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January 25, 2007

Three Cups of Tea

It has been way to long since I've sat down and focused on reading a book. Thankfully over this past week I've done just that as a way to relax. Life is starting to slow down a little and reading made for a nice change of pace. The book was a recent present called Three Cups of Tea. It's about the life of Greg Mortenson penned with the help of David Oliver Relin. Greg for over a decade now has been working to build schools in remote areas of Pakistan and other out of the way places in that part of the world.

The book chronicles the experiences that led up to him starting this monumental task, the trials in getting the first school built, and the role his work has played in the area post 9/11. Yes it is possible for the determination of one person to change the lives of so many. He has had many people help and continue to help him along his journey but by and large without Greg the schools would not exist. Which also plays into the only negative aspect mentioned in the book, that without Greg this work would not continue. I can only hope that through this book others leaders capable of building the relations and trust can carry on what the Central Asia Institute has done, since having others in the field with the determination Greg has would only further expand the impact that can be made.

Greg's life is an inspiration for all of us and I truly do believe that he is a modern day hero.

Tags: books

January 19, 2007

Could not resolve * to a component implementation.

Often when refactoring code I'll extract ActionScript code out of an MXML file into an ActionScript based superclass to get a cleaner separation between logic and the view. In doing so I sometimes forget to update MXML variable declrations, leading to the confusing error:

Could not resolve <mx:states> to a component implementation.

In this case my MXML class extends another custom class and looks like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<example:CustomCanvas xmlns:example="com.example.*" xmlns:mx="http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml">
<mx:State name="default"/>
<mx:State name="custom"/>

The issue is that the "mx" namespace doesn't match the root component's namespace so the MXML compiler gets confused about it being a property versus a child component. The simple fix is to just change the namespace on the property to match the root component's namespace like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<example:CustomCanvas xmlns:example="com.example.*" xmlns:mx="http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml">
<mx:State name="default"/>
<mx:State name="custom"/>

Tags: as3 error flex2

January 1, 2007

2006 Spam Statistics

For 2006 I kept very detailed statistics on spam. Below is a summary of some quick analysis that I did. I have a bunch of other data so if there is something else that you are interested in let me know and I'll see if I can extract that information.

First the high level numbers: 95,706 total emails for 2006 of which 74,458 were spam or roughly 78%. I should consider myself "lucky" since the average usually reported is around 90-95%. This translates to about 204 spam messages a day.

I whipped up some GD images to show these spam numbers in action. The spike in March is due to a high volume mailing list that I temporarily signed up for.

Prior to the middle of August of this year my spam filtering setup was pretty bad. As a result up 60 spam messages a day were getting through and had to be manually flagged. After updating my spam filters, I'm now only manually flagging 5 messages a day. I don't keep statistics on the number of false positives since I don't want to or care to look at 200 plus messages a day.

This is a day by day breakdown of spam percentage and message counts. Notice the general trend that while the percentage is constant the total number of spam messages per day is increasing.

Tags: spam