Machine Learning Project Ideas

Ryan Stout and I are giving a talk at RailsConf about Machine Learning tomorrow. To go along with the talk, here is a list of project ideas to get your...

Fixing the Chrome background refresh bug

There is a bug in the current version of Chromium (hence Google Chrome) that sometimes fails to redraw CSS background images when they’re hidden and then re-shown. This issue appeared...

Hacking Google for fun and profit

At the end of last year, Google announced their Vulnerability Reward Program which rewards security researchers for reported security and privacy holes in Google properties. This sounded like an interesting...

How to make your Rails app tweet the Twitter

Suppose you want to build a Rails application for tracking popular links, and you want it to post the most popular links to Twitter automatically. This quick tutorial will show...

Why plug computers are a security nightmare

The increasing availability of low profile “wall-wart” plug computers like the SheevaPlug can be viewed as an emerging threat to physical network security. For $99, a budding industrial espionagist could...

How I do command-line accounting: Ledger and Reckon

Ledger is a powerful yet simple double-entry accounting system with a command line interface, making it perfect for those of us who prefer our text editor and flat files over...

Rails RSpec tests are CPU bound

Today I experimented with running a large Rails RSpec test suite on a RAM disk. My hope was that by hosting either the MySQL server or the Rails project directory...

Revolutionary

Sometime in the late ’80s I convinced my parents to get an external hard drive for our Mac Plus to augment our extravagant two floppy disk drives. We got a...

Multiple profiles in Chrome on Ubuntu

If you’re running Chrome on Ubuntu (likely elsewhere too), you can run multiple copies of Chrome with fully different profiles by launching it with the --user-data-dir option. For example, I...

Easy web scraping: Get the title of any URL with YQL

This snippet demonstrates how to get the title from any webpage using a simple YQL query and jQuery. The title is fetched from url and is placed in #page_title. 400:...

Using TSort in Ruby for Topological Sorting of ActiveRecord Models

Recently, I was building a project list application in Rails and I needed to be sure that sub-projects showed up in the list somewhere below their parents. A topological sort...

Replacement for script onload in IE

This is an old post from my last blog. Firefox and Safari support an onload event for SCRIPT elements. That is, you can dynamically add a new script to a...