Recent “job” offer

Cool job offer guy

So I was minding my own business when I little alert email from my Ubercart account came in to tell me that i had a message waiting. I haven’ been involved in the Ubercart project for over 2 years and was surprised. I was unamazed to find an job offer (since the last 10 messages from there have been individuals looking for a cheap way to get an online store happening). The job offer was fairly long and boring so I didn’t bother reading it before my first replay:

Me
where is it and whats the rate?
NorWing
You can work from home.
We’re in European Union.
The project have a fix price. We’re not interested regarding hourly rate.
Thank you for your attention!

The words “fixed price” immediately made me lose interest. Every web-geek has done her fair share of “fixed price” jobs with unfixed hours. BUT you never knew. They might have a lot of cash “fixed”…?

Me
So then what is the time frame and how much can you offer?
NorWing
Your question it’s not pretty cool..
You don’t know nothing about the project and you’re asking for money?

“cool”? I knew this guy was a serious business guy now I did. But he was right! I still hadn’t read anything about the job. So I did…

General Requirements:
• Proficiency in PHP and Javascript, preferably jQuery
• Experience with Drupal, preferably Drupal 7
• Familiarity with Context, Features and other Drupal site-building modules
• Experience with version control, especially Git
• Familiarity with Apache, Nginx, Linux, MySQL
• Knowledge of web standards, including HTML, XHTML, CSS, XML
• Creativity, initiative, follow-through, meticulous attention to detail
and impeccable organizational skills

The usual “You will know EVERY technology we can think of which may-or-may-not be relavent to this project (just in case)”. The ending was interesting however:

We request technical recommendations and technical plan for the project.
Also we want to see your projects in Drupal 7 / Ubercart 3 and recommendations from these projects!

Time frame it’s VERY VERY important! In this way, you’ll work with our team.

Payments: we’ll release multiple payments after every specified task according with oDesk policy for fixed price jobs. We don’t release upfront payments.
The contract can be divided in max. 5 tasks.

IF YOU’RE THINKING THAT YOU’RE NOT EXPERT IN THIS KIND OF WORK, PLEASE DON’T SPEND YOUR TIME AND DON’T APPLY!

WE PREFER INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPER(Engineer!), INSTEAD COMPANY!

Yes, the old “Time frame it’s VERY VERY important!” line, and they prefer individuals (because a company won’t work off the clock and demand a contract).

AND then there is oDesk. If the Egyptian Pharaohs where asked to design an online job market, they would have come up with oDesk. As they say “See work-in-progress screenshots”. You can feel the man standing over you with the whip.

Me

Not pretty cool?

I thought we were talking about business not fashion? Your the one who mass-emailed me (which is really not pretty or cool).

Yes, i’m talking money because who works for free? I guess your after a “cool” developer who works for free or around 2euros/hour. We call them suckers in the web game (or any other game really).

Besides, your the one who says “Time frame it’s VERY VERY important!”. If your paying dick then i guess it is, but you havent said what the time frame is or how much per task. I guess you thought it was important BECAUSE ITS THE ONLY PARTY YOU LEFT THE CAPS-LOCK ON FOR.

So stop pulling by cock and tell me what the story is.

NorWing
yes. 1euro/hour..is fine?

I couldn’t actually tell if he was serious at this point. Then i guess he realised that i wasn’t…

NorWing
if you’re so smart, please tell me how I can post a job in ubercart.org
thank you!
Me
Its not posting its spamming, and i would tell you but your paying a little under my usual rate. That is for sitting in front of a computer! I would, however, fart your national anthem:

  • in any key you want
  • on my back or facing downwards
  • with the last note captured in a paper bag
  • and you can watch on oDesk
  • For your 1euro/hour rate.
  • What do you say, you like? I have many customers who can recommend me for this. Thank you for your attention!

You’ll be sad to know: he didn’t get back to me.

Living Public

Hasan M. Elahi
I just read this article about a guy who was harasser by the FBI for 6 months because someone reported him as having explosives in storage somewhere (which he didn’t). They wanted to know everything about him for the last 6 months. SO he started to make EVERYTHING publicly available:

When I first started talking about my project in 2003, people thought I was insane. Why would anyone tell everyone what he was doing at all times? Why would anyone want to share a photo of every place he visited? Now eight years later, more than 800 million people do the same thing I’ve been doing each time they update their status or post an image or poke someone on Facebook. (Just to put this in perspective, if Facebook was a country, it would have the third highest population, after China and India.) Insane?

What I’m doing is no longer just an art project; creating our own archives has become so commonplace that we’re all — or at least hundreds of millions of us — doing it all the time. Whether we know it or not.

Last weekend i also watched ‘We Live In Public’

about Josh Harris who was ahead of his time putting every room in his house online and living in public with his girlfriend. His life became Hell.

With Facebook becoming the internet for most people, this is happening more and more. The first artist thought it was a good idea the second not so good.

As Conan the Barbarian says: “I live, I love, I slay” whats to hide :)

Design Patters are Patented?!

I was looking at the PHP5 (no this is not about PHP) Reflection API and came across a post talking about the “Dynamic Proxy” design pattern. As I didn’t know what it was about I did a quick search and found that the design pattern had a US Patent on it! I was disgusted and appalled that design patterns could be patented. This is like putting a patent on a certain English sentence grammar.

Obviously the guys at the US Patent office don’t understand what they are allowing to happen. Imagine if 90% of all programming was patented, which can be done fairly easily, it would completely retard innovation and an sort of progress. Fortunately is this impossible to enforce in closed source code software but Open Source [OS] is another story. This could be the biggest legal threat to OS so far. Large companies who have the budget, could have teams that sift thought their OS competition looking for patent infringements and shutting them down. An ugly thought which would gain them only hatred from the developer community. Lets hope that’s enough of a disincentive…

Social Games

Just had a great idea for social software sites

I was chatting at work about how to encourage community interaction between people on a community site. I was thinking having some sort of recommendation system that would figure out who you might like and then notify you of there most recent actions. After chatting with Alex about it the idea of community games amongst people on the site came up.

I noticed that on Vibewire forum games always had the most posts, which were similar to those voluntary surveys that move around email like chain letter, the ones where you have to answer a series of unrelated personal questions. Some people love those things.

I think good interactive online games would make a big difference to a community site in terms of retention of attention. Its hard to talk about as there aren’t any ‘community metrics’ yet. Something I would like to do some work on at some stage.

IE button bug

Yet another bug in IE.

I would like to report this Windows Internet Explorer bug to save other greif. Seems that IE 6 (well, version: 6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2_gdr.050301-1519 to be specific) doesn’t handle the <button> tag very well, especially when it is of type submit.

I have a form that allows multiple actions to be preformed on the selected data. Each action has a button with a value and they all share the same name. Something like:


<button type="submit" value="send_email" name="act">Send email</button>
<button type="submit" value="delete" name="act">Delete</button>

This button works but the value that IE submits is always ‘Delete’ (note the capital!?). Seem that when a form has more than one button of type submit IE will always pass the value of last one on the form no matter which button is pressed. This is not the case for <input> buttons.

Guess this means it doesn’t fully support HTML 4, or is this a ‘feature’ not a bug?

Hi stranger

You have received a Friendster message from Olga. The message was sent on 07/15/05 08:16 AM.

Ogla on display
Hi stranger.
I have found your email in the Internet.
I want to find the man for serious relations and probably creations of family.
I want to know you more.
I’ll tell you a little about myself.
My name is Olga.
I’m 28 years old.
I live in Russia in city Yaransk.
I like to do in for sports.
I write, read and I talk in English not so bad.
I have never been married and I do not have children.
And unfortunately, I have not found my second half.
But I want to do it.
Probably we can become more than simply friends.
I wait for your letter and photo.
My email adress is olgamay@something.ru
If you will write me I’ll send you more photos and it will be a beginning of our correspondence.
With impatience I wait your reply.
Olga.

Blog to log

Online services that relate to managing RSS feeds from blogs (mainly). Some new ideas emerging but no killer yet.

Just sniffing around I can across:

  1. Reblog, filter and republish other peoples feeds on your own site. “Useful to individuals who want to maintain a weblog but prefer curating content to writing original posts”. This is a poor way of describing a Planet or Portal, but with more editorial control.
  2. TagCloud extracts keywords from a set of given RSS feeds and builds a ‘tag cloud’ (or a ‘keyword cloud’ technically).

Rise of the editor

Beyond the self publishing revolution to the rise of the editor: as more content comes online good editorial will be needed to sift though it. This role will become more and more important and sites like Slashdot might be knocked off the top of the ‘most read geek portal’ list.

I envisaged sites like Vibewire being a collection of blogs, ether hosted by them or where ever, that feed into the individual channels and the editors simply selecting from what is already published on these blogs. These channels in turn would feed into the main page.

Reblog gives anyone the power to be their own Slashdot or Vibewire.

Update: Looks like someone already has.

RSS needs Tags

TagCloud illustrates one of the main problems with RSS, and that is that it provides raw information without any means to contextualise it. With the recent rise of tags or Folksonomy (I that that word) feeds need to be extended to allow for keywords/tags to be provided with the feed. Then tools to map theses remote taxonomy’s to local ones would be needed but would provide a means to manage the large volumes of information effectively.

Update:
Seem someone is trying to put a name on this problem: Feed Overload Syndrome, and its solution ‘Meta-Feeds’ (I guess everyone is trying to be the first to name the next big fad). But lets break Mr Burnham down a bit:

Burnham reckons tagging is no good because it makes tag soap as every one has their own tags, which is OK and that’s what so called ‘folksonomy’ are about. Individually they are worth little but on mass these little bits add up to more than the expert made taxonomies which are worth a lot (if you know how to use them). The goal however is to map from whatever incoming taxonomy a local personal one which will ultimately have more meaning to the viewer (the advantage of folksonomys).

Burnhams solutions breaks down to what Reblog is doing:

…the posts are categorized and placed into a taxonomy using advanced statistical processes such as Bayesian analysis and natural language processing

So basically machine keyword scraping and the mythical ‘natural language processing’ (oh for a computer that can understand!). This is never going to be as valuable to the end user as human tagging and won’t map perfectly to an expert taxonomy. What we really want is some sort of collaborative filtering process that maps from one folksonomy/taxonomy to another based on trust networks that the end user subscribes to. As a result of this Peer to Peer Social Networking looks promising and more like a realistic solution, or even some sort of Google ranking based on community and author.

Burnham did get one thing right however, this mapping process will have to be external to the actual feeds, ether with a smart feedreader client that talks to a service/community to do the mapping.

P2P will save us all

The Freenet Project is a P2P network that will save democracy (and bandwidth).

The Freenet Project is a P2P network that operates like the internet but encrypts all transmissions and allows for anonymity, so allows for information freedom in places like China where there is heavy censorship.

Apart from its democratic value, I have often thought that all web protocols like HTTP should be P2P as its a more efficient way to use bandwidth. If web browsers all became P2P client and simply shared their cache I think there would be massive bandwidth savings.

Just a thought.

Transparency Interface

Simple interaction makes the transparent feature useful.

Winamp has come along way, but since it was bought out by AOL it hasn’t really been innovating much. I got the latest version and they have this feature that lets it become transparent (which it has done for awhile) but what they have added to this is that it becomes fully opaque when you mouse over it and fades to transparent again when you move your mouse away.

This simple interaction makes the transparent feature useful (which it was really before so didn’t use it much) but is also an interesting idea for an interface design. You could have more than one thing/window transparent and layered on top of each other. As the document was further towards the back of the pile (i.e. say a group of journal entries stacked by date) they could be more/less transparent (need to experiment with opacity). Possibly flip/zoom though the layers with the mouse wheel and on the mouse over increase the opacity to full (or readable level?).

Zine distribution website

Website idea: Zine distribution. Organise mailing zines to people.

Wouldn’t it be good to have a website that lists zines as they come out and give you some way of getting a copy if your not in their city? Maybe just a postal address to write to get a copy or the site could charge postage and organise and send it. You’d have to be a real zine nut to do that however. If it become popular you could charge a $1 per post. Maybe get the ‘work-for-the-dole’ people to do it for you? You could offer subscriptions to certain zines and post em automatically.

Like the equivalent of a small record company but for zines. Just a random thought…