News from the Religion section
Don't know where I was going with this. Must be a slow news day.
MLP: DNS, web business, science fiction, finance...
As of Public Domain Day (yesterday) Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys enters the public domain. Looking forward to grabbing a copy. Anybody put one up yet?
For all of you who have moved your domain to a new registrar, or if you're running into DNS issues, or just want to make sure your DNS is set up correctly (it can be tweaky), here's a DNS checklist from Rick Moen on the SVLUG list. (To get started on DNS basics, see this story, also from Rick: The Village of Lan: A Networking Fairy Tale)
Web pricing factoid from Rian van der Merwe: "Facebook says that they have over 800 million active users, and that 'more than 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day.' So let’s, for argument’s sake, say that about 500 million users visit Facebook every day. If each of those users paid Facebook $2 per year, the revenue would cover the cost of running the site. Just increase that to $3 per year, or 25c per month, and you suddenly have $1.5B revenue per year (or roughly $500M profit, based on Facebook’s rough estimate of their operating costs). Let’s be clear about this: it’s the cost of one coffee per year."
Benjamin Mako Hill: Wide Scream. (Ideas? Best I can think of is to turn a 1920x1200 by 90 degrees, and use that for most things and the laptop screen for stuff that has to be wide.)
Thomas Philippon: Has the finance industry become less efficient? (But, I wonder, is it fair to talk about "efficiency" of what's really just economic sin-eating? Imagine that you put your retirement savings into Enron, or pork bellies, or Las Vegas real estate, or whatever, and you lose most of it--the guilt over your bad decisions is a non-financial cost to you. Now imagine that you gave the money to whatever financial wizards are currently "the smartest guys in the room" and they lose it. What could you have done? Intangibly you're better off and all they take for it is money.)
I've heard that in the German Navy of the Kaiser's time, the enlisted sailors's diet was a health hazard until they established the simple rule that the officers eat what the sailors do, after they're done. Finland does something like that for education.
Hillary Rettig's blog, recommended by RMS, is full of wisdom. New Year's piece: "There’s also another, even more pernicious form of procrastination: activities that mimic productive work." (RTWT)
Little Android phone, why so sad?
Oh, that is too bad. All those other phones are getting dressed up and accessorized for the big Christmas party, and you have nothing to wear.
I know, it's not your fault you're not a perfect size four. Yes, I know size 4S is the same size, so they can wear each other's stuff.
It is too bad some people don't even look at you because of all the nice things that those other phones can wear. Yes, I know you have many good points on the inside.
Yes, I even looked at Fry's for you. Lots to wear, but nothing in your size. I'm sorry.
No, I don't know what to do either. But I'll post this on the Internet and maybe the nice Internet people can help.
Or maybe the Googlers will come up with some standard Android sizes, so that more accessory makers will be able to make nice things for you to wear.
Yes, I'll still take you to the Christmas party.
No, I won't take you off "silent" this year.
Dictionary of the future: khakiatto
khakiatto (n): a delicious coffee beverage brewed to match the color of the customer's pants. A great pick-me-up to enjoy while driving to that important meeting.
Forgot Password Only
Asa Dotzler's "websites, you're doing it wrong" is a good list of silly password rules from various web sites. (another good one: your password can be any length, but we only check the first eight characters. If you're into correct horse battery staple-style passwords, that's trouble.)
I have a confession to make. If I don't use your site much, I'm probably just using the "forgot your password" workflow every time. So, as long as we have crash-only software, let's make Forgot Password Only Software.
I'm going to assume that everyone is going to forget the stupid password, and optimize for that. (People who haven't forgotten the password have been using the same password on so many sites that they might as well not have been using a password at all.)
Next web application I do will have one or more of: mail me a login URL, ssh to the server to get a login URL, log in with (some set of big web sites for which users have a real password), BrowserID, maybe some others. (I kind of like the choice of "ssh to the server for a login URL" for the Rick Moen types, and "log in with example.com" for the Kool-Aid drinkers.)
But I will never again be arrogant enough to believe that users will make unique, high-quality passwords just for my web site. I don't do it for other people's sites, how could I act like people would do it for mine?
Bonus link: Crash-only software: More than meets the eye
Printer for Linux
Picking a printer for Linux?
The process is going to be a little different from what you might be used to with another OS. If you shop carefully (and reading blogs is a good first step) then the drivers you will need are already available through your Linux distribution's printer setup tool.
HP has done a good job with enabling this. The company has already released the necessary printer software as open source, and your Linux distribution has already installed it. So, go to printers fully supported with the HPLIP software, pick a printer you like, and you're done.
If you want a recommendation from me, the HP LaserJet 3055 black and white all-in-one device has worked fine for me with various Linux setups for years. It's also a scanner/copier/fax machine, and you get the extra functionality for not much more than the price of a regular printer. It also comes with a good-sized toner cartridge, so your cost per page is probably going to be pretty reasonable.
Other printer brands have given me more grief, but fortunately the HP LaserJets are widely available and don't jam much.
It's important not to show a smug expression on your face while printing if users of non-Linux OSs are still dealing with driver CDs or vendor downloads.
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!