Decode DC – Worth a Listen


My sister brought the podcast Decode DC to my attention not too long ago, because Andrea Seabrook is an alum of her college – that and I work for a DC paper at times.  I have to say that I am, so far, quite impressed with what I have heard so far.  I am a bit of a podcast ‘freak’ – it is pretty much all I listen to in the car, doing dishes, at the gym.

I just finished ‘Episode 7: Cerfing the Net‘ – which was pretty interesting conversation with Vint Cerf – “One of the Fathers of the Internet”.

I do have one very small issue with podcast though – and that is the it seems a little over produced.  Something I see happening more an more with several podcasts.   I call it the ‘This American Life’ syndrome.  TAL mixes a fair amount of ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ background and transition music into their broadcasts, for the most part very well.  Occasionally you might wonder if they need to pad the hour, but generally it is done quite well.

Those with TALS – try to achieve the same effect as the ‘masters’ of this, but generally do not accomplish the same feel.  There were several points in these episodes where the music became too dominant [loud] and went on for such a long time that I was wondering if I accidentally hit a music button on my iWhatever.

The worst sufferer of this syndrome that I have come across is Freakonomics – fantastic listen, subject-wise – you will wonder if the podcast would only be 3 minutes without lead-ins, transitions, pauses and padding to the end [and the podcast ALWAYS cuts off before the actual end, but it only credits].

Well, I have digressed way off the path in my rant.  I do strongly recommend Decode DC – they are looking for sponsors, funding and advertising – I am hoping for more stories from them more frequently and hope at least someone will take a look at them after reading this.

Go – and please enjoy.

‘We will test…’

We Can Do It

I got one of those emails this morning that just set me off for no real reason [and really unjustifiably so].  It was an email about a small bug fix that was noticed over the weekend and the development team had just notified us that it had been fixed.

In response, my boss [nice guy, nothing negative about him] replied that ‘We will test.”  Who is this ‘we’?  I know that he is not going to test – he does not have the time nor the ability to properly test the bug fix.  There is no one on the production team that can do proper testing at this stage.  There are no other management person with access to the backend – that leaves me.  I am “we.”

What set me off about this is in addition to the 104 other to-do items I have on my list I now have to add this to my top priorities.  Not that it is going to take longer than 1/2 an hour to test, but on a Monday morning – it feels like it is going to push me over the edge.  His response also insinuates that there a ‘bunch’ of available to stop everything we are working on to debug and confirm these rush fixes.

It’s just me here – alone with my two monitors – with a list of tasks that fill both.

That’s the end of my rant for today.

Varnish Cache – You should seriously take a look

Varnish Cache

Over the last few weeks, we have been testing the use of Varnish  on one of the web sites I work on – and the results appear to be fantastic – with a few false starts in the configuration.  While I am not the one in the trenches configuring it – the potential performance and control we will have over our previous caching methods is quite frankly amazing.

If I could give you stats or more information I would, but at this time it is not a good idea.

You should really check it out – amazing results.

Financial Times Deactivating iOS Apps

Financial Times

So, I read today that the Financial Times is deactivating their iOS apps over the next few weeks.   Some time ago built their HTML5 version of their site and have decided that they no longer need to support their iOS apps.

HTML5 version of

Personally, I find this very interesting.  I work for a news organization [not to be mentioned] and at this very moment I am anxiously awaiting Apple’s approval to release our latest iPad app with a deadline for being the App Store that I don’t think we are going to make.  When I read the story above I realized that despite having over a dozen news apps installed on various devices, I only really use one Zite – which I think rocks. Continue reading