The Latest

Explore the Russian Troll Tweet Dump

NBC has published a database of the deleted Russian troll tweets. There’s even a nifty graph database for exploring them, Neo4j.

But what if you want to explore the data in your own PostgreSQL database? Here is some SQL to create the database and tables, import the CSV files, and convert text data to more convenient formats:

Tested on PostgreSQL 9.3.21, may require adaptation to work with other RDBMSs or versions. Enjoy!

Let’s Encrypt

I proudly installed my first GoDaddy cert back in 2014. A regular cert is only valid for a single specific site, in my case, It is not valid for subdomains like this blog. For that you would need a wildcard cert, which covers all subdomains as well. Unfortunately GoDaddy was charging more than four times the price of a regular cert to get a wildcard, so that was out of the question. Another option, buying two different certs also seemed expensive and annoying.

And so for the last couple years this blog has done without HTTPS. I’ve been learning a lot about Let’s Encrypt though, and decided to give it a shot. Let’s Encrypt is a new, free, open certificate authority that takes a different approach to validation.


New Router: Asus RT-N16

For the last year or so I’ve been using an old Linksys WRT54G router running the open-source DD-WRT software. This was particularly useful when it was operating as a wireless repeater, but it hasn’t done too well as a stand alone router. The truth is, the “G” has only 8MB of RAM… only half the amount of the more popular WRT54GL. I regularly experienced “drop-outs” and “lock-outs”, and rebooting was a nightly, sometimes hourly occurence.

Enter the Asus RT-N16. More…

iPhone 5 vs. Kyocera 6035

I just bought an iPhone 5. This is kind of big news to me, because this is the first smartphone I’ve had in 10 years.

That’s an impressive statement not only because I’ve managed to survive (and thrive) in the age of the iPhone without one so far, but also for the fact that I had a smartphone 10 years ago, before smartphone was even a term. In fact, thanks to my big brother, a sales rep at Verizon, I had Verizon’s first smartphone: the Kyocera 6035.

Kyocera 6035

And I loved it.

The 6035 ran Palm’s OS, and used a stylus and buttons to navigate the monochrome screen. You could enter text directly on the screen once you learned their special shorthand alphabet. I’d love to blame my poor penmanship on my mastery of the palm shorthand, but it was probably screwed up long before that. More…

Family Photo Project: The Beginning

My mom was the chief chronicler of family events, documenting every birthday, award ceremony, and lazy summer day with photos. She collected these into many large photo albums, complete with captions and goodies such as newspaper clippings.

Shortly before her passing several years ago, I inherited many of these albums. More…