Dissolution of Social Networks

Cross-posted from the Particls blog:

My lovely wife (who is an Economics and Business teacher coincidentally) sent me a Podcast today which really blew me away. It’s an interview with Andreas Kluth (San Francisco correspondent for The Economist) talking about real and virtual campfires, and predicts the dissolution of standalone social networks as we know them.

Anyone interested in the next generation of internet technology really needs to listen to this podcast. Its clear, concise and really gets at the heart of many social graph issues and human behaviour.

Press Releases Suck

For work, I’ve been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to get the bluetooth on my DiNovo Keyboard working with devices other than a keyboard or mouse.

I found the BroadCom press release stating that they aquired the WIDCOMM company, stating that all the downloads have moved, but didn’t point to where.


Back to Googling device drivers. 🙁

IIS == FTP Server Hell

I’ve been having some troubles with fast and reliable FTP server software for my servers lately, simply because IIS FTP was being far more trouble than it was worth.

On @stormwarden‘s advice, I checked out FileZilla FTP Server, and WOW, am I impressed. Configuring it is easy, the server is fast and simple to use and installs so easily even my mother could do it.

One of the main reasons I found it so great, was that you can easily setup ‘home’ directories for multiple users, something which is a LOT more difficult to achieve using the FTP server in IIS.

In sum, FileZilla is an excellent FTP server and I highly recommend it to any one with a self-managed windows-based server which needs FTP capability.

Feeling Good

My returned vigor to my dieting has had some positive mental results. I have felt good and while the holidays were not a big set-back I do believe that I can already see some positive results.

I don’t want to say that the re-focusing on my diet is a New Year’s resolution; and it’s still early days – but I feel really good about how things are going. Plus, despite the fact that I actually reduced my calorie allowance by 300 per day, I haven’t been particularly hungry either.

I hope that I can continue.

Has Anyone Calculated the Total Cost of Ownership of the Holidays?

I haven’t blogged for a while; this is partly because I’ve been overwhelmingly busy, and partly because I’ve had a mild slip in my “healthy lifestyle” training. You see starting in early November, began a series of birthdays (each with their own lovely events of sweets and cakes) and then gatherings of old colleagues and parties for work end of year celebrations. Finally ending with Christmas and New Year – and enough food to sink a battleship.

While I don’t like to complain about what are simply my own mistakes and weaknesses (in not being able to say “no”), I have effectively erased the work done since September in 2 months.

Weighing at 108Kgs it isn’t exactly a landslide, but its still movement in the wrong direction.

Alas, things are back on track today and I am going to be putting both more emphasis and more effort into getting my healthy lifestyle back on track and trying to make more of an effort to get some exercise during the week. Additionally I am thinking of trying out some Yoga positions to see if they might help balance my mind and body.

I am also going to make more of an effort to blog and admit my failings rather than trying to hide it. Here’s to hoping 2008 being great for looking out for my health.

"Bad Request" error when using friendly URLs with special characters in ASP.NET

I have been creating a lot of Http Modules lately as a number of projects I am working and consulting on have large API back ends. Http Modules work fantastically for ASP.NET because all Http requests are pumped through all of a site’s modules before they actually hit IIS.

One of the API methods I’m working on requires a URL to be passed as a parameter, and in order to simplify usage of the API, these parameters are passed through the URL so the application using the API, doesn’t have to post variables to the API.

However, if the request contains certain reserved characters then you can run into a problem. Even if the characters such as $. %, ? are encoded correctly the page may not be returned and all you see is “bad request” (error 400). It isn’t your code that is causing this though but the behaviour of the ASP.NET ISAPI filter which doesn’t pass the request on.

After some Googling I found there is a Microsoft KB Article 826437 about the issue

Apparently the solution given is incorrect though and the correct registry key entry is shown below:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

However, this didn’t seem to work for me, perhaps because I am running version 2.0 of the Framework and not 1.1 as indicated in the Knowledge Base Article.

There is an upside however, in that you can pass reserved characters through the request if they are inside a query string value. It’s not a perfect solution of course, because PHP would let you do it no problems, but it is a work around that worked for me.