RDF, RSS by Category, etc.

I’ve made a number of updates to the site. Probably the biggest addition is the fact that you can now subscribe via RDF 1.0, which includes the text for the entire posts. Below is a list of other changes to the site.

  1. The RSS 1.0 feed has been updated to include a dc:creator tag. I also changed references to josephstump.com.
  2. Category pages now include the name of the category at the top of the page as well as a link to that category’s RSS feed. This means you can subscribe to a specific category instead of the entire site.
  3. I have updated the links to the right to include links to the RDF feed as well as a validation link for the feed.
  4. The archive page now includes links to the RSS feeds for each category.
  5. You can subscribe to search results! Each search result page has a link to the RSS feed. Any time a new post matches your search term it will show up in your feed.
  6. I also added a few links in the “Publications” section to an unfinished book of mine and a few other articles.

Also, you can subscribe to search/category feeds in RDF, instead of RSS, if you change rss/2.0 with rdf/1.0. I plan on adding a link when I get the chance. You can also hack the feeds to crawl my entire site via RDF or RSS by passing ?start=$x where $x is an increment of 10 to the various feeds (ie. ?start=0, ?start=10, etc.).

Since there were major updates to the feeds please let me know if you have problems. All of the feeds validate without issues so they should work.

Bo Bice is a Druggie – I'm shocked!

Apparently, Bo Brice has been arrested twice for drug possession. There’s a shocker. A rock n’ roller busted for doing drugs?! That’s like finding out the girls in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition have had their breasts augmented.

To his credit he was up front about his “past indescretions” and won’t be booted from the show. Good thing too, since he’s been my pick to win it since the beginning.

SAT Prep Online

I’ve been working on a new SAT Prep Course for enotes.com. We are the only place on the internet that offers the entire SAT Prep book online. I’m extremely proud of this pariticular application because of the fact that I think students will be better prepared after taking it. Below are some of the features that I like about the product.

  1. We offer our entire vocab word database in a format that you can load onto your iPod so you can study the SAT Vocabulary on your iPod.
  2. We offer 4 complete practice tests that you can take in an online environment. The tests are timed just like the new SAT, allow you to pause your test and come back to it and, after you have finished your test, view the answer key, which is complete with detailed explanations of each question. Additionally, once you have completed your test we score the test just like the real SAT.
  3. Unlike our competitors we offer all of the end-of-chapter practice drills in an online testing environment, which automatically scores your drills after you take them. You can take the drills as many times as you like. We also offer virtual flashcards so you can practice your vocabulary online.
  4. Our unique diagnostic test looks at the questions you got wrong and then refers you to sections in our online book as well as practice drills you can read over and work on to improve your performance on similar questions.

This was a major technical undertaking and is the result of about 3 months of full-time coding. It also represents the first use of many new technologies for me: InnoDB tables, foreign key constraints, heavy JavaScript usage and XMLHttpRequest to name a few. I’m working on finalizing some of the featurs, but for only $49.95 you won’t find a better SAT Prep Course online.

Anthony Fedorov is Gay

Not that there is anything wrong with that, but how else do you explain him picking “The Sound of Music” and a song by Celine Dion? Sorry ladies, but he’s batting for the other team. That being said the little fucker actually didn’t hack the song apart. I still hate his hole.

Tonight I expect Carrie Underwood, Constantine and Scott Savol to be in the bottom three and, hopefully, Savol will be gone tomorrow morning. I think Savol is the worst singer, Anthony is the next worse and definitely the cheesiest, though Constantine gives him a run for his money.

I think we’ll be seeing Bo Brice and Vonzell Solomon in the finals. Carrie is an amazing singer, but she’s nowhere near the performer that Bo is. Vonzell has a great voice and is a pretty good performer to boot. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes.

As of now, my total dark horse final two are Constantine and Bo. I think Constantine could make it to the finals if he sticks with wooing the teenie boppers.

Let the flames begin!

Ways for Using and Extending FULLTEXT

Well, my presentation on MySQL’s FULLTEXT indexes is all over now. I actually managed to fill the full 45 minutes with information on how to use FULLTEXT indexes. You can check out the source code as well.

I was pretty scared to present once I found out that MySQL UC is a huge conference filled with people that are way smarter than I am. Also, the room where I was presenting was huge. Pretty intimidating for sure, but it all went well for the most part with very few complaints from the audience.

Travel, Conferences, Vegas – oh my!

Just a short and informal list of things that I’m going to be busy attending to in the next three weeks or so:

  1. Speaking about FULLTEXT indexes at MySQL UC 2005 in San Jose, CA. I leave tomorrow and my presentation is only about 80% done. Those of you who worked on projects with me in college will find this to be par for the course. I’m staying with Jeremy while in CA. Our plans consist of talking about geek topics (Linux, BASH, PHP, etc.) and eating nothing but $2 burritoes from El Taco De Oro.
  2. My mom is attending a conference in British Columbia the following week. On her way home she’ll be visiting for a few days. Luckily, it looks like she’ll have good weather while in Seattle.
  3. I’m visiting Vegas baby! It’s my first time and I’m doing it up right by visiting with a few of my fraternity brothers. The entire weekend will most likely consist of ribs, beer, slots and general Vegas debauchery. Should be good times.

After that I’m staying grounded for a while. Lauren and I’s old condo will be closing tomorrow and we’re looking forward to finishing remodeling the new place. I’ll make sure to post pictures and my presentation from MySQL UC when I get back and settled in.

I also plan on doing a follow-up to last years John Stevens Fan Mail covering the slew of retards that have posted to my Anthony Fedorov post.

Teenage Fantasy Lands Him in Jail

Does anyone remember the First Amendment? If anyone thinks that the our rights are not constantly under fire from the government should think again. 9/11 and the PATRIOT Act have allowed the government to mount a successful attack on First Amendment rights. For those of you who didn’t take civics in high school here is a short review of what the First Amendment guarantees the citizens:

  1. Disallows the establishment of a state endorsed religion
  2. Right to free speech
  3. Disallows limitations of a free press
  4. Guarantees freedom of religion

Now that we’re all caught up you might want to read a story about an 18 year old kid who was arrested for writing a fictional story about forceably taking over a high school. Am I the only one who that didn’t have thoughts of destroying my high school? And since when is writing down your thoughts against the law?

This is why laws that allow the government to monitor your reading habits, what you write down, etc. are so scary to me. We live in a nation that allows organizations like the KKK to exist, so I don’t understand what’s so horrible about letting this guy write down his thoughts.

Also, does this mean that people who write scripts for movies that involve terrorist attacks and other widespread mahem are guilty of “terroristic threatening”?

Watch your identity in Ohio

Apprently, it’s perfectly legal for cops to steal your identity in Ohio as long as they’re using it in an investigation. The worst part? If I look up your job history based on your SSN then the “under cover” jobs will show up. It happened to a woman in Ohio who is now, according to her job history, a former stripper.

[…] Ohio liquor-control agents took her identity and gave it to a
22-year-old college student who they had recruited to work undercover as
a nude dancer.

As part of an investigation that resulted in nothing more than
misdemeanor charges, police paid University of Dayton criminal-justice
student Michelle Szuhay $100 a night to take it all off in early 2003 –
as liquor-control officers drank beer and watched in the audience for
three months, court papers show.

Wow. That’s all I can really say. At least the ACLU is looking into it.

Prius demand high

It looks like Toyota’s Prius is so popular used ones are selling for more than new ones. Lauren and I would have loved to have bought one of these, but we couldn’t for a variety of reasons. From the article …

The survey said that 8 percent of the consumers considered hybrid vehicles in March, twice as much as 4 percent in February. It also said if gas prices reach $3 per gallon 77 percent of car shoppers will seriously consider a more fuel efficient vehicle.

That’s awesome that 77% of people would at least consider a hybrid. Of course, those looking to lower their gas costs might be surprised to find out that states are considering taxing drivers based on the miles they drive instead of adding a tax on each gallon of gas they purchase.

Considering that taxes on each gallon of gas you purchase is at least 42.25 cents per gallon (circa 1998) you can understand why states want to tax based on mileage and not on the amount of gas consumed. But does this mean you pay more, less or the same for transportation? Let’s look at the facts shall we?

  Prius Camry Hummer H2
MPG 55 28.5* 13
Gas Tank Size 12 18.5 32
miles / tank 660 527.25 416
$ / tank** $27.48 $42.37 $73.28
taxes / tank*** $5.88 $9.07 $15.68

* Average of city/highway mileage
** Based on national $2.29 average
*** Based on 0.49 / 2.29 * $ per tank

Needless to say the government would love it if we all drove Hummer H2’s. Let’s say that the a new tax was put in place of the “tax per gallon”, which taxed us on how many miles we drove. If we take the highest tax rate from above (the Hummer H2 gets taxed $15.68 on 416 miles, which is 3.7 cents per mile) we would get the following new data.

  Prius Camry Hummer H2
miles / tank 660 527.25 416
$ / tank $21.60 $33.30 $57.60
taxes / tank $24.42 $19.51 $15.39
total / tank $46.02 $52.80 $72.99

So the Prius would still be much cheaper to drive than a Hummer H2 or even the Camery. Of course, I would hope the tax per mile rate would be lower than 3.7 cents per mile. Personally, I think people who drive hybrids should get MORE tax breaks and not less.

One of the other problems I have is that you know that if the government changes how taxes are applied gas wouldn’t drop 49 cents a gallon. Instead, the gas companies would simply drop prices a little and then pad their bottom line from the price per gallon vacated by the government. Smoke and mirros in other words.

Martinis are a man's drink

Most who know me know that one of my favorite drinks is your standard gin martini. Also, those who know well enough know the following things are true about martinis.

  1. They were always made with gin. Vodka martinis make no sense.
  2. They’re a man’s drink not to be confused with its girly cousin the Cosmopolitan.

Lauren thinks that martinis are girl drinks for some odd reason. I retort, “Double-o-Seven drinks them!” I’m fairly open when it comes to martinis. I like them dry, dirty and in between. Extra olives, of course, are a must. It looks like I’m not alone in my love for the martini as it has been named one of 10 manly drinks.

No drink is more emblematic of manly sophistication than a slick martini. Believe that.

Amen. For those of you wanting to make yourself a nice martini tonight I suggest getting some Bombay Saphire and Martini Rossi Vermouth. A shot of vermouth and two shots of gin shaken in a stainless steel shaker with ice poured over three or four of the largest olives you can find (bleu cheese stuffing optional). Enjoy!