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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Shlomi Fish's Home Site's LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 -- Next 20 >> ]
Saturday, August 7th, 2010
3:02 pm
“COBOL - The New Age Programming Language”, “Don’t Abuse JavaScript”, and other news

There’s a new parodical page titled “COBOL - The New Age Programming Language”:


And so do:

  • Your bank.
  • Your insurance company.
  • Your government.

COBOL runs your life.

A new page “Don’t Abuse JavaScript!” has been added.

JavaScript has become popular due to being useful for scripting browsers, which is acceptable due to being the only commonly-acceptable portable choice for that. However, lately, it has been utilised as a host language for many other realms where there are far saner and superior alternatives.

This page aims to explain why JavaScript should not be abused for such stuff.

There are new fortune cookies:

  • dxtr: Do we have any doctors in here?
  • rindolf: dxtr: with Ph.D. or M.D.?
  • munik: I have a PhD in Linguistics!
  • munik: ^ lie
  • munik: :]
  • dxtr: rindolf: I don’t care as long as they can treat patients
  • rindolf: dxtr: heh.
  • munik: :o
  • munik: webmd.com
  • munik: might be better than #perl
  • dxtr: rindolf: That question would be fun in combat. “WE NEED A DOCTOR HERE!” - “PH.D OR M.D!?”

More recommended open source programs have been added to the favourite open source programs page, including Xfce, Pidgin, tmux and htop.

The Cross-platform abstraction libraries is now licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence.

There’s now a list of calculators on the numerical software page.

There are new links in the “Stop Using Internet Explorer” page the anti-Apple page, and in the PHP Sucks page,

A greasemonkey script to fix a qa.mandriva.com annoyance has been added to the Greasemonkey scripts section. Furthermore, the remove “from=rss” script was updated to deal with the even more obnoxious “from=rss” suffix in recent URLs.

I added details of my Acer Laptop to the “Computers’ Specifications” question on the FAQ.

The site’s source page was updated with up-to-date instructions.

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
10:22 am
Presentation about Mojolicious::Lite and New Fortune Cookies

The slides for a presentation I’ve given about the Mojolicious::Lite web-development micro-framework are now online.

There are new fortune cookies on the Fortune Cookie collection:

  • rindolf: She’s a hot chick.
  • rindolf: But she smokes.
  • go|dfish: She can smoke as long as she’s smokin’.

The “Stop Using Internet Explorer!” was enhanced with two new links and the browser coverage there was updated.

There’s now a collection of other high-quality lists of open source software on my favourite free software page.

Here is a stub page for the “Announcing Freecell Solver™ Enterprise Edition” bit.

The front page was styled to look less like a blog, which will hopefully make fewer people think that that is indeed the case.

Some new text was added to the story The Pope Died on Sunday (in Hebrew).

Saturday, March 20th, 2010
10:18 pm
Division Two Magazine and “12 Things a Klingon Programmer Would Say”

Division Two Magazine and “12 Things a Klingon Programmer Would Say”

I’ve set up a mirror of the old Division Two Magazine site that went offline and was replaced by a parked domain. Lots of gems there:

Today I’m going to tackle one of the hottest topics in the industry, comparing Microsoft’s latest offerings to the offerings being released by the major Linux players for both network servers and desktop solutions. I am going to steer clear of “total cost of ownership” arguments, because Microsoft has already funded extensive research that has proven Windows is cheaper to own and operate than Linux. I’m going to be looking at the issue from a pure usability perspective. Which platform saves me the most time? Which platform has the features I need? Which platform has the best third party applications and utilities?

(See “Windows vs. Linux on the Server and the Desktop” by Jorge Lopez, MCSE for more.)

I also added “Top 12 things likely to be overheard if you had a Klingon Programmer” (which was also not originated by me):

12) “Specifications are for the weak and timid!”

11) “This machine is a piece of GAGH! I need dual Pentium processors if I am to do battle with this code!”

10) “You cannot really appreciate Dilbert unless you’ve read it in the original Klingon.”

There are two new fortunes on the shlomif-fav collection.

Added Waf to the “Software Construction and Management Tools” directory. Added Bluefish and Code::Blocks to the list of Editors and IDEs.

New links in anti-Apple page, and the “Stop Using Internet Explorer“ page.

Finally as part of the conversion of the Website META Language’s build system from GNU Autotools to CMake, the web-site’s build process was cleaned up and updated to build more cleanly.

Current Mood: productive
Thursday, February 18th, 2010
5:44 pm
“Escape from GNU Autohell”, List of Editors and IDEs and Factoids’ Fortunes Collection

There’s a new joke in the aphorisms’ collection:

English spelling aims to be consistent. Publicly and methodically.

I added a new fortune cookies’ collection with factoids about Chuck Norris/etc., concentrating the ones from the collections of facts section. There are also some new fortune cookies there:

  • Shlomif:BTW, have you read my stories yet?
  • Sjors:I haven’t
  • Shlomif:Ah.
  • Shlomif:If you read my stories, I’ll give you 1,000,000 virtual dollars.
  • Sjors:Causing me to have a lot of extra virtual time!
  • Shlomif:And be virtually rich.
  • Shlomif:And then you can virtually bribe virtual politicians.
  • Shlomif:And buy a lot of virtual goods.
  • Shlomif:LOL.
  • Sjors:Then, I’d be virtually happy
  • Sjors:Too bad... :P
  • Shlomif:It’s a virtual win-win situation.
  • Shlomif:You can hire many virtual programmers to write a lot of virtual code for KMess.
  • Shlomif:“My old virtual dad used to say to me: ‘virtual money does not bring you virtual happiness, my virtual son.’”

There’s a new page with a list of text editors and IDEs. I also added a page titled “Escape from GNU Autohell!” explaining why the GNU Autotools suck so much and why you should switch to CMake or a different (and better) alternative.

I added a new Greasemonkey script for providing self-links for headers with an id= attribute.

The Freecell Solver project intro now contains a summary.

Thursday, January 14th, 2010
8:51 pm
New Programs, New Fortunes, and a New Revision of “The Case for Drug Legalisation”

I added the 5^n riddle page to the puzzles section.

Two new fortunes have been added to the fortunes’ collection:

  • rindolf: Su-Shee: “I always wonder why the people I hang out with are so pedantic. And then I remember: because they are so pedantic.” — a Perl-ILer. ;-)
  • Zaba: rindolf, because they use warnings
  • * rindolf adds “use Zaba;” to his code.
  • Zaba: oh no, I’m being used!
  • * rindolf adds “abuse Zaba;” to his code.
  • rindolf: Next: “misuse Zaba;”
  • Zaba: ouch!

The English version of “The Case for Drug Legalisation” is now at the second revision with a note about “Why Politicians Support The Prohibition”.

There’s now an automated solver for Black Hole Solitaire available on the site and I also started maintaining libtap again. I also added a Ruby script for setting the names (and number) of XFCE’s workspaces/virtual desktops.

Links to some prominent programs were added to the Directory of Numerical Software page.

The annoying text-on-hover over the sections of all the DocBook/XML-based essays (using the title attribute) was eliminated by using a DocBook/XSL customisation.

Finally, I performed many changes to the homepage’s internals and build system that will allow for an easier maintenance into the future.

Monday, December 14th, 2009
10:58 pm
New Text for The Blue Rabbit’s Log, The Parable of the Elephant in the Circus, Directory of Numerica

New text was added to The Blue Rabbit Log screenplay:

[ A crowded pub in the role-played world. The Blue Rabbits enter. ]

Clover: OK, now that our horses are in the stable, we can get some rest. [Hands some coins to the pub-man] Meals and drinks for the six of us.

Guy sitting on a stool at the bar (Guy #1): hey, I think I recognise you. You’re The Blue Rabbit Adventuring company, right?

Clover: yes, we are. [does a rudimentary bow] Clover, at your service!

Guy #1: hell, I ain’t need your service!

Guy #2: yeah, we don’t need no adventurers’ service here.

Guy #1: yeah, problem with adventurers - they are trouble makers. They create troubles where none exist before so they can solve them later.

Guy #2: yeah! [and he shakes mugs with Guy #1]

The Computer Art page was made more semantic and accessible.

I added my contributions to Mandriva to the page “Contributions Made to External Open-Source Projects”.

A new mini-directory of prominent Numerical Software (currently heavily incomplete) has been added to Open Source resources section.

The “shlomif” collection of fortunes which was getting very big and out of control has span-out the Freenode #perl fortune cookies and Freenode ##programming fortune cookies. There are some new fortunes there.

I added the text of the parable of the Elephant in the Circus:

I once walked to a circus and saw a huge elephant tied to a small poll with a rope, just standing there. So I wondered why is the elephant so obedient and doesn’t break away from the stick with all of its enormous strength and mass. So they told me this story: once when the elephant was very young, it was tied to the pole the same way. Naturally, it didn’t like that and tried to escape, but try as it might, the rope and the pole were too strong for it. So the elephant eventually gave up.

Finally, the section navigation menus of the various sections are now formatted in a nice, expandable, GUI-like tree (assuming JavaScript is enabled). If JavaScript is not enabled, there’s a standard HTML fallback. This is thanks to jQuery TreeView Plugin

Thursday, November 19th, 2009
10:04 pm
Second Revision of “Create a Great Personal Home Site”

The second revision of the essay “Create a Great Personal Home Site” has now been finally published and is available for public viewing:

It’s amazing how much has changed since I’ve published this article a few years ago. The most important trend was probably that personal blogs seem to have become much more prevalent than personal web-sites up to the point that some people referred to www.shlomifish.org as a blog. I have been annoyed at this to some extent, and even wrote an entire essay about the distinction between a home page and a blog and why this homepage is not a blog.

Nevertheless, as an active blogger, it’s not that I hate blogs or try to underrate them - it’s just that I think that I invest more effort and rigour in writing articles or essays on my home page, than I do on the various random stuff I post to my blogs. (Or to other similar public channels, such as mailing lists, web forums, comments on other people’s blogs, etc.). I also feel that it is easier to find posts on my personal web-site than on most people’s blogs.

Current Mood: productive
Friday, November 13th, 2009
3:19 pm
New Material for the Stories and a Page for the XML-Grammar Project

The texts of the lists of stories and their descriptions in the Humour page and its Stories section were merged, updated and enhanced.

There are new Chuck Norris Factoids:

Chuck Norris is the greatest man in history. He killed all the great men who could ever pose a competition.

There’s also a new factoid about XSLT:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil redirects to XSLT.

The text of The Pope Died on Sunday was converted to XML-Grammar-Fiction (see below) and was continued a little. The story is written in Hebrew, and there is still no English translation.

The original screenplay The Blue Rabbit’s Log has new text and its ideas page has also been updated:

[ Mordox disappears. The Blue Rabbits arrive. Bryte sees Galku who tries to look innocent, but Bryte rushes to him and lifts him up in the air. ]

Clover: you, where’s Mordox? Tell us what you know!

Galku: What are you looking at me? I’m completely innocent!

Galku: See no incredible selfishness and total in-consideration of everybody else’s welfare and interests. Hear no incredible selfishness and total in-consideration of everybody else’s welfare and interests.

Bryte: you mean “See no evil - hear no evil”?

Galku: I knew it was a good definition.

There’s also some new text in Star Trek: “We, the Living Dead”:

[ Katie is sitting on a table in DS9. She is busy writing something on a qwerty-like keyboard attached to a small text pad. Jake approaches her. ]

Jake: Katie, oh there you are. I thought that OTF-1 left DS9 already.

Katie: yes, it did, I’m still technically working for them.

Jake: really, how?

Katie: with the marvels of technology: remote access and Q-ness.

Jake: Q-ness?

Katie: yes, check this out.

[ Katie stands up, makes a gesture with her hand. A portal appears near the ground showing a different part of DS9. She steps into it, and the portal closes. A few moments later, a normal Star-Trek door opens and Katie steps out of it. ]

Katie: tada!

Jake: wow! So you are now “Qatie” with a Q?

Katie: Qatie [with a Qoph sound] heh, I like it.

The XML sources of the fortunes cookie files are now viewable as HTML from the web, and naturally, there are newer entries.

There’s a new design for graphics based on an old aphorism of me.

There’s now a page for the Web-CPAN XML-Grammar meta-project, which aims to create re-usable XML grammars and related tools for various purposes, and there’s a page for the XML-Grammar-Fiction module for writing works of prose.

The page design and layout were slightly improved with some important links at the bottom (Web 2.0-style), old cruft removed from the left side bar, and other changes.

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
12:58 pm
New Slogans’ Art Page, New “Objectivism and Open Source” and Improvements to the Humour Pages

There’s a new page in the computer art section with graphic designs for slogans in SVG formats. Unless noted otherwise, they are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (Unported) licence. Next, I’m planning to prepare some more designs, and make some merchandise based on them.

&quot;Don’t believe in fairies&quot; thumbnail

The style of the sites’ pages was tweaked, so the main article text will be wider.

The licensing of Humanity - The Movie was clarified.

There are new shlomif UNIX fortune cookies and some new ones in subversion:

bzr is slower than Subversion in combination with Sourceforge.

Dazjorz (17-September-2009)

The ideas page of The Blue Rabbit’s Log screenplay was heavily reformatted.

There’s some new text in the Conclusions and reviews of The Human Hacking Field Guide.

The Second Revision of my essay “Objectivism and Open Source” is available.

I added a list of “planets” (= feed aggregators) that syndicate my blogs.

Many spelling/grammar/etc. errors were corrected in the Perl for Newbies series courtesy of Mike McClain.

I hope you enjoy these new additions, and have a happy Sukkoth!

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
10:12 pm
New Humour Pages and Additions

The page with my own Chuck Norris facts has accumulated some newer facts:

  • Deletionists delete Wikipedia articles. Chuck Norris deletes deletionists who delete Wikipedia articles.
  • Chuck Norris reads all messages posted to LKML (= the Linux Kernel Mailing List), understands them all, and he kills all gnomes he sees in sight.

There’s also a new page with an ongoing collection of facts about Xena, the Warrior Princess, who is, for a change, a female target of exaggerated factoids.

  • Xena can meet King David for breakfast and Julius Caesar for lunch. Without time travel.
  • No one calls Xena the warrior princess “Zeena” to her face and survives. Lucky for you she hasn’t visited modern-day U.S. yet.

The Blue Rabbit Log is an old screenplay I began writing that is still under construction. It aims to be a crazy comedy about Fantasy Role Playing Games:

Galku: Yes, it is my speciality to neutralise such characters who prevent raising your ambitious evil projects.

Mordox: What did you say?

Galku: I said I get rid of such characters who prevent raising your evil projects.

Mordox: You said my projects are evil? How dare you! My projects are in no way evil. They are just incredibly selfish and totally inconsiderate of everybody else’s interests and welfare.

Galku: I couldn’t define evil better myself.

Mordox: Did I get you here to write a dictionary of the English language?

Galku: No, but as a matter of fact I am writing one myself, as a hobby. The last word I wrote the definition for was “evidently”, and I think the next word will be...

Mordox: Cut it out! Now, where were we?

Galku: I just said it is my speciality to get rid of characters who prevent raising your incredibly selfish and totally inconsiderate of everybody else’s interests and welfare projects.

I’ve started writing a conclusions and reviews page for my story The Human Hacking Field Guide

There are new English and Hebrew revisions of my story - The Enemy and How I Helped to Fight it with many corrections. Furthermore, the source files have been converted to XHTML instead of OpenOffice.org.

There is a new scene in Star Trek: “We, the Living Dead” called “Meet Q Gadol”.

I added an F.A.Q. question and answer about “What are your computers’ specifications”.

Current Mood: productive
Saturday, September 12th, 2009
3:13 pm
New Aphorisms, Collections of Humorous “Facts” and Hebrew Translation of “Define Zionism”

There are four new aphorisms in the aphorisms’ collection:

A kid always wishes they were older until they are 18. Afterwards, they always wish they were younger.

There’s a new sub-section of my humour section dedicated to collections of “facts” about various things that my friends or I originated. Right now, there are some facts about Chuck Norris, why Knuth (= the famous computer scientist) is not God, some facts about Larry Wall (the software developer known for Perl) and some about how and why XSLT is evil. More additions are welcome:

  • Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.
  • Chuck Norris is the ghost author of the entire Debian GNU/Linux distribution. And he wrote it in 24 hours, while taking snack breaks.
  • Bugs are too much afraid to reproduce on Chuck Norris’ computer. As a result, when he uses Microsoft Windows, it behaves just like a Linux system.

There’s now an mp3 version of the “Yonathan Haqatan” MOD Techno/Dance version (which my friend and I prepared). Hopefully, it will be good enough to be heard by people who are unable to play module files.

There’s now a Hebrew translation of “Define ‘Zionism’!” available.

the Spark page was updated with many corrections, new links, and more content:

As opposed to Arc, which shipped with no automated tests, Spark will be developed in a Test-driven development fashion. Namely, it will have a comprehensive test suite that will need to fully pass upon any commit to the trunk (or “master” or whatever the main branch is called).

The code of the tests is not expected to be authoritative for how the final version of the language will behave. Rather, some future design decisions will require changing the code of a lot of the tests accordingly.

I still don’t have a clear idea of how to design a lot of “big picture” Spark design decisions. While I believe that design is good, I also think that Spark should be designed incrementally, and that we can expect many design decisions to change. Test-driven development, while accepting the fact that often a lot of testing code will need to be modified, will allow us to do that.

I have added JavaScript-based text ads courtesy of AdEngage to the top of the page. My hope is that they will provide me with some extra income for maintaining the site, as a replacement to the Google AdSense ads that have been suspended. Being textual ads, they hopefully should note be too intrusive, and I hope people can relate to my desire to be rewarded for the hard work I put into the site and the costs of hosting it.

I have made several spelling, grammar, etc. corrections to some of my stories and screenplays.

Finally, I should note that I’ve heard several critiques of the new style, which emphasised some problems with it. While it is more attractive than the old one, it results in a narrow content section, especially where the section navigation menu is present. I’m currently working on trying to improve the new design or to replace it with a new one, so stay tuned.

Monday, August 31st, 2009
10:58 pm
Wikepedians Lightbulb Joke, Open Source Licences Wars and New Fortune Cookies

There’s a new humorous bit “How many Wikipedia Editors does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?” and as an experiment I’ve enabled the JavaScript-based Disqus comments on that page.

There’s a new essay called “FOSS Licences Wars” about Open Source Licences:

When Joel Spolsky (Joel on Software) wrote his notorious blog post “Language Wars”, many people asked whether he has “jumped the shark” and that his blog will go downhill from there. I too have read the post, and agreed, that while it had a few good points, it was too based on “feeling rather than knowing”. Joel later on posted many good articles and shorter entries on his blog, but many people still recalled it as a very low-point in the blog.

Like Joel, I have a home-site and several blogs, where I post articles and essays about my thoughts, and this time I’ve decided to risk something similar to what Joel has done on an equally flamatory topic: licences of open-source software. I’m going to introduce the various options, explain a little about their motivation and then give some advice according to my own personal opinion.

It was already featured on several sites including on Slashdot.

There are some new fortune cookies in the “shlomif” collection:

PHP error debug list:

1) did you use the correct argument order? if you’re a good programmer, use the *reverse* from what you think it is. see if it works. no? you’re not a good programmer, or you learned php’s braindeadness and can go on to step 2).

2) did you think about your code? if so, don’t. php will do it for you so you can do mindbogglingly stupid stuff, such as not escape the data that goes into your sql queries.



Sunday, August 16th, 2009
10:40 pm
Spark, Perl for Newbies Part 5, and Template Toolkit Presentation

I added some pages about Spark - a new dialect of Lisp under planning, including its mission statement:

While other general purpose Lisps such as Common Lisp, Scheme, Arc or Clojure have been influential and have some followers and users, none of them are actively used with the same popularity as Perl, Python, Ruby or PHP are. Spark aims to be a popular lisp dialect which will be actively used for real-world tasks, not just toy or experimentation code.

Eventually, it is our hope that some people will get paid to maintain Spark code. Some of them against their best preferences, like some people now are maintaining Perl 5, PHP or even Python code while preferring a different language. (Simply because it puts bread on their table, and they cannot get paid to write something else.)

I added the fifth part of the Perl for Newbies tutorials/presentations. Furthermore, the Larry Wall presentation, “The Taming of the Camel” is now available there (with a working link). Moreover, there’s now an up-to-date summary of the material covered.

The slides of the lightning talk about the Template Toolkit now has the up-to-date slides in OpenDocument and PDF formats.

There’s now a recommendation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail on the recommended films page.

Many of the fortune cookies were enhanced with better markup, hyperlinks and some corrections.

File-Find-Object was added to the FOSS contributions page.

Finally, the sources for the various Quad-Pres talks are now kept inside the homepage’s version control, which simplifies their build process. This is an infrastructure change that should help in the site’s maintenance.

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
6:56 pm
New Look, New Humour Items, Updated Software Pages and More

The biggest news this time is that the site has an opossum new look based on an adapted version of the smoked WordPress Theme by iconstantin. There may be some more quirks lurking in the design, so please report them to me if you find them. I’d also like to thank Zoffix Znet and other IRC people for some insights on how to fix problems I had with adapting the CSS.

There’s a new joke on the Aphorisms page:

What does “IDK” stand for? I don’t know.

It was also added to fortune cookies collection

New original bit - “Programs Every Programmers Has Written”, new fortune cookies and a a new bit I’ve copied from elsewhere: “How Many [Usenet] Newsgroup Readers does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?”

The Toggle Squares Game now has better accessibility.

The per-song volume Amarok script is now available for Amarok 2.x too.

Added OpendDBX to the portability libraries page

The page of File-Find-Object was greatly enhanced with new modules and a new blog post.

Added a page about Docmake - a Perl-based tool to render DocBook/XML.

There’s now a page with screenshots of CPANHQ, a web-interface for CPAN under development.

There are new links on the anti-bad-software pages.

The “Add This” button which sometimes caused a Flash applet to be displayed on the page was replaced by a much superior Share This button. Hope you enjoy it.


Saturday, July 11th, 2009
3:54 pm
My Google AdSense Account Was Suspended - Now What?

My “Mastering cat” April Fool’s feature proved to be very popular. It was featured on Slashdot and on other sites, and drove a lot of traffic to my site. However, as it seems it had one unfortunate effect of Google suspending my AdSense account. Or at least I suspect that was the problem.

On 5-April-2009, I received the following message from Google AdSense:

Title: Google AdSense Account Disabled


While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your account.

Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions about your account or the actions we’ve taken, please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by visiting https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153.


The Google AdSense Team

I went to the page, filed an appeal and got the following response (sent in Hebrew due to Google localisation and quoted here):


אנו מודים לך על שהעברת אלינו ערעור בנושא השבתת חשבון AdSense. הודעה זו מאשרת שקיבלנו את הערעור ששלחת.

נשתדל לבדוק את את חשבונך בהקדם, אך בהתחשב בהיקף הבקשות המופנות אלינו, ייתכן שיחלפו 48 שעות או יותר עד שנענה. כמו כן תגובתנו יכולה להתעכב, אם שלחת את בקשתך במהלך סוף השבוע. בנוסף שים לב שערעור על השבתת חשבון AdSense אינו מבטיח שהוא יוחזר.

כתזכורת, אם יש לך שאלות לגבי חשבונות שהושבתו בשל פעילות מודעות לא חוקית, עיין בסעיף ’שאלות נפוצות לגבי חשבון מושבת בשל פעילות לא חוקית‘.

תודה על הסבלנות וההבנה.

בכבוד רב,

צוות Google AdSense

Original Message Follows:
From: shlomif@iglu.org.il
Subject: Invalid Activity Appeal
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 20:02:58 +0000

01_Origin: helpcenter
02_FormType: appeal_form
03_Language: en
04_AdSenseLocale: en_US
07_Name: Shlomi Fish

09_AdSenseLogin: shlomif@iglu.org.il
10_PubId: pub-2480595666283917
11_ExampleUrl: http://www.shlomifish.org/ , http://fc-solve.blogspot.com/
12_DisablingMonth: Apr
13_DisablingDay: 5
14_DisablingYear: 2009
15_AlreadyAppealed: no
16_OtherAccount: no
18_WebAudience: It’s my personal homepage, so people who arrive at its various resources: pages about software, stories and aphorisms, technical presentations and essays.
19_UserGeography: My site is mostly written in English and appeals to International surfers. I get traffic from many countries.
20_UserAccessMode: I haven’t checked, but expect mostly from homes, offices, universities and other schools.
21_ScrapedContent: None, except limited quotations and some pages that became offline and were preserved on my site.
22_ContentSources: It’s almost entirely my own.
23_NumAdmins: Only I.
24_UpdateFrequency: Normally, a few times a week.
25_BoughtTraffic: no
26_UsePayTo: no
27_TrafficSources: From search engines, and links in news sites/blogs. I promote recent features of my sites on my weblogs, in news sites such as http://osnews.com/ and http://reddit.com/ and to a lesser extent as blog comments on other people’s blogs.
28_AdvertiserValue: My site has a lot of high-quality content, and attracts many visitors.
29_UserIncentive: Don’t think they would.
30_ViolatedTerms: No.
31_InvalidActivity: On April’s Fools’ Day 2009, I published the following feature on my site:


It got featured on Slashdot here:


(And possibly other sites).

I suspect that it may have increased the traffic to my site (at least temporarily) significantly, which as a result got erroneously classified as suspicious activity. 32_SuspiciousData: I don’t think there was, but I’m going to go over the logs from March and April, just to be sure.

The Hebrew tells me that they’ll try to inspect my account soon, but that due to the many requests, it may take them “48 hours or more” to return to me. I haven’t received a human response to my request (after this automated reply) since this appeal was sent in 5-April, despite the fact that I submitted another appeal, a few weeks ago.

Next I tried asking the Google AdSense support forum for help. Some people there responded but none of them were Google employees. Someone suggested it was caused by the fact that I didn’t have a contact form, which doesn’t make sense because my unobfuscated email is clearly visible at the bottom of most pages, and because I have a visible “Contact Me” page with many other ways of reaching me. They also suggested it was caused by the fact I lacked a privacy policy, which is admittedly a problem, but I added one since then and if Google were so concerned about it, they could have requested that I add one, and I would have happily complied. And the lack of privacy policy does not cause a “significant risk to advertisers”. There was also something about “not allowed on personal sites”, which makes no sense, because I’ve seen Google AdSense on many personal blogs and sites.

After the initial announcement (which could have been sent automatically without human intervention for all I know), I have been unable to log into my Google AdSense account. I later tried contacting a friend who works for Google, but he’s working for Google Open Source, and could not help me with AdSense. Someone I talked with told me that Google give awful support to people with AdSense and AdWords, and it seems that I’m not an exception to this.

According to the Wikipedia Google claimed that they have disabled the AdSense accounts due to click fraud. I can swear that I have never engaged in click fraud, unless you call occasionally clicking on a few ads (probably less than 20) that were published on my site and that I found interesting as “click fraud” (during the entire time I had AdSense). I don’t rule out that someone else has repetitively or in an automated manner clicked on my ads, but they would gain nothing from it, because the revenues from the ads goes to me. Therefore, it seems unlikely.

I have received at least two payments from Google from my ad revenue and was happy about that, but I lost all the revenue from the last payment, including that generated by the “Mastering cat” feature, which has significantly increased the number of hits on my site on 1 of April.

I’m publishing this entry here so hopefully someone from Google who is able to help me, would volunteer to do so. If that fails as well, I’ll have to look for a different ad provider. It’s sad that Google handles innocent web-masters like me so badly, and lack so much efficiency (despite the fact that their motto is “don’t be evil.”), especially on the service that brings them the most revenue.

Monday, May 25th, 2009
5:40 pm
Toggle Squares Game, A New Privacy Policy, and Other Updates

The Toggle Squares game whose link was broken, and non-functional, was restored and placed on the main site, as a pure-JavaScript game. A method for solving it is explained in the MathVentures section.

A privacy policy has been added to the site. I’d like to thank a friend who is also a webmaster for allowing me to borrow and adapt his privacy policy.

The Anti-Apple Page now contains 99 items with links. Other pages against bad software were also updated.

The page about the Mastering Cat book, which proved to be very popular has been updated with “Thanks” and “Coverage” sections.

There are new Fortune Cookies in the collection:

Well, it’s not a threat - it’s a warning, and he won’t be harmed much by acting against my advice. A threat is something like “Stop posting political posts or I will burn your house, rape your wife and daughters, banish you to the middle of Antarctica, convert all your Perl code to PHP, and then post it on thedailywtf.com.”

My Resumés have been enhanced and updated.

There is a new version of the First-Come First-Served Readers/Writers Lock.

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
8:03 am
New Book Coming Soon

Mastering cat

It’s official! I’m going to publish a new book soon, and I placed a new interview with me about it. Read it so you’ll understand why Mastering cat would be an essential addition to your collection of technical books.

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
2:40 pm
Friday, March 13th, 2009
10:42 pm
The Homesite Build Instructions are Operational Again

The build instructions for the main www.shlomifish.org site are now operational again after a long time when they were out-of-date. Part of the reason why they were not kept out of date was that the public sources of the site have grown out-of-date from those stored in my local copy. This was recently fixed with some kind insights and guidance by Matt S. Trout. Since I promised 50 U.S. Dollars to the first person that will help me fix my source control problems, and Matt provided all the help I ended up needing, I will donate them on his behalf to the Enlightened Perl Organisation. Many thanks!

And here are the rest of the changes in the site’s content that took place since the last update - for those who are not only interested in building it.

There are two new bits in the collection of Aphorisms:

God gave us two eyes and ten fingers so we will type five times as much as we read.

The File-Find-Object homepage was updated with more text.

There are new links in the against bad software pages.

A lot of broken HTML and XHTML in the site was fixed, and all the pages were made to validate.

New Fortune Cookies were added and existing ones were fixed (and there are some more in the pipe):

Mel|work Yaakov: icke==troll?
rindolf Mel|work: no, he’s not a troll.
Yaakov Mel|work: No, icke is just... enthusiastic about “channel purity”
Mel|work k....
* rindolf hates when people abuse the == operator in English for “contained in”
apeiron rindolf, “icke contained in troll”? That’s not what Mel|work meant.
tarbo sure he did, if you make troll a set of users
rindolf apeiron: what he meant by icke == troll is that icke belongs to the set of trolls.
rindolf apeiron: not that every troll in the world is icke.
apeiron rindolf, No, he was asking if icke is a troll.
icke $icke->isa(‘Troll’);
icke (false)
rindolf apeiron: is-a means “contained in the set of objects with the property of”
rindolf apeiron: mathematically speaking.
apeiron rindolf, Okay, so you’re assigning the mathematical meaning of == to its usage in a *perl* channel?
apeiron rindolf, Now who’s fiddling with meanings, eh?
rindolf apeiron: whatever.
apeiron ‘whatever’ is what those who have lost their argument say.
rindolf apeiron: whatever.
apeiron ^ QED
rindolf apeiron: whatever.
PerlJam apeiron: I thought that’s what people who don’t care say.
apeiron PerlJam, If one doesn’t care, they wouldn’t respond.
PerlJam apeiron: whatever
PerlJam ;-)
rindolf LOL.

A coverage and commentary section was added to the recently published “Optimizing Code for Speed” essay.

Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, February 12th, 2009
10:26 pm
“Optimizing Code for Speed” and more minor changes

A new essay about optimising code for speed has been published:

We’ve all seen the fact that while computers got faster, software has often become slower to run unless the hardware is upgraded. The so-called “Gates’ Law” claims that commercial programs decrease in speed by half every 18 months, due to various reasons. It is well known that the various versions of the DOS operating system ran adequately on a PC XT’s and 286’s and that a Intel 386 was a “lean and mean DOS machine” as a certain journalist claimed back then. On the other hand, Microsoft Windows 3.0 and Microsoft Windows 3.1 already required a fast 486 computer to be ran comfortably, while Windows 95 was barely usable there and needed a Pentium computer. Windows XP already ran slowly on a Pentium machine and required a high end Pentium III or Pentium 4 computer. Windows Vista requires even more hardware resources than Windows XP, up to the point that many computers in use today cannot run it comfortably.

Now, while software simulations that run directly against the CPU and memory (and possibly hard-disk) are still running much faster than before, the responsiveness of the system itself does not seem to improve much.

The Mini-Intro “Welcome to Linux” lecture was now integrated into the rest of the site. There are two versions of its slides available: one with a point-by-point display (useful for presenting interactively), and the other with all the text displayed at once (useful for browsing from the web).

New Fortune Cookies have been added to the fortune cookie collection:

R is similar to other programming languages, like C, Java and Perl, in that it helps people perform a wide variety of computing tasks by giving them access to various commands.

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