agenda.

2. Mark Flowers is a fighter, a man that will never bow to any evil corruption, to DEATH.

3. Mark Flowers has had the fatherhood of his children stolen by the masons / system / The Australian Government.

4. Mark Flowers is a survivor of more than a decade of intense murderous Freemasonry Gang Stalking {a term he coined} and raised in the Federal Magistrates Court Parramatter Sydney Australia in 2009 & 2010 whilst defending his rights to father his children.

5. Mark Flowers has had so many attempts on his life in the process of Freemasonry gangstalking that they are too numerous to list, most have been whilst driving in road traffic accident setups by gangstalkers . But all manner of threats have come against Mark Flowers, One time a sour mason wielding a hammer at Mark’s head got a lesson in respect and kicked off Mark’s property. The police always fail to follow such death threats against Mark Flowers.

6. Mark Flowers has self-represented in some 60 appearances in the Federal Magistrates Court, the District Court and the Supreme Court in Australia and all with nil formal education, in fact Mark left school at 14 years and first job was in a lumber yard.

7. Mark Flowers is a Father first, and a former children’s safety film producer, but the dogs of gangstalking were released on him for doing so. Mark has been fighting ever since and will never give in, as the eternity in spirit and fear of God through Christ Jesus motivates him to be fearless against evil.

If I fall in this good fight it will be into the arms of my saviour Jesus Christ.

Brother Mark

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 06/16/2013 To 06/22/2013.
Perhaps you could enlighten us with your views on Mr Snowden.

He's a whistelblower rather than a traitor. However, the State media doesn't get that.

It's ironic that he's moving to "less free" countries, to escape prosecution in the USA.

Anonymous Coward commented on Small Fixed-Bid Software Contracts Are A Bad Idea.
Every time a low-life, like the manager in a factory that asked for free parser as part of a joelonsoftware job post, scams someone out of free work, it destroys the system in that nobody can trust one another.