'Amazon's Alexa Has 80k Apps and No Runaway Hit'

I read the headline of this article, and immediately had some thoughts:

I saw this coming a mile away, and I don’t know that there will ever be a “killer app” for these devices.

  1. Discovery: Installing the apps is relatively inconveneint / out of the way
  2. Usability: Using them is awkward (“Alexa, tell <app> <thing>”)
  3. Recall: An audio-based interface gives no opportunity to prompt you that an app you’ve installed even exists
  4. Crapflooding: A gold rush can drown out the gems.

Pitfalls of a Monorepo

At Lightning AI, we made the decision to use a monorepo a while back. By and large, we’ve been really happy with it. It’s made supporting developers within a diverse and complex code ecosystem much simpler.

Monkey Bread

My familys recipe for monkey bread, which varies from the traditional by being a biscuit not a dessert.

Fast GeoIP Queries in MySQL

Many moons ago, I tried to use the GeoIP database, via MySQL – and discovered that MySQL was doing the wrong thing with the queries. Naturally, I found some tricks to make it faster.

The AAIA ACES Datasets

Recently, I’ve been introduced to the AAIA’s ‘ACES’ datasets. These datasets aim to describe the make, model, and configuration of pretty much every vehicle in recent history.

Know What You're Actually Testing

Getting At Awkward Code, For Great Testing

A couple days ago, I wound up helping out a colleague on a problem he was having coming up with an appropriate test case for a piece of code in a Rails app. It reminded me that I had wanted to talk about how structuring your code affects what you are actually testing, and how that related to what you want to test.

Shamir's Secret Sharing

Shamir’s Secret Sharing is a mechanism by which N people may each have a piece of of information, such that when any M people come together the pieces can be used to reproduce a secret – but if only M-1 pieces are brought together, you have zero bits of the secret.

Zero-Day Magento EE Cache Poisoning Attack


Magento Enterprise Edition is vulnerable to poisoning of its page cache under some configurations due to inappropriate trust of HTTP Host header values.

Pathfinding in Unity

When it comes to pathfinding in Unity, you can roll your own, or use one of two publicly available resources. The most drool-worthy is AngryAnt’s Path. Having gotten way too familiar with the problem of pathfinding myself, and wanting a better workflow and richer capabilities than my home-grown solution affords me, I decided to poke around with AngryAnt’s code last night.

License of UnityUnit

I was asked today about what license UnityUnit is released under. Since I didn’t explicitly state the rights and terms one can’t reasonably assume that it is safe to use it! So, I am officially noting that all versions of UnityUnit to date are released under the BSD license. Enjoy!

Unit Testing in Unity

Until now, there has been no good solution for building unit tests for games built using Unity. As of today, there is. Get the package (version: 20090704) here.

Ruby on Rails and Performance. An Interesting Experience.

I was out sick yesterday, but I managed to spend a little time working on “SB”. I’ve been playing with Ruby on Rails for a couple months, but today I really began to grok where the limits are with respect to Ruby, Rails, and performance.

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