Moved out... Moved in

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As many of you know I moved this past weekend... on April 1st, and we got mad pranked by the moving gods. Below you'll see that it was snowing on Burnaby mountain (or was it hailing... or was it hailing and snowing AND raining!). Hey, better than rain... but still pretty wack.

move_out_snowing.jpg

The other issue was that the van was a little tight for all my stuff. But Bliss and Scott managed to pack it as tight as possible... turns out I should have taken apart the bookcase, but hey, that's life.

Anyway, I'm all moved in now and the place is pretty much setup. I'm also enjoying the new view. Oh, and btw, anyone who's reading this post is invited to my housewarming... whenever I have that (except for no one knows where I live! mwuahahahaha! ... ok, like 4 people, but none of them have my buzzer number. nnst).

view.jpg

did I mention I suck at panorama's?

Props to all my moving helpers! I'll be hosting a secret party just for them... dang! It's not a secret anymore.

Moving out

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Well, I've lived in Burnaby for roughly 8.5 years, 4 of those years on Burnaby Mountain. Hard to believe, but true. The day has finally come to get out of this suburb and off of this mountain. As happy as I am to be moving, I think I will still miss a couple things about living up here.

  • The snow. It snows on Burnaby mountain a lot. And I love it. Especially cause these new condo's make it seem like you live at a ski resort.
  • The quiet. No traffic noise, often no people noise either.
  • Isolated. In the event of a natural disaster, Burnaby mountain is a good place to be. [Relatively] Clean water supply always running over the mountain. Isolated to avoid all those crazies living in the city. Plus it's sometimes nice to not have the "big city" craziness all the time.
  • The views. Burnaby mountain has a lot of good lookout points, with a 360 degree view of the lower mainland.
  • The constant supply of second hand marijuana smoke coming from the people below us. Though I'm sure that's not limited to Burnaby mountain.
  • Living in a forest is nice.
  • Being 120 seconds from wicked mountain biking trails is nicer.

Some things I might not miss as much:

  • Isolated. Honestly, a 1 hour round trip by bus to get groceries. Minimum.
  • Nothing open on Sunday, and everywhere else in Burnaby everything is closed by 10.
  • Did I mention it's pretty isolated up here?
  • Really not too convenient if you don't have a car, unless where ever you're going is a) on the skytrain line or b) along Hastings.
  • The 7 days a week partying in all of April, May, August, and September.
  • The "Grey" that defines SFU, both in the color of the buildings, and the color of the sky.

Btw, in case you're trying to call me... Telus disconnected my phone 24h early. Big surprise. So call my cell instead.

Blog Readership

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So in two recent posts I got a little more reader feedback than I had thought. Figuring that only about 4 people read my blog (half of which are probably not very technical), I was a bit surprised when 9 people whom I don't even know posted comments on my OpenID entry. Half of who apparently didn't even read the entry as they started arguing the 5 points I was presenting as invalid arguments. Not to mention the subject said "openid disinformation time". Now, if 9 people are posting comments, how many people are reading? 13, maybe 14?

At Northern Voice this year I caught a talk by Darren Barefoot on Why Do You Blog. One thing that was discussed was readership, "how many readers would you be happy with?" and another topic that came up was "how do you feel when your blog gets popular". Some people mentioned that it's scary when you start getting people commenting on your blog that you don't know. I can definitely re-iterate that feeling. But at the same time, it's cool that other people read your blog.

I think the coolness outweighs the scariness. I figure I'll get more readers if I start writing more controversial posts about new hot topics

Next post "why Net Neutrality is bad and DRM is good".

Third week without TV

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So I'm just entering my third week with no TV. The first few days were kind of tough (I gotsta veg out man!) but the TV urges quickly subsided. Sure there's plenty of other things that I can waste my time with, but none are quite so powerful as TV. Because of this (and because I'm no longer working for SFU, I'm sure) I've finally been able to get close to finishing a long list of things that have been on my todo list for way to long. However, due to the fact that I've finally been productive over the past few days... I think I'm starting to crave that good ol' TV veg-ing out time.

At least TV doesn't seem as addictive as McDonald's though (at least not yet). Haven't eaten anything from there for over 3.5 years and I still get cravings for a quarter pounder w/ cheese and fries... mmm... and I hate the taste of McDonald's food... wtf!?

Why OpenID will fail. AKA OpenID disinformation time.

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I'm not sure how many of my blog readers know what OpenID is, or I guess, even who reads my blog anymore. But anyway, it seems like I'm reading about or hearing someone talk about OpenID every other day now, all of whom seem to be talking about why openid will fail. Actually... today I heard/read two people describing why OpenID will fail or why it's a bunk idea. One on a random blog, the other at a discussion lead by Cory Doctorow at SFU (which was an awesome discussion, btw). The reasons why OpenID will fail are usually the same:

  1. Privacy: If you use an OpenID provider for all of your logins then that provider knows exactly which blogs you read, which sites you visit, and which companies you shop from (assuming all the sites you use, use OpenID). That kind of information is very valuable to marketer and likely to get sold or stolen.
  2. Trust: Just because someone's identity provider says that the person logging into your site is Bob, how can you trust that the person is actually Bob. No large companies will every trust third party OpenID providers. Perhaps they'll become a provider themselves and you'll need to setup an OpenID with them. If all large organizations do this, you defeat the purpose of OpenID.
  3. Buy-in: OpenID is useless unless everyone buys into it. When even many technical experts have never heard of it, everyone will never buy into it, even if it is an amazing technology.
  4. Corporate control: OpenID is a solution for corporations to solve single sign-on problems and more easily gather user data, not a solution for individuals. It is not made for individuals, therefore even if it catches on it will be a Bad Thing (tm).
  5. Phishing: 'nuff said.

Those seem to be the most typical arguments I've read/heard. The corporate control one was a new one today though. So, why do I think OpenID will fail? One reason:

People don't understand OpenID or the problem it is trying to solve. Sure, maybe the people developing it do, but not the people who will be most influential in its adoption. Of the arguments I've heard and read very few have actually pointed out real issues with OpenID, and the good ones have mostly been demonstrating that the problems OpenID are trying to solve have already been solved in other identity technologies. Sure OpenID may not be the be-all end-all of identity on the net, and it's not trying to be, but OpenID may have no future if its scope and goals cannot be clearly articulated to the people who could be advocating it, instead of bashing it.

EDIT: Perhaps I was too subtle in this post, but just to clarify... the 5 points I listed above are not my arguments nor do I believe that they are valid. They are simply the most common arguments I hear against OpenID.

Security talks

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It seems odd to me that I would be giving a talk on security. I am not a security expert, and admittedly have been known to not even keep my own servers up to par with standard security practices (due to laziness, lack of time, you know, all the standard reasons). But today, I found myself giving a talk on security and measures that need to be taken to secure the servers and network infrastructure for my former employer. I guess I've always taken an interest in security and "hacking" and after years of playing around, maybe I'm finally starting to learn a thing or two about it. But then again, maybe I'm just good at pretending I know something about network security.

102.5 Degrees

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At least that's what I'm aiming for. I'm pretty sure the last time I had the flu I was in Disney Land in grade 8. So far my tempurature has got up to 101.5 Degrees F, so I'm close... but my goal of 102.5 seems almost unnatainable at this point. I guess only time will tell. Honestly, besides being tired all the time and really achy, it could be worse.

moosecamp and northernvoice

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This past Friday/Saturday I was at Moose Camp and Northern Voice. Moose Camp turned out to be really fun. I guess that's what's so good about the "unconference" idea... the talks will be totally targetted towards the audience, as it's the audience who's doing the talks. Northern Voice was good too a couple of the sessions really pumped me up and gave me some new ideas, though I had to leave a bit early. Don't have too much else to say about it, except I'll hopefully be able to attend again next year, and whichever of those moose campers decided it would be funny to give me the flu... you'd better watch your back!

multisite wordpress. drupal style

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Last night I spent a few hours hacking together a working multisite Wordpress patch. I modeled the setup after the Drupal multisite setup. It currently only works with the server name, not sub directories. So you can have multiple blogs such as:

  • blog1.example.com
  • blog2.example.com

But not (yet):

  • example.com/blog1
  • example.com/blog2

It looked like a couple other people had done a bit of work on a multisite setup which is where I started. But the first looked like it hadn't been maintained in years, and I was going for a different setup from what the second offered. There's also Wordpress MU, but I wanted multiple blogs, with their own database, which didn't seem to be what Wordpress MU offers.

This setup gives you:

  • Seperate database for each blog
  • A single wordpress codebase serving multiple blogs
  • Plugins and themes available to all blogs
  • Plugins and themes that are site specific

Each site you have will be located in wordpress/wp-sites/example.com.

Okay. So let's get started:

  • Download wordpress-2.1 and uncompress the source
  • Download the patch - wp-multisite-patch.txt
  • Apply the patch (run this command in the parent directory for wordpress):
    • patch -p0 < wp-multisitepatch.txt
  • Create the wp-sites folder: mkdir wordpress/wp-sites/myblog.com
  • Add and configure a wp-config.php file in you my.blog/ directory
  • Start setting up your new site.

I've put more details about this patch on this page.

New Blog URL

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Having registered this domain almost a year ago, I figured it was about time I started using it. Anywho, scotthadfield.ca is my new blog address, so update your links! (Though, the old ones should still work). I'm also testing out a some code I hacked together last night to support multisite wordpress so let me know if you want a blog and I can hook you up. Also, please let me know if you notice any bugs with the site.

Vancouver wi-fi and terrorism

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I almost /never/ read the newspaper, but the other day, while sitting in the lunch room at work a story on the front page of the Vancouver Sun caught the corner of my eye. Proposed Vancouver system puts city at risk of attack, according to police. A hilarious article at best... now for some select quotes:

"Anyone with a laptop and wireless access could commit a terrorist act"

"They could get in and open a dam and flood a town."

"It's like 9/11," Jonasson told The Vancouver Sun. "We just never thought they'd do it."

Uh-oh, breaking out the 9/11 card. I think we need to make an update to Godwin's Law to take into account 9/11.

"Pedophiles and identity thieves are known to use wireless access to download illegal child pornography"

Oh man! Pedophiles use wireless!!??

"If you have an open wireless system across the city, as a bad guy I could sit on a bus with a laptop and do global crime"

See, normally a "bad guy" would just sit in his home to do a global crime on the Internet. Now he can do it while commuting too!? Oh, the horror!!

"... city-wide wireless Internet system puts the city at risk of terrorist attack during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games."

Do you know what else puts the city at risk of a terrorist attack during the 2010 Winter Olympics? Hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics.

I'm not in much of a position to argue one way or the other for "free" city wide wi-fi. Though I would personally like to see it happen. But honestly, this article from the Sun reminds me why I no longer read the newspaper. Even Slashdot isn't this bad most of the time.

Random crap

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I was bored a couple weekends ago and decided to see what facebook was all about. Is it just me, or is that site growing like crazy? I just found this funny group on it today that I thought I'd share with you guys, cause I know most of you have been to the foggy dew in the Coq.  http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2232660619&ref=mf
On a completely unrelated note, but since I'm bored and don't feel like doing work tonight... I've been watching mtv canada since it started last summer, and I must say, Jessi is definitely the hottest person there. But what the hell is with the mtv.ca website. Doesn't work with any mac browser, or linux browser, even with the appropriate plugins. Those guys seriously need to hire some real web designers.

Hmm... anything else random? I guess I'm really digging that new "Young Folks" song right now by Peter Bjorn and John and the Arcade Fire... and Death Cab for Cutie.

Northern Voice in one week. w00t!!!11.

Why do /you/ blog?

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I just did the why do you blog survey and decided to post my answers here, because I know everyone who reads my blog really cares :-P.

  • How old are you? 26 - 30
  • What's your gender? Male
  • How long have you been blogging? More than 4 years
  • How much time do you spend blogging each week? Less than 1 hour
  • Do you want more readers? Yes
  • Have you met new people through blogging which you've connected with offline? Yes
  • How many people visit your site each day? If you don't know for sure, take a guess. Less than 10 a day
  • If you answered 'yes' to the previous question, how many daily readers would you be satisfied with? 100
  • Why did you start blogging? To keep a log of a trip to Europe that my friends/family could follow.
  • Why do you keep blogging? I don't know. I guess it's probably because my 3 readers would be lost without my intensly interesting posts such as these.
  • If you've ever stopped blogging for a long period of time, or abandonded a blog, why did you? Usually either a lack of time or because I was going through a boring phase of my life.
  • Describe your biggest blogging regret or triumph. While I was unhappy with my job I decided to post that I was spending my work days searching for new jobs (as well as expressing other negative opinions)... several months later, a co-worker (superior) mentioned that he had found my blog through a Google search (this post) and that it was pretty funny. Didn't mention the other post, which I promptly removed after speaking with him.
  • Has blogging changed your relationships with friends and family? If so, how? Nope. Not that I'm aware of.
  • Is blogging an emotional activity for you? If so, how? I don't really understand the question. So maybe not. Though I do enjoy ranting about crap on it.

cell phone bs

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I've been wanting to get a cell phone lately so that I can be easier to contact for the contracts I'm doing since I've been commuting a lot more lately and won't have a permanent office soon. I've spent the past few weeks occasionally browsing the wireless providers' websites and talking to people, but tonight I decided to bite the bullet and just make a decision on a phone an plan. I haven't been this pissed off for a while. The whole cell industry (at least in BC) is bullshit.

I've been comparing plans at Bell, Telus, Fido, and Rogers, and NONE of their sites work properly with firefox, which only adds to my frustration. People say most software isn't user friendly enough. After spending several hours on these websites I still have no idea what half the stuff means and what all the "fine print" is. I swear, there had to be 30 footnotes on one page with all the fine print.

At first I was looking at the blackberry's and similar style phones so that I could do email a bit easier. Well, turns out the minimum plan you can get with them is $45/month and it comes with next to nothing, so with the absolute necessities I'd be looking at ~$70/month with one of those. I don't talk on the phone much, so that price is way too high. I still would like to do data... so I checked out the individual data plans... so cheap, at only $0.05/KB. What!? That's $50/MB!! WTF are these people smoking? At what point can they rationalize those kinds of prices.

Well... several hours of browsing websites and plans tonight (and phones), I think I've finally made my decision. I figured I'd go with the GSM network offered by Rogers/Fido, so that cut my options in half. I'm also going to go with a 1yr contract. So I think I'm going to go with the Motorola K1 KRZR with a $25/month plan from rogers, plus additional voicemail/caller id options, and I was also considering their data option which was only $5 for 2MB, but I'm not even sure that that will let me browse the whole net. Total cost with taxes ends up working out to about $54/month, which seems reasonable.
But damn. I'm harsh pissed off at the state of wireless. I had no idea it was so ridiculous.

Back from Whistler

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So the Whistler was pretty wicked. Tons of snow this month and good weather. I skied by myself for most of the day Friday, and then dragged Ariane out for the afternoon and met up with Matt, Heather and John on Saturday. It's been over two years (maybe even three?) since I've been here so I was pretty pumped.

Matt, Heather, and John on the lift

We hiked up to the Blackcomb glacier first thing on Saturday (took us like 45 minutes of just chair lifts and tee bars to get there) and by half way through the day my camera batteries had gotten so cold that the camera kept saying the batteries were dead. Kind of frustrating but I managed to get a couple good shots still. I've put most of the pics up here.

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