Monday, September 29, 2008

Disappointment with Yahoo Answers

I like(d) yahoo answers. It was a good waste of time and I liked answering people's questions. Today I got suspended because I gave a general answer to a hacking question. I appealed by suspension, but I got a form response from "Jane" telling me my account will not be reinstated.

Well, to be honest, that pisses me off. It actually makes me want to take out a little anger on Yahoo. Well, if they don't reinstate my account, the following will happen.

1) I will tell everyone what happened and why I am disappointed in Yahoo.
2) I pay for Yahoo mail. Yes I'm like one in five people that do. That will end.
3) Yahoo API's and Javascript? Ha! Think I will use their API's anymore? Nah... Think I will recommend using that stuff at work? Nah...

Yahoo = Facist.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

UAV Tankers? What is next.

As Boeing and Northrop/EADS battle it out for the contract for the Air Force's next generation of Tankers, other folks are quietly tinkering with new ideas that might make manned Tanker craft a thing of the past.

Here is the first UAV to UAV refuelling that I'm aware of. Pretty cool. Read more here on the AWS&T Ares blog-

link

I'm still waiting for the first UAV to UAV combat engagement.

There are two UAV to Manned Aircraft combat situations that I'm aware of. One a Russian MIG shooting down a Georgian UAV, and the other an Iraqi MIG 25 shooting down a predator drone I think in '03. The UAV tried to launch a Hellfire at the MiG, but I think the UAV got splashed first. In both instances the UAV's were designed for RECON and long loiter times, not Air combat.

In the post Vietnam area they did some experiments with UAV vs Manned Fighter combat in testing. I guess the UAV's used were target drones. From what I've heard the UAV's generally came out victorious.

Angelican Church Apologizes for Believing the Bible

Yes, the Angelican Church, in a round about way, is apologizing for its beliefs in the account of Creation found in Genesis.

What a sad day for the Angelician "Church".

Read more here.

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/16/211239&from=rss

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Flash/Flex vs Silverlight: The Winner Is...

I like Macromedia's Flash. I like it a little less now that it has been bought out by Adobe, as I think Adobe has gone a long way from its humble beginnings to becoming a tech holding company.

I don't like Silverlight...yet. To me I'm not real clear on what exact tools I should use to build Silverlight applications, what state those tools are in, changing code from beta 1 to beta 2 version 1 and version 2, etc... I'm going to ride things out a bit before taking the plung with Silverlight, and in the mean time I plan to do some more Flash/Flex work, just so I don't forget what little I know.

Anyway, to add fuel to the which one is better argument, Flash/Flex or Silverlight, I found this link-

http://www.shinedraw.com/flash-vs-silverlight-gallery/

It looks like what is better, at least from this side by side comparison is completely up to you. What do you like to program in I guess would be the answer, because the results are very, very similar.

I'm sure there is more to it then that, but it is good to see that algorithims for 3D waves and stuff can be ported between the two with not to much hastle. That is a good thing.

Also, Shine Draw includes downloadables for each example presented, which I will definately squirl away in my code library.

Happy Flash/Flex/XBAP/Silverlight programming!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget

I've seen a couple other Bloggers do this, so I will too.

Never Forget

It is telling that even the Drudge Report didn't have any 9-11 stories on its front page. Our memory is too short.

Those who don't learn from History are doomed to repeat it.

Carbon Dating Flawed? No.....

Yep, another article on how Carbon Dating, the corner stone in the foundation of modern evolutionary theories, is flawed.

This one fails to mention a few other interesting tidbits, like sending shells taken from recently deceased animals to labs for Carbon dating have having the labs indicate that the shells were millions of years old. Another blog post I guess for that one.

Read onward.

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/10/2257242&from=rss

Oh yeah, scientist just found a whole forest, fossilized and underground.

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/10/2020226&from=rss

Massive forest fossilized and shoved under layers of sediment...evidence of a global flood/catastrophy?

IT Innovation At Work: IT Worker Racks Up 220k in Phone Sex Charges On Other People's Accounts

Yep, us IT folks sometimes are crafty. Check out this latest example of our "craftiness". A Verizon x-employee racks up 220k of sex phone call charges on other verizon customer's accounts. IT innovation at work.

Read onward.

http://idle.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/10/1541200&from=rss

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Education Going OpenSource? Additional Signs

How many times does the knowledge base of what needs to be taught in a High School physics course change? Maybe an update here or there once a decade? Or how about Calculus? Never?

So how come there are litterally thousands of High School physics and calculus books out there?

You know the answer, $$$.

Well, hopefully that will change, and I think things are slowly starting too. I dont' want to see there be one global secondary education book for calculus or physics, but we don't need thousands. Why not collaborate and come up with a really good book? Why not make it open source? Why not make it electronically downloable from the web so school districts and students can save money on books?

All good questions, and the Common Wealth of Virginia is on the ball and already decided that there were no good reasons for not doing the above.

Read more here on Slashdot here-

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/10/1556242&from=rss

Vista Aero 3D and Linux Beryl Envy

I recently did a lot of reading about Beryl, the cool 3D virtual desktop program for many Linux distributions. So I did a little digging. There had to be some sort of equivalent for winblows right? Specifically for XP hopefully.

Well, there is, quiet a few of them. The best free one I found for XP is yod'm. There is the free version which goes up to version 1.4 and a commercial version (I think it is at http://www.deskspace.com/ ) if you want to pay a little and help the developer out.

You can find links to both plus more information here-


Also, if you like Aero 3D on Vista, why not run it on XP? You can by going here.




I ran both in tandem today and they work fine. Yod'm doesn't quite have all the cool features that Beryl has, but I hear there is a Beryl port for windows coming. Yod'm or the commercial version with more features should hold you till then.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

WCF Axis Interop Null Problem

I had a small project where I used a WCF web client to connect to an Axis/Coldfusion web service. I could add the service reference and call the web method fine, but the return string (that let me know if the data passed to the web service was processed correctly on the Axis end) always returned null.

I did some logging of the SOAP calls (see previous post) and the service was sending me back the return string, just my automatically generated classes were not reading it for some reason.

So after pooling my hair out for a LONG time, I finally figured out (with the help of a few bloggers) what the issue was.

Well apparently WCF basicHTTPbinding (and possibly other binding types as well) doesn't like rpc style web services. I thought "awww crud" I'm going to have to ask the service company to rewrite their web service, which probably wouldn't go over very well. But then I found this blog.

http://www.vistax64.com/indigo/54127-wcf-client-does-not-read-streamed-response.html

Note in the second post, the poster said he went in and changed the behavior's operational style to use document and literal, and the null problem went away. I did that in my auto generated proxy class (it is hidden by default, you need to click the show all files icon, then it should be named something like References.cs).

I change this-

[System.ServiceModel.XmlSerializerFormatAttribute(Style=System.ServiceModel.OperationFormatStyle.Rpc, Use=System.ServiceModel.OperationFormatUse.Encoded)]

to this -

[System.ServiceModel.XmlSerializerFormatAttribute ( Style = System.ServiceModel.OperationFormatStyle.Document, Use = System.ServiceModel.OperationFormatUse.Literal)]

And wallah! The return string went from null to a value.

Hope this helps someone.

Monday, September 08, 2008

WCF Soap Logging

I read a few articles about logging your outgoing and incoming SOAP messages. The simpliest way I found to trace SOAP messages is here-

Rick Stahl's Blog - http://www.west-wind.com/weblog/posts/205198.aspx
More Info from MS - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms730064.aspx

Another useful tool called Web Services Studio Jason from the Arizona .Net User Group pointed me too-

http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/webservicestudio20

- is also very useful for debugging older web services (though it works with a lot of WCF stuff too).

Friday, September 05, 2008

GameQuery?

Check out GameQuery, a jQuery based javascript framework for game development.

http://gamequery.onaluf.org/

Another Reason Not to Buy A Dell

Another traitorous bean counter wants to outsource production so investers can drive new porches. This time the hancho is the new Dell CIO.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10033584-92.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5

America cannot remain a super power if we do not produce anything.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Dinosaurs Took Hundreds of Thousands of Years to Die Off?

I caught this little gem on Slashdot.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080103090702.htm

In the article, it points out that there are major problems with the sudden catastrophy theory as to way the Dinosaurs died off. I guess there is ample evidence that dinosaurs took hundreds of thousands or years to die off. So now scientist have decided that insects and disease may have killed the Dinosaurs.

This brings up some interesting points.

1) I don't buy the whole timeline of billions of years. I'm a Christian, and a creationist. Just to let you know where I'm coming from.


2) If there is ample evidence that it took a REALLY LONG time (though I doubt the amount of time our scientist are telling us, but rather I believe the timeline is more like thousands of years, and scientist are misreading and giving us a huge timeline. Just compress it), then why isn't this information well known? A lot of people are believing inaccurate stuff because this little factoid isn't being widely distributed.


3) To me this is just another chink in the armor concerning evolution. Evolution will fall once the timeline commonly presented is crushed, which there is already plenty of evidence of it being inaccurate.

Coldfusion on .Net?

Yep, a company called New Atlanta is releasing a version of Coldfusion that runs on the .Net CLR.

Read onward here-

http://www.newatlanta.com/products/bluedragon/index.cfm

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

WCF SSL Password Negotiation Errors

Ok, I'm using WCF to try to connect to a basic webservice hosted on a coldfustion server. The webservice that I'm connecting to communicates over https and expects a username and password. So, after bumping around and doing some research, I was able to come up with this.

Again, sorry about the code display. If you select and copy/paste the code will be much more readable.

First, in your config file (or in code I guess, my example is a config file), replace whatever was automatically generated for your security setting in your binding when you added the service with the following.



  <security mode="Transport">
<
transport clientCredentialType="Basic" />
</
security>

Next, you have to pass the username and password to the webservice. This I did in code, you can probably put the username and password in your config file somewhere as well. Here is a sample page_load method I did for a web page to do a test of the webservice.

Here are the namespaces that I referenced as well.



using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Configuration;
using System.Data;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Security;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.HtmlControls;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls.WebParts;
using System.Xml.Linq;
using System.Net.Security;
using System.Net;
using System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates;
protected void Page_Load ( object sender, EventArgs e )
{
//http://developers.de/blogs/damir_dobric/archive/2006/06/29/585.aspx
//ServicePointManager.ServerCertificateValidationCallback += new System.Net.Security.RemoteCertificateValidationCallback ( customXertificateValidation );
TheService.proxyname t = new TheService.proxyname ();
t.ClientCredentials.UserName.UserName =
"someusername";
t.ClientCredentials.UserName.Password =
"somepassword";
t.Open ();
try
{
Response.Write(t.SomeMethod (
"123456789", 123 ));

}
catch ( System.Exception ex )
{
Response.Write ( ex.ToString () );

}
finally
{
t.Close ();
}

Lastly, if you don't have the root certificate setup, uncomment out the ServicePointManager line and add the following method. This will override any sort of certificate goofiness on your end.



private static bool customXertificateValidation ( object sender,
X509Certificate cert, X509Chain chain,
System.Net.Security.
SslPolicyErrors error )
{
return true;
}

And walla! You should be able to connect. Hope this helps someone.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google's Chrome

Google released a new web browser today, as I'm sure most of you have heard-

http://www.google.com/chrome/

It is based on webkit, which is an open source HTML render platform that powered the horrible Safari browser. Webkit is maturing I guess, and like IE's render engine before it, Webkit has come out with some new non standards features that are kind of nice.

As far as Chrome goes, I'm sure under the hood there are a lot of great and useful features waiting to be discovered, but nothing except a clean interface really jumped out at me. I spent about 20 minutes playing around with Chrome, said to myself, "huh", and closed it. I have a feeling at least for now that is where my relationship with Chrome will end. I'll give Google enough credit to leave open the option that perhaps in the future Chrome will wow me. Till then it is back to IE and FF.

On the about Chrome page, check out the Chrome comic if you want to se an example of the culture described in the book "What White People Like" in action telling the masses how to program. Funny and annoying.

Virtual Worlds Video

On Terra Nova someone recently posted a video that does a pretty good recap of all the social networking virtual environments out there today. There were a few that I hadn't heard of before.

Take a peak-