Links for 3-15-11

A digest of my recent links on Pinboard:

Pivotal Labs: Talks

Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine and noted technologist, presents ideas from latest book, What Technology Wants. “[T]echnology as a whole is…a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies.”

viatropos/queuable – GitHub

Free Cron and Background Jobs for Heroku

joshaven/string_score – GitHub

JavaScript string ranking 0 for no match upto 1 for perfect… “String”.score(“str”); //=> 0.825

seatgeek/soulmate – GitHub

Redis-backed service for fast autocompleting – extracted from SeatGeek

Hacker News | iOS Libraries

1.0 Is the Loneliest Number — Matt Mullenweg

janmonschke/backbone-couchdb – GitHub

A couchdb connector for backbone with support for real time changes.

Seth’s Blog: Bring me stuff that’s dead, please

The drive-by technorati are well-informed, curious and always probing. They’re also hiding… hiding from the real work of creating work that matters, connections with impact and art that lasts. I love to hear about the next big thing, but I’m far more interested in what you’re doing with the old big thing.

Contrast | The Blog | The future of analytics products

injekt/rack-pygmentize – GitHub

Rack middleware to pygmentize your code blocks

bmabey/database_cleaner – GitHub

Strategies for cleaning databases in Ruby. Can be used to ensure a clean state for testing.

ajmurmann/resque-heroku-autoscaler – GitHub

Resque plugin to autoscale your workers on Heroku

asynchrony/image_science – GitHub

Variant of ImageScience that does not require RubyInline

Hacker News | Twitter to developers: no new Twitter clients

linux – Is it normal to get hundreds of break-in attempts per day? – Server Fault

I just checked my server’s /var/log/auth.log and found that I’m getting over 500 failed password/break-in attempt notifications per day! My site is small, and its URL is obscure. Is this normal? Should I be taking any measures?

couchbaselabs/iOS-Couchbase – GitHub

A build of Apache CouchDB optimized for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch

wycats/artifice – GitHub

Replaces Net::HTTP with a subclass that routes all requests to a Rack application

josevalim/elixir – GitHub

Simple Object Orientation and charming syntax on top of Erlang

mdub/sham_rack – GitHub

run Rack applications in-process, without a server

The Pragmatic Studio | Transitioning to Xcode 4

Xcode 4 was released today, and we have 6 free screencasts available to help you quickly make the transition and learn time-saving keyboard shortcuts along the way

Xcode 4 released with git integration – GitHub

Today Apple released Xcode 4. We’re pretty excited over here because Xcode 4 is the first Xcode release to support git natively. What’s even more, new projects default to git repos!

Text of Steve Jobs’ Commencement address (2005)

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Sound Stage for Mac

Make iOS App Trailers

sdsykes/slim_scrooge – GitHub

SlimScrooge heavily optimises your database interactions

Why Angry Birds is so successful and popular: a cognitive teardown of the user experience

Why is it that over 50 million individuals have downloaded this simple game? Many paid a few dollars or more for the advanced version. More compelling is the fact that not only do huge numbers download this game, they play it with such focus that the total number of hours consumed by Angry Birds players world-wide is roughly 200 million minutes a DAY, which translates into 1.2 billion hours a year. To compare, all person-hours spent creating and updating Wikipedia totals about 100 million hours over the entire life span of Wikipedia (Neiman Journalism Lab). I say these Angry Birds are clearly up to something worth looking into.

Anatomy of a Crushing (Pinboard Blog)

A number of people asked about the technical aspects of the great Delicious exodus of 2010, and I’ve finally had some time to write it up.

postrank-labs/goliath – GitHub

Goliath is a non-blocking Ruby web server framework

ccgus/fmdb – GitHub

A Cocoa / Objective-C wrapper around SQLite

jcoglan/primer – GitHub

Intelligent caching, no observers necessary

aslakhellesoy/aruba – GitHub

Cucumber steps for driving out command line applications. The command line application can be anything, a compiled C program, a Java program, a Perl script – anything.


Collect and analyze your web traffic in real-time using our fast, reliable hosted system.

OpEd: For employment’s sake, Chicago’s small businesses need support from all sides | Opinion | Crain’s Chicago Business

General Assembly Aims to Gather New York Techies –

A new business in the Flatiron district of Manhattan called General Assembly is not a university, but its founders hope it will seem like one. The 20,000-square-foot space offers desks, Internet access, classes and other services for entrepreneurs.

How an Illinois rest stop inspired a web page – (37signals)

What’s New in Sinatra 1.2?

As announced on the mailing list, we have just released Sinatra 1.2.0. Let’s have a closer look at the new features.

Musings from Boulder – Testing OmniAuth based login via Cucumber

This morning we needed to write a Cucumber scenario to test that a user could log into the system using Google Apps.

Tabs – Interface Icons for iOS & Designers

rmm5t/jquery-timeago – GitHub

Timeago is a jQuery plugin that makes it easy to support automatically updating fuzzy timestamps (e.g. “4 minutes ago”).

A Few ObjectId Tricks // MongoTips by John Nunemaker

One of the things that I was not aware of until recently is how handy MongoDB’s object ids actually are. Below are a few tips based on some things I have been doing lately.

airblade/paper_trail – GitHub

Track changes to your models’ data. Good for auditing or versioning

dolzenko/silent-postgres – GitHub

Rails plugin that silences Postgresql connection adapter verbose output

Hacker News | Joyent: 54+ hours of downtime

markevans/dragonfly – GitHub

An on-the-fly processing/encoding framework written as a Rack application.

Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret

Years ago when Seinfeld was a new television show, Jerry Seinfeld was still a touring comic. At the time, I was hanging around clubs doing open mic nights and trying to learn the ropes. One night I was in the club where Seinfeld was working, and before he went on stage, I saw my chance. I had to ask Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. What he told me was something that would benefit me a lifetime…

On the Front Lines, In the Trenches – (37signals)

When I was at the Crate and Barrel store helping a woman find a set of drinking glasses I had a short conversation with her about what sort of glasses she was interested in. There are so many glasses at the Crate. In this 5 minute conversation I helped her hone in on the right glasses. Making this one $9.99 sale taught me loads more than a graphic design book had ever done. I remembered this later as I designed the UI for the website.

Disabling ActiveModel callbacks – Jeff Kreeftmeijer

If you can’t or you’re completely sure you have a valid reason to skip your callbacks, you probably tried something like removing the callback method but found out that didn’t work anymore.

Amazon Web Services Blog: AWS CloudFormation – Create Your AWS Stack From a Recipe

Our newest creation is called AWS CloudFormation. Using CloudFormation, you can create an entire stack with one function call. The stack can be comprised of multiple Amazon EC2 instances, each one fully decked out with security groups, EBS (Elastic Block Store) volumes, and an Elastic IP address (if needed). The stack can contain Load Balancers, Auto Scaling Groups, RDS (Relational Database Service) Database Instances and security groups, SNS (Simple Notification Service) topics and subscriptions, Amazon CloudWatch alarms, Amazon SQS (Simple Queuue Service) message queues, and Amazon SimpleDB domains.

blueimp/jQuery-File-Upload – GitHub

jQuery File Upload Plugin


Copycopter lets you edit live copy in your web app. Setup is simple and managing copy is simple, flexible and forgiving.

Cross browser testing with Selenium – Sauce Labs

Because you understand that test/behavior driven development and continuous integration make your web applications easier to develop with fewer bugs. We run your Selenium tests 10x faster in parallel, cut your infrastructure overhead, increase the velocity of your agile development process, run browsers in the cloud, deliver live test video, provide secure tunnels and live/breath Selenium testing.

imakewebthings/jquery-waypoints – GitHub

Waypoints is a small jQuery plugin that makes it easy to execute a function whenever you scroll to an element

fastestforward/rollout – GitHub

Conditionally roll out features with redis + memcache.

cleditor/cleditor – GitHub

a lightweight jQuerified HTML editor

nesquena/query_reviewer – GitHub

An excellent development aid. Will run “EXPLAIN” before each of your select queries in development, and provides a display which makes them easy to browse. In this fork, gemified and compatible with Rails 2 + 3.

Alex Young: We Are The App Store

Without Readability and innovative small businesses like it, the App Store is nothing. What’s an App Store without Apps? A way to sell Apple’s over-hyped and underused applications like Pages for iPad? – Subscriptions and the new In-App Purchase requirement

The discussion shouldn’t be whether Apple can enforce this policy, but whether they should. And if you look at what this does to developer relations, big and small, it’s easier to argue that this is likely to result in more harm than good to the iOS platform.

The Science of Entrepreneurship | Dustin Curtis

I think to build a great company you need to have a well defined hypothesis based on a theory for a market’s evolved future.

And I think the most effective way to enter that market is to build a company like a scientist testing the theory. As an experiment.

Identity Map and ActiveRecord

As many of you may know IdentityMap was merged recently into ActiveRecord.

seattlerb/minitest – GitHub

minitest provides a complete suite of testing facilities supporting
TDD, BDD, mocking, and benchmarking.

defunkt/dotjs – GitHub

dotjs is a Google Chrome extension that executes JavaScript files in ~/.js based on their filename. If you navigate to, dotjs will execute ~/.js/


These are icons I drew for my personal needs. They are all in vector and drawn on this page with Raphaël

Amazon Web Services Blog: Host Your Static Website on Amazon S3

You can now configure and access any of your S3 buckets as a “website.” When a request is made to the root of your bucket configured as a website, Amazon S3 returns a root document. Not only that, if an error occurs your users receive an HTML error document instead of an XML error message. You can also provide your own error documents for use when a 4xx-class error occurs. 

Casecommons/pg_search – GitHub

PgSearch builds ActiveRecord named scopes that take advantage of PostgreSQL’s full text search

Linux is not about choice [was Re: Fedora too cutting edge?]

If I could only have one thing this year, it would be to eliminate that
meme from the collective consciousness. – Your Twenty Four Hours

Try this. Set a timer to go off once every hour. When that timer beeps, ask yourself “Is what I am doing right now important?” If it is, continue. If not, stop what you were doing and put your twenty four hours into something that matters.

madrobby/zepto – GitHub

zepto.js is a minimalist inlinable framework for mobile WebKit browsers, with a jQuery-like chaining syntax

soveran/ost – GitHub

Redis based queues and workers

amatsuda/kaminari – GitHub

A Scope & Engine based clean and powerful and customizable and sophisticated paginator for Rails 3

Sophie’s Voice: Scaling the Personal Touch in Customer Service | Xconomy

We learned pretty early that WePay users who have interacted at least once with a WePay representative are happier with the service, transact more, and are more likely to refer friends.. When you register for WePay, you don’t get an e-mail from “,” you get an e-mail from “” If you reply, it goes directly to her, and she responds.

CouchOne — Your Data. Anywhere.

CouchOne and Membase Merge Companies and Technologies to Create the First Comprehensive, End-to-End NoSQL Database

New Ruby 1.9 Features, Tips & Tricks –

For the most part, you could upgrade from Ruby 1.8.x and remain blissfully unaware of the many updates and improvements within the language – but what fun would that be?

When to use alias_method_chain –

alias_method_chain is frequently abused in the Rails world, but it wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a valid use case.

How Percona does a MySQL Performance Audit – MySQL Performance Blog

Our customers or prospective customers often ask us how we do a performance audit (it’s our most popular service). I thought I should write a blog post that will both answer their question, so I can just reply “read all about it at this URL” and share our methodology with readers a little bit. This fits well with our philosophy of openness. It also shocks people sometimes — “you’re giving away the golden goose!” Not really. What you hire us for is our experience, not a recipe that anyone can follow.

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Trevor Turk

A chess-playing machine of the late 18th century, promoted as an automaton but later proved a hoax.

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