Crime vs. Highways. Or, Internet Security Is A Social (Not Technical) Problem

Stefan Savage, speaking in a segment on March 13’s On The Media, asked: The question I like to ask people is, what are you going to do to the highway system to reduce crime. And when you put it that way, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, because while criminals do use the highway, no rational person […] » about 400 words

Is Internet Linking Legal?

You’d think the top search results on the matter would be newer than 1999, but that’s where you’ll find this NYT article and PubLaw item story, both from precambrian times. Worse, both of those articles suggest that my links to them may not be entirely kosher.

The problem is probably that US courts have not spoken clearly on such a case. A Danish court in 2006 did, but I think that no case in the US has gone far enough to actually set a precedent. Another chance at settling this issue was lost earlier this month when BlockShopper settled, rather than continue a costly defense of such a case. The EFF is confident BlockShopper could have won, but that means little when the legal bills come in.

Related at EFF: Kelly v. Arriba Soft and Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Scaling PHP

This two year old post about Rasmus Lerdorf’s PHP scaling tips (slides) is interesting in the context of what we’ve learned since then. APC now seems common, and it’s supposedly built-in to PHP6. Still, I’d be interested in seeing an update. Are MySQL prepared statements still slow?

And that’s where Rasmus’ latest presentation comes in. We don’t learn anything about MySQL prepared statements, but we do learn how to find choke points in our applications using callgrind and other tools. In his examples, he can do a little over 600 transactions per second with both static HTML and simple PHP, but various frameworks — with many inclusions and function calls — can slow that to under 50 transactions per second (I suppose they’d explain that in a TPS report).

Browser-Based JSON Editors

JSONLint, a JSON validator, was the tool I needed a while ago to be able to play with JSON as format for exchanging data in some APIs I was working on a while ago. And now I like JSON well enough that I’m thinking of using it as an internal data format in one of my applications, especially because it’s relatively easy to work with in JavaScript. Or, at least that’s the promise.

What I’ll need is an easy way to manipulate the contents of a simple array, and these JSON editors may give me a start.

The Braincast JSON editor was the first I found, but it doesn’t allow creation/expansion of the JSON. Katamari‘s JSON editor seems to work and has a lot of features and a post 2005-looking interface, but that doesn’t make it simple. Worse, I don’t think it’s available for me to re-use, modify, or extend in my projects. Thomas Frank‘s JSON editor, on the other hand, does have the features I need and a GPL license. That’s the place to start.

Extra: a JSON diff.

Web Application Design Book Recommendation

I’ve learned to ignore contests on the web. Banner ads that promise prizes if I click the right pixel are the least offensive, but the contests that have me creating content (and then force me to give up my copyright to it) for another person’s gain infuriate me. So when I saw author and experience […] » about 300 words