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Feb 16, 2015

Website/Blog Update in the Works

Just a quick heads up. Google has mandated that all web sites must use SSL (HTTPS) or risk being down ranked sometime in the near future. I can find no evidence that Google has any interest in updating to support their own mandate. So I am in the process of migrating this blog to my site. For me, this involves creating some very simple blogging software to run both my blog and my site. Consequently, I have not been posting as often as I would like.

I have looked at a number of static site blogging engines like Jekyll, but they all seem to be a bit complicated. So my goal is to create something really simple that supports Markdown with YAML front matter. My hope is to create Ruby and Java versions. So watch this space for updates.

In the meantime, I haved added a section for my favorite links a below the main posts. This is a feed of bookmarks of interest I am posting on So the posts are sorta like a twitter feed except they are organized and indexed in a useful way by Pinboard.

Feb 10, 2015

Jupiter Ascending Quick Review (4/5)

Jupiter Ascending is the story of Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a Russian immigrant who works for her mother in a family housekeeping business. Jupiter’s life seems pretty humdrum until one day some aliens show up and things start to get weird. The bulk of the movie proceeds from here and if you have seen any of the previews, you get the gist.

This is your classic SciFi/Action film with good guys, bad guys, explosions, and a bunch of cool toys. I actually liked the premise and thought the universe created was interesting. Most negative reviews seem to complain that since the film does not rise to the level of Hamlet, it sucks. Haters are gonna hate. Well people, if you like movies like Die Hard, you will probably like this movie.

The visuals in the movie are stunning and well worth a trip to the theater to see on the big screen. The plot moves quickly as Jupiter has to adapt to a new reality. The tech is interesting without being over explained.

My main criticisms would be that some of the action sequences go on too long. Also, one would think that the Jupiter character would be a bit more street smart. But both are minor complaints.

Overall, I liked the film quite a bit.

Jan 20, 2015

Good Git Resources

I have finally started to use git for all my development. Hopefully, I will create a nice cheat sheet when I am done. But for now, here are some good resources.

The documentation is pretty good, but tends to include too much information at times.

Jan 13, 2015

Managing GMail with eMail Filters and Searches

Over the Xmas break it became time to finally get my e-mail cleaned up. To do that, I needed to add filters to my accounts using two main resources.

  1. GMail Advanced Search Options - This page documents all the things your can search your e-mail for. You can search by age, name, To, From, etc… This rules can be use with filters, in many cases, to create filters. In addition, they can be used alone to help automate administrative chores.
  2. Filter Documentation - Documentation on using filters in GMail. This is pretty short but covers the basics.

So basically, you can write filters for any message that hits your Inbox. However, this is the only way a filter can be activated. You can’t, for example, clean up old messages in a folder automatically. However, you can create a search to find the old messages and then bookmark the search. This makes it easy to repeat the search and perform the task repeatedly. Although not completely automated, it still makes some of the message management pretty easy.

For example, to get a list of all messages older than 21 days in the webaffiliates folder I could write:

label:webaffiliates older_than:21d

The messages that match the search are returned. You can select the messages and perform any actions you wish.

Jan 4, 2015

Creating Thumbnails on OS X

Apple 3D Blue Logo

I needed to create some thumbnails for a project. Turns out it is really easy with Automator. Check out the explanation here.

Dec 16, 2014

Java EE 7: When to use EJB vs CDI?

Duke Waving

The question of when to use EJB over CDI came up today. This David Blevins blog post gives a very coherent explanation of when to use EJB. So I added this quick post to +1 that post.

David Blevins a developer who is part of the EJB spec team. He works for