Finding Hub Blogs

Blogspace needs a directory of hub blogs organized by topics.  Recognizing a hub blog is easy enough.  A hub blog has a large number of subscribers and links to other blogs.  A hub blog's topics can be either inferenced by content and links or specified explicitly.

Using People as Blog Filter

One of the reason I visit certain blogs daily is because I use them as moderated blog filters to blogs I subscribe to indirectly.  I don't know how many blog feeds "Dave" subscribes to, but by subscribing to "Dave"'s Scripting News blog feed, I am in-effect subscribing to all the blogs he is subscribing to except I rely on him to filter out uninteresting stuff like a client-side news editor.  By subscribing to these hub blogs, I can keep abreast of what many thousands of people are thinking and doing daily.  Isn't that great or what?  I predict that we'll soon think nothing of paying money to subscribe to those hub blogs.

Web Service Logic Faults

While everyone is bitching about lack of security as well as revenue in web services, there is a problem most people are overlooking: logic faults.  What are logic faults?  A logic fault is what should happen when an order for 5 million pounds of Ben & Jerry arrives from Siberia.  A logic fault is what should happen when someone's daily trade volume grows ten fold overnight.  A logic fault is what should happen if someone named Saddam Hussein orders one of those George Bush dolls.

Working at home

Mark Pilgrim is finding home office unbearable.  I know how bad working at home all the time can be.  One minute you think you have it all, commuting to work just a matter of walking from your bedroom to the office downstairs.  Next minute, you feel like a squirrel running inside a turning wheel.  Still, you can't beat the hours.  Your nights and weekends aren't gone.  They are just uprooted so you can have them any time you want.  As to avoiding unnecessary intrusions, interruptions, and 'on call 24×7' paranoia, you just have to draw the line thick enough for people to notice.  As for me, my clients don't usually call me unless its an emergency because they don't know when I am going to be awake.  Even I don't know when I'll be awake.  Well, I know I am awake now.  <g>

PIN insecurity in Korea

In Korea, secret PIN is often used to protect credit cards, cash cards, and bank accounts.  Unfortunately, most people don't treat PIN as a personal secret and not only share it with others but routinely asks for it.

At Korean banks and credit card firms, application forms often have a field for the applicant to specify his or her desired PIN for the new account or card, exposing the PIN to bank branch employees as well as the data entry clerk.  In many recent credit card and cash card frauds in Korea, secred PINs were provided by bank employees.

At Korean merchants, point-of-sale devices allowing direct PIN entry by customers are often not available.  When a customer hands over their credit card to buy something, the clerk will not think twice about ask for its PIN.  So PIN is given verbally, allowing anyone standing near to hear.

This is a huge problem that only a combination of education and biometric can solve since even smartcards need PINs.

Fate of Mozilla?

With AOL's loss of $99 billion and recognizable faces like Steve Case and Ted Turner, I am wondering what will happen with Mozilla.  Thanks to Apple's Safari, KDE's KHTML renderer has gained a large mindshare over Mozilla's supposedly 'bloated' Gecko.  Can AOL afford to ignore performance advantages of KHTML-based browsers?  Mozilla is being squeezed between the Open Source and Microsoft.  When KHTML-based browsers start appearing within a few months — Sun and Oracle are two prime suspects — news media's hoopla over them will nail shut Mozilla's coffin.

Playing with java.nio

Today I am playing with java.nio, a new feature in JDK 1.4+ for non-blocking I/O and more like memory-mapped file.  I hacked together a simple HTTP server and am in the middle of load testing it.  After that I'll hoist Servlet-like API on top of it and do some more load testing.  Like everyone else, I haven't had much chance/excuse to play with java.nio, so this is good.  There are only a handful of java.nio-based software out there, one of them being UberMQ, a JMS implementation.  Jetty seems to be using it only in its load balancer.  Desktop web servers and proxies have to be pretty frugal with expensive system resources like threads and java.nio can cut down thread use drastically.  Its amazing how many busy a browser can get network-wise.  Just check your browser cache after an hour of browsing and you'll see what I mean.