Facebook - greedy defaults and jarring configs

Commited Facebook Suicide for the second time. Where do I start? … The first thing that jarred me was that my full birthday is published. This in combination with search engine visibility means that it’s spammer time. Next thing that happened is that the privacy settings had “Everyone”, “Friends of Friends”, and “Friends”. Nice and simple, I thought. But no, I have to exclude my full birthday again from everyone. (I know about how your friend’s applications can just mine everyone’s data through friends).

Bash hackery to get around old rspec

I have a problem where a project is using an older version of RSpec (currently the lastest version is RSpec 1.3.0). Therefore running spec spec/model/some_model_spec.rbgives me an error /spec/models/../spec_helper.rb:23: undefined method `use_transactional_fixtures=’The solution would be to use the older, vendored spec. Now, the spec binary that is installed as part of the gem installation should do this (some gems do checked for vendor’ed binaries) and my rspec is installed under vendor/plugins, not vendor/gems.

   technology, rspec, rails, scripting, bash

How to upgrade to Firefox 3.6 for Karmic (Ubuntu 9.10) - firefox-stable

There are a plethora of install instructions out there for Firefox 3.6 Karmic (which uses Firefox 3.5 by default), however it mostly suggests the mozilla-daily build. By chance, I found the firefox-stable ppa (https://launchpad.net/~mozillateam/+archive/firefox-stable/)Here’s how (enter each in turn):sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stablesudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get upgradesudo apt-get dist-upgradeHere’s what it looks like:~ $ sudo apt-get upgradeReading package lists… DoneBuilding dependency tree       Reading state information… DoneThe following packages have been kept back:  firefox firefox-3.

   ubuntu, karmic, firefox3

Rails 3 presentation

At the January WellRailed (Wellington Rails User group), I gave a presentation on the upcoming Rails 3.0, with special emphasis on cool new things. You can view the slides after the jump. There are a huge number of changes, but it should be all good fun :) Rails 3 : Cool New Things by Thong Kuah View more presentations from Y. Thong Kuah. Note: Rails 3.0pre was released after the presentation

   technology, programming, rails3

Nuggets of inspiration

Some good Software Engineering pearls of wisdom :  Coding Horror: The Xanadu Dream The bottom line is that a lot of the time it’s OK to create a solution that solves 80% of the problem. Always remember that shipping is a feature. Agile development, startups and government policy My recommendation to just about anyone with an idea is to just build the thing, iterate until you have some user traction, then pitch angel investors based on that traction.

   technology, life, business, wisdom, inspiration, lessons learnt

Wellington Hazard Map

Reading this article about Wellington Hazards just makes me want to plot it on a map. It took a while, but here is a map of Wellington Hazards / Contamination. Below is a screenshots of the hazards on Google Earth and Google Maps (Google Earth shot nicely prepared by Cameron).  Let me know what do you think? Read on after the jump for hyper-technical explanation of how I made the map.

   hazard, wellington, map, gadget, opengovt

Rands In Repose: Your People

Came upon this really good post about people you should cherish: Rands In Repose: Your People Really good insight - “As we edit our days into these stories, there is always a risk of fiction. This is why you need to identify and nurture Your People.” What are Your People? “You tell these stories to Your People without reservation. Your People love your stories — fiction and all. They love how you tell them, they laugh about the lies you tell yourself, and then they stop and they tell you the truth.

   friends, people, rands, life, lessons learnt

Strengths, weaknesses and games

StrengthsFinder is an amazing book, and an assessment tool that helps you discover your strengths. Its central concept is that you should focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. I was introduced to it at the Summer of Code (NZ) program several years ago. The concept of focusing on strengths was just brilliant. This really reminded me of my game playing style, especially in RPGs, where you have to increase the levels and skills of your character(s) in order to be able to fight enemies that pop up with increasing difficulty and toughness.

   tales, life, games, life imitating games, strengths, lessons learnt

Ruby and Rails links, Best of

Monthly collection of Ruby links that I’ll regret forgetting about: My 10 Favorite Things About the Ruby Language � Katz Got Your Tongue?http://dablog.rubypal.com/2009/1/14/10-things-to-be-aware-of-in-moving-to-ruby-1-9http://dablog.rubypal.com/2009/1/16/son-of-10-things-to-be-aware-of-in-ruby-1-9http://www.manning.com/black2/Upgrade to Rails 2.3.4, 2.2.3 (Security Release) Riding Rails: Gem Packaging: Best Practices

   technology, rails, ruby, collection, links

find_each bites

ActiveRecord::Base#find_each is an awesome idiom for batch processing large sets of data. It combines the neat DSL of ActiveRecord and allows you to operate at the level of the individual item. So, imagine my surprise when I debugged my code and discovered that find_each introduces a scope into ActiveRecord calls within the block. Demonstrating by example: Slam.find_each(:conditions => {:value => nil}) do |slam|#….  Slam.find_by_key(slam.key) #Find related key  #However, in effect becomes Slam.

   batch, rails, intent, bug, find_each