How to get more information about a Seattle PD tweet

The Seattle Police Department has a great service called Tweets by Beat where one can freak oneself out at how much crime is occurring everywhere.

For example:

Notice no links are included. To get the details, visit police headquarters and ask for help. Have the information in the tweet handy–you’ll need it for the paperwork. Don’t mention “tweets” or Twitter or Tweets by Beat because you might as well be speaking Klingon. Just say you saw/heard something happen and want the 911 call and incident report. They’ll help you fill out the paperwork, and they’ll provide the relevant public records within 5 business days.

What’s the proper way to treat spam/phishing mail from a friend’s compromised account?

If a friend’s email account is compromised and used to send spam or phishing emails to my gmail address, should I click “Report spam” or “Report phishing” for those emails in the gmail web interface?

I’m thinking I should, but I’m worried it will mess up my friend’s email score/reputation/whatever and make it painful for them later if they recover their compromised account.


Then again, maybe that’s a fair consequence for letting their account get compromised. Unless of course their email provider was compromised, which would mean it wasn’t their fault (unless they chose a notoriously bad email provider).

(side note: when I notice a friend’s email account is compromised, I immediately contact them via some other means–for example: call them–and let them know)

protips: Tiny Tiny RSS on Bluehost

The Bluehost hosting account must be configured to use a recent version of PHP. After creating a subdomain, I had to delete the .htaccess file to make sure the latest version of PHP was used.

I used the periodic cron method to update my feeds. I used the “twice daily” common schedule. Here’s my command:

/usr/php/54/usr/bin/php-cli $HOME/public_html/ --feeds --quiet

The explicit path is required because tt-rss needs a recent version of php meant for the cli (for example, with register_argc_argv enabled).

Cloudflare might muck up the JavaScript or CSS or slow things down. I disabled it.

My Hadoop/MapReduce article in Linux Journal

I’m proud that LJ accepted my Hadoop/MapReduce article for the April 2013 issue! If you’re new to MapReduce and are interested in learning about same, this article is for you.


I’ll also be presenting a talk based on the article at LinuxFest Northwest 2013.

Google: Stuck on You

I require proprietary software to get through my day, but I like not being too dependent on it. With respect to that rule for myself and Google, I’ve failed.

I probably use the Internet mainly for search and email, and I need Google for both. Maps? All the time.

And there’s a doc I’d like to read now. The most important information to me is in the comments, but I can’t see the comments because this doc is “too popular”.

Google drive notice: file too popular


See also: You Can’t Quit, I Dare You

Books: Now Alive

More and more great tech books are marked-up plain text stored in version control and render-able to ebook/HTML/PDF.


Turns out many ideas in this approach are recycled. Heck, Knuth released TeX in 1978.

One new-ish piece is this GitHub thing. GitHub provides a social coding service based on a popular software development power tool called git. GitHub is spreading like wildfire. Sure there’s lots of code on GitHub, but lots of other stuff too. Bike paths, home-renovation projects, and all German law! Srsly. This is just fun.

Anyone seen any novels on GitHub? Cory Doctorow, are you listening? If anyone turns out a popular novel on GitHub, it’ll be you!

See also:

Web Framework Flavor of the Month

I’ve been playing with Meteor a bit lately. It’s a “kitchen sink” system for writing web apps, complete with a database (MongoDB), server-side (Node.js), and client-side stuff. It’s all JavaScript.

It’s pretty fun for little experiments. I can imagine certain kinds of websites it would be good for (web-based chat, HTML5 games, collaborative editors, and one-webpage apps — same stuff I think vanilla Node.js excels at) and some it would not (mobile, CRUD with an RDBMS). I’m wondering if it would/should work well with larger web apps.

I’m afraid of JavaScript, but I think it’s finally time for me to overcome that fear. What better way to do so than to use JavaScript everywhere (database, server, client, APIs)?!

Meteor isn’t the only game around, it’s just the one I’ve looked at.

You are NOT a Software Engineer!

I enjoyed You are NOT a Software Engineer! by Chris Aitchison. It’s a fun analogy. Writing software certainly does feel more like something roughly planned and growing organically or evolving rather than something perfectly specified and executed. And I think this is OK.

Another thing we coders often forget: we are also authors. We write code for humans (others and our future selves) to read. I want you to be stoked when you read what I write! And coding is writing.