Old Blog Posts Restored

As Monthly Archive links in the left-side bar shows, I uploaded old blog posts last night. Restoration wasn’t perfect of course.

  • Posts from between late 2005 to 2007 is missing. If they are not among backups, I’m going to extract them from Internet Archive.
  • Comments weren’t uploaded. Still on my todo list.
  • Permalinks weren’t restored so links coming in will 404 until they’re fixed.
  • Deadlinks, missing stories and downloads.
  • Category extractor had a separator bug, creating nutty categories like general;technical(fixed now).

Continue reading “Old Blog Posts Restored”

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Processing Old Posts

Spent a couple of hours converting my old posts from XML with custom schema to JSON. Scrubbed some obvious spam comments (any comment with more than 5 hyperlinks).

Result is a 7MB JSON file containing 1756 blog posts with comments. Hash of IP addresses were not archived so they’ll all be treated as self-proclaimed foobars.

Next step is to POST them as well as assets they reference to WordPress.com via REST API which should take another couple of hours of hacking since I haven’t bothered to convert the posts to RSS.

Need A Good Theme

This blog goes way back, all the way to 2001. First 7 years of it was the most hectic but they’re archived and need to be restored.

Fresh start calls for a fresh theme. Something that’s simple yet easy to read. No gray text. I may just bang one out from scratch but would rather start with a good one like t his Rewritten Hemingway theme then tweak (post titles looks tad too big and too dark).

Update: That theme lasted only 5 min of staring at it. Let’s try Independent Publisher theme.

Blog Name Change

I’m preparing myself mentally to return to blogging, at a slower pace. To that end, I’ve renamed this blog to Weekly Habit. Blogging daily was exciting back then. I still want to but am wary of blogging for the sake of blogging.

Anyway, stay tuned.

On KISSmetrics

I think Hiten Shah, CEO of KISSmetrics, is too distracted with recent lawsuits to understand the mistake his company made: not looking out for their customers.

Legality of using ETag for tracking or reusing same ETag hash across domains is unclear and should be answered through legal process. What is clear, however, is that their usage raises suspicions and invites accusations against their loyal customers, not just KISSmetrics.

KISSmetrics should have foreseen this but apparently either did not or  did but failed to act before it blew up. I hope my two cents worth will help them learn and improve their service. Lawsuits may come and go but lessons learned will stay with you.

An ounce of foresight is worth a pound of hindsight.

Excuses make poor stain removers.

Cinemetrics

Cinemetrics is a promising example of Identicon IMO. Similar efforts have been made audio clips.

Cinemetrics aims to create a visual “fingerprint” for film using the editing structure, color, speech and motion.

Design challenge in generating interesting ‘fingerprint’ depends largely on the target audience. Multimedia production is a very iterative process resulting in many variations and combinations so, if the target audience are film editors, challenge is in finding ways to emphasize difference without sacrificing similarity.

Identicon and Robohash

This post is a dump [for archival purpose] of exchange between Colin Davis, creator of Robohash, and I that took place in context of a Hacker News about Robohash.

Colin:

Identicons are a great idea, I really love them.. They’re a good solution to a gut-check “Something is wrong here..”

Sort of like a SSH-fingerprint.

The problem I’ve had with them is that they’re generate not all that memorable. Was that triangles pointing left, then up, or up then left?

This is my attempt at addressing that problem for my own new project, but I’d love to see what you build! If you want to use these images, feel free. They’re CC-BY, so they’re open to the world now 😉

Don:

Re ‘not all that memorable’, that’s because identicons were originally designed for ‘distinguishing’ and ‘matching’ data, not ‘memorizing’.

Abstract geometric identicons like my original implementation as well as variations used at WordPress and StackOverflow are, while nearly impossible to remember, distinguishable in a pile which comes in handy when distinguishing the ‘voice’ of individuals in a long thread of comments.

To use identicons as permanent identity, one has to ‘identify’ with their identicon. We can identify faces of our friends because we shared memories with them, stories if you will.

So robotic identicons like yours can be made more memorable if users had some ways to create a story they can associate with it like ‘blue viking with left arm missing’, etc.

Colin:

That makes a lot of sense. I wasn’t trying to be disparing. It’s a great idea, and very helpful, I just felt like it could go in a slightly different direction for this specific use-case (Public Keys).

Don:

I think an interesting way to apply identicon to certs is to map each cert attributes to an ‘attribute’ of identicon, visualizing attributes.