March 2015

Goodbye Meerkat

  • Posted on: 30 March 2015
  • By: davis

Meerket is plummeting. Everyone but their investors saw this coming.

Look, tech journalism is pretty awful, with very few and far between exceptions. Writing about technical, complex, sprawling ideas is fucking hard.

It seems that when faced with actual news (or lack thereof), most tech hournalists just regurgitate the latest press release emailed to them.

Retrieving RSS with Javascript and NoCache

  • Posted on: 30 March 2015
  • By: davis

I use Google Feeds API to power my RSS fetching for a couple applications. One inevitable problem with dynamically accessing RSS feeds is that they tend to be cached.

The easiest cache-busting Javascript trick, in my opinion, is to append your RSS Feed URI with ?nocache and a random value.

UPDATE 4/42015 - Removed the trailing '/' from the RSS URL below. The code will fail with Google Feed's API if you do not remove the trailing '/'. Alternatively, you may replace the ? with & if you wish to leave the slash.

LAMP Stack - PHP Files Only Downloading From Apache

  • Posted on: 30 March 2015
  • By: davis

Problem: All links that led to .php files were just being downloaded. This happened after I ran into apache2 issues with Rackspace's Monitoring Agent and my email generator.

After tearing my hair out, here's the solution I arrived at.

sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5
sudo a2enmod php5

Old Women in Cars and NCAA Madness

  • Posted on: 22 March 2015
  • By: davis

I do not like this trend. I'm watching NCAA's March Madness and cannot escape the constant advertisements featuring elderly people complaining in a vehicle. I get it, elderly people are out of touch and old and hahahah I'll totally buy your product because I'm not old and stupid like those people!

And then I'm watching Shaq be deliberately annoying. I don't watch many commercials nowadays, but the ones I do see all seem to be vying for the title of "Most Annoying On Purpose" (MAOP).

Updated to 7.35

  • Posted on: 21 March 2015
  • By: davis

I don't like this CMS. I can understand the potential for great things, I can just see it in all the ways they've made Drupal so flexible. But this is not an enjoyable CMS.

Updating is a hassle. Thankfully, nothing went wrong this time. But I still have memories of destroying my site on each update.

Wordpress, for all of its faults, has a quite simple auto-updater. Can this not be at least an option in Drupal 7?

Apache2 Conf Error

  • Posted on: 20 March 2015
  • By: davis

For this failure:

root @ cloud-server-XXX:/# sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload
apache2: Syntax error on line 223 of /etc/apache2/apache2.conf: Could not open configuration file /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/ No such file or directory
Action 'configtest' failed.
The Apache error log may have more information.!

The fix is to copy the file from /etc/apache2/sites-available and rename it to

Place that file in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/

Apache2 will then be happy.

The Technology-as-a-Religion Zealot

  • Posted on: 18 March 2015
  • By: davis

The Tech Zealot would have been extremely religious in another life. Brought into a world where religion is rapidly losing relevance and stature, the Tech Zealot disdains God and those who blindly follow him.

Instead, the Tech Zealot believes in the future. Everything's better in the future because of AI. Artificial Intelligence is just around the corner guys! All inequality will soon be solved!

The term Machine Learning literally gives this person a hard on. They can't help it. 

Wife Kills Husband via Drone: Headline of the Future

  • Posted on: 12 March 2015
  • By: davis

When will the first U.S. civilian be killed for domestic reasons by a drone?

Of course, the U.S. government has already dealt with the qualms of assassinating U.S. citizens overseas via drone. 

But as drones become more ubiquitous by the day, when will we see the first real negative domestic effects of this technology?

The White House, presumably well defended, had a quadcopter recently land within its walls. There were no ill intentions involved. Just a simple misunderstanding.

What happens when people start killing each other with these things?