Sentinel Dome

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Sentinel Dome Route

Slightly easier than Half Dome, and when you get to the top you get to look at Half Dome. What more could you ask for!

Rob & Kate approaching the top of Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park

(View in Google Earth)

Hike starts at: 37.715495, -119.584577.

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is an East Bay park spanning more than five thousand acres.

I spotted what looked like an easy four mile loop. It was nearly seven, I guess all the .3’s really do add up. The loop we did was a mix of exposed sunny ridgelines and shady canyons. We went on a ‘cold’ day which was still high 80s and a nice sweltering break from the San Francisco fog.

Kate; Jim's Place

Kate taking a break outside of ‘Jim’s Place’.

Gill & Kate

Gill and Kate, again outside of' ‘Jim’s Place’.

Gill; Pittsburg an the California Delta

Gill with a view to Pittsburg and the California Delta.

(View in Google Earth (KML))

Hike starts at: 37.958487, -121.862883.

Basic HTTP auth for an IIS hosted WCF 4 RESTful service

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wasted far too long on trying to get WCF to work with custom basic authentication this week. Custom in the sense that I need to look up the username and password in a database and not have IIS attempt to match the credentials to a Windows account. Given how well WCF 4.0 supports RESTful services in general it’s a bit shocking that basic auth over SSL isn’t supported out of the box. It seems like you should be able to derive and hook up a class from UserNamePasswordValidator, set the transport clientCredentialType to Basic and be ready to go. I’ve heard that this works for self-hosted services, but no dice in IIS.

Basic access authentication is a simple protocol and so in the end I added a helper method that checks for access (and in my case returns the user information for later use) at the start of each call into the service. It’s very simple:

  1. Check WebOperationContext.Current.IncomingRequest.Headers for an ‘Authorization’ header. If it’s there decode and validate the credentials.
  2. If the header is missing or the credentials are incorrect add the WWW-Authenticate header to the response - WebOperationContext.Current.OutgoingResponse.Headers.Add("WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm=\"myrealm\""); – and then throw a WebFaultException with a 401 Unauthorized status code.

This triggers a browser to prompt for your username and password and then try the request again. When calling the service in code you can add the ‘Authorization’ header preemptively and skip the 401 response entirely.

Reviews and links for August 2011

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

RESTful .NET by Jon Flanders

4/5

Great coverage of exposing and consuming a RESTful service using WCF. Note that you'll need the services of a good WCF book, this builds on existing WCF expertise and doesn't try that hard to bring you up to speed. Which isn't a bad thing, it keeps the book relatively short and focused. I'll be referring back to this one often.

 

Rule 34 by Charles Stross

4/5

Stross flips out concepts in a sentence that many SciFi authors would build an entire book around. It's a near-future police procedural set in Edinburgh. Twisted, tongue-in-cheek, profane and most excellent. The only miss is the assumption that people will use Wave in the near-future, let alone now. It's the first book of his that I've read... will be seeking out more soon.

 

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick

4/5

Epic. A must read for cybernauts who may have forgotten their roots. Good for anyone else interested in what information actually is, and how pervasive information theory has become.

 

Links

- Password Strength from xkcd.com (Read this now, then change your passwords!).

- Baby sex blood tests 'accurate' from BBC News - Home (Bad news for girls...).

- Are your genes somebody else's property? from All Salon (More patent stupidity, this time genes (@myEV)).

- IE users have lower IQ says study from BBC News - Home (Highest IQ? Telnet to port 80 directly).

The startup costs are too damned high

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Startup Legal and Technology Costs

The Startup Genome people have launched a complicated tool to benchmark your Startup against others.

I’ve developed a simpler model. It used to be you spent too much money on Sun and Oracle. Now it’s fighting off patent trolls.

Cycling again…

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

From Bernal Hill to The Presidio and back

…after a five year break and while it’s true that you don’t forget how, your knees can stop being quite so flexible. I’m eyeing up the dog’s glucosamine laced treats quite enviously.

Download.com goes nuclear

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

CNET download.com Download Manager

CNET stopped being a useful source of downloads for me ages ago. Over the lifetime of my account I’ve had nearly 100,000 downloads through CNET, but these days it’s one or two a week. I left my products up there anyway, but I’ve just asked them to remove everything they have listed for Catfood Software.

The reason is that CNET has rolled out a download manager that wraps every single download. Instead of the customer getting the product they thought they were downloading they are dumped into a CNET experience that tries to install a toolbar and push Bing / MSN into your browser defaults. Yuck.

It’s one thing for a vendor to partner this way. It’s quite another to roll it out site wide with little notification and no opt out, let alone a revenue share. CNET sell this as being about analytics. Of course it’s all about referral dollars. This isn’t the experience I want for my customers and so I’m pulling the plug on download.com.

Cam of Fortune!

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

We are working on a concept for a new game show. The working title is

Many thanks for sending us your outline for 'CAM OF FORTUNE'. Please bear with us while we consider your proposal, we will get back to you just as soon as we can...

Thank you for sending in your programme proposal

My first and last foray into being a TV production company. Tragic that this never got made…

Android: Insane Contacts Storage

Updated on Friday, May 22, 2020

Oh no:

Low on space (Android)

My phone keeps running out of space. A little sleuthing under Manage Applications shows that Contacts Storage is using over 32MB. Can’t move it to the SD Card – I guess this makes sense, although it would be nice to cache some of the non-essential data there. I’ve no idea if this is a HTC problem or an Android problem (I have a HTC Aria), but some Googling would seem to indicate that it’s not uncommon.

In the People app choosing View from the menu allows you to pick which sources to use to display contacts. I had 5,854 contacts from Twitter, despite having configured the Twitter app to only sync with existing contacts. I also had a bunch of Facebook contacts, with the same configuration (existing contacts).

I tried deleting Twitter from Accounts & Sync. This warned that it would remove contacts (great!) but after blowing it away Contacts Storage had more than doubled to over 70MB.

Time to go nuclear. I backed up existing contacts and then deleted all data from Contacts Storage. My phone is happy again.

Contacts and sync in general is the worst part of the Android experience. HTC Sync is a contact-duplicating, pop-up-and-wave-my-arms-in-the-air-every-time-I-do-anything piece of Adobe Air uselessness. Google really needs a better answer for people who live in Outlook on the desktop. Or maybe they’ll eventually grind me down into GMail…

Episode Four

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

President Barack Obama meets with staff to discuss ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to the debt limit and deficit reduction, in the Oval Office, July 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I became a US Citizen in 2010 so I didn’t get to vote in the last presidential election. If I had been able to vote it would absolutely have been for Obama. I was captivated by the promise of a transformational presidency. I should have known better and I was completely mistaken.

The outcome of the debt ceiling negotiation is motivating me to write about this now, but it’s really just the final straw. Well, not quite a straw, it’s unconscionable that an increase in tax revenue isn’t part of the deal. And how was the conversation boxed into subtle differences in where to cut trillions of dollars rather than why? It’s hard to think of a better way to increase unemployment and decrease growth.

Reasonable people can disagree on the budget. What really bothers me is that Obama has failed so comprehensively to rectify the damage that Bush did to America’s reputation and moral authority. If you want to spread democracy and freedom it would seem to me that the most powerful tool is providing a shining example and an inspiration. America has often played this role – never perfectly but the imperfections have historically been an embarrassment. Now, increasingly, they’re a source of pride: celebrating assassinations, brushing torture under the carpet, a war on whistleblowers and increased use of ‘state secrets’ to brush aside inconvenient due process.

On torture in particular Obama’s “…belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” kills me. It’s not a defense I feel I could use to fight a speeding ticket. It’s a complete abrogation of responsibility.

It also really bothers me that Obama can’t just come out as supporting gay Americans having he same rights as the rest of us.

All this leaves me with a large problem in 2012. Even though I live in California and therefore have a worthless vote I still take my electoral responsibility seriously. I just don’t think I can vote for this guy, even if he’s better than the alternative.

Obama: please don’t run in 2012. I need a new hope.