My ApacheCon US 2009 Wishlist

  • Get Apache HTTP Server building again on Gump (which involves losing the dependency on the Apache Portable Runtime Utility library, which was folded into APR proper)
  • Get @pgollucci what he needs on, and work on the future of that box
  • Talk about Apache 2.4, and what is still needed to get that out the door. Then, maybe start talking about figuring out what 3.0 is going to be like
  • Prepare for the Keysigning — which may mean creating a new PGP key
  • Prepare for my presentation on Thursday
  • Do some httpd hacking. Perhaps pull in the ECC patch that has been sitting in Bugzilla

Cousin’s Graduation Project Makes NL National Paper

My cousin Bart is quoted extensively on his graduation project resource by the literary supplement to the Dutch national newspaper NRC.

For readers who don’t read Dutch, Bart’s thesis is that literary magazines in The Netherlands have lost their significance as a breeding ground for new talent and as a forum for debate about literature. He substantiates this claim by tallying for two time periods (late seventies vs. mid-naughties) which proportion of debuting authors were first published in literary magazines: the decline is considerable.

For those that do read Dutch, a summary is available at the poetry blog De Contrabas. This site also make the entire thesis document available. You might also Google for ripples in the literary pond.

Great job doctorandus Bart!

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A Beni Happy Birthday

VolcanoAnimationSm.gifWhat do you give the spouse who has everything for their birthday? I certainly did not make it easy for La, since I’m a little too young to want a Harley.

So on my birthday, she took me out for “lunch and a surprise”. We drove to the City and ended up in the Japantown mall, so I figured that we might be going to Benihana for said lunch. But, when we got there I was told that Laura had arranged for me to Be The Chef, and cook a Teppanyaki dinner for a party of friends and family two days later! What an amazing idea!

That day itself was the training. They sat us down at a table in the back, and taught me how to prepare Splash & Meadow (steak & shrimp), chicken fried rice and hibachi vegetables. Everyone was getting the same choice, to keep it easy. A real chef was going to take care of the second table of friends and family, so they got their choice of entree and the real show.

Two real Benihana chefs helped with the training. First, they demonstrated the techniques, pointing out the order in which things happened, how long each step (like cooking the steak) was supposed to take, and the specific cuts, chops and slashes. This became Laura’s lunch. Then it was my turn: I got to try the opening utensil juggle, flip the shrimp tail at my coat pocket (and was given to understand that pontifically putting the last one in your pocket with your fork is a face-saving conclusion in case you miss every one), make the fried rice heart and slice and dice the New York Strip.

They had given me a spatula and fork with which to practice the juggling act, so I spent the next afternoon in the back yard with electrical tape on the pointy ends of the utensils, trying out the various flips, tosses and twirls. And areating the lawn in the process. But, in the end I managed to keep from putting anyone’s eye out during the performance.

The evening itself was a great success. The head chef of the restaurant, Anton, talked me through the performance and backed me up on the time critical bits. The training involved cooking one serving, but this table had eight hungry people (and one very small one (hi Emma!)) around it! We would typically split up the large tasks: for instance he finished half the shrimp combos and while I got to start all the steaks, I only got around to finishing three. Yes, a professional chef is much faster at this than a dilettante like myself.

47b9d731b3127cce9854897bbd0b00000045108AcNWbZq2ZNl.jpegThe shrimp appetizer went very well. Since there are only three shrimp per serving, I got to start, flip and cut all of them. And then, the shrimp tail toss trick. I not only got one in my hat (though I maintain a that hat that big is hard to miss), but also one in my pocket! Yes, I totally meant to do that!

Chef Anton demonstrated the scared appetizer shrimp, did a fried rice Mickey Mouse (which I had never seen done before), and I got to do the fried rice heart for Laura. Finally, we did the onion ring volcano. This trick went absolutely flawlessly and you can see the result at the top of this post.

Afterwards, I got to taste some of the food and it was actually pretty good! It was a lot of fun to do, and rewarded by a Japanese Steak Dinner in the end. I am very happy Anton helped me and kept me from ruining the food… the special scraper tool came out only twice to restore the state of the grill. In the end, I was very tired but very happy with this amazing birthday party. I would like to thank everyone for coming; the San Francisco Benihana for allowing me to do this; Anton, Junior and George for looking after me; Carol for making it happen and above all, my dearest spouse Laura for arranging it.

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Snow Leopard

Just installed… so far, so good. I took a full Time Machine backup before I started, and ran a disk check (which showed Green) from the install CD.

After the restart, the system asked me for the System Events application, but that was easily found.

I had to reinstall the Cisco VPN Client, because the Snow Leopard install clobbers /System/Library/StartupItems and erases the client’s StartupItem. Aside from StartupItems being highly obsolete, Cisco has no business putting stuff under /System anyway. Otherwise, I am now up and running using the same version (4.9.01 (0100)) I had running under Leopard.

Entourage (EWS) works; Microsoft Document Connection works: that’s about all I’ve used to far. Next time I do an expense report we’ll see if the Brother combo fax can still scan for me. Fingers crossed on that one.

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Web Hacking Incident Database Report

The The Web Hacking Incidents Database 2009: Bi-Annual Report is out. If I recall correctly, the first report Breach did, in 2007, did not mention any bi-annualness. Also, the eventual landing page has as HTML title “<title>The Web Hacking Incidents Database 2008: Annual Report</title>”. Is it possible that they simply didn’t get their act together last year and retroactively declared the report bi-annual?

I went in through the link above, gave up my e-mail, phone number and name of my first born, and downloaded the report. This will probably land me another copy of every marketing e-mail Breach sends out (guess how I learned of this report?), and a phone call from some poor guy in a cube who has to make 75 phone calls a day for a living. Oops, guess I put down a fax number. Sorry dude, hope your headset isn’t too loud.

Anyway, after you go though the lead generation form you land here and can follow a direct link to the PDF. This is fairly standard practice, but from a security company I would expect that they would make some more effort to not inadvertedly expose the goods.

ApacheCon US 2009I will give this report a read, and probably discuss it in my upcoming talk at ApacheCon US 2009. Oh, they just extended the early bird registration deadline… without changing their own website to tell you about it. Register now and experience the mayhem.

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This is Why we Don’t Check Luggage Anymore

I guess if the luggage in question is large items like guitar cases there’s little you can do but check them. Situations like this, though, cause me to wonder what the economic rationale is behind the treatment Dave got. On the one hand, we all want cheap flights. On the other hand, airlines want to make money and they do that by treating their customers as crappy as they can short of making them run away and use another airline. I can see how a policy of active discouragement and frustration of customer claims could be part of maximizing shareholder value. The real question is, is this kind of treatment the most efficient way to discourage frustrated customers from seeking customer service? Or is there still genuine incompetence and miscommunication involved? My guess is that they could be more evil if they were efficient at it. Makes me think of the David Spade Capitol One commercial.

Not that I have ever tried the Capitol One runaround.

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Building Subversion with Sun Workshop

Rather than wade through the morass of dependencies on, I thought I’d build my own Subversion. It turns out that I had to specify a couple of extra hints in order to use the Sun compiler. Here is my configure line:

./configure ‘–prefix=/usr/local/svn-install/current’ ‘–with-ssl’ ‘–with-openssl=/usr/sfw’ ‘CC=/usr/bin/cc’ ‘CXX=/usr/bin/CC’ ‘LDFLAGS=-R/usr/ucblib -R/usr/sfw/lib’

The Neon library needs ssl; the Serf library needs to know about openssl. And without the Reverse Path entries, libraries in neither of those directories are picked up by the installed binaries.

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Online TV

The Economist has an incisive article on Online TV. Interestingly, I remember having a conversation three years ago about the imminence of Ethernet-connected TVs with social networking built in. What happened? Is it finally coming to us?

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My First Apache E-mail

Looks like this was my first message to an Apache mailinglist: a suggestion on how to build a recently enhanced ApacheBench on systems that (unlike Mac OS X) don’t have the Math library linked in together with the C library (or libSystem.dylib, as the case may be).

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