Love the Chrysler 200 commercial

by: Mark Holton created about 4 years ago

This is a great commercial. “this isn’t New York City… or the Windy City…” Embraced their own history and the hardships there, to introduce the new car. Really genius I think.

I like the shorter 30 second version better than this extended 2 minute version (where it’s just Eminem’s song and he doesn’t appear in the commercial). Love the snow falling, the iron fist, the joggers, the slow motion drive passing by the doorman. Seems to say “Let’s get to work. We are proud of that, proud to rise above the challenges”. Lot of grit, good values, and great message.

Japan reactors

by: Mark Holton created about 4 years ago

Japan has been under assault by mother nature:

Despite the extreme natural disasters that took place in Japan, it knocked out power, backups, and cooling of 2 plants (out of Japan’s 50+). One of the reactors was weeks from being turned off, 40 years old. And it doesn’t look like an even locally threatening amount of radiation will end up in the atmosphere, despite all of that.

The emotional argument will be terrorism in addition to the above.

It’s irrational to fear these things. The threat of economic troubles because of a poorly chosen energy policy that ignores nuclear power is many orders of magnitude higher than any terrorist attack or a ‘perfect storm’ natural disaster of a plant located within the Ring of Fire.

The USA has had an irresponsible policy towards energy for 40 years, contributing to our huge trade imbalance, and am not optimistic that will change. This was a natural disaster with a death toll that will be in the thousands. Yet people will loudly point to the Japan reactor incident that harmed very few, and caused little damage — which took place in the midst of one of the larger natural disasters in history, and feed off of their own ignorance and fear. Disappointing.


by: Mark Holton created about 4 years ago

Class is not in your name, it’s not in your hair color or what you wear, it’s not what kind of car you drive, nor is it measured by the size of your home or the level of elegance contained within it — a person’s class is measured through his or her character.

Character’s foundation is in your actions and in the choices you make: the way you live your life, the way you treat others. You can’t buy it or borrow it but you can improve and cultivate it. Your character is yours from the day you’re born until you die, and the decisions you make and how you respond to them from day 1 to your last day are what make you who you are.

infiniScroll jQuery plugin released!

by: Mark Holton created over 4 years ago

infiniScroll 0.1 Released!

Can view a DEMO on my home page where I load my blog posts.

the source: infiniScroll on GitHub
the DEMO:
the jQuery plugin page:
the GoogleGroup:

I wanted to enable infinite scrolling in a few places: on my blog, on some sites I work on with a ‘leaderboard’, on portfolios — anything with a long list. Pagination works in many cases but I find it nice front end optimization to render a small number of results immediately, and then render more results as the user needs them. This front end usability pattern seen on, statuses, 37Signals’ Sortfolio (and home page now!). Wanted to abstract away most of the code to enable easier re-use!

Your server side code will need:

example routes.rb route (gist):

the JS in the local checkLevel() method passes the “max id” and “num rows to retrieve” as “id” and “n”, respectively. So your server side code will need to respond to the root url you set with those parameters to work properly:

example posts_controller.rb method (gist):

example rendered partial from XHR request (gist):

once you have that, and include infiniScroll.js, the markup in the page and the JS call (gist):

disclaimer: there are some more items I need update to make it friendlier to use with the URL and grabbing the lastID from the DOM after it came from the server — it’s just 0.1, but the basics are there if you want to check it out. See the README on the githubz page, take a look at the source, and let me know if you have any questions.


Your Career is Not Defined by your Degree

by: Mark Holton created over 4 years ago

I believe the success of a person in learning (or in life) is not dictated by the cost nor prestige of the education. These factors in my opinion are almost meaningless. It’s more determined by the desire to learn, the attitude, the determination.

I don’t believe one is guaranteed a better education and certainly not a better life by paying $50k per year for it for 4 years between ages 18-22. Nor is someone limited or even handicapped in the slightest way by a 4 year degree from any of the top 100 schools.

I think college and a college degree is a great goal for many reasons. But 4 years time does not define a person or a life. Not even close. Sadly many people think it does. “He’s a Harvard man!”, etc. Your undergraduate years are small compared to the big picture. A college degree is just one step and is not a guarantee

I believe much more in ideas like there’s always time to launch your dream. Ideas like this resonate with me.

DISCLOSURE: I graduated from Miami University in Oxford, OH, one of the original “Public Ivy’s”. Since graduation from school with a degree in Engineering Physics with a minor in Aeronautics, I have met many people smarter than I am from “lower ranked” schools or no school at all, and much lazier and less intelligent from “high ranked” schools. It runs the gamut based on the person, not the degree. Value your education, not only in the 4 years you are there, but every month since. Drive towards your goal, and take care of life responsibilities.

Heroku is bought for $212M

by: Mark Holton created over 4 years ago

Heroku bought for $212M

Great to wake up this morning pull up the news and see that Heroku was bought by (CRM) for $212M in cash. It’s inspiring to see great products and services rewarded.

Ever since I started taking Ruby, Rails classes at the UW Extension back in 2007-2008, have played around with Heroku. In the Rails Conferences I have been to, always make a point to seek them out and try and chat for awhile, to say thanks and to pick the engineers brains at the booth for a few minutes.

Initially they had a web-based development tool that let you build and run Rails code in the browser. About that time EC2 was coming on board with their cloud offering, and Heroku was innovative in how they were able to use it to make Ruby-based web frameworks so super easy to deploy to ‘the cloud’.

It’s inspiring to watch something like this unfold. All the while the Ruby community has continued to thrive alongside. This is just another validation of some ideas such as:

  • Ruby based web frameworks are popular because they let you focus on doing the work, not syntax — huge productivity gains through developer happiness
  • Ruby based web frameworks can scale OUT when it comes to HTTP requests, and UP with databases
  • the RACK middleware modularity of Ruby based web frameworks like Rails and Sinatra make it easy for folks to experiment, and that experimentation leads to innovation

Heroku made scaling OUT with Ruby based web frameworks effectively as simple as a slider bar. They fronted everything with Varnish an HTML accelerator to cache static assets. The Add-on architecture was a win for Developers as well as partners selling their services. A free account can give you a great amount of hardware to play with, but also plant the seed for an app that can potentially thrive.

I am just happy to deploy apps to the EC2 cloud through Heroku. Here’s a short list of some of my apps deployed via Heroku, and I can’t wait to produce more.

my Rails Development environment

by: Mark Holton created over 4 years ago

Some reasons I love developing in Rails

  • - rvm enables me to switch to any version of Ruby at any time
  • - rvm enables me to switch to any version of Rails at any time
  • - git branching is near effortless

…many more practical reasons, but these are three that bring happiness and convenience to development

Russian Software Company Releases All-in-One Wi-Fi Cracking Tool

by: Mark Holton created over 4 years ago

Be careful out there. It’s easy to obtain tools that can crack even your WPA2 secured WiFi network.

cracks WPA2:
Russians release all in one WiFi cracking tool

“that the software can automatically locate wireless networks, intercept data packets, and crack WPA/WPA2 PSK passwords”

“The software displays all available wireless networks complete with channel numbers, MAC-addresses, SSID, speed, load and encryption parameters. The sniffer connects to a selected Wi-Fi network, and logs wireless traffic complete with “handshake” packets required to start the password recovery attack."

“With the increased security requirements found in WPA/WPA2 protected networks, the software utilizes high-performance dictionary-attacks with advanced mutations to allow carrying out password attacks quickly.”

Russian Software Company Releases All-in-One Wi-Fi Cracking Tool

by: Mark Holton created over 4 years ago

With the increased security requirements found in WPA/WPA2 protected networks, the software utilizes high-performance dictionary-attacks with advanced mutations to allow carrying out password attacks quickly.

The Structure of a Cybercrime Organization - Hackers Have Supply Chains Too!

by: Mark Holton created over 4 years ago

Details a hierarchy of the not necessarily formal but organized groups which commit cybercrimes.