Older blog entries for barryp (starting at number 71)

4 Sep 2004 (updated 4 Sep 2004 at 16:54 UTC) »


I just got an e-mail notice from GoDaddy.com (the DNS registrar), that "...to better serve you and protect your privacy.." GoDaddy was revising its privacy policy - with one of the changes being that they would no longer send e-mail notification of 'minor' changes to the privacy policy.

I love it when companies bend over backwards to make my life better! :P

forrest : Do a google search for "verizon noptify", and you'll find others have caught this too - even mentioned in a Cringely Infoworld column.

It's a shame Verizon hasn't apologized about this and recalled/destroyed the CD - I can't believe what the pointy-haired twits of this world get away with.

Did anything ever happen with that Vanguard deal you found back in October?

forrest - That business you discovered in Vanguard's webpages is apalling. I don't know if I'd complain just to Vanguard so they can quietly clean it up. That's the kind of thing a REAL BIG stink should be made of, to get people's attentions as to what kinds of things are going on. Maybe the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and so on.

Since you asked for references ... check out the Federal Trade Commission's webpage on "Financial Privacy: The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act": http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/glbact/ There's also a complaint form on that site, you can get a ball rolling there too.

1 Jul 2003 (updated 1 Jul 2003 at 17:35 UTC) »

Made some headway on the FreeBSD PR I mentioned the other day having to do with mktime() giving strange results for the US Central timezone - discovered while fooling with Zope3 and Python.

I found the FreeBSD timezone description files that contain historical information about DST transitions, and saw that Chicago, representing US Central, had a strange entry for the year 1936 that the Eastern, Mountain and Pacific zones didn't have - which would explain the unique behavior.

By fiddling with that single line in the timezone description file, I found you can affect mktime()'s result even though the year you're passing isn't 1936.

Kind of wonder now if NetBSD and OpenBSD have the problem too. Setting the FreeBSD box to Canadian Central time seems to be a workaround.

29 Jun 2003 (updated 30 Jun 2003 at 03:43 UTC) »

Been fooling with Zope3 on my FreeBSD box off and on for a while - but started having trouble with the unittests failing with some kind of time-related problem. Seems the results of Python's mktime() were off by an hour.

Another Zope3+FreeBSD user on the mailing wasn't seeing the problem, turns out he's in the US/Eastern timezone while I'm in US/Central. US/Mountain and US/Pacific seem OK too...it's when you're set to US/Central that it's whacked.

I was able to come up with some simple snippets of Perl and C code that seem to demonstrate the problem - which rules out it being a Python thing - and submitted a FreeBSD PR. I hope someone else can confirm this so I know I'm not losing my mind :)

Was just googling for some info about Python and threads, and got burned by something that's been bugging me about search engines...

You get an awful lot of false hits because of words that appear in the surrounding navigational "fluff" that appears on most webpages.

For example, just about every page in every Python mailing list contains a "next in thread" link, referring to the mailing list threads. So "thread" is a horrendous word to try and search for :(

Many mailing lists show the subject lines of next or previous messages, lots of pages have nagivational links where a word here and a word there might match what you're looking for, but are completely unrelated to any single useful page.

Would be nice if there was a standard way to tag within a page what the "meat" and/or "fluff" is, so search engines can focus on or ignore parts of a page.

If an outfit like Google defined something like this (with the incentive of somewhat improving your pagerank being dangled in front of you) and mail-list web archive software as found in Mailman and such being updated to use it - it could really help out in web searches.


If you've got a Windows machine that various bastards may have messed with, you may want to try running something like Spybot - Search & Destroy to make sure you got everything.

I gave it a try after seeing recommendations for it on a couple TechTV websites (Screensavers, Call for Help), and it seems like a pretty decent, easy-to-use program.

Cool Python Stuff

I ran across a very handy Python package called SimpleTAL that is...

...a stand alone Python implementation of the TAL and TALES specifications used in Zope to power HTML and XML templates. SimpleTAL is an independent implementation of TAL; there are no dependencies on Zope nor is any of the Zope work re-used.

I used it on something where Zope would have been way overkill. Also, for a mini-DAV server, where I needed to generate XML for a PROPFIND response, SimpleTAL was much easier than generating the output through "print" statements or Python's miniDOM. Good stuff, amazing what can get done with just two small module files.

24 Jan 2003 (updated 24 Jan 2003 at 00:39 UTC) »
Troll Hiding

raph mentions:

I usually read the recentlog with a threshold of 3, so I don't tend to even notice troll posts unless someone else points to them.

How do you set that threshold? It would be nice to hide the low-ranking diary entries, but I don't see any preference/control for that.

...boy I hope somebody sees this.. :)

24 Nov 2002 (updated 24 Nov 2002 at 05:36 UTC) »

FreeBSD Ports

Been dabbling with Subversion off and on for a while now, and thought I'd try putting my FreeBSD box's /etc and /usr/local/etc dirs under SVN control. The ports tree has an older version, which works well enough - but I thought I'd see how hard it would be to come up with a newer port. (yeah, I know you can build it with just configure/make, but it would be nice to see the port updated).

Anyhow, after spending a bit of time looking at the FreeBSD Porter's Handbook, I have to say I was horrified at how much of a PITA it was to setup. It was one of those kinds of deals where you look at it and think: you have *got* to be shitting me. (To be fair though, like everything else in life maybe it wouldn't be so bad once you got a few under your belt)

I never got working exactly right, and ended up blowing it off. I figured that even if it did work, ports patches seem to have a tendency to be blown off or ignored (there's a nearly 2-month old patch for an intermediate Neon in the PR system just sitting there)

On the other hand though, I have more appreciation now for the people that do keep those ports updated and get things committed.

Another way

I was browsing through freshports.org, and something that caught my eye was A-A-P, which is a Python-powered package builder/installer meant to maybe someday supplant things like the *BSD ports systems.

Took a whack at putting together A-A-P "recipies" for Neon 0.23.5 and Subversion 0.15, and found that it did make building and installing FreeBSD packages pretty easy. Pretty good for a version 0.1 release

62 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!