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February 20, 2010

PKIX path building failed

Recently this error message started showing up in one of our log files and needless to say was causing a few issues:

[org.apache.commons.httpclient.HttpMethodDirector] -

Turns out the process had been running long enough that while trying to perform an HTTPS based operation the certificate in the JVM for the certificate authority the target site was using had expired. A quick update of the cacerts file and everything was happy again. Yet another software rot angle to keep in mind.

Tags: https java jvm ssl

February 15, 2010

US: Americans Talk About Love

Us: Americans Talk About Love Us: Americans Talk About Love by John Bowe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book isn't about fairytale love. This book is about love being complex, crazy, heart-rending, and at the same time comforting, profound, and heartwarming. The stories reflect the melting pot that is America touching on generational, cultural, and ethical differences of what people consider and call love.

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Tags: books life love

February 13, 2010

A Fire Upon the Deep

A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought) A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A masterful journey through space to save the universe from a growing new power. The story mixes alien races, hive minds, technology, and politics in a captivating story presenting it all in believable scenarios. The ending pushed the boundaries a little but resolved everything cleanly, a pleasant change from other science fiction I've read recently.

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Tags: books

February 5, 2010

One Thing At A Time

Anonymous asked: How do you maintain focus (on work, dreams, goals, life)?

You do one thing at a time.

-- Frank Chimero

I've been casting my net wide these past fews months and so far haven't found that one thing yet, but I know when I do it will ring true like is has in the past.

Tags: life quotes

February 3, 2010


Yesterday I bought a computer game. For those that know me well this may came as a big surprise since this isn't something I normally do. Lately I've found myself searching for something to sink my teeth into. I've not quite found it yet so I've been doing my best to not just sit in front of the television and watch movies. To that end a discussion at work recently brought up the game Braid. I have to say so far it is an awesome puzzle game, my favorite genre. The playing with time dynamic the game has isn't something I've seen in the few games I've played or heard about and it's done very well. Definitely worth the few bucks it cost me.

Tags: games life

February 2, 2010

Don't Make Me Think

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (2nd Edition) Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A no nonsense approach on how to design web sites to be as effective as possible. The second edition adds information on treating users well and designing for accessibility while trimming the focus on how to conduct usability testing. It has been a number of years since I first skimmed this book and I found the changes welcome. My biggest complaint with the book continues to be a lack of a summary or checklist on the high level points with references to where the topic is covered in more detail. While the book is concise enough to easily skim through I frequently found myself wishing for some more than just the index to find material when I wanted to review a topic. If even half the advice given in the book was followed the web would be twice as easy to use.

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Tags: books

February 1, 2010

NoSQL Rundown

I've been occasionally following NoSQL over the past year since starting to use SimpleDB for unstructured data storage. A lot of options have opened up and recently Tim Anglade put this list together that I thought was worth sharing. Hopefully I got all the links correct as they were not part of the original message.

  • ESRI ArcGIS (non-free)
  • Oracle's Spatial Layer (non-free)
  • SAND (academic Geographical/Spatial database)

Tags: nosql